Library News

  • Meet the Director

    Meet the Director

Library reinstates system-wide "Meet the Director" series

Beginning in July 2019, the Sonoma County Library is reinstating its “Meet the Director” (formerly “Coffee with the Director”) series to give the community a chance to get to know Sonoma County Library Director Ann Hammond, who began her leadership role in March of this year. These monthly meetings provide a safe space for community members of all ages to gather and learn about library news, ask questions and share suggestions. The Meet the Director series will be held at each of the Sonoma County Library branches, giving residents across the county the opportunity to participate.

 

“Meet the Director encourages open communication between community members and library staff,” Hammond said. “The library belongs to everyone and I want to ensure that patrons are aware of the wide variety of resources we offer across our branches. I’m also eager to answer any questions and hear recommendations that people may have for the library.”

Hammond has experience with similar events in her previous roles as a library executive in California and Kentucky.

Meet the Director events are free and open to all.  For more information, call 707-545-0831 x 1553.

  • Archives Unbound

    Archives Unbound

Digital Resource on Local and National History Launches

We’re excited to announce that Sonoma County Library cardholders are now able to dig into virtually every nook and cranny of U.S. and California history, thanks to an extensive digital resource known as Archives Unbound.

With Archives Unbound, library patrons have free access to 296 collections of historical topics in categories including:

  • African American Studies
  • Business History
  • U.S. History
  • County and Regional History
  • Cultural Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Law and Legal Studies
  • Native American Studies
  • Social History
  • Women’s Studies
  • And much more!

The content spans 12 million pages of primary source materials and is available online 24/7. Archives Unbound is geared towards scholars engaged in serious research and students at the college and university level, but is available to all.

Additionally, users can conduct general searches and view documents including newspapers, manuscripts and monographs. Users can also create an account to save documents of interest.

Check out the new resource here: Archives Unbound.

 

  • All Are Welcome

    All Are Welcome

Read with PRIDE during the Month of June

The month of June celebrates a rainbow of diversity and commemorates LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning and others) progress through LGBTQ+ Pride Month, GLBT Book Month and more. The Sonoma County Library honors and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community through collections, events, programs and hiring, and recently hosted a table at the Sonoma County Pride festival in Santa Rosa on June 1.

“Sonoma County Library is committed to social equity and free access to information,” said Sonoma County Library Director Ann Hammond. “We are here to serve everyone, inclusive of ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, country of origin, age, faith and socio-economic status.”

While at the Sonoma County Pride Festival on June 1, library staff shared information about the Summer Reading Program and supplied handouts on how to sign up for a library card. The library also offered LGBTQ+ book lists for all ages and gave visitors the chance to spin a prize wheel. Education Initiatives Librarian Rachel Icaza was one of the library employees at the table.

“It was perfect to have the library present at this wonderful family-friendly event,” Icaza said. “People were lining up to spin the prize wheel and to hear all about summer fun at the library. It was a great day!”

Sonoma County Library offers a monthly Pride Book Club for Teens, list of LGBTQ+ resources and LGBTQ+ materials available for check out. The library encourages every patron to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning (and more) lives and experiences by attending a library event, picking up a book (or eBook), listening to an eAudiobook or watching a DVD.  Scroll down to learn more.

Pride Table  Table

Sonoma County Library at the Sonoma County Pride festival in Santa Rosa on June 1.  From left, Library staff members Kim Dargeou, Rachel Icaza and Terra Emerson.

Event:

PRIDE BOOK CLUB FOR TEENS:

Come discuss the latest queer YA books with other teens! This month we will be reading “Queer, There, and Everywhere” by Sarah Prager. Pick up a copy of the book at the Adult Reference Desk at the Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library. Note that this book club meets monthly.

LGBTQ+ DISPLAYS:

Each branch of the Sonoma County Library has a unique display to highlight and recognize the lives and literature that we are celebrating this June!

Resources:

  • LGBTQ+ Resource Guide - This limited resource list provides perspectives on LGBTQI rights, history, experiences, relationships, and culture.
  • LGBTQ+ Materials List - The materials on this list offer people of all ages opportunities to dig deeper into the topic of LGBTQI from LGBTQI history and rights to understanding the LGBTQI experience, relationships and culture.  
  • LGBTQ Connection - Napa & Sonoma: LGBTQ Connection, an initiative fueled by youth and other emerging leadership, fosters a healthier, more vibrantly diverse and inclusive community.
  • LGBTQ+ Youth & Young Adult Support Groups (Positive Images)
  • LGBTQ+ Adult Support Groups (Positive Images)
  • Hotlines (Positive Images)
  • The Trevor Project 24/7 Lifeline - (TEENS) The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ young people under 25, best practice suicide prevention educational trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives.

Library Materials: Books for Children, Teens, Adults… and TV shows and Movies!

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN

BOOKS FOR TEENS

BOOKS FOR ADULTS

MOVIES AND TV

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING THAT YOU’RE NOT SEEING ON THIS LIST?  

Ask one of our friendly librarians at your favorite branch of the Sonoma County Library.  We are here for you!

  • text: It's Showtime at your Library, 2019 Summer Reading Program, Early Learners, Kids K-6, Teens 7-12, Adults, June 1-August 10

Sonoma County Library Announces 2019 Summer Reading Program

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.

PAID TEEN INTERNSHIP opportunity at Sonoma County Library - Help spread the word!

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!

  • text "Together with Dia;" image of five children

Celebrate El Dia de los Ninos with the Library!

Celebrate 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

Bilingual Storytimes 

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
  • blue circle on orange background, with text "Adult New Reader Book Collection - a great place to start."

Adult New Reader Collection Launches

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.

  • SonomaFi - Borrow the Internet

    SonomaFi - Borrow the Internet

Borrow the Internet at your local library!

iTome prestado los dispositivos de Internet móvil en la biblioteca!

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.

Read how to use a SonomaFi device.

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.

  • National Library Week April 7-13, 2019

    National Library Week April 7-13, 2019

It's National Library Week, April 7-13

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.

  • picture of a microphone with text "teen poetry slam with teen poet Estrella Pacheco"

    The Teen Poetry Slam will be held at 3:00 pm on Saturday, April 13 at the Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library.

Teen Poetry Slam on April 13

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 temerson@sonomalibrary.org)

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! 

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