Library News

Our Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)


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CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Español

Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades

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SoCo Emergency

Sonoma County Emergency and Preparedness Information

SoCo Emergency Español

Información acerca del nuevo coronavirus


Curbside pickup available at five libraries

Curbside pickup service from the Central Library in downtown Santa Rosa is temporarily suspended due to public protests and police activity in the area. We hope to resume service as soon as possible. Curbside service is available at our Guerneville, Windsor, Rohnert Park and Sonoma branches.

Sonoma County Library is following state and county guidelines in order to protect our community members and employees.

Limited curbside pickup is available at five locations; Central Santa Rosa - temporarily unavailable, Guerneville, Rohnert Park, Sonoma, and Windsor. Library facilities are still closed to the public, and we are not able to transfer materials between locations.

  • Please do not return library items. Book returns are closed. Don’t worry, we have extended due dates and you can return items later, with no penalties.
  • At this time, the library cannot accept book donations.
  • Items on the hold shelf prior to March 17 at curbside pickup locations can be borrowed via curbside pickup by contacting the library. Holds at other locations will stay on the hold shelf for you to borrow when curbside service expands.
  • New requests for curbside pickup can be made using an online form or by calling a curbside pickup location.
  • Librarians are available seven days a week to answer questions, help with eResources and eBooks, update library accounts and explain services. Contact us by webform via our “Ask Us” service, email, call 707-308-3262, or text us at 707-632-4591.
  • Enjoy virtual programs like storytime, crafts, book clubs, and other online workshops.
  • Your 24/7 online library never closes! Check out films, TV shows, eBooks, databases, magazines, classes and much more, and try these expanded offers!
  • New to Sonoma County Library? Get a free library eCard online to use our resources right away.
  • Stay updated about the library on our website, follow us on social media @sonomalibrary, and sign up for our newsletter.

Should libraries be open during a pandemic?

On March 13, in response to the rapidly growing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Sonoma County Library made the difficult decision to cancel events taking place in our libraries. A few days later we closed all library facilities, in compliance with the county shelter-in-place order.

No library director ever wants to close a library. It’s a heartbreaking choice, but staying closed is the right thing to do, to protect the public and our staff. The closure is all-encompassing. We are unable to offer curbside pickup for books and other materials, or accept returns of borrowed materials (although all due dates have been extended).

The County of Sonoma agrees. We discussed this matter with the county health department, and they support our decision. There are too many unknowns at this point for us safely receive and redistribute potentially contaminated materials. We don’t want to unknowingly help spread the virus, and we can’t justify using masks, gloves, sanitizers and other protective equipment when they are desperately needed by health care workers.

The county’s Emergency Operations Center agrees as well, and issued a statement. It reads, in part: “Librarians should be home and sheltered in place. They are not essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Library staff are not equipped to safely handle physical books and interact with the public. We must weigh our desire for the pleasure of reading with the health risk to the librarians. Library patrons are reminded that there are books available electronically through our public library system.”

Sonoma County is not alone in this regard. The largest library associations in the nation, including the American Library Association and the California Library Association, are strongly recommending that libraries suspend operations during this time, while we do our part to slow the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the Sonoma County Library is working diligently to plan how to reopen quickly and effectively when it is safe, and we are adding new and exciting materials to our 24/7 online library. Visit sonomalibrary.org to access tens of thousands of electronic books, audiobooks, TV shows, movies, magazines, instructional videos, research databases and more. Your kids can even watch cartoons and animated storybooks. We have Spanish-language resources as well.

We thank everyone who misses their library. We miss you, too and we will be so happy to see you in our branches when we reopen! Being able to come back to the library, chat with a librarian, bring your children to a storytime, browse books and other materials, or use our free WiFi will all be proof of our local and national effort to contain a serious public health crisis.

Ann Hammond, Sonoma County Library Director

All Sonoma County Library facilities are Closed

Effective 6 pm Saturday, March 14, 2020, all Sonoma County Library facilities are closed to the public.

This decision was not made lightly. It comes after a week of increasingly strict notices and advisories. We will continue to follow the recommendations of county and state officials, and will reopen as soon as we are told that it is safe to do so.

Book drops will be closed and locked. You are encouraged to hold onto and enjoy loaned items – due dates will be extended on all materials, including technology such as hotspots and Chromebooks. Our digital resources are available 24/7, as always.

I am confident that we will manage this crisis together, and I take comfort from your support for our libraries in this uncertain time.

Ann Hammond, Library Director

 

Library Statement on Racial Equity

Library Statement on Racism and Social Equity

Library Statement on Racism and Social Equity

The Sonoma County Library stands with Black Lives Matter, and with local government, schools and our community in calling for peaceful, yet powerful action to turn the tide of systemic racism, and begin the transition to a just and sustainable society.

To those in our community who have been hurt by racism, bigotry, prejudice, misunderstanding and hate: we see you, we hear you, we stand with you. And, as we look outward to help our communities heal, we pledge to look inward, and to face unflinchingly the truths in our own system. It’s not enough to eschew racism. We must all become anti-racists.

We support the Urban Libraries Council statement on the role of libraries in dismantling systemic racism, dated June 1, 2020, which reads in part:

“Twenty-first century libraries are pillars of safety, inclusion, diversity and democracy for the communities we serve. Libraries provide equitable access to information and digital resources for all people, regardless of race. They provide safe, respectful and welcoming spaces for civic discourse and the expression of diverse voices. Through carefully curated collections, community partnerships and targeted outreach, libraries intentionally engage and serve the needs of all populations. And, increasingly, libraries are taking bold stands and speaking up to call out and combat social injustice.”

On May 1, 2017, the Sonoma County Library Commission unanimously voted to adopt the following Statement of Inclusivity, as a reaffirmation of core library values.

Statement of Inclusivity

Public libraries have long been known as one of the truly democratic institutions. Public libraries champion First Amendment rights and promote free access to information for all. Public libraries offer services and educational resources that promote inclusion and diversity to all in the community. In light of the uncertainty many feel in our current society, we reaffirm:

  • Sonoma County Library values diversity, empowerment, community, unity, kindness, connection, and equity.
  • Sonoma County Library provides service to all races, all genders, all sexual orientations, all religions, all abilities, all ages, all national or ethnic origins, all languages, all citizenship statuses, all economic statuses, all political affiliations, all people.
  • Sonoma County Library is an inclusive community hub where people intersect and thrive.

LIBRARIES ARE FOR EVERYONE

Library Statement on Racism and Social Equity

Declaración de la biblioteca sobre el racismo y la equidad social

La Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma están con Black Lives Matter (Las vidas negras importan), y con el gobierno local, las escuelas y nuestra comunidad al pedir una acción pacífica, pero poderosa para cambiar la marea del racismo sistémico, y comenzar la transición a una sociedad justa y sostenible.

A aquellos en nuestra comunidad que han sido heridos por el racismo, la intolerancia, los prejuicios, la incomprensión y el odio: los vemos, los oímos, estamos con ustedes. Y, al mirar hacia afuera para ayudar a nuestras comunidades a sanar, nos comprometemos a mirar hacia adentro y a enfrentar directamente las verdades en nuestro propio sistema. No es suficiente para evitar el racismo. Todos debemos convertirnos en antirracistas.

Apoyamos la declaración del Urban Libraries Council (Consejo de Bibliotecas Urbanas) sobre el papel de las bibliotecas en el desmantelamiento del racismo sistémico, de fecha 1 de junio de 2020, que dice en parte:

“Las bibliotecas del siglo XXI son pilares de seguridad, inclusión, diversidad y democracia para las comunidades a las que servimos. Las bibliotecas proporcionan un acceso equitativo a la información y a los recursos digitales para todas las personas, independientemente de su raza. Proporcionan espacios seguros, respetuosos y acogedores para el discurso cívico y la expresión de diversas voces. A través de colecciones cuidadosamente seleccionadas, asociaciones comunitarias y alcance específico, las bibliotecas participan intencionalmente y atienden las necesidades de todas las poblaciones. Y, cada vez más, las bibliotecas están tomando puestos audaces y hablando para llamar y combatir la injusticia social.”

El 1 de mayo de 2017, la Comisión de Bibliotecas del Condado de Sonoma votó por unanimidad la adopción de la siguiente Declaración de Inclusividad, como una reafirmación de los valores básicos de la biblioteca.

Declaración De Inclusividad

Las bibliotecas públicas han sido conocidas por mucho tiempo como una de las instituciones verdaderamente democráticas. Las bibliotecas públicas defienden los derechos de la Primera Enmienda y promueven el libre acceso a la información para todos. Las bibliotecas públicas ofrecen servicios y recursos educativos que promueven la diversidad y la inclusión de todos en la comunidad. En vista de la incertidumbre que muchos sienten en nuestra sociedad actual, nosotros reafirmamos que:

  • La Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma valora la diversidad, el empoderamiento, la comunidad, la unidad, la amabilidad, la conexión y la equidad.
  • La Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma proporciona servicios a todas las razas, todos los géneros, todas las orientaciones sexuales, todas las religiones, todas las capacidades, todas las edades, todos los orígenes étnicos o nacionalidades, todos los idiomas, todos los estatus migratorios, todos los estatus económicos, todas las afiliaciones políticas, a toda la gente.
  • La Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma es un punto de reunión comunitaria incluyente, donde la gente se encuentra y prospera.

LAS BIBLIOTECAS SON PARA TODOS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Curbside Pickup at the Library image

Curbside Pickup at the Library

Beginning Monday, June 1, five Sonoma County Library locations will offer six-day-a-week curbside pickup for books, DVDs, CDs and other library materials.

“We are thrilled to be able to circulate library materials again,” said Sonoma County Library Director Ann Hammond. “Our patrons have waited patiently for more than two months, and we know they’re eager to pick up their holds and borrow more materials from their libraries.”

After the library received confirmation from Sonoma County Health Officer that curbside pickup is now allowed, the library set up a “contactless” pickup system that protects library staff and the public. Library patrons will be required to observe social distancing and facial covering guidelines while picking up library materials.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday, curbside pickup will be available at five library branches, in Guerneville, Sonoma, Windsor, Rohnert Park, and at the Central Library in downtown Santa Rosa. In the coming weeks, eight more library branches will offer curbside service.

State and county guidelines do not allow libraries to open to the public, so curbside pickup will take place outside each library, with patrons able to request items from that library branch, such as books, DVDs, CDs and more online or by telephone. Due to high demand, WiFi hotspots and laptop ChromeKits are not currently available.

Curbside pickup will not include curbside returns. “The data on how long we should quarantine returned materials is still unclear,” Hammond said, so returns and book donations will not be accepted at this time. “All your due dates have been extended,” said Hammond, who acknowledged that many people sheltering at home are “cleaning and gleaning” and are eager to donate books to the Friends of the Library book sales. “Please be patient a bit longer,” she said.

To request a book or other library item for curbside pickup, visit sonomalibrary.org/curbside to fill out a request form that will be sent to one of our five pickup locations. Or, call the library branch where you would like to use the curbside service:

While curbside service allows the library to resume lending physical materials, 24/7 online resources are always available at sonomalibrary.org.

  • Storytime at Home photo

Library offers virtual story times and activities

Are your littles ones missing their story times at the library? Now, the library is bringing “Storytime at Home” to your computer or mobile phone. A schedule of weekly story times, craft activities, easy science projects and read-aloud programs for older kids are now online.

Featuring Sonoma County Library children’s librarian Kim Dargeou, the short videos with “Miss Kim” are a great break for parents who want to offer their children a connection to the library.

Dargeou is sheltering at home, like many, but creates videos many times a week with Max LiBearry, her big stuffed bear at her side. The videos may cover popular children’s books, songs in English, Spanish or French, and simple science or crafts activities.

More videos by other librarians will be posted in the coming weeks.

Selected videos are presented in Spanish, with an introduction by bilingual librarian Fredy Gonzalez.

All the Storytime videos are available here.

Check out these summaries of our videos!

Crafting for Kids

Create fun new things using common household items. Join Miss Kim to learn a fun craft activity you can do at home. For all ages.

May the 4th Craft

See the full Crafting at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Crafting for Tweens & Teens

Create fun new things using common household items. Join Miss Kim to learn a fun craft activity you can do at home. For grades 4-12.

See the full Crafting at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Storytime at Home

Join us for a story and song from your Sonoma County Librarians. Check back Wednesdays and Fridays at 11 am for more storytime fun!

Storytime - Peep and Egg

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.

Storytime - Babies on the Bus

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.

Storytime - How to Wash a Wooly Mammoth*

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Spanish Storytime at Home

¡Bienvenido a "Hora de cuentos en Casa"! For children 0-5. Para edades 0-5. Acompáñenos parar cuentos y canciones en español de sus bibliotecarios del Condado de Sonoma. ¡Vuelva cada lunes a las 11am para más diversión con cuentos y canciones!

Spanish Storytime

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


PJ Storytime

Welcome to “Storytime at Home: Pajama edition!” Get in your pajamas and get ready for some bedtime fun, songs and a story before you go to sleep, from your Sonoma County Librarians. Check back every Sunday at 6pm for more storytime fun!

PJ Storytime - Bed for Kitty

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


French Storytime

Bienvenue à l'heure du “conte a la maison!” Rejoignez-nous pour une histoire et une chanson animés par vos bibliothécaires du Sonoma County Library. Rendez vous tous les samedis à 11h pour un agréable moment devant votre storytime...100 % francais:

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Kids Book Read-Aloud

Get comfy and listen to a chapter a week, read to you. Check out the eBook from the library and follow along or just close your eyes and listen.

Kids Book Read - Aloud Bad Kitty

See the full Book Read-Aloud playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Tween Book Read-Aloud

Get comfy and listen to a chapter a week read to you. Check out the eBook from the library and follow along or just close your eyes and listen! For tweens in grades 4-6.

Tween Book Read-Aloud Snazzy Cap Capers

See the full Book Read-Aloud playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Teen Book Read-Aloud

Get comfy and listen to a chapter a week read to you. Check out the eBook from the library and follow along or just close your eyes and listen! For teens in grades 7-12.

See the full Book Read-Aloud playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Simple Science at Home

Come play with science using safe and simple ingredients from home!

Science Water Marker

See the full Simple Science at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.

 

 

Our New Library in Roseland

Work continues on our new library in Roseland!

Check out this video showing interior work in progress. We can’t wait to finish and open safely for the Roseland community.

Want more details?

WHERE is the library moving?

From 779 Sebastopol Road to 470 Sebastopol Road (across the street from the current library and half a block east).

WHEN is the library moving?

We are planning the space, ordering shelves and furniture and will be getting building permits, all so that we can set up the branch quickly once our internal improvements are completed. We are working with Anderson Brulé Architects on this project and part of this process is an extensive outreach strategy. We are actively collecting responses to a survey for the new branch and the survey can be found on the Library’s website. We will also be completing a few outreach events in the community as part of this strategy. We had originally planned to be open in January but have been delayed a bit due to unanticipated building requirements associated with the use of the building as a community library. We are working closely with our partners in the City of Santa Rosa in the building process and we look forward to opening.

WHY is the library moving?

The building that houses our current library is slated for demolition to make way for the new Roseland Neighborhood Village project. Our new space will enable us to be open more hours for the community (especially in the after school hours) and have more space to offer more programming to the community. We are also planning to have a community room available for the public to use.

HOW big is the new space?

At approximately 4,500 square feet, it will allow more space for books and programs than we have now. We will also have better defined areas for adults, teen and children.

WILL Roseland have no library between the current and future branch?

Our goal is to not have an interruption of service. We will remain in our current building until we transition to the new building.

WHAT will change at the new location?

We will open more hours, offer more programs and services, have more staff – there will be more of everything!

WILL you still share a space with the Boys & Girls Club?

There is not enough space in our new facility to house both organizations right now but we’re open to a continued partnership with the Boys & Girls Club.

Storytime & Activities at Home

Sonoma County Library is pleased to announced our new Storytime & Activities at Home events!

Are your littles ones missing their storytimes at the library? Now, the library is bringing “Storytime & Activities at Home” to your computer or mobile phone. A schedule of weekly story times, craft activities, easy science projects and read-aloud programs for older kids are now online.

Check out these summaries of our videos!

Crafting for Kids

Create fun new things using common household items. Join Miss Kim to learn a fun craft activity you can do at home. For all ages.

May the 4th Craft

See the full Crafting at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Crafting for Tweens & Teens

Create fun new things using common household items. Join Miss Kim to learn a fun craft activity you can do at home. For grades 4-12.

See the full Crafting at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Storytime at Home

Join us for a story and song from your Sonoma County Librarians. Check back Wednesdays and Fridays at 11 am for more storytime fun!

Storytime - Peep and Egg

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.

Storytime - Babies on the Bus

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.

Storytime - How to Wash a Wooly Mammoth*

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Spanish Storytime at Home

¡Bienvenido a "Hora de cuentos en Casa"! For children 0-5. Para edades 0-5. Acompáñenos parar cuentos y canciones en español de sus bibliotecarios del Condado de Sonoma. ¡Vuelva cada lunes a las 11am para más diversión con cuentos y canciones!

Spanish Storytime

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


PJ Storytime

Welcome to “Storytime at Home: Pajama edition!” Get in your pajamas and get ready for some bedtime fun, songs and a story before you go to sleep, from your Sonoma County Librarians. Check back every Sunday at 6pm for more storytime fun!

PJ Storytime - Bed for Kitty

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


French Storytime

Bienvenue à l'heure du “conte a la maison!” Rejoignez-nous pour une histoire et une chanson animés par vos bibliothécaires du Sonoma County Library. Rendez vous tous les samedis à 11h pour un agréable moment devant votre storytime...100 % francais:

See the full Storytime at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Kids Book Read-Aloud

Get comfy and listen to a chapter a week, read to you. Check out the eBook from the library and follow along or just close your eyes and listen.

Kids Book Read - Aloud Bad Kitty

See the full Book Read-Aloud playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Tween Book Read-Aloud

Get comfy and listen to a chapter a week read to you. Check out the eBook from the library and follow along or just close your eyes and listen! For tweens in grades 4-6.

Tween Book Read-Aloud Snazzy Cap Capers

See the full Book Read-Aloud playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Teen Book Read-Aloud

Get comfy and listen to a chapter a week read to you. Check out the eBook from the library and follow along or just close your eyes and listen! For teens in grades 7-12.

See the full Book Read-Aloud playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.


Simple Science at Home

Come play with science using safe and simple ingredients from home!

Science Water Marker

See the full Simple Science at Home playlist on the Sonoma County Library YouTube channel.

 

 

Free Lynda.com Courses on Remote Work, Job Searching and More

COVID-19 has changed the way people are working - many people are working remotely, or unfortunately, not at all.

To help in this time, Lynda.com has unlocked courses to help you stay productive while working from home or, for those who lost their jobs, build out their job search strategy to find a new one.

Visit the LinkedIn Learning Blog to find links and more information on following free “learning paths” to help job seekers, educators, remote workers and more. The free courses in these learning paths will help:

If you have a Sonoma County Library card, many more courses are available to you on Lynda.com. For more information, visit our Lynda.com information.

  • Your Library at Home

Your Library at Home

Library retools for digital delivery

The Sonoma County Library has tracked a steady shift from physical to digital use over the past few years. “Every year, we see more and more patrons checking out electronic books, streaming movies, tracing their family tree or conducting research,” said Ann Hammond, Sonoma County Library Director. “Some of our most loyal and active patrons rarely come into a branch.”

In fact, up until recently, the digital library was almost as busy as the physical library. For example, while Sonoma County Library patrons checked out 2.9 million physical items in the fiscal year ending in June 2019 (the most recent state figures), the library recorded 2.4 million website visits and 829,121 instances of electronic usage of materials.

That all changed on March 14, when all Sonoma County Library branches closed, in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the county’s shelter-in-place order. Since then, as physical circulation has come to a halt, digital circulation is skyrocketing.

OverDrive, a popular way to check out electronic books and audiobooks through the library, had a 356 percent increase in website page views in the 23 days from March 17 to April 8. In the same time period, the library’s Hoopla platform, which offers books, films, TV, music, comics and more, had a 786 percent increase in page views.

Kanopy, a resource for classic films and documentaries, had a 298 percent increase, and RBdigital, an easy way to read thousands of current issues and back issues of magazines, topped all Sonoma County Library digital resources with a 2,434 percent increase in page views.

Library patrons are discovering other digital resources as well, learning languages with Mango, brushing up on software skills with Lynda, deciding what home appliance to purchase with Consumer Reports, researching car repairs with Chilton, looking up ancestors on Ancestry.com, or reading the New York Times – all free with a library card.

“We don’t see this shift as temporary,” Hammond said, reflecting on what to expect when library branches reopen. “There is no substitute for a one-on-one conversation with a friendly librarian, or attending a library event, or bringing your child to a story time, but a lot of our patrons are discovering how easy it is to try the digital option, and we’ll be prepared to keep supporting them. We’ve already added or expanded digital resources, and we will keep looking for ways to serve our community, in person or online.”

But, not everyone has reliable internet access. That worries Hammond, a lot. “We do so much to help bridge the digital divide,” she said. “We have free high speed WiFi in our branches, and it’s still on during the closures so people can access it from outside when the building structure permits. We also have more than 500 WiFi hotspots and more than 100 Chromebooks in circulation, but it’s not nearly enough.”

Hammond and her staff are busy adapting to the temporary closures, and she knows they’ll be busy again when branches reopen, but she vows not to forget about the people who are left out because they can’t afford broadband. “This is a wake-up call for every library in America,” said Hammond. We can’t close the digital divide by ourselves, but we intend to be loud and persistent voices in finding a solution.”

– Submitted by Ray Holley

Sonoma Responds!

Contribute to a primary source collection about Sonoma County’s experience with COVID-19

The Sonoma County Library invites community members to document history through writing, art and other creative expression during the COVID-19, and to donate these items to the library. The materials, representing firsthand experiences by local residents, will become part of a special library collection of primary sources.

Read the Press Democrat article by Chris Smith.

Once the crisis is resolved and it is safe to bring items to the library, residents will be invited to bring in journals, photos, drawings, letters, scrapbooks and other two-dimensional physical documents that tell the story of life in Sonoma County during this time.

Library staff will catalog a selection of the items into a special collection that can be accessible to future generations of Sonoma County Library visitors.

“Researchers and students will be able to use your work to understand what it was like living in Sonoma County during this challenging time,” said Connie Williams, History Room Librarian at the Petaluma Regional Library. “Your story can be a part of our community’s story.”

As a way to begin, Williams suggests documenting – in writing or in images – your initial reactions to news about the virus and work/school closures, and recording daily experiences, such as what life is like in your neighborhood, how you communicate with others and what has changed.

Sonoma County Library Director Ann Hammond said, “This is a great way to help our community preserve memories of an important event.”

The library requests that items be no larger than 11” x 17” and can be stored flat. For more information, contact publicservices@sonomalibrary.org.

 

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