San Rafael Public Library

1100 East Street
San Rafael, CA 94901

415-485-3323

History

1887 - The Women's Christian Temperance Union bravely established the first free public library in San Rafael, in rental space in the Francetta Building on 4th Street between D and E.

1903 - The library moved to the old San Rafael High School on E Street.

1908 - The San Rafael Public Library was opened at its present site on E Street between 5th
and Mission avenues. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $25,000 to construct the building and the site was purchased for $6,500 through the generosity of 61 civic-minded residents.

1960 - The first major expansion doubled the space (to 10,800 square feet), with a new second floor wing with staff parking underneath.

1976 - The library's second expansion converted staff parking into the Children's Room.

1992 - The library was closed in July for earthquake retrofitting and reopened a year later. In the
interim, the library operated with one-fifth of its collection housed in the rear of the old E Street School.

1993 - San Rafael library director Vaughn Stratford was instrumental in the creation of MARINet,
a consortium of the city and county libraries in Marin County. MARINet libraries share a single on-line catalog, and support a delivery service to exchange materials between the 17 participating libraries.

2004 Vaughn Stratford retired after 23 years of service and David Dodd became the new library director.

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