Library News

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • text: trick or treat in the library, with images of children in costumes

Petaluma and Rohnert Park-Cotati libraries to host Halloween events

Unsure of where to take your kids for Halloween? All are invited to Trick or Treat in the Library on Thursday, October 31, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Petaluma and Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Libraries. Join your favorite library staff for a not-so-spooky Halloween event featuring stories, songs and silliness.

“In light of the widespread evacuations and poor air quality throughout Sonoma County, and after observing uncertainty from community members about where to take their kids trick or treating, we will be hosting indoor trick or treating events at our Petaluma and Rohnert Park-Cotati branches on Thursday, October 31,” said Library Director Ann Hammond. “We hope these events bring a semblance of normality to our families during this challenging time.”

Some Sonoma County Library branches had existing plans for Halloween events that had to be canceled due to branch closures. Library staff in closed branches have been re-deployed to open branches, ensuring that community members have a place to go with electricity, WiFi and charging stations.

Trick or Treat in the Library events are free and open to all. Attendees are welcome to come in costume, although not required.

  • Walden book cover

    2019 Sonoma County Reads Walden

"Walden" Chosen for 2019 Sonoma County Reads Title

Few voices in American literature have been as bold and influential as that of Henry David Thoreau. Published in 1854, Walden is viewed not only as a philosophical treatise on labor, leisure, self-reliance, and individualism but also as an influential piece of nature writing.

For more information click here.

Librarians Share Recommendations for TEENtober - a new teen celebration

Last year we had "Teen Read Week".... this year we have TEENtober! TEENtober is a new-in-2019 nationwide celebration hosted by libraries across the country every October to celebrate teens and teen library services.

To support our local teens and share our passion for teen literature, we're bringing back our BOOKCHATS - staff recommendations of their favorite teen reads. Read on for some great ideas of what to read next!

man holding book "Thunderhead" by Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead, by Neal Shusterman

"This TeenTober I am recommending "Thunderhead," the sequel to Neal Shusterman's “Scythe.” “Thunderhead” follows Scythe Anastasia, formerly known as Citra, fighting against a growing wave of scythes who delight in gleaning (permanent killing). This is done because in a future in which this story takes place, sickness and death can be prevented or even reversed with science and permanent death is determined by scythes.  Meanwhile, her former co-apprentice Rowan has begun masquerading as Scythe Lucifer and is gleaning corrupt scythes while on the run from authorities. This novel is a must-read for fans of the first novel or anyone looking for action-packed science fiction."

~recommended by Teen Services Librarian Stuart W., from Guerneville Regional Library

woman holding book "I hate everyone but you" by Gaby Dunn and Alison Raskin

I hate everyone but you, by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin

"Best friends Ava and Gen are in for the hardest long-distance relationship of their life when they start college on opposite coasts. Through texts and emails, they share a semester of controversial journalism, broken hearts, and sorority dinners, with (sometimes brutal) honesty. Exploring the complexities of mental illness, sexuality, and female friendship, I Hate Everyone But You is semi-autobiographical, told by real-life best friends and comedy duo Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn."

~recommended by Children's Services Librarian Gigi G., from Petaluma Regional Library

woman holding book "How to be an antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi

How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi

"Calling all young adult activists... and also, everyone who cares about other humans. "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi, is an essential book for anyone interested in working towards a just and equitable society.  No matter who you are or what you believe, this book will challenge your views on race. Check it out."

~recommended by Teen Services Librarian Rosalie A., from Sebastopol Regional Library

woman holding book "Like a Love Story" by Abdi Nazemian

Like a Love Story, by Abdi Nazemian

"Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian is set in New York City in 1989 at the height of the AIDS crisis. The main characters Reza, Art, and Judy navigate friendship, love, fear, death, racism, and Madonna during a critical point in LGBTQ history and activism. This book has so much heart it's nearly unbearable, but in the best way. 

Amazing. Loved it. Cried. Loved it some more."

~recommended by Teen Services Librarian Terra E., from Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library

woman holding book "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

It's Sci-fi meets fairy tales in this first book of the Lunar Quartet. Filled with action, dystopian twists on classic fairy tales, daring heroines and a touch of romance, you won't be able to put this book down. Beside the 4 books in the quartet, there are also two short story volumes and two graphic novels in this universe. 

~recommended by Library Associate Shannon B., from Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library

woman holding book "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

A retelling of The Jungle Book, Nobody Owens is an orphan child raised by ghosts and other supernatural beings. Living in the graveyard protects him from the man who killed his family, but Bod is lonely and wants more from life.

~recommended by Librarian Karen B., from Petaluma Regional Library

 woman holding book "Shadow & Bone" by Leigh Bardugo 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow & Bone is one of my favorite YA Fantasy books! This is the first book that takes place in the Grishaverse, and it is the perfect escapist read.  A Russian inspired dark fantasy, this book has it all: an engaging plot, interesting characters, robust world building, MAGIC!, romance, and some major twists and turns. Soon to be a series on Netflix! 

~recommended by Librarian Melissa C., from Northwest Santa Rosa Regional Library