Just Arrived “Seattle’s Historic Restaurants ” by Robin Shannon

Seattle's Historic Restaurants by Robin Shannon

Thank you Nancy Leson of The Seattle Times for speaking not only of this fabulous new book but also noting how you researched the little-known Northwest Menu Collection a similar topic in The Seattle Public Library. http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/allyoucaneat/2008/10/20/seattles_historic_restaurants.html


The FriendShop is now carrying the latest from Arcadia Publishing including “Seattle’s Historic Restaurants” by Robin Shannon.   Order online or come visit us in the shop.   http://friendsofspl.org/shop/I_Love_Seattle_67600.aspx





Final Public Hearing Tonite!

Kevin and Ken at City Hall
Kevin and Ken at City Hall

It’s four o’ clock on 27 October and lines are beginning to form at City Hall. People are coming here on a beautiful day to talk to their Councilmembers about the proposed budget for 2009-2010. The sun is shining on everyone that’s here to participate in democracy. Join us!

Pictured here are two library patrons that have come down to tell Councilmembers about the importance of library collections in their lives. They will ask Council to increase the library’s proposed collections budget. There is a 2.2 million dollar gap in this year’s proposed collections budget.

Public Hearings are interesting. If you’ve never been to City Hall. Enter on Fifth ave between Cherry and James. You can park in the Sea Park Garage just up the street. Parking is just $3.00 if you’ve been at the hearing.

There are so many economic issues in the world today that we can’t do anything about but this is a concern you can impact simply by showing up. Please come down tonite and tell your Councilmembers that you support an increase in the Library’s collections budget.

Please support an increased library collections budget

There are so many reasons to support strong funding of library collections. The collections budget funds everything from computer replacements to DVD’s, books and magazines, and subscription databases.

Library books and resources are in demand for a growing number of reasons. Library books and e-books are becoming increasingly important in the quest for greener lifestyles. Here’s a post from Ideal Bite :  As an aspiring environmental bibliophile, I do try to use the library (ask about inter-library loans . . ).  Libraries are both “the ultimate in recycling and an important community resource.”

Library books are part of our everyday discussions. This chart from Technorati tracks how library books have become a thriving part of online discussion. 

City Council is considering the proposed library collections budget right now. Mayor Nickels added $500,000 for the Library’s collections budget for 2009, bringing it to a total of $5.6 million. However, the ideal collections budget determined by the Library at the Council’s request is $7.8. This proposed collections budget is at the same purchasing power level as 2001, after adjusting for inflation, and cuts in the early 2000’s. The Library needs $2.2 million to fill the gap.  Please email Councilmembers in support of a collections budget increase of 2.2 million. Important decisions are being made now through the end of October and your voice makes a difference.  Council member emails: jean.godden@seattle.gov, sally.clark@seattle.gov, tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov, jan.drago@seattle.gov, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, richard.conlin@seattle.gov, richard.mciver@seattle.gov, nick.licata@seattle.gov, tim.burgess@seattle.gov

Testimony of Anne Gilbert on Oct 8 2008

Ray Bradbury


I love the Seattle Public Library!  I have many reasons for feeling that way.  But one reason is, one of my favorite authors — who has been something of an influence on my own writing — Ray Bradbury, bless his heart, wrote his first novel in a California library, renting a typewriter for ten cents an hour. 


I do not know if my writing will ever be as illustrious as that of Ray Bradbury, but I doubt if I would have gotten as far as I have in my writing project — a long and complicated trilogy that draws on science, human evolution, and medieval history, without extensive use of the Seattle Public Library.  Though I have a background in anthropology, my research in both fields started at Ground Zero.  I used a number of libraries for this purpose, including, extensively, the Seattle Public Library.  And thanks to their collections, I have been able to finish the first drafts of the first two books in this trilogy.  I am now working on a third book and a second draft of the first.


Unfortunately, due to very possible budgetary constraints, many people who might potentially use this wonderful resource, may not be so lucky as I was.  More people than just potential writers are involved here.  They include job seekers, immigrants seeking to learn English, students of all ages, who are working on projects, people in the business community looking for various kinds of information relevant to their business.  And there are many more.  This is literally a huge segment of the Seattle population, and their needs are varied. 


Our city has just completed a round of library building and renovation.  These new buildings and renovations have attracted many new patrons, and they love the new, improved libraries.  Usage is up.  But in order to keep things this way, it is absolutely necessary to keep funding and collections at its present level.  The last time there was a budget “crunch” nothing was added to the collections and it was during this period that I had to seek some of my information from other regional sources. 


We face similar budgetary restraints at the present moment.  However, I cannot emphasize strongly enough the absolute necessity of not only keeping the present level of funding and collection maintenance, but planning for expansion of funding and collections in the future.  I realize this will not be easy, but it is absolutely vital if we want to continue to have libraries function as a vital force in this community.  In the future, I feel it will be necessary to expand the area of collections into more electronic databases, such as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.  I mention this source because it is online, however, it requires a $300 individual subscription.  Perhaps some people have this kind of money to spend, individually, on something like this, but many do not.  Institutional subscriptions to such databases and information would be a great addition to the library’s collection, and I can assure you it would be well-used.  We also need libraries to function as vital community centers, something which many people have said they want. 


We have already invested a great deal of money in this renovation project, and it has paid off.  Let us continue to invest in this, a vital public resource.  Let us expand the resource for the future.

Join us at Council Chambers on October 27th

Want to know more about local governance? Interested in making a difference for libraries? Maybe you’re a library enthusiast looking for practice with public speaking.  Calling all library supporters: join Friends of The Seattle Public LIbrary at Council Chambers on Oct 27th. This is our final opportunity to tell Councilmembers about the importance of increasing the library collections budget. Your presence makes a difference.

The hearing is at City Hall Council Chambers, Floor 2 City Hall, 600 4th Avenue. Signups for speaking start at 5.  This is the last of two hearings and it will probably be attended by many interest groups. Lines to sign up to speak tend to form around 3 on the marble steps that climb to the chambers. Each individual speaker has 2 minutes to testify.  If you arrive at 3:30 you’ll probably speak around 7. If you arrive at 4 you may speak by 8. For more information on this hearing and parking in the area visit Seattle City Council’s budget pages. Please r.sv.p. to advocacy@splfriends.org

Bountiful experiences at SPL this month (and always)

 You’ve only got to go to the SPL Audiences page to find a listing for an event.  Adults, teens, children, literacy/ESL, ADA/Special Services, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Russian events are all searchable on the SPL calendar of events.

2008 Washington State Book Awards
2008 Washington State Book Awards

This month consider checking out the Washington State Book Awards on October 22nd from 7 to 8:30 pm, Central, Level 1 Microsoft Auditorium.  This event has so many authors you’re sure to enjoy it.  You’ll hear remarks and readings by 2008 winning authors Matt Ruff, Samuel Green, Coll Thrush, David R. Montgomery, Sherman Alexie, George Shannon and illustrator Laura Dronzek.  Followed by a reception and book signing afterwards.  University Books will be on hand for all your shopping needs.

Please keep in mind that if you take advantage of what SPL has to offer, now’s the time to let elected officials know about it.  And always keep SPL in mind when you’re looking for an experience that will only require the library card in your wallet or simply a spot on your calendar.

FriendShop has it in the bag!

Thanks to one of our customers, Jan G., the FriendShop is now reducing the need for plastic shopping bags even more.  Earlier this year Jan visited the Amersterdam street fairs and was handed her purchase in a lovely, hand-stiched, recycled magazine-folded page for her item. 

Jan made the FriendShop an array of bags of which we use for small purchases of postcards, jewelry and fun little trinkets. 

Customers love the bags and now love them even more as the library is providing the shop with posters after events are over, dated newsletters and any other what-would-have-gone-in-the-recycle-bin paper we can find. 

Thank you Jan for bringing this fabulous idea to the FriendShop!