San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

Final Concert With Miss Kitty

Posted by jill on

Photo of children's performer Miss Kitty

Please join us for our final monthly concert with Miss Kitty on December 20th 10:30 am at San Rafael City Hall, City Council Chambers (next to the downtown library.) Miss Kitty is a Marin County treasure, and has delighted youth in our community for many years. We are so grateful for how much she has enriched the lives of families. Let’s give her a proper send off and wish her a wonderful retirement.

Until the day of the concert, we will have a giant card in the downtown library children’s room for anyone who wishes to stop by and contribute well wishes and fond farewells to Miss Kitty. We will also have the card available for messages and signatures at her last concert, in the City Hall lobby.

Fortunately for us, Miss Kitty’s music can be found in our collection for all to enjoy for many years to come.


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Ghost Stories at the Haunted Falkirk Masion: Online Series

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We were terribly disappointed to cancel our Ghost Stories at the Haunted Falkirk Mansion events due to the PSPS power outage. Please enjoy this online series of Library & Recreation staff performing the spooky ghost stories we had planned to share with you in person. Turn off the lights (if you have power) and get ready for some chills!

Paulo Fuentes reads Lacrimosa by Silvia Morena-Garcia, from the November 2015 issue of Nightmare Magazine

This story contains adult themes and some profanity; it is intended for teens and adults.


Jill Tokutomi reads The Green Ribbon, from In a Dark, Dark, Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz


Peter Warden does an abridged reading of October in the Chair, from M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman


Margaret Stawowy reads The Doll by Jesse Reffsin, from the anthology Ghost by Blaise Hemingway


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Holds and Due Dates Extended

Posted by miriam on


The power is back on at the San Rafael libraries!

If you’ve been anxiously waiting to pick up your holds, or waiting for your books to be checked-in, never fear!

We’ll be keeping your holds on the shelf for an extra week so there’s plenty of time to come and pick them up.

Due dates have been extended as well. If your materials were due 10/24 through 10/30, you now have until 11/4 to get them back to the library.


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Macmillan Embargo on Libraries

Posted by miriam on

If you’re a fan of ebooks you might have noticed that the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries around the country have been in the news recently. Macmillan publishers recently announced that it will impose a two month embargo on libraries across the country. This means that as of next week, we will only be able to purchase one copy of new topics for 8 weeks after the books’ release. Unfortunately, this means longer wait times for you.  Macmillan isn’t alone in imposing restrictions on library purchases, but it is the latest in a trend that directly affects our patrons.

You can read more about this issue at the Marin County Free Library website:

From the American Library Association:

Or from Publisher’s Weekly:

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September is the last month for Kanopy!

Posted by miriam on

Kanopy Ends Sept 30

In 2018, the San Rafael Public Library partnered with the Marin County Free Library (MCFL) to provide free access to Kanopy;  a high-quality streaming service that features movies and documentaries.  Unfortunately, due to the increasing popularity of the service and the charging model that Kanopy uses to bill libraries for this service, the cost has started to become unsustainable.

From the start Kanopy has been very well received by our patrons. Each library card holder has been allowed to view up to 10 movies per month. Kanopy then charges the library a fee for each of these views. In the first year SRPL’s average cost was about $800 per month. But as Kanopy’s popularity has grown over the past year, so has the cost.

In order to manage our budget, SRPL and MCFL have tried to convince Kanopy to let us lower the number of checkouts possible from 10 to 5 views per person. Unfortunately Kanopy has denied our request and seems unwilling to help us identify a solution. For this reason, as with many other libraries around the country, we are faced with the decision of having to end this service.

We hope that you will continue to use our other streaming video service, Hoopla, and check out the thousands of DVDs available from libraries throughout the County.


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Posted by miriam on

10/1/2019 UPDATE: will now be available through the month of October!
Representatives of LinkedIn Learning (Formerly have reached out to say that they are pausing to consider some of the concerns expressed by libraries around the country. While we do not at this time know if they will be changing their approach to this service in the future, for now we will be able to continue to provide without compromising our patron’s personal information.
We will provide additional information as we learn the outcome of LinkedIn Learning’s deliberations.
Previous post:

Your privacy is a priority to the San Rafael Public Library. For this reason, the library has made the difficult decision to stop offering as a learning platform at our libraries as of September 30, 2019. is a learning resource that SRPL has offered to patrons for the last several years. Recently, was purchased by LinkedIn which has rebranded the platform as “LinkedIn Learning” and made troubling changes to the privacy policy that would directly affect our patrons.

Currently, patrons use their library card and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to access No other personal information is required. Under LinkedIn Learning, patrons would have to create a LinkedIn profile and agree to the company’s user agreement and privacy policy, which allows LinkedIn to share a patron’s profile information with outside parties.

This new privacy policy conflicts directly with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights which states; “All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.”

LinkedIn Learning does not acknowledge the fundamental right to privacy that is central to the guarantee libraries make to their patrons, and seeks to use personal information provided by library patrons, including sharing it with third parties.

For more information, please read the American Library Association’s post on this topic, “ALA urges LinkedIn Learning to reconsider changes to terms of service that impair library users’ privacy rights.” Additionally, George Lucas, the State Librarian of California has published a letter in regards to privacy concerns with LinkedIn Learning.

If you are currently taking a course, you will be able to log-in as normal to complete your course up through September 30, 2019. Please check our E-Resources page at that time for other suggested learning resources that will help fill your educational needs.

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September is Library Card Sign-Up Month!

Posted by bonnie on

If you or a family member haven’t thought of getting a library card, come in and get one this month and get your choice of a small thank you gift.

Your library card is good at all public library branches in Marin, College of Marin, and Dominican University. If you live in Marin County you have access to all our digital services: eBooks and eAudiobooks, Movies, Music, TV Shows, Research Databases, Discover & Go Museum Passes, and so much more!

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Northgate’s Pop-Up Library Gets New Lease on Life

Posted by miriam on

story time at northgate mall

San Rafael, CA – The temporary and experimental pop-up library at the Northgate mall in San Rafael has been such a success, the three partnering agencies have agreed to keep it open through April 2020.

Created in December 2018 as a special holiday season treat for shoppers and other mall visitors, the branch was a collaboration between the Marin County Free Library (MCFL), the San Rafael Public Library and the mall owner, Merlone Geier Partners.

“Based on the success of the initial month-to-month pilot, and thanks to the support of Merlone-Geier Partners, we have extended our agreement,” said Henry Bankhead, Interim Director of the San Rafael Public Library. “We have created a partnership between local governments and local business to re-imagine public space and create free, easy access to a world of information and experiences.”

Merlone Geier Partners provided the 3,000 square feet of space, a former shoe store that is just a few steps from the food court and movie theater. It is stocked with materials initially supplied by MCFL, and it is staffed primarily with personnel from the San Rafael Public Library.

“We are thrilled our expanded service experiment has been such a tremendous success,” said MCFL Director Sara Jones. “We are reaching new library patrons and strengthening and expanding our collaboration and library services with the San Rafael Public Library. We especially appreciate the mall’s support as a full partner in a project that greatly benefits all.”

Patrons may check out books and other media, pick up items on hold, drop off checked-out materials, use the 3D printer, experience virtual reality, and participate in some other programming options.

The popup library also hosts a regular family storytime on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. and a Northgate bookclub discussion at Peet’s Coffee every 3rd Thursday of the month.

The library hours are:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 1 to 8 p.m.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
Closed Tuesday

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Summer Reading starts June 1st!

Posted by miriam on

A Universe of Stories

June 1 – August 31, 2019

Summer Reading 2019 is just around the corner and readers from Kindergarten through 111 years old are invited to take part.

We’re starting this year off with a big Summer Reading Blast-Off party on the Library lawn. From 1-4pm on June 1st everyone is invited to drop in, eat some tasty snacks, play some games, and sign up for summer reading. You can find all the fun details here.

Then, all summer long keep track of your reading, take part in fun space-themed library programs, and win prizes.

We can’t wait to see you at the library this summer!

Sign up online now.


Learn more about Summer Reading 2019

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Library Survey! We Need Your Help!

Posted by miriam on

Update 5/22/2019

Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey! We appreciate your time and input.

The survey is now closed.

We need your help!  The San Rafael Library is conducting a survey about where we might build a new library, and we would like to hear your opinions.  The survey will ask about some options for locating a new Downtown library, and you will have a chance to tell us what you like and dislike about each of the options.

The survey will take about 12 minutes of your time.  To begin the survey, simply click on the link below.

Survey Link

This survey will be completely confidential.  Your responses will be used only in combination with those of others who are participating in this survey.

Thanks in advance for your help.  We hope you will be able to complete this important survey. Please click on the link below to begin the survey.

Survey Link

For more information about this project and the latest news, go to:


¡La Biblioteca de San Rafael necesita su ayuda! Por medio de esta encuesta queremos saber su opinión acerca del lugar donde construir una nueva biblioteca. Esta encuesta le preguntará sobre algunas opciones y locaciones para la nueva biblioteca central. Usted tendrá la oportunidad de opinar sobre lo que le gusta y lo que no le gusta acerca de cada opción.

La encuesta le tomará aproximadamente 12 minutos de su valioso tiempo. Para empezar la encuesta, haga click en el enlace a continuación:

Enlace de la Encuesta

Esta encuesta será completamente confidencial. Sus respuestas serán utilizadas solo por el personal que está realizando esta encuesta.

De antemano agradecemos su cooperación y esperando que pueda completar esta encuesta tan importante para nosotros.  A continuación por favor haga click en el enlace para empezar la encuesta.

Enlace de la Encuesta

  • 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

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