This month, I have a few updates to offer on library services that you already know and love. We are always glad to hear your questions and concerns, and we're hoping that our upcoming plans will help with our community's information needs. 

Jon Haupt

Librarian Jon Haupt

We have an exciting new option for picking up your materials: the Click & Collect service through our Sonoma County Library app (to find it, search for Sonoma County Library in the Google Play store for Android or the App Store on iPhone). If you have a smartphone and like to pick up books at the library through our curbside service, you may find this app helpful. Within the app, once you log in using your library card number and PIN, you can see items that are waiting for you on hold at the library and let us know you are on your way or ready to pick your items up. We find it particularly handy for families, since you are allowed to link multiple accounts on your card and pick up all of them at once — without having to read off all of the library card numbers on the phone. Of course, if you prefer to hear a human voice on the phone, that will always be an option, but this app-based approach might be preferable to some in our community. 

Last month in the Tribune, I mentioned how you can contact the library if you would like a librarian to help pick out some books or DVDs for you, based on your interests. We are excited about the response to this service, which we really have offered all along, but it has been especially helpful while in-person services in the library — such as browsing the shelves — are unavailable. We're happy to provide this for any age if you call us at 707-433-3772. I'm happy to report that the library has established a helpful online form for families requesting bundles at https://sonomalibrary.org/book-bundles. Once you fill in your contact information, you will be able to specify age level, genres and the like. If you don't find exactly what you're looking for, feel free to fill in what you know as "additional information," and our staff will help find you a great selection of books. 

Another service I mentioned last month was our magazines. We continue to offer magazines for checkout, but they're only available by direct request; simply give us a call and we can check to see if we have the magazine you would like. I want to make sure, however, that you are aware of our online offerings. Some of you have tried our RBdigital Magazines app. This year, RBdigital has been acquired by OverDrive, and all of our digital magazine subscriptions are moving over to that service. This means that magazines will be available in the popular Libby app. It doesn't work exactly the same way, and there will be some things you can't do with the new interface, but on the plus side, we now have unlimited access to the magazines (no checkout limits) and we find searching and reading very enjoyable within the Libby app for OverDrive. If you have further questions about the switch from RBdigital to OverDrive/Libby, please visit our knowledge base at https://ask.sonomalibrary.org/faq/339230

The libraries are now offering online one-on-one help sessions for job seeking and technology assistance. These popular programs have been greatly missed by our community and we are happy to work with partners to make them available to you again in a virtual environment. You can sign up online on our events calendar at https://events.sonomalibrary.org/events or just take a look at what's coming up in the next few weeks. If you need any assistance with signing up or just want to talk to us about it first, please give us a call during Curbside Pickup hours at the same 707-433-3772 phone number. No question is too simple. We really enjoy helping others get connected to the information they need.

We know many have questions about further reopening of the libraries and particularly our return policies, and we have good news along that line as well. The libraries are transitioning toward accepting returned items on any of our open days. More information will be coming soon, but please do check online at https://sonomalibrary.org for the current status of our book drop, look for our signage outside, or just give us a call to check and see if our book drop is open. We are working toward in-person services as well, developing protocols, adjusting the layout and safety equipment in our libraries, training our staff, and just like everyone else, keeping our eye on the COVID-19 Tier status of our county. We anxiously wait for the day we can safely gather again in our community spaces and we look forward to seeing you, in the meantime, at our curbside table.

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