Library News

  • 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 LinkedIn Learning (formerly, deciding what home appliance to purchase with Consumer Reports, researching car repairs with Chilton, looking up ancestors on, 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...

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.

Family at home

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:

Picture Books

Chapter Books

Young Adult Books

Listen to music

Here are some sites with book-related songs, early literacy songs, and educational songs:


Here are some sites with book-related songs, early literacy songs, and educational songs:

Animals & Nature


Famous Places

Sports & Mores


Check out these sites with all kinds of information about the world around us.


Here are some websites that will inspire you to make social media content, kid friendly crafts, and more!




Author Permissions


Help the world around you through citizen science projects:

And More!

  • Hear read-alouds, book talks, get art instruction, play games and more – all led by authors!



  • Las sucursales de la biblioteca se encuentran cerradas, la biblioteca en línea se encuentra disponible

Las sucursales de la biblioteca se encuentran cerradas, la biblioteca en línea se encuentra disponible

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:


  • todos los edificios de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma están cerrados al público

Todos los edificios de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma están cerrados al público

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

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,, 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.

Ann Hammond
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:

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,, 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.

Ann Hammond
Directora de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma


  • Fire Insurance Maps Online (FIMo)

Fire Insurance Maps Online (FIMo)

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.

  • There are no Bears in this Bakery cover image

Mock Caldecott 2020 Results

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.  

A Stone Sat Still

 A Stone Sat Still

By Brendan Wenzel

Dancing hands

Dancing hands: how Teresa Carreño played the piano for President Lincoln 

by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

Lubna and Pebble

Lubna and Pebble

by endy Meddour and Daniel Egnéus, illustration

  • Black History Month 2021

Black History Month 2021

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.

Virtual Events

  • 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 photo

Digital Bookmobile to visit Rohnert Park-Cotati library

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 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 2019 image

Winter Break Activities at the Library

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, or Ask A Librarian.