Friends of Seattle Public Library Blog

The goings on of the Seattle Public Library.

Amy’s Story: “I Just Really Love Reading” February 22, 2010

We know children love libraries.  This year we’re asking kids to tell us why. Here, Amy says that when she goes to the library she gets SO many books she can hardly carry them!  I asked Children’s Librarian Amy LaVare, at the High Point branch library, what a pile of books that high might look like. For that, see the accompanying photo to Amy’s essay.
—————————————————————————————
Why I like the Seattle Public Library
By Amy Pottharst, age 7
 
I think reading is important because if you are bored it gives you something to do. I just really love reading. My favorite kinds of books are mysteries. Books are sometimes so suspenseful and I really love that.  I was 4 ½ when I started reading and my mom says she could barely keep up with me!  Sometimes in the summer we walk or ride bikes to the library to get some books and then we go to a nearby park or to the wading pool. When we go to the library I get SO many books I can barely carry them all!  
 
My younger brother Danny (4 years old) loves getting books too. He goes every week for story-time and was disappointed when there was no more story-time in February.  We usually sit side-by-side and read quietly together. He copies everything I do!
 
The library is great because we can check out books for my book group. We raised money for a group called Pennies for Peace.  We learned about this group from the book “Listen to the Wind” by Greg Mortenson.
——————————————————————————————-
Would you like to become a friend of the Seattle Public Library?  Will you share your story about what the Library means to you?  Email us at advocacy@friendsofspl.org.
 

The Newest Superheroes: Your Neighborhood Librarians April 9, 2009

 If there was any doubt that your neighborhood librarians should be given superhero status, take a look at this New York Times article about how the economic downturn is putting new stresses on libraries and librarians. Librarians are facing increased demands as “first responders” to patrons who are seeking help in filling out job applications and unemployment forms, using the library’s computers and free wi-fi access, looking for language and citizenship training, borrowing books and DVDs for free entertainment, and dealing with the emotional strains of making do with much less. Even Nancy Pearl’s beloved Librarian Action Figure might find it difficult to deal with all of these demands.

So how can you help? First of all, take the time to thank your neighborhood librarians – a kind word goes a long way. Second, consider volunteering at the Library – there are many different ways you can get involved. Third, email City Councilmembers and ask them to preserve funding for the Library: jean.godden@seattle.gov, richard.mciver@seattle.gov, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, sally.clark@seattle.gov, tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov, jan.drago@seattle.gov, nick.licata@seattle.gov, tim.burgess@seattle.gov, richard.conlin@seattle.gov.

If you’re looking for books that feature fictional librarians, here’s a list from the Library’s Shelf Talk blog. And although the following books don’t feature librarians, consider the book recommendations below from the Friends’ Board meeting in April. You can just click on the links below to get to the SPL site to reserve a copy of these books. Quoted book review excerpts are reprinted with permission from Booklist.

Bone [Vol. I], Out from Boneville, by Jeff Smith. “One of the most acclaimed new comics of recent years, Bone is a Tolkien-meets-Pogo fantasy about the Bone cousins, who leave their home, Boneville, for adventures in the outside world. . . . Smith, with his clean draftsmanship and flawless comic timing, has been compared to comics masters Walt Kelly (Pogo and Carl Barks (creator of Uncle Scrooge McDuck). Like Pogo Bone has a whimsy best appreciated by adults, yet kids can enjoy it, too . . .” — Gordon Flagg   This review was written in 1995, and there are many other volumes available.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism, by Muhammad Yunus with Karl Weber. Nobel Peace Prize winner Yunus is the founder of Grameen Bank, which lends small amounts of money to poorer individuals to help them start small businesses. This is an inspiring tale about the possibilities of “micro-lending”, and businesses that are helping people while still being profitable.

Why I Wake Early : New Poems, by Mary Oliver. This is a lovely collection of poems about nature and contemplative ideas, and encourages us to slow down and appreciate nature.

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese. This is Verghese’s first book of fiction, and starts in a charity hospital in Ethiopia while spanning three continents and several generations. This garnered a starred review in Publishers Weekly.

A Hand to Guide Me, Denzel Washington with Daniel Paisner. Actor Denzel Washington, a national spokesman for the Boys and Girls Club of America, has collected stories from over 70 celebrities (including himself) of how mentors made a difference in their lives. Contributors include Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Gloria Steinhem, Whoopie Goldberg, Bonnie Raitt, Cal Ripken, and more.

Readers, who are your favorite neighborhood superhero librarians?

 

Kate Pappas…Adding value in Rainier Beach September 4, 2008

What a terrific testimony to being involved and appreciated by one’s community….

Name

Kate Pappas

Branch   

Rainier Beach    

What is your favorite word? 

I think “thanks” is about the best word around!       

What word do you wish you had made up? 

After cleaning my windshield, I’d have to say I wish I’d made up the word “squeegee” because it sounds so funny, exactly like what it does after you Windex the window.

How did you become librarian of your branch?

I worked at the old Holly Park branch, and had some hours at Rainier Beach. During a musical chairs redistribution of CSL staff,  the rest of my hours got shifted to The Beach. I discovered  then that I liked being there full-time, and I still do.

What is on your desk right now?

Right now, there is a puppet cat named “Midnight,” five little toy mice that came as prizes in bags of “Good Mews” kitty litter, some children’s paperbacks, a flannel board set that I need to put away, a little Polish doll and a pair of Mickey and Minnie salt and pepper shakers.

 

 

(We won’t mention the calendar, photos and comic strips on the bulletin board)       

Tell us about your library. 

Our library is one of the best in the world. We are the most-southeasterly of the city libraries, in a diverse neighborhood not too far from Lake Washington. Our building theme (after Libraries For All) suggests a beach. We have wavy bulletin boards, ripple designs in our pavement, and restful beach colors of sand and soft blue. The children’s area (my personal favorite –can you tell that I’m a children’s librarian?) even has bookcases with frogs, cat-tails and a sea-gull.       

How long have you been at the branch?

Part-time since 1989 and full-time since 1995 (except, of course, when I was redeployed during the remodeling)       

What other posts do you hold in your community?

none–“children’s librarian” is fine with me   

What is the biggest impact the capitol campaign has had on your branch?    

We have changed from a dingy, industrial, gloomy facility, to a bright and inviting building with increased space, study rooms, and inviting lighting. I love to see the faces of people who haven’t been here for a while, who remember the old branch. They always have compliments and they always comment about how they liked how it has changed. Of course, we always respond with “Thank you–it’s nice to hear that; we like it too!”    

How does your relationship with the community affect your programming?    

My long-term relationship with the Rainier Beach community affects my programming in two ways.
First, of course, people seem to think of me as a ‘community helper and friend.”  Many of them know me and recognize me, as they did at a recent community event held in a local park (we had a table next to other community organizations at a “Back 2 School Bash” picnic where children were given backpacks filled with school supplies) 

 

School children are delighted to walk in and see me because, they tell me, “You came to my school!” Parents and teachers have also gotten to know me, and it has been my joy to watch so many young people grow up and mature. Some area child care centers have asked me to visit them and do presentations on Early Literacy. I feel that the community considers me, overall, to be a useful member and welcomed all over.

 

Second, when planning library programs for our community, I try to think of programs which will appeal to our diverse and multicultural clientele. Amy Twito always has an excellent selection of summer programs from which we can choose. Valerie Wonder has helped us begin and continue story times held in Mandarin Chinese which have a small but loyally devoted audience.

 

 

 

Local Talent from West Seattle – Meet Wally! August 7, 2008

So I had the pleasure of chatting with Wally in West Seattle a while back and here is a little bit about him.

Enjoy! 

 

Question

Answer

Name 

Branch

Wally Bubelis 

West Seattle Library

What is your favorite word? 

Maybe

What word do you wish you had made up? 

Google – it was coined by the child of a mathematician to describe a one followed by one hundred zeros.  I liked it long before the search engine came along.

How did you become librarian of your branch? 

 I started out long ago as a page and clerk at the old Central library, then got my MLS at the UW.  My first job was as a substitute for branch librarians in an 8-month appointment.  Each day I would show up to work at West Seattle and then take the phone calls sending me out and about.  After that I was hired as a Young Adult Librarian, and I was one of the first wave of that group (and I’m the only one from that first wave who is still here working as a Teen Services Librarian).  I worked out of Northeast, Green Lake, University and Wallingford for a couple years, and then an opening came up at West Seattle.  I jumped at it, since it would take my commute time from two hours daily in the car to a half-hour walk from home.

What is on your desk right now? (photo is ok too) 

Mostly teen novels and prize items for Summer Reading.  I have some copies of VOYA, the trade journal for teen librarians, plus a lot of booklists (I’m the teen booklist editor).

Tell us about your library. 

 West Seattle Library has always been one of my favorites (and I’ve worked at nearly all of them) – it’s a beautiful old Carnegie with lots of light, a great new meeting room (good for our children’s and teen programs), and a classic look.  One story I like to tell patrons who ask about our renovation is how the main floor was sagging – 80-year-old concrete will do that – and how the contractors came in, jacked up the entire floor about 6 inches, inserted two massive I-beam girders underneath the floor, and then lowered the floor to rest on the girders.  The architect was so nervous about the procedure he didn’t want to be here on that day.

How long have you been at the branch? 

 I started here in 2000 – as far as the other librarians are concerned, I’m still the new kid!

What other posts do you hold in your community? 

 I don’t hold any posts, but I sure seem to see a lot of my patrons in my neighborhood.

What is the biggest impact the capitol campaign has had on your branch? 

 We have that great meeting room, which fits the look of the library so well many people think it was part of the original construction.  Our old meeting room held maybe 20 people and was small and stuffy, but now we have story times almost every week of the year, gaming programs, and a lot of community meetings.  It’s really popular with our patrons.

How does your relationship with the community affect your programming? 

 Sometimes I see some familiar teen faces at the grocery store or out on my walks.  It’s always nice to make that connection outside of the library.  My teen programming doesn’t really see much affect from this.

 

 

Catching up with Theresa Mayer July 15, 2008

Finally! Someone with interesting desk contents! I wonder what it means…thumb puppets from Peru…she must be creative, interested in far away places and much more – read on!

Name: 

Theresa Mayer

Branch: 

Southwest/South Park

What word do you wish you had made up?   

“doppelganger” Who doesn’t enjoy saying this word?   

How did you become librarian of your branch? 

I transferred from the position of Spanish-language Librarian in our Literacy, ESL, and World Languages Department in the Central Library to try out branch life.  It’s been a fantastic learning experience.

What is on your desk right now?

Thumb puppets that my mother brought me from Peru, a 2008 Seattle Storm schedule, a set of magnets that was a present from my first Branch Manager Trainer/Mentor, Christy Tyson (previously Branch Manager of Southwest and High Point Branches), a mug of coffee, my favorite photograph of Frida Kahlo (dare I go on?) 

Tell us about your library: 

South Park is a new addition to a complex and changing neighborhood.  It honors the vibrant cultural diversity of the neighborhood and its history through several lovely architectural  and design elements, as does the collection. 

 

Southwest is a place that feels like home– it’s welcoming, relaxed, and warm.  I’ve had a great time meeting all of the patrons, and getting to know the neighborhood.  It’s wonderful to work with so many children in both locations.   

How long have you been at the branch? 

South Park: two years; Southwest:  about three months!

What is the biggest impact the capitol campaign has had on your branch? 

Putting technology in the hands of people who may not have been able to afford access; delighting and enriching people’s lives with rich collections and beautiful spaces that represent community centers. 

How does your relationship with the community affect your programming? 

Programming should be driven by the needs and interests of the community.  Therefore, you must engage in an ongoing conversation with various constituencies in the neighborhood to know what people are interested in, and what is relevant to their lives.  Sometimes we need to identify creative ways to pursue such a dialog!     

 

 

 

Seattle Residents are Literate, Well-Educated and Love Books July 1, 2008

Taken from Seattle Central Library Economics Benefit paper:

Seattle is the second most literate city in America, according to a 2004 University of Wisconsin study of cities with populations over 200,000. “Seattle would have been number one,” said researcher Jack Miller, “except for its aging and relatively under used libraries.” This deficiency is rapidly changing, with the Libraries for All program revitalizing libraries across the City. Miller also confirmed what Seattleites have been saying for years: the City supports more bookstores per capita than any other city in the country.

Seattle has been a launching pad for numerous literacy and reading encouragement programs. In 1996, “America’s Favorite Librarian,” Nancy Pearl, launched What If All of Seattle Read the Same Book, a community-wide book club that has been duplicated in more than 50 cities across the country and internationally . Nancy Pearl has since become a cult hero, with two books – Book Lust and More Book Lust – and her own action figure.

According to the Census Bureau, Seattle has one of the highest rates of college education among large U.S. cities, with 49% of the population holding at least a bachelors degree.

This passion for education and reading contributes to the community’s overall quality of life and translates into support for the arts. This support benefits the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Symphony, and the Seattle Opera, which has the highest per capita attendance of any opera company in the country (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 1, 2004).

So what are you waiting for! Get to your local branch today and hug your librarian! :-)

 

 

Mistress of the Libraries Moves On… June 26, 2008

Filed under: Local Talent: The Librarians — friendsofspl @ 4:03 pm
Tags: ,

When she came to The Seattle Public Library almost eleven years ago, one of her key commitments was to help improve the library materials budget and the ability of Technical Services to streamline its work and get materials ordered and ready for the public more quickly. They even had an internal campaign they called: “The Year of the Book.”

Through years of budget increases, reductions, and increases, as well as the generosity of private donors to The Seattle Public Library Foundation, they managed to bring the materials budget closer to what has been identified as “the ideal materials budget.” Through the excellent work of staff materials got into readers’ hands more quickly. Due to sharp negotiations the SPL staff got larger discounts from vendors.

Recently a staff committee studied the holds and delivery processes and through careful implementation of its recommendations have been able to move materials through the system quicker and more efficiently. As staff continue to work on this the public will notice even more improvements.

The SPL has created an amazing virtual library. In fact, this blog is just one of the many new ways the SPL is communicating with patrons and providing readers’ advisory services. But – it’s important that the community not stop here – but check out the on-line databases, downloadable materials, and all the other resources to be found on the SPL Web site.

Deborah Jacobs’ parting thoughts:

I have been asked to comment on books that influenced me or alternately books I might be reading during my transition between my position here as City Librarian and my new position leading the Global Libraries Initiative for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The first question is too hard; like many readers I find something important in every book I read. Something that touches my heart, teaches me, makes me laugh, and on and on. Even my favorite book would be hard to name but when forced to do so I often say – OUR MUTUAL FRIEND, ANGLE OF REPOSE, A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, HUNTING MR. HEARTBREAK – but yikes… this is just too hard!~

I do know the books I’m planning to read during my month of no job. I’ve been physically gathering, putting on reserve at the library, listing on my iPhone “notes” section the books I intend to read. They reflect the yin-yang of my reading tastes.

Iliad: Robert Fagles

When Fagles died recently I knew it was important to take time to re-read this.

Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, volume 2): Robert Caro

I am a political animal and Caro gets to the essence of Johnson and political savvy.

Girls Like Us: Sheila Weller

I know it isn’t supposed to be very good, but I am 56 years old and am of the exact era she is writing on.

Old Glory: Jonathan Raban

I started re-reading this before the recent Mississippi flooding because my book group had just read (or re-read in most of our cases) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. How very relevant and remarkable it is to be reading this right now.

Netherland: Joseph O’Neill

It seems to be the hot book of the season; I’m #55 on the library’s reserve list so might not get it until after I start my new job.

Lush Life: Richard Price

I actually – gulp – bought this! I am such a library user that I own almost NO books!

If YOU are ever at a loss for what to read, talk to our wonderful librarians. They are chock full of great ideas and have sure helped me when I’ve been in a reading slump.

And, because the world is changing and so is our remarkable library, I plan to stay modern by buying myself a going away present of a Kindle!

I will miss you all but will continue to be an avid library user, supporter, and reader!

Deborah Jacobs

Oh, and:

….favorite word/s: Jacob, passion, libraries
….on her desk right now: Eleven years worth of file folders, sorting and organizing for the new city librarian. Also – magic rocks, cards, chocolate, pictures and gifts.

 

Meet Duan…Adult Services Librarian

I had the chance to chit-chat with Duan Li, the Adult Services Librarian at the International District/Chinatown Branch. Below is her interview..

Question

Answer

What is your favorite word? 

 Harmony

What word do you wish you had made up? 

 Dictionary

How did you become librarian of your branch? 

 I came to fill a temporary position in the Literacy, ESL, and World Languages Depart- ment at SPL in spring 2006. While I was in LEW, the IDC library had an opening for the adult services librarian position. I applied for the position and fortunately got accepted in June 2006.

 

An interesting thing was that prior to joining SPL, while I was subbing for the King County Library System, I read some news regarding the opening of the IDC library under the “Libraries for All Project” of SPL.

 

As a native Chinese speaker, with a background of the Chinese language and literature, I thought that maybe I’d have an opportunity to work for this library someday. But I really never expected that just one year after the library opened to the public, I became the only adult services librarian in the branch!

What is on your desk right now? (photo is ok too) 

 There is a folder holder that contains a dozen folders on my desk right now. These folders hold collection, reference, program, class, and all sorts of other information that is closely related to my work. I also have a Longman Contemporary English-Chinese Dictionary on my desk.

Tell us about your library. 

The IDC library serves patrons who live within the Chinatown/International District community and also serves those who live in other places located in the Greater Seattle Area.

 

Our Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese collections draw an immense amount of immigrants to visit the library to check out the items written in their native languages.

 

These immigrant patrons eagerly join the programs carefully designed for them and seek library services from staff who can speak their native languages. The library equally draws English speaking patrons to come and check out the items they are interested in.

 

Our new book and DVD shelves often draw the patrons’ attentions. Popular fiction and nonfiction, especially Asian themed nonfiction, always catches the patrons’ eyes! Also, our author reading programs are a big hit for them too. In the past, the library had many visitors from countries such as China, Japan, Korea, and Canada.

 

The beautiful architecture, rich collections, and wonderful library services all the staff provides always gives the visitors amazing surprises, satisfaction, and enjoyment, just like what our patrons receive every time when visiting the library!

How long have you been at the branch? 

 Since June 2006.

What other posts do you hold in your community? 

 None at this time.

What is the biggest impact the capitol campaign has had on your branch? 

 The IDC library is the 16th project completed under the “Libraries for All “building program that voters approved in 1998. The first branch that opened in Seattle’s Chinatown/ International District holds up to 12,000 books and materials with an emphasis on materials in Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, and English. The branch is inside the International District Village Square II and opened to the public on Saturday, June 11, 2005.

How does your relationship with the community affect your programming? 

 We work very closely with community agencies and institutions to provide all sorts of programs for our patrons. For example, we work with the Literacy Council of Seattle to host year long ESL classes.

 

Working with International Community Health Services (ICHS), we offer adult educational workshops that target immigrant patrons. With the Kinokuniya Bookstores, we present author reading events to patrons together.

 

Our fabulous youth services librarian Treasure Samuel works with the International District /Chinatown Community Center and Chinese Information and Service Center (CISC) to host popular programs for both children and teens.

 

Libraries For All – The Madrona-Sally Goldmark Branch May 26, 2008

So, back to our intention of writing monthly about the librarians…. 

About The Libraries For All Campaign

On Nov. 3, 1998, Seattle voters overwhelmingly approved the $196.4 million “Libraries for All” bond measure to upgrade The Seattle Public Library with new facilities, technology, and books. The bond money, which can be used only for construction of libraries, funded a new central library and new and improved branches. The “Libraries for All” Web site includes detailed information about the entire building program. For information about individual branch projects, see Neighborhood Branches. Check out some of the photos from their library opening!

About The Branch

- Branch Homepage
- Historical Info
 
About The Librarians….
Had a chance to chit-chat with the Children and Teen Librarians, Lynn Lorenz and Amy Gipson. I’m beginning to think that these ladies are either very tidy with their desks or they are being modest. :-) Aside from that, I’m constantly blown away by how much service these librarians give to their communities. Some days, going to work and making sure the dog gets out on time is all I can get done. There must be a telephone booth out back for these gals to change into their Super Hero costumes, because they pack their days.

Here are their 15-minutes of fame with the Friends…

 

Lynn Lorenz: Children’s Librarian

Question Answer
What is your favorite word? Fiasco! I like to use it generously to describe even minor disturbances.
What word do you wish you had made up? Synergy – meaning the cooperative, healthy interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. You know it when you feel it.
How did you become librarian of your branch? I went to my first interview at SPL as I was still finishing up my MLIS at the University of Washington. I was very fortunate to be hired as the Children’s Librarian at Madrona and the Children’s/Teen Librarian at Montlake. I relinquished my split personality and am now exclusively at Madrona.
What is on your desk right now? I haven’t personalized my desk yet as we just moved into the newly renovated branch. In front of me is a tablet where I wrote down the first reference questions we got on opening day. The first was from a young patron named Lena who asked “Can you show me where the comics are?” and the second was from a young boy looking for the book “A Practical Guide to Monsters” which we found on our New & Interesting shelf. 
Tell us about your library. We are a one-room library with a very rich history. The building was Fire Station No. 12 until 1971 when it was turned into a reading center called the Book-tique as a result of the efforts of local activist and library namesake Sally Goldmark, along with the Seattle Public Library board of trustees. A lot has happened between now and then! With our latest transformation through Libraries For All, we took the opportunity to respond to the community’s changing demographics and reading interests. We have more children’s books and media than ever and our adult collection has a focus on current fiction and popular nonfiction subjects like cooking, travel, parenting, and health.
How long have you been at the branch? Since late 2001.
What other posts do you hold in your community? I volunteer and help organize a lot of progressive political events. It’s always a pleasant surprise when I see library patrons at marches and rallies and we do the double-take ‘Oh! That’s where I know you from!’ look.
What is the biggest impact the capitol campaign has had on your branch? Our collection is 100 times more browse-able due to the new design and layout. The environment is light and airy and easy on the eyes…
How does your relationship with the community affect your programming?  There are a lot of schools – both public and private – in Madrona and Madison Park. I have the opportunity to visit them all with great programs –  the Summer Reading Program, the Global Reading Challenge, author visits, opera…you name it! With lots of families with young children in the area, our Story Times are rockin’.

Amy Gipson: Teen Librarian (pictured w daughter)

Question Answer
What is your favorite word? Holiday
What word do you wish you had made up? Intrinsic
How did you become librarian of your branch? I spent three years as a Teen Services Librarian at Rainier Beach before coming to Madrona.  Initially I came to Madrona as a temporary branch manager.  I fell in love with the community and staff and ended up applying for the permanent position of Adult/Teen Services Librarian.  Prior to joining SPL I worked in philanthropy, libraries and non-profits.
What is on your desk right now? Since we’ve just opened we’re still working on getting everything organized.  So right now I have a pile of paperwork, notes, lists of things to do, school-visit schedules, etc.  I share a desk with Madrona’s marvelous and talented Children’s Librarian Lynn Lorenz.
Tell us about your library. At 1,700 square feet, Madrona has the distinct honor of being the smallest branch in the system.  Our doll house of a library is home to many school-aged kids, with several schools in the area (Madrona K-8 is directly across the street and St. Therese is only 3 blocks away).  We also have a lot of families with young children who frequent the branch together—it’s a very youth oriented place. The branch has the capacity to hold 14,000 items and during LFA approximately 3,000 new items were added to the collection.  Our reading area is named for Macon “Mimi” Howard, a former member of the SPL board of trustees and a current member of the board of the SPLF.  One of the interesting things about our branch is that it was originally built in 1919 as a fire station.  When the fire station closed in 1971, local activist Sally Goldmark worked with the library board to recreate the vintage brick building to serve as a library.
How long have you been at the branch? I have been at Madrona since summer of 2006 but took one year of leave when I had my daughter (who is now 15 months old). 
What other posts do you hold in your community? None at this time.
What is the biggest impact the capitol campaign has had on your branch? All of the changes have had a huge impact on our branch.  The community is thrilled (as are staff) about the new building.  Although we didn’t get any bigger, everyone agrees that the building ‘feels’ bigger.  We have an updated collection, more computers, and a reconfigured interior so both patrons and staff can more efficiently use the branch—which also gives us more space for programming and storytimes.
How does your relationship with the community affect your programming?  Because there are so many families with young children and school-age kids in the neighborhood, our collection and programming focus is on them.  I’m excited about the teen book arts workshops we have coming up this summer.  I would also love to start a parent/teen bookgroup if there is interest and of course, will be surveying patrons to learn what types of programs they would like to see at Madrona.  After being closed for almost a year, it’s been so wonderful to see our ‘regulars’ again and great to meet those who are new to the neighborhood and library.
 

Meeting Diane Cowles in Breacon Hill… April 15, 2008

A little bit ago, I had the pleasure of chatting with Diane Cowles, librarian of the Beacon Hill Branch. I love hearing about various branches from those who work there and know them best. I always learn something new!

Name

 

Diane Cowles

Branch

Beacon Hill Branch 

 

What is your favorite word?  

 

“Aloha” 

What word do you wish you had made up?   

“Sun-break”

How did you become librarian of your branch?   

 

When Beacon Hill was a Station Library, I was the only librarian there when the SPLASH after school program was initiated.  I’ve loved the Beacon Hill neighborhood so much I haven’t left since.

What is on your desk right now?

 

Notebooks, photos, files, receipts, calendar, books and more books.

Tell us about your library.

 

The Beacon Hill Library is brand new and definitely an improvement from the old storefront building that used to be a store, in which we were housed since 1962. 

The new building has become the community’s living room, attracting multi-ethnic mix that is Beacon Hill.  Likewise, we welcome new immigrant families to a variety of ESL and cultural programs. 

How long have you been at the branch? 

 

18 years 

What other posts do you hold in your community?

Advisory Board of Helping Link

What is the biggest impact the capitol campaign has had on your branch?

 

It has brought us a brand new beautiful building that provides the neighborhood with many new features, such as space for a bigger, deeper collection, meeting rooms, and many more computers.

How does your relationship with the community affect your programming?   

 

I have been a constant presence at the 4 elementary schools and Jefferson Community Center over the years, so have come to know a great many families that way.  Getting to know first hand the issues that affect immigrant and established families on Beacon Hill has made me sympathetic/empathic and consequently, our programming tries to help and inspire as much as possible.

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.