San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

Native American Heritage Month

Posted by basia on

The San Rafael Public Library acknowledges that we are located on the unceded ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok people of present-day Marin and southern Sonoma counties. We honor with gratitude the land itself, and all of its ancestors: past, present, and emerging.

Take a look at the Native American Heritage Month website to explore virtual exhibits, historical and contemporary photography, and video content provided by the National Archives, the Smithsonian Museum, and the Library of Congress. You can also check out the Native Land website to explore the languages and cultures native to North America. And, of course, you can celebrate Indigenous authors and voices this month and year-round with these lists!

No comments

United Against Hate Week 2022

Posted by basia on

United Against Hate Week. November 13-19, 2022.

The City of San Rafael commits to standing against all forms of hate in our communities. United Against Hate brings together Bay Area communities every year to reaffirm that commitment.

Acts of hate can be individual as well as institutional. When we witness actions, words, or feelings driven by hate, it is important to stand in solidarity with those who are affected, to amplify voices that may not be heard, and to listen earnestly. When we realize that our institutions uphold values of hate, we must stand together to start the process of change and ensure that it is not hindered by those who benefit from a status quo built on hatefulness and the inequities it spawns.

We encourage everyone to do some reading this week that opens a new window in your understanding of our communities, or that reframes some of the work you’ve already done to understand how hate impacts everyone, from individuals to groups as a whole. Check out these lists for kids, teens, and adults:

No comments

Hispanic Heritage Month 2022

Posted by basia on

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15, originally just one week at its inception in 1968 and eventually expanded to a full month in 1988. September 15 is the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries, and many more celebrate their independence throughout September and October. This is a month for everyone to celebrate the histories, cultures, languages, triumphs, struggles, and futures of Hispanic/Latinx Americans.

On October 11, the San Rafael Public Library will be hosting an author talk with Reyna Grande, in conversation with poet Yaccaira Salvatierra, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Reserve a copy of her newest book, A Ballad of Love and Glory! While you’re waiting, check out some of these amazing authors, illustrators, poets, and more—not just this month, but year-round.

No comments

Maximize Your Library Card!

Posted by jillt on

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month!

September is Library Card Sign-up Month! If you don’t already have a library card, get one today! Library cards are totally free and available to residents of all ages; you don’t even need proof of address, just bring your photo ID (for youth under 16 a guardian with a photo ID needs to be present).

Are you a student at a San Rafael City School? You’ve got a San Rafael Public Library account! Every year the library partners with the school district to create accounts for all new students. Just visit any of our branches to pick-up your physical card, and check-out a whole stack of books (did you know you can check-out 50 items at a time?)!

Maximize Your Library Card

Replace your card for free

Lost your library card? Got a well-loved and tattered card that our barcode reader can’t handle? No problem! Come to any of our 3 branches and we’ll get you a shiny new card—for free!

We’re Fine-Free

Stressing because your books were due last week? Stop it! You have bigger things to worry about. At the San Rafael Public Library (and all public libraries in Marin) we’re fine-free. Now, we do want those books back, and if they’re lost or waaaay over-due you will get a billing notice, but fear not! Once you return them that notice will clear from your account.

Get the MARINet Mobile App

There’s an app for that! That being your library 🙂. Place holds, manage your account AND pull up your digital barcode when you’re at the self-check. If you’re at a bookstore and see a book you want to read but don’t want to buy, you can scan the ISBN number, and place a hold on the spot. Available in the IOS App Store and on Google Play.

Check-out park passes

Love public libraries? Us too! Know what else are pretty great? Public parks! We have passes good for one vehicle entry to Marin County Parks, Marin Municipal Water District, Mt. Tam and California State Parks (new!). Search “park pass” in our library catalog to get started.

Visit museums for free with Discover & Go

Did you know that with your library card you can gain free entry into a selection of local museums? It’s true! Visit to get started. Each participating museum has their own restrictions, and it’s a good idea to plan your visits well in advance, especially for popular venues.

Download eBooks and audiobooks, and stream movies, shows and music

Do you love books and your library but don’t love leaving your house? Do you prefer enjoying content on an eReader, phone or tablet? We’ve got you covered with eBooks and digital audiobooks for check-out, as well as free content to stream!

No comments

How to find your next read with NoveList Select

Posted by basia on

Have you ever gotten stuck trying to find your next read? NoveList Select is an amazing tool you can use anytime! This is a module created by EBSCO that’s integrated into the MARINet catalog, and it uses community feedback and a dedicated team of librarians to group titles by similarities.

First, search our catalog for a title you enjoyed reading. Let’s look at The Lightning Thief as an example — chances are you or a loved one have either heard of or already read this super-popular book!

A screenshot of our catalog website with "the lightning thief" in the search bar.

Next, click on the title of the book to see more information about it.The entry for The Lightning Thief in the catalog's search results, showing a variety of formats.

After you’ve clicked on the title, you can scroll down to see staff lists featuring that title as well as recommendations generated by NoveList.

Staff lists featuring this title. Great reads for younger teens. Favorite fantasy and science fiction for middle schoolers. 8 books remix: Ryan Douglass. Guided reading levels S & T. View all lists. You may also like. View all recommendations.

And if you scroll further down, and you’ll see even more: related titles (usually by the same author), descriptive community tags, and similar authors. This is a great place to start browsing.

Explore further. Related Titles. Community tags: view all. Similar authors: show more. More about this title: view all from NoveList.

However, if nothing’s caught your eye yet and you want to do a more in-depth search, click on the “View all from NoveList” link. A new widget will pop up with all kinds of information: full series information, read-alikes split into titles, authors, and series, and a list of story elements. All of those story elements are search filters, too — so if you want to read about another quest for a magical items that’s as action-packed as The Lightning Thief, just click on those options and NoveList Select will suggest a few titles.

Story elements. Mix and match to explore similar stories. Appeal, character, genre, theme. "Action-packed" and "quest for magical items" are highlighted. Based on your picks: We found these fiction stories for ages 9-12 that share the traits: Action-packed and Quest for magical items.

The best thing about NoveList Select is that it will only recommend things to you that are in MARINet’s catalog. No need to worry about finding the perfect book and being unable to get it! NoveList isn’t available for every single title in our catalog, but most titles will have at least some information that will help you browse for your next read. Always feel free to get in touch with your local branch if you need some help finding a book!

No comments

Summer @ SRPL

Posted by jillt on

We’ll be offering fun programs and activities, mostly outdoors, for all ages, at all locations, all summer long! Check-out our events calendar to see what’s happening, or visit us in-person to chat with library staff and get a summer activity guide. You can also read through our summer newsletter for a snapshot of all our programs through August.

¡Dele un vistazo a lo que ofreceremos durante el verano en las tres locaciones: Central, Northgate y Pickleweed! Para saber las fechas, horarios y locación consulte el calendario de eventos, o lea el boletin de verano.

Kids entering grades K-6 can pick up a reading log and a free book at any of our branches! Keep reading throughout the summer to earn another free book when you return your log. 

¡Para niños en grados K-6 pueden recoger un registro de lectura y un libro gratis en cualquiera de nuestras sucursales! Sigue leyendo durante el verano para ganar otro libro gratis cuando devuelvas tu registro de lectura.



No comments

Happy Pride: Celebrate California’s Transcestors

Posted by basia on

Celebrate California's Transcestors

June is Pride Month ‍🌈💖! This Pride we’re inviting you to celebrate and learn about our transcestors: the trailblazing humans and events that led us to where we are now in our ongoing fight towards a world in which trans people are safe and seen. 

Native Californians

People that would be considered trans by our current understanding have always existed in North America and across the world. European colonizers violently instated their own binary gender norms on the native peoples of the Americas, and these expectations continue to be upheld today. In 1990, the term “two-spirit” was coined as an umbrella term to refer to First Nations people and Native Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, non-binary, or gender-fluid. However, many folks prefer to use words specific to their individual language, tribe, and experiences.

Read Pride Month 2020: Perspectives on LGBTQ Native Americans in Traditional Culture from Smithsonian Magazine to hear voices from queer Native folks from tribes across North America.

Charley Parkhurst

Charley Parkhurst was born in 1812 in New England and assigned female at birth. As a youth he ran away and began to live his life as a man. He traveled West to California, following the 1849 Gold Rush. Charley became one of the most respected stagecoach drivers of his time, fending off bandits while handling a coach led by 6 horses through rough terrain – one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs during the Gold Rush era.

Read Charley’s obituary from 1880 in the Daily Alta California newspaper, via the California Digital Newspaper Archive. Please note that this is historic, primary source material. The author misgenders Charley and discusses trans bodies in a way that is unacceptable by today’s standards, but was commonplace at the time.

Compton’s Cafeteria Riot

In August of 1966, a patron at Compton’s Cafeteria in the Tenderloin district – serving primarily trans women and drag queens – resisted arrest and sparked a riot. The patrons at Compton’s Cafeteria as well as in the rest of the Tenderloin had been suffering abuse, harassment, and assault at the hands of police officers and that night they defended their lives, their community, and a beloved (and rare) trans-friendly safe space together. This historic event went completely unreported and was largely unrecognized on a national level, but it ignited local activism.

Stream Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria on Kanopy for free with your library card to learn more about this historic event.

Felicia Elizondo

In the 1960s, Felicia Elizondo was a regular patron of Compton’s Cafeteria, which was at the time a haven for young, queer sex workers like her. Moving forward, she advocated for the rights of trans women of color and worked for several non-profit organizations in San Francisco focused on support for the HIV-positive community. She also contributed panels to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. In addition to her activism, she performed regularly as the drag queen Felicia Flames and served as the grand marshal of the 2015 San Francisco Pride Parade.

Read a 2007 interview with Felicia Elizondo as part of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Elizondo discusses her experience serving in the military prior to coming out as a trans woman.

Stop Aids Now or Else

At 7:27am on January 31, 1989, protesters stopped traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge – the first time a protest had brought all traffic to a complete stop. The protest was organized by a group called Stop AIDS Now Or Else (SANOE) in collaboration with the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, or ACT UP. The AIDS crisis affected the queer communities of San Francisco deeply since it first appeared in 1981; in 1992 cases peaked to 2,332 in one year.

There is still no vaccine against HIV, but advancements in medication allow many folks who are HIV-positive to lead healthy lives. Additionally, the introduction of PrEP in the past decade has greatly decreased the risk of HIV transmission through prevention. Sadly, due to global injustice, sub-Saharan Africa remains most severely impacted region of the world, accounting for 2/3 of the world’s HIV cases.

Read And the Band Played On, a ground-breaking investigative work by Randy Shilts. Shilts passed away from AIDS-related complications in 1994.

Connie Norman

Throughout her life, Connie Norman advocated for medical rights – particularly for HIV-positive patients battling AIDS, but also in the name of other marginalized communities who were being ignored by the County of Los Angeles. In 1991, she lobbied in support of AB101, which did not pass at the time but would have prohibited employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. She also hosted the first commercial radio talk show centered on gay rights in LA.

In 2021 director Dante Allencastre created a film called AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman about Norman’s life and activism.

Tamara Ching

Tamara Ching is an activist for AAPI, sex worker, HIV-positive, and transgender communities. She was an original member of the Transgender Advisors to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, and she has also served as an advisor to the Board of Supervisors, the San Francisco Police Department, and the Department of Public Health in the fight for trans rights.

Check out this interview (available as audio and text transcript) with Tamara Ching, part of the Stanford Pride Oral History Project.

Susan Stryker

In 1994, Susan Stryker published her first academic article – also one of the first articles to be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal by an openly transgender author. Her work as a historian and filmmaker focuses on trans history, and her filmography includes Screaming Queens, a documentary about the Compton’s Cafeteria riot.

Read Transgender History, Susan Stryker’s pioneering history of transgender people in the United States after World War II, which was recently updated as a second edition.

Honey Mahogany

Honey Mahogany is the current chairperson of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee, and its first transgender chair. She co-founded the Transgender District in the Tenderloin, named after Compton’s Cafeteria and the uprising that took place there, and she served as chief of staff to San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Haney before his recent election to the State Assembly.

Listen to a 2020 KQED spotlight on Honey Mahogany in which she shares the origins of her activism and political engagement .

Pride Booklists

No comments

Welcome back, teens!

Posted by basia on

We’re welcoming teens back to the library this summer with outdoor programming! Check out our biweekly Art Jams and Gaming Sessions throughout June and July at the Downtown library, and sharpen up your anime-style art skills with Carlos Nieto III at the Downtown, Pickleweed, or Northgate libraries.

We aren’t accepting teen volunteers quite yet — check back after the summer for volunteer opportunities, and to see everything else we’ll have in store for teens through the rest of the year.

Looking for something fun to read this summer? Check out our teen book lists, read some manga, and come visit the library or send us a chat if you can’t find what you’re looking for!

No comments

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Posted by basia on

May was chosen as the designated heritage month to commemorate the first arrival of Japanese immigrants to the US on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad — whose tracks were laid almost entirely by Chinese and Chinese American laborers — on May 10, 1869. Check out the official site for historical archives, online activities, and more!

May is also Arab American Heritage Month and Jewish Heritage Month. Here are some book lists to keep you reading throughout May and the rest of the year!

No comments

Library Appreciation Week: April 3-9, 2022

Posted by jillt on

The theme for National Library Week 2022 is “Connect with Your Library”! Find out some of the ways the San Rafael Public Library is a hub for connecting you to technology.

Virtual Reality @ Northgate
Virtual Reality is back at Northgate on Saturdays from 12-5 on a drop-in, first come first serve basis! Thank you to our partners at XRLibraries for providing us with new Oculus Quest 2 headsets, available in English and Spanish. Try a variety of XR (extended reality) experiences. These VR headsets simulate being physically present in the virtual environment—it’s a very cool experience!

Chromebooks for Check-Out
In addition to our desktop public computers, Chromebooks are now available for check-out at all 3 San Rafael Public Library locations: Downtown, Northgate and Pickleweed! To check out a Chromebook, ask a staff member at the service desk. Library card and photo identification required; patrons must be 13+ to check-out a Chromebook.

Chromebooks are available for in-library use only and must be returned before the end of the day. Printing is not available.

Video Games @ Northgate
Northgate’s video game collection is now available for checkout! We have games available for Nintendo SwitchXbox One, and PS4 & PS5. Games check out for 3 weeks at a time with no renewals. As a part of Northgate’s collection, they are not holdable. Come visit us Wednesdays-Saturdays from 11-5 to pick up a game and have some fun!

eBooks & eResources
Check-out eBooks, eAudiobooks and popular magazines with your library card, or stream movies and other media with Hoopla and Kanopy. Get employment and support for veterans with JobNow & VetNow, grow your language skills with Mango Languages, get access to New York Times Online, and more!

All our library locations offer free gigabit wifi–no password required. San Rafael Public Libraries are on the Cenic high-bandwidth fiber optic network. Bring your own devices, or check-out one of our Chromebooks!


No comments
  • 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!
Translate »