Library News

Free Santa Rosa Symphony Concerts

The Sonoma County Library is thrilled to partner with the Santa Rosa Symphony to host six free concerts at Sonoma County Library branches in March 2015. These are the first ensemble performances of a unique, exciting and year-long collaboration between the Sonoma County Library and the Santa Rosa Symphony. The performances are all small-group ensembles, and will include not only a performance of wonderful music, but also an up-close- and-personal look at what it takes to become a professional musician.

Saturday, March 7: String Quintet performances for the whole family

  • 1:00 p.m. at the Central Santa Rosa Library (211 E Street, Santa Rosa)
  • 2:30 p.m. at the Northwest Regional Library (150 Coddingtown Mall Center, Santa Rosa)

These concerts will feature familiar pieces like The Pink Panther, The Elephant from Camille Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals, Eine Kline Nachtmusik, a Looney Tunes Fugue and maybe Sponge Bob and Star Wars, along with a few other popular pieces.  Children will learn about the various different instruments and how they produce sound, along with their role in the orchestra. Both performances are funded by the Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries.

Saturday, March 14: Brass Quintet performances

Sonoma Valley Regional Library (755 West Napa Street, Sonoma)

  • 1:00 p.m. Performance for children
  • 2:30 p.m. Performance aimed at adults

The first performance, targeted for kids, will take a fun look at the inner workings of a chamber music ensemble, answering burning questions like "What makes a brass quintet?  How do musicians communicate with each other during a performance? How do they turn popular music into a piece they can play?" The second performance will feature music from well-known composers--and some not-so-familiar--covering four hundred years of classical music, including works from composers Giovanni Gabrieli (16th-century Italian), Johann Sebastian Bach (18th-century German), Gioacchino Rossini (19th-century Italian), and Enio Morricone (20th-century Italian). Both performances are funded by the Sonoma Valley Friends of the Library.

Saturday March 28: String Quintet performances

Healdsburg Regional Library (139 Piper Street Healdsburg)

  • 1:00 p.m. Performance for children
  • 2:30 p.m. Performance aimed at adults

The concerts will feature familiar pieces like The Pink Panther, The Elephant from Camille Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals, Eine Kline Nachtmusik, a Looney Tunes Fugue and maybe Sponge Bob and Star Wars, along with a few other popular pieces.  Children will learn about the various different instruments and how they produce sound, along with their role in the orchestra. The quintet’s musicians are violinists Jay Zhong and Eugenia Wie; Meg Eldrideon on viola; Adelle-Akiko Kearns on cello; and bassist, Randall Keith. Both performances are funded by the Healdsburg Friends of the Library.


Seating for all performances is limited, and is on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, please refer to the Library's press release, or contact Kiyo Okazaki at

  • NEA Logo

Read Across America

Oh, the Places You'll Go when you read!

Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program developed by the National Education Association (NEA) that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss.

How do you celebrate reading?  Why, by reading, of course!

Here are some proven techniques and a variety of strategies to motivate a child to be a reader:

  • Set a good example – let kids see you reading every day whether it be novels, cookbooks or magazines.
  • Make reading fun! 
  • Keep lots of books, magazines, and newspapers around the house.
  • Visit the library often and shop for books at yard sales, used bookstores, and at library book sales.
  • Get your child their own library card and let them choose some of their own books.
  • Don’t worry if your child is only reading comics right now.  The important thing is that they are reading!  Encourage it and they are likely to move on to more advanced titles as they get older.
  • Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters.
  • Carry books to read to your child wherever you go – the doctor’s office, in line at the store, etc.
  • Check out our Early Literacy Calendar for the preschool crowd – it provides daily activities to promote literacy and the love of reading.
  • Join us at the library for our many events throughout the year.
  • Get your library card free at your library

Get your library card - it's free and now it's forever!

Get a free library card at any branch of the Sonoma County Library and you can

  • Get free museum passes
  • Download e-books and e-audiobooks
  • Take practice tests
  • Search Consumer Reports
  • Access auto repair manuals
  • Share stories and learning activities with your child

This month we're holding a Library Card Drive.  We'll be contacting all 7th and 8thgrade classrooms across the County because we want every student entering high school in Sonoma County to have a library card. Students can turn to the library for books on a broad spectrum of subjects, programs and services that support academic achievement. Students can use their library cards from home, to reach our collections of online research sources and our extensive collections of e-books and downloadable audiobooks.

Also this month, we're launching a NEW kind of card -- one that never expires.  In the past, you had to renew your card every two years.  Starting now, your library card is forever!

Don't have a card yet?  Visit your local library!  Got a card?  Help spread the word -- tell your friends and neighbors!


  • Newbery & Caldecott Medal Winners

Newbery & Caldecott Medal Winners!

The votes are in!

The Newbery Medal, awarded annually by the the American Library Association to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children, goes to…

The Crossover, written by Kwame Alexander

 Newbery Honor Books:

El Deafo, written by Cece Bell

Brown Girl Dreaming, by  Jacqueline Woodson

 The Caldecott Medal, awarded annually by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children goes to…

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, illustrated and written by Dan Santat!

 Caldecott Honor Books:

Nana in the City, written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art, illustrated by Mary GrandPré, written by Barb Rosenstock

Sam & Dave Dig a Holeillustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett

Viva Frida, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant

This One Summer, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki

  • Newbery and Caldecott Medals

Mock Newbery and Caldecott Awards

Every year authors, librarians, teachers, parents, kids and readers of all ages await the announcement of the winners of the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott Awards.  Think of these as the Academy Awards of children's books.  

But, before the winners are chosen, groups across the nation like to pick which books THEY think should win. 

Find out who the real Newbery and Caldecott Award winners are when they are announced on Feb. 2, 2015.  

But, for now, the popular choices are below!

Mock Newbery Winners:            

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson 

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Some Honors to consider:

The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin

Rain Reign by Ann Martin

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

West of the Moon by Margi Preus

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie Lamana

Mock Caldecott Award Winners:

The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee

Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary GrandPré

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

 Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Some Honors to consider:

Draw! by Raul Colon

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Extraordinary Jane by Hannah Harrison

Gravity by Jason Chin

  • tax form

Limited tax materials at the Library

State tax forms are arriving at library branches now.  You can also download forms and instructions from the Franchise Tax Board to file your state taxes.

The IRS has announced that due to recent cuts to their budget, limited supplies of tax forms will be sent to the libraries.  They are also unable to send supplies of free instruction booklets for distribution to the public.

You can use library Internet computers and research computers to download tax forms and booklets from the IRS.  You can also order forms online or call 1-800-829-3676 to order current and prior-year forms and instructions.  For more information, download Your Federal Income Tax - information booklet from the IRS.


  • Winter image

Holiday hours and services

Holiday hours:

Library offices and all Regional Libraries will close at 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 24 through Thursday, December 25 for the Christmas holiday.  

Libraries will also close at 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 31 through Thursday, January 1 for the New Year holiday.  

The Forestville Library and the Occidental Library are closed all day on both Wednesday and Thursday of each week. 

Book request service:

All libraries will be open with normal services the rest of the week, but our system for requesting books from other libraries (WorldCat) will be unavailable from 9 p.m. Friday, January 2 to noon Saturday, January 3.  During this time you will not be able to search books at other libraries or place interlibrary loan requests for them.


'Tis the Season for New Devices and Apps for Your Kids!

Two Kids in Winter

It is that time again, when children may be receiving new devices and parents are deciding what to fill them up with.  Once their device is charged and ready to go, here are some places to look to help fill it up with educational, and entertaining, apps and eBooks.

Looking for free children’s eBooks? Try our website!

Browse the Children’s sections on our Overdrive eBooks site and our Enki eBook Library. Download the titles they want for free and read. You don’t have to worry about overdue fees, these books return themselves. All you need is your library card and pin number.

You can also look up the books they want to read in our Find catalog to see if we have a downloadable copy.

Need help deciding what apps are good for your kids?

Here are some trusted resources that review apps for children’s use.

AASL Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2014
This annual list, curated by the American Association of School Librarians, selects apps of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the AASL's Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.

Imagination Soup’s 24 Literacy Learning Apps for Kids
Imagination Soup’s 42 STEM iPad Apps for Kids
Teacher and education blogger Melissa Taylor has compiled recommended lists of the best apps that offer opportunities for practice, repetition and encouragement of skills for toddlers, preschoolers, elementary-age, and special needs kids.

Common Sense Media 
This website investigates movies, books, music, TV, apps, websites and more to inform you on what you need to know about what you kids are watching, reading, playing and listening to. 

Visit our Parent’s page to see more places to find app and book reviews.

Library systems unavailable Sunday morning / early Monday

We will be performing an equipment upgrade on Sunday, December 7.  The library catalog, My Account, automated phone renewals, and other library systems may be unreachable from 7 a.m. to as late as 2 p.m.  We hope to have all systems available again before noon.  At the latest, they will be available again after 2.

The new Find catalog will also be upgraded, early Monday, December 8 from midnight to 4 a.m.  During this time, the Classic Catalog and all other library systems will remain available.

War Ink Exhibit launches November 11


As Americans struggle to find meaningful ways to honor the nation’s 2.6 million Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, a powerful new online exhibit, WAR INK, opened on Veteran’s Day to support those efforts. The honest and emotionally raw collection of original video, photography and audio interviews uses the memorial tattoos and words of veterans to open a dialogue between civilians and returning vets.

Sonoma County Library joined with 20 other California libraries to play a critical role in recruiting local veterans to participate in the WAR INK exhibit.  As a depository for human stories and narratives, Sonoma County Library saw this exhibit as an ideal complement to its mission.

Stark, beautiful, disturbing and often darkly humorous, the featured tattoos in WAR INK are a visual expression of memories and emotions that can be difficult for veterans to discuss openly. But the creators of WAR INK and the 24 men and women who bravely shared their stories and tattoos hope their openness will help civilians develop a deeper understanding of their experiences and provide a safe entry point to engage honestly and authentically in a conversation.

View the moving video clip below for a taste of the powerful narrative, and visit the WAR INK exhibit at