San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

Virtual Reality Saturdays @ Northgate

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Virtual Reality is back at Northgate on Saturdays from 12-5pm! Space is limited and sign-ups are first come, first serve.

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!



Is there a minimum age requirement to use the VR headsets?
Yes. We require patrons to be at least 13 years old to use the VR headsets, based on product safety guidance.

Can I make an appointment ahead of time?
No. We are offering VR on a first come, first serve basis. Pop into the Northgate branch on Saturdays between 12-5 to see if you can grab a slot. There are lots of cool books, DVDs, and even video games to browse while you wait your turn!

Are the headsets sanitized between use?
Yes. We sanitize the headsets after each use using UV technology.

Is there someone available to teach me how to operate the headsets?
Yes! We welcome first-time users. Our awesome Webstars are available to get you set-up and comfortable using the equipment.

What can I do when using a headset?
Walk through a simulation of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, play a rhythm-based game, tour a National Park — stop by the Northgate branch to see a full list!

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Chromebooks for Check-Out

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Chromebooks for check-out. In-library use only.

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.


Do I need a Google account to use a Chromebook?
A Google account is not required to browse the internet; simply browse as a guest. However, you must have a Google account to use Microsoft compatible applications such as Google Docs for word processing, or Google Slides for presentations. Our desktop public computers are equipped with the Microsoft suite of products.

Will the Chromebook save my account information?
Not if you browse as a guest! Choose “Browse as guest” at the start-up screen even if you have a Google account (you can then log-in to your Google account through the browser). When you end your session, your browsing data will be wiped. If you do choose to log-in using your personal account, practice good digital hygiene by selecting “remove account” from the device after you log-out.

Can it read a flash drive?
Yes! Each Chromebook has one USB port that can be used to read a flash drive.

Does it have a headphone jack?
Yes! You can plug in any standard headphones. Please be considerate to other patrons when listening to audio.

Does it have a CD/DVD drive?
No, our Chromebooks do not have the ability to play back CDs or DVDs.

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Video Games at SRPL!

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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!

Games by console

All games


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Black History Month 2022

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Each February, Black History Month reminds us to honor and share not only the past, but to continue building a future for Black communities – not just in February, but year-round. Take some time this month to read books by Black authors, and try out a new genre or two!

Adults/All Ages

Kids & Teens

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Card Crafts and Secret Valentines, oh my!

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Celebrate February with a fun craft and our Secret Valentine books!

Craft a card! Feb 1-14

Pick up a craft-a-card kit at any of our branches starting on February 1 in the children’s room at the Downtown branch, or at the service desks at Pickleweed and Northgate. Each kit will contain supplies for making two cards – have fun crafting, and then share with your loved ones! Supplies are limited and kits may not be available at all branches.

Secret Valentine Books

We will have books available for children, teens, and adults at all of our branches. Read the Valentine on the front for a sneak peek and then take home your Secret Valentine pick (or picks!), unwrap, and fall in love! Please reuse or recycle the wrapping paper. 💚♻

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2021 SRPL Covered

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2021 SRPL Covered: A Year in Review

Happy New Year! As we welcome in 2022, we’re taking a moment to look back on our library in 2021. Please join us in reviewing the books and media we all enjoyed, and more! Place a hold on anything you missed, and get a jump on your resolution of using your public library more. Thanks for being the best part of our year!

SRPL Covered Best of 2021. Top items: 1. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet 2. Library Park Passes 3. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

 The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet
Library Park Passes
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

SRPL Covered Best of 2021. Top eBooks: 1. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave 2. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir 3. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

SRPL Covered Best of 2021. Top DVDs: 1. Minari 2. News of the World 3. Nomadland

News of the World

SRPL Covered Best of 2021. Top items by kids: 1. Dog Man Unleashed by Dav Pilkey 2. Grime and Punishment by Dav Pilkey 3. Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey

Dog Man Unleashed by Dav Pilkey
Grime and Punishment by Dav Pilkey
Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey

SRPL Covered Best of 2021. Top eAudiobooks: 1. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave 2. The Maidens by Alex Michaelid 3. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
The Maidens by Alex Michaelid
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

SRPL Covered Best of 2021. Top Pint-Size Storytime: January 12th by Lea!

SRPL Covered Best of 2021. 5 months of curbside service...Number of holds and renewal requests met: 77,205.

SRPL Covered Best of 2021. 7 months of walk-in service... number of patrons through our doors: 44,440.

SRPL Covered Best of 2021. 12 months of programs: 239. Total attendees: 17, 209.



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We’re Back! Expanded Hours & Services

Posted by basia on

We're back! New library hours starting Jan 9

Expanded Hours

On Sunday, January 9, we will be offering expanded hours once more! Our new hours will be:

Monday-Thursday, 9:00-7:00
Friday-Sunday, 10:00-5:00

Tuesday-Wednesday, 9:00-5:00
Thursday, 11:00-7:00
Friday-Saturday, 10:00-5:00

Wednesday-Saturday, 11:00-5:00


If I have a question, when can I call?
Our phones will continue to operate during our open hours. We will also continue to be available via Chat during our open hours.

How else can I get in contact with you?
You are always welcome to send us an email at

Will computer availability change?
Computers are available at our Downtown and Pickleweed locations during open hours.

Will anything about my checkouts change?
Our checkout limits have recently been expanded! We have also been fine-free since July 2021.

What about programming?
We are continuing to offer virtual programs.  In-person storytimes will resume in the spring, pending warmer weather.

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Winter 2021 Closure

Posted by basia on

Lee en español

Due to the winter holidays, all San Rafael Public Library locations will be closed during the last week of December.

Closed: Friday, Dec. 24
Re-opening: Monday, Jan. 3

Closed: Friday, Dec. 24
Re-opening: Thursday, Jan. 6

Closed: Monday, Dec. 20
Re-opening: Tuesday, Jan. 4

Please note that the Albert J. Boro Community Center will also be closed during the same time as the Pickleweed Library. Most City departments/facilities will be closed between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2, and will re-open for services on Jan. 3.


Q: Will the book drops be open? 

A: Our book drops will be CLOSED. The earliest that items will be due after our closure will be Monday, January 10. SRPL has been fine-free since July – no late fees will be collected. Please keep your items until we reopen.

If you leave books outside our buildings, you will be responsible for any damage or theft. 

A red stop sign over a photo of someone returning books in the book drop. Dec 24-Jan 2.

Q: Will the book drop on Lucas Valley Road be open? 

A: Yes, this book drop will be open for material returns. Please note it may take up to a few days for your items to be scanned in and taken off your record.


Q: What will happen to my holds? 

A: All holds on the shelves when we close on Thursday, December 23 will remain on the shelves until Monday, January 10. No holds will be transferred to our libraries during this closure.


Q: Will the WiFi stay on? 

A: Yes.


Q: Are other MARINet libraries going to be open? When? 

A: Please check the status of each MARINet library you plan to visit. Their hours may change.



Cierre de invierno 2021


La Biblioteca Pública de San Rafael y sucursales permanecerán cerradas la última semana de diciembre.

Cerrado: viernes, el 24 de dic
Abierto: lunes, el 3 de ene

Cerrado: viernes, el 24 de dic
Abierto: jueves, el 6 de ene

Cerrado: lunes, el 20 de dic
Abierto: martes, el 4 de ene

La Biblioteca Pickleweed y el Centro Comunitario Albert J. Boro cerrarán sus puertas a partir del lunes 20 de diciembre y reabrirán el lunes 3 de enero.


¿Estarán abiertos los buzones? 

Los buzones estarán CERRADOS. Los préstamos a vencer tendrán la fecha del lunes 10 de enero. No habrá multas. 

Usted será responsible de los daños o robo a devoluciones que deje afuera de la biblioteca.

¿Qué pasará con mis pedidos?

Todos los encargos permanecerán en los estantes durante el cierre de la biblioteca desde el jueves 23 de diciembre hasta el lunes 10 de enero. Ningún pedido será transferido o removido a otra biblioteca durante el cierre.


¿Estará disponible el WiFi ? 



¿Estarán abiertas otras bibliotecas del consorcio de MARINet? ¿Cuándo? 

Respuesta: Visite el sitio web de  MARINet library para consultar los horarios y planear su visita. Podrían cambiar los horarios.


¿Estará abierto el buzón en Lucas Valley Rd? 

Si, este buzón permanecerá abierto para hacer sus devoluciones. Nota: puede que tome más de un par de días para que sus devoluciones sean registradas en el sistema.

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Letter to your future self

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SRPL invites you to write a letter to your future self! Last year, we mailed out all the letters you had written in December 2019.

Two photos side by side. In each photo, a different library staff person is standing next to a USPS mail box holding letters. It's clearly winter, as they are in coats and the trees are bare.

Join us for this program once again!

Starting Monday, December 13th, you can pick up a set of stationery at all of our branches; we’ve got different sets for all ages, from little ones to adults. You can write about whatever you wish: your hopes and dreams for the coming year, plans you’re looking forward to, a list of things you love – anything goes! You are also more than welcome to draw or paint your letter instead, write a poem, or just express yourself in any way.

Once your letter is ready, return it to us sealed in the envelope that we provided, and we’ll do the rest! Your letter will arrive in one year.

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United Against Hate Week

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United Against Hate Week, November 14-20, 2021

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.

While hate constitutes a very broad range of words, feelings, and experiences, one specific action that you can take is to simply get involved in your community. The following local organizations host events, provide support and advocacy to marginalized communities, and work to educate and connect community members.

Black Americans

Library resource: Join us for our Virtual Book Club! This month we will be discussing All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brandon Kiely. This YA novel centers around police violence as it impacts Black youth–a population that is significantly more vulnerable to police violence.

Local organization: Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) Marin – a local branch of a larger nationwide movement that seeks racial justice and accountability.

LGBTQ+ Communities

Library resource: Read All Boys Aren’t Blue, a memoir-manifesto by George M. Johnson. In this collection of essays, the author recounts their experiences as a queer Black teen and shares encouragement and joy alongside the very real issues faced by queer communities. 

Local organization: The Spahr Center – Marin’s local, nonprofit community center that serves queer and HIV+ community members of all ages, with particular support for youth.

AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Communities

Library resource: Watch Vincent Who? The Murder of a Chinese-American Man via Kanopy. This film explores the history of anti-Asian hate throughout American history, as well as this particular case’s impact on contemporary civil rights movements.

Local organization: Stop AAPI Hate – a list of actions you can take to support the AAPI community, including a tool to report a hate incident as well as links to organizations and resources.

Muslim Americans

Library resource: Read Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan. This middle-grade novel follows a Muslim American girl as she learns to tackle the joys and complexities of life with her Muslim family and American classmates.

Local organization: Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Bay Area – providing advocacy and legal services as well as youth support for the Muslim communities of the Bay Area.

Latinx Communities

Library resource: Explore Latinx Photography in the United States, a visual history by Elizabeth Ferrer. Part history of photography and part history of Latinx communities in the US, this collection ranges from narrative series to street photography. 

Local organization: Canal Alliance – connecting San Rafael’s Latinx families to the resources they need, including legal advocacy, education, and COVID-19 support.

Jewish Americans

Library resource: Read (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump by Johnathan Weisman. The author discusses not only his personal experiences with the ways that anti-Semitism has surfaced in recent years, but includes a history of contemporary anti-Semitism and fascism through online movements such as GamerGate and the emergence of the alt-right.

Local organization: Anti-Defamation League (ADL) San Francisco – local branch of a nationwide organization dedicated to tracking anti-Semitic hate as well as empowering local Jewish communities.

Indigenous Women

Library resource: Read If I Go Missing by Brianna Jonnie. This graphic novel was adapted from a letter that the author sent to the Winnipeg Chief of Police, detailing her fears as an Ojibwe teen in the face of an onslaught of murdered and missing Indigenous people in Canada.

Local organization: Sovereign Bodies Institute – an organization that collects data and publishes reports on violence against the Native communities of Northern California, particularly focused on gender and sexual violence to support the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2-Spirit (MMIWG2S) movement.

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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

  • Contact Us

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