While the physical branches of The Sonoma County Library remain closed during the pandemic, your library card still comes with a great deal of benefits. Books are a given but did you know that you can also watch movies and read magazines for free, among other things? With school out and a summer sans travel around the corner, your library card can help keep you entertained and transport you to faraway places any hour of the day.
“We have so many resources that I’m not sure anyone can keep track of all of them,” said Ray Holley, Community Relations Manager and Public Information Officer for the Sonoma County Library.
Select branches have now started offering curbside pickup, but you don’t need to leave home to borrow books, movies, and more. E-books and audiobooks are always available. There are tens of thousands of titles to choose from, ranging from classics and nonfiction to kids and young adult books. The New York Times is free online with your Sonoma County Library card. As are Consumer Reports, National Geographic, and Britannica, just to mention a few. Many of the library’s resources are available in Spanish, some are even available in French and Mandarin.
No library card? No problem: you can sign up for an Instant Digital Card using your mobile phone number.
“I hope people will take advantage of the subscription resources that we provide,” said Ann Hammond, Sonoma County Library Director. “We have – literally – thousands of popular magazines to read online, plus in-depth legal references, car repair manuals, newspaper archives, manga comic collections, software tutorials…it goes on and on!”
Want to learn how to play the guitar? Maybe the ukulele? The library has you covered with Zoom workshops.
You can learn a new language with Mango online language software and explore your family tree on Ancestry.com. Lynda.com, the Criterion Collection of classic films, and many other popular services are also available through the Sonoma County Library.
“It would cost you hundreds of dollars a year to subscribe to them all, but they’re all free with your library card,” said Ann Hammond.
A number of digital services are also available for kids and kids-at-heart. The annual Summer Reading Challenge runs from June 1 through August 8 (reading can be tracked online or using paper logs). Every Tuesday at 1 p.m. during “Simple Science at Home,” librarians use common ingredients to create fun science experiments like learning how to make invisible ink in under three minutes. Every Saturday at 1 p.m. crafts take center stage. Even story time is virtual these days: new stories and songs get added to the Sonoma County Library’s playlist every Wednesday and Friday at 11 a.m.
If you don’t have a library card, you can sign up here.