Kids News

  • book cover image: The Sequoia Lives On

Mock Caldecott 2019 Results

The votes are in! Sonoma County has chosen the best 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 fourth 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 2018, 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. 

Drum roll please . . . The Sonoma County's Mock Caldecott Winner is...

The Sequoia Lives On
by Joanna Cooke
ills. by Fiona Hsieh

 

 

Check back on Monday, Jan. 28 to see what books win the official contest!

 

 

 

 

 

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

 Julian is a Mermaid

By Jessica Love

Dreamers 

by Yuyi Morales

  

Ocean Meets Sky

by The Fan Brothers

  • image of fox and trees with text Winter Reading Challenge 2019

Children's Winter Reading Challenge launches January 15

In January and February 2019, Sonoma County Library will be joining other libraries around the world to participate in a Children's Winter Reading Challenge. To participate, Sonoma County Library children ages 0-12 are challenged to read at least 600 minutes between January 15-February 28 and track those minutes in Beanstack. Children who meet the goal of reading 600 minutes will earn a free book!

Children and parents are encouraged to log their reading through Sonoma County Library’s new online reading program Beanstack, a web and mobile application, to track self-directed reading time and help build a culture of reading in school and at home. The software makes it easier for students and families to record reading and stay motivated while providing insights and data about reading habits to school and library administrators. It can also suggest book titles readers might enjoy based on their interests and reading “doorways.”

“We’re excited to bring this new platform to Sonoma County, and families can easily register at sonomalibrary.beanstack.org or through the link on the library’s website homepage,” says Kathy DeWeese, Sonoma County Library’s Youth Services Administrator. “January is a great time to start new habits and we hope everyone will be excited to start off the year by making time for reading!”

To enroll, visit sonomalibrary.beanstack.org or your branch library. Paper logs for keeping track of your reading time are also available. To qualify for the challenge, reading times must be recorded on the Beanstack site by February 28, 2019.

Mock Caldecott 2019

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 four 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 8 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 for review. 

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!

The Big Umbrella
by Amy June Bates
/ill. Juniper Bates


The Sequoia Lives On
by Joanna Cooke /
ill. Fiona Hsieh

 

Hello Lighthouse
by Sophie Blackall


Julián is a Mermaid
by Jessica Love

 

If I Had a Horse
by Gianna Marino

Drawn Together
by Minh Lê /
ill. Dan Santat

 

Ocean Meets Sky
by the Fan Brothers

Dreamers
by Yuyi Morales

 

 

VOTE NOW!
  • Staff assist patron with new photocopier.

    Joanna Kolosov and Simone Kremkau assist a patron with the library’s new copier. The patron is Robert Foster, a real estate agent who came in to research the history of a house located in Santa Rosa’s St. Rose neighborhood. (Photo by Katherine Rinehart)

History and Genealogy Library Reopens

Improved space for history collections

The Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library reopened Monday, Dec. 10 in downtown Santa Rosa, after a two-and-a-half month modernization of the facility.

Students, genealogists, historians, journalists and those researching a myriad of topics specific to Sonoma County and its environs will find a fresh and expanded experience at the library, located next door to the Santa Rosa Central Branch. The Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library has new paint, updated heating and air conditioning, modern lighting and more space for reference and research.

The recent work was paid for by proceeds from Measure Y, a one-eighth of a cent sales tax approved by Sonoma County voters in 2016. The Sonoma County Library is in the early stages of a multi-year project to update and modernize all its branches and facilities. The History & Genealogy Library will be updated further in the future, as funds become available.

The Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library was established in 1967 as the Sonoma County Room and was located on the second floor of the Central Library. As the collection grew, in 1998 it was transferred to 725 Third Street, commonly known as “The Annex.”

Until this year, it shared space with the Sonoma County Library’s Adult Literacy program. When library administration moved to another facility in February, Adult Literacy moved into the Central Library.

“The History & Genealogy Library will now occupy the entire Annex, giving us more room to grow and space to comfortably accommodate patrons,” said Katherine Rinehart, History & Genealogy Manager. “This also gives us more space to properly store and process a backlog of materials, which we are eager to share with the public.”

The Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library is open the same hours as most Sonoma County Library branches. It opens at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday, closes at 9 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 6 p.m. all other days.

“Our staff is dedicated to collecting, preserving and making accessible local history, as well as genealogical materials of a national and international focus. We look forward to welcoming the community as we grow,” Rinehart said.

An open house and celebration is planned for January 9, 2019, from 4 to 8 p.m. More details will be available soon. For more information, contact Katherine Rinehart at krinehart@sonomalibrary.org.

The Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library is online at sonomalibrary.org/locations/sonoma-county-history-and-genealogy-library and on Facebook at facebook.com/Sonoma-County-History-Genealogy-Library-420254201495985/

Your Investment in Your Libraries

Measure Y increases hours and access, expands collections, program sand services, maintains library facilitiesIn November 2016, 72 percent of Sonoma County voters approved Measure Y, a one-eighth of a cent sales tax to support the 14-branch Sonoma County Library system.

The funds are being used to:

  • Increase hours
  • Increase access
  • Expand collections
  • Expand programs and services
  • Maintain library facilities

From early literacy programs, to improved access to historical materials; from child and teen programming, to help for veterans and job seekers; from expanded bilingual collections, to new online streaming; your sales tax pennies add up to exciting improvements at your local free public library!

As part of our commitment to transparency, the Sonoma County Library Commission appointed a diverse Measure Y Oversight Committee, volunteers like you who meet to review revenues and expenditures. The 2017-2018 committee report is here.

  • image of hands holding a video game controller with text: Video Games

Library Launches Video Game Collection

Sonoma County Library is excited to announce the launch of a new circulating video game collection. Games are becoming an increasingly important way people learn, interact, and have fun, addressing such educational needs as:

  • Games make learning fun by lowering the emotional stakes of failing, and players take risks and learn through trial and error.
  • Games have an infinite range of solutions, just like real life.
  • In the game world, players make their own discoveries and apply what they learn to new contexts.
  • When a player enters a game, they begin identifying core conditions and look for problems that must be addressed.
  • Games are a mode of active engagement. They encourage experimentation and risk-taking, and they view the process of solving a problem as important as finding the answer.
  • Games span across language barriers, and players do not necessarily need to speak English to participate.

According to the latest survey by the Entertainment Software Association, 67 percent of households own a device used to play video games. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the time Americans spend playing video and board games has risen 50 percent since 2003.

The Library’s Video Games collection intends to meet the needs of the gamers in our community, while providing access to high-quality educational and entertainment games. The collection has games available for two gaming platforms: Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The focus of the initial collection is video games for youth, including games rated EC (Early Childhood), E (Everyone), and E10+ (Everyone 10+) by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. We plan to expand the collection to include games for teen and adult patrons in the next year. Find out which games we own, where they are located, and place your hold today: https://bit.ly/2SGMAK3

 

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Sonoma County Library adds film-streaming service Kanopy

Thanks to support from Measure Y, Sonoma County Library now offers library users free access to the popular on-demand film streaming service Kanopy. With a Sonoma County library card, patrons can easily stream and enjoy more than 30,000 of the world’s best films, including award-winning documentaries, rare and hard-to-find titles, film festival favorites, the Criterion collection, indie and classic films, and world cinema. 

Kanopy aims to provide “thoughtful entertainment” by offering access to films of unique social and cultural value; films that are often difficult or impossible to access elsewhere, and inclusive programming that features foreign language films and films on race, culture and current affairs. Kanopy’s dedication to thoughtful entertainment includes educational and engaging videos for children through Kanopy Kids. This collection of titles for children of all ages includes PBS Kids programming and encourages social and emotional development, promotes respect for community diversity and inspires creativity.  Kanopy is also compatible for hearing-impaired (with captions and transcripts) and visually-impaired patrons (compatible with technologies such as JAWS).

To use Kanopy, all users need is a valid library card, an email address and an internet connection. Visit https://sonomalibrary.kanopy.com/ to access Kanopy and sign up to start streaming films instantly. Each Sonoma County Library cardholder can stream Kanopy to watch up to six films per month, each with a three-day loan period. Film credits are then refreshed on the first of the month. Stream whenever and wherever you like through your web browser or the Kanopy app available in the App StoreGoogle Play StoreRoku and Amazon Fire Tablet.

Start streaming now!

  • free access to new research products

Library Offers Four New Britannica Resources

Sonoma County Library and the California State Library bring you the Britannica Suite for your educational research and report building needs!  We have four new products to help make homework easier to research, create and present.  This suite is for all ages.

Britannica School: a comprehensive online encyclopedia with articles, images, and videos for Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Escolar: a Spanish-language research resource for Elementary through middle school students.

Britannica Academic: The all in one online encyclopedia, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, magazine and newspaper articles for adult learners. All of the material is selected by notable experts.

ImageQuest: Millions of right free images to use for educational, non-commercial use. Make your reports and presentations shine with the vast array of images available to download and use.

Discover, learn, and share with your free access to the Britannica suite!

  • author Anastasia Higginbotham and her latest book Ordinary Terrible Things

Meet the Author: Anastasia Higginbotham

Join us for a special opportunity to meet acclaimed children's author and illustrator Anastasia Higginbotham.

Higginbotham's presents Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness. It’s the fourth and latest book in her Ordinary Terrible Things series, which takes a child-centered approach to focus on the importance of resiliency and coping in the face of adversity. In the book a white child sees TV coverage of a police shooting — and has some questions. Not My Idea invites families to acknowledge the ways white children are conditioned to feel apart from conversations about race.

In the workshops, Higginbotham will present her latest book, and will lead a collage activity focused on identifying and processing emotional experiences. 

These author visits will take place at the following dates and locations:

  • Healdsburg Library                       Monday, October 1, at 10:00 am (grades K-6)
  • Northwest Library                        Monday, October 1, at 4:00 pm (grades K-6)
  • Central Library in Santa Rosa        Monday, October 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm (this event is targeted for adults)
  • Sonoma Valley Library                  Tuesday, October 2, at 11:00 am (grades K-6)
  • Sebastopol Library                       Tuesday, October 2 at 3:30 pm (grades K-6)

Higginbotham is the author and illustrator of Divorce is the WorstDeath is Stupid and Tell Me About Sex, Grandma — all part of the critically-acclaimed Ordinary Terrible Things series. She lives in Brooklyn.

 

This author series is made possible with support from Measure Y. Thank you, Sonoma County voters!

2018 Summer Lunch at the Library Impact

In 2018, for the fourth 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 2018, we had 6 participating library sites - Central Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Northwest Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sebastopol, and Sonoma Valley.

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

  • Served 4993 meals to children and teens across the county (an increase of 7% over 2017)
  • Served meals on 259 days across 6 locations (increase from 238 days/6 locations in 2017)
  • 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!

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