A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Library news: Personalized learning plans, mystery author Rebecca Morris reads at Greenwood Library, Homework Helpers needed, Summer of Learning programs

July 11th, 2016 by Doree

Local author Rebecca Morris will read from her latest true crime book, “A Killing in Amish Country: Sex, Betrayal and a Cold-blooded Murder,” co-written with Gregg Olsen, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 18, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

The reading is free. Couth Buzzard Books will have Morris’s books available for purchase and signing by the author.

In “A Killing in Amish Country,” Amish wife Barbara Weaver is happy with her family and her faith in Apple Creek, Ohio. Her husband Eli, however, is tempted by technology and eventually masterminds a murder. It is only the third murder in hundreds of years of Amish life in America, and the task of seeking justice falls to Edna Boyle, a young assistant prosecutor.

Morris, a New York Times best-selling author, is also a veteran journalist who worked in radio and television news in New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle. Before she began writing true crime books, Morris was a freelance writer for The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, People, Entertainment Weekly and other publications.

Seattle Public Library is looking for mentors for K-12 students for the next school year. Homework Help volunteers are needed at 10 Library locations, including the Broadview Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.

Homework Help volunteers will mentor K-12 students who are working on homework assignments, developing literacy and mathematics skills and preparing for college and careers. They provide help with all academic subjects up to the eighth grade level and may specialize in subjects up to the college-prep level.

Most of the students are first-generation Americans who speak a language other than English at home. Volunteers must be comfortable interacting with students of all ages in small groups and individually.

Volunteers will provide Homework Help once a week when public schools are in session, and a commitment throughout the school year is requested. Visit www.spl.org/homeworkvolunteer for more information. Volunteer applications are due by July 25, 2016.

SPL librarians are offering personalized “Your Next Skill” learning plans.

Expand your personal or professional expertise by learning salsa dancing, woodworking, computer coding, running a successful Kickstarter campaign, or how to cook Thai food. Whatever your learning goals are, Your Next Skill will set you up with personalized suggestions you use to can get started on according your own timeline.

To get your list, go to yournextskill.spl.org. Fill out a brief form with your name and email address and say what you’d like to learn and how you want to learn it. Options range from reading or listening to books, watching videos, downloading resources and attending free or paid classes online or in-person.
Within four days, you will receive a personalized list of resources to learn your next skill. For examples, visit yournextskill.spl.org/examples/.

SPL’s Summer of Learning is in full swing, with hundreds of reading, science, art and other programs for kids and families through Sept. 4. This theme is “Astounding Tales of Nature!” and encourages reading and activities around science, technology, engineering, arts and math. All programs are free.

Children and teens can learn to program robots, create video games, learn songwriting, take digital photos, make crafts with electronic circuits, design stop motion animation videos and more. Some classes require registration, which will open up online two weeks before the first class begins at each Library location.

Children who take part in Summer of Learning will receive a free Explorer’s Handbook packed with fun nature-related activities. Participants who complete five activities in the handbook, read 30 or more days over the summer, or solve the Super Secret Mystery Challenge will have their names placed on the Wall of Astounding Explorers at their home library.

Teens who take part in Summer of Learning will receive a free Read to Win game board. Participants who complete a reading challenge will be entered in a prize drawing for a $10 Starbucks card; each teen can enter up to five times.

Families with young children ages 0-4 can pick up a fun flier filled with nature-related activities to do together with babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The Early Learner flier will be printed in English, and a printable versions are available online in Amharic, Chinese, English, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya and Vietnamese.

The Library offers summer programming because research shows that during the summer young people can forget a certain amount of what they learned during the school year. Educators call that the “summer slide.” The Summer of Learning program mitigates the summer slide and teaches children and teens 21st century learning skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking and digital skills.

The Library has partnered with the Burke Museum to offer free family admission, for up to two adults and four children, when families bring an Explorer’s Handbook or an Early Learner flier from July 1 to October 31, 2016.

When the weather gets hot, most SPL locations have air conditioning to help patrons cool off. Libraries in and near our neighborhood with air conditioning include:

  • Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • Broadview Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • Ballard Library, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W.
  • Wallingford Library, 1501 N. 45th St.
  • Northgate Library, 10548 5th Ave. N.E.

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Works Progress hosts free Business Resource Panel on July 12

July 6th, 2016 by Doree

Works Progress, a coworking space at 115 N. 85th St., Suite 202, is hosting a free Business Resource Panel at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12. The event is in collaboration with the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development, Business Impact NW, the Seattle Public Library, and Ventures.

The panel will be a great opportunity to hear from and ask questions of free community providers of business resources and consulting. Get more information about how to book time with a business coach, where to obtain business training and financing, how to get help with your business plan, and more!

Featuring panelists from:

  • Business Impact NW
  • Seattle Public Library
  • Ventures
  • City of Seattle Office of Economic Development

RSVP online or call 206-466-1624.

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Library news roundup: Special Collections tours, summer Book Bingo, Books for Bikes

May 26th, 2016 by Doree

The Central Library is offering special themed monthly tours of its Seattle Room and Special Collections. It’s free, but registration is required (click on “Sign Up” or “Registration is Required.”)

All tours are from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 10, The Hugh and Jane Ferguson Seattle Room.

  • “Seattle’s People and Cultures – Meet the diverse peoples that have made Seattle the unique and vibrant city it is today.” Thursday, May 12.
  • “Century 21: Seattle World’s Fair – Enter the world of the thrilling Century 21 Exhibition, including a look at the George Gulacsik Space Needle Photograph Collection.” Thursday, June 9.
  • “The Future Unrealized – Delve into visionary plans of Seattle’s past. Did you know that there was a plan to connect all of Seattle by rail as early as 1911? What if Seattle Center had never been built?” Saturday, July 16.
  • “House and Building History – Join us for a look at the resources to uncover your building’s past.” Thursday, Aug. 25.
  • “Taste the Town – Explore the history of food and drink in Seattle through menus, cookbooks, restaurants and more.” Thursday, Sept. 22.
  • “Odds, Ends and Curiosities – What’s the oldest, the smallest, the biggest, the weirdest, and the wackiest thing in Special Collections? Join us for a mash-up tour of the Seattle Room, when librarians choose their favorite—or not-so-favorite—items for you to explore!” Saturday, Oct. 15.

The Green Lake Library and Green Lake Masonic Lodge #149 have teamed up for another summer of “Books for Bikes.” Children in first through third grade can read 10 books, write them down on an entry slip (available at the library’s reference desk), and turn it in. Then they’re entered for a chance to win one of two bikes. Children can enter every time they read another 10 books, through June 25. The drawing is at 2 p.m. on June 26 (must be present to win).

The library’s second annual summer Book Bingo for adults is now up and running. Co-sponsored by Seattle Arts & Lectures, adults can pick up a Book Bingo card from any library or print it out online (currently only available in English but a Spanish version is coming soon). Examples of Book Bingo squares include: local author, translated from another language, banned, #WeNeedDiverseBooks, you finish reading in a day, and out of your comfort zone.

Fill in the card with titles of the books read during the summer. When you complete an entire row or all 25 squares, bring the bingo card to any library or mail it to: Seattle Arts & Lectures, 340 15th Ave. E., Suite 301, Seattle, WA 98112. You also can enter by posting a photo of your completed card using #BookBingoNW2016 via Instagram (@seattleartsandlectures @seattlepubliclibrary) or Twitter (@SeaArtsLectures @SPLBuzz). Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Blackout cards will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize: a library of books by 2016-17 authors and two tickets to the entire Seattle Arts & Lectures 2016-17 season. (Blackout cards also will be automatically entered in the bingo drawing.)

Complete a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line to be entered into a drawing to win a $30 gift card from one of 10 independent bookstores (including Phinney Books).

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Library news roundup

May 5th, 2016 by Doree

The Ballard Library, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W., is hosting a community celebration for “Spilled Ink: Ballard High School Music and Art Night” from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.

The Ballard Branch’s teen advisers have joined forces with the Ballard High School Ink Club to present the annual release of INK Magazine, Ballard High School’s online art and literary journal. This event will showcase student works including art, photography, literature, music and videos.

This event is co-sponsored by Ballard High School Ink Club and Ballard Teen Service Learning Group. To view past issues of INK Magazine, click here.

With the Ballard Library closing for about two months of renovation starting May 9, the “It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series” has moved to the Greenwood Library at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 12. The monthly series features author readings and an open mic.

The … meeting features Sandra Noel, Lyn Coffin, Anne McDuffie and Judith Roche with a short lecture by Carolyne Wright, lead editor of “Raising Lilly Ledbetter,” on writer’s craft: “Women Write About Work: Assembling the Workspace Anthology.”

The Greenwood Library is hosting a Medicare Made Clear workshop from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 28.

The “Medicare Made Clear” workshop will provide an overview of the different parts of Medicare, including what each part covers and how they work. Discussion topics will include how to receive benefits, the pros and cons of each part, approximate costs, enrollment and eligibility guidelines.

Seattle Public Library is hosting its African-American Film Festival at numerous branches from now through the end of June. The Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., will show “Straight Outta Compton” (R) at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 29.

Films selected for the Library’s African-American Film Series were chosen for being exciting, enlightening, thought-provoking and entertaining. The films feature African-American actors in prominent roles and touch on issues that speak to the human experience.

This year’s “Seattle Reads” is Karen Joy Fowler’s “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.”

In 1998, The Seattle Public Library launched a program to get Seattleites reading and discussing the same book. “Seattle Reads” is now an annual event and has been widely emulated in cities, states and countries around the world.

“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” is a smart, funny, heartbreaking novel about a middle-class American family that’s ordinary in every way except one: Fern, being raised by psychologist parents, is a chimp. Rosemary, the narrator, knows Fern as her sister. Then something happened, and Fern disappears from the family. The novel explores memory, family life, childhood, child rearing and what it means to be human.

Fowler will visit Seattle May 20-22 to talk to readers about her book. Click here for the complete list of Seattle Reads talks and activities.

And the Friends of Seattle Public Library is hosting its 45th annual huge book sale of more than 100,000 items, including children’s books, old/rare books, graphic novels, foreign language books, DVDs, CDs, and audio books, May 6-8, at the Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall. Most items will be priced from $1-$3.

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Library News: Money Smart Week, free online Seattle music collection, new Space Needle construction photo collection

April 21st, 2016 by Doree

The Seattle Public Library is hosting “Money Smart Week” with free workshops at various branches from April 22-30. Topics will include how to live within a monthly budget, manage debt, and maintain good credit.

Library staff have compiled a list with the Top Ten Ways To Be Money Smart With The Library. And beginning Monday, April 25, they will have a week-long series of Money Smart lunchtime lectures at the Central Library downtown.

Free Money Smart Week workshops in our neighborhood:

  • “Drive Away Happy: Car Buying Decisions – Get prepared for the choices involved in buying a car”; from 3-4 p.m. Friday, April 22, at the Broadview Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • “Identity Theft – Learn about identity theft, including the techniques thieves use, tools for prevention and steps victims can take to recover”; from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

This summer the library is launching an online Seattle music collection called PlayBack, starting with 50 albums of local music available for free download and streaming. The library plans to add another 100 new albums each year to its catalog.

All Seattle-area musicians who record or perform in the city of Seattle are invited to submit a music album. The album must contain four or more songs and have been produced within the last five years. If an album is accepted, the artist will receive an honorarium of $200. Selected albums in the PlayBack collection will be discoverable through the Library’s online catalog and highlighted through the Library’s social media channels. Artists will also have opportunities to perform live at the Library.

The Library seeks works that reflect the rich variety of genres represented in Seattle’s music scene. Broad and inclusive submission criteria is detailed on PlayBack’s Information for Artists page. This new music collection is intended to reflect the diversity and abundance of Seattle’s music scene.

The first submission period will be open Monday, May 9 through 5 p.m. on Monday, May 23. A second submission period will open this fall. To submit music to The Seattle Public Library’s PlayBack platform, visit www.spl.org/playback. Submissions will only be accepted online. The preferred file types are FLAC, WV and AIFF. Other accepted file types are MP3, AAC and Ogg Vorbis.

The library also now has a new collection of historic Space Needle photos, to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the start of construction of Seattle’s most well-known icon. The George Gulacsik Space Needle Photograph Collection has more than 2,400 images, including many never-before-seen photos of construction, plus Gulacsik’s notebook detailing day-to-day construction.

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Free films at Broadview Library in April

March 30th, 2016 by Doree

Seattle Public Library is hosting a series of free movies for all ages throughout April at 17 branches, including the Broadview Library at 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.

The series includes Page to Screen, with short story readings followed by films based on the stories, as well as Arcade Cinema, All Together Seattle and Shakespearean films curated by Scarecrow Video to supplement the Library’s First Folio exhibit.

Movies at the Broadview Library:

  • 1-3 p.m., Sunday, April 3: First Folio: “10 Things I Hate About You” (PG-13)
  • 12-2:15 p.m.,Thursday, April 14: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (PG-13)

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Open art studio for adults at Greenwood Library Dec. 14 & 28

December 10th, 2015 by Doree

The Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., is hosting an open art studio for adults to drop-in with their own craft and art supplies from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Mondays, Dec. 14 and 28.

It’s free; no registration required. No supplies provided.

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Hour of Code workshop at Greenwood Library on Thursday

December 9th, 2015 by Doree

The Seattle Public Library is hosting a series of Hour of Code workshops at 11 branches, including the Greenwood Library. This one-hour introduction to computer science is designed for anyone as young as 4 years old to learn coding basics.

Library staff will guide participants through interactive tutorials with characters from Star Wars, Minecraft, Angry Birds, Frozen and more. This program is free.

The Greenwood Library’s Hour of Code is from 2-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8016 Greenwood Ave. N. Call the library to register; drop-ins welcome if there’s space. Call 206-684-4086. (See the library’s Hour of Code webpage for information on other workshop times and locations.)

Hour of Code was launched in 2013 by the non-profit organization Code.org. It is a global effort to expand opportunities for students to learn about computer science. It is designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics of coding and computer science.

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Seattle Public Library debuts new accessibility software for vision-impaired patrons

October 26th, 2015 by Doree

Every branch of the Seattle Public Library is getting new accessibility software on all public computers for vision-impaired patrons, through the Library Equal Access Program’s “Access for All: Accessibility Kits & Software.”

All public computers will have ZoomText, a text-enlargement software program for low-vision patrons, and JAWS, screen reading software to assist blind users.

The library is hosting a series of open houses to give patrons hands-on access to the new software. Library staff also will demonstrate how to use magnifiers, Braille systems and other items in the new Accessibility Kits.

The open house nearest to Phinney Ridge and Greenwood is from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.

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