San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

Library accepting proposals for next phase of library facilities project

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The City of San Rafael and the San Rafael Public Library are accepting proposals to establish a range and prioritization of options for the City to consider when establishing goals for new library facilities. We are looking for a partner or partner(s) to create top view building plans (a bird’s eye view of what a footprint would look like for a building, grounds, and parking) along with cost models including, but not limited to land acquisition, capital, FF&E estimates , and any operational cost increases for all three of the following:

  • Three potential new Downtown Library sites
  • A Pickleweed branch library expansion
  • Three potential sites for a new Terra Linda branch library

A letter of intent to submit must be received by August 10, 2017 and the proposal must be received by August 24, 2017.

The Request for Proposals and the City’s standard professional services agreement are linked below.

  1. Request for Proposals – San Rafael Public Library Facilities Project
  2. City’s standard Professional Services Agreement contract
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Book Recommendations in Your Inbox

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Meet your next favorite bookLooking for something good to read? Some beach reads, science fiction, mysteries, or even audio books? BAM! The library can help!

Sign up for our book recommendation newsletters and get themed book lists e-mailed to you with peeks at book covers, brief descriptions, and links to the library catalog. All newsletters are sent on a monthly basis, unless otherwise noted.

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Help Yourself with our Amazing Free Self Help Financial and Legal Resources

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Are you interested in learning more about managing your personal finances or navigating confusing tax laws? Or perhaps you’re interested in learning more about a particular legal topic- whether it’s fighting a ticket or communicating with a landlord:

If these topics interest you, we have an excellent database available to San Rafael Public Library card holders called the Legal Information Reference Center (LIRC):


LIRC is  full of self-help legal eBooks and guides and you can access them in the library or remotely using your library card number. Most importantly, the materials in this database are full-text and written in plain language!


To browse the Legal Information Reference Center, please visit the library or, from home,  have your library card handy and visit our eBooks page here: 


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Wondering what to do with the kids?

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Discover and Go museum passesWondering what to do with the kids this summer that doesn’t break the bank? Go to museums and other cultural institutions, with free and discounted passes thanks to your library card!

Really? Yes!

The libraries in Marin provide all library cardholders with access to an amazing service — Discover & Go, which offers free and discounted passes to local museums, aquariums, science centers, and other cultural institutions.  Just pick one of the many museums and other cultural institutions, log in with your library card, and print your pass at home (or access it on your smartphone)!

Get passes to the California Academy of Sciences, Asian Art Museum, Exploratorium, Bay Area Discovery Museum, Madame Tussauds San Francisco, and many more! Log in now and start saving!

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Stream movies, music, and more for free with your library card

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The San Rafael Public Library gives cardholders access to Hoopla! You can log into Hoopla with your San Rafael Public Library Card and get access to thousands of streaming movies, television shows, music, and audiobooks! No holds, no waiting!

Paying for Netflix, Spotify, or Audible? Check this service out because it could provide you with what you need–courtesy of your local public library! Just make sure you have a library card! Don’t have one? Sign up online and we’ll mail you your card.

You can also moves seamlessly between different devices – you can listen to or watch something at home and then pick it up later on your smartphone. You can also broadcast Hoopla’s content to Chromecast and Apple TV.

The collection in Hoopla changes from time to time, but here’s a sampling of what’s available to give you a taste of the awesomeness:

  • Disney movies
  • Substantial collections from BBC and PBS
  • Ken Burns specials
  • Comics from Dark Horse, Vertigo, Marvel, and more
  • 2016 award-winning albums
  • Digital box sets of music

If you have any questions about using Hoopla, just pop us a chat (using the little chat widget in the lower right of your screen) or email us at

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Help! My News is Fake! (we have you covered)

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Evaluating our information sources and being more conscious of where we get our news is a topic on many people’s minds these days. Regardless of one’s political leanings, we all want to know that the news we get is accurate, well-researched, and as unbiased as possible. The San Rafael Public Library’s youth services staff has created a guide for parents and caregivers to teach children and teens about information literacy, internet safety, and how to spot fake news. We have a feeling adults will find it useful as well!

Check it out here:

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Apply to be on the Special Library Parcel Tax Committee

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The City Council is seeking applications to fill five positions on the newly created Measure D Special Library Parcel Tax Committee. This Committee will meet at least twice annually and will act as an independent citizens’ oversight committee to ensure the Library spends the funds from the parcel tax in a manner consistent with the language of the ballot measure approving the tax. Applications are now available online at and at the City Clerk’s office.
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Sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge today!

Posted by sarah on

Friday, June 9 – Saturday, August 5

This year we have one All Ages Online Program for everyone in the family from babies to adults!

All Ages Online Program

Families will register together under one account. Each reader in the family will create their own reader profile!

Readers will set a daily goal for themselves. We recommend reading at least 20 minutes a day, but everyone is different! Little ones who are not yet reading independently can share a book with a grown-up or older child.

Every day you meet your reading goal, you will earn 1 point! Collect points to earn fun prizes from the Library! You can also earn special online badges by completing fun activities. These badges aren’t worth points, but they will really make your reader profile pop!

All Ages Paper Program

We have a paper option available for readers who would rather not participate in the online program!

Another option this summer is Bookshelf Bingo for Adults and Teens

Read Books, Win Prizes! Pick up our Bingo Card or print one after June 9th here.

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Family Fair June 3rd Celebrating 130 Years of Public Library Service

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We are celebrating 130 years of public library service here in beautiful San Rafael! In June of 1887 the Women’s Christian Temperance Union established a coffee and read­ing room in the town of San Rafael. The Marin Journal of June 2, 1887, announced, “The Coffee Room and Free Library is now open.” We are proud to continue the tradition of public library service to our neighbors today!

Join us for a family-friendly event on Saturday, June 3rd to celebrate this special anniversary!

Join us all afternoon for:

  • Old-timey crafts
  • Rock climbing wall
  • Bouncy house
  • Inflatable slide
  • Face painting
  • Photo booth with old-timey props
  • Popcorn, hot dogs, and other food

12pm: Welcome from the Mayor of San Rafael

12:10pm: Welcome from the Library Director

12:50pm: Musical performance from ELM

1:00pm: Celebratory anniversary cake and lemonade

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The New York Times Online: free with your library card

Posted by sarah on

Library card holders can use remote passes to view app from home or from a device. Passes give you unlimited access for a 24 hour period and you can use them as many times as you like!

Accessing New York Times Online from Home

Step 1: Get a code

Click this link to access the library’s portal

You’ll be taken to a screen with the heading “A special offer from The New York Times” with a code already filled into the form – click the “Redeem” button and you’ll be taken to a screen to create a account.

Step 2: Login or Create an Account

In order to use your code, you’ll need to associate it with a account. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create one. Sign up with your email or through your existing Facebook or Twitter accounts. You might already have a account, in which case you should click the “Log in here” link instead. If you’ve forgotten your password you can follow the prompts to have it sent to you again.

Step 3: Use your pass

Once you’ve either logged in with a current account or created an account, you’ll be taken to a SUCCESS page which tells you your pass is active.

Your pass will work on any computer where you log in to your account, so you can use it on your iPad, work computer, laptop, wherever.

If you have the New York Times app, or want to download it, you’ll also have unlimited 24 hour access there as well once you’ve logged into the app with your account. You’ll also get a confirmation email sent to whichever email account you used to sign up with It will tell you when your pass was activated and when it will expire.

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  • Downtown Library

    Sun: 10:00-5:00
    Mon: 9:00-7:00
    Tues: 9:00-7:00
    Weds: 9:00-7:00
    Thurs: 9:00-7:00
    Fri: 10:00-5:00
    Sat: 10:00-5:00

    (415) 485-3323

    1100 E Street (at 5th Avenue)
    San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Pickleweed Library

    Sun: closed
    Mon: closed
    Tues: 9:00-5:00
    Weds: 9:00-5:00
    Thurs: 11:00-7:00
    Fri: 10:00-5:00
    Sat: 10:00-5:00

    (415) 485-3483

    50 Canal Street
    San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Northgate Library

    Sun: closed
    Mon: closed
    Tues: closed
    Weds: 11:00-5:00
    Thurs: 11:00-5:00
    Fri: 11:00-5:00
    Sat: 11:00-5:00

    (415) 890-5670

    5800 Northgate Drive Ste. 083
    San Rafael, CA 94903

  • Contact Us

    Send us a message!
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