Kids News

  • ben franklin and money smart week logo

Money Smart Week at the Library

This week, and on into May, Sonoma County Library will host events and classes as part of a nationwide effort to promote financial literacy.

Money Smart Week is an initiative to help consumers manage their finances better. The program started in Chicago in 2002. It has expanded beyond just Chicago and more than 900 libraries across the United States participate in Money Smart Week. Money Smart Week helps consumers of all demographics and income levels better manage their personal finances. The Library is partnering with North Bay Credit Union and Redwood Credit Union to provide educational events that cover a variety of money-management topics.

Money Smart programs that the Library will offer include:

For Children:

Money Smart Art Market

  • Petaluma                   Thursday, April 21 at 3:30 pm (for ages 6-12)
  • Rincon Valley            Wednesday, April 26 at 11:30 am (for ages 3-6)

Money Smart Kids Workshop

(for ages 6-12, in partnership with North Bay Credit Union)

  • Healdsburg               Tuesday, April 25 at 4:00 pm
  • Rohnert Park            Thursday, April 27 at 4:00 pm

For Adults:

Personal finance: How to manage personal credit, debt and budgeting for financial health

(in partnership with Redwood Credit Union)

  • Rincon Valley            Wednesday, May 17 at 6:30 pm
  • Central Santa Rosa   Wednesday, May 31 at 5:30 pm


Library Hours Only the Beginning of Measure Y Changes

The Library’s first phase of restoring library hours is just the beginning of Measure Y changes at Sonoma County Library!

In the next few months, you will also begin to see increases in the books budget (more books), more classes and events being offered for children and adults, improved technology, and ongoing renovations to our library facilities.

Thank you to the voters in Sonoma County for the passage of Measure Y!

  • Branches Reopening Mondays May 1

    Branches Reopening Mondays May 1

Libraries Open Mondays Starting May 1

Effective May 1st, all Sonoma County Library branches will be open 10am-9pm on Mondays! Re-opening the branches on Mondays is a direct result of Sonoma County voters passing Measure Y on November 8, 2016. In addition to reopening its doors to the public on Mondays, branches across Sonoma County will be extending Wednesday hours from 10am to 9pm.

“Increasing hours has been our number one priority. Our Library staff have worked tirelessly to open on Mondays as soon as possible,” said Brett Lear, Director of Sonoma County Library. “We’ve hired new staff to support these hours and have launched new services like and Zinio for Libraries. Ultimately, we’re thrilled to be able to offer more hours to our communities and open on Mondays!”

In 2011 as a result of the Great Recession, Sonoma County Library made the difficult decision to close Library doors on Mondays. As library funding was cut, the cost of books, library materials and services continued to increase. Amid this financial landscape, the Library continued to balance its budget and provided residents with excellent programs, services and materials.

On November 8th, 2016, 72% of the voters in Sonoma County passed Measure Y, a ballot increasing sales taxes by an eighth of a cent to support the Sonoma County Library. The Library’s first phase of restoring library hours is just one of the many changes planned post-Measure Y.  Some significant changes you’ll begin to see will be an increase in the books budget, more classes and events for children and adults, improved technology, and ongoing renovations to our library facilities.

  • storywalk poster

StoryWalk Coming to Spring Lake Park

Once again, the Library is partnering with Sonoma County Regional Parks to bring a StoryWalk to children and families in our community. This StoryWalk is being set up on April 21st at the Environmental Discovery Center, located just inside the entrance to Spring Lake Regional Park, and it will stay up for children and families to enjoy through May. There will be a special kickoff event to launch the StoryWalk on Saturday, April 29, as part of the Parks' and Library' Día de los Niños celebration.

The book to be showcased with this StoryWalk is "In a Small, Small Pond," by Denise Fleming. Come down to Spring Lake Park, either on April 29th or anytime in April and May, to enjoy the beauty of the park, a good story and quality time spent together.

Visitors are encouraged to share their StoryWalk experience on social media with photos, comments, or any suggestions you may have for the project, using hashtags #SonomaCountyLibrary #StoryWalk.

  • children taking apart computers

    Children explored the insides of computers at a recent Take-Apart Day at the Windsor Library.

STEAM Events Spark Passion for Sciences

STEAM = Science! Technology! Engineering! Art! Math!

When kids and teens explore, create and experiment in an informal learning environment like the library, they learn a lot--and have fun at the same time.
We've assembled a variety of free STEAM-related classes and workshops that will inspire and motivate kids and teens with fun, hands-on learning activities, to bring to all branches of the Sonoma County Library.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) proficiency among youth has been an educational goal in schools since the mid-’80s, when a series of reports indicated that many American children weren’t meeting competencies in these areas. The addition of “Arts” to STEM in the last few years to create “STEAM”, is indicative of a commitment to bring creative, open-ended thinking and innovative problem-solving into STEM activities.

Spend a day with us at the Library being an artist, explorer or researcher. The kids of today are the innovators of tomorrow. Let's spark their passion and creativity for the sciences now!

Library and Regional Parks collaborate on StoryWalk at Crane Creek Park

Sonoma County Library is partnering with the Sonoma County Regional Parks to host a StoryWalkTM at Crane Creek Regional Park, with a special event to kick off the collaboration on Saturday, March 25th. Join us at Crane Creek Park at 10am—at the picnic tables by the parking lot—and get ready for a fun-filled story time outdoors as you meander down a trail while reading the bilingual story Call Me Tree / Llámame Árbol, by Maya Christina Gonzalez.

A StoryWalkTM is an activity that promotes both literacy and physical fitness. Intended for young readers from infants to school age, the StoryWalkTM separates a book into two-page spreads, with activities in English and Spanish that are tailored to each page. The laminated pages are then attached to signposts, which are installed along a path. As participants walk through Crane Creek Regional Park, they will be directed to the next pages in the story, which are stationed around the trail for residents and visitors who want to enjoy the beauty of the park, a good story, and quality time spent together.

Visitors are encouraged to share their StoryWalkTM experience on social media with photos, comments, or any suggestion you may have for the project, using hashtags #SonomaCountyLibrary #StoryWalk.

This StoryWalkTM, first in a series, continues the collaboration between the Library and Sonoma County Regional Parks, which has brought to our communities such partnerships as the Trails Challenge, P is for Parks storytimes, and bilingual recommended reading lists.

Crane Creek Regional Park is full of rolling grasslands and beautiful stands of oaks on 128 acres east of Rohnert Park (5000 Pressley Road, Rohnert Park). If you are unable to attend the StoryWalkTM kickoff event on March 25th, it will also be available to read and enjoy during Crane Creek’s open hours through mid-April.  Please note that there is a parking fee at Crane Creek, where the StoryWalkTM is being hosted.

The StoryWalkTM Project was created by Anne Ferguson on Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. StoryWalkTM trails are now in all 50 states as well as 11 countries including Bermuda, Canada, England, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Russia.

  • Spring Break 2017

    Spring Break 2017

Spring Break at the Library 2017

Looking for something to do with kids over Spring Break? The Sonoma County Library has a variety of activities scheduled for children, tweens and teens during the spring school vacation week.

Beginning Friday, March 17 through Saturday, March 25, the Library will offer free programs ranging from storytimes and Read to a Dog events, to Magical Moonshine Theatre puppet shows, Zumba for kids, STEM programs, paper airplanes, kids' yoga, crafts, makerspaces, and more!

All events are free.

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

FREE SAT Math Refresher Classes (for High School Juniors) (space is limited - see Information Desk to reserve your spot)

  • Sebastopol     Tue. Mar. 21, 1:00-3:00 pm
  • Rincon Valley  Wed. Mar. 22, 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Sonoma Valley   Thu. Mar. 23, 3:30-5:30 pm

ZUMBA FOR KIDS (ages 5 & up)

  • Sebastopol      Fri. Mar. 17, 4:00 pm
  • Cloverdale       Tue. Mar. 21, 1:00 pm
  • Windsor           Wed. Mar. 22, 3:30 pm
  • Guerneville      Fri. Mar. 24, 11:00 am

The HANGOUT café

  • Windsor           Sat. Mar. 18, 2:00 pm (ages 9 & up)  (space is limited - see Information Desk to reserve your spot)


  • Petaluma         Tue. Mar. 21, 11:00 am


  • Central            Fri. Mar. 17, 4:00–5:45 pm
  • Healdsburg      Tue. Mar. 21, 3:00 pm
  • Rohnert Park  Wed. Mar. 22, 6:00 pm (ages 6 & up)


  • Take-Apart Day          Rohnert Park  Tue. Mar. 21, 4:00 pm
  • Take-Apart Day          Windsor           Tue. Mar. 21, 4:00 pm
  • Doodle Bots                Rincon Valley  Wed. Mar. 22, 3:30 pm
  • Take-Apart Day          Guerneville      Thu. Mar. 23, 11:00 am
  • Doodle Bots                Healdsburg      Thu. Mar. 23, 11:00 am -12:00 pm
  • Doodle Bots                Petaluma         Fri. Mar. 24, 3:30 pm


  • CHANTICLEER THE ROOSTER:  Northwest        Wed. Mar. 22, 11:00 am
  • GOLDEN ARMADILLO:  Rohnert Park  Thu. Mar. 23, 11:00 am


  • Rincon Valley  Fri. Mar. 24, 10:00 am (ages 8-12) (space is limited - see Information Desk to reserve your spot)


  • Windsor           Fri. Mar. 24, 4:00 pm (grades K-3)


  • Crane Creek Regional Park (Rohnert Park)  Sat. Mar. 25, 10:00-11:30 am

A Visit with Children's Author/Illustrator Todd Parr!

Todd Parr's visit to the Healdsburg Library originally planned for a date in March has been RESCHEDULED to April 13 at 4pm.  Hurray!


We’re thrilled to mention another upcoming event that children and parents will particularly enjoy. Bestselling and beloved children’s author/illustrator Todd Parr will come to the Healdsburg Library on -- April 13 at 4pm. This event is great for families with children, ages 5-8, or anyone else who loves the work of Todd Parr.

So what happens at an author visit? 

Well, Todd Parr loves interacting with kids! During his presentation, Parr talks about being an author/illustrator, reads from four to five of his books (he has written more than 40), plays a game, does original sketches on an easel and conducts a Q&A with the kids and adults. At the end of his session in the auditorium, Parr will be available to sign copies of his books, which will be offered for sale courtesy of Copperfield's Books. Also, this will be an opportunity for children to learn about helping out — please bring in a new stuffed animal or book to donate. Your donation will be given to children living in shelters in Sonoma County.

Who is Todd Parr, Anyway?

Todd Parr is the bestselling author of more than forty books, including The Goodbye Book, The Family Book, The I Love You Book, and It's Okay to be Different. He grew up in a small Wyoming town. Art was a passion of his in high school. Working at many other things in life, he knew that art was what he wanted to do. He entered into children’s publishing in 1998, and was able to take the messages of his art and “put them in a simple reading about acceptance, differences and empowerment for kids to feel better about themselves.” His books have been published in 14 languages and have won several awards, plus been featured on the “Rosie O’Donnell Show”. He has partnered with Reach Out and Read, People Magazine, and Target to promote reading.  In 2015 Parr traveled to Singapore, and visited the Singapore American School—the largest one-campus international school in the world. In April he traveled to Canada on behalf of Read Aloud 2015. His children’s preschool show, “ToddWorld”, premiered on TLC and Discovery Kids. The show was nominated for an Emmy Award. “ToddWorld” is now airing in almost every country around the world. He lives in Berkeley, California.

This event is free and open to the public. The Visit with Todd Parr is funded by the Friends of the Healdsburg Library.


Library Collaborates with 4-H on Kids' Art & STEM Classes

In March and April, the Library is collaborating with the local 4-H Youth Development Program to present classes on arts, crafts, and STEM topics to children. 4-H is a youth development organization for ages 5-19 that promotes hands-on, experiential learning, and as such, it is a natural partner with the Library's mission and strategic plan initiatives around education.

The upcoming classes will be held at two library locations -- in Rincon Valley and Windsor -- and will focus on topics including Art Exploration, Cartooning, and Roller Coaster Science. Participation is free and open to all in the community.

4-H at the Library: After-School Crafts

The 4-H Youth Development Program presents 6 weeks of art adventures beginning in March. Arts and crafts classes are suited to the 5-9 year old and will be taught by Judy Ludovise, Sonoma County 4-H Program Representative.

    • Thursdays, March 2-April 6, 2017
    • 3:30pm - 4:30pm
    • Rincon Valley | Forum Room, Rincon Valley Library

4-H at the Library: Art Workshop for Kids (Grades K - 3rd)

4-H will present a workshop on Art for children grades K through 3rd. Learn about cartooning and coloring in the workshop. For more information please contact the Windsor Library at 838-1020.

  • Friday, March 24, 2017
  • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Windsor | Forum Room, Windsor Regional Library

4-H at the Library: Roller Coaster Science

This special event is for children grades K through 3rd. Come to the library and learn about the science of Roller Coasters and make a marble roller coaster! This is a free event presented by the 4-H Club.

  • Friday, April 7, 2017
  • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Windsor | Forum Room, Windsor Regional Library

The California 4-H program is a part of the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), a statewide network of the University of California.

Central Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Central Santa Rosa Library building will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in February. The Sonoma County Library is excited to share events happening throughout the month to celebrate this historic building as an integral part of Santa Rosa.

The Central Branch of the Sonoma County Library was the fourteenth public library established in California, and has been providing library services to the citizens of Santa Rosa since 1859. The Santa Rosa Carnegie Library was built in 1904. The stone clad structure was damaged in the 1906 earthquake, but repairs were made and the building stood at the corner of Fourth and E Streets until 1960 when it was closed. Shortly thereafter, the Carnegie building was torn down and replaced by a new building, which was designed to serve as the center of operations and administration for the new city-county library system. Francis Joseph McCarthy was the building architect for what was considered a model of modernity at the time. The new building included vertical and horizontal conveyors to mechanize book-handling and teletype and fax transmission connection to other Bay Area libraries. Unique architectural features include sculptured redwood fences created by Stefan A. Novak, garden walls composed of stone from the 1904 Carnegie building and stained glass clerestory windows designed by artist Donald V. Drury. The building was dedicated on February 19, 1967.

We invite all members of our community to join us for Central Library’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, February 26th from 2-4pm in the Library’s Forum Room. Come celebrate this historic building and the impact the Library has made on the residents of Santa Rosa and the Sonoma County community. Listen to local leaders celebrate this significant institution, enjoy light refreshments, walk down memory lane with us, and spend some time with local friend Snoopy!

In addition to the Library’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, the Library will host two talks to commemorate Central Santa Rosa Library’s rich history:

  • Wednesday, February 15th at 6:00pm – Evolution of the Central Library, A Long and Winding Road: from the Carnegie Foundation to Urban Renewal Project presented by Katherine J. Rinehart, historian and manager of the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library.
  • Wednesday, February 22nd at 6:00pm – The Central Library: Modernists Architecture in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County. Join architectural photographer Darren Bradley as he gives a presentation on the Central Library and the Francis Joseph McCarthy, the building’s architect.

Also, please drop-in at the Central Library’s Children’s Area anytime during the week of February 21st – 25th for a variety of activities celebrating Central Library’s 50th Anniversary.

All events are free and open to the public.