San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

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.


No comments privacy concerns

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


Big Changes At Downtown Library

Posted by miriam on

If you’ve visited the downtown library in the past week you will have seen big changes underway at our West entrance (on E Street).  The desk in the lobby has closed to  make way for new, improved shelves for requested materials. You will now find all of your holds here including books, DVDs, and Link+ items.

You will also find plenty of self check machines in the lobby, so if you’re hoping to make a quick dash in to pick up something you’ve requested, you’ll be in and out in just moments.

Don’t worry, no one is losing their jobs and we’re all still here to help with everything from placing holds and paying fines, to finding your next great read. Now you’ll just come to see us at either the children’s room desk or at the main desk upstairs.

We hope to see you soon!


Pop-Up Extended Through April!

Posted by miriam on

UPDATE: 5/14/2019

The pop-up library at Northgate Mall has been extended through the end of April 2020. Read more here.


UPDATE: 2/20/2019

Great news! Our pop-up library at Northgate Mall has been extended yet again. We will now be there through the end of April.

We hope to see you there!

As of March 1, 2019 our hours at the mall are changing. Here are the new hours:


New Mall Hours



Sock Drop for the Ritter Center

Posted by jillt on

Drop-off new socks in adult sizes to the downtown library lobby! Your donations will be passed along to the Ritter Center to provide warmth and comfort to our homeless neighbors.

Why socks?

The Teen Advisory Board brainstormed ways we can give back to our community. We settled on a sock drive to help keep our community’s feet warm, dry and healthy.

According to David Geffen from the School of Medicine at UCLA, “The average person walks about 4 miles a day. The average person struggling with homelessness walks 10 miles a day. Homeless individuals often rely on their feet as their primary means of transportation, but frequently do not have an opportunity to remove their shoes at the end of the day.”

Your donation of a pair or pack of socks will have a huge impact!



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Pop-Up Library Grand Opening

Posted by miriam on

Announcing a Ribbon Cutting and the Grand opening of the Pop-Library at the Northgate Mall in San Rafael.

Have you heard the news? Together with the Marin County Free Library we have opened a pop-up location at the Northgate Mall.

This event will take place Wednesday, December 12th at 3 PM at the new library pop-up location, formerly Payless Shoes, just down from the food court and the movie theaters inside the mall.

We hope you can attend this inaugural event!



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  • Downtown Library

    Sun: 1-5
    Mon: 1-8
    Tues, Weds, Thurs: 10-8
    Fri & Sat: 10-5

    (415) 485-3323

    1100 E Street (at 5th Avenue)
    San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Pickleweed Library

    Sun & Mon: Closed
    Tues & Weds: 1-8
    Thurs: 11-8
    Fri & Sat: 11-5

    (415) 485-3483

    50 Canal Street
    San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Northgate Pop-Up Library

    Mon, Weds, Thurs: 1-8
    Fri, Sat, Sun: 1-5
    Tues: closed

    (415) 524-2694

    5800 Northgate Drive
    San Rafael, CA 94903

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