Santa Rosa Library Advisory Board Meeting

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Program Description

Library Advisory Board


Santa Rosa Library Advisory Board Meeting

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 @ 7 pm

Protocol: Held Via Teleconference (Computer or Telephone)

Meeting held Via Zoom

In attendance: LAB Members: Sarah Laggos, Cynthia Denenholz, Noah Harris, and Pamela Van Halsema,

Ex-Officio members:  Interim Northwest Library Branch Manager John Koetzner, Rincon Valley Library Branch Manager Jennifer Duran, Roseland Library Branch Manager Rosalie Abbott, Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries President Sarah Swearingen, Public Services Division Manager Sarah Vantrease, Library Commissioner David Cahill

1. CALL TO ORDER by Pamela Van Halsema at 7:05 pm

2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF March 30, 2022 & May 25, 2022 & August 10, 2022 – Approved


An opportunity for members of the public to address the Library Advisory and Friends’ Boards; times are limited to 3 minutes and may be changed at the Library Advisory Board’s discretion.



Northwest Library’s Interim Branch Manager John Koetzner met the LAB members. John is stepping in to over see the Northwest Library while Ana Dawe fills in as Interim Youth Services Coordinator until January 2023.




6.1. Roseland interviews

Roseland community member interviews need to be completed by October 10.  Library has a series of questions to ask.  Interviews may be done over the phone or with scheduled Zoom meeting. Branch Manager Rosalie Abbott has the list of 9 questions and the list of community members to interview. Sarah Laggos has an email template to share with the group. All LAB members agreed to conduct interviews.  

6.2 Goal setting using the Portrait of Sonoma County

-Portions of the Portrait goals align strongly with the work Sonoma County Library staff perform. Examples include, long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living.  These are standards that one can look at the library to see that the library is helping to support these goals in our communities. Increased outreach to seniors and veterans, teen and supportive branch programs, digital literacy, are other goals at work and ongoing in Sonoma County Library. 

-Should the library become an additional community partner for a future Portrait of Sonoma County?. 

-Add a Latinx Spanish-speaking LAB member.

-Support the library and the foundation.

-Assist with publicity and fundraising.

-Support the library events in Roseland. 

-Find out which storytimes  are making the biggest difference. Early childhood programs provide a service for those families who can’t afford to send their child to preschool.    

-How can we support our staff in the library to help support difficult feelings in our youth including mental health, trauma and tragedies?

-How do we reach the population that needs the most help? 

-Should we contract with other agencies to offer support inside the library? 

-Break down some of the worst areas in the community of Santa Rosa and match them up with branches.

-Bring in a LAB member from the Southwest community.

-Have the LAB become a Speakers Bureau.

-Have the LAB be of service to library staff.  What do they need?

-What can the LAB do to support staff to advocate more on staffs’ behalf?


Reports and updates on library governance, management, programs, services and support group activities as well as City Council matters. All items are for discussion only.

7.1 Youth Members’ Report: None

7.2 Friends of the Santa Rosa Library Report: The Friends are busy preparing for the Fall Book Fair at the Veterans Memorial Building Friday, September 30-Monday, October 3, 50,000-60,000 books have been transported to the building for the fair. They have been taking donations for almost a year and have had increasing success with several small fairs held at Central Library in the courtyard. They have donated $25,000 to 21st Century Libraries, and this September donated $34,000 to the four Santa Rosa branches and History & Genealogy Library. They have goals to build long term volunteer commitment and were pleased to share that 40 volunteers were set to work at the Fall Book Fair. The Friends are also helping the Adult Literacy Program re-establish its connection with the Jail/Detention Center. 

7.3 Library Commissioners’ Report: The Federation Tribe of Graton Rancheria donated $3,500,000 for the future Roseland Library which completes all the money needed for the building. $4,000,000 is still needed to fund the interior of the library. The 21st Century Library project is set to continue to go on.

7.4 Library Director’s Report: All library branches are set to open on Sundays beginning November 6.  Opening up on Sundays opened opportunities for existing staff and for hiring new staff. The library branches will be closed on Thursday, September 29 for All Staff Day. Staff will undergo racial equity and safety training and engage in other discussion to help move the library forward. The Library Commission has commenced our Library Director search.   

7.5 Feedback to Branch Managers’ Report:



Special programs, this month include Crafting with Creative Bug, a Folklorico Dance Workshop, Sonoma Ready Series, Musical guests Trio Nuevo Amanecer, seeds and Reads: Explore with Leaves and Trees. We also added two new weekly Storytime's this month. Our calendar is full of exciting things to check out!


Class visits have begun! We have had three class visits in the last month with more scheduled in the coming weeks!


The Central Library staff continue to work on collections and are in the process of weeding and reassigning materials that other branches might need. Our adult services staff have completed interfiling our short stories collection. Next up we will be moving the Veteran’s Resource Center collection to a more visible location!

Staffing updates

We have added three staff members! Destiny Lopez has joined us as the new FT Library associate. She was promoted from Library Specialist, and we are so excited to have her! Jonathan Grimmer and Lisa Winchester have also been promoted from Extra Help Specialists to FT Library Specialists! Feel free to say "Hi,” if you stop by Central!

Northwest Branch Report

Adult Services

Philip recently joined the Social Services and Senior Services task forces, and they are working on outreach and programs for people experiencing homelessness, veterans, and seniors. He is also planning to offer a class on basic computer skills in the future.

Grupo Folklórico Quetzalén performed in our parking lot on Sep. 17. The dancers gave a wonderful and well-attended performance!

Teen Services

Northwest continues to offer volunteer opportunities for teens ages 12-18.  We currently have five regular teen volunteers, and three more who will be starting soon.  This is an important service that the library provides, as many teens in middle school and high school need to complete volunteer hours for school.

Teen Librarian, Melissa, is getting ready to visit four English classes at Piner Olivet Charter School on Thursday, 9/22/22.  She has been doing zoom class visits for the past two years, and these will be her first in person class visits since March 2020.  Additionally, she is working with Rachel Icaza, the Education Initiatives Librarian, to schedule class visits and a faculty meeting at Comstock Middle School. 

As far as programs go, Melissa is working on launching "Teen Tuesdays" starting in October.  Every Tuesday from 4:30-5:30pm, she will host a different teen program on a rotating basis.  For example, week 1 of the month will be crafts, week 2 will be anime/manga club, week 3 will be video games, and week 4 will be Pride club.  The first Tuesday in November is Día de Muertos, and to celebrate we will be having a special bilingual Sugar Skulls craft, run by Elsa Tapia.   We also will be launching our bimonthly knitting and crochet club in October, which will be open to teens and adults.  On October 12, we will be holding the special "Don't just Vent, Vote!" event, which will be hosted by the League of Women Voters, open to 16-24 year olds. 

Lastly, during the first week of October, Melissa will be flying to Florida to attend the National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color.  The conference "brings together a diverse group of librarians, library staff, library supporters, and community participants to explore issues of diversity in libraries and how they affect the communities of color that use our services".  As a mixed race librarian who serves an extremely diverse community, this is an important and exciting opportunity for her to learn and bring back methods to strengthen our library. 

 Children’s Services

In September we started Bilingual Storytime at Northwest on Friday mornings at 10:30 am.

We read books and sing songs in Spanish and English, have an easy preschool craft, and parents & kids can stay after to socialize.

We also had a fun “Seeds & Reads” event where kids decorated a wooden box to keep natural treasures in.

Kim read a story about leaves and trees, and shared leaves, acorns, moss, bark, and rocks for kids to collect, and even brought Jurassic seashell fossils to keep.

Kids are invited to attend a STEAM event next week to assemble Cubelets into modular robots that move, light up & spin.

In October, kids will be exploring Ozobots and in November will build with Keva planks and Kapla blocks.

We're hoping to get Homework Help up and running by mid-October for Wednesdays from 2:30 - 4:30 pm.  We have 3 out of 4 volunteers needed and we're getting supplies ready.


Branch Updates

Branch Manager, Ana Dawe, is temporarily moving to HQ as Acting Youth Services Administrator and John Koetzner from Cloverdale will be coming to Northwest as Acting Branch Manager. This assignment change is scheduled to end in early 2023.

Rincon Valley Library

In July, our staff issued 158 new library cards, checked in, and shelved 24,117 library materials, and the library materials checked out total 16,553. 

n August, our staff issued 167 new library cards, checked in, and shelved 24,778 library materials, and the library materials checked out total 16,902.


Our staff is super excited about the $9800 gift fund the Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries recently bestowed upon us! Those monies will be give a boost to buying more books and media for our branch in our travel, holiday, and picture book collection, and for our “For Your Eyes Only” collection.


Be sure to stop by and check out our Hispanic Latinx Heritage display of library materials.  Library staff enjoy creating and the community loves browsing our displays.  Our Staff Picks display is very popular and the staff keeps it filled year round.  Banned Books Week (September 18-24, 2022) displays are currently up all around Sonoma County Library.  Earlier in September, we had displays up dedicated to September 11 and Queen Elizabeth II.  On the children’s side, we celebrated Back to School in August and September. 


Our Events Coordinators planned a very festive series of programs for all ages celebrating Hispanic Latinx Heritage (September 15 – October 15).  The photo above shows off the beautiful papel picado the group enjoyed creating on September 17 at our Papel Picado Workshop taught by local artist Maria Gonzalez-Blue.  Also planned for adults is Bilingual Zumba on October 1.  For families we have planned an author visit with Lucky Diaz on October 4 and later in October, we have sugar skull workshops planned for children on October 20 and for teens on October 24. We also have planned for teens Bookbinding & Watercolors with Amanda Ayala on September 28. 

More upcoming programs planned for adults include:

-          Book discussion, There There by Tommy Orange, on Wednesday, October 12

-          Alzheimer’s Association: Effective Communication Strategies in the evening on Wednesday, October 12

-          Master Gardeners presenting Supporting Nature in our Challenging World on Saturday, October 22

-          And an interactive Paint Party with local artist Tara Hackett on Wednesday, October 26

More upcoming children’s programs:

-          Little Chef’s First 100 Words with children’s author Tenisha Bernal on Wednesday, September 28

-          Maker Studio: Dino Stop Motion with local educator Lindsay Hunter

-          Family is a Rainbow (family storytime) on Friday, October 7

-          Read to a Dog on Saturday, October 8

-          Seeds and Read – Our Friend the River Otter (stories & craft) on Wednesday, October 13

-          Kids Can Cook Healthy Food on Thursday, October 27

More upcoming teen programs:

-          Don’t Just Vent – VOTE! on Monday, September 26

-          CoderDojo club held every Tuesday from 5-6:00pm

-          Universal Yums: Snack Time for Teens on Friday, October 7

-          Making Good Trouble with local LGBTQI+ historian and activist, Shad Reinstein on Monday, October 10

Community Partnerships

We are so excited to share the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild is hosting a quilt show at our branch from October 4 and into January 2023.  The quilts will be installed up high and absolutely make the building gorgeous!  This is our first quilt show since 2019.

Our meeting room will also be a Voting Center for the Statewide General Election from Saturday, November 5 through Tuesday, November 8.

Staff Updates

Rebecca has joined our staff as Supervising Library Specialist.  She previously was a Library Associate at Central Library.  Sasha has joined us as our new Shelver, and Nick our veteran Shelver is promoting to Library Specialist in October.  Our Children’s Services Librarian position is still open. We want to extend a BIG thank you to our Extra Help reference staff who have been filling in at the Children’s desk.  Anne, Gabor, Scott and Walter have been amazing at helping the branch keep up with the list of children’s projects—thank you so much! 

ROSE Manager’s Report 

What’s new in Roseland 

Fall is upon us and we have shifted from Summer Reading to Fall Programming and Community Engagement. Our staff are extremely motivated and stellar at their jobs. It is exciting to see how the rockstar level work that they do out in the community has a direct correlation with new children and families coming into our building to explore, check out books, and attend programs. 


We will be expanding our hours in advance of the soft launch of Sunday hours beginning November 6th. As of 9/20/22, this is a snapshot of what we expect our staffing to look like. We are excited to announce that our current shelver, Ale Avalos, has accepted a 30-hour position as a Library Specialist beginning in mid-October. We hope to hire bilingual/Spanish-speaking staff to fill the remaining open positions. These staffing levels help us to run the branch smoothly and safely, while also offering opportunities for community engagement and outreach to classes and schools, parks, and at other events throughout our service area. 

Branch Manager, 40 hours 

Children’s Librarian II, 40 hours 

Young Adult Services Librarian I, 40 hours 

Adult Services Librarian, 20 hours (to be hired) 

Senior Library Associate, 40 hours 

Specialist, 40 hours 

Specialist, 30 hours 

Specialist, 30 hours (start date & training 10/10) 

Shelver, 15 hours (to be hired) 

Programming: August/September 

Program attendance (in branch and outreach combined, as of 9/20): 1,905 

The total number of programs (in branch and outreach combined, as of 9/20): 57 

 In branch programming August/September: 

·         Adults: Citizenship Classes in Spanish & Tortilla Literaria Spanish Book Club, Trio Nuevo Amanecer, Emergency Alerts Sign Up Drive, History of Latin Music 

·         Children: Stay & Play, Spanish Music & Movement, Read to a Dog, Back to School Sticker Party, Jueves de Juegos, Lego Robotics, Celebrate South America, Free Bike Repair Day,  Papel Picado Workshop, Cuentame Un Cuento, Loteria 

·         Teens: CreateTeen!, Bollywood Soiree, Bookbinding with Watercolors 

Community Engagement: 

·         All of our Reference Staff have been actively engaging in many school visits and library orientations at all levels Pre-K through High School. Students are receiving age appropriate presentations ranging from themed storytimes inclusive of songs and bubbles to Banned Book Presentations and library instruction about databases and eResources. 

·         Our Specialists and Reference staff have also been participating in various outreach at community events all across town.  

Examples of Recent Events 

·         Mochiladas Backpack & School Supply Giveaway 

·         National Night Out 

·         Community Block Party 

·         Community Needs Assessment for the new Roseland Library 

 Looking Forward 

·         All Staff Day, September 29th, 2022 

·         Hiring of additional Bilingual Staff 

·         Soft Launch of New Sunday Hours beginning 11/6/22 

·         Collection Development using the recent allocation of $6000 generously shared by the Santa Rosa Friends group! 

  7.6 City Council Liaison Report: None


An opportunity for Members to present brief, factual information about their library, respond to public comments, place items on the next agenda, or request information from the Library Commissioners, Director or Branch Managers.


A review of follow-up responsibilities for members and staff.

10.  ADJOURNMENT—Next meeting: Wednesday, November 30 at 7 pm

The meeting adjourned at 7:59 pm


Event Details

Bimonthly Meeting of the Santa Rosa Library Advisory Board.


The Advisory Board meets odd months on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

Meeting ID: 834 9755 8156