Library News

  • Women's History Month 2020

March is Women's History Month

Since 1987, March has been designated as National Women's History Month, a time to pay tribute to the generations of women who changed the face of society through courage and activism.

Did you know that the origins of Women's History Month actually began in Sonoma County?

The National Women’s History Project, now known as the National Women’s History Alliance, was founded in Sonoma County 40 years ago. In the 1970s, although groups like the National Organization of Women (NOW) and ERAmerica were fighting to have the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, the topic of women's history was unknown in the public consciousness and in school curricula.

To address this perceived lack, in 1978, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women initiated the first-ever "Women's History Week" celebration. It was a success, with school programs, speakers, an essay contest, and finally a parade held in downtown Santa Rosa as the week’s finale.

Upon hearing of the success of the Sonoma County program, several prominent women's groups began lobbying for a national celebration—and in 1980, President Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring the first-ever "Women's History Week" in early March of that year. In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month in perpetuity.

All thanks to the local community support in Sonoma County!

2020 is the centennial of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote. Organizations across the country are celebrating this historic milestone, including Sonoma County Library and the National Women’s History Alliance. The theme of the month-long celebration is “Valiant Women of the Vote,” honoring women from the original suffrage movement as well as 20th and 21st century women who have continued the struggle to ensure voting rights for all.

Sonoma County Library celebrates National Women's History Month with a variety of events, displays, and resources, such as the ones highlighted below. Help us share in this annual tribute by celebrating and learning about the generations of women who have influenced and enriched our nation and society.


The Sonoma County Library is offering a number of events throughout the county to celebrate women. These events include:

Other events happening around Sonoma County in March include:

  • History of Letter Writing a Santa Rosa AAUW event at Tudor Rose, Santa Rosa – 3/12
  • Roundtable on Inter-Sectional Feminism at SRJC – 3/14
  • Lucy! Fussbudget to Feminist – Charles M. Schulz Museum 3/15/2020 to 3/7/2021
  • Rosie the Riveter Rally in Courthouse Square – 3/18
  • • Panel Discussion on the 19th Amendment & Equal Rights – Sonoma County Historical Society – 3/29

Books and materials

Featured websites

  • 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


  • 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.

  • Emergency Preparedness: Sonoma Ready Series

Library partners with county on emergency preparedness series

Are you ready for Sonoma County’s next disaster? Learn what you need in your emergency kit, create a solid evacuation plan and establish your sources of information and community support system by attending classes at your local library. Beginning in January 2020, the Sonoma County Library is hosting the Emergency Preparedness: Sonoma Ready Series to spread the message of emergency preparedness to members of the community. The series is a collaboration with the Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management and Listos—a grass-roots disaster preparedness program—and will be held at 12 Sonoma County Library branches, giving residents across the county the chance to participate.

“Sonoma County residents understand they need to get prepared for disaster; these classes will give them an opportunity to learn what to do to be sure they can stay safe and keep their families safe during the next power outage, fire, earthquake or whatever comes our way,” said Dr. Nancy Brown, Community Preparedness Program Manager at the Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management.

Each branch will host three separate classes on topics relating to emergency preparedness: Emergency Kits and Go Bags, Family Planning (and your pets, too!), and Sources of Information and Community Support.

Classes are held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. throughout 2020, excepting Northwest Santa Rosa Library, which will hold classes from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Sonoma Ready Series events are free and open to all. The series is made possible by the Measure Y sales tax, the community’s investment in free public libraries.

All events for the Emergency Preparedness Series

  • 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.

Mock Caldecott 2020

It's almost time to choose our favorite picture books of the year!

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 past five years, Sonoma County Library has been hosting our own Mock Caldecott Contest, where we select the books WE feel are the best illustrated children's books of the year. Below, you will see the eight books we think are worth considering. These books, selected by Sonoma County Library staff, all fit the criteria of books to be considered for the Caldecott Medal. You can find copies of these books at your local branch.

Let us know who YOU think will win by voting for your favorites—either online or at the library. Voting will be open from January 2 through January 23.

Sonoma County's winners will be announced in your local branch and online Jan. 25!

My Papi has a Motorcycle book cover image

My Papi has a Motorcycle

by Isabel Quintero
and Zeke Peña

Saturday book cover image


by Oge Mora

There Are No Bears in this Bakery book cover image

There Are No Bears in this Bakery

by Julia Sarcone-Roach

How is a Window book cover image

Home Is a Window

by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard,
and Chris Sasaki, illustration

Lubna and Pebble book cover image

Lubna and Pebble

by Wendy Meddour
and Daniel Egnéus, illustration

Planting stories book cover image

Planting stories: the life of librarian and storyteller Pura Belpré

by Anika Aldamuy Denise
and Paola Escobar, illustration

A Stone Sat Still book cover image

A Stone Sat Still

by Brendan Wenzel



  • Native American Heritage Month image

Library celebrates Native American Heritage Month in November

Sonoma County Library is showcasing the rich history and traditions of Native Americans in Sonoma County by celebrating National Native American Heritage Month with a series of events in November.

National Native American Heritage Month events take place throughout November with presentations, Meet the Illustrator events, and traditional basket making/weaving classes at several participating branches.

“We welcome and celebrate all cultures at Sonoma County Library,” said Sonoma County Library Events Specialist Megan Backus. “We look forward to recognizing the history and heritage of this important part of our Sonoma County community every November during National Native American Heritage Month, as well as throughout the year.”

Sonoma County is home to a number of Native American Tribes dating back to over 12,000 years. From the Coast, Miwoks; in the norther near the Mayacamas Mountain Range dwelled Wintuns, Wapo and Miyakmahs; in the lower Valley, Pomos; near the edge of San Pablo Bay, Koskiwok; and in the southeast corner, Patwins; to name a few.

National Native American Heritage Month events are free and open to all.

  • Literacy image

    1000 Books Before Kindergarten helps parents and caregivers give young children the confidence necessary to become strong readers and be successful in school and life. Pictured: Healdsburg Library.

Sonoma County Library Launches New Early Literacy Program

Read to a kid and you’ll prepare them for a lifetime of reading. In an effort to promote strong literacy skills, the Sonoma County Library is encouraging parents and caregivers to read 1,000 books to their newborns, infants, toddlers and preschoolers before they start kindergarten. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a nationwide initiative and officially launched in all Sonoma County Library branches on October 28.

Participants can track their reading and participation in the program online at and through the Beanstack app. Paper logs are also available at each branch. Children will receive recognition for each 100 books they read and various prizes throughout their reading journey.

Sonoma County Library patron Autumn Ashforth and her husband have been reading books to their son, Bromley, since he was born.

“Now at 14 months of age, [Bromley] loves to bring us several books at a time and listen to us read to him. We are incredibly excited for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative,” Ashforth said. “Not only do we love a challenge, especially one that brings about positive outcomes, but we will be building a foundation for early literacy and learning in school. We want Bromley to love to read not just because it’s fun, but because he can let his imagination run wild!”

1000 Books Before Kindergarten image

Town of Windsor Montessori Preschool Teacher Michelle Vassallo supports the program as well and encourages parents and caregivers to participate in the initiative to read 1000 books to their children before entering kindergarten.

“The benefits are immeasurable,” Vassallo said. “Reading to preschoolers promotes cognitive skills at a fundamental time of development; receptive and expressive language skills; an ability to relate to characters and develop a sense of empathy; knowledge, imagination, curiosity, concentration, enjoyment and creativity; a bonding experience between parent and child; and success in school and life.”

Each 1000 Books Before Kindergarten participant will receive a free book bag and milestone sticker at their first 100 books and participating children’s names will be displayed at their branch and recorded in Beanstack for every 100 books logged. At 1000 books, children will receive a certificate of completion and a free book.

Sign up for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program at or by visiting your local library branch. The program is free and open to all. 1000 Books Before Kindergarten is made possible by the Measure Y sales tax, the community’s investment in free public libraries.