Posted on May 25, 2019
Discover the glitz, glimmer, comedy and adventure of reading at the Sonoma County Library by joining in on the 2019 Summer Reading Program, launching June 1, 2019. Through August 10, the library will host a range of free activities for children, teens and adults to encourage a love of reading. This year’s program theme is It’s Showtime at Your Library and those who participate can earn free books and virtual raffle tickets for prizes.
New this year, participants can track their reading and participation in the program online at sonomalibrary.beanstack.org and through the Beanstack app. Paper logs will also be available at each branch.
“We’ve put together a robust and entertaining program of activities for every age to ensure that the Library is an exciting summer hub of discovery and learning,” said Kathy DeWeese, Youth Services Administrator at the Sonoma County Library. “Our programing supports this year’s Showtime theme by focusing on a range of performances; from story opera, to poetry readings, screenwriting, movies, magic shows and more.”
To combat the summer slide, the Summer Reading Program has a diverse lineup of educational children’s events, including visits from Eliot Fintushel’s Masks & Mime, Jungle James Animal Adventures, Shuffles Magic Show, Try It Truck and Musical Robot, as well as themed activities such as It’s CraftTime! And Getting Into Character.
Hands-on workshops for tweens include French Knitting and Maker Studio: Zoetrope, while teen activities include Dungeon Master 101, Learn How to Draw Comic Books, an Intro to Screenwriting with former Executive Editor at Lucasfilm and bestselling author J. W. Rinzler, an escape room experience, self-defense, DIY bath bombs and much more.
Studies show that reading over the summer strengthens reading and math skills, by preventing the summer slide:
- Children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to two months of learning by the time they return to school.
- Children who participate in Summer Reading Programs and read a minimum of six books over the summer score higher in reading and math when they return to school.
- Summer learning loss during elementary school accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading between low-income children and their middle-income peers by ninth grade.
- Children’s enjoyment of reading often increases after taking part in Summer Reading Programs.
- Nine out of 10 teachers spend at least three weeks re-teaching lessons at the start of the school year.
The Library is also offering events for adults, providing something for the whole family.
To learn more about the Summer Reading Program, sign up at sonomalibrary.beanstack.org or visit your local library branch starting on June 1. All Summer Reading Program events are free and open to all. Some activities require pre-registration by visiting sonomalibrary.org/events or a local branch.
Posted on May 21, 2019
Join us to launch our latest StoryWalk at Cloverdale River Park!
Go with the flow at an interactive nature and early literacy outing for families with young children! A StoryWalk is a fun and engaging activity for families that combines the physical benefits of walking outdoors and the educational benefits of reading. Explore the StoryWalk on your own, or come to the launch event on Saturday, June 1, from 10-1pm.
Sonoma County Regional Parks and Sonoma County Libraries have joined forces for a fun-filled storytime outdoors. The launch of the StoryWalk coincides with the Regional Parks' Nuestras Parques program, on Saturday June 1. The library and the parks department will be hosting led StoryWalks every half hour starting at 10AM and ending at noon. Bring a water bottle, and picnic in the park for after the walk, if you like. All ages welcome.
The StoryWalk will be in the Cloverdale River Park through the month of June, for park and story lovers to discover.
NOTE: Parking $7, or free for Regional Parks members
For more information about park events go to Sonoma County Regional Parks Calendar
Posted on May 01, 2019
Are you looking for a way to make a huge difference to the children in your community? Have we got the opportunity for you!
In summer 2019, the Sonoma County Library will serve free lunches to children ages 0-18 through a partnership with the Redwood Empire Food Bank. 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. Children who are eligible to receive a free lunch at school each day often go hungry when school is out during the summer. Summer meal programs like Lunch at the Library help ensure that these hungry children are fed.
We are recruiting volunteers to assist with distributing lunches to children at the 8 library sites that will offer this service in 2019:
- Are you available during weekday lunchtime hours in the summer?
- Do you have the physical ability to help set up, count and serve lunches, monitor and clean up before, during and after lunch?
- Do you enjoy working with children?
If so, please contact the person below at the branch where you would like to participate. Volunteers like you can make a huge difference to the children in our community.
This is a great opportunity for TEEN VOLUNTEERS as well - help your community, get community service hours, and get free lunch too!
|Central Santa Rosa||Kim Dargeou|
|Sebastopol||Carrie King or Courtney Klein|
|Sonoma Valley||Matt Conway|
Posted on April 30, 2019
The newest entry in the Library’s StoryWalk program has been the launch of a StoryWalk sited around the outside of the Sebastopol Library building. The StoryWalk, featuring the book “Call Me Tree” by Maya Christina Gonzalez, is an activity that encourages families to get outside together and explore literacy. This installation, in support of the national Día de los Niños celebration, will be at the Sebastopol Library through mid-May. Stop by and enjoy a lovely bilingual story outside!
Posted on April 24, 2019
Do you know a motivated, public-service minded high school student who is looking for a unique summer job? Send them our way!
Sonoma County Library is looking to hire a teen between the ages of 16-19 who reflects the diversity of our community for an exciting paid internship!
Sonoma County Library was selected to participate in the Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative (III), which offers a paid, summer-long internship at the library to a high school student between the ages of 16-19 (entering Junior, Senior, or First-Year College). Through III, students from diverse backgrounds are introduced to careers in librarianship.
This summer, our III intern will work with mentor staff in the Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library, a community resource that manages local history and genealogy collections. It is located behind the Central Library in downtown Santa Rosa. The SCH&G Library acquires, organizes and makes available to the public materials that document the unique characteristics and communities of Sonoma County. There is also a required travel component – the selected intern must be available to attend (all-expenses-paid) trainings in Chicago (June) and Washington D.C. (September).
Follow this link to apply, and for full details about this internship. Applications are due by May 7, 2019.
Thank you for helping us to share this opportunity with teens in our community!
Posted on April 16, 2019Celebrate El día de los niños
El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a celebration every day of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Día is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures. The common goals of all Día programming are to:
- Celebrate children and connect them to the world of learning through books, stories and libraries.
- Nurture cognitive and literacy development in ways that honor and embrace a child’s home language and culture.
- Introduce families to community resources that provide opportunities for learning through multiple literacies.
- Recognize and respect culture, heritage and language as powerful tools for strengthening families and communities.
The Sonoma County Library is hosting a range of events in honor of Día this year -- there are events in the libraries, and we are also partnering with organizations out in the community to provide entertaining and educating events for children. Come celebrate the diversity of our communites and our children with us!
Events for Children
StoryWalk at the Sebastopol Library
Get outside and read! Stop by the Sebastopol Regional Library, where they are hosting a StoryWalk (featuring Maya Christina Gonzalez's book "Call Me Tree/ Llamame Arbol") in the garden along High Street for families to enjoy together.
- Sebastopol Library Monday, April 22- Saturday, May 4
El día de los niños (Children's Day) Celebration!
Head to the Windsor Town Green for an afternoon of fun for families, including the Children's Museum of Sonoma County, the Town of Windsor Mobile Rec games on the Green, face painting, book giveaways, light refreshments, and community resource information. For all ages! Free!
- Windsor Library Saturday, April 27, 2019, Noon to 2 pm
Explore books, songs, rhymes and play in English and Spanish! Libros, canciones, rimas y actividades en ingles y espanol. For children 0-5. Para edades 0-5
- Rohnert Park-Cotati Library Wednesday, April 24, 6:30 pm
- Rincon Valley Library Thursday, April 25, 10:30 am
- Roseland Community Library Saturday, April 27, 10:15 am
- Cloverdale Library Tuesday, April 30, 11:30 am
- Roseland Community Library Tuesday, April 30, 11:30 am
Posted on April 12, 2019
We're excited to announce the launch of the Adult New Reader collection -- high interest books of popular fiction and nonfiction for adults building reading skills.
Adult New Reader books are housed in the Library's larger branches, and materials are available to all via the library’s online catalog.
The main goal of this new collection is to support the reading of adults building reading skills, including the adult learners and their tutors in our one-on-one Adult Literacy tutoring program. Books in the collection are within Lexile reading levels specifically chosen to help adult new readers.
Browse the ANR collection for something that interests you. It’s a great way for Adult Learners to make smart reading choices that suit them and explore popular stories by best-selling authors. The collection includes titles from the Book Shots series, the Rapid Reads series, and similar fiction series with shorter page counts.
The Adult NEW Reader Collection: A great place to begin…
- Experience great stories at your own pace
- Make smart reading choices that suit you
- Explore popular stories by best-selling authors
Check out the entire collection here: Adult New Reader catalog search.
Posted on April 08, 2019
Beginning April 8, the Sonoma County Library is lending WiFi hotspots to patrons, enabling Sonoma County Library cardholders to have free access to the internet.
A pilot project, the 500 WiFi hotspots will be distributed to every library branch in the county and loaned to patrons on a first-come, first-served basis.
“By ‘loaning the internet,’ our library system is helping our patrons have access to information and resources that are not always available to all, because of geographical or income constraints,” said Vicki Terbovich, the Sonoma County Library’s Information Technology Manager and the driving force behind the program.
Dubbed “SonomaFi,” the WiFi hotspot lending program is a pilot. The initial lending period will be 14 days per device, and they will be available at all library branches, but cannot be placed on hold.
“We believe our patrons will use these devices to help them write term papers, submit job applications, research their family history, or just surf the internet and stream a movie,” Terbovich said.
Each SonomaFi device will allow the borrower to connect multiple devices, including smartphones, computers and tablets, so an entire household can use one SonomaFi hotspot at once.
The SonomaFi devices operate on a Verizon cellular signal, which has wide coverage throughout Sonoma County, but may not reach more remote areas.
Watch a SonomaFi "How To" video.
For more information on SonomaFi, stop in at any of the library’s 14 branches. The SonomaFi program is paid for from Measure Y sales tax funds, the community’s investment in free public libraries.
Posted on April 07, 2019
About your free public library system
Comprised of 12 branches, two rural stations and multiple special collections, the county library system has its roots in 19th Century visionaries who realized that access to information was key to a free and civil society.
The first known local public library appeared in Petaluma in 1858, organized by the Odd Fellows fraternal organization. Other communities followed suit, and libraries came into existence throughout the county.
As local and regional libraries grew, prospered (and sometimes didn’t) libraries and community leaders began to talk about the value of consolidation. The first Joint Powers Agreement to form a regional library system was signed in 1975. A revised Joint Powers Agreement among the County of Sonoma and all nine cities was signed in 2014.
The library system struggled throughout the beginning of the 21st Century, as the need for service outran the cost of providing it. In 2016, a county-wide effort resulted in the passage of Measure Y, a one-eighth of a cent sales tax that brought local library funding up to comparable levels to that of similar library systems.
With the extra funds from Measure Y, the Sonoma County Library was able to accelerate what had been a steady, but modest process of modernization. Our annual budget is now approximately $30.5 million, most of which is spent on staff and materials.
In 2018, we loaned 2,868,701 items to county residents, and 344,282 different users visited our library system websites, to download e-books, stream movies, look up and reserve books, and more.
Two years after Measure Y passed, the library has increased its materials budget by two-thirds, more than doubled programming funds, and hired administrative and support staff focused on growth and service. New staff include three new managers and dozens of support, collections, delivery and branch personnel.
In 2018, the library added 35 percent more hours to its weekly schedule. We are now open Mondays, we stay open until 9 p.m. twice a week, and we increased Saturday hours.
Measure Y funds are being used in direct service to the half-million residents of Sonoma County in many ways: We provide tens of millions of dollars of value in the free use of books, DVDs, CDs, e-books, audio books and other physical assets. We are a leader – in some communities the only provider – of early childhood learning and school readiness, always in close partnership with local school districts.
Libraries are more than books, films and databases. Sonoma County Library patrons can check out a backpack with all the passes and guides needed to explore county parks; they can check out a toolbox with the tips and supplies needed to weatherize their homes; our patrons can visit the library and have a free consultation with a lawyer, get help with their taxes, learn a new dance, hear a story or learn a craft.
We are funding overdue studies into future services, setting funds aside in reserve, purchasing a mobile library van to visit underserved communities, investing in our branches and upgrading our technology.
We provide free online access to software training, world language learning, independent film collections, magazine and newspaper subscriptions (even the New York Times), all free with a library card!
During National Library Week, we will address an emerging social justice issue by offering free WiFi hotspots. Library patrons who don’t have access to the information superhighway – because of geography or household income – will be able to “borrow the internet” at no cost and apply for jobs, augment their schoolwork, and enjoy the same digital resources as everyone else.
Our libraries are powerful forces for social equity. In the past two years, our Library Commission has adopted comprehensive statements supporting inclusivity and the undocumented. We live those values every day in our branches, where we also offer Spanish language materials, support and a welcoming attitude.
Our branches help lead the system into new territory as well. We recently piloted a program that provides free menstrual supplies to our patrons who are in need. We reach out to and support our unsheltered patrons. All are welcome in our libraries, regardless of ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or faith.
In early March, after almost two years without a permanent Library Director, Ann Hammond began work as our permanent Director. Ms. Hammond was chosen after a nationwide search, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Sonoma County. In a newspaper article announcing her hire, Hammond said libraries are: “the last democratic institution welcoming to all … free and open to everyone.”
We are gradually updating each branch of the library and putting extra funding and energy into a branch for the Roseland community. Roseland has been underserved for many years, and the library is leading the way in providing a community hub and free access to the tools of civic involvement.
Posted on April 05, 2019
Celebrate National Poetry Month and the talented young poets of Sonoma County at our TEEN POETRY SLAM!
A poetry slam is a competition in which individuals perform their own personal poetry before an audience, which judges the poems and the artists' performances. A typical poetry slam might include all sorts of different types of poetry, including love poems, critical social commentary, hilarious comic poems and moving personal confessions. This poetry slam, with its focus on teens in our community, hopes to encourage and inspire teens to engage in, perform, and experience the world of poetry--particularly spoken word poetry. It also gives teens a platform to speak their truth and to share their creativity with the larger community.
This Sonoma County-wide event is open to performers between the ages of 13-19, and Sonoma County teens will also serve as the emcees, judges, and scorekeepers.
Prizes will be awarded to the three top-scoring poets.
The Teen Poetry Slam will be held on Saturday, April 13 at the Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library. The order of events includes:
- 3:00 pm Open Mic (sign up at the event)
- 3:30 pm Featured Teen Poet Estrella Pacheco
- 4:00 pm Poetry Slam (to compete, email email@example.com)
Our featured poet, Estrella Pacheco, is a 16-year-old poet, actress, and activist from Sebastopol California. She loves art, the human experience, food, and goosebumps, especially when they accompany each other.
All ages are welcome to attend this fun creative event to cheer on our talented teens!