About the Library

Welcome to the Marin County Free Library! From our beginning in 1927 in the basement of the old Marin County Courthouse in San Rafael, the Marin County Free Library has grown to a network of 10 branches throughout the County as well as two outreach vehicles: our Bookmobile and our Learning Bus (a free preschool on wheels). In 2016-2017 we served more than 1.1 million visitors and our visitors checked out more than 1.7 million books, audiobooks and DVDs.

We offer many other services in addition to reading materials. We have public access computers, free wireless, story-time for pre-schoolers, adult and teen book clubs, and programs for children, teens and adults as well as study space for students of all ages. Library Beyond Walls brings our materials to homebound patrons and our Literacy program serves both families and individuals. Furthermore, through our website, or eBranch, we continue to provide information and reading material for our patrons at home, work or school even when our physical branches are closed. We offer access to over 400,000 streaming and downloadable eBooks, eAudiobooks, videos, and digital magazines.

We welcome all ages, all races, all religions, all genders, all countries of origin, all languages, all sexual orientations, all sizes, all abilities, all people.

Our Mission

We provide welcoming, equitable and inclusive opportunities for all to connect, learn and explore.

Our Goals

  • Be the preferred place for children, families and caregivers to connect, learn and grow together
  • Support youth in our community with opportunities for self-discovery and expression
  • Be a positive environment for mobile and digital literacy
  • Support adults through life stages with opportunities for self-development and independent learning

Jurisdiction and Funding

Funded primarily from its share of property taxes, the Marin County Free Library serves the unincorporated areas of Marin County as well as the cities of Fairfax, Novato and Corte Madera. The County Board of Supervisors appoints the Director of County Library Services, approves the Library budget and has the ultimate responsibility for County Library services. Library Commission members are appointed by the Board of Supervisors and represent each of the five Supervisorial districts. The Library Commission advises the Board of Supervisors and the Director on matters relating to library service.


The Marin County Free Library works with other libraries and organizations to provide the best possible service to our local communities. We are a founding member of MARINet, opens a new window, a consortium of publicly funded Marin libraries, created in 1991 to enable its members to share resources and use information technology to fulfill their missions of serving the public. With our 10 branch libraries, we are the largest member of the consortium and we share a library catalog and resources with our MARINet partners, opens a new window. We are also a member of NorthNet, opens a new window, a regional cooperative of Northern California Libraries and Califa, opens a new window, a regional organization of California libraries. By joining with other institutions, our patrons have access to a wider array of materials and allows us to take advantage of our combined purchasing power.

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