Library News

Our Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Should libraries be open during a pandemic?

On March 13, in response to the rapidly growing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Sonoma County Library made the difficult decision to cancel events taking place in our libraries. A few days later we closed all library facilities, in compliance with the county shelter-in-place order.

No library director ever wants to close a library. It’s a heartbreaking choice, but staying closed is the right thing to do, to protect the public and our staff. The closure is all-encompassing. We are unable to offer curbside pickup for books and other materials, or accept returns of borrowed materials (although all due dates have been extended).

The County of Sonoma agrees. We discussed this matter with the county health department, and they support our decision. There are too many unknowns at this point for us safely receive and redistribute potentially contaminated materials. We don’t want to unknowingly help spread the virus, and we can’t justify using masks, gloves, sanitizers and other protective equipment when they are desperately needed by health care workers.

The county’s Emergency Operations Center agrees as well, and issued a statement. It reads, in part: “Librarians should be home and sheltered in place. They are not essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Library staff are not equipped to safely handle physical books and interact with the public. We must weigh our desire for the pleasure of reading with the health risk to the librarians. Library patrons are reminded that there are books available electronically through our public library system.”

Sonoma County is not alone in this regard. The largest library associations in the nation, including the American Library Association and the California Library Association, are strongly recommending that libraries suspend operations during this time, while we do our part to slow the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the Sonoma County Library is working diligently to plan how to reopen quickly and effectively when it is safe, and we are adding new and exciting materials to our 24/7 online library. Visit to access tens of thousands of electronic books, audiobooks, TV shows, movies, magazines, instructional videos, research databases and more. Your kids can even watch cartoons and animated storybooks. We have Spanish-language resources as well.

We thank everyone who misses their library. We miss you, too and we will be so happy to see you in our branches when we reopen! Being able to come back to the library, chat with a librarian, bring your children to a storytime, browse books and other materials, or use our free WiFi will all be proof of our local and national effort to contain a serious public health crisis.

Ann Hammond, Sonoma County Library Director

All Sonoma County Library facilities are Closed

Effective 6 pm Saturday, March 14, 2020, all Sonoma County Library facilities are closed to the public.

This decision was not made lightly. It comes after a week of increasingly strict notices and advisories. We will continue to follow the recommendations of county and state officials, and will reopen as soon as we are told that it is safe to do so.

Book drops will be closed and locked. You are encouraged to hold onto and enjoy loaned items – due dates will be extended on all materials, including technology such as hotspots and Chromebooks. Our digital resources are available 24/7, as always.

I am confident that we will manage this crisis together, and I take comfort from your support for our libraries in this uncertain time.

Ann Hammond, Library Director


  • Internet Access and the Library

Internet Access and the Library

Despite closing our facilities, WiFi internet at all libraries is active, and although Sonoma County Library is asking patrons to honor the shelter in place order, patrons practicing safe social distancing can access library WiFi from outside the buildings (may not work at all libraries).


The Sonoma County Library has been circulating SonomaFi hotspots and ChromeKits. At the time the libraries closed by the county mandate, all hotspots and ChromeKits were already in circulation, and the library has extended those checkouts through the end of the shelter-in-place order.

Internet access

Due to the shelter-in-place order, the library is expanding our digital resources. If you have trouble accessing the internet, please explore the following options:

Internet For All Now logo

Internet For All Now

The California Emerging Technology Fund has provided access to affordable offers, as well as a number to call 1-844-841-INFO (4636) to assist parents.

Sonic Covid19 Response logo

Sonic Covid19 Response

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Sonic is offering three months of free internet access and unlimited nationwide home telephone service to households with K-12, college students, or senior citizens 60 or older.

Comcast Internet Essentials logo

Comcast Internet Essentials

Comcast is offering 60 days of free internet access to families whose school age children qualify for free and reduced programs. After 60 days you can continue to have access at a reduced rate of $9.95/mo.

ATT Access logo

ATT Access

AT&T is offering low-cost wireline home Internet service to qualifying households, including households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start.

WiFi Map logo

WiFi Map

WiFi Map is a free tool that crowdsources free wireless networks around the United States. Please note that because of the nature of the tool Sonoma County Library is not able to vet the accuracy of the information on the site. Also please note that the shelter-in-place order in Sonoma County will limit the use of this tool.


So, You're Stuck Inside...

Even though our library branches are closed, our online library is open 24/7 and we are here to help your family with online resources during the coronavirus epidemic and beyond.

In addition to our online library and expanded digital resources, we’ve also compiled this list of free links and resources to help you expand your world outside of your home. They include educational ideas for homeschooling, enrichment activities, ideas for family time, entertainment, and downtime, and even ways to give back to your community.

Visit the links below and discover, learn, contribute and create, from your own home:

Family at home

Hear a story

Here are some websites where you can hear a picture book read aloud:

Picture Books

Chapter Books

Young Adult Books

Listen to music

Here are some sites with book-related songs, early literacy songs, and educational songs:


Here are some sites with book-related songs, early literacy songs, and educational songs:

Animals & Nature


Famous Places

Sports & Mores


Check out these sites with all kinds of information about the world around us.


Here are some websites that will inspire you to make social media content, kid friendly crafts, and more!




Author Permissions


Help the world around you through citizen science projects:

And More!

  • Hear read-alouds, book talks, get art instruction, play games and more – all led by authors!



Expanded Digital Resources

During the national pandemic situation, the Sonoma County Library and many leading digital content providers, are working to offer you more choices for how you stay safe and healthy at home.

For more resources, visit our eResources page.

In addition to thousands of films, TV shows, eBooks, databases, magazines, classes and more, new and/or expanded services include:

Hoopla logo


We have increased your Hoopla limits to 15 checkouts per month. Enjoy more audiobooks, comics, films, television, eBooks and music. From current popular materials to the classics, Hoopla excels in variety and quality. The hoopla digital team has created a special Bonus Borrows collection of over 1,100 top titles, including new releases, popular children's series, comics, and titles on stress management, cooking at home, fitness, and DIY activities. Bonus Borrows are available for unlimited borrows and have no impact on your monthly limit. logo

Usually only available within library branches, this incredible resource is now available for at-home use. Ancestry gives you access to records from the U.S. Census, military records, court, land and probate records, vital statistics, church records, and more. Trace your family tree from your home computer!

RBDigital logo


Borrow digital magazines for free through your library. We recently expanded this resource to include more than 2,000 magazines including many in Spanish and other languages. From Bon Appetit, to Popular Mechanics, to The Economist, to Vogue, this incredible resource has a reader-friendly interface.

National Emergency Library logo

National Emergency Library

A collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed. No holds and no wait.

Kanopy logo


In addition to the six monthly borrows already available for free with your library card, Kanopy has also made selected films available that do not count against your checkouts. See the “Credit-Free Viewing” section on Kanopy. An industry leader in content and ease of use, Kanopy is also home to the Criterion Collection and other fine films.

>Kanopy Kids logo

Kanopy Kids

Free streaming children’s programming, from educational to just plain fun, it’s thoughtful entertainment for children aged preschool and up.

JSTOR logo


JSTOR is a selective digital library of academic content. The collections include peer-reviewed scholarly journals, respected literary journals, academic monographs, research reports from trusted institutes, and primary sources.

Audible logo


Audible's streaming audiobook services is offering free access while schools are closed, and your library is an easy way to get access. Treat your kids to great stories in six different languages.


This suite of resources includes:

Teen Book Cloud logo

Teen Book Cloud

Online collection of enhanced novels, eBooks, graphic novels, videos and audiobooks

Tumble Math logo

Tumble Math

K-6 children’s eBook collection

Audio Book Cloud logo

Audio Book Cloud

Online database of 1,400 audiobooks, ranging from classic literature, to science fiction, to contemporary blockbusters

Tumble Book Library logo

Tumble Book Library

K-6 children’s eBook collection

Romance Book Cloud logo

Romance Book Cloud

Collection of steamy romance novels, just for grownups.

Teaching Books logo

Teaching Books

172,000+ videos, audio recordings, activities and lessons about children’s and young adult books. Perfect for educators, adults, children and teens.

California K-12 Content logo

California K-12 Content

Resources available from the California State Library to all students and educators in the state including materials to help with classwork, homework and research papers.



  • Las sucursales de la biblioteca se encuentran cerradas, la biblioteca en línea se encuentra disponible

Las sucursales de la biblioteca se encuentran cerradas, la biblioteca en línea se encuentra disponible

Sobre la biblioteca

El brote de la nueva enfermedad coronavirus (COVID-19) sigue aumentando a nivel mundial, lo que representa una grave amenaza para la salud pública de las comunidades de todos los tamaños. Al ser una fuente confiable de la comunidad, Sonoma County Library está comprometida a servir a nuestra comunidad en estos tiempos difíciles.

Las sucursales de nuestra biblioteca están cerradas, ya que estamos comprometidos con la salud y seguridad de nuestra comunidad y de nuestro personal. Por favor, no regrese los materiales de la biblioteca a las sucursales. Quédeselos y disfrútelos sabiendo que hemos extendido todos los plazos establecidos para la devolución de todos nuestros materiales.

Adicionalmente, las donaciones para la venta de libros de los Amigos de la Biblioteca quedan suspendidas hasta nuevo aviso. Amamos sus donaciones de libros, pero no podemos aceptarlas en este momento.

Biblioteca en línea 24/7

Nuestra biblioteca en línea nunca cierra, y usted puede ingresar para ver películas y series de televisión, leer o escuchar libros electrónicos, investigar sobre su historia familiar, aprender un nuevo idioma, o navegar por nuestras bases de datos y otros recursos.

Si no posee una tarjeta de la biblioteca, aún podemos ayudarlo. Haga clic aquí para obtener una tarjeta electrónica temporal y así empezar su aventura digital.

Información y recursos sobre el COVID-19 (nuevo coronavirus)

Le recomendamos que sea escéptico a los rumores no confirmados que circulan en las redes sociales, y únicamente confíe en fuentes fidedignas del gobierno para obtener información precisa sobre la pandemia.

Confiamos en los consejos de los siguientes enlaces:


  • Library branches closed, digital library open

Library branches closed, digital library open

About the library

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues to accelerate globally, representing a serious public health threat for communities of all sizes. As a trusted community resource, the Sonoma County Library is committed to serving our community in this uncertain time.

Our library branches are closed, as we are committed to the health and safety of our community and our staff. Please do not return library materials to the branches. Keep and enjoy them, knowing that all due dates have been extended on all materials.

Also, donations to Friends of the Library book sales are suspended until further notice. We love your book donations, but cannot accept them at this time.

24/7 digital library

Our digital library never closes and you can go online to stream TV shows and movies, read or listen to electronic books, research your family history, learn a new language, or browse databases and other resources.

If you don’t have a library card, we can still help you. Click here to get a temporary eCard and start your electronic journey.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) information and resources

We recommend that you be skeptical about unverified rumors circulating on social media and elsewhere, and rely on trusted government resources for accurate information on the pandemic.

We rely on these links for advice:


  • todos los edificios de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma están cerrados al público

Todos los edificios de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma están cerrados al público

Efectivo sábado 14 de marzo del 2020 a las 6pm, todos los edificios de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma están cerrados al público hasta el 31 de marzo.

Esto nos dará más tiempo para evaluar los próximos pasos y esperar por más direccion del Departamento de Salud del Condado de Sonoma. Es posible que cerremos por más tiempo, después de aprender más.

Esta decisión fue difícil. La decisión viene despues de una semana de avisos más y más estrictos. Continuaremos a cumplir con las recomendaciones de los oficiales del condado de Sonoma y del estado de California, y abriremos cuando nos digan que es seguro a abrir.

Las cajas de regresar libros cerrarán. Ustedes pueden usar y disfrutar los materiales de la biblioteca. Las fechas de regreso serán extendidas para todos los materiales de la biblioteca, incluyendo tecnología como hotspots y chromebooks. Nuestros recursos digitales están disponibles 24/7.

Estoy segura que sobreviviremos esta crisis juntos, y el apoyo para nuestras bibliotecas me consuela en este tiempo incierto.

Ann Hammond, Directora de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma

Coronavirus and your library

Coronavirus and your library

The Sonoma County Library is carefully monitoring information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and following the recommendations of the County of Sonoma Health Services Department. We are mindful of impacts on our patrons and staff of being in public spaces together and are taking steps to keep everyone safe.

  • Staff and patrons are encouraged to stay home if they don’t feel well.
  • News and information are monitored daily.
  • We have increased cleaning measures in all public areas.

It is important to seek trusted, factual advice about COVID-19 and not be taken in by fake news and rumors circulating on social media. Local information and updates are available at the county health department webpage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers updates and advice.

The Sonoma County Library has cancelled all public events and programs, at all library branches, through March 31. This is a precaution to protect our public and our staff. All library branches will stay open for check-outs, returns and day to day activities. You can also access our wide range of digital resources from home, including access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, audiobooks, TV, movies, magazines, newspapers, and online learning and research tools. For information about library services and schedules, visit our website,, or call your local branch.

To keep yourself and others safe:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (long enough to sing “Happy Birthday”).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze, then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face. If you do, wash your hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Get your flu shot to protect against flu.

Ann Hammond
Sonoma County Library Director


El coronavirus y su biblioteca

La Biblioteca de Condado de Sonoma está monitoreando cuidadosamente la información sobre el nuevo coronavirus (COVID-19) y está siguiendo las recomendaciones dadas por el Departamento de Servicios de Salud del Condado de Sonoma.

Somos conscientes de los impactos para nuestros clientes y personal de estar juntos en espacios públicos y estamos tomando medidas para mantener a todos a salvo.

  • Se anima al personal y a los clientes a que se queden en casa si no se sienten bien.
  • Todos los días monitoreamos las noticias e información.
  • Hemos incrementado las medidas de limpieza en todas las áreas públicas.

Puede encontrar información local y actualizaciones ingresando a la página web del departamento de salud del condado:

Es importante buscar consejos confiables y objetivos sobre el COVID-19 y no dejarse engañar por noticias falsas y rumores que circulan en las redes sociales.

Como precaución contra COVID-19 (nuevo coronavirus), todos los eventos de las sucursales de la biblioteca se han cancelado hasta el 31 de marzo.

También puede acceder nuestra amplia gama de recursos digitales desde su hogar, incluyendo acceso a libros y audiolibros electrónicos, TV, películas, revistas, periódicos, y herramientas de aprendizaje e investigación en línea. Para conocer sobre los servicios y horarios de su biblioteca, visite nuestra página web,, o llame su sucursal local.

Para mantenerle a salvo a usted y a los demás:

  • Evite el contacto con personas que estén enfermas.
  • Lave seguido sus manos con agua y jabón por al menos 20 segundos (el tiempo suficiente para cantar “Feliz Cumpleaños”).
  • Cúbrase cuando tosa o estornuda, luego lave sus manos.
  • Evite tocarse la cara. Si lo hace, lávese las manos.
  • Permanezca en casa si se encuentra enfermo.
  • Vacúnese contra la gripe para protegerse de ella.

Ann Hammond
Directora de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma


  • Women's History Month 2020

March is Women's History Month

Since 1987, March has been designated as National Women's History Month, a time to pay tribute to the generations of women who changed the face of society through courage and activism.

Did you know that the origins of Women's History Month actually began in Sonoma County?

The National Women’s History Project, now known as the National Women’s History Alliance, was founded in Sonoma County 40 years ago. In the 1970s, although groups like the National Organization of Women (NOW) and ERAmerica were fighting to have the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, the topic of women's history was unknown in the public consciousness and in school curricula.

To address this perceived lack, in 1978, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women initiated the first-ever "Women's History Week" celebration. It was a success, with school programs, speakers, an essay contest, and finally a parade held in downtown Santa Rosa as the week’s finale.

Upon hearing of the success of the Sonoma County program, several prominent women's groups began lobbying for a national celebration—and in 1980, President Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring the first-ever "Women's History Week" in early March of that year. In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month in perpetuity.

All thanks to the local community support in Sonoma County!

2020 is the centennial of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote. Organizations across the country are celebrating this historic milestone, including Sonoma County Library and the National Women’s History Alliance. The theme of the month-long celebration is “Valiant Women of the Vote,” honoring women from the original suffrage movement as well as 20th and 21st century women who have continued the struggle to ensure voting rights for all.

Sonoma County Library celebrates National Women's History Month with a variety of events, displays, and resources, such as the ones highlighted below. Help us share in this annual tribute by celebrating and learning about the generations of women who have influenced and enriched our nation and society.


The Sonoma County Library is offering a number of events throughout the county to celebrate women. These events include:

Other events happening around Sonoma County in March include:

  • History of Letter Writing a Santa Rosa AAUW event at Tudor Rose, Santa Rosa – 3/12
  • Roundtable on Inter-Sectional Feminism at SRJC – 3/14
  • Lucy! Fussbudget to Feminist – Charles M. Schulz Museum 3/15/2020 to 3/7/2021
  • Rosie the Riveter Rally in Courthouse Square – 3/18
  • • Panel Discussion on the 19th Amendment & Equal Rights – Sonoma County Historical Society – 3/29

Books and materials

Featured websites