Library News

Free Legal Help in your Local Library

The Sonoma County Library is happy to host Lawyers in the Library in partnership with the Sonoma County Law Library, Sonoma County Bar Association and Recourse Mediation. Lawyers in the Library provides FREE legal information and referrals by local attorneys. Participants receive 20 minute legal consultations by volunteer attorneys at the Sonoma County Law Library and at various Library Branch locations throughout Sonoma County.

Those interested in receiving this free legal advice are required to sign a waiver before speaking to an attorney that states no official attorney-client relationship is developed with this free service, attorney are not considered personal lawyers, but volunteers donating their time and providing free legal guidance. No appointment is necessary, sign-ups are first come, first served and begin 30 minutes before the program start time.

Lawyers in the Library will operate the following dates and times:

at the Sonoma County Law Library (2604 Ventura Ave., Santa Rosa, 95403)

Date & Time: 1stSaturday of every other month 1:00-3:00 p.m.

  • May 5, 2018
  • July 7, 2018
  • September 1, 2018
  • November 3, 2018

at Sonoma County Library branches:

*Location rotates among branches

 For more information about Lawyers in the Library, please contact Librarian Vicki Chavez at 707-838-1020 or vchavez@sonomalibrary.org.  Keep up with all library programs and events at www.sonomalibrary.org and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/sonomalibrary.

2017 Regional Parks Trails Challenge

Trails and Tales

For the second year in a row, the Sonoma County Library is working with Sonoma County Parks to support this year’s Trails Challenge, which is a summer-long program encouraging people to get out into their regional parks and enjoy the outdoors. The Trails Challenge is an invitation to explore Sonoma County's parks and do something good for your body and mind. 2017 is also the 50th Anniversary of the Sonoma County Regional Parks system, so there are other fun challenges like an all-park challenge and a 50-Mile Challenge for Regional Parks' 50th!                              .

When you finish five hikes, submit a brief online trails log, and you'll get a free Trails Challenge gift. Share your Trails Challenge photos on social media with #TrailsChallenge #SonomaCountyParks to be eligible for monthly giveaways of park memberships and REI trail gear! 

But that's not all! 

For families with children age 0-12 who complete the Trails Challenge, the Library is offering a prize—a free paperback book-- available for pickup at any of our full-service branches. There are five different titles for children to choose from, including fiction, nonfiction, and bilingual. These books are funded by a mini-grant from the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation, supplemented by a grant from the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation.

So what are you waiting for? 

Get out into our beautiful regional parks, and then get in to our libraries!

The Trails Challenge program runs from June through September 2017.

PAL Returns to Sebastopol This Summer

The Play and Learn Island™ is coming back to Sebastopol!

The Play and Learn Island™ (PAL) just finished a 2-month stay at the Rohnert Park-Cotati Library and is now on its way to Sebastopol for the months of June and July 2017. 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 Sebastopol Regional Library through July, or check the schedule to see when it's coming to a branch near you -- and play and learn with us!

  • History Day May 21

    History Day May 21

Finding History in Sonoma County - A Day of Discovery - May 21

Celebrate the first Finding History in Sonoma County – A Day  of Discovery on Sunday, May 21st from 10am to 2pm at the DeTurk Round Barn, 819 Donahue Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401.

This event is jointly sponsored by the Sonoma County Library and Sonoma County Historical Records Commission.

All are invited to come discover, celebrate, and promote the historical records collections held by 34 Sonoma County based organizations. Special presentations will be hosted by local historians and authors throughout the event, including book signings, a tour of the historic West End Neighborhood, and mini-workshops focused on the preservation of archival materials.

There will be a special appearances by the Model A Ford Club and presenters in period costumes. The first of many historical events, we hope you’ll join us as we celebrate Sonoma County’s history.

Exhibitors include the following:

  1. California Indian Museum & Cultural Center
  2. California State Parks
  3. Cloverdale History Center & Museum
  4. Drake Navigators Guild
  5. Filipino American National Historical Society – Sonoma County Chapter
  6. Glen Ellen Historical Society
  7. Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society
  8. Historic Railroad Square Association
  9. Historical Society of Santa Rosa
  10. Luther Burbank Home & Gardens
  11. North Bay Italian Cultural Foundation
  12. Northwestern Bottle Collectors Association
  13. Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society
  14. Petaluma Museum Association
  15. Rancho Bodega Historical Society
  16. Russian River Historical Society
  17. Santa Rosa Junior College – 100th Anniversary Committee
  18. Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery
  19. Santa Rosa Sesquicentennial Committee
  20. Charles M. Schulz Museum
  21. Sitting Room: A Community Library
  22. Sonoma County Archives
  23. Sonoma County Clerk/Recorder
  24. Sonoma County Historical Records Commission
  25. Sonoma County Historical Society
  26. Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library
  27. Sonoma County Genealogical Society
  28. Sonoma County Museum
  29. Sonoma State University – Special Collections
  30. Sonoma Valley Historical Society
  31. Sons of Norway
  32. Stewards of the Coast Redwoods
  33. West County Historical Society

This event is free and open to the public.

Play and Learn in Rohnert Park

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 Cloverdale Library and is now on its way south to Rohnert Park, for the months of April and May 2017. 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 Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library through May, or check the schedule to see when it's coming to a branch near you -- and play and learn with us!

  • boy and girl climbing book stairs to look over a wall

Kids "Read Without Walls" for Children's Book Week in May

This May marks the 98th anniversary of Children’s Book Week, the annual celebration of children’s books and reading. Established in 1919, it is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country.

During Children’s Book Week this year (and on through the entire month of May), Sonoma County Library is challenging every kid — every reader, really — to explore the world through books through the “Reading Without Walls” reading challenge. This challenge was put forth by Gene Luen Yang, who is an award-winning author and artist, as well as the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The goal of this reading challenge is to get kids to expand out of their reading comfort zones by reading books that will expand their knowledge and world.

So, stop in to any Sonoma County Library branch location during Children’s Book Week to pick up your reading checklist for the READING WITHOUT WALLS challenge; complete and return it by the end of the month to receive a prize!

Also, when you finish the challenge, take a photo of you and the book (or just the book if you’re shy) and post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadingWithoutWalls. You’ll inspire others to do the same!



  • ben franklin and money smart week logo

Money Smart Week at the Library

This week, and on into May, Sonoma County Library will host events and classes as part of a nationwide effort to promote financial literacy.

Money Smart Week is an initiative to help consumers manage their finances better. The program started in Chicago in 2002. It has expanded beyond just Chicago and more than 900 libraries across the United States participate in Money Smart Week. Money Smart Week helps consumers of all demographics and income levels better manage their personal finances. The Library is partnering with North Bay Credit Union and Redwood Credit Union to provide educational events that cover a variety of money-management topics.

Money Smart programs that the Library will offer include:

For Children:

Money Smart Art Market

  • Petaluma                   Thursday, April 21 at 3:30 pm (for ages 6-12)
  • Rincon Valley            Wednesday, April 26 at 11:30 am (for ages 3-6)

Money Smart Kids Workshop

(for ages 6-12, in partnership with North Bay Credit Union)

  • Healdsburg               Tuesday, April 25 at 4:00 pm
  • Rohnert Park            Thursday, April 27 at 4:00 pm

For Adults:

Personal finance: How to manage personal credit, debt and budgeting for financial health

(in partnership with Redwood Credit Union)

  • Rincon Valley            Wednesday, May 17 at 6:30 pm
  • Central Santa Rosa   Wednesday, May 31 at 5:30 pm

 

Library Hours Only the Beginning of Measure Y Changes

The Library’s first phase of restoring library hours is just the beginning of Measure Y changes at Sonoma County Library!

In the next few months, you will also begin to see increases in the books budget (more books), more classes and events being offered for children and adults, improved technology, and ongoing renovations to our library facilities.

Thank you to the voters in Sonoma County for the passage of Measure Y!

  • Branches Reopening Mondays May 1

    Branches Reopening Mondays May 1

Libraries Open Mondays Starting May 1

Effective May 1st, all Sonoma County Library branches will be open 10am-9pm on Mondays! Re-opening the branches on Mondays is a direct result of Sonoma County voters passing Measure Y on November 8, 2016. In addition to reopening its doors to the public on Mondays, branches across Sonoma County will be extending Wednesday hours from 10am to 9pm.

“Increasing hours has been our number one priority. Our Library staff have worked tirelessly to open on Mondays as soon as possible,” said Brett Lear, Director of Sonoma County Library. “We’ve hired new staff to support these hours and have launched new services like Lynda.com and Zinio for Libraries. Ultimately, we’re thrilled to be able to offer more hours to our communities and open on Mondays!”

In 2011 as a result of the Great Recession, Sonoma County Library made the difficult decision to close Library doors on Mondays. As library funding was cut, the cost of books, library materials and services continued to increase. Amid this financial landscape, the Library continued to balance its budget and provided residents with excellent programs, services and materials.

On November 8th, 2016, 72% of the voters in Sonoma County passed Measure Y, a ballot increasing sales taxes by an eighth of a cent to support the Sonoma County Library. The Library’s first phase of restoring library hours is just one of the many changes planned post-Measure Y.  Some significant changes you’ll begin to see will be an increase in the books budget, more classes and events for children and adults, improved technology, and ongoing renovations to our library facilities.

  • storywalk poster

StoryWalk Coming to Spring Lake Park

Once again, the Library is partnering with Sonoma County Regional Parks to bring a StoryWalk to children and families in our community. This StoryWalk is being set up on April 21st at the Environmental Discovery Center, located just inside the entrance to Spring Lake Regional Park, and it will stay up for children and families to enjoy through May. There will be a special kickoff event to launch the StoryWalk on Saturday, April 29, as part of the Parks' and Library' Día de los Niños celebration.

The book to be showcased with this StoryWalk is "In a Small, Small Pond," by Denise Fleming. Come down to Spring Lake Park, either on April 29th or anytime in April and May, to enjoy the beauty of the park, a good story and quality time spent together.

Visitors are encouraged to share their StoryWalk experience on social media with photos, comments, or any suggestions you may have for the project, using hashtags #SonomaCountyLibrary #StoryWalk.

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