Crowell Public Library, City of San Marino
Hours: Sun 1-5, Mon-Thurs 10-9, Fri - Sat 10-5

Getting a Library Card

To get a library card, you will need complete an application and bring it to the Library. There, you will be asked to show identification, such as a driver's license, that includes both your name and current address. You do not need to be a San Marino resident to receive a card. Minors age 17 years and under need to have their parents present to sign the application form. When you apply, you will be assigned a four-digit pin number, corresponding to the last four digits of your telephone number, allowing you access to the Library's online services. Click here for a copy of our library card application (in .pdf format; requires Adobe Acrobat Reader). Just print it, fill it out, and bring it in.

Circulation Policy and Fines and Fees

Most library materials may be checked out for three weeks at a time. The exception is rental feature films on DVD and VHS. These can be checked out for 7 days at a cost of $2.00. Most materials can be renewed one time in person, online, or over the phone.

Library Fines and Fees are as follows:

  • $.25 per day for most overdue materials.
  • $2.00/7 days for feature films on DVD and Video. (These are marked with Red, Lime, or Orange dots.)
  • $5.00 per request for interlibrary loan items.
  • $3.00 for library card replacement.
  • $1.00 per page for color photocopies or computer prints; $.15 per page for black and white photocopies or computer prints.
  • A non-refundable processing fee of $15.00 per item is included in the replacement cost of items. Patrons may pay the replacement cost or replace the item with an acceptable copy and pay only the processing fee.

Borrowing and renewal privileges will be blocked when accumulated fines/fees reach a $5.00 threshold.

Here is the full text of our Borrower and Fines and Fees Policy.

Standards of Library Behavior

The goal of the Crowell Public Library is to provide an atmosphere that is welcoming, comfortable, and consistent with library purposes. The public is expected to behave in a manner that is respectful of the library's users and staff, materials and equipment, and facilities and premises. Click here to see the full text of our official Standards of Library Behavior.

Interlibrary Loan

If you are looking for a title the library does not own, simply click here for an interlibrary loan request. Fill it out and bring or fax it to the library. We will locate the title from another library and have it sent to us for you. There is a $5.00 fee for this service. Requests are usually filled within 2 weeks.

Public Internet Access

Crowell Public Library cardholders may access the Internet via the Library’s public computers, or its wireless network using their own personal computers.

Please view our complete public Internet access policy here.

Meeting Rooms

Public, civic, cultural, educational, and commercial organizations may apply to use the meeting rooms at the Crowell Public Library.Click here for rental information. Download the application by clicking here. (These forms require the use of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader). Call James Imahara at the Recreation Department (626 403-2211) to schedule meeting room use.


The Library welcomes the help of volunteers. Download the a volunteer application by clicking here. (These forms require the use of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader). Email Deanna Hagen dhagen "at" for more information.

Collection Development Policy and Strategic Plan

The Crowell Public Library adds items to its collection according to this Collection Development Policy. It is moving forward with initiatives to help the community according to this Strategic Plan.


SCLC (Southern California Library Cooperative) is an association of 32 independent city and special district public libraries located in the greater Los Angeles area which have agreed to cooperate in providing library service to the residents of all participating jurisdictions. SCLC provides member libraries a resource-sharing network and a means for enhancing the level and diversity of resources available to library users, while reducing duplication of effort.

SCLC members extend, on an equal basis, loan privileges to residents of other member libraries. The SCLC Reference Center provides a vital link for reference referral to members, enabling them to provide answers to difficult questions without purchasing the range of expensive resources required for in-depth research. And the System's delivery service links members for quick transfer of materials and enhanced sharing of resources.

Chinese Language Collection

The library contains some 1500 Chinese language fiction and non-fiction books and a number of Chinese magazines, including Crown, Sinorama, and the Chinese version of Time Magazine. There are also Chinese children's books. Chinese language newspapers include the Chinese Daily News and the International Daily News.

Crowell Public Library Timeline
(formerly the San Marino Public Library)

  • 1913: Henry Huntington establishes San Marino; lends his Mayberry House (at Oak Knoll and Monterey Road) to serve as City Hall.
  • 1915: Edna S. Rees (1883-1963) establishes a branch of the Los Angeles County Library in Mayberry House.
  • 1920: Library moves into the new Valentine School.
  • 1933: Library separates from County and sets up shop in what is now San Marino School District headquarters. Louise P. White (later Mrs. L.E. Blinkern, 1906-1993) is the library director, and Emily Daubney is the children’s librarian.
  • 1949: The San Marino Public Library outgrows its facilities. A bond is passed to build a new structure on the “Hart Place” at Huntington and West drives.
  • 1951: The new library, designed by Herbert J. Powell, opens in December. The library director is June Bayless. The children’s librarian is the legendary Beverly Saunders.
  • 1956: Friends of the Library is formed.
  • 1968: Saunders is named “California Librarian of the Year.”
  • 1978: Proposition 13 results in drastic cuts in library services. The Friends of the Library steps in to help.
  • 1997: Library Foundation is formed to raise capital to put card catalog online.
  • Library is connected to the Internet for the first time.
  • 1998: Six computers are installed for public access to the Internet.
  • 1999: Library air conditioning unit, installed in 1956, fails. Replacement parts must be hand-tooled.
  • 2000: Heating pipe breaks, basement floods. Asbestos and mold contamination forces the book processing department upstairs.
  • 2001-2004: Library applies three times for Proposition 14 money to rebuild library. It is rejected.
  • 2005: The Crowell family donates millions of dollars to jumpstart construction.
  • 2006: Construction begins on new library.
  • January 26, 2008: The new building, renamed the Crowell Public Library opens, on time and on budget.

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Last updated September 9, 2013