San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

National Library Week

Posted by sicilia on

National Library Week is April 23rd – 29th, celebrate with us by checking out some of these great resources!

Check our event calendar for year-round programming! We’ve got programs for all ages: toddler storytimes, adult author talks, book clubs, gardening, and tons more—both virtual and in-person. Our programs are facilitated by library staff, local community organizations, and other City departments.  

Did you know that Louise Boyd, a famous Arctic explorer, was a San Rafael native? The library is proud to host a selection of the Louise Boyd collection online as part of our San Rafael Creates: Local History collection. Are you a local history buff? Contribute your own materials to our online collection! 

With our selection of local and state parks passes, you can get free parking at many of the beautiful parks and waterfronts in Marin County and the North Bay. Check out our parking passes for the Marin Municipal Water District, Marin County Parks, and California State Parks. 

We’ve got video games available for checkout at all three of our locations—come grab a Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch game to play! Our games check out for three weeks with two renewals. Can’t find something you’re interested in? Place a hold online or ask library staff to help you out. 

Did you know your San Rafael Library Card can double as a ticket to museums, gardens, and aquariums across the Bay Area? With Discover & Go, library card holders can get free and discounted passes to the SF MOMA, the Bay Area Discovery Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, and many more great spots! Head to to reserve a pass! 



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Black History Month 2023

Posted by basia on

Black History Month

Take some time to explore local Black history this month. Black communities in Marin County, along with the rest of the Bay Area, have a rich and complex past, present, and future—while we are highlighting the past this month, let us be sure that we work to support a just present so we can create an equitable future.

Marin City

The 1944 California Supreme Court case James v. Marinship originated in the Marin City shipyards and ultimately ruled that union membership could not be withheld from individuals on the basis of race. To learn more about the history of Marin City, directly from the stories of those who live and have lived there, check out Marin City Memories by Marilyn L. Geary. You can also attend our VR Experience Highlight drop-in program this month to learn more in A Way Out Of No Way: Marin City’s Hidden Shipbuilders. Researchers can also contact us via email about local history resources in our California Collection.

San Francisco

Though it has changed quite a bit in recent years, San Francisco’s Fillmore District has a deep history as a hub of Black culture. Between the 1940s and 1960s, just one square mile of the district contained at least two dozen night clubs and music venues that were home to a great number of Black musicians. Check out more in Elizabeth Pepin’s book Harlem of the West, which documents San Francisco’s Fillmore Jazz Era.


The East Bay’s dense Black history and culture intersects with the sometimes lesserknown Black cowboy and rodeo community. Gabriela Hasbun spent over a decade photographing the Black contestants at Oakland’s annual Bill Pickett Rodeo, and you can experience this iconic event through her photographs in The New Black West. 

Libraries now: Discover & Go

Visit the Oakland Museum of California and experience the special exhibit “Angela Davis: Seize the Time” through June 11—you can use your library card to get a museum pass with Discover and Go! If you want to learn more about Angela Davis, check out her autobiography or her other writings, such as Freedom is a Constant Struggle. 

Libraries then: Segregation and civil rights

Those who fought for the desegregation of public libraries played a huge role both in the civil rights movement and in shaping the libraries we have today. Check out more on the history of libraries and segregation in Not Free, Not for All by Cheryl Knott and Freedom Libraries by Mike Selby.

Marin City Memories. Harlem of the West. Freedom is a Constant Struggle. The New Black West. Not Free, Not For All.

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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

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    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

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    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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