Library News

  • 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!

  • copies of book "impressions"

Adult Literacy Event Celebrates Learners and Launches Book

On Saturday, September 22, Sonoma County Library hosted a special Adult Literacy Celebration event at the Central Library to highlight the work its Adult Literacy Program does to help adults pursue their goals as learners, parents, workers, and members of our community. As part of the celebration, the Sonoma County Library Adult Literacy Program released its newly-published book, “Impressions,” the latest anthology of writings of the adult learners in the program.

A highlight of the event were speeches made by adult learners who have been learning to read and write through their work with their tutors. Ako Munson shared her experience participating in the Adult Learner Leadership Institute (ALLI), a statewide training program for adult learners. Aeri Choi spoke about how learning to write helped her to discover her voice and to develop a new passion for writing. The event concluded with all the newly published authors signing copies of the book for event attendees.

The book’s title, “Impressions,” comes from the observation of an adult learner who wrote about “the common fate of the emigrant to have feet in the new country and shoes in the old one.” Many of the writings in the collection follow this theme, and offer the reader a myriad of impressions from adults willing to share their memories, journeys, and dreams. Copies of “Impressions” will be available to check out and read at every branch. 

Initiated in 1986, the Sonoma County Library Adult Literacy Program recruits and trains community volunteers to provide instruction for adults who are working toward personal and professional goals to increase literacy and employability.

  • rbdigital site with pictures of magazine covers

Library Upgrades Streaming Magazines Site

We are happy to share that we are upgrading to a new Sonoma County Library website for our RBdigital magazine service. This new service will provide our most popular magazines as well as add many new magazines for your viewing.

What do I have to do?

To access streaming magazines moving forward, you will need to register for the new service and access it via RBdigital. To get started today you can re-register, or register for the first time at: (Please note: this step must be done first). 

Once you have registered on the website, you can download the RBdigital mobile app and also access your digital magazines on your mobile device. 

If you were already using the app with our old access, open your app and locate “Profiles” under “My Account”. Go into the Profile area and add your new log in information. You will automatically be directed to our collection of magazines. You will need to re-select the magazines you would like to read.  

What can I expect in regards to the digital magazines available?

We are retaining our most popular titles and adding a few more -- including Rolling StoneUs WeeklyNational Geographic Kids, and more! We will also have the previous issues of our magazine collection from the point we started the subscription for each title. If there is a magazine you think would be of interest to our community, please submit your suggestion here:

Going forward, we will be able to handle digital magazine requests from patrons, adjust our collection each year to reflect what is requested and used by Sonoma County patrons, and gain more flexibility in adding RBdigital services.


We apologize for any inconvenience this upgrade may cause. If you have any questions, please contact your local branch or our online ASK service. Thank you very much for your support and we hope you enjoy our RBdigital magazine service!

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!

  • mouse reading book with text: Bring Learning Home with ABCmouse

ABCmouse Now Available From Home

Bring Learning Home with Sonoma County Library and ABCmouse

As of September 2018, Sonoma County Library is providing families free home checkout access to the research-validated ABCmouse Early Learning Academy curriculum. Local families can now “check out” ABCmouse accounts for three weeks at a time, providing access for up to three children per family to resources designed to increase school readiness and reading. This is completely free to our patrons thanks to sponsorship by ABCmouse founders Doug and Laurie Dohring and an in-kind contribution from parent company Age of Learning.

ABCmouse is an interactive learning resource for families with children ages 2-8. Children practice literacy skills, explore math concepts and have fun managing their rewards.  They can even visit the Library in ABCmouse to read a book. Families can use ABCmouse from home on nearly any device or computer. Once an account is checked out to a family they can track progress, check it out again if needed and also download additional ABCmouse apps that can be used offline.

ABCmouse–along with its 8,500+ learning activities across all major subject areas–has been available for use within public libraries across the country since 2014. Now, with its “Bring Learning Home” initiative, Age of Learning is providing home access to ABCmouse, in order to help close the access and achievement gaps in education by providing research-validated digital education resources to young learners.

“Providing parents with the tools they need to help their child succeed, especially at home where they need them, is a huge benefit for our families,” said Kathy DeWeese, Youth Services Administrator for the Sonoma County Library. “Now families can participate and be more proactive in their child’s education by having access to this program from the comfort of their own home.”

According to The Nation’s Report Card, two out of every three children in the U.S. are not proficient in reading by the time they reach fourth grade. With Bring Learning Home, ABCmouse seeks to change that by collaborating with libraries that play a critical role in serving at-risk children and by providing effective educational resources that build on classroom instruction at home.

To check out an account today go to the Fun & Games! page on the Sonoma County Library website and select the remote access link for ABCmouse today!



  • library card in pocket, with text "The most valuable card in my pocket - get yours today!"

Celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month!

This September, the Sonoma County Library joins with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month—a time to make sure that every person has the most important school supply of all–a free library card.

Anyone who has a library card can access a wealth of resources that support academic achievement. Today’s libraries aren’t only a place of quiet study, but also creative and engaging community centers where students can collaborate using new technologies, learn coding, how to use Virtual Reality and 3D design, or just relax with peers. Thanks to support from Measure Y, Sonoma County Library offers access to a variety of print and digital resources, including Consumer Reports, LearningExpress Library, Lynda.Com, Mango Languages, RBdigital Magazines, Tutor.Com, and over 650,000 books.

If you don't already have a library card, now is the time to get one. Sign up for a library card with our eCard online form. For more information on a library card, visit the library online at

For more information on our eResources, visit "

  • celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Sonoma County Library to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

The Sonoma County Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, commemorated each year Sep. 15 to Oct. 15, with a series of events to showcase the histories, cultures and contributions of Sonoma County residents whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Events are being hosted by different library branches throughout Sonoma County.

“We look forward to celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month every year at Sonoma County Library,” said Kathy DeWeese, Sonoma County Library Youth Services Administrator.  “Here at the library, we celebrate every culture and welcome all cultures in our community. We like to take this opportunity to highlight the special contributions of our Hispanic community.”

According to 2013 U.S. census data, 125,405 or 26% of Sonoma County’s residents are Hispanic. Eighty-four percent of Hispanics in Sonoma County are of Mexican descent, and the remaining 16 percent of the Hispanic population have origins in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Spain. Over 4,000 local businesses are Hispanic-owned. Ninety percent of Hispanics in Sonoma County speak English, and 70 percent are fully bilingual in English and Spanish.

The month-long celebration kicks off on Saturday, September 15, with events at libraries around the county. Highlights include Latin Grammy award winning musical duo 1-2-3 Andres, Los Reyes Mariachi quartet, Frida Kahlo Paint Parties presented by Raizes Collective, and Mexican History in an Hour presented by SRJC professor Laura Gonzalez.

To continue the festivities, the Library has planned an array of programs that celebrate the rich and long history of Hispanic identity, civilization and culture. All events are free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

  • 3D printed objects with text "3D Printing at the Library"

Sonoma County Library Offers 3D Printing Services

Sonoma County Library provides access to 3D printers and printing services at several branch libraries.

Sonoma County Library has purchased Lulzbot TAZ 6 printers, which will be used to teach classes on computer aided design, basic 3D printing techniques, and allow library patrons to sign up for sessions to print their own 3D designs at the Central, Guerneville, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Sonoma Valley, and Windsor Libraries.

3D printing services are part of the Education and Innovation initiatives of the Sonoma County Library’s Strategic Plan. The Library strives to provide our residents with the educational and recreational experiences needed to succeed as citizens, students, and parents. We are committed to providing equity of access to resources--including technology--that allow our residents to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.

3D Printing at the Library is available for patrons of all ages to use. While this emerging technology is becoming increasingly available for personal use, as well as a becoming a major component in the manufacturing and technology industries, it is still new and largely unaffordable to the average person. The Library’s acquisition of 3D printers allows patrons to get hands-on experience with the technology in a safe and structured environment.

Check for upcoming informational sessions and 3D design classes at library locations across Sonoma County.

Second StoryWalk by the Sea at Gualala Point Regional Park

More StoryWalk by the Sea? Yes please!

After the success of the StoryWalk featuring Following Papa's Song, by Gianna Marino in the Gualala Point Regional Park in June, Sonoma County Library is partnering once again with Sonoma County Regional Parks to host another StoryWalk in this beautiful location along the Sonoma coast. We are ever-grateful to Sonoma County Regional Parks, our partner in hosting StoryWalks at county parks across the county.  

The new StoryWalk, featuring the book "Shine," by Patrick McDonnell, will be installed in late August, and will be in place through September. Visit the park anytime through the end of July to enjoy an outdoor story while you stroll along the beautiful trail in this coastal park. Please note that there is a Regional Parks parking fee at the park where the StoryWalk is being hosted. Come down to Gualala Point Regional Park to enjoy the beauty of the park, a good story and quality time spent together.

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 Gualala Point 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.

This StoryWalk continues the collaboration between the Library and Sonoma County Regional Parks, which has brought to our communities such partnerships as the Regional Parks Discovery Packs, Trails Challenge, P is for Parks storytimes, and bilingual recommended reading lists.  Visitors are encouraged to share their StoryWalk experience on social media with photos, comments, or any suggestion you may have for the project, using hashtags #SonomaCountyLibrary #StoryWalk.