Libraries Lending Kindles?

Hm, interesting experiment going on in Sparta, NJ.

“The new Kindle ebook reader from is certainly not oriented for the library borrowing model, given that books purchased are limited to the device itself. But that hasn’t stopped the Sparta Public Library, NJ, in an affluent suburb 50 miles west of New York City, from buying two $399 Kindles and preparing to loan them to patrons. “[Director Carol Boutilier] is very proactive; she wants us to be on the leading edge of any technology,” explained assistant director Diane Lapsley. Unlike many libraries, Sparta doesn’t shy away from loaning devices along with content; it previously circulated iPods loaded with audiobooks as well as an earlier generation of ebook reader.”

This arrangement is esentially setting up a “try before you buy” for Amazon. Not a bad deal for them – to promote usage, I would think they would be starting lending programs across the country….Another interesting model would be to expect the patrons to purchase the Kindle themselves. The library could work out a DRM arrangement with Amazon, enabling patrons to “borrow” the books they want, and have the books “disappear” from the device when they are due, with the option to renew.

This could be the thing that cuts down on dues, increases circulation and reduces wait times.


Broadview Opening Follow Up

broadview.jpg So a few of The Friends and I went to the opening of the Broadview Library and ran into Kathy Teufel, a most wonderful lady from the Greenwood Branch. She shared her pictures with me from the event. There was quite an impressive turnout! There was some debate among the little ones whether all the fuss was about the new library, or Lulu showing up.
2007_1206terrierpartymarion900062.jpg Kathy told me that she was taking pictures to show Marion Parker, a 90-year old librarian at The Seattle Public Library until 1980. Marion worked to order the adult collection for the first Broadview Library which opened December 15, 1975. Marion now lives in a retirement home on Queen Anne Hill and she was unable to make the event in person. Marion is ever still the librarian, loves to read and is a frequent patron of the Bookmobile service. Kathy is happily busy keeping ahead of her many book requests.

Here is a link to the Broadview web page (click on the links on the page to see more pictures from the new opening).

 Other links:
Marion’s Birthday Party 
behind the scenes shots of the Broadview Staff party

Doris Lessing’s Nobel Prize Speech

doris.jpg Doris Lessing’s Nobel prize speech is well worth reading. Whether you agree with everything she says, it’s a moving piece about reading and books.Lessing, at age 87, was not able to travel due to poor health. She was awarded the 2007 Nobel yesterday in London, transmitting her acceptance speech to Stockholm for Monday’s ceremony.

Other links:

New Branch Opening: Broadview

About The Opening

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.

The Broadview Branch is having its opening weekend.

Here are the times:
-Friday 7 Dec. 5:45-7:30
-Saturday, 8 Dec 11:30-4:30

12755 Greenwood Avenue NE, Seattle

If you are interested, here is a little More Info on the branch: 


About The Librarian….
I had the chance to talk to Lisa Scharnhorst at the opening, below is a little tidbit of our conversation – I adopted my best Actor’s Studio impression…

What is your favorite word? Mocha
What is your least favorite word? No
What word do you wish you had made up? Perspicacious
How did you become librarian of your branch? Prior to working at Broadview, I was a librarian at the Central Library downtown. I worked in the General Reference Services department where I answered questions in person, over the phone for the “Quick Information” service as well as longer reference questions, and electronically through email and chat. I also worked in the Hugh & Jane Ferguson Seattle Room helping patrons with local history research.Before working at SPL, I spent 13 years working in the Special Collections division of the University of Washington Libraries, where I also focused on local history. I’ve also worked at the New York Public Library and a photo archive in New York City.
What is on your desk right now? A giant mess! Now that we’ve got the branch opened I hope to find time in the near future to organize my office! I have not had a chance to unpack my own files, and I’m still waiting for one piece of my office furniture to arrive. I also really need to get something up on my walls — the blank white walls are driving me crazy!
Tell us about your library. -We’ve about about 66,000 items in our collections — 15,000 of them are new!-Broadview will start having programs again in January. Thursday mornings our Childrens Librarian, Marita Meyerholtz, does a story time. Some of the story times are bilingual in Spanish/English.
-Adult Services Librarian Beth Kashner leads an afternoon book group on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, and will be starting an evening book group lead by a volunteer.
-Teen Services Librarian Nina West has some gaming programs in the works, a graphic novel workshop in March, and is also helping set up a student Homework Help tutoring service that will start in the Spring.
How long have you been at the branch? I started as the Branch Manager about a month before we opened.
What other posts do you hold in your community? I’ve been a board member for the Pacific Northwest Historian’s Guild in the past. I am becoming active in the Broadview Community Council and hope to get involved with the Broadview Historical Society. Broadview is such a wonderful, involved neighborhood. It is great to be working in a community that is so invested in its library.
What is the biggest impact the capitol campaign has had on your branch? Broadview has been transformed by LFA and the capitol campaign. The expanded branch is beautiful! People from the community as well as Broadview staff love all of the space and light, and the wonderful design by architect Brad Miller. The wood ceiling in the new half of the building is stunning – it gives the space a wonderful feel, and I love to hear the rain falling on the metal roof — something I get to hear a lot! We’ve got twice the amount of space, including a more efficient staff workroom, study rooms, 2 meeting rooms, and a much larger collection area. Former Branch Manager Debi Westwood (who is now managing several branches for the King County Library System) and Broadview librarian Beth Kashner did a terrific job of laying out the collection and staff areas.
How does your relationship with the community affect your programming? Broadview, like many neighborhoods in Seattle, is going through a lot of changes. When people think of Broadview, they mainly think of the senior housing that’s in the neighborhood. But since we closed for expansion, lots of young families and immigrants have moved to the neighborhood. Also, the Broadview-Thompson Elementary school that’s across the street has added a middle school. We’re feeling that change already! At about 3pm when school gets out, we are flooded with students. It’s terrific! We are looking forward to meeting our new patrons and welcoming back our long time patrons and neighbors and discovering what programs will best serve them.

What an incredible resource and engaged staff!

Book By Its Cover

Book By It’s Cover

Just saw came across this blog Julia Rothman’s new blog, Book By Its Cover. She’s an illustrator and pattern designer located in Brooklyn, New York. Rothman provides lots of graphic inspiration by featuring her favorite books in several categories, including: Design, Fine Art, Handmade, Children’s, and Comics.

“I wanted to share all the nice books I regularly notice and have collected over the years. Please email me if you have any suggestions or books you want to share.”

FSPL Reading List: December

At the beginning of each meeting, we start by sharing the books we are reading, below is a short list of what we do in our spare time.

Bridge of Sighs, Richard Russo: “Before the Deluge…. if Seattle had half of the night life Berlin did, Mayor Nichols would have a heart attack! My word…”

Story of small town unable to adjust to economic changes, a story about ordinary people struggling to get by. On the first page of Bridge of Sighs, Russo dismisses any concern about provincialism: “Some people, upon learning how we’ve lived our lives, are unable to conceal their chagrin on our behalf, that our lives should be so limited, as if experience so geographically circumscribed could be neither rich nor satisfying.” 

Millionaire’s Row, Linda Johns:  “…I know it’s for kids, but it made me feel young and giddy.”

Hannah West (our own Nancy Drew) is back—living in the lap of luxury in a mansion on Millionaire’s Row in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Hannah investigates missing items in her neighborhood – what a nice alternative to the lemonade stand!   

No I Don’t Want To Join A Book Club, Virginia Ironside: “I argued with the author through the whole book! But I liked it.”

London journalist Ironside cuts right to it. On the cusp of 60, Marie starts journaling, and her 18 months of entries chronicle all life’s events with unique perspective and sensitivity.   

Thursday Next: First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde: “Literary detective, outrageous word play.”

Full of bizarre subplots, many of which don’t go anywhere, Fforde’s fifth novel to feature intrepid literary detective Thursday Next blends elements of mystery, campy science fiction and screwball fantasy. Part sci fi mystery, part Rip Van Winkle (in that sleeping away one’s future kinda way), part mean side kick – how will it end? 

The Woman at the Washington Zoo: Writings on Politics, Family, and Fate by Marjorie Williams (Author), Timothy Noah (Editor): “Very good essays on political figures and Washington DC culture. Beautifully written character sketches, very insightful.” 

Washington, D.C. is a city ruled by insiders, and few writers make it on the “inside.” Williams is a keen observer, reflecting honest, detailed profiles of the great and minor figures who have made D.C. for the past two decades. She eloquently reflects her subjects’ complexity and true internal struggle we all face. The book closes with her final essays on her lost battle with cancer – worth the read. Williams thoughts on death: “whatever happens to me now, I’ve earned the knowledge some people never gain, that my span is finite and I still have the chance to rise and rise to life’s generosity.”

Just click on the links in this post and it will take you to the SPL site to reserve your copies today!

rainy day mocha

Drum Roll, if you please.

Members of our group jokingly said our first blog entry needed a mission statement and a sentence or two about my our philosophy. No wonder people are so intimidated to start these things! It’s a lot of pressure, but here goes:

We are a bunch of city-living Seattle-ites from all over. The kind that love rare books, fairie tales, a good mystery on a rainy day, warm cats that prohibit movement when you want more tea, bookstores with creaky floors, deep moments of realization among the stacks in the library, people who remember the excitement on getting their first library card and the nervousness of their first term paper, and gorgeous buildings like the Seattle Public Library and all its new branches.  We love cookbooks, magazines, how to articles, who dunnit books, projects involving home design, and the art of ritual.  Throw in some lovely gifties from the FriendShop, a mocha from the Cafe, and we are a happy bunch.  

Since all good things are better if you share them – We post the things we love: our booklists, factoids about the library and its librarians and goings on about what’s going on in the stacks of the Seattle Public Library.