Spot the Empire Librarian's blog

Welcome to a librarian's online musings on libraries, literature and information media.

A wine library? Really?


I have been doing a bit of professional reading online regarding other libraries and their non – traditional lending collections. In Vermont, my library loaned out gardening tools, snow shovels and the like to help promote local ‘beautification’ improvements within the municipality. (Never chain saws as the liability would be too great). Other Vermont libraries loan out museum or state park passes to encourage cultural understanding within the community. I have read of a Kansas library which loans out cake tins and jelly molds for home bakers. And now, I am reading of a wine library, a division of the Sonoma County Library system….located, of course, in Sonoma California.

I should not be surprised. The very essence of a lending library is to offer collections which will appeal and enhance the community which it serves. Obviously wine country would offer a library service to those in the wine growing industry.

The Sonoma County Wine Library has four stated collecting areas:

  • The science and technology of growing grapes and making wine
  • The business and economics of the wine industry
  • The history of wine worldwide
  • The history of wine in Sonoma County

In addition to offering resource in wine history, rare books dealing with grape growing, wine marketing, periodicals, and archive of wine labels , films and photographs can be consulted by the general public.

For more information on the Sonoma County Wine Library, please consult their catalog.

I wonder if they offer wine tastings as part of their programming? Hmmmm…..

as found on

addendum: The University of British Columbia, also offers a Wine Library and Vinotheque as part of their Faculty of Land and Food Systems program. Much of Canada’s wine country is located in the OkanaganValley, the interior of British Columbia. Well, sign me up for a Ph. d!


Author: spotwin

While I am a librarian , I am a reading cheerleader. The purpose of this library blog is to better promote reading and information literacy to community. I love books, reading to my son,properly placed apostrophes,canoeing, locating the nearest Starbucks, cheering the Montreal Canadians, and Cherry Garcia ice cream.

4 thoughts on “A wine library? Really?

  1. Hi there! Thanks for mentioning us in your post! I recently started working here in Healdsburg as the Sonoma County Wine Librarian. There are a couple of other wine libraries around here as well–Shields Library at UC Davis, a Napa Valley Wine Library in St. Helena, the V.E. Petrucci Library at Fresno State, a library at the Wine Institute in San Francisco, and a couple of others. There is also the excellent Frank A. Lee Library at Cornell, an excellent collection at Washington State University, and a growing number of collections at other libraries around the country. There is also a very small organization called the Wine Librarians Association. At any rate, we do indeed make an effort to be as useful as possible for the industry and really for anyone with wine questions in Sonoma County and beyond. Cheers!

    • Such a warm fuzzie that you found my blog entry and responded back! Wonderful! I should not be surprised that there exists a Wine Librarian’s Assocition…are you part of the Special Library Association? I attended one of their conferences in 1996…they are certainly a jovial group, let me tell you! I will admit to a secondary motive to posting this blog; to continue to draw attention to the career of librarianship/information technology to my students and to whomever the 100-120 people who hit my site each day. There are so many ‘types’ of librarians….not just your stereotypical bun in the hair , spinster librarians who often work in school of public library settings. Your facility seemed like a fun one to highlight. A previous blog entry highlighted the librarian from the Food Network and his collection of cookbooks and food science materials.
      It would appear that you have a very interesting job. It was my pleasure to highlight youandyour work.

  2. And yes, The Wine Library Asociates of Sonoma County (the fundraising group for the library) does pass out wine at great fun events supporting this library! We have informative programs on wine and the wine pioneers of Sonoma County. For a small fee folks get great food, wine and learn about our great wine heritage! Life is good in Sonoma County.

    • Sally, you are very fortunate to live and work in Northern California. It is such a pretty area….and the light seems …hmmm..I don’t now…clearer, perhaps? Vibrant? I truly enjoyed my time in Northern California in 2001. My cousins took me to a couple of vineyards, as well as Jack London’s house. Such a special memory for me. Yes, life is truly good in Sonoma County! (and the wine we sampled was yummie!)

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