Library News

  • 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.

  • Services relocating to Central during temporary Annex closure

Special library services temporarily relocated to Central Santa Rosa Library

Local history, genealogy and adult literacy services of the Sonoma County Library will be temporarily relocated to the Santa Rosa Central Library (211 E Street) starting September 4, due to an upgrade of the Library Annex facility located at 725 Third Street behind the Central Library.

The Library’s History and Genealogy staff will provide one-on-one research assistance at the Central Library daily from 1-5 pm (Monday through Saturday) and by appointment. The Adult Literacy program, which pairs adult learners and tutors to help with basic reading and writing, will be available 10 am to 3 pm Monday through Saturday in the same location.

The Library Annex will close for 8-10 weeks beginning August 27. The collection of local history and genealogy materials normally kept in the Annex will be available to library visitors upon request. Volunteers from the Sonoma County Genealogical Society will also be available to assist visitors on Wednesdays and Fridays between 1-4 pm at the Central Library. English Conversation classes and Reach Your Goals classes will also continue on a regular schedule.

The library looks forward to welcoming visitors, learners and researchers to the Central Library during this temporary change in service location.

  • invitation to back to school events

Sonoma County Libraries Host Back-to-School Educator Events

This fall, local educators are invited to attend Back to School Educator events at Sonoma County Libraries county-wide.

As families head back to school, Sonoma County Libraries are gearing up to support educators in their essential work with students in the classroom. One of the ways to build excitement about the new school year is to host Back to School Educator open houses at each of our library locations. At 12 libraries county-wide, that’s a lot of excitement!

Looking ahead to August and September 2018, educators serving students of all ages are invited to attend a Back to School Educator event in their neighborhood to learn about all the incredible FREE resources available to Sonoma County residents. Homeschool families are welcome to attend! Educators are encouraged to meet and network with Sonoma County Youth Services Librarians - your biggest fans! These events are a great opportunity to get, or renew, an Educator Card.

The Educator Card - launched in February 2018 - is a special library card just for educators! This unique library card allows teachers and school staff to check out more items, keep them for a longer period of time, and enjoy ZERO fines on items checked out using this card. Each August, Educator Cards must be renewed in person at a library location. Gain greater access to all the wonderfully rich resources made available through Measure Y funding.

Community educators have already been enjoying the benefits of the Educator Card and enhanced relationships with Sonoma County Library. “I love my card!” said Santa Rosa high school teacher Heather Garcia-Rossi. “I love the access to data bases and the extra books I can have checked out. And attending the kick-off was essential for me to learn about all the apps and perks my card carries.”

Sonoma County Office of Education’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, Rachel Ambrose, has made the most out of her Educator Card. “The Educator Card comes with all the perks for every teacher out there who loves books - and we are many. With the Educator Card, I can check out more books, keep them longer, and there are no late fees. I use it to check out books for extended classroom use, projects, and more. Thank you, Sonoma County Library!”

Back to School Educator Events will be held at the following dates and locations:

  • Rincon Valley – 8/22 @ 6-8pm
  • Roseland – 8/25 @ 2-4pm
  • Guerneville – 8/29 @ 4-6pm
  • Northwest at Coddingtown – 8/29 @ 4-6pm
  • Sonoma Valley – 8/30 @ 3:30-5:30pm
  • Central Santa Rosa – 9/6 @ 4-6pm
  • Rohnert Park-Cotati – 9/7 @ 3:30-5:30pm
  • Windsor – 9/10 @ 6-8pm
  • Cloverdale – 9/11 @ 4-6pm
  • Petaluma – 9/20 @ 4:00-6:00pm
  • Sebastopol – 9/22 @ 10:30am-12:30pm
  • Healdsburg – 9/26 @ 6-8pm

Let’s make this school year the most successful yet by connecting your school community with the public library – your partner in education. We can’t wait to see you!

  • Luther Burbank with Kanaye Nagasawa and Edwin Markham at Fountaingrove, Santa Rosa, Calif. 1915

    Luther Burbank with Kanaye Nagasawa and Edwin Markham at Fountaingrove, Santa Rosa, Calif. 1915

Digitization Project Preserves Historic Image Collection of Famed Horticulturalist Luther Burbank

Just in time for Santa Rosa’s Sesquicentennial, the Sonoma County Library is pleased to announce that it has completed the digitization of over 1700 images belonging to Santa Rosa’s famed Luther Burbank Home & Gardens. The project preserves the locally and nationally significant collection of pioneer horticulturist Luther Burbank and provides unprecedented online access to the collection for scholars and members of the public. The image collection consists of photographs, slides, panoramic and stereographic images as well as postcards, greeting cards, and negatives dating from the 1860s to the 1980s. This project represents a partnership between the Sonoma County Library and the City of Santa Rosa and serves as an excellent way in which to honor Santa Rosa’s 150th birthday.

The City of Santa Rosa entered into a contract with the Sonoma County Library in 2017 to preserve the collection, beginning the detailed process of cataloging, digitizing and providing online access to the images. Head library cataloger Geoffrey Skinner led the effort, ensuring existing metadata was correct and enhanced in some instances. High-resolution digital capture was conducted by Act3 Partners. The digital images were then uploaded to the Sonoma County Library’s ‘Sonoma Heritage Collection’—providing unprecedented access to the historic collection and preserving Santa Rosa history and that of the nation for future generations.

The bulk of the images in the collection originate from the estate of Luther Burbank’s widow, Elizabeth Waters Burbank. Others were purchased and large numbers of donated items came from Eric Grissell’s collection of historic postcards, Dr. and Mrs. E.S. Ashuckian from the estate of M.K. Serailian, Georgina Stewart, J.B. Keil, Kay and Bob Voliva, Sherman Boivin, Western Sonoma County Historical Society, and Wendy Aikin from the estate of Frank Vail.

Subjects of local interest seen in the images include Mayor John Overton, Senator Herbert Slater, Fred Pederson, Dorothy Seawell, Dr. Joseph Shaw, Emma Burbank Beeson, and Elizabeth Waters Burbank. A few dozen images from 1919 depict Charles Hampton and members of the Agricultural Club of Santa Rosa High School demonstrating equipment and showcasing livestock.

The City of Santa Rosa is just one of Sonoma County Library’s partners. Other organizations whose digital images are featured in theSonoma County Local History & Culture include the Western Sonoma County Historical Society, the Sonoma County Bar Association, and the Sonoma County Fair. To view these collections and more, go to

  • Homework Help logo with text "SCL seeks Homework Help Volunteers"

Seeking Volunteers! Gearing Up for Homework Help in the New School Year

Do you have a passion for helping K-12 students learn? Then we need you to join our team of dedicated volunteers helping students succeed in Sonoma County.
Sonoma County Library is recruiting volunteers for Homework Help at the Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Windsor and Sebastopol Library Branches for this coming school year.

The 2018-2019 Homework Help service will operate while school is in session from September through May.

Volunteers will assist children and teens with homework assignments and developing literacy and mathematics skills throughout the school year. Volunteers will assist students of all ages individually and in small groups on a drop-in basis. We will train you. A criminal background check (paid for by the Library) is required for volunteers 18 and up.

Take this opportunity to make homework more fun for young people, gain education and library-related experience, and have a great time! 

To apply, please contact the librarian in charge of Homework Help at your Branch:

For additional information, please contact Cailin Yeager; (707) 763-9801 ext 0715.

Volunteer Application and Orientation Process

Prospective volunteers should submit their application forms to the Library offering Homework Help. Applications will be reviewed and interviews will take place in early August (and ongoing during the school year), to ensure a good fit between volunteers and the needs of this program. New Homework Helpers must attend a volunteer orientation and training session.

For more information, please read the Homework Helper Volunteer Profile, download a Volunteer Application Form, or contact the library branch directly.

Thank you for your interest in helping our young people succeed.
We look forward to meeting you!

  • self-service tablet checkout station

First Launch of Hublets in North America

Sonoma County Library announces the first launch in North America of Hublets – a cloud-based lending unit of tablets available for use with the library’s WIFI (within the library branches) to patrons on a self-service basis with a checkout and check-in process that is fully integrated into the library’s ILS system.

Hublet has made loaning tablets easy; library patrons self-service check out a tablet with their library card and PIN code. The attractive design makes the library’s digital material visible and easy to use. No longer tethered to a desktop PC, library patrons are free to use the tablets in any location within the WIFI area.

With the centralized software management tool, library staff have control of the device content, can centrally manage updates, and can set loan parameters.  When the tablets are returned to the Hublet base the tablet is locked into place, all end-user information from the previous user is deleted, and the unit is re-charged.

The Hublets come pre-loaded with a variety of useful library applications (Libby, Hoopla, PrinterOn) and games. Patrons are also free to use their own Google Play account to download their own applications and games. The applications and all patron information is deleted when the Hublet is returned to its base.

The Hublets are currently available at the Central, Guerneville, Northwest, Rincon Valley, Sebastopol and Windsor branches.  They will be available at all branches soon.