• Multiple Computer screens, high tech, binary code

    The Debate Over Net Neutrality

Can You Be Neutral About ‘Net Neutrality’? (Points of View)

What is Net Neutrality:

“Internet, or "net," neutrality is the idea that Internet users should have equal access to all Internet content and that corporations and government agencies should not restrict access to Internet sites or services. The debate began in the early 2000s, and the term "net neutrality" was first coined by Columbia University law professor Tim Wu in 2003. The net neutrality debate covers both government regulations that censor Internet content and efforts by Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict or reduce access to certain sites and services to increase their profits.” (Isuit)

Why Does it Matter Now?

“The Federal Communications Commission will vote Dec. 14 on a plan to undo the landmark 2015 rules that had placed Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon under the strictest-ever regulatory oversight.” (Selyukh)

Gaining Perspective:

The Sonoma County Library has an excellent online resource where you may read about controversial topics to become more well informed. ‘Points of View’ offers topic overview, critical analysis, as well as both point and counterpoint arguements.  Go to: www.sonomalibrary.org -> Research -> Databases -> Points of View (library card & pin)

Not sure where to begin?  Ask the Young Adult Librarian at your local branch of the Sonoma County Library.  

We’re here for you.

Post By Rosalie C. Abbott / Sebastopol Regional Library

Works Consulted:

-Points of View: Internet Neutrality 9/30/2016, p1-1. 1p.

-FCC Unveils Plan to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/21/565682679/fcc-unveils-plan-to-repeal-net-neutrality-rules

Disaster and Resilience - A Teen Book List

Do you ever wonder what this world is coming to?  

One peek at the news or your Instagram feed, and it can feel like you just woke up to the apocalypse.  We've seen natural disasters reaching far around the globe and right here in our own backyards.  There's violence, terror, and... the list goes on.  During these times, when it seems like our reality can't possibly get any worse... it can be incredibly helpful to reach for examples of resilience, survival, strength, and courage.  Scroll down for a list of books (fiction and non-fiction) where young adults have been put to the test--mostly by natural disasters--and not only survive... they also thrive in the face of hardship and devastation.

Cover image for In darkness

In Darkness Lake, by Nick Lake, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y LAKE) "Shorty" is a Haitian boy trapped in the ruins of a hospital when the earth explodes around him. Surrounded by lifeless bodies and growing desperately weak from lack of food and water, death seems imminent. Yet as Shorty waits in darkness for a rescue that may never come, he becomes aware of another presence, one reaching out to him across two hundred years of history.

Cover image for Dark water

Dark Water, by Laura McNeal, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y MCNEAL) Living in a cottage on her uncle's southern California avocado ranch since her parent's messy divorce, fifteen-year-old Pearl Dewitt meets and falls in love with an illegal migrant worker, and is trapped with him when wildfires approach his makeshift forest home.

Cover image for All we have left

All We Have Left, by Wendy Mills, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y MILLS) In interweaving stories of sixteen-year-olds, modern-day Jesse tries to cope with the ramifications of her brother's death on 9/11, while in 2001, Alia, a Muslim, gets trapped in one of the Twin Towers and meets a boy who changes everything for her as flames rage around them.

Cover image for The memory of things

The Memory of Things, by Gae Polisner, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y POLISNER) On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first twin tower come down, then while fleeing home to safety, he finds a girl covered in ash who has no memory.

Cover image for Hurricane song

Hurricane Song, by Paul Volponi, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y VOLPONI) Twelve-year-old Miles Shaw goes to live with his father, a jazz musician, in New Orleans, and together they survive the horrors of Hurricane Katrina in the Superdome, learning about each other and growing closer through their painful experiences.

Cover image for Hold Tight, Don't Let Go

Hold tight, don't let go : a novel of Haiti, by Laura Rose Wagner, Fiction (Library Call Number: Y WAGNER) In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Nadine goes to live with her father in Miami while her cousin Magdalie, raised as her sister, remains behind in a refugee camp, dreaming of joining Nadine but wondering if she must accept that her life and future are in Port-au-Prince.

 a novel

Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward, Fiction (Library Call Number: WARD) Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.

 Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, by Don Brown, Non-Fiction (Library Call Number: Y 363.34 BROWN) On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage -- and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality.

 the true story of how I survived and escaped North Korea

Every falling star : the true story of how I survived and escaped North Korea, by Sungju Lee, Non-Fiction (Library Call Number: Y 951.9305 LEE) This is the memoir of a boy named Sungju who grew up in North Korea and, at the age of twelve, was forced to live on the streets and fend for himself after his parents disappeared. Finally, after years of being homeless and living with a gang, Sungju is reunited with his maternal grandparents and, eventually, his father.

Cover image for The bite of the mango

The Bite of the Mango, by Mariatu Kamara, Non-Fiction (Library Call Number: Y 966.404 KAMARA) When Mariatu set out for a neighborhood village in Sierra Leone, she was kidnapped and tortured, and both of her hands cut off. She turned to begging to survive. This heartrending memoir is a testament to her courage and resilience. Today she is a UNICEF Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

NOTE: This list was thoughtfully compiled for you by our *fabulous* Young Adult Librarian, Lara Mayelian, at the Rincon Valley Regional Library.  If you are looking for additional titles or need more recommendations, ask your friendly Teen Librarian at your local branch of the Sonoma County Library.  

We are here for you!

Post by Rosalie Abbott, Sebastopol Regional Library

Lost in the Library? We’ve got an App for that!

Teens, have you ever walked into the Library… looking for an interesting book to read, only to be completely overwhelmed by endless shelves of books?!  

The “Teen Book Finder” is a free app that helps teens find nearly 4,000 award-winning young adult titles (from YALSA). Download it today!  

NOTE: This also works for voracious readers who need to search high and low for their next great read… we’ve got you.

Picture of app

Need help?  Ask the friendly Teen Librarian at your local Sonoma County Library branch.  

Happy Reading!  ;)

Do You Like a Good Challenge?

This past summer, the Sonoma County Library found out that yes indeed--teens do thrive when offered the pressure and perspective of a decent challenge!  Studies show that students who read at least six books over the summer beat the “summer slide” and start school in the fall ready to learn--so we decided to offer a little bit of motivation to help make that happen.

Ancient, Art, Climb, Courage, High, Man, Outdoors

Teens across Sonoma County read book after book, and received prize after prize all summer long... including free books, treats, earbuds, book bags, gift cards, and of course a raffle ticket for the GRAND PRIZE: a Chromebook!

Now that students are back in school, you might be wondering who managed to escape the “summer slide”... AND, who won those fabulous Chromebooks from the various branches of the Library?

Beautiful, Business, Computer, Female, Girl, Internet

More teens than ever participated in the TeenRead program.  Many played, most had fun, and a few lucky souls were the winners of the 6 Book Challenge raffle tickets. If you didn't win, we hope you at least had a great summer full of incredible and fantastic books. Curious about the lucky winners?  Scroll down for the photo gallery.


These lucky teens who participated in the teen summer reading program won a CHROMEBOOK!!

Central - Congratulations Phineas!

Cloverdale - Congratulations (name not published by request)!

Guerneville - Congratulations Riley!

Healdsburg - Congratulations Maggie!

Northwest -Congratulations Mateo!

Petaluma - Congratulations Will!

Rincon Valley - Congratulations Zannet!

Rohnert Park / Cotati - Congratulations Adeline!

Roseland - Congratulations Naomi!

Sebastopol- Congratulations Claire!

Sonoma Valley - Congratulations Y. Valezquez!

Windsor - Congratulations Eliana!


  • image of Sather Tower with text [A Path to College Sonoma County Library]

More Path to College Workshops Announced

The Sonoma County Library is continuing our popular Path to College workshops supporting college-bound high school students and their families. With these workshops the Library seeks to meet the needs of students through all stages of the college preparation and application process.

“Preparing for college can be a stressful time for high school students and their families. We’re proud to support these students and give them the information they need to achieve their higher education goals. Best yet, all our workshops are free!” said Petaluma Library Teen Services Librarian Diana Spaulding.

The Library will be providing workshops this fall on writing compelling college application essays and answers to the UC prompts; approaching the college application process with confidence and a plan; paying for college and completing the online FAFSA; and planning ahead for the transfer from a Junior College to a 4-year University. All workshops are led by qualified local experts and are free and open to high school students and their families.


Path to College Fall 2017 Workshops include:

  • How to Tackle the Essay & UC Prompts (pre-registration required)*:

    • Wednesday 10/4 from 6:30-8:00pm – Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library

    • Monday 10/9 from 6:30-8:0pm – Petaluma Regional Library

    • Saturday 10/14 from 11:00am-12:30pm – Central Santa Rosa Library

  • Demystifying & Simplifying the College Application Process

    • Saturday 10/7 from 11:00am-12:30pm – Central Santa Rosa Library

    • Wednesday 10/11 from 6:30-8:00pm – Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library

  • Paying for College

    • Saturday 11/4 from 10:30am-12:00pm – Petaluma Regional Library

    • Monday 11/20 from 6:30-8:00pm – Central Santa Rosa Library

  • The JC Transfer Option

    • Saturday 11/4 from 10:30am-12:00pm – Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library

    • Saturday 12/2 from 10:30am-12:00pm – Central Santa Rosa Library

*How to Tackle the Essay and UC prompts workshops require pre-registration due to limited space because it is a hands-on class for students rather than families. It will be taught in English only. All other workshops have bilingual staff and support for Spanish speaking attendees.

 For more information, contact Teen & Adult Services Librarian Diana Spaulding at 763-9801 ext. 0731 or dspaulding@sonoma.lib.ca.us.

  • white woman, white man, black man - actors in the tv show Timeless

Women’s History through "Timeless"

One of my recent “guilty pleasures” is the new NBC series Timeless. This TV series mixes history with time travel as a present-day team chases bad guys through time using a prototype time machine. Each episode visits a different era of history, and features famous historical figures who unwittingly assist the narrative in different ways.

 In honor of Women’s History Month, we're using the time travel in this TV series to explore more about their featured women from history, including Nonhelema, Katherine Johnson, Bonnie Parker, and Josephine Baker.



The Timeless team meets up with the Shawnee peace chief Nonhelema in 1754, near the beginning of the French and Indian War. The adult book Warrior Woman tells the fictionalized story of this tough, no-nonsense chief of the Shawnee tribe as she leads her people’s resistance against the Virginians.

Katherine Johnson


Johnson is more well-known today, thanks to the recent film Hidden Figures. The film shares the account of African-American women mathematicians at NASA who helped put men on the moon in 1969, and Hidden Figures: the American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians who Helped Win the Space Race is the book it is based upon.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World includes Johnson among its subjects.


Bonnie Parker


Not all historical women are heroines – Bonnie Parker is definitely more infamous than heroic, for she and her partner Clyde Barrow ran a gang of outlaws that terrorized the central United States in the 1930s. Read more about Bonnie’s tragic story in Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde, for adults, or Bonnie and Clyde: A Biography, for teens. 


Josephine Baker


A singer and dancer, Baker is compared to Beyoncé on the show, giving an indication of her stardom and talent. In addition to being an entertainer, she also helped the French Resistance as a spy during World War II.

Josephine: the dazzling life of Josephine Baker is a children's biography of Baker's life. The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy gives an account of Baker's life and the many roles she played in her professional and personal life. This title is intended for teens and adults.