Santa Rosa Library Advisory Board Meeting

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Program Type:

Library & Community
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Program Description

Library Advisory Board


Members of the public are welcome to attend the Sonoma Valley Library Advisory Board (LAB) which meets on the second Thursday of February, April, June, August, October and December at 4:00pm.  Members of the public can address the Library Advisory Boards; times are limited to 3 minutes and may be changed at the Library Advisory Board’s discretion.




Sonoma County Library

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

7:00 p.m.

Northwest Regional Library

150 Coddingtown Center

Santa Rosa, CA  95401


LAB Members

in attendance:                          Pamela Van Halsema (Chair), Cynthia Denenholz, Noah Harris,

                                                Serge Zimberoff, Lisa Pollack, Ana Diaz


Ex-Officio Members

In attendance:                         David Cahill (Commissioner), Sarah Laggos (Commissioner), Sarah Swearingen

(Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries President), Sarah Vantrease (Division Manager), Ana Dawe (Northwest Branch Manager), Jennifer Duran (Rincon Valley Branch Manager), Rosalie Abbott (Roseland Branch Manager)



  1. CALL TO ORDER by Chair Van Halsema at 6:58 pm
  2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF January 25, 2023. Approved with minor corrections.



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




Chair Van Halsema acknowledged the first in-person meeting since Covid and took a moment to honor Cesar Chavez and his work to lift others up.



5.1 Change the Santa Rosa LAB’s Bylaws

            5.1.a. Recording Secretary: change from Branch Manager to LAB member.

                        Action: Motion made, seconded, passed unanimously to amend the bylaws as follows:


The Library Advisory Board shall elect a Recording Secretary at its regular September meeting.  The Recording Secretary shall be chosen from among the members.  The Recording Secretary shall take office upon election, and shall hold office until a successor shall be elected, unless he or she shall resign from the office or from the Board at an earlier date. It shall be the duty of the Recording Secretary to take the minutes of the meetings of the Board, and to forward the same to the Clerk of the Board for duplication, distribution and preservation.


            5.1.b. Clerk: Request that library admin fill this role.

Action: Motion made, seconded, and passed unanimously to request the Library Director to name an Administrative Support Staff member as designee Clerk in lieu of Branch Managers; no change to bylaws.


5.2 Appoint a Vice Chair

                        Noah Harris elected as Vice Chair by unanimous vote.

5.3 Appoint a Recording Secretary

                        Cynthia Denenholz elected as Recording Secretary by unanimous vote.



6.1 Each LAB member to choose a branch for which to be primarily responsible.

Board discussed the idea of board members focusing on a single branch instead of all four Santa Rosa branches. Another idea was for members to focus on sharing information with the Commission/Library from their sphere of influence or neighborhood instead. To be discussed at next LAB meeting.

6.2 Library website

                        Not discussed

6.3 Reimagining the Library 2021 – Review this plan; role of LAB

                        Not discussed

6.4 Reinvigorating the Library Advisory Board:  

6.4.a. Youth Members (1 or 2) vacancies to fill at our July meeting

            Not discussed

            6.4.b.  LAB Voting Members – maximum of 12 voting members

                        Not discussed

            6.4.c. Clarify the scheduled location of our meetings for the public and ways to engage. Is hybrid access possible? 

                        Not discussed

6.4.d. Actions for LAB members to take between meetings, report back to the LAB/Commission.

            Discussed ways for LAB members to be take actions and be accountable for actions.

6.4.e.  Orientation for new LAB members

            Not discussed

6.5 Library Volunteer Recognition Luncheon April 20

                        Not discussed

6.6 Resolution on Social and Racial Equity

Board discussed submitting a letter to the Commission in support of the Sonoma County Library’s Statement of Inclusivity. Chair Van Halsema called for a special meeting to further discuss this topic and prepare a letter. The LAB members voted and approved scheduling a special meeting in April, 2023. Date to be determined.



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.

    1. Youth Members’ Report


    1. Friends of the Santa Rosa Library Report

Friend’s President, Sarah Swearingen, told everyone about the upcoming book sale and handed out flyers.

    1. Library Commissioners’ Report


    1. Library Director’s Report


    1. Feedback to Branch Managers’ Reports

LAB noted how much the libraries are doing and showed appreciation for the inclusion of the staff report on the National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color that was held in February 2023.

    1. City Council Liaison Report




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.

      Chair Van Halsema will schedule a special meeting to be held in April, 2023.

      Division Manager Vantrease will update bylaws on LAB webpage.


  1. ADJOURNMENT called by Chair Van Halsema at 8:00 pm. Next meeting: Wednesday May 31, 2023 at the Rincon Valley Library