Citizens Speak Out: Supervisors, Restore Library Hours! Unedited public comments from more than 120 Sonoma County taxpayers

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Well over 100 Sonoma County taxpaying citizens expressed the written comments below, taken directly from the Sonoma Independent’s MoveOn Petition of more than 1,100 people, urging County Supervisors to use some our record surplus to restore Monday hours for our libraries. Add your voice, and call your supervisors at 565-2241 before June 6 if you want them to fund Monday openings. 

Mark Bauman from Sebastopol: “come on dammit…wake up…we need more education, more libraries, not more jails, which jail suppliers get rich from, and which don’t do anything to solve our problems.”

Jennifer Sultan from San Francisco: “In San Francisco, the libraries are open EVERY DAY and it is fantastic!”

Kristen Throop from Santa Rosa: “This issue is of primary importance to me and I am a dedicated voter. I will remember this come election time.”

Phyllis Haig from Santa Rosa: “down to 40 hours from 70???!!!”

Marika Harrison from Sebastopol: “Please use some of Sonoma counties surplus to reopen the libraries on Mondays!”

Lisa Thomas from Sebastopol:  “I would like to see our tax dollars move away from ‘special interest’ and toward ‘public interests.'”

Susan Moulton from Sebastopol: “Libraries are the heart and soul of a community, used by young and old. Please restore the funding to maintain this invaluable resource for us all.”

Noreen Gunning from Glen Ellen: “This request is urgent since many of the public school libraries have no paid staff and are operating under less than necessary support. Students need to do volumes of reading to keep up to grade level not to mention that our county has been shortchanging its library goers and the dedicated staffs.”

Dede Puma from Santa Rosa: “Dear Supervisor Gorin, I believe that libraries are one of the few institutions left in America that treat all the public the same and make materials available that otherwise would not be due to less fortunate citizens. Money spent on libraries has a big pay off in an engaged and educated citizenry. Thank you, Dede Puma”

Robert Dahlstet from Santa Rosa: “Those harmed by these closures are, once again, our most disadvantaged fellow citizens. We should be striving together to help ensure equal opportunity for all. If nothing else, restoration of hours should be done for libraries in the poorest sections of our county and communities!”

Cynthia Fenton from Windsor, CA: “Keeping libraries open is how we make opportunity available to all of our citizens who are trying to better their lives and their children’s lives. Take this chance to say yes to the American Dream for all the members of our community.”

Linda Engel from Santa Rosa: “I think it’s shameful how Sonoma County has become a county who has put our library system on the back burner. It is a key component of education. I am one of thousands of citizens who use the library – a lot. Especially in this economy, there are people in Sonoma County who rely on the library for computers, Internet access, research material, books, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks, DVD’s, a quiet place to study, etc. A trip to the library is an experience parents can share with their children. Evening hours should be increased, as well as increased availability every day of the week.”

Karen Hudson from Cotati: “As a retired teacher, I am signing to ask you to restore library hours within Sonoma County. The love of books is fundamental to the love of learning.”

Alejandro R Torres from Santa Rosa: “The health of a community’s Public Library system is a barometer of the cultural and educational health of that county. They’ve ‘taken one for the team all the last few years: now restore the funding of our precious resource.”

Julie Crozier from Rohnert Park: “We have waited too long to take back our libraries. There are students that have work and sports after school making it difficult to use the resources the library have to offer. I am Urging you to restore hours so that all of Sonoma County may have time to utilize the library. Thank you.”

Kai Harris from Sebastopol: “Now that I am a mother of a one year old, going to the library has become a big part of my family’s rhythm. We love the Wee Read program. While Supervisors consider spending 1 million/year to add unnecessary and toxic fluoride to the drinking water, I’d much rather see that same amount go toward reopening the library on Mondays.”

Miriyam Gevirtz from Santa Rosa: “There is a saying: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” It is an abomination to withhold money from the libraries, one of the few sources of education and solace and ideas in a county rich in greed. Please give us the money to keep our libraries open on Mondays and evenings. Thank you.”

Thomas V Trotter Jr from Graton: “Libraries are places where our children learn to love reading and get excited by books. Keeping them open for our kids is so important. And it teaches them how much we, as a society, value reading.”

Samantha from Sonoma: “Yes please! as a high school student.”

Marc D. Barnett from Petaluma:  “Libraries are vital to our community and also serve some of the most impoverished families with resources unavailable to them in any other format.”

Liz Hart from Sonoma: “Keep the library open so we can all enjoy learning and sharing life. I’ve never heard of a library cutting down when the economy is doing well. I love history, and books are crucial to keeping my mind working. As a disabled person it is even more important as I cannot do much physically. My life is my mind. My mind comes from books.”

Melanie Saweliew from Sonoma: “I remember, as a child, using the library often on the weekends and in the evenings. I loved that it was an available option, and often a preferred destination. Most of the time my son asks to go the library, I need to tell him that it’s closed and we’ll have to go a different day. That doesn’t ignite interest as much as, “Of course we can, it’s open every day and open late three evenings a week!”

Glynda Christian from Bodega Bay: “As a former library director, I understand how funds are used according to greatest need–this is a severe need in our county for children, seniors, home-bound, as well as general population.”

Jean Ferretti from Santa Rosa: “ ‘Libraries raised me.’ -Ray Bradbury”

Peter Perlman from Monte Rio: “Unconscionable!..libraries should be a top priority in a healthy             society.”

Becky Thompson from Cazadero: “There is no greater threat to freedom of speech, than the closure of the public libraries and post offices! We strive to keep the literacy rate up and to value books, which is how all civilization rose, and hence recorded history, which enables learning processes and successful societies. Get Real.”

Charles Siebert from Healdsburg: “It’s time to begin the re-investment in our children’s futures”

Frank Saiz from Forestville: “Fund our libraries! It is part of our way of life in Sonoma County. It is vital to children, senior citizens and everyone who lives in this county. Access to a library allows a society to educate itself through the simple act of reading.”

Valerie Ansel from Santa Rosa: “Library services are vital – especially for seniors.”

Gail B. Alford from Santa Rosa: “This is an excellent petition and represents exactly what happened to libraries here in Sonoma Coutny – I live here too! Please forward and sign.”

Betty Harrison from Petaluma: “Democracy requires a well educated electorate, and free, public libraries is how we do it!”

Linda J Nichols from Sebastopol: “Libraries are so necessary to our communities. ‘The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the Library.’ -A. Einstein”

O’Dell, from Santa Rosa:  “Please restore hours. This county can afford it. Our city council seems to choose what they want and not it best for its citizens even when voting opposes their choice. Which has ALWAYS/ALL WAYS been for the wealthier of the county. I have lived in Santa Rosa/Sonoma county my entire life, 45 years. Do something for the greater good,not just your best interest. Have a conscience.”

Janet Tracy Landman from Santa Rosa: “Like many others, I use my library weekly. If we have a surplus, this is exactly where it should go. Democracy isn’t possible without an informed citizenry.”

Jim from Guerneville: “Library hours are a fair measure of a community’s sense of commonwealth and enlightened self-interest. I counsel significantly greater funding for Sonoma County libraries. That said, candor demands I admit to be a card carrying member of Sonoma County’s library system.”

Martha D. Morrison from Santa Rosa: “If we don’t encourage learning at home, and the federal government doesn’t either, where in the world will people learn important things, especially those who don’t have enough money to buy education? That’s not who we want to be.”

Stephen Petty from Santa Rosa: “The library is one of the last communal resources that all can enjoy and, while I don’t know the condition of the school libraries, I suspect that the Sonoma County library is a strong source for research and homework in the junior high and high school age group and evening hours would be beneficial. Studies on the tie-ins with schools would be helpful.”

Vivian from Cotati, CA: “It is a crying shame that the library is open for so few hours every week. The library is an important resource for the community and it really needs to be open for the full 70 hours per week. Investing in keeping the library open pays off in many ways. I still spend a lot of time there and have such fond memories, having practically grown up in a library.”

Timothy Crowley from Petaluma: “Libraries are one of the key foundations of civilized, enlightened communities. The internet does not negate the need. Libraries are where I want my county tax dollars to go!”

Tanya Gjerman from Windsor: “It is our lifeblood. Please bring back the hours.”

Adrienne Lauby from Cotati: “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven to the library on a Monday, only to remember that the doors are locked. In our wealthy county, this clearly not necessary.”

Rory from Petaluma: “A healthy library system is necessary for a healthy population.”

Robert Tinkham from Santa Rosa: “The Sonoma County Library System: Best Value for the money for EVERYONE. Do the right thing supervisors!”

Gillian Estes from Santa Rosa: “The library has been an incredibly useful resource for my family over the years. I would love to see full functioning hours restored.”

Matthew C. Bronson from Sebastopol: “Libraries are an essential space for our communities, especially folks with limited internet access. Time to spend some of that property boom money on something that really matters to Sonoma County’s citizens.”

Kathleen Harrison from Occidental: “Please fund the public library network so that we can use the resources as much as possible. Seniors really love the library and deserve to use it, with ample available hours.”

Sara Valerio from Santa Rosa: “I was saddened and amazed when the voters chose not to fund libraries. My children have been saddened many times when they could not go to the library because it was closed. We need more money to libraries, not less!”

Patricia Gentry from Sebastopol: “Sunday/Monday are my days off…need those Monday hours back at the library! Please!”

Paula Shatkin, from Occidental: “YES for Monday hours!!!!”

Connie Williams from Petaluma: “I support fully funding all our Sonoma County Libraries.”

Ann Bennett from Santa Rosa: “Reading by internet has been shown to be bad for your health when done before sleeping. We still need books and Libraries.”

Gail Simons from Santa Rosa: “We need an educated public to be a sustainable society. Please help.”

Dorothea Sprouse from Petaluma: “More library strength!!!!”

Jim Phillips from Sonoma: “Restore the hours to the Sonoma Cty Library system.”

Jennifer Menicucci from Santa Rosa: “I would love to be able to go to the library on Mondays!”

Deborah Applegate from Santa Rosa: “I’m volunteering at one of the branches and am seeing up close and personal what a great job is being done – way more than just lending books!”

Amy Seyms from Sonoma: “We love the Sonoma Library and especially librarian Clare!! Please extend the hours, and give her a raise!!”

Patricia Bongiovanni from Sonoma: “Public libraries are one of the most important institutions we have, please support ours!!!!”

Eve J. Navarro from Santa Rosa: “Do you value education? Safety? Community? Restore access to the Libraries…It’s basic!”

Natasha Pehrson from Cazadero: “Please restore Mondays and 4-6 pm hours on Saturdays to the Sonoma County Libraries.”

Mary Lynard from Sonoma: “Please re-store the library hours to our communities. This is a valuable resource for all of our citizens. Thank You very much.”

Kathleen V Place from Rohnert Park: “When I moved to Sonoma County in 1974 the library was the only friend that I had for myself, from toddler until I got to meet new people, & [has been] a friend since.”

Therese Webber from Rohnert Park: “Please restore the Monday and evening hours to our libraries here in Sonoma County. I am an elementary teacher and many of my students do not have access to reference materials, computers and helpful, knowledgeable adults, especially after school and in the evenings. It’s so unfair to all of us,and especially these young students, to deny us such a valuable community service that is more valued, it seems, in neighboring areas than in our own local hometowns! Information and learning should be at the top of the spending list, not the bottom!!!”

John Maxwell from Petaluma: “The majority of Sonoma Co. voters want increased funding for our libraries – yet fell short of the required 2/3. This is a clear indication of majority support for restoring funding for libraries.”

Katherine Moore from Healdsburg: “This is so important to our county. We’re not all wineries and tourists–we’re residents who need the services that help keep us informed and improve our children’s education. What has happened to our libraries is shameful, and that shame falls on the supervisors who have allowed it to happen.”

Linda Jay from Petaluma: “I’m a book editor and a writer. Words are my life! It is inexcusable in a county like Sonoma to close the libraries on Mondays.”

Anne Jacopetti from Santa Rosa: “Libraries are the beating heart of our community. They are vital. Please take them off life support and return them to health.”

Peter Walker from Sebastopol: “Our public libraries are an educational resource open to rich and poor. We need to support this vital institution with more funding.”

Candace Renee Stump from Petaluma: “Our family would absolutely make use of the Monday hours. We often reschedule events to work around the library’s closure on Mondays, as we used to go to the library afterward. Please bring back this wonderful resource!”

Cathy Coleman from Sonoma: “This is important! Libraries need to be open all week, especially to support students.”

MaryAnn Nickel from Santa Rosa: “As a former reading teacher and a professor of literacy, I know the research data that’s reports when kids read rich and interesting texts, they get to be better readers– not rocket science.”

Priscilla Johnstone from Sebastopol: “Please restore funding to our libraries. My Sebastopol branch is always busy no matter the day I go. There are tutors working with students, seniors reading and using computers, youngsters participating in reading projects – this is a well-loved & utilized facility. It should be open on Mondays. Please restore $$$.”

Jason Dooley from Sonoma: “The current hours deprive many people who have limited means or onerous work schedules from utilizing the resources of the library. Please invest more in these resources.”

Julie Skopal from Cotati: “I work days Tuesday through Saturday. My schedule doesn’t give me a chance to visit the library when it is open with the current library hours. Please, fund the libraries so working people can use it in the evenings and weekends. Thank you.”

Paula Hawkes from Healdsburg: “I have always loved libraries and now I often take my grandchildren. Let’s have Monday open again.”

Kym Trippsmith from Sebastopol: “Just say NO to fluoride and YES to more funding for our libraries!!!”

Martin Steiner from Santa Rosa: “A Public Library system is one the fundamental superstructures of a modern democracy!! We need it to be open & available more hours, not less!!”

Gary Alderette from United States: “Libraries are like a “think tank” for people (especially young people) that actually want to engage in critical thinking and research. It’s also a safe haven from the streets that offers a constructive atmosphere. If you consider that education today is comprised of teaching to the test and does not promote imagination or critical thinking, access to the public library is more critical than ever before.”

Sandra Snider from Sebastopol: “Libraries add to the health of the community. I particularly believe that evening hours should be open for teens, seniors and all working people!”


Ben Boyce from Sonoma: “This is a community values issue. The library money is the change in the sofa for the law enforcement budget, but no, we can’t touch that.”

Brian H Wilson from Cotati: ” ‘Short hours’ is the same as “no hours” given our current minimum wage jobs: and our employers don’t let us take library breaks.”

Carla Dimondstein from Fort Bragg: “It’s imperative that our taxes fund libraries, with access for all. Libraries are our last bastion of freedom from conformity. Restore the hours!!”

Bob Phelps from Sebastopol: “For school children to be prohibited from using library tools, particularly during the week, is an abomination and an indictment of people who fail to support quality education and the resources necessary for kids to achieve and succeed. This is just one of many examples of the failure of our leaders to do the right and logical thing.”

Kathleen Tugwell from Sonoma: “I urge you to restore funding to keep our county libraries open on Mondays! Libraries have been a vital community resource for decades. It is shameful that Sonoma County, with a revenue surplus now and even more next year, is apparently unwilling to spend so little per capita on funding our libraries. It is within your power to add funding for libraries when dedicated funding fall short. Don’t make excuses. Work for the residents of Sonoma County and provide the needed $1.2 million to restore Monday library hours.”

Dorothy Guajardo from Petaluma: “We need our Libraries!”

Kenneth Odell from Healdsburg: “It’s time to do this now.”

Dale Amtower from Healdsburg: “This is a no-brainer.”

Courtney Breed from Sebastopol: “Please increase the budget for our libraries! They are a vital resource for our children and the entire community!”

Jahnavi Shields from Petaluma: “These resources are needed by the community and should be provided.”

Mike O’Looney from Santa Rosa: “Went to the library on Monday and it was closed. It already opens late and closes early. Let’s keep it open on Monday…OKAY?”

Joanie Moshier from Santa Rosa: “I am at the library several times a month. Really appreciate its existence. Even in our high tech times , the printed word is so important. Please restore the hours.”

Ruth I. Gordon from Cloverdale: “It’s an absolutely necessary service and our schools do not have libraries that are professionally staffed. As usual–kids get the shaft–but our roads may be repaired.”

Dorothy Wilcox from Petaluma: “The library is a huge asset to our community—making possible continuing education for so many.”

Charmayne Riley from Rohnert Park: “People need access to books to broaden the understanding of life.”

Amanda Roze from Santa Rosa: “The libraries are critical to the health of our community.”

Barbara Fry from Santa Rosa: “It is disgusting that we have not supported our Libraries and restored more hours. This should be done especially during the summer.”

Diane Sherman from Santa Rosa: “We need our libraries. Let’s not forget them, and give them the needed funds.”

Joyce Tischler from Petaluma: “Our local library offers a critically important service to all members of our community, especially those who need access to computers and free materials. Please support our community by restoring full library hours.”

Joelle Budinsky from Cotati: “Please bring back more hours of open libraries.”

Lorie Silver from Sebastopol: “Please restore Monday hours to our libraries. It is one of the few days available to me to visit the Sebastopol library. Thank you for your consideration.”

Lynda from Healdsburg: “Definitely – this is a critical benefit for senior citizens and low income families.”

John Morrison from Santa Rosa: “Public Libraries promote democracy and access to citizens staying informed and educated of all age groups besides fostering reading amongst our children.”

A J Rosso from Petaluma: “It’s about time!”

Harold G. Cox from Petaluma: “It’s the right thing to do.”

Rachel Fix from Santa Rosa: “My love of reading grew in libraries.”

Mary-Kay Gamel from Sonoma: “It’s the right thing to do!”

Karen from Rohnert Park: “Restore our library hours, please.”

Nabeel Al-Shamma from Healdsburg: “Please open on Mondays.”

Sandra Rimkeit from Santa Rosa: “The library is extremely important for our entire community. Please restore hours.”

Danny Wigington from Willits: “The library is where I used to go to find the answers to many questions when I was in school. Don’t remove this resource from future generations.”

Janet Barocco from Santa Rosa: “Please use this surplus money to restore our library hours. We use and need our libraries!”

Robin Gulling from Guerneville: “Please allow those who really need these services, our young and older students and those without computers.”

Lisa Selby from Santa Rosa: “Libraries are a vital part of our society. We need to fund them just as we do other important institutions. Do not pass this opportunity by to do so.”

David Bauer from Santa Rosa: “Ample Library hours and services support the cultural vitality of our region. Supervisors, wake up and back a complete rebirth for our County Libraries. Have some humility.”

The Rev. Allan B. Jones from Santa Rosa: “Thank you.”

Steven Stratton from Sebastopol: “I moved to Sebastopol in 2008 and was surprised and amazed that the library was open seven days a week, just like San Diego. I LOVE my library: please restore the days/hours so those of us that are lower on the food chain can benefit. “

Shirley Olander from Sonoma: “This is important to CHILDREN!”

Judy Helfand from Kenwood: “The library is an essential service that must be available on Mondays. And the hours should be the maximum possible. There is no excuse for refusing to fund the libraries when funds exist.”

Rachel Perry from Sebastopol: “I like having a library. Lets keep it available and a constant sustaining gift to our community”

Keith Keller from Santa Rosa: “Books contain knowledge which is something sorely lacking theses days.”

Nancy K Cadigan from Sebastopol: “Please restore Monday Library service in Sonoma County.”

Morgan Pickering from Santa Rosa: “Totally agree! Let’s get our priorities straight! Education is vital to a healthy democracy.”

Kay Chun from Sonoma: “I want my Monday evenings back. Been more than patient. Ben Franklin would have a pithy comment…”


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