Library News

  • text: trick or treat in the library, with images of children in costumes

Petaluma and Rohnert Park-Cotati libraries to host Halloween events

Unsure of where to take your kids for Halloween? All are invited to Trick or Treat in the Library on Thursday, October 31, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Petaluma and Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Libraries. Join your favorite library staff for a not-so-spooky Halloween event featuring stories, songs and silliness.

“In light of the widespread evacuations and poor air quality throughout Sonoma County, and after observing uncertainty from community members about where to take their kids trick or treating, we will be hosting indoor trick or treating events at our Petaluma and Rohnert Park-Cotati branches on Thursday, October 31,” said Library Director Ann Hammond. “We hope these events bring a semblance of normality to our families during this challenging time.”

Some Sonoma County Library branches had existing plans for Halloween events that had to be canceled due to branch closures. Library staff in closed branches have been re-deployed to open branches, ensuring that community members have a place to go with electricity, WiFi and charging stations.

Trick or Treat in the Library events are free and open to all. Attendees are welcome to come in costume, although not required.

  • Walden book cover

    2019 Sonoma County Reads Walden

"Walden" Chosen for 2019 Sonoma County Reads Title

Few voices in American literature have been as bold and influential as that of Henry David Thoreau. Published in 1854, Walden is viewed not only as a philosophical treatise on labor, leisure, self-reliance, and individualism but also as an influential piece of nature writing.

For more information click here.

Librarians Share Recommendations for TEENtober - a new teen celebration

Last year we had "Teen Read Week".... this year we have TEENtober! TEENtober is a new-in-2019 nationwide celebration hosted by libraries across the country every October to celebrate teens and teen library services.

To support our local teens and share our passion for teen literature, we're bringing back our BOOKCHATS - staff recommendations of their favorite teen reads. Read on for some great ideas of what to read next!

man holding book "Thunderhead" by Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead, by Neal Shusterman

"This TeenTober I am recommending "Thunderhead," the sequel to Neal Shusterman's “Scythe.” “Thunderhead” follows Scythe Anastasia, formerly known as Citra, fighting against a growing wave of scythes who delight in gleaning (permanent killing). This is done because in a future in which this story takes place, sickness and death can be prevented or even reversed with science and permanent death is determined by scythes.  Meanwhile, her former co-apprentice Rowan has begun masquerading as Scythe Lucifer and is gleaning corrupt scythes while on the run from authorities. This novel is a must-read for fans of the first novel or anyone looking for action-packed science fiction."

~recommended by Teen Services Librarian Stuart W., from Guerneville Regional Library

woman holding book "I hate everyone but you" by Gaby Dunn and Alison Raskin

I hate everyone but you, by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin

"Best friends Ava and Gen are in for the hardest long-distance relationship of their life when they start college on opposite coasts. Through texts and emails, they share a semester of controversial journalism, broken hearts, and sorority dinners, with (sometimes brutal) honesty. Exploring the complexities of mental illness, sexuality, and female friendship, I Hate Everyone But You is semi-autobiographical, told by real-life best friends and comedy duo Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn."

~recommended by Children's Services Librarian Gigi G., from Petaluma Regional Library

woman holding book "How to be an antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi

How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi

"Calling all young adult activists... and also, everyone who cares about other humans. "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi, is an essential book for anyone interested in working towards a just and equitable society.  No matter who you are or what you believe, this book will challenge your views on race. Check it out."

~recommended by Teen Services Librarian Rosalie A., from Sebastopol Regional Library

woman holding book "Like a Love Story" by Abdi Nazemian

Like a Love Story, by Abdi Nazemian

"Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian is set in New York City in 1989 at the height of the AIDS crisis. The main characters Reza, Art, and Judy navigate friendship, love, fear, death, racism, and Madonna during a critical point in LGBTQ history and activism. This book has so much heart it's nearly unbearable, but in the best way. 

Amazing. Loved it. Cried. Loved it some more."

~recommended by Teen Services Librarian Terra E., from Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library

woman holding book "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

It's Sci-fi meets fairy tales in this first book of the Lunar Quartet. Filled with action, dystopian twists on classic fairy tales, daring heroines and a touch of romance, you won't be able to put this book down. Beside the 4 books in the quartet, there are also two short story volumes and two graphic novels in this universe. 

~recommended by Library Associate Shannon B., from Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library

woman holding book "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

A retelling of The Jungle Book, Nobody Owens is an orphan child raised by ghosts and other supernatural beings. Living in the graveyard protects him from the man who killed his family, but Bod is lonely and wants more from life.

~recommended by Librarian Karen B., from Petaluma Regional Library

 woman holding book "Shadow & Bone" by Leigh Bardugo 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow & Bone is one of my favorite YA Fantasy books! This is the first book that takes place in the Grishaverse, and it is the perfect escapist read.  A Russian inspired dark fantasy, this book has it all: an engaging plot, interesting characters, robust world building, MAGIC!, romance, and some major twists and turns. Soon to be a series on Netflix! 

~recommended by Librarian Melissa C., from Northwest Santa Rosa Regional Library

  
  
  
  
  


  • Sonoma County Library expands Menstrual Equity Program

    Menstrual Equity Program Expanded to All Branch Locations

Sonoma County Library expands Menstrual Equity Program

Sonoma County Library has expanded its Menstrual Equity Program to all library locations, providing patrons who menstruate with equitable and free access to menstrual hygiene supplies, the same way other restroom supplies like toilet paper and soap are freely available. The move coincides with the world’s first-ever National Period Day on October 19.

 “Providing free menstrual supplies in public spaces like our libraries is just the right thing to do,” said Dr. Lisa Ward, Chief Medical Officer for Santa Rosa Community Health (SRCH).

SRCH provides primary care to over 40,000 people with low incomes every year in Santa Rosa, 56% of whom are women, so they are keenly aware of the need.

“Periods are a fact of life. We are all here because women have them! We’re inspired that the Sonoma County Library is taking the lead to make it easier for women, especially those with low incomes, and helping them feel more supported and comfortable by having supplies easily available in every restroom,” Ward said.  

In September 2018, Young Adult Services Librarian Rosalie Abbott and the team at Sebastopol Regional Library proposed a pilot program centered on menstrual equity for five of Sonoma County Library’s branches—Central, Healdsburg, Rincon Valley, Sebastopol and Sonoma Valley. The pilot was a success and a decision was made to expand the program to public and staff restrooms at all library locations.

According to freethetampons.org, 86% of people who menstruate have reported that they have started their period in public without the supplies they need. The library is doing their part to alleviate this inconvenience.

The Menstrual Equity Program is made possible by the Measure Y sales tax, the community’s investment in free public libraries.

NPR book critic and author Maureen Corrigan shares top book picks

National Public Radio (NPR) book critic and author Maureen Corrigan—who spoke at the Rohnert Park-Cotati Library on July 20 as part of Sonoma County Library’s Distinguished Speaker Series—has shared a list of her recent top book picks, all available with a Sonoma County Library card.

Booklist photo

The books are as follows:

  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
  • Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan
  • Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton
  • Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
  • Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz
  • Conviction by Denise Mina
  • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Most titles can be found by searching online at find.sonomalibrary.org. Impatient with Desire is available through LINK+ service, at sonomalibrary.org/linkplus.

Corrigan is America’s most trusted and beloved book critic. For more than 20 years, she has been the book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air. She is also a columnist for The Washington Post and The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University where her courses are very popular.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is one of many events and activities offered by the library through the 2019 Adult Summer Reading Program. The Distinguished Speaker Series is funded by Measure Y sales tax, the community’s investment in free public libraries.

  • Intern Cortunay Minor and Special Collections Librarian & Archivist Joanna Kolosov photo

    Photo: Intern Cortunay Minor and Special Collections Librarian & Archivist Joanna Kolosov traveled to Washington D.C. for the internship program’s wrap-up event held September 20 to 22

Sonoma County Library completes national summer internship program

This summer, the Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library in Santa Rosa joined 48 libraries across the U.S. by serving as a pilot site for a new internship program intended to help attract young people to careers in librarianship. The library hosted Santa Rosa High School graduate Cortunay Minor as part of the Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative (III).

“From my coworkers, to my mentors, to other mentors in the program, to all the interns I got to befriend and beyond, I am much more attuned to the expansiveness and complexities of librarianship,” Minor said. “Not only has my support system expanded, but as has my circle of friends and my fond, respect-full adoration for our Sonoma County Libraries.”

Minor began her internship in June and worked closely with her appointed mentors at the History & Genealogy Library: Special Collections Librarians and Archivists Zayda Delgado and Joanna Kolosov. The trio completed a connected learning project that concluded with a wrap-up presentation of Minor’s experiences at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on September 21.

“It was important for the History & Genealogy Library to host an intern from the Roseland community, who is a Spanish speaker and from a younger demographic than our typical visitors,” Delgado and Kolosov said. “[Minor’s] perspective illuminated points of view that we had previously overlooked. Her passion and vision are very much in line with our goals to better document underrepresented communities, particularly LGBTQ and people of color.”

The Inclusive Internship Initiative is funded by PLA with support from a pre-professional Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant (grant RE-00-17-0129-17) from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

  • New American Collection / Coleccion para Nuevos Estadounidenses

Library launches educational citizenship collection

Are you or is someone in your life interested in American citizenship? Sonoma County Library’s “New American Collection” officially launched in all 12 branches on September 17, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. This collection serves those interested in citizenship, civics and naturalization, primarily the immigrant population of Sonoma County.

The purpose of the New American Collection is to empower community members by providing easily browsable, multilingual, multimedia materials in support of acquiring citizenship and learning English.

The New American Collection in action at Central Santa Rosa Library. Photo Daniel Cottrell

“The County of Sonoma continues our commitment to be a safe and inclusive community,” said Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair David Rabbitt. “We applaud the library’s efforts to put together the New American Collection aimed at informing all of our residents about civics and paths to citizenship.”

By including these resources in one collection, the library will work to provide anyone interested with relevant information to help them gain and secure civil rights and participate more fully in their communities. Nationwide, slightly more than half of immigrants are non-citizens. Native-born citizens may also benefit from the collection by learning about their rights and privileges as citizens, especially those with friends, family, or coworkers who are non-citizens.

The New American Collection in action at Central
Santa Rosa Library. Photo Daniel Cottrell.

The New American Collection includes materials in English, Spanish and other world languages. Materials include books, CDs, DVDs and more. Resources will be circulating and/or freely given away. Example titles include: “U.S. Immigration Made Easy,” “How to Get a Green Card” and “Fiancé & Marriage Visas.” Find these titles at your local branch!

To learn more about the New American Collection, visit your local library branch. The New American Collection is free and available to all. Materials can be checked out with a Sonoma County Library card, which is available to all county residents, regardless of immigration status. For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit any Sonoma County Library branch in person or go to sonomalibrary.org.

  • Sonoma County Library launches virtual reality program

Sonoma County Library launches virtual reality program

Surf in Angola, hike in England, dive with sharks in Cuba, fly over Manhattan, or hike the canyons of Arizona, without ever leaving the library!

The Sonoma County Library is officially launching its Virtual Reality at the Library program, with an inaugural party for the public at Central Santa Rosa Library on Monday, October 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Attendees will be able to try virtual reality (VR) equipment and a variety of different programs at the party. VR equipment is also available at the Petaluma, Central Santa Rosa, Rincon Valley and Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library branches. “We’re delighted to provide access to virtual reality technology and educate patrons on the extensive uses and purposes of VR,” said Sonoma County Library Digital Literacy Specialist Bridget Hayes. “We invite community members to immerse themselves in the world of virtual reality at our upcoming launch party.”

Sonoma County Library recently added VR headsets Oculus GO, Oculus Quest and ClassVR to its ever-expanding VR lineup. The library has provided opportunities for the community to experience VR since 2017 and plans to utilize the updated VR program to focus on the benefits of immersive learning.

The October 14 launch party at Central Santa Rosa Library from 6:30 to 8 p.m. is free and open to all.

Jay Cobb tests a virtual reality headset at a library outreach program with the Kiwanis Club of Oakmont on July 18, 2019. Photo by Bridget Hayes

The theme for the party is Travel for free! Immerse yourself in another world with Virtual Reality.

Age restrictions and permission forms apply to some devices. Learn more about Sonoma County Library’s VR services. Access to the library’s VR technology is free and open to Sonoma County Library cardholders.

Virtual Reality at the Library is made possible by the Measure Y sales tax, the community’s investment in free public libraries. Additional VR equipment was funded through a California State Library grant.

Jay Cobb tests a virtual reality headset at a library outreach program with the Kiwanis Club of Oakmont on July 18, 2019. Photo by Bridget Hayes.

  • Sonoma County Archives Crawl photo

Sonoma County Archives Crawl

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

October is National Archives Month, which is the inspiration for the first ever Sonoma County Archives Crawl - an event designed to celebrate archives and encourage visitors to explore and engage with institutions that collect archival material.

Groups will be hosting tables at the Central Santa Rosa Library Forum Room (211 E Street, Santa Rosa):

  • Sonoma Valley Historical Society
  • Sonoma County Genealogical Society
  • The Sitting Room Community Library
  • Sonoma County Historical Society
  • John C. Burton - Northwestern Bottle Collectors Assn.
  • Lesbian Archives of Sonoma County
  • Sonoma County LGBTQI Timeline
  • Historical Society of Santa Rosa
  • Sonoma County Historical Records Commission
  • Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters
  • Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery Preservation Committee
  • Sonoma County 2020 Women's Suffrage Project

Special presentations at the Central Santa Rosa Forum Room:

12:30 PM - Preserving History and Democracy. Deva Marie Proto, Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters

2: 30 PM - Saving, Sharing, and Celebrating Your Family's History & Heritage. Jack Schaeffer, Act3 Partners

On Saturday, October 5th, 2019, Sonoma County Library's three special collections, the History & Genealogy Library, the Wine Library, and the Petaluma History Room, along with partner organizations listed below, will be hosting open houses.


  1. California State Parks, Blue Wing Inn
    Address: 131 East Spain Street, Sonoma
    Contact Phone: (707) 938-9560
    Website: https://www.sonomaparks.org/pub/place/3
    Normal opening hours: none
    Hours open on October 5: 10 am to 4 pm
    Offering on October 5: The museum curator and others will greet visitors and share material from their archives. The theme for the event is An Invitation to Pomp and Circumstance, highlighting past invitations to socialize and celebrate.

     

  2. The Sitting Room Community Library
    Address: 2025 Curtis Drive, Penngrove
    Contact Phone: (707) 795-9028
    Website: http://www.sittingroom.org/
    Normal opening hours: 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday
    Hours open on October 5: 9 am to 6 pm
    Offering on October 5: Over 300 individual files on women writers will be available to browse, including the 13th Century on and spanning different regions, from Africa to Vietnam. Tea and scones will be served.

     

  3. West County Museum
    Address: 261 South Main Street, Sebastopol
    Contact Phone: (707) 829-6711
    Website: https://wschs.org/museum/
    Normal opening hours: Thursday through Sunday 1 to 4 PM
    Hours open on October 5: 1 to 4 PM
    Offering on October 5: The library geared toward western Sonoma County will be open for research along with collections of artifacts, photos/negatives and newspapers. The exhibit “Seats of History” will be on display.

     

  4. Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society
    Address: 221 Matheson Street, Healdsburg
    Contact Phone: (707) 431-3325
    Website: https://www.healdsburgmuseum.org/
    Normal opening hours: 11 am to 4 pm Wednesday through Sunday
    Hours open on October 5: 11 am to 4 pm
    Offering on October 5: Handwritten Healdsburg tax records, early Rancho Sotoyome maps and original WWII posters will be highlighted. "Wine Roots of Healdsburg" and "Mervyn Silberstein: A Photographic Legacy" exhibitions will be on display.

     

  5. Charles M. Schulz Museum
    Address: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa
    Phone: (707) 579-4452
    Website: https://schulzmuseum.org/visit
    Normal opening hours: week days 11 am to 5 pm and weekends 10 am to 5 pm
    Hours open on October 5: 10 am to 5 pm (museum) and 10 am to 3 pm (archives)
    Offering on October 5: Original illustrated correspondence from Charles’ Schulz’s time in the Army during WWII, calendars used by Schulz and one of the earliest comic books in which Schulz was published will be displayed.

     

  6. Museum of Sonoma County
    Address: 425 Seventh Street, Santa Rosa
    Phone: (707) 579-1500
    Website: https://museumsc.org/visit/
    Normal opening hours: 11 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday
    Hours open on October 5: 11 am to 5 pm (museum) and 11 am to 3 pm (archives)
    Offering on October 5: Highlights from the Song Wong Bourbeau Collection (Santa Rosa’s Chinatown), the Fountaingrove Collection and the Sonoma County Historical Society Collection will be on view in the archives. “Santa Rosa History” and “Día de los Muertos” exhibitions will be on display.

     

  7. Cotati Museum and Historical Society
    Address: 201 West Sierra Avenue, Cotati
    Phone: (707) 794-0305
    Website: http://cotatihistoricalsociety.org/
    Normal opening hours: Saturdays 1 to 4 pm, second Tuesday of each month from 5 to 7 pm
    Hours open on October 5: noon to 4 pm
    Offering on October 5: The exhibit “WA: Harmony, Peace and things Japanese, Japanese in Cotati” will be on display. Other highlights include the Jim Boggio archives and Cotati Accordion Festival Poster archives.

     

  8. Geyserville Museum at the Bosworth and Son Store
    Address: 21060 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville
    Phone: (707) 857-3463
    Website: https://bosworthandson.com
    Normal opening hours: 11 am to 7 pm Thursday through Sunday
    Hours open on October 5: 11 am to 7 pm
    Offering on October 5: Geyserville historical photographs and local artifacts including handwritten documents associated with pioneer Dr. Elisha Ely and notebooks will be on display. The store sells Western apparel and hats. Come have your favorite hats cleaned!

     

  9. Petaluma Historical Library and Museum
    Address: 20 Fourth Street, Petaluma
    Phone: (707) 778-4398
    Website: https://www.petalumamuseum.com
    Normal opening hours: 10 am to 4 pm Thursday through Sunday
    Hours open on October 5: 10 am to 4 pm
    Offering on October 5: The Hoppy Hopkins Research Library will be open. The current exhibit features photos of glass negatives from local photographer Joe Wayne. Visitors are invited to a Historic Downtown Walking Tour at 10:30 a.m., led by costumed docents.

     

  10. Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society (Hogarty Research Library and Archive)
    Address: 1364 North McDowell Boulevard, Petaluma
    Phone: (707) 838-8882
    Website: http://www.nwprrhs.org
    Normal opening hours: 10 am to 4 pm Thursdays
    Hours open on October 5: 11 am to 4 pm
    Offering on October 5: This collections consist of 10,000+ maps, 12,000+ photos, employee records, corporate records, financial records and more for the San Francisco and North Pacific, North Pacific Coast, Petaluma and Santa Rosa, and Albion Railroads as well as the Northwestern Pacific Railroad.

     

  11. Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society (Restoration Yard)
    Address: Corner of Copeland Street and East Washington Street, Petaluma
    Phone: (707) 838-8882
    Website: http://www.nwprrhs.org
    Normal opening hours: 10 am to 4 pm alternate Saturdays
    Hours open on October 5: 11 am to 4 pm
    Offering on October 5: Staff will explain the history of two fully restored cars of the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad, one baggage car of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad, and one passenger car of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad undergoing restoration.

     

  12. Windsor Historical Society & Hembree House Museum
    Address: 9225 Foxwood Drive, Windsor
    Phone: (707) 838-4563
    Website: http://WindsorHistory.org
    Normal opening hours: 9:30 - 4:30 Friday, Saturday and Sunday and by appointment
    Hours open on October 5t: 9:30 to 4:30
    Offering on October 5: The 1938 Camp Windsor Migrant Labor Camp collection will be available and the Camp Windsor, German POW Camp collection; including photos, letters, recollections, etc.

     

  13. Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library and Archives
    Address: 725 Third Street, Santa Rosa
    Phone: (707) 308-3212
    Website: https://sonomalibrary.org/locations/sonoma-county-history-and-genealogy-...
    Normal opening hours: M & W 10 AM to 9 PM; T, Th, Fri, & Sat 10 AM to 6 PM
    Hours open on October 5: 11 AM to 4 PM
    Offering on October 5: There will be pop-up exhibits featuring recent donations, as well as a local history quiz and scavenger hunt. Staff will be on hand to discuss preservation issues, how to teach with primary resources and offer research tips and tricks.

     

  14. Sonoma County Wine Library – Healdsburg Regional Library
    Address: 139 Piper Street, Healdsburg
    Phone: (707) 433-3772 ext. 0416
    Website: https://sonomalibrary.org/locations/sonoma-county-wine-library
    Normal opening hours: M & W 10 AM to 9 PM; T, Th, Fri, & Sat 10 AM to 6 PM
    Hours open on October 5: 11 AM to 4 PM
    Offering on October 5 : Displays of historic wine bottles, labels and corkscrews. Test your knowledge for a chance to win a prize and make sure to visit the Healdsburg Museum’s exhibit “Wine Roots of Healdsburg” which features items from the Wine Library collection.

     

  15. Petaluma History Room – Petaluma Regional Library
    Address: 100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma
    Phone: (707) 763-9801
    Website: https://sonomalibrary.org/locations/petaluma-history-room
    Normal opening hours: M & W 10 AM to 9 PM; T, Th, Fri, & Sat 10 AM to 6 PM
    Hours open on October 5 : 11 AM to 4 PM
    Offering on October 5: Displays with fun facts about Petaluma streets as well as the 1912 trip of the Alco truck carrying the first paid delivery by truck in the nation. Then and now pictures of Petaluma. Use of typewriters to write a letter that staff will mail.

     

2019 Summer Lunch at the Library Impact

In 2019, for the fifth 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 2019, we had 8 participating library sites - Central Santa Rosa, Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Northwest Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park-Cotati, Sebastopol, and Sonoma Valley.

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

  • Served 6832 meals to children and teens across the county (an increase of 36% over 2018)
  • Served meals on 324 days across 8 locations (increase from 259 days/6 locations in 2018)
  • 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!

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