In a significant development for the Sonoma County Library, Dara Bradds has recently joined the administrative team as deputy director, becoming the second-in-command within the countywide library system.
By Kary Hess
As author Neil Gaiman said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers; a librarian can bring you back the right one.” And in this case, the right answer is Bradds. Since assuming her new role in September, she has brought a wealth of knowledge and understanding to overseeing the library’s 15 public locations throughout the county.
Erika Thibault, the director of the Sonoma County Library, expressed her appreciation for the addition of Bradds to the leadership team. Said Thibault, “I’m so grateful to have an experienced library administrator in this role. Dara brings a variety of skills and experience to the position of deputy director.”
Bradds’ journey in the world of libraries commenced in Ohio, where she served as a reference librarian in the business & technology division of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Reflecting on her early career, Bradds said, “I have enjoyed a variety of library roles,” including a stint with the Ohio Historical Society.
Subsequently, she ventured to New Hampshire, where she held five progressively responsible positions before accepting the role of library director at the Escondido Public Library in Southern California. Her trajectory eventually led her to Sonoma County, where she has now assumed her current role.
In her capacity as deputy director, Bradds oversees the library’s largest divisions, including the public services division, which is responsible for managing all library branches throughout the county. This role places her at the forefront of shaping and working with the library’s community engagement programs.
Beyond her new professional commitments, Bradds is acclimating to Sonoma County and its vibrant surroundings. She expressed her delight with the area by saying, “I am enjoying my new home in Santa Rosa. It is a great location to easily access hiking and wine tasting, my two favorite pastimes.” This newfound appreciation for the local landscape aligns well with the county’s reputation for its natural beauty and its renowned vineyards and wineries.
Bradds has a son and a stepdaughter, both 19 years old and coincidentally born just five months apart. Currently residing in San Diego, her stepdaughter is navigating her freshman year at San Diego State University, while her son is in his second year at MiraCosta College. Additionally, Bradds is a proud owner of three dogs, one of which serves as her loyal hiking companion, while the others prefer a more relaxed lifestyle. “The other two are couch potatoes,” she said, laughing.
As Bradds settles into her role as deputy director at the Sonoma County Library, her extensive experience in library management is poised to contribute significantly to the continued growth and success of the countywide library system.
With her passion for community engagement and a keen interest in the county’s local offerings, she is well-positioned to play a crucial role in enhancing local library services and fostering a love for literature and learning in the vibrant Sonoma County community.