Library News

Comforting Books for Difficult Times

The world can be a scary place for children under normal circumstances let alone during times of crisis. Below are some resources that can help your child understand what is happening in the world around them.
ALA Books for Difficult Times: The American Library Association has created a list of books for children on a variety of topics. Books can be wonderful tools to use with children who have experienced difficult times. Reading (or being read to) and talking with adults can help them understand and cope with their feelings in a developmentally appropriate way. Reading also offers a great way to spend time with a child, reinforce a sense of normalcy and security, and connect with them, all of which are important to recovery from a traumatic experience.

NASP:Tips for Parents and Teachers: The National Association of School Psychologists have published a guide for talking to children about violence.
Sonoma County Library cares about our community and strives to provide welcoming and safe spaces for all our residents. Our knowledgeable staff can help you find resources like these and more.

Healthy Living Grant Concludes

We'd like to give a big shout-out to Jaime, the manager of our Collection Services Division, for all the work she did to plan, coordinate, and execute the $30k Healthy Living at Your Library LSTA grant in 2016-17. The final paperwork for this grant was submitted today, and we look forward to watching the Healthy Living brand carry forward into future. If you're interested in the details ...


Outcomes from the 2016-17 grant included:

  • 156 educational classes and events were held at 14 libraries county-wide. Class topics included Meditation, Healing Foods Basics, Gentle Strength and Stretch, Ayurveda, Senior Health Literacy, Rethink Your Drink, Cooking in Season, Transform Your Posture Through Yoga, Cooking Winter Vegetables, Cardio Kickboxing, What's on a label, etc.
  • 921 people attended a Healthy Living class
  • 40 prizes were given away to patrons who completed a Healthy Living Club Card
  • 118 books and DVDs were purchased on health and wellness related topics, primarily cookbooks and workout videos
  • 7 local community partnerships were established: Sonoma County YMCA, Santa Rosa Junior College - Community Education Division, Ceres Community Project, Northern California Center for Well Being, St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County Department of Health Services, Jill Nussinow (The Veggie Queen)
  • All Branch Managers attended a 2-hour training session on Delivering Consumer Health Information to the Public presented by the National Library of Medicine

Changes in Behavior

Those who attended a healthy living class reported the following:

  • 88% of attendees at healthy eating classes reported an increase in their knowledge of nutrition, cooking and healthy eating options as a result of attending
  • 92% of attendees at healthy eating classes indicated a commitment to increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
  • 77% of attendees at physical fitness classes committed to doing the exercises at home
  • 88% of attendees at any class indicated the class helped them achieve a personal health goal

Patron Responses

Some patron comments that came through on the feedback forms include:
“well organized and a lot of material covered in 1.5 hours”
“fabulous presentation! Yummy food!”
“encourage you to do more cooking or nutrition classes at the library”

Going Forward

The Healthy Living at Your Library branding and logo will continue to be used at SCL. Classes scheduled for Fall 2017 include Cooking Well at any Age, Piyo, Stay Fit, Stress Reduction and more. The scope will be increasing to include more classes specifically targeted for children, such as Kids Can Cook! which teaches kids how to make healthy snacks and Mindful Minis, a yoga/meditation class for kids.

We're looking forward to watching the Healthly Living series continue to offer these classes, services, and resources in our Strategic Plan goals to increase countywide health literacy and to deliver health related services within the library.

Play and Learn moves to Rincon Valley 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 Roseland Library, and is now making its home for the next two months in the Rincon Valley Library. 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 Rincon Valley Library for October and November 2017, or check the schedule to see when it's coming to a branch near you -- and play and learn with us!

Walk and Read at StoryWalk Under the Oaks

Join us for the launch of our latest StoryWalk!

Sonoma County Parks and Libraries have joined forces for a fun-filled storytime outdoors.  The StoryWalk will take place at your local county park. We will explore nature and a story together! All ages welcome.

The StoryWalk will be up for the whole month, but we will host a fun KICKOFF EVENT on Sunday, October 1, 2017, where the library and the parks department staff will be leading StoryWalks every half hour starting at 10:30 and ending at 1:00 pm.

Foothill Regional Park
1351 Arata Lane

Parking at Foothill Regional  Park costs $7.00, or is free if you have a Sonoma County Parks Pass. Come see us, and enjoy a hike with your family while you read a book!

String Quintet Concerts Kick Off Fall Symphony Collaboration

The Sonoma County Library is proud to continue a strong partnership with the Santa Rosa Symphony for the third year!

On Saturday September 23, the Santa Rosa Symphony String Quintet will be performing at the Guerneville and Sebastopol Libraries. These concerts are part of the 2017 symphony concert series offered through a unique, exciting collaboration between the Sonoma County Library and the Santa Rosa Symphony.

Alan Silow, President and CEO of the Santa Rosa Symphony said “The Santa Rosa Symphony is delighted to renew our partnership with Sonoma County Library to bring performances of our talented musicians beyond the concert stage to library settings throughout Sonoma County that will provide library audiences a free, and up close enriching musical experience.” Interim Library Director, Tracy Gray, says “I am very excited about this partnership with the Santa Rosa Symphony. It is a great opportunity for our community members to be able to experience the symphony in our Libraries.”


Enjoy a musical journey to different places around the world during our family program where listeners will discover a wide variety of music from some of the most well-known composers and some not so familiar. Children will adore familiar pieces including music from The Pink Panther, The Elephant from Camille Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals, and Eine Kline Nachtmusik; Adults will appreciate memorable pieces composed by Benjamin Britten, Anton Dvorak, Amadeus Mozart.

  • Saturday, Sept. 23 at 12:30 p.m.
    Guerneville Regional Library
    14107 Armstrong Woods Rd.
    Guerneville, CA 95446

  • Saturday, Sept. 23 at 2:15 p.m.
    Sebastopol Regional Library
    7140 Bodega Avenue
    Sebastopol, CA 95472

Currently in its 90th season, Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. The Symphony is also recognized as having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 35,000 youth annually. The String Quintet is led by Andy McCorkle, and include bass musician Claire Marti, Aromi Park on violin, Alex Volonts on viola and Wanda Warkentin on the cello.

These concerts 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,


2017 Summer Lunch at the Library Impact

In 2017, for the third year in a row, Sonoma County Library served free lunches to children ages 0-18 during the summer months, in an effort to help combat food insecurity on Sonoma County. 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. For summer 2017, we had 6 participating library sites - Central Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Northwest Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sebastopol, and Sonoma Valley.

From surveys returned by participating children and families, we learned that through this program we:

  • Served 4669 meals to children and teens across the county (an increase of 26% over 2016)
  • Served meals on 238 days across 6 locations (decrease from 287 days/8 locations in 2016)
  • Supported the physical, emotional, and developmental health of low income children in the community
  • Engaged children and youth in summer reading programs and other library programming
  • Provided community service opportunities to teens
  • Provided a safe and trusted community space for children and families to go while school is out of session
  • Provided families with access to technology and other community resources and services.


We'll be back again next summer, and we'd love to have you volunteer to help serve lunches to the children of our community!

Sonoma County Agencies Expand "Do It Yourself Energy & Water Savings Toolkits"

Energy and Water Savings Toolkits are now available at all Sonoma County Libraries!

The partnership between the Sonoma County Library, the Sonoma County Energy and Sustainability Division, the Sonoma County Water Agency and Sonoma Clean Power is expanding the "Do It Yourself" (DIY) Energy and Water Savings Toolkits to be available at all Sonoma County library branches as part of a program promoting energy and water efficiency.

The toolkits will be available for checkout starting September 11, 2017 at the following library branches: Central Santa Rosa, Cloverdale, Guerneville, Healdsburg, Northwest Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rincon Valley, Rohnert Park-Cotati, Roseland, Sebastopol, Sonoma Valley, and Windsor.

The DIY Toolkits are available for Sonoma County Library cardholders to check out for up to three (3) weeks. They provide tools and information enabling cardholders to perform home upgrade projects such as weather-stripping windows and doors, monitoring electrical use, determining water leaks, and switching to LED lightbulbs.

"We hope that after checking out the toolkits, residents will be inspired to do more advanced energy efficiency upgrades," said Nelson Lomeli, Program Specialist with Sonoma Clean Power. "The County of Sonoma’s Energy and Sustainability Division, a partner in this effort, is a great resource available to residents looking to do more home upgrades."

The expansion comes after a successful ten-month pilot in Guerneville, Sebastopol, and Central Santa Rosa library locations that proved to be incredibly popular with patrons.

"I am excited about continuing this partnership and the opportunity our residents have in gaining the knowledge and tools of energy efficiency through the Toolkit Program at their local library," said Sonoma County Library Interim Director, Tracy Gray.

In coordination with the launch of the program expansion, a series of home energy and water savings workshops will be offered at library branches throughout the County. To find out more about the workshop dates visit, or call the Energy and Sustainability Division office at (707) 565-6470.

More information about the DIY Toolkits can be found at, or in person by going into a participating library branch.


  • together at the table logo

Together at the Table: SCL Receives Grant to Encourage Discussion of Important Issues

The Sonoma County is excited to announce a new program series upcoming in 2017-2018: Together at the Table.

Funded with a $25,000 federal grant, and named for a line in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Together at the Table will create opportunities for community members to learn, discuss, and become civically engaged in relevant topics heard in our local newspapers, the news, and in other media daily.

Highlighting six topics throughout the year, Together at the Table will create learning spaces in each Library branch with related materials to learn and research the topic further; it will host community conversation events throughout the county; and it will provide opportunities for community members to share thoughts and opinions with decision-makers with postcards provided and mailed by the Library.

The six topics being discussed in the 2017-18 grant period are:

  • Climate Change,

  • Immigration,

  • Blackness in America,

  • Women’s Rights,

  • LGBTQI, and

  • Income Inequality.

Each event will be led by a panel of local experts, agencies, and organizations affecting these topics in our county.

STAY TUNED for more information, and learn how YOU can make a difference in our community, our state, and our country.

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,

Library Hosts Array of Events for Hispanic Heritage Month

We've got a great lineup of events and classes to recognize and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this year -- from children's musical performances like Juan Sanchez, to film series highlighting different cultures and figures, to traditional styles of music from Cascada de Flores. 

  • Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance and Drum

    Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance and Drum

Aztec Dance and Drum

We are happy to host Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance and Drum (Tezkatlipoka) to perform at eight branches of Sonoma County Library this fall.

Tezkatlipoka is a traditional Aztec dance circle and a community based performing arts dance group that promotes an appreciation and understanding of pre Colombian art forms through traditional Aztec dance and music. Tezkatlipoka works towards integrating all dimensions of Mesoamerican dance, music, and performance art while honoring the cultural traditions left behind by our ancestors.  Tezkatlipoka celebrates cultural diversity by exploring common links that bring and connect all people together in a celebration of movement, art and life.

Tezkatlipoka will share indigenous Meso American culture through Aztec dance and drumming. The program begins by honoring the four directions, north, south, east and west and includes 4-5 dances. 

Join us for a truly unique and powerful Aztec Dance and Drum presentation at Sonoma County Library, and enjoy the thread of cultural information and dance.

Upcoming performances:

  • October 14, 11:00 am       Central Library
  • October 14, 2:00 pm       Rohnert Park Cotati Library
  • October 21, 12:00 pm      Sebastopol Library
  • October 21, 2:30 pm        Guerneville Library
  • October 28, 12:00 pm     Roseland Library
  • October 28, 2:30 pm       Petaluma Library
  • March 10, 12:00pm           Rincon Valley Library
  • March 10, 2:30 pm           Sonoma Valley Library

Upcoming Events

For all upcoming dates, visit our online events calendar.