Your Library at Home
Posted on April 14, 2020
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 LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com), 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
So, You're Stuck Inside...
Posted on March 25, 2020
Even though our library branches are closed, our online library is open 24/7 and we are here to help your family with online resources during the coronavirus epidemic and beyond.
In addition to our online library and expanded digital resources, we’ve also compiled this list of free links and resources to help you expand your world outside of your home. They include educational ideas for homeschooling, enrichment activities, ideas for family time, entertainment, and downtime, and even ways to give back to your community.
Visit the links below and discover, learn, contribute and create, from your own home:
Hear a story
Here are some websites where you can hear a picture book read aloud:
- Kids books on Audible are temporarily free
- Hear Quackenstein Hatches a Family read by Kristen Bell
- Listen to Harry the Dirty Dog read by Betty White
- Listen to a story read in space!
- Children’s publisher shares read aloud picture books on YouTube
- Subscribe to this publisher’s YouTube channel for weekly storytime videos
- Hear kids’ stories read by author Neil Gaiman
- Author Nick Bruel reads some of his Bad Kitty stories
- Author Kate Messner reads her book, The Brilliant Deep
- Author Carole Lindstrom reads her picture book, We Are Water Protectors
- Author Kate Messner shares an excerpt from her non-fiction book, Tracking Pythons
- Author-illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads her picture book Where Are My Books? and gives a drawing demonstration
- Author Kate Messner reads her picture book Up in the Garden
- Author Nancy Castaldo reads from her non-fiction book about endangered species, Back From the Brink
- Author Aisha Saeed reads her picture book Bilal Cooks Daal
- Author Emily Jenkins reads her picture book A Greyhound, a Groundhog
- Author Leah Henderson reads the first chapter of her middle-grade reader, The Magic In Changing Your Stars
- Author Jason Reynolds shares an extract from his novel, Ghost
- Author Jo Knowles reads from the first chapter of her book, Where the Heart Is
- Author Chris Tebbetts reads the first chapter of his book Stranded and gives you a writing prompt
- Author Ann Braden reads the first chapter of his book The Benefits of Being an Octopus
- Author Mae Respicio shares an excerpt from her book, Any Day with You and gives a writing prompt where you imagine a day at the beach gone wrong
- Author Lisa Schroeder reads an excerpt from her book My Secret Guide to Paris and shares a writing exercise
- Author Janet Fox reads an excerpt from her book The Artifact Hunters
- Author Abby Cooper reads the first chapter of her book Friend or Fiction
Young Adult Books
- Read a synopsis for popular teen titles. After you’ve read one of the books, use the discussion questions provided and host a virtual book club
- Read books for grades 7-12 here (Username: Learning20 Password: Clifford)
Listen to music
Here are some sites with book-related songs, early literacy songs, and educational songs:
- Go on a Bear Hunt with author Michael Rosen
- Listen to songs inspired by children’s books
- Listen to a song about protecting the oceans
- Learn all 50 states with this song
- Learn about sentences with this song
- Here’s a song explaining the silent “e”
- Get the wiggles out with this song
Here are some sites with book-related songs, early literacy songs, and educational songs:
Animals & Nature
- Investigate some of the exhibits at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum
- Look at the fish and other animals at the Georgia Aquarium. How many different species do you see?
- Check out some of the animals at the San Diego Zoo. Can you find one mammal and one bird? What about one primate and one marsupial?
- Watch wild animals from around the world. What do you like to watch?
- Take a virtual field trip to learn more about the world of polar bears
- See what’s happening at the Monterey Bay Aquarium by looking at their webcams. Can you find a mammal, a bird, a fish and a reptile?
- Take a virtual tour of the US Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC
- Fancy a dip? You can virtually swim with dolphins and learn some dolphin facts here
- Meet a hammerhead shark in this 360 degree video
- Virtually explore an active volcano
- Take an up close look at a beehive
- Take a look at a desert biome. What plants and animals do you see
- Look at a temperate forest. How does it change with the seasons? What signs of animals do you find?
- Learn more about the life found in a rainforest here
- Watch 360 degree videos and explore fashion, art, architecture, space, dinosaurs and more
- Check out the works at the National Gallery of Art
- See if you recognize any faces from the National Portrait Gallery
- Take a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Learn about the creations of Latinx artists in this exhibit from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Check out the view from the Statue of Liberty
- Take a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China. No passport required
- What do you think it looks like on Mars? Take this virtual tour to see
- Can’t make it to the beach? Take this virtual tour of Hawaii
- See a virtual tour of the pyramids of Egypt without leaving home.
- Take a virtual stroll through the Taj Mahal
- Become an armchair traveller with virtual tours from places around the globe
- See the view from the top of the Washington Monument
- Drive across the Golden Gate bridge using just your computer
- Take a virtual tour of the Eiffel Tower
- Watch the cherry blossoms bloom on the National Mall
- Take a virtual look at Buckingham Palace
- Check out a 3D map of Mt. Everest
Sports & Mores
- Visit online exhibits at the National Football Hall of Fame
- Even if there are no games being played, you can still see the online exhibits at the National Baseball hall of Fame. Who is your favorite team?
- GOAL! Take a quick virtual tour of the National Soccer Hall of Fame
- Take a virtual ride on a roller coaster. Count the number of drops. Can you draw a picture of a roller coaster with as many drops?
- While you are eating the things from your pantry, do you ever wonder where that food comes from? Explore farms with 360 degree virtual tours
- Tour the Ferrari Museum to see some fabulous cars
- Learn about the secret gadgets of spies while you explore these items from the Spy Museum
Check out these sites with all kinds of information about the world around us.
- Here is a kid-friendly comic that explains the COVID-19 pandemic
- This podcast episode gives family friendly advice on staying healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Learn about the Civil Rights Movement by looking at this photo display from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta
- Here’s a mini-lesson on comparative mythology from kids’ author Tracy Baptiste
- Learn the sad story of Anne Frank with a virtual trip through her home
- Learn more about President George Washington with a virtual tour through Mt. Vernon
- Test your math skills for grades K-6
- Print out some simple space themed activities to do at home
- Learn your family history with these genealogy tips from the Ellis island Museum of Immigration
- Help kids learn social and emotional skills with this video
- Learn about nuclear power with this virtual field trip
- Explore the world of technology with this virtual field trip
- Learn how pharmaceutical companies use science with this virtual field trip
Here are some websites that will inspire you to make social media content, kid friendly crafts, and more!
- Do a pet-themed kids maker activity led by kids’ author with Megan Frazer Blakemore
- Solve a STEM mystery with author Sarah Albee
- Learn from Disney’s imagineers and explore methods to create your own theme park
- Author Veera Hiranandani gives a writing prompt to help you with creating characters
- Author Erin Entrada gives you a writing challenge about keeping notebooks
- Author Chris Tebbetts gives you a writing challenge about being stranded in a strange setting
- Author Chris Tebbetts talks you through a mini-workshop on creating characters
- Author Nikki Grimes gives you a prompt for writing poetry
- Author Paula Chase gives you a writing prompt to help you build stories about yourself
- Author Michelle Cusolito offers a mini-lesson on how to make your writing a more sensory experience for the reader
- Author-illustrator Jarrett Lerner teaches kids how to draw anything
- Author Grace Lin teaches you how to draw a Chinese dragon
- Illustrator Kelley McMorris talks about how to illustrate a book cover and prompts you to design your own book cover
- Author- illustrator Lita Judge gives advice on sketching
- Learn from Penguin House how you can temporarily upload your own storytime video without concerns for copyright infringement
- Kids’ author Todd Parr gives permission for you to record storytimes of his books
- Kids author BJ Novak gives permission for you to record storytimes of his book
- Kids’ author Peter H. Reynolds gives permission for you to record storytimes of his books
- Kids’ author Mo Willems gives permission for you to record storytimes of his books
- Kids; author Karma Wilson gives permission for you to record storytimes of her books
Help the world around you through citizen science projects:
- Count chimps in Africa, help identify stars, read historical documents or fight resistance to antibiotics. A world of science, arts, history and other projects can use your help
- Play a game while helping scientists defeat Alzheimers
- Do you have a Twitter account? Help MIT improve AI recognize emotions with this quick survey
- Help scientists learn about the effects of screen use on our sleeping patterns
- Help scientists learn about light pollution
- Do you have a bird nest in your yard? Monitor it carefully and report results to help ornithologists learn about bird populations
- Watch the birds in your yard for just a few minutes and report what you see
- Do you have a rain gauge? Monitor rainfall and report your findings here
- Concerned about climate change? Submit your observations about weather and wildlife in your area as part of an effort to collect data
- Observe how plants are changing each season and report your findings here
- Hear read-alouds, book talks, get art instruction, play games and more – all led by authors!
- See if you can set a Guinness World Record. Here are some feats you can try at home
Las sucursales de la biblioteca se encuentran cerradas, la biblioteca en línea se encuentra disponible
Posted on March 18, 2020
Sobre la biblioteca
El brote de la nueva enfermedad coronavirus (COVID-19) sigue aumentando a nivel mundial, lo que representa una grave amenaza para la salud pública de las comunidades de todos los tamaños. Al ser una fuente confiable de la comunidad, Sonoma County Library está comprometida a servir a nuestra comunidad en estos tiempos difíciles.
Las sucursales de nuestra biblioteca están cerradas, ya que estamos comprometidos con la salud y seguridad de nuestra comunidad y de nuestro personal. Por favor, no regrese los materiales de la biblioteca a las sucursales. Quédeselos y disfrútelos sabiendo que hemos extendido todos los plazos establecidos para la devolución de todos nuestros materiales.
Adicionalmente, las donaciones para la venta de libros de los Amigos de la Biblioteca quedan suspendidas hasta nuevo aviso. Amamos sus donaciones de libros, pero no podemos aceptarlas en este momento.
Biblioteca en línea 24/7
Nuestra biblioteca en línea nunca cierra, y usted puede ingresar para ver películas y series de televisión, leer o escuchar libros electrónicos, investigar sobre su historia familiar, aprender un nuevo idioma, o navegar por nuestras bases de datos y otros recursos.
Si no posee una tarjeta de la biblioteca, aún podemos ayudarlo. Haga clic aquí para obtener una tarjeta electrónica temporal y así empezar su aventura digital.
Información y recursos sobre el COVID-19 (nuevo coronavirus)
Le recomendamos que sea escéptico a los rumores no confirmados que circulan en las redes sociales, y únicamente confíe en fuentes fidedignas del gobierno para obtener información precisa sobre la pandemia.
Confiamos en los consejos de los siguientes enlaces:
- Departamento de Servicios de Salud del Condado de Sonoma
- El Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades
- Preguntas frecuentes sobre el coronavirus
- Recursos empresariales
Todos los edificios de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma están cerrados al público
Posted on March 14, 2020
Efectivo sábado 14 de marzo del 2020 a las 6pm, todos los edificios de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma están cerrados al público hasta el 31 de marzo.
Esto nos dará más tiempo para evaluar los próximos pasos y esperar por más direccion del Departamento de Salud del Condado de Sonoma. Es posible que cerremos por más tiempo, después de aprender más.
Esta decisión fue difícil. La decisión viene despues de una semana de avisos más y más estrictos. Continuaremos a cumplir con las recomendaciones de los oficiales del condado de Sonoma y del estado de California, y abriremos cuando nos digan que es seguro a abrir.
Las cajas de regresar libros cerrarán. Ustedes pueden usar y disfrutar los materiales de la biblioteca. Las fechas de regreso serán extendidas para todos los materiales de la biblioteca, incluyendo tecnología como hotspots y chromebooks. Nuestros recursos digitales están disponibles 24/7.
Estoy segura que sobreviviremos esta crisis juntos, y el apoyo para nuestras bibliotecas me consuela en este tiempo incierto.
Ann Hammond, Directora de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma
Coronavirus and your library
Posted on March 10, 2020
Coronavirus and your library
The Sonoma County Library is carefully monitoring information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and following the recommendations of the County of Sonoma Health Services Department. We are mindful of impacts on our patrons and staff of being in public spaces together and are taking steps to keep everyone safe.
- Staff and patrons are encouraged to stay home if they don’t feel well.
- News and information are monitored daily.
- We have increased cleaning measures in all public areas.
It is important to seek trusted, factual advice about COVID-19 and not be taken in by fake news and rumors circulating on social media. Local information and updates are available at the county health department webpage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers updates and advice.
The Sonoma County Library has cancelled all public events and programs, at all library branches, through March 31. This is a precaution to protect our public and our staff. All library branches will stay open for check-outs, returns and day to day activities. You can also access our wide range of digital resources from home, including access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, audiobooks, TV, movies, magazines, newspapers, and online learning and research tools. For information about library services and schedules, visit our website, sonomalibrary.org, or call your local branch.
To keep yourself and others safe:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (long enough to sing “Happy Birthday”).
- Cover your cough or sneeze, then wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your face. If you do, wash your hands.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Get your flu shot to protect against flu.
Sonoma County Library Director
El coronavirus y su biblioteca
La Biblioteca de Condado de Sonoma está monitoreando cuidadosamente la información sobre el nuevo coronavirus (COVID-19) y está siguiendo las recomendaciones dadas por el Departamento de Servicios de Salud del Condado de Sonoma.
Somos conscientes de los impactos para nuestros clientes y personal de estar juntos en espacios públicos y estamos tomando medidas para mantener a todos a salvo.
- Se anima al personal y a los clientes a que se queden en casa si no se sienten bien.
- Todos los días monitoreamos las noticias e información.
- Hemos incrementado las medidas de limpieza en todas las áreas públicas.
Puede encontrar información local y actualizaciones ingresando a la página web del departamento de salud del condado: socoemergency.org/emergencia/novel-coronavirus/
Es importante buscar consejos confiables y objetivos sobre el COVID-19 y no dejarse engañar por noticias falsas y rumores que circulan en las redes sociales.
Como precaución contra COVID-19 (nuevo coronavirus), todos los eventos de las sucursales de la biblioteca se han cancelado hasta el 31 de marzo.
También puede acceder nuestra amplia gama de recursos digitales desde su hogar, incluyendo acceso a libros y audiolibros electrónicos, TV, películas, revistas, periódicos, y herramientas de aprendizaje e investigación en línea. Para conocer sobre los servicios y horarios de su biblioteca, visite nuestra página web, sonomalibrary.org, o llame su sucursal local.
Para mantenerle a salvo a usted y a los demás:
- Evite el contacto con personas que estén enfermas.
- Lave seguido sus manos con agua y jabón por al menos 20 segundos (el tiempo suficiente para cantar “Feliz Cumpleaños”).
- Cúbrase cuando tosa o estornuda, luego lave sus manos.
- Evite tocarse la cara. Si lo hace, lávese las manos.
- Permanezca en casa si se encuentra enfermo.
- Vacúnese contra la gripe para protegerse de ella.
Directora de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma
Fire Insurance Maps Online (FIMo)
Posted on February 11, 2020
Do you love California history? What about maps? Maybe you’re a historian or enjoy researching your family history.
Explore historical Sonoma County and California maps—including Sanborn Fire insurance maps—with Fire Insurance Maps Online (FIMo), a complimentary addition to Sonoma County Library’s historical and genealogy research resources.
The Sonoma County Library’s subscription to FiMo provides cardholders with access to thousands of high-definition, color, and grayscale images displaying important historical maps. FiMo makes it possible to explore how your neighborhood developed over time and learn when a particular building was constructed and how it was used. You may even locate a home once occupied by an ancestor using FiMo!
Enjoy FIMo from your home or office for historical research.
Mock Caldecott 2020 Results
Posted on January 24, 2020
The votes are in! Sonoma County has chosen the best picture books of the year!
Drum roll please . . . The Sonoma County's Mock Caldecott Winner is...There Are No Bears in this Bakery, by Julia Sarcone-Roach.
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 fifth 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 2019, 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.
The numbers were close, but the following titles are our three Honor Books for the year.
By Brendan Wenzel
Dancing hands: how Teresa Carreño played the piano for President Lincoln
by Margarita Engle and Rafael López
by endy Meddour and Daniel Egnéus, illustration
Black History Month 2021
Posted on January 16, 2020
February is Black History Month, a time to recognize, celebrate, and honor the rich and diverse history, important contributions, and achievements of Black Americans.
Although the month of February has been designated Black History Month since 1976, we at Sonoma County Library recognize that the commitment to celebrating and learning about the generations of Black Americans who have influenced and enriched the nation and society is much more than just a month. We commit to honor Black history, community, and culture; recognizing and celebrating the achievements of Black Americans during Black History Month and all year round.
In February 2021, we celebrate Black History Month by hosting virtual programs and by highlighting/amplifying books, collections, and resources available through your Sonoma County Library.
Join us to continue understanding, respecting, and celebrating Black history and culture in Sonoma County and beyond.
Books, Collections, and Resources
Check out these resource lists developed by our librarians and partners.
- Read BIPOC Virtual Book Club
Join us February 23 at 6 pm to discuss the book An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. Zoom link will be sent upon registration.
- Celebrating Family: Black History Month 2021
Join us for a rich tapestry of perspectives exploring the Black family in past and present America through music, art, stories, and yes, dancing! Zoom link will be sent upon registration.
- Virtual Social Justice Club for Teens
Meet weekly on Thursdays at 4 pm with local teens to share opinions, discover new perspectives, and talk about important issues. Zoom link(s) will be sent upon registration.
- February 11
- February 18
- February 25
Digital Bookmobile to visit Rohnert Park-Cotati library
Posted on January 09, 2020
Learn how to easily borrow and enjoy eBooks and eAudiobooks
Traveling coast to coast, the Digital Bookmobile National Tour is making a stop at Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library on Tuesday, February 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. Community members are invited to the interactive exhibit to learn about and try the library’s eBooks, eAudiobooks, video collections and more.
The Digital Bookmobile is powered by OverDrive, a digital reading platform for more than 43,000 libraries and schools worldwide. Sonoma County Library was recently recognized as 2019’s fastest growing OverDrive library in the nation.
“Our efforts with marketing, patron outreach, collection building and in-branch eBook support are really showing,” said Digital Selection Librarian Sandra Breedlove. “Don’t miss the OverDrive Digital Bookmobile coming to our Rohnert Park-Cotati branch on its annual national tour!”
Library staff and eReading experts will be available on the Digital Bookmobile to guide visitors one-on-one through the simple process of borrowing digital books from the library. Readers with a valid library card can borrow their favorite titles 24/7 by visiting sonoma.overdrive.com or by downloading the library's one-tap reading app, Libby.
Spanish-language readers are welcome to attend the event to learn how to submit suggestions to help the library build the collection they want to read. The library currently has over 2,500 Spanish-language titles on OverDrive that were checked out over 2,100 times in 2019.
Breedlove said that bringing the Spanish and eAudiobook collections on board and the community’s use of the digital materials was a major contributor to Sonoma County Library becoming the quickest growing OverDrive library.
Readers of all levels are welcome at the Digital Bookmobile event. Equipped with interactive workstations, touchscreen activities, devices to sample titles and more, the 53-foot long traveling exhibit has everything a reader needs to get started on their digital journey.
Attendees can also learn how to enhance their digital reading experience with tips and tricks from the experts, including how to sort and filter searches, create notes and highlights, manage holds, tag titles and more.
The Digital Bookmobile event is free and open to readers of all ages. This traveling exhibit first launched in 2008 in Central Park, New York, and has since traveled more than 233,000 miles and welcomed over 240,000 visitors at over 1,000 events.
Winter Break Activities at the Library
Posted on December 30, 2019
Beginning Saturday, December 21 through Saturday, January 4, the Library is offering free programs ranging from winter crafts, Build Clubs and Read to a Dog events, to Magician Mike Della Penna, Animal Music, holiday puppet shows, kids' yoga and zumba, virtual reality, and more!
All events are free.
For more information, check the library’s online calendar at http://events.sonomalibrary.org/events/, or Ask A Librarian.