Library News

  • list of winter break events at the library

Winter Break Activities at the Library

The Sonoma County Library has a variety of activities scheduled for children, tweens and teens during the winter school break.

Beginning Saturday, December 23 through Monday, January 8, the Library is offering free programs ranging from winter crafts, Lego Clubs and Read to a Dog events, to Magician Mike Della Penna, Circus of Smiles, STEAM programs, kids' yoga and zumba, crafts, coding, makerspaces, learning to do magic tricks, musical Jam Sessions, Virtual Reality, chess games, family movies, and more!

All events are free.

For more information, check the library’s online calendar at, or Ask A Librarian.

Play and Learn at the Northwest Library

The Play and Learn Island™ is once again on the move! 

The Play and Learn Island™ (PAL) just finished a 2-month stay at the Rincon Valley Library, and is now making its home for the next two months in the Northwest Library, by Coddingtown Mall. The Play and Learn Island™ travels periodically around the County to different library branches to host and share with their communities.

Babies and children learn through play and as part of the Sonoma County Library’s mission to promote the value and joy of reading, we offer opportunities for young children to play while building the skills for learning and literacy in all stages of life. One such opportunity is through our Play and Learn Island™. The hands-on activities provided with the Play and Learn Island™ incorporate problem solving, sorting, sharing, early literacy skills, design and testing, and collaboration. Their colorful design, scale and varied activities appeal to a range of ages, encouraging families to play and explore together, while they imagine, discover, create, and bring learning to life.

Come check out the island--at the Northwest Library for December and January 2018, until we close down for our renovation. Check the schedule to see when it's coming to a branch near you -- and play and learn with us!

Library Adds Digital Access to Local Historical Newspapers

Sonoma County Library adds Sebastopol Times, Sonoma West Times and Sonoma West Times & News to its collection of digital newspaper holdings.

In partnership with Sonoma West Publishers,, and the California Digital Newspaper Collection, the Sonoma County Library is pleased to be able to offer its patrons digital access to not only Petaluma and Santa Rosa newspapers, but also those papers published in Sebastopol between 1895 and 2016.

Join us for a “microfilm cutting” event on Friday, December 15th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Sebastopol Regional Library (7140 Bodega Avenue, Sebastopol). Watch demonstrations on how to search, view, print, and save articles from these newspapers and others included in the library’s online database. Enjoy light refreshments as you research your community’s history and discover its past.

The Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library offers one-on-one instruction in historical and genealogical research Monday through Saturday. Explore local newspapers not yet digitized on microfilm from 1857 through 1969 as well as its extensive collection of photos, city directories, maps, and more!

For more information contact, History & Genealogy Library Manager Katherine Rinehart at 707-545-0831 ext. 1562 or Keep up with all library events at and on Facebook,

  • virtual reality, figure wearing VR viewer and holding controller

Out of this World! Library Pilots Virtual Reality at Two Locations

Have you always wanted to travel the world, fly a plane, take a driver's test, or explore a fantasy land? Well, now you can do these things -- all without leaving the library! -- through Sonoma County Library's new pilot Virtual Reality service.

Thanks to a grant from the California State Library, we received two complete setups of Oculus Rift, including viewer, controllers, and a selection of educational VR software. In this pilot stage, we selected the Healdsburg Library and the Rohnert Park-Cotati Library to launch the service. We're so excited to be able to offer this new service, in our quest to provide equitable access to new technologies that help people to acquire new skills, make informed decisions, and explore new possibilities.

Come check out one of our upcoming Introduction to Virtual Reality events at these two locations; after a short introduction to the equipment, people will have the opportunity to sign up for 15-minute Virtual Reality sessions.

Oculus Rift VR is only available during special events and programs for patrons 14 and older. All participants need to sign a waiver before using the equipment. Minors must provide a legal guardian's signature to participate.

  • axis 360 logo

Library's E-Audiobooks Now Available Through Axis360

Effective November 15, 2017, Sonoma County Library has transfered our E-Audiobook titles from the OverDrive platform to the Axis 360 platform. OverDrive will retain our E-Book collection. All new E-Audiobooks will appear in Axis 360, so check there for the newest, hottest titles!

This change allows us to streamline how we provide access to our E-Audiobooks so the majority of E-Audiobook titles can be found in one platform and easy-to-use app. If you prefer to listen rather than read, you can look in Axis 360 to find the majority of titles you want. If you prefer to read rather than listen, you can look in OverDrive. If you typically use our library catalog to search for and find E-Audiobooks to check out, you will still be able to do so, and will be directed to the appropriate platform to borrow and place holds.

Our electronic resources can be managed more efficiently because we have split the E-Audiobooks from the E-Books; we can track usage of our collections, consolidate patron requests to the appropriate platform, and manage our funds more easily.

If you have any E-Audiobooks on hold in OverDrive, don’t worry! You will not lose your place on the waiting list. All current holds will be transferred to Axis 360 within 48 hours of the change. Those of you who currently have E-Audiobooks checked out in OverDrive will not be cut off on November 15, but will have until the end of your checkout to complete your book without interruption. You will not be able to renew that title on OverDrive, but you will be able to find it on the Axis 360 app.

If you have not already downloaded the Axis 360 app, you can do so here: You can also browse, checkout, place holds, and listen online:

E-Audiobooks check out for 21 days. There is a checkout limit of 5 titles, and a hold limit of 3 titles, on downloadable audiobooks. Electronic content will automatically return at the end of the loan period, so there are never any late fees.  Return items early to checkout additional titles.

Download the Axis 360 app for your mobile device and start listening today!


  • Food for Fines

    Food for Fines

Food for Fines Returns in 2017

This holiday season the Sonoma County Library is once again partnering with local food banks to offer a Food For Fines program. Local partners include the Redwood Empire Food Bank, Friends in Sonoma Helping, the Sebastopol Inter-Church Food Pantry, and the Healdsburg Food Pantry.

The Food For Fines program encourages library patrons to return overdue library materials and pay off accrued library fines by donating food to those in need. The donation of one unit of food will erase ALL fines from past due items for one account (note: food donations cannot be applied towards lost/damaged library items or collection agency fees – only fines). In 2016, the Food for Fines program collected 5,974 pounds of food for Sonoma County and forgave $6,853 in fines and fees for 574 patrons!

Food For Fines has two primary goals - to remove barriers to library access due to overdue fines, and to help end hunger in our communities. This is even more important in 2017 with the recent disasters affecting some many. Food For Fines Patrons can give to the community and get their library account back in good standing as we close out the 2017 year.

The 2017 Food For Fines program will run for a full 7 weeks beginning on Monday, November 13th and run through Saturday, December 30th . Food donation barrels will be found at all Sonoma County Library Branches.  According to our partnering Food Banks, the most needed non-perishable items are:

  • Tuna & Canned Meat
  • Peanut Butter
  • Low-Sodium Canned Soups & Chili
  • Rice & Dry Beans
  • No-Sugar Added Canned Fruits
  • Low-Sodium Canned Vegetables
  • Granola Bars
  • Cereal

Also, the REFB recommends the following guidelines when donating food:

  • No glass, which can break
  • Check that items are still within their “use before” date
  • All items should be unopened, opened packages will not be accepted
  • Home-made or home-canned items are not accepted

Byparticipating in your local library's Food For Fines program, library patrons will be joining thousands of Sonoma County businesses, individuals, and organizations helping to end hunger in our community by donating food.

For more information contact Teen/Adult Services Librarian Jennifer Duran 546-2265 or  Keep up with all library events at and on Facebook,

About the Redwood Empire Food Bank: The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization serving north coastal California from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. Since 1987, the REFB has provided food and nourishment to those facing hunger, currently serving 82,000 children, families and seniors in Sonoma County, while striving to end hunger in our community. The REFB collaborates with local and regional partners to obtain and distribute 15+ million pounds of food annually, the equivalent of more than 34,000 meals every day. Through more than 200 of our own direct service distributions and partnerships with 177 other hunger-relief organizations, we form a network of over 450 weekly and monthly distribution sites serving low-income residents in Sonoma, Lake, Del Norte, Mendocino and Humboldt counties. Visit or call 707-523-7900 to learn more.

Library Celebrates Native American Heritage Month in November

Sonoma County Library celebrates National Native American Heritage Month in November with a series of events to showcase the rich history and traditions of Native Americans in Sonoma County.

The events kick off Thursday, November 2 with a children's Tribal History event presented by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria at the Petaluma Library, and continue throughout the month with lectures, presentations, and crafts at many branches (

“We look forward to celebrating National Native American Heritage Month every year at Sonoma County Library,” said Kiyo Okazaki, Sonoma County Library Public Services Division Manager.  “Here at the library, we celebrate every culture and welcome all cultures in our community. We like to take this opportunity to highlight the history and heritage of this important part of our Sonoma County community.”

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.

The events are free and open to all.  For more information, contact Kris LaVanish, Events Specialist, at (707) 545-0831 x1572 or by email Keep up with all library events at and on Facebook,

  • together at the table logo

Together at the Table Series Kicks Off With Climate Change

The Sonoma County is excited to announce the first topic in our Together at the Table series: Climate Change.

Stop in to any Sonoma County Library location and find our Together at the Table learning space, where we have curated books and materials to check out, a curriculum of thought-provoking questions and resources, and opportunities to share with others in the community.  Come to one of our panel discussions to learn and discover from local experts. Share your thoughts about this important topic with elected officials and decision makers using our postcards.

The two community conversation panel discussions on Climate Change had to be rescheduled from October due to the fires.

The new dates for the two Climate Change events are:

These Together at the Table events will include a panel of local experts and agencies who will explain how their organization is affecting climate change in Sonoma County and what we can do about it.

Partners include:

  • Center for Climate Protection
  • Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry
  • Sonoma Clean Power
  • Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District
  • Sonoma County’s Energy & Sustainability Division
  • Sonoma County Transportation Authority’s Regional Climate Protection Authority


All Together at the Table events are free and open to all.

For more information contact Community Engagement Coordinator Angelina Cacioppo Hernandez at 545-0831 x 1510 or  Read more about Together at the Table at and keep in touch with library events at and on Facebook,

Sonoma and Santa Rosa Community Meetings; Re-entering Neighborhoods and Housing Options

Re-entering neighborhoods, the overall community cleanup process including debris and ash removal, and housing options for residents in the coming months will be discussed at two Community Meetings today – Thursday, October 19.

Time: 1-3PM

Location: Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building, 126 First Street West Sonoma, CA 95476

Time: 6-8PM

Location: Santa Rosa High School South Gym, 1235 Mendocino Ave Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Those that aren't able to attend the meetings can watch the meeting live on the the Sonoma County Sheriff's Facebook page at:

No Charges for Destroyed, Damaged or Late Items

When the Library is able to reopen, there will be no charges for library materials destroyed or damaged in the fires, overdue fines will be waived, and we will work hard to extend expiration dates on holds. 

Cuando la biblioteca se puede reabrir, no cobrará en absoluto ningunos cargos o multas para materiales destruidos o dañados en los incendios; tampoco para materiales devueltos después de la fecha de vencimiento. Trabajaremos duro para extender las fechas de expiración de los materiales reservados.