With so many community services being slashed, it’s more important than ever to celebrate what our libraries do for us. Our Sonoma County library branches offer a staggering amount of activities and services for all ages. And best of all, almost everything is free!
2018 National Library Week is April 8-14. The theme this year is “Libraries Lead.” In honor of National Library Week, I’m going to give you an insider’s guide of all the new and amazing resources our Sonoma County Public Library system has in store for your family.
* New for 2018 – get moving with a free Regional Parks Pass
While you might be aware of the Discover & Go Pass (which allows you to visit many museums for free), did you know you can also check out a Regional Parks Discovery Pass? Families can check this new feature out for seven days. It includes a backpack with a parking pass for Sonoma County Regional parks, as well as maps and some fun goodies you actually get to keep. So this spring, get moving with your family and explore this gorgeous area!
There are a few other new things for 2018. Starting in April, Saturday hours will be extended until 6 p.m. The fine structure will also change, meaning less fines for you! Also, thanks to Measure Y, our libraries are amply staffed. Now is a perfect time to set up a meeting with a librarian for your homeschool group or girl scout troop. You can receive a private tour and tips so your students can access all the great tools at the library.
* Get online homework help and assistance writing your resume
Don’t worry – each branch still offers in-person homework help. But starting this past fall, Sonoma County Library began providing cardholders with access to Tutor.com
Whether you’re a student looking to enhance your academic performance, preparing for college, or just a person looking for a job, this service is amazing. From 3 – 10 p.m. daily, you can receive a free twenty-minute tutoring session or a session with a career coach. Do you need help with a math problem, reviewing a paper, or proofreading your resume? Upload it and you’ll get a response within 24 hours. Spanish-speaking tutors are also available. Plus, all tutors have been background checked and vetted, so you don’t have to worry about who your kids are talking to online.
* Delve into databases
I wish I’d researched Sonoma County Library Databases sooner! With one click, you have access to helpful tools like Consumer Reports online and Learning Express (which gives you access to tutorials and practice tests for the SAT, Spanish language exams, and many others).
And speaking of Spanish, with the Mango Languages Database, you can learn hundreds of languages online or on your phone.
Are you having an issue with your car? If so, be sure to check out Chilton Automotive Database. You can save tons of money with this extensive DIY Auto Repair online service. It provides you with clear, detailed instructions to make your own car repairs for any make and model of car from the last thirty years.
Also, for those of us feeling bad for allowing our children screen time, the Sonoma County Library is here to assuage your guilt! With the Tumble Book Library, your children can follow along with a staggering amount of multimedia audio books. They can also learn a language through picture books, watch a National Geographic video, or do a puzzle. Best of all, you don’t even need to use your library card for this feature. So sit down with them to create a playlist so you can prepare dinner without worry! Or maybe do your nails (#selfcare).
* Find out where you came from
Are you curious to know more about your family lineage? Then the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library in Santa Rosa is your place. You can meet with a volunteer from the Sonoma County Genealogical Society every Wednesday from 1 – 3 p.m. They will assist you in researching your family history. Another great place to start is the Ancestry Library Edition Database. This tool is only available within Sonoma County Libraries (no remote access).
* Research wine, then drink some
Did you know we have a Sonoma County Wine Library? Aside from the collections and librarians who can help you learn more about wine, this branch (located in Healdsburg) hosts intriguing events like “Riesling Myths and Mysteries.” Yes, this also includes a tasting! Because public funding only covers a small portion of this library, most events do require an admission fee. But even if you don’t visit the library itself, be sure to subscribe to their fun and free online Wine News & Information Magazine.
Do you still need more excuses to run to the library? Check out this select list of April events happening during National Library Week at Sonoma County Library:
Hands-on drop-in Activities Celebrating Library Week – Each day, April 9 – 14 at Central Library.
Who is that Book Character? – Take the Children’s Book Character Challenge in honor of National Library Week and win a prize! All week at the Rincon Valley Library, April 9 – 14.
Coventry and Kaluza: Saving the Day with Circus and Comedy – Wednesday, April 11th from 6 – 7 p.m. at Healdsburg Library.
Rue Samba – Saturday, April 14th from 12 – 1 p.m. at Roseland Library.
Fado Singer Ramana Vieira – Saturday, April 14th, 1 – 2 p.m. at Sebastopol Library.
Laurie’s Puppet Palooza – Saturday, April 14th from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. at Windsor Library.