San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

We’re Fine Free!

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In July, the San Rafael City Council approved the elimination of daily fines for adult patrons, and the elimination of the $1 library card replacement fee. The library had already removed daily fines for children’s and youth materials in 2015. These changes to fines and fees will eliminate barriers and improve equity of access for all San Rafael residents. Additionally, the national trend of eliminating overdue fines has been found to not adversely affect the return of Library materials, but instead to increase the use of the Library and its resources.  

Eliminating daily fines will align our practices with many libraries in the greater Bay Area and, most importantly, with the largest library in our consortium, Marin County Free Library (MCFL). A large percentage of San Rafael residents use the Marin County Free Library’s many locations as well as San Rafael Libraries. Being consistent with MCFL policy in this area will reduce confusion in communicating to patrons about this issue. Only San Anselmo and Mill Valley libraries still charge daily fines, so San Rafael users who request books from those locations could incur daily fines if their books are overdue. In addition, patrons will still be required to pay for damaged or lost materials, but the elimination of daily fines will hopefully remove a psychological and economic barrier to access that has previously prevented patrons from fully using all the library resources. 

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Elections Department Seeks Feedback from Disability Community

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Marin County Registrar of Voters and Disability Rights California invite members of the disability community, family and friends to join a discussion on Marin County’s plan for changing elections in your county!

WHO: This is a public meeting open to all members of the disability community

WHEN: July 28, 2021 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Join us on Zoom: Meeting ID: 986 7226 2073 Password: 860438#

You can also join by: Phone: (669) 900-6833 or Toll free: (833) 548-0276

WHY: Come learn about how upcoming elections will change and give your input on how Marin County can ensure that voting is accessible to all voters.

ASL Interpretation and English captions will be provided for this meeting. For disability accommodations please phone (415) 473-6456 (Voice), CA Relay 711, or e-mail at: by July 23.

More Info

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Getting rid of a book? Let us help you do it properly!

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Is it in excellent or very good condition? Would you see it in a used book store and consider purchasing it as a gift?

Cool book! Call the Friends of the San Rafael Public Library at (415)453-1443 to find out how to donate. Our Friends sell high-quality used books at the Friends Books Store–all proceeds go to fund San Rafael Public Library programs and services!

Or visit for more ideas.

Does it have tears, yellowed pages, mold or is it in otherwise poor condition? Is it about a non-fiction topic that is no-longer relevant?

Sounds like this book has served its purpose and is ready to be properly and lovingly disposed of. By you!

Paperbacks can go directly into the recycling; remove the covers of hardback books before recycling the pages. Visit Marin Sanitary Service to learn more.

Do not leave unwanted books on library premises!

The library does not accept donations of used books; please don’t leave them as it creates additional work for staff and we cannot add them to our collection. Leaving books is illegal dumping and all abandoned items are disposed of.

Just for fun: Do you know what the library does with the books we de-select from our collection?

Our physical collection is confined to buildings, which have a finite amount of space. All libraries weed their collections on a regular basis to make room for fresh materials.

When we de-select a book, we send it to the Internet Archive! There the book is digitized, and made available to people around the world as an eBook! Transcendent, no?

Do you have an Internet Archive virtual card? It’s a great tool for finding any type of book, but especially obscure titles.

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Happy Pride!

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June is Pride month! Join us in celebrating queer authors and queer community. Are you a queer person in Marin of any age looking for community and resources? Visit our friends at the Spahr Center!

Enjoy this fun Drag Storytime from San Rafael Public Library’s own PrinceX Cakes:

Did you catch our 2020 online series, Ask a Queer Adult? Get wisdom and insight from queer folx who span the spectrum of LGBTQ+, as well as the spectrum of “adult”.

Looking for some excellent queer reads to keep you going all summer long? Check-out one of these lists made by staff from MARINet libraries. Shout-out to Corte Madera Librarian Ana for making the bulk of these!

Trans Stories

Nonbinary and Genderqueer Writing

Gay and Queer Men in Fiction

Lesbian and Queer Women in Fiction

Queer Nonfiction, Memoir, and Poetry

Two-Spirit / Queer Indigenous Writing

Pride for Littles: LGBTQ+ Picture Books



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BookPage Digital: June Edition

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Our favorite thing about summer is…more time for books! The June issue of BookPage is full of them, including remarkable reads from Casey McQuiston, Elin Hilderbrand, Clint Smith, Rita Williams-Garcia and more.

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In-person Services Now Available

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We are now offering some in-person services at all SRPL libraries!
Face masks are recommended for all members of the public regardless of vaccination status.

Pop-in Browsing

Available Downtown, Pickleweed & Northgate. Pop-in visits will be limited to 45 minutes and we will not provide indoor seating at this time. We welcome you to make use of the beautiful outside spaces surrounding the Downtown and Pickleweed Libraries to enjoy our materials.

Grab-and-Go Holds Pick-up

Available Downtown, Pickleweed & Northgate. No advance notice needed– just show up and we will assist you in retrieving your holds!

Public Computing

Available Downtown & Pickleweed. Public computing and printing are available during open hours. This service is on a first-come-first-serve basis; no appointments necessary. Computing sessions are limited to 45 minutes.

Welcome back. We’re so happy to have you back in our libraries!

For more information, see our In-Person Service FAQs

Servicios Disponibles

Pedidos y Encargos Express

Haga sus pedidos en linea o por telefono; el personal le ayudara con sus pedidos y cuando reciba una notificacion por correo electronico avisando que su pedido esta listo, pase a por sus encargos a la biblioteca; No necesita hacer cita.

Biblioteca Express

Visite y explore las bibliotecas locations durante el horario de apertura! Las visitas temporales están limitadas a 45 minutos y no proporcionamos asientos en el interior en este momento.

Uso de Computadoras

Disponibles en la biblioteca Central & Pickleweed. El uso de la computadora y la impresión están disponibles durante el horario de atención. Las sesiones de computación serán de 45 minutos. No necesita hacer cita.

Preguntas Frecuentes

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May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

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May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month! Celebrate by reading AAPI authors and stories in May, and all year long.

Browse these lists to find books by some of our favorites:

San Rafael Reads: AAPI authors and stories

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Biographies and Nonfiction

Asian American & Pacific Island Heritage Month: Grades 2-6

Asian American & Pacific Island Heritage Month: Picture Books

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Some In-Person Library Services Resuming April 22

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Starting April 22, the San Rafael Public Libraries will resume in-person browsing at the Northgate Mall Library and in-person computing at the Pickleweed Library!
Curbside service still available Downtown and at Pickleweed.

Pop In Library at the Northgate Mall

Come enjoy a touch-free in-person browsing experience at the our Northgate Mall Library Branch! We’re stocking the shelves with hot new items, and Northgate will once again be available as a holds pick-up location.

Thu-Sat, 12-4pm

Express Computing at the Pickleweed Lab

Use one of our brand new Chromebooks in the Pickleweed Lab. Printing available! Call ahead to schedule your 1 hour appointment.

Tues, 2-4pm
Weds, 4-6pm
Thurs, 4-6pm
Fri, 2-4pm

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Celebrate Black Authors

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Roxane Gay

I think one of the most important things we can do as feminists is acknowledge that even though we have womanhood in common we have to start to think about the ways in which we’re different, how those differences affect us and what kinds of needs we have based on our differences.”

Yaa Gyasi

There is no amount of goodness. There is no amount of blazing brilliance that will exempt you from racism, and therefore, it is not on you to act in a way that will try to exempt yourself from racism, because racism is not about Black people.”

Kacen Callender

I don’t think a lot of our white queer siblings realize that they’re erasing so many of our unseen experiences and stories when they make general, broad, sweeping statements like, “There’s too much queer rom-com,” or “It’s time to move on from coming out stories.” They have been able to see themselves so much more than queer and trans people of color. It feels amazing to tell the story that I wish I could see myself in, and I hope there are many more stories like Felix Ever After to come.”

Octavia Butler

I began writing about power because I had so little.”

N.K. Jemisin

“The world is pretty unjust right now. Those of us that have grown up on the short end of the justice stick understand this innately and want acknowledgement of that reality, because so much of American society is dedicated to weaving the illusion that what you see is not actually what is happening. The endless excuse-making is part of our mythologizing these days. But fixing that is part of the job that science fiction and fantasy can do. That’s one of the things that I believe that this genre is ideal for accomplishing, if it chooses to.”

Gayl Jones

When you tell a story you automatically talk about traditions, but they’re never separate from the people, the human implications. You’re talking about your connections as a human being.”

Jason Reynolds

Trust your gut… and remember that the most valuable thing you’ll ever own, the most expensive thing you’ll ever have, is your story.”

Jesmyn Ward

But if I did not hope I would not be able to do what I do. But I don’t think it is an intelligent hope, I think it is a necessary hope. And maybe that’s what the people in our past did, my ancestors who were enslaved. It wasn’t an intelligent hope that they had for freedom or that their children might live different lives than they did, but I think they had to hope to keep going.”

Colson Whitehead

I grew up wanting to be the black Stephen King. I think the darkness of the world is terrifying. Some of my books try to find the humor or optimistic avenues we can take to deliver ourselves from the darkness.

Saeed Jones

People often call it ‘coming of age,’ which isn’t entirely inaccurate; I just tend to think of it as the story of ‘coming into self.’ My intention was to chart the journey to the point in my life at which I felt truly self-possessed.”

Jacqueline Woodson

For me, the key is survival. And I think about how people of color, primarily Black and brown folks came here. And we weren’t meant to survive. We were meant to work until we died. Produce other enslaved people who worked until they died. We weren’t meant to become teachers and lawyers and presidents and writers … all the ways that we exist in the world.”


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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

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