What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a library? Some people picture a big building full of books, magazines, maybe a few CDs and DVDs. Others recall visiting a library to get help with job hunting, researching a term paper or perusing college catalogs and travel guides.
Many think fondly of their library as the place that hosts story times for kids, and maybe a magician, puppet show or gardening class. Some know that the library hosts musical performances, emergency preparedness workshops, tax filing assistance, computer literacy classes, chess and yoga clubs, teen poetry slams and art shows.
They are all correct! A modern library is much more than a place to check out books, a quiet spot to read, or a place to gather. The branches and collections of the Sonoma County Library function as community hubs, providing free access to a world of knowledge, in person and online.
National Library Week, held this year from April 23-29, is an opportunity to celebrate an audacious and remarkable idea – that information and knowledge should be accessible to anyone, anytime, absolutely free.
The theme of National Library Week is “There’s More to the Story” and evidence of that theme is everywhere in your local libraries. From technology lending, to job skills workshops for teens, to activities that celebrate our diversity and creativity, we meet you where you need us.
Want to learn how to work that tablet your grandkids got you for your birthday? Come to the library and take part in a Tech Help session. Want to check out a toolbox with materials and instructions that help you weatherize your home? Come to the library and ask for a DIY Toolkit. Need high speed internet access for a school project? Come to the library and check out a WiFi hotspot.
We’re online for you as well, 24/7. Your library card unlocks software training, world language lessons, access to the mighty Britannica, streaming films and documentaries, family history databases, even Consumer Reports, the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times – all free with a Sonoma County Library card.
Libraries are for everyone. We welcome and celebrate you, regardless of your ethnicity, age, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious belief. In a time when there are attempts to suppress access to books featuring LGBTQIA+/BIPOC characters, your library will continue to amplify diverse voices and speak out for the right to read.
Celebrate National Library Week with your library! Join the Sonoma County Library for events that inspire and delight; from story times to book clubs, from audiobooks to streaming video, there’s something for everyone. This National Library Week, show your support for your free public libraries by visiting us in person or online, and be sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date on events and more. Share your story with the hashtags #NationalLibraryWeek and #SonomaCountyLibrary.
Erika Thibault is the Library Director of the Sonoma County Library