County libraries have historically been a safe haven for many LGBTQIA+ people. Recently, Sonoma County Library has been extraordinary in this effort. Based on the information gathered
through surveys and interviews, there was a “Re-imagining” of Sonoma County Library in 2019.
The Queer Advocacy Team was created in 2021 to advocate on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ community regarding library services, outreach, programming, and collections. Partnerships with community groups of similar purpose or intent were established. They provided electronic resources and LGBTQ+ books as well as book lists making it easy to identify Queer books for Teens, families, and Trans/Gender Expansive people. LGBTQ+ posters, rainbow flags, and banners have been purchased and displayed prominently. Online programming has featured Sonoma County LGBTQ+ History including presentations on the Sonoma County LGBTQI Timeline, Russian River LGBTQI+ History, and National Coming Out Day.
The Here & Queer program rolled out in 2022, interviewing individuals in our LGBTQ+ Sonoma County community. The Library’s Bookmobile was prominent at Pride 2022, providing LGBTQ+ giveaway books, resources, and information.
The libraries host monthly virtual Queer Book Club for adults, Teen Pride Club, as well as Family, which is a Rainbow program for kids and families. Panel presentations bridged generational gaps by including local LGBTQ+ elders and youth activists.
The breadth and quality of these services come at a critical time when LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC people have been targeted in the media and by politicians.