Resources available for evacuees, residents without power
On Monday morning, Oct. 28, before the Petaluma Regional Library was even open a line of people queued up at the front door, many people coming from the parking lot at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds where evacuees from the Kincade Fire were camping in their cars. While local libraries typically do not have a line of people waiting to get in, patrons were eager to experience some home comforts that the few open Sonoma County Library branches have been working to provide.
Ray Holley, community relations manager for the Sonoma County Library, said that Petaluma and Rohnert Park Cotati branches reported on Oct. 28 that there were, “Twice the usual number of people.”
The Petaluma, Rohnert Park and Sonoma Valley branches of the county library will be open today, Tuesday, Oct. 29 until 6 p.m.
“The management team is meeting every day to evaluate how many branches can be open each day,” Holley said, noting that some branches still don’t have power and that some employees have been evacuated, making it difficult staffing wise.
“Administrative and technical support staff kept our systems running smoothly; some staff members worked remotely from where they were evacuated. I'm proud of how our staff came together to support our patrons and our communities," Library Director Ann Hammond said in an Oct. 28 press release.
Holley said for the libraries that are open resources likes heat, free Wifi, charging stations, restrooms and free menstrual supplies are all available to patrons.
He said while regular event programming has been rescheduled there are games, movies, crafts and other activities available for kids and families in need of a distraction during what can be a scary time for youngsters.
Despite being evacuated herself, Healdsburg Library children’s librarian Charity Anderson read a children’s story, “Pumpkin Cat” and uploaded it as a Facebook video on Tuesday, Oct. 29 so kids and families could watch.
“I am currently evacuated like most of all of our communities in both Healdsburg and Windsor and I am hanging out in South San Francisco with a couple of families, but I woke up this morning a little sad that I wasn’t going to get to see my story time friends this morning so I thought maybe I’d read you a story,” Anderson said in the video.
To view Anderson’s story time visit: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3141160499290407.
Holley added that if you can’t get to an open branch the library’s pool of digital resources like magazines, research tools and books are available 24/7 online at https://sonomalibrary.org/eresources.
You can access digital content with your library card.
Sonoma County Library is also extending due dates for 14 days for checked out items.
Holley said holds will also be extended for one week and if power outages continue for certain branch locations an additional extension may be issued.
“We are there to serve people,” Holley said. “And help the community understand and cope with a complex world, especially at a time like this.”
Open Sonoma County libraries
Branches open today until 6 p.m.
100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma
Rohnert Park Cotati Library
6250 Lynne Conde Way, Rohnert Park
Sonoma Valley Library
755 W Napa St., Sonoma