Sonoma County Library launched the Sensitive Topics Collection for teens in six branches Dec. 2, thanks to a grant from the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation.
Based on a successful project at Marin County Free Library, this honor system collection includes 35 books at six branches—Central Santa Rosa, Northwest, Rincon Valley, Healdsburg, Rohnert Park-Cotati and Windsor—on sensitive topics for teens.
“We are proud to offer teens an opportunity to privately take home books about tough topics without fear or embarrassment,” said Sonoma County Library Collection Services Division Manager Jaime Anderson. “The library wants teens to have access to this information in a way that isn’t tracked or monitored.”
The books cover topics such as rape and sexual violence, safe sex, pregnancy, abortion, emancipation, LGBTQIA, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, self-harm, eating disorders, bullying, grief, depression and anxiety, domestic violence and abusive relationships. The library hopes that the books will be returned for someone else to use, but it is alright if the books are not returned.
Allison Palmer, Young Adult Services Librarian at Healdsburg Regional Library, was a key driver of the project, along with Anderson.
“While online search engines can provide teens information in the blink of an eye, their results can be biased and misleading,” Palmer said. “The Sensitive Topics Collection offers young adults access to reliable information on subjects they may be too shy to ask others about.”
The Sonoma County Public Library Foundation exists to provide funding for all branches of the Sonoma County Library.