September is Library Card Sign-Up Month!

According to the American Library Association, September is Library Card Sign-up Month. A time to remind parents and children that a library card is the most important school supply of all.


Lucas Grady Ragghianti recently received his first library card from the San Rafael Public Library, and he is pictured above with his grandfather Gary Ragghianti, who just happens to be the chair of the San Rafael Public Library Foundation! Lucas also participated in a summer reading program at the Library, where he received the snazzy T-shirt he is wearing!

While Lucas received his library card from the San Rafael Library, he can use it to check out books at any library in Marin County, in person or online. Lucas told us that he has yet to check out any books online because he really enjoys the in-person check-out system (and he looks like a happy customer!).

Foundation trustee Ann Rivo also recently marveled at the technology that allows her to check out a book online and choose the pick-up and return location. Ann was right that technology has transformed libraries, and on a recent tour of Bay Area libraries in Walnut Creek, Livermore and Castro Valley, guests from the Foundation and Friends of the Library saw firsthand some of the circulation systems that are completely automated! No hands touch books in these libraries until the books are ready to be placed back on the shelves or sent to their home library. To see a video of this system in action, known as an Automated Materials Handling System (AMHS), watch this video from the Seattle Public Library

An AMHS requires significant space; the system the group saw in the Castro Valley Library in May to accommodate its AMHS was pretty massive! Alas, space constraints at the downtown San Rafael Public Library mean that our system is neither up to date nor efficient. Sadly, our circulation system is in fact one room that measures 3.5′ X 5.5′.

More News

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!