Kids News

Kids with Cameras

A California Humanities Grant Project in Cloverdale

This 2021 project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit

Cloverdale, California is known for its hot temperatures, active arts community, and popular wineries. It is also home to a large percentage of immigrant farmworkers; much higher than in surrounding cities. Of the fewer-than-9,000 people who live in this small town, 30% are Hispanic. If you look at just the K-12 student population, this number jumps to over 45%. As the public library, we are always looking for ways of engaging our diverse communities; especially those parts of our community that are under-represented.

We developed our program, Kids with Cameras: Stories of Covid, Resilience, and Hope for the Future, after talking with immigrant advocates, families, school board members, and other local leaders. Using the information gathered during our research and community assessment, we decided to focus on giving students the opportunity to develop digital literacy skills and then use those skills to share their Covid-19 stories with the greater community.

Ezequiel Guzman, President of Latinos Unidos Del Condado De Sonoma, an organization that promotes education, community responsibility, and empowerment of the Latinx community in Sonoma County, played a vital role by connecting us to the immigrant farmworker community in Cloverdale.

Bridget Hayes, Digital Literacy Specialist for the Sonoma County Library, presented three hands-on digital video workshops for children at the Cloverdale Family Apartments.

The ages of participants ranged from 8-16 years old. The parents of some of the younger participants stayed for the workshops and ended up being a big help! Bridget, a Spanish speaker, was able to communicate with parents who did not speak English. The students learned how to use the video equipment and then learned about storyboarding, lighting, composition, and editing. At that point, they were ready to put their skills to work and spent several days interviewing their friends and family members about life during the pandemic.

Not only did the students have fun learning new tech skills, but also they were able to help create a finished video sharing their stories with the greater community. We collaborated with the Alexander Film Society so the students and families were able to see their video on the big screen of a drive-in movie!

Watch on YouTube



Joyful Times / Tiempos alegres

¡Siempre eres bienvenido en la biblioteca!

Many people coming into the libraries these days are expressing their joy at seeing familiar faces, favorite books, and some new surprises. The workers at your local branch feel the same way! Todos en la biblioteca están felices de ver regresar a las familias.

Your favorite children’s librarians invite you to come visit, or check out our online offerings and find that great story that makes you smile, that silly storytime that gets you laughing, or that fun activity that makes your heart sing. Te invitamos a visitar la biblioteca o navegar por el sitio web y descubrir una historia que te haga sonreír, un libro divertido o una actividad que te haga feliz.

So, You're Stuck Inside...

Even though our library branches are closed, our online library is open 24/7 and we are here to help your family with online resources during the coronavirus epidemic and beyond.

In addition to our online library and expanded digital resources, we’ve also compiled this list of free links and resources to help you expand your world outside of your home. They include educational ideas for homeschooling, enrichment activities, ideas for family time, entertainment, and downtime, and even ways to give back to your community.

Family at home

Visit the links below and discover, learn, contribute and create, from your own home:

Hear a story

Here are some websites where you can hear a picture book read aloud:

Picture Books

Chapter Books

Young Adult Books

Listen to music

Here are some sites with book-related songs, early literacy songs, and educational songs:


Here are some sites with book-related songs, early literacy songs, and educational songs:

Animals & Nature


Famous Places

Sports & Mores


Check out these sites with all kinds of information about the world around us.


Here are some websites that will inspire you to make social media content, kid friendly crafts, and more!




Author Permissions


Help the world around you through citizen science projects:

And More!

  • Hear read-alouds, book talks, get art instruction, play games and more – all led by authors!



  • There are no Bears in this Bakery cover image

Mock Caldecott 2020 Results

The votes are in! Sonoma County has chosen the best picture books of the year!

Drum roll please . . . The Sonoma County's Mock Caldecott Winner is...There Are No Bears in this Bakery, by Julia Sarcone-Roach.

Every year, children’s book illustrators hold their breath as the Caldecott committee members read, examine, and critique the best illustrated children’s books of the year to finally determine which one deserves the highly regarded award.

For the fifth year in a row, you let us know which books you thought would win by voting in our Mock Caldecott contest.

The children's librarians of Sonoma County Library read hundreds of picture books published in 2019, narrowed their favorites down to 8 (not an easy task!), then left it up to you to choose our winner by voting for your favorites either online or at the library.

The numbers were close, but the following titles are our three Honor Books for the year.  

A Stone Sat Still

 A Stone Sat Still

By Brendan Wenzel

Dancing hands

Dancing hands: how Teresa Carreño played the piano for President Lincoln 

by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

Lubna and Pebble

Lubna and Pebble

by endy Meddour and Daniel Egnéus, illustration

  • Winter Break 2019 image

Winter Break Activities at the Library

Beginning Saturday, December 21 through Saturday, January 4, the Library is offering free programs ranging from winter crafts, Build Clubs and Read to a Dog events, to Magician Mike Della Penna, Animal Music, holiday puppet shows, kids' yoga and zumba, virtual reality, and more!

All events are free.

For more information, check the library’s online calendar at, or Ask A Librarian.

Mock Caldecott 2020

It's almost time to choose our favorite picture books of the year!

Every year, children’s book illustrators hold their breath as the Caldecott committee members read, examine and critique the best illustrated children’s books of the year to finally determine which one deserves the highly regarded award.

For the past five years, Sonoma County Library has been hosting our own Mock Caldecott Contest, where we select the books WE feel are the best illustrated children's books of the year. Below, you will see the eight books we think are worth considering. These books, selected by Sonoma County Library staff, all fit the criteria of books to be considered for the Caldecott Medal. You can find copies of these books at your local branch.

Let us know who YOU think will win by voting for your favorites—either online or at the library. Voting will be open from January 2 through January 23.

Sonoma County's winners will be announced in your local branch and online Jan. 25!

My Papi has a Motorcycle book cover image

My Papi has a Motorcycle

by Isabel Quintero
and Zeke Peña

Saturday book cover image


by Oge Mora

There Are No Bears in this Bakery book cover image

There Are No Bears in this Bakery

by Julia Sarcone-Roach

How is a Window book cover image

Home Is a Window

by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard,
and Chris Sasaki, illustration

Lubna and Pebble book cover image

Lubna and Pebble

by Wendy Meddour
and Daniel Egnéus, illustration

Planting stories book cover image

Planting stories: the life of librarian and storyteller Pura Belpré

by Anika Aldamuy Denise
and Paola Escobar, illustration

A Stone Sat Still book cover image

A Stone Sat Still

by Brendan Wenzel



  • Native American Heritage Month image

Library celebrates Native American Heritage Month in November

Sonoma County Library is showcasing the rich history and traditions of Native Americans in Sonoma County by celebrating National Native American Heritage Month with a series of events in November.

National Native American Heritage Month events take place throughout November with presentations, Meet the Illustrator events, and traditional basket making/weaving classes at several participating branches.

“We welcome and celebrate all cultures at Sonoma County Library,” said Sonoma County Library Events Specialist Megan Backus. “We look forward to recognizing the history and heritage of this important part of our Sonoma County community every November during National Native American Heritage Month, as well as throughout the year.”

Sonoma County is home to a number of Native American Tribes dating back to over 12,000 years. From the Coast, Miwoks; in the norther near the Mayacamas Mountain Range dwelled Wintuns, Wapo and Miyakmahs; in the lower Valley, Pomos; near the edge of San Pablo Bay, Koskiwok; and in the southeast corner, Patwins; to name a few.

National Native American Heritage Month events are free and open to all.

  • text: trick or treat in the library, with images of children in costumes

Petaluma and Rohnert Park-Cotati libraries to host Halloween events

Unsure of where to take your kids for Halloween? All are invited to Trick or Treat in the Library on Thursday, October 31, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Petaluma and Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Libraries. Join your favorite library staff for a not-so-spooky Halloween event featuring stories, songs and silliness.

“In light of the widespread evacuations and poor air quality throughout Sonoma County, and after observing uncertainty from community members about where to take their kids trick or treating, we will be hosting indoor trick or treating events at our Petaluma and Rohnert Park-Cotati branches on Thursday, October 31,” said Library Director Ann Hammond. “We hope these events bring a semblance of normality to our families during this challenging time.”

Some Sonoma County Library branches had existing plans for Halloween events that had to be canceled due to branch closures. Library staff in closed branches have been re-deployed to open branches, ensuring that community members have a place to go with electricity, WiFi and charging stations.

Trick or Treat in the Library events are free and open to all. Attendees are welcome to come in costume, although not required.

  • Sonoma County Library launches virtual reality program

Sonoma County Library launches virtual reality program

Surf in Angola, hike in England, dive with sharks in Cuba, fly over Manhattan, or hike the canyons of Arizona, without ever leaving the library!

The Sonoma County Library is officially launching its Virtual Reality at the Library program, with an inaugural party for the public at Central Santa Rosa Library on Monday, October 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Attendees will be able to try virtual reality (VR) equipment and a variety of different programs at the party. VR equipment is also available at the Petaluma, Central Santa Rosa, Rincon Valley and Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library branches. “We’re delighted to provide access to virtual reality technology and educate patrons on the extensive uses and purposes of VR,” said Sonoma County Library Digital Literacy Specialist Bridget Hayes. “We invite community members to immerse themselves in the world of virtual reality at our upcoming launch party.”

Sonoma County Library recently added VR headsets Oculus GO, Oculus Quest and ClassVR to its ever-expanding VR lineup. The library has provided opportunities for the community to experience VR since 2017 and plans to utilize the updated VR program to focus on the benefits of immersive learning.

The October 14 launch party at Central Santa Rosa Library from 6:30 to 8 p.m. is free and open to all.

Jay Cobb tests a virtual reality headset at a library outreach program with the Kiwanis Club of Oakmont on July 18, 2019. Photo by Bridget Hayes

The theme for the party is Travel for free! Immerse yourself in another world with Virtual Reality.

Age restrictions and permission forms apply to some devices. Learn more about Sonoma County Library’s VR services. Access to the library’s VR technology is free and open to Sonoma County Library cardholders.

Virtual Reality at the Library is made possible by the Measure Y sales tax, the community’s investment in free public libraries. Additional VR equipment was funded through a California State Library grant.

Jay Cobb tests a virtual reality headset at a library outreach program with the Kiwanis Club of Oakmont on July 18, 2019. Photo by Bridget Hayes.

  • LINK+ borrow more items

    LINK+ borrow more materials from more libraries

Borrow More Materials from More Libraries with LINK+

Not finding what you are looking for at your local branch? You now have access to a single, online searchable catalog of over 70 California and Nevada libraries; all you need is your Sonoma County Library card. With this new free service, called LINK+, patrons can request books, DVDs, audiobooks, music CDs and more to be delivered to their local branch. LINK+ is known for its quick service, with most items arriving within a week.

“We’re so excited to leverage the massive collections of other libraries and make over nine million additional items available for checkout,” said Jaime Anderson, Sonoma County Library Collection Services Division Manager. “LINK+ expands on the spirit of libraries to freely share resources and will greatly benefit our patrons.”

When the Sonoma County Library catalog does not have the item that a cardholder would like to check out, they can search the LINK+ catalog. Most materials loan for 21 days, with one renewal (subject to approval of lending library). Patrons can place requests online and monitor the progress of requests any time through their LINK+ account.

Check out LINK+ at or navigate through the Books and More page of the website. LINK+ is free and open to all with a Sonoma County Library card.