Kids News

2019 Summer Lunch at the Library Impact

In 2019, for the fifth year in a row, Sonoma County Library served free lunches to children ages 0-18 during the summer months, in an effort to help combat food insecurity on Sonoma County. Our library sites are eligible to participate if the closest public school to a library has more than 50% of its students eligible for free and reduced lunch during the school year.

For summer 2019, we had 8 participating library sites - Central Santa Rosa, Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Northwest Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park-Cotati, Sebastopol, and Sonoma Valley.

From surveys returned by participating children and families, we learned that through this program we:

  • Served 6832 meals to children and teens across the county (an increase of 36% over 2018)
  • Served meals on 324 days across 8 locations (increase from 259 days/6 locations in 2018)
  • Supported the physical, emotional, and developmental health of low income children in the community
  • Engaged children and youth in summer reading programs and other library programming
  • Provided community service opportunities to teens
  • Provided a safe and trusted community space for children and families to go while school is out of session
  • Provided families with access to technology and other community resources and services.

We'll be back again next summer, and we'd love to have you volunteer to help serve lunches to the children of our community!

Volunteer to help kids with homework at your library

Are you ready to help a young person be successful in school? Does helping kids with homework sound like a fun way to spend your afternoon? Are you excited about reading and math?

Consider joining our team of dedicated volunteers helping K-12 students succeed in Sonoma County. The Sonoma County Library is recruiting volunteers for Homework Help at the Petaluma, Northwest Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Rincon Valley Library branches for the 2019-2020 school year.

“Our dedicated volunteers love engaging with families and sharing their unique skills to help kids learn. This weekly commitment is a great way to become involved in your community and help your library thrive!” said Cailin Yeager, Children’s Librarian at Petaluma Regional Library.

You can help children and teens throughout the school year, with homework assignments and literacy and mathematics skills. You will be helping students of all ages individually, or in small groups on a drop-in basis. The library will train you. A criminal background check (paid for by the library) is required for volunteers 18 and up.

Take this opportunity to make homework more fun for young people, gain education and library-related experience and have a great time. To apply, please contact the librarian in charge of Homework Help at your branch:

Cloverdale Regional Library: Donna Romeo: dromeo@sonomalibrary.org (707) 894-5271

Petaluma Regional Library: Gigi Gilbert-Igelsrud: ggilbert-igelsrud@sonomalibrary.org (707) 763-9801

Northwest Santa Rosa Library: Kim Popenuck: kpopenuck@sonomalibrary.org (707) 546-2265

Rincon Valley Library: Bill Coolidge: bcoolidge@sonomalibrary.org (707) 537-0162

Sebastopol Regional Library: Rosalie Abbott: rabbott@sonomalibrary.org (707) 823-7691.

To stay up to date on what’s happening (library events, services and updates) at the Sonoma County Library, visit www.sonomalibrary.org and connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sonomalibrary.

  • 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 sonomalibrary.org/linkplus or navigate through the Books and More page of the website. LINK+ is free and open to all with a Sonoma County Library card.

  • Fine Free library image

    Fine Free library image

Library to eliminate fines for 80,000 patrons

On July 1, the Sonoma County Library went “fine-free” and eliminated overdue fines for items returned late, as well as forgiving past fines. In all, more than 80,000 people — 30 percent of all library borrowers — had their overdue fines waived.

“Research shows that charging fines doesn’t make a difference in whether people bring back books on time,” said Sarah Vantrease, Public Services Division Manager for the library. “Instead, we see that fines drive people away.”

While overdue fines are on their way out, some fees will remain. “We will no longer track and collect fines for overdue materials, but you still have to bring them back,” Vantrease said. Books, CDs, DVDs and other items that are kept more than 42 days after their due date will be considered “lost” and a replacement fee will be added to the borrower’s account. Returning the lost item in good condition will result in the fee being removed.

Library fines can be an extra burden for a family that may be struggling to manage the high cost of living in Sonoma County. “People want to be responsible and do the right thing, but sometimes have to make choices about which bills to pay,” said Sonoma County Library Director Ann Hammond. “Thirty percent of our patrons owe fines right now, and that’s not a good way to do business.”

“Eliminating fines and making it easier to use the library is the right thing to do,” Hammond said. “We are not in the business of collecting fines, we are in the business of sharing books and other materials to help the people of Sonoma County discover, learn and share ideas and information.”

Going fine-free is part of a plan to increase access to libraries. In addition to eliminating all past fines and not charging new fines, we are changing our library card policy. The library will still require photo identification to get a library card, but the requirement to provide proof-of-address will be eliminated, to better serve displaced, shelterless and seasonal residents.

To review our revised circulation policy, click here.

  • Meet the Director

    Meet the Director

Library reinstates system-wide "Meet the Director" series

Beginning in July 2019, the Sonoma County Library is reinstating its “Meet the Director” (formerly “Coffee with the Director”) series to give the community a chance to get to know Sonoma County Library Director Ann Hammond, who began her leadership role in March of this year. These monthly meetings provide a safe space for community members of all ages to gather and learn about library news, ask questions and share suggestions. The Meet the Director series will be held at each of the Sonoma County Library branches, giving residents across the county the opportunity to participate.

 

“Meet the Director encourages open communication between community members and library staff,” Hammond said. “The library belongs to everyone and I want to ensure that patrons are aware of the wide variety of resources we offer across our branches. I’m also eager to answer any questions and hear recommendations that people may have for the library.”

Hammond has experience with similar events in her previous roles as a library executive in California and Kentucky.

Meet the Director events are free and open to all.  For more information, call 707-545-0831 x 1553.

Library offers free summer lunches to youth

The library is feeding more than hungry minds this summer.

From Monday, June 3 to Saturday, August 10, the Sonoma County Library is running its Lunch at the Library program for youths at eight library branches, thanks to a partnership with the Redwood Empire Food Bank, the California Library Association and the California Summer Meal Coalition. The library will distribute free meals to those aged 0-18 at the following libraries:

  • Central Santa Rosa  Monday-Friday, June 3 - August 9, 12:00-12:30 pm
  • Cloverdale      Monday-Friday, June 10-July 12, 12:00-12:30 pm (no service July 3-5)
  • Healdsburg   Monday-Friday, June 10-August 2, 12:00-12:30 pm
  • Northwest     Monday-Friday, June 3-August 9, 12:00-12:30 pm
  • Petaluma    Monday-Friday, June 3 - August 2, 12:00-12:30 pm
  • Rohnert Park     Monday-Friday, June 10-August 2, 12:15-12:45 pm
  • Sebastopol    Monday-Friday, June 10-August 2, 12:15-1:00 pm
  • Sonoma Valley   Monday-Friday, June 10-August 9, 12:00-12:30 pm

The Lunch at the Library program coincides with the library’s Summer Reading Program. “This is the fifth year we’ve enhanced our Summer Reading Program by providing meals to kids in our community,” said Education Initiatives Librarian Rachel Icaza. “We’re excited to collaborate with our partners to combat both summer learning loss and hunger.” 

Studies show that malnourishment can diminish a child’s overall learning potential. Of the Sonoma County children who are eligible for free lunches during the school year, most do not have access to a similar program during the summer. Additionally, children who do not read over the summer can lose months of academic progress. Through August 10, the library is hosting a range of free activities for children, tweens, teens and adults to encourage a love of reading. For more information about the Summer Reading Program, visit sonomalibrary.org/summerreading2019.

The Lunch at the Library program will span the length of the summer, ending August 10. Start and end dates vary between library sites. For more information about Lunch at the Library, including menus, visit sonomalibrary.org/lunch. This program is free to youths 0-18 and nutritional meals are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no income requirement to participate and all are welcome.

 

  • All Are Welcome

    All Are Welcome

Read with PRIDE during the Month of June

The month of June celebrates a rainbow of diversity and commemorates LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning and others) progress through LGBTQ+ Pride Month, GLBT Book Month and more. The Sonoma County Library honors and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community through collections, events, programs and hiring, and recently hosted a table at the Sonoma County Pride festival in Santa Rosa on June 1.

“Sonoma County Library is committed to social equity and free access to information,” said Sonoma County Library Director Ann Hammond. “We are here to serve everyone, inclusive of ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, country of origin, age, faith and socio-economic status.”

While at the Sonoma County Pride Festival on June 1, library staff shared information about the Summer Reading Program and supplied handouts on how to sign up for a library card. The library also offered LGBTQ+ book lists for all ages and gave visitors the chance to spin a prize wheel. Education Initiatives Librarian Rachel Icaza was one of the library employees at the table.

“It was perfect to have the library present at this wonderful family-friendly event,” Icaza said. “People were lining up to spin the prize wheel and to hear all about summer fun at the library. It was a great day!”

Sonoma County Library offers a monthly Pride Book Club for Teens, list of LGBTQ+ resources and LGBTQ+ materials available for check out. The library encourages every patron to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning (and more) lives and experiences by attending a library event, picking up a book (or eBook), listening to an eAudiobook or watching a DVD.  Scroll down to learn more.

Pride Table  Table

Sonoma County Library at the Sonoma County Pride festival in Santa Rosa on June 1.  From left, Library staff members Kim Dargeou, Rachel Icaza and Terra Emerson.

Event:

PRIDE BOOK CLUB FOR TEENS:

Come discuss the latest queer YA books with other teens! This month we will be reading “Queer, There, and Everywhere” by Sarah Prager. Pick up a copy of the book at the Adult Reference Desk at the Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library. Note that this book club meets monthly.

LGBTQ+ DISPLAYS:

Each branch of the Sonoma County Library has a unique display to highlight and recognize the lives and literature that we are celebrating this June!

Resources:

  • LGBTQ+ Resource Guide - This limited resource list provides perspectives on LGBTQI rights, history, experiences, relationships, and culture.
  • LGBTQ+ Materials List - The materials on this list offer people of all ages opportunities to dig deeper into the topic of LGBTQI from LGBTQI history and rights to understanding the LGBTQI experience, relationships and culture.  
  • LGBTQ Connection - Napa & Sonoma: LGBTQ Connection, an initiative fueled by youth and other emerging leadership, fosters a healthier, more vibrantly diverse and inclusive community.
  • LGBTQ+ Youth & Young Adult Support Groups (Positive Images)
  • LGBTQ+ Adult Support Groups (Positive Images)
  • Hotlines (Positive Images)
  • The Trevor Project 24/7 Lifeline - (TEENS) The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ young people under 25, best practice suicide prevention educational trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives.

Library Materials: Books for Children, Teens, Adults… and TV shows and Movies!

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN

BOOKS FOR TEENS

BOOKS FOR ADULTS

MOVIES AND TV

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING THAT YOU’RE NOT SEEING ON THIS LIST?  

Ask one of our friendly librarians at your favorite branch of the Sonoma County Library.  We are here for you!

  • text: It's Showtime at your Library, 2019 Summer Reading Program, Early Learners, Kids K-6, Teens 7-12, Adults, June 1-August 10

Sonoma County Library Announces 2019 Summer Reading Program

Discover the glitz, glimmer, comedy and adventure of reading at the Sonoma County Library by joining in on the 2019 Summer Reading Program, launching June 1, 2019. Through August 10, the library will host a range of free activities for children, teens and adults to encourage a love of reading. This year’s program theme is It’s Showtime at Your Library and those who participate can earn free books and virtual raffle tickets for prizes.

New this year, participants can track their reading and participation in the program online at sonomalibrary.beanstack.org and through the Beanstack app. Paper logs will also be available at each branch.

“We’ve put together a robust and entertaining program of activities for every age to ensure that the Library is an exciting summer hub of discovery and learning,” said Kathy DeWeese, Youth Services Administrator at the Sonoma County Library. “Our programing supports this year’s Showtime theme by focusing on a range of performances; from story opera, to poetry readings, screenwriting, movies, magic shows and more.”

To combat the summer slide, the Summer Reading Program has a diverse lineup of educational children’s events, including visits from Eliot Fintushel’s Masks & Mime, Jungle James Animal Adventures, Shuffles Magic Show, Try It Truck and Musical Robot, as well as themed activities such as It’s CraftTime! And Getting Into Character.

Hands-on workshops for tweens include French Knitting and Maker Studio: Zoetrope, while teen activities include Dungeon Master 101, Learn How to Draw Comic Books, an Intro to Screenwriting with former Executive Editor at Lucasfilm and bestselling author J. W. Rinzler, an escape room experience, self-defense, DIY bath bombs and much more.

Studies show that reading over the summer strengthens reading and math skills, by preventing the summer slide:

  • Children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to two months of learning by the time they return to school.
  • Children who participate in Summer Reading Programs and read a minimum of six books over the summer score higher in reading and math when they return to school.
  • Summer learning loss during elementary school accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading between low-income children and their middle-income peers by ninth grade.
  • Children’s enjoyment of reading often increases after taking part in Summer Reading Programs.
  • Nine out of 10 teachers spend at least three weeks re-teaching lessons at the start of the school year.

The Library is also offering events for adults, providing something for the whole family.

To learn more about the Summer Reading Program, sign up at sonomalibrary.beanstack.org or visit your local library branch starting on June 1. All Summer Reading Program events are free and open to all. Some activities require pre-registration by visiting sonomalibrary.org/events or a local branch.

StoryWalk by the River Launches June 1 at Cloverdale River Park

Join us to launch our latest StoryWalk at Cloverdale River Park!

Go with the flow at an interactive nature and early literacy outing for families with young children!  A StoryWalk is a fun and engaging activity for families that combines the physical benefits of walking outdoors and the educational benefits of reading. Explore the StoryWalk on your own, or come to the launch event on Saturday, June 1, from 10-1pm.

Sonoma County Regional Parks and Sonoma County Libraries have joined forces for a fun-filled storytime outdoors.  The launch of the StoryWalk coincides with the Regional Parks' Nuestras Parques program, on Saturday June 1. The library and the parks department will be hosting led StoryWalks every half hour starting at 10AM and ending at noon. Bring a water bottle, and picnic in the park for after the walk, if you like.  All ages welcome.

The StoryWalk will be in the Cloverdale River Park through the month of June, for park and story lovers to discover.

NOTE: Parking $7, or free for Regional Parks members

Cloverdale River Park
31820 McCray Road
Cloverdale, CA 95425
Google Maps™ Directions
Local Weather

For more information about park events go to Sonoma County Regional Parks Calendar

StoryWalk installed outside Sebastopol Library for el Día de los Niños

The newest entry in the Library’s StoryWalk program has been the launch of a StoryWalk sited around the outside of the Sebastopol Library building. The StoryWalk, featuring the book “Call Me Tree” by Maya Christina Gonzalez, is an activity that encourages families to get outside together and explore literacy. This installation, in support of the national Día de los Niños celebration, will be at the Sebastopol Library through mid-May. Stop by and enjoy a lovely bilingual story outside!

  

 

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