Why A New Library?

For more than a century, the San Rafael Public Library has been at the heart of our community. Yet our downtown library building is outdated, out of space and inefficient.

Get Involved

The San Rafael Public Library Foundation was founded with a mission to build a library for the 21st century, to furnish and maintain it, and to secure its future for generations to come.

News & Updates

We have never been closer to building a new library than we are today. With the help of our Foundation, our City leadership is making the strongest push for a new library in decades. 

We Need Your Support

Each donation is essential

The library is about more than books—it provides essential resources to help people ­find jobs, learn to read, dig deeper into subjects they love, and discover new interests at any stage of life.

A Vital Part of Our Community

Continuing to Serve as the Cultural Core of San Rafael

More people are using the library, and in more unique ways, than ever before. Last year, our libraries saw:


E-books available in the collection (19% increase)


Visitors to our three city libraries (10% increase)


Digital branch visitors (10% increase)


Attendees at youth programs (25% increase)


Hours in the week our libraries are open (27% increase)

Since 1909

Building On History

Opening its doors in 1909, the San Rafael Library was exceptional in its day, but capacity has remained constant since 1973 and maintaining the ageing facility without substantial rehabilitation has grown gradually more inefficient.


In 2004, the San Rafael Public Library Foundation was founded by Robert Barnett, Vaughn Stratford, and Chuck Stuckey with a mission to build a library for the new Millennium.


Since then, the Library Foundation has attracted many friends, directors, and volunteers – all working together to make the dream of a beautiful new public library for our community a reality.


Enormous progress has been made toward the new library since the Foundation’s inception. Site options are being evaluated, community input is being received, and the City Council is broadly supportive of our initiative. 

We Need Your Support to Build a New Library to Serve Generations to Come!