Library News

Are You Ready for LumaCon?

Are you ready for LumaCon?

  • Do you like Cosplay, Larping, and Fandoms? 
  • Do you write or draw, and like to share your work with your peers and your community?
  • Are you crafty and like to make things like the teens featured in this Press Democrat article?
  • Do you want to meet and talk to professional artists, illustrators, and other supporters of the comic arts?
  • Do you play MTG, or have you wondered about role playing and card games?

Well, you are in luck! 

Coming this Saturday is the third annual LumaCon-- the comic convention for youth, co-sponsored by the Petaluma branch of the Sonoma County Library and the libraries of Petaluma High School and Casa Grande High School.  Whether you come in costume or not, be prepared to be surrounded by enthusiasts of comic, art, and geek culture of all types and of all ages.

LumaCon is a joint venture of the Sonoma County Library, the Petaluma High School Library, and the Casa Grande High School Library, and it is held this year from 10am-4pm at Lucchesi Center in Petaluma on Saturday, January 28.


Caldecott Award Winners 2017

Well Sonoma County, we voted for our favorite picture books in our Mock Caldecott, but on Monday, January 23 the American Library Association (ALA) announced the official award winners at its Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.         

The winners are:

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:


Radiant child : the story of young artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaca Steptoe

Four Caldecott Honor Books also were named:

Take a look at the Sonoma County Mock Caldecott winners.   



For more information and to find out about all the awards given, visit the American Library Association site.

Black History Month 2017

Since 1976, the month of February has been designated Black History Month, or National African American History Month, and is a time to recognize, celebrate, and honor the rich and diverse history of African Americans.

This year, Sonoma County Library celebrates Black History with a variety of events, displays and resources for the residents of Sonoma County. Enjoy as we pay tribute by celebrating and learning about the generations of African Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society, the central role of African Americans in U.S. history.

The month-long celebration includes programs and events for Children & Families, Teens, and Adults. The Library will feature the following:

For Children and Families:

Black History through Music with Fam Team:

Take a musical journey through the ages highlighting the innumerable contributions of Americans of African descent to American music and global culture.

  • Sebastopol– Wednesday, February 1st at 3:30pm (all ages)

African Folktales, Legends & Music with Kirk Waller:

Celebrate Black History Month with a lively performance by storyteller Kirk Waller.

  • Petaluma – Saturday, February 11th at 2:00pm

Story Quilt Project:

Create your own square in our community story quilt, and watch it grow all month long.

  • Rohnert Park – February 1st-28th, drop in, all day every day (all ages)

Family Movie for Black History Month:

Join us for a family-friend movie celebrating Black History Month.

  • Rohnert Park – Saturday, February 25th at 2:00pm (ages 5 & up)

Village Rhythms with Onye Onyemaechi:

Master drummer Onye Onyemaechi uses rhythm, music and instruments to explore the beauty and soul of the drum in African village life.

  • Sebastopol – Wednesday, February 15th at 3:30pm (all ages)
  • Central – Saturday, February 25th at 2:00pm (all ages)

Aesop Alive and Well with Diane Ferlatte:

The fables of Aesop will be brought to life with music and song by award-winning storyteller Diane Ferlatte.

  • Healdsburg – Saturday, February 11th at 10:30am
  • Cloverdale – Saturday, February 11th at 2:00pm

For Teens:

Freedom Riders Event:

Join us for a viewing of the documentary Freedom Riders. Grab a copy of John Lewis’s award-winning March Book One to check out ahead of time!

  • Petaluma – Saturday, February 11th from 11:30am-1:30pm
  • Sebastopol – Saturday, February 25th from 1:00pm-3:00pm

For Adults:

Black History Month Film Series:

Join us as we explore culture and history through film.

Red Tails (PG-13): The Tuskegee Airmen are finally given the chance to prove themselves in the sky.

  • Cloverdale –Wednesday, February 15th at 5:30pm

The Rosa Parks Story (NR): A dramatic biography of the woman who created the spark that began the modern Civil Rights Movement.

  • Cloverdale – Wednesday, February 22nd at 5:30pm

The events are free and open to all.  

PAL Heads North to Cloverdale

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

The Play and Learn Island™ (PAL) just finished a 3-month stay at the Windsor Library and is now on its way north, to Cloverdale, for the months of February and March 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 Cloverdale Regional Library through March, or check the schedule to see when it's coming to a branch near you -- and play and learn with us!

  • The Night Gardener

    The Night Gardener

Mock Caldecott 2017 Results

The votes are in! Sonoma County has chosen the best 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 second year in a row you, Sonoma County picture book lovers, let us know which books you thought would win by voting in our Mock Caldecott.

The children's librarians of Sonoma County Library read hundreds of picture books published in 2016, narrowed them down to 10 (not an easy task!), then left it up to you to choose our winner by voting for your favorites either online or at the library. 

Drum roll please . . . The Sonoma County's Mock Caldecott Winner is...

    The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and illustrated by Eric Fan 

Check back on Tuesday, Jan. 24 to see what books win the official contest!

The numbers were close, but the following titles are our three Honor Books for the year.  


by F. Campoy & T. Howell   illus. by R.Lopez

  • Lynda for Libraries

    Lynda for Libraries

Free Online Learning with Lynda

Effective January 18, 2017, Sonoma County Library cardholders have FREE ACCESS to's collection of online courses and tutorials to learn business, technology, and creative skills! is a leading online learning company that offers a collection of online courses that are available helps anyone learn business, technology and creative skills through award-winning video tutorials that are available online anytime, anywhere.  Thanks to the passage of Measure Y, all you need to use in Sonoma County is your Sonoma County Library card! features an ever-expanding collection of more than 3,000 courses and 150,000 award-winning video tutorials taught by industry experts.  The courses and tutorials cover a variety of topic and skill areas including office productivity applications, databases, spreadsheets, Photoshop, multimedia production, business savvy, specialized applications, organizational skills and Adobe Acrobat.  Because everyone learns in their own way and at their own pace, offers users the flexibility to get a quick answer or dive deep and undergo an entire training series.

"Connecting our customers in Sonoma County with learning resources to enhance individual skills, acquire new skills to advance at work and build foundational skills for success in school is important to Sonoma County Library.  We are excited that the library’s subscription to will let the public and our own staff access the tutorials and classes they need for free and on their own schedules," said Rauno Saarinen, eResources & Discovery Specialist, Sonoma County Library.

With thousands of courses offered, you can choose a course that best fits your interests and passion including in 3D Printing + Animation, Design, Education + ELearning, IT, Marketing, and Photography, to name a few. With unlimited access to Lynda’s courses, you can learn anywhere using your computer, tablet or mobile device. Courses are as short as 3 minutes to more extensive series deepening your knowledge on the topic of your choice.

Library cards may be obtained by visiting any of the Sonoma County Library’s 15 branches throughout the county with a current identification or get an eCard online and immediately start using our online resources, like 

Weather Affecting Library Services

Information will be shared here on the effect of this winter storm system on Sonoma County Library branches.

Thank you, and let’s be safe, everyone!

Wednesday, January 11:

2:36 PM:

  • The Forestville Rural Station will not open this afternoon (3-6:30 p.m.), as the access road is flooded.  El Molino High School is also closed today.
  • Guerneville Library will close at 5 p.m.  Some parts of River Road and Pocket Canyon are flooded and dangerous to drive in the dark.

10:50 AM:

  • Occidental Rural Station is closed today (12-5) due to flooding and road closures in the lower Russian River.

10:00 am:

  • Guerneville Library and Sebastopol Library will be opening as scheduled (10:00 am-8:00 pm).


Tuesday, January 10:

2:09 PM:

  • Sebastopol Library is without electricity, and due to dangerous road conditions, it is being closed.

1:15 pm:

  • The Guerneville Library Advisory Board Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 11 has been cancelled due to weather condition and will be rescheduled.

1:09 PM:

  • Guerneville Library has lost power. Due to flooding in the access roads, and the river’s continuous rise, the Library is closed now.
  • Occidental Rural Station is closed today (12-5) due to flooding and road closures in the lower Russian River.
  • Forestville Rural Station(3-6:30) will be closed tonight due to flooding in the access road and surroundings.


The other branches are doing OK. Several branches report leaks, but no major problems have been reported.
We will update as news is received.

Thank you, and please stay dry and safe, everyone!

Library Gears Up for New Hours in Spring

Sonoma County Library is thrilled to announce it will reopen its doors to the public on Mondays very soon this Spring! To support the expansion of hours, the library has over 30 new job recruitments posted on its website (see This expansion of library hours is made possible by the passing of Measure Y.

“The Library is delighted that the voters of Sonoma County expressed their support for the library by the passage of Measure Y.  We’re in the midst of upgrading the library’s technical infrastructure, hiring new staff to support expanded hours and launching new services like Lynda for Libraries in January.” said Brett Lear, Director of Sonoma County Library. 

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, along with an increase in collection materials and enhancing library services throughout Sonoma County.

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.

The Library now has the opportunity to use Measure Y funds to provide new, innovative services to Library customers. The library’s new digital streaming service Zinio is a perfect example. Zinio provides a quick, easy way for Library cardholders to read digital copies of over 160 magazines on any device for free. In addition to new services, the Library will also focus on infrastructure and facilities upgrades.

Sonoma County Library is grateful to Sonoma County residents for their support and expression of the need to reopen library doors on Monday. These new hours mean an increase in services and support for Library customers.

To keep up to date on the changes happening at the Sonoma County Library, including your community branch, visit

  • poster describing art show

Central Library Hosts Youth Art Show

Sonoma County Library is hosting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sonoma County’s National Fine Arts Exhibit at the Central Santa Rosa Library until January 12th.

“We love seeing local youth art beautifying the shelves of our Central Library,” said Angelina Cacioppo, Community Engagement Coordinator for the Sonoma County Library. “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County does such tremendous work with the youth of Sonoma County, we’re proud to display the artwork these kids have worked so diligently on.”

Each year the Boys & Girls Clubs of America reaches out to 4,000 Clubs across the country and conduct a search to identify talented, young artists. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County serves over 6,000 young people at 32 Club locations across Sonoma County. The National Fine Arts Exhibit will display works art in 9 media categories including monochromatic drawing, multicolored drawing, watercolor, pastel, oil & acrylic painting, mixed media, printmaking, collage, and group projects. Artwork for each media category is divided into age groups: 6-9, 10-12, 13-15, & 16-18.

On January 10th at 1:00pm at the Central Library, four local judges will evaluate each art category and age group and will select winners. This year’s judges are Brett Lear (Director of the Sonoma County Library), Kristen Madsen (Executive Director of Creative Sonoma), Pam Chanter (Vice President of Vantreo Insurance), and Briana Gonzalez (Community Coordinator for the Redwood Credit Union). 

Winners will continue to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Fine Arts Exhibit in the organization’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia for judging at the national level besides Boys & Girls Club Members from around the country. Winning artists will receive engraved plaques and congratulations from Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s President Jim Clark.

We are thrilled to be able to host this exhibit, and grateful to the community partnerships that made it happen.  Stop by the Central Santa Rosa Library at 211 E Street in Santa Rosa to see the wonderful artwork of our Sonoma County children! The artwork will be displayed in the teen section until January 12th.


Make This Year Your Healthiest Yet!

Sonoma County Library is here to support your New Year’s health resolution! “Healthy Living at your Library” is a series of free educational classes and events with a focus on nutrition, healthy cooking and physical fitness. Attend our free fitness and cooking classes, and join our Healthy Living Club for a chance to win prizes.

The Library has identified health literacy as an educational need in the community and has developed this health series with local partners including Sonoma County Department of Health Services, Santa Rosa Junior College, Sonoma County YMCA, Ceres Community Project, St. Joseph Health, Northern California Center for Well-Being, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and others.

Classes this winter include Family Bootcamp, Winter Vegetables: Beyond Broccoli, Senior Health Literacy, Ayurveda: Body Type Systems, Core and HIIT Express, Transform Your Posture Through Yoga and more. Pre-registration is required.

Sign up for our Healthy Living Club and you could win a prize! To qualify, all you have to do is: attend three healthy living classes, check out a health book or fitness DVD, and complete a personal fitness challenge. Turn in your completed Club Card to your library by May 31, 2017 to be entered in the prize drawing. Prizes include an Instant Pot, blender, Sonoma County Parks pass, a Fitbit, yoga kit, assortment of spices and $50 gift cards.

Visit or call your local library to sign up for classes and get a Club Card today! Full class schedule available online at