Empowering Change: San Rafael Libraries Secured $2 Million Grant in California’s Library Renaissance Through the Building Forward Initiative

The Building Forward Library Facilities Improvement Program stands as the largest investment the state of California has ever made in its public libraries, setting the stage for a transformational era in library infrastructure. This groundbreaking grant initiative champions equity, channeling resources toward vital capital projects within public library buildings. From addressing critical maintenance issues to amplifying energy efficiency and sustainability, and fostering broader digital and physical access, the program embodies a pioneering spirit in library development.


Originally conceived to prioritize ‘life-safety and critical maintenance’ projects, the program’s evolution has embraced a wider scope, now encompassing projects that enrich energy efficiency, sustainability, and digital expansion. Across two dynamic rounds of funding in 2022 and 2023, the State Library has distributed $487 million in grants to empower 278 local libraries. These funds have reached libraries situated in 201 cities spanning across 39 counties statewide.


Among the recipients, San Rafael emerged as a proud beneficiary, securing a noteworthy $1,000,000 each for the enhancement of both the historic Carnegie library and the Pickleweed branch. This is in addition to another $1,000,000 state grant secured for the purposes of building a new library.  Notably, the funds destined to enhance the existing Carnegie library will help address deferred maintenance and life safety there, setting the stage for preserving the building should a new library be built at Albert Park in the coming years.

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Empowering Progress: Introducing the Revitalize San Rafael Libraries & Community Center Advocacy Committee

The San Rafael Public Library Foundation is excited to introduce the Revitalize San Rafael Libraries & Community Center Sponsored by San Rafael Public Library Foundation advocacy committee. This committee will play a crucial role in securing the funds necessary to place our long-awaited downtown library on the ballot. As a Citizens Initiative, we will rely on non-tax-deductible contributions to support the political efforts for this measure. By uniting efforts between the San Rafael Public Library Foundation and the Revitalize San Rafael Libraries & Community Center, sponsored by the San Rafael Public Library Foundation, we can achieve far more together. Join us in making a difference—your donation today is invaluable!

The Future Unveiled – Albert Park’s New Downtown Library Conceptual Drawings Revealed!

In an exciting development for San Rafael, we are thrilled to present a sneak peek into the conceptual drawings created for the new downtown library at Albert Park. This is just an idea of what a future combined library and community center could look like, and should we succeed in passing a ballot measure, the City will review a range of designs before making a decision. But it is very exciting to see one possibility for the Albert park location. These drawings offer an preview of the building we hope will transform our cityscape, providing an enriching space for learning, collaboration, and cultural exchange.

Charting a New Chapter: Transformative Plans for San Rafael’s Downtown Library & Carnegie Building

Over the past few years, SRPLF extensively evaluated several possibilities for the new Downtown San Rafael Library, examining locations like Boyd Park and Albert Park. We put a special emphasis on exploring the renovation of the existing location, given the community’s attachment and regard for the Carnegie library there. Through this thorough exploration, it became evident that site of the Carnegie next to City Hall does not offer sufficient space to meet the diverse and growing needs of our community. 

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