San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

Book Club Selections

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San Rafael Book Club Selections

Is it your turn to pick books for your group? Not sure what to suggest? We have multiple copies (8-12) of the titles below and each title can placed on hold and checked out individually by each of your book group members.

Books check out for 6 weeks at a time.

More titles to come…

Take a look at our Book Club Kits for more options.

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Downloading Ebooks with Libby | Descargando Libros Electrónicos Con Libby

Posted by jillt on

Have you wanted to try checking-out downloadable ebooks and audiobooks from the library but felt intimidated? It’s easy! Learn how with this helpful video tutorial.

Haz tenido el deseo de descargar libros electrónicos y poder leer desde tu teléfono o tableta pero te has sentido un poco intimidado? No es complicado! Aprende cómo hacerlo en este video de la bibliotecaria Alejandra te guiara paso a paso!

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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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Book Club Kits

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Adult Book Club Kits

Is it your turn to pick books for your group? Not sure what to suggest?

Check out the book club kits available at the San Rafael Public Library!

Each kit includes:

  • 8-10 regular print books
  • One large print copy (if available)
  • Discussion questions
  • Book reviews
  • Interviews with the author
  • Reading guides.

Kits check out for 6 weeks at a time.

Get one for your group and start reading!

Book Club Kits currently owned by the San Rafael Public Library:

Take a look at our Book Club Selections for more options.

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Zip Books

Posted by henry on


Zip Books Logo

Your Library Delivered!

Zip Books is a way for customers to request books that are not available in our MARINet Catalog. The item is free to you and shipped directly to you using Amazon.


  • Customer must have a MARINet library card.
  • Customers can request 1 item at a time. 
  • Customers can only request items that are currently NOT in our libraries and that we don’t already own.
  • The cost of the item must be under $75 for foreign items and $50 for all other items.
  • Item may be a Book, a Large Print Book, or a Book on CD
  • The Item must be available through Amazon (it does not have to be Prime).
  • In order to request another Zip Book, you must return the one you have.
  • No pre-order items.

How to Order a Zip Book:

Step 1: Fill out the Zip Book Request Form.

Step 2: Library staff will email or call to let you know what day to expect the book to arrive from Amazon or let you know if it is not available. Please contact us at: if you don’t receive your book on the day estimated.

Step 3: Keep the item as long as you want, but in order to request another Zip Book you must first return the one you have.
When returning your Zip Book, simply drop it in a return bin at the Downtown, Pickleweed, or Northgate libraries. Please place a note on the book indicating that it is a San Rafael Zip Book. We will mark it as returned so you will be able to order another Zip Book.

Downtown San Rafael Library: 1100 E Street, San Rafael 94901
Pickleweed Library: 50 Canal Street, San Rafael 94901
Northgate Library: Northgate Mall near the Food Court.

The Zip Books project is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library

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Marin’s One Book One Marin selection for 2017 – The Tsar of Love and Techno

Posted by bonnie on

All of Marin is reading this book, and we have lots of events happing around the book throughout Marin, so join the experience and learn some history along the way.

Here’s what’s happening at the San Rafael Downtown Library.

February 27, 6:30-7:30 Book Talk with Librarian, Pam Klein
March 6, 6:30 – 7:30 Russian Culture Talk with professors Svetlana Kristal and Krista Hanson entitled: Loyalty Through Betrayal: Us Versus Them in a Russian Context
March 30, 6:30 – 7:30 Russian Travel talk with Rea Franjetic of Cosmopolitan Tours, entitled: Armchair Travel to Russia.
April 2, 1:00 – 4:00 – Faux Ukrainian Egg Decorating

Request a copy of The Tsar of Love and Techno in print, large type, or as a downloadable e-book or e-audiobook.

Read more about the book, the author, and all events in Marin on the One Book One Marin site here.

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Travel Vicariously for Bookshelf Bingo

Posted by diane on


With the Rio Olympics starting on Friday, we thought we’d bring a taste of Brazil to those not planning to go. We also updated our Olympic-themed list from four years ago.

If you’re playing along with our Adult Summer Reading Program, Bookshelf Bingo, then you can use one of these books to complete the square, “Book set somewhere you’ve never been (but want to go).” But hurry, there’s just one month left in the summer program. Don’t miss out on our great prizes and a chance for even better prizes with the bingo raffle!

And if Brazil has never tickled your fancy, then try these lists based on other locales:

Destination: Berlin


Havana Heat: Cuba


London Calling


We’ll Always have Paris


Bon voyage by book! As always, if you want more help finding your next great read, contact us or drop by the library.


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She Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts

Posted by diane on


Regardless of what you think of the newest Ghostbusters movie, the library can help you find some ghost stories with female leads. Try these books to start:

Anya’s Ghost, by Vera Brosgol

Aunt Dimity’s Death, by Nancy Atherton

Fellside, by M.R. Carey

The Ghost of Hannah Mendes, by Naomi Ragen

The Hundred Secret Senses, by Amy Tan

Tamsin, by Peter S. Beagle

Twenties Girl, by Sophie Kinsella

And as an added bonus, even though this does not have ghosts, it does have zombies and a kick-ass female lead…

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance — Now With Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!, by Seth Grahame-Smith

And for even more spooky stories, including those with male leads and non-fiction treatments, see our Ghostly Tales list.

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Birthday Books for Bookshelf Bingo

Posted by diane on

1960s-readerWhat were people reading in the year you were born? Read a blast from the past with these lists of popular and notable books throughout the decades. If you’re playing along with our Adult Summer Reading Bookshelf Bingo, you can complete a square by reading a book published in the decade you were born!

These lists were partially taken from an enormous list, Books of the Century , with best-sellers, historically significant books, and Book-of-the-Month Club selections, which was compiled by Daniel Immerwahr, an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Northwestern University.

We picked ten books from each decade from 1920 through the 1990s. We did not ensure that one book from each year was taken, but rather picked books for a breadth of representation of what a particular decade offered.  I’m sure we missed a few obvious or important choices; let us know what you think!

Books published in the 1920s-1950s:









Books published in the 1960s-1990s:








p.s. You can also find books published in a particular year by looking at the award winners for that year; though technically many awards are given the year after a book was published. See our Fiction Winners and Mystery Winners handouts.

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Guilty Pleasures for Bookshelf Bingo

Posted by diane on

woman-reading-outsideThere’s nothing wrong with going on a beach-read bender over the summer.  In fact, if you’re playing along with our Adult Summer Reading Bookshelf Bingo, you’ll earn a completed square when you finish that “Guilty Pleasure” book.

What, you only read Pulitzer-Prize winners?  That’s okay, too. There’s no rule that says a guilty pleasure has to be poorly written!  It can be a book you’re reading when you’re really supposed to be doing something else… like cooking dinner, or doing the laundry.

In any case, I’m sure you won’t have trouble finding a fun book for yourself, but just in case, here are some book lists we’ve made that can help.

Speaking of dinner, if you love food (and who doesn’t), try some of these culinary reads. Our list ranges from light-hearted fiction featuring a chef kidnapped by a pirate, or a caterer with a magic touch, to non-fiction by adventurous food critics and a baker in Paris.


Or try this list combining romance and comedy, that we’ve called My Funny Valentine.


Or if fiction isn’t your thing, we can hook you up with some humorous non-fiction!








Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone you didn’t do your laundry— so go ahead and grab a book! If you want more suggestions, just drop by the library or contact us.

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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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