Friends of Seattle Public Library Blog

The goings on of the Seattle Public Library.

Homework Help June 9, 2013

Filed under: Newsletter — friendsofspl @ 10:03 pm
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The Seattle Public Library is seeking Homework Help volunteers to assist students in kindergarten through 12th grade with homework assignments and developing literacy and mathematics skills. Volunteers provide help with all subjects up to the 7th grade level and also may specialize in one or two subjects up to the college-prep level.

Volunteers must be comfortable interacting with K-12 students of all ages in small groups and individually on a drop-in basis. The majority of the students who request assistance speak a language other than English at home.

Homework Help will be offered at the Library locations listed below from Sept. 9, 2013 through June 17, 2014. Volunteers will be scheduled for weekly two-hour shifts when the Seattle Public Schools are in session. Those who cannot make weekly commitments can be scheduled as substitutes at least twice a month for a minimum of four months.

  • Beacon Hill Branch, 2821 Beacon Ave. S.
  • Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • Columbia Branch, 4721 Rainier Ave. S.
  • Delridge Branch, 5423 Delridge Way S.W.
  • Douglass-Truth Branch, 2300 E. Yesler Way
  • High Point Branch, 3411 S.W. Raymond St.
  • Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. N.E.
  • NewHolly Branch, 7058 32nd Ave. S.
  • Northgate Branch, 10548 5th Ave. N.E.
  • Rainier Beach Branch, 9125 Rainier Ave. S.
  • South Park Branch, 8604 8th Ave. S.

Homework Helpers have opportunities to make a difference in the lives of students and derive satisfaction from supporting a culture of higher learning. They help to encourage and inspire students to become lifelong learners.

A volunteer application can be downloaded from by clicking on “Support Your Library” and then selecting “Volunteer Opportunities.” Applicants must have completed at least one year of college or vocational school and have strong English literacy and/or mathematics skills.

Individuals who submit their application by July 15 will receive priority consideration for volunteer openings. For more information, contact Anne Vedella, volunteer services coordinator, at or 206-386-4664.

(For more information, call Andra Addison, communications director, 206-386-4103.)


Sunday Openings

Filed under: Newsletter — friendsofspl @ 10:02 pm
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All Seattle Public libraries are now open on Sundays, the first time in a century.

The Sunday hours were made possible by voters who approved a $122 million levy last August to enhance the 1998 Libraries for All bond measure and open all branches on Sundays.  Because of recent budget cuts by the City Council, 15 of 26 branches were closed two days a week, the entire system shut down for a week each fall, and the book budget was reduced by more than 13 percent.

Two branches, Northgate and Columbia, are now seven days a week.  Both were closed on Fridays and Sundays.

The branches held special Sunday celebrations and patrons were issued a free Check-Out Challenge card where they could visit any Sunday Opening event and get their card stamped.  Special limited edition tote bags for each of the branches are available from the FriendShop.


Lazerwood: Technology and Craftsmanship in the Heart of Seattle June 4, 2013

The Friends of the Seattle Public Library had the pleasure of chatting with Sarah from Lazerwood Industries about the Northwest’s knack for Imagetechnology and the spirit of craftsmanship and innovation that comes with the sector. Lazerwood emphasizes the natural treatment of wood with electronic forms and celebrates in the creative cross-sections.

The FriendShop at The Seattle Public Library – Central Branch is featuring Lazerwood as a local company throughout the month of June! We’ve got an array of wood iPhone cases just in time for graduation and Father’s Day gifts!


What makes wood aImages an artistic material so special? How do you see this natural resource working in conjunction with technology?

We chose to work with wood because we wanted to add natural warmth to our digital life. Wood is amazingly durable, ages well and is sustainable; all factors that contributed to our choice.

Could you describe the process of lazer and hand treatment in creating your phone case designs?

We source all our wood from a mill in North Carolina and hand treat each sheet of veneer with stain. The veneer is then cut down to a size that will fit in our laser cutter, which looks like a large sawdust spewing printer. The laser cutter is networked to a computer which allows us to cut as much or as little as we want. All packaging and fulfillment is also done on site so our quality and attention to detail is something we keep very hands on.
What qualities makes Lazerwood a “Seattle” born-and-bred company? Does Northwest culture inform your creative design at all?

We love being apart of the PacNW culture that encourages small and local businesses. Our entire region benefits from the supportive climate for creatives and in turn,  Seattle is a city which drives culture for the entire coast and beyond. We wouldn’t want to run our business anywhere else.

What are some of Lazerwood’s dream collaborations or artist partnerships?

We are just coming back from our first convention in New York and are humbled by the number of people who wanted to work with us. We are planning on a collaboration with Rex Ray as well as some artist in New York who we are still negotiating with. Very exciting stuff! Stay tuned. We also have plans to expand our product line to include lamps and clocks, which we are super excited about.


The Central Library – The Seattle Public Library Main Branch (Level 3/5th Ave. Entrance)

Seattle, WA 98104

We are also happy to assist sales by phone: 206-733-9015

Contact: Jessica Frederick, Social Media Manager,


A Need to Create: The Jewelry of Shannon Tipple-Leen May 1, 2013



Shannon Tipple-Leen is an artist undaunted by the idea of play. To describe her creative process is to watch someone comfortable and welcoming of continuing education and discovery. Her design motto, “a need to create” manifests itself as “a need to play,” as one sifts through her collection’s fascinating array of buttons– both new and vintage. When stringing buttons or “little paintings” into a bracelet, one suddenly finds an art form that closely resembles self-portraiture. There is a button and design for everyone, and Shannon’s varied color palettes, motifs, and varying degrees of complexity delivers the goods.

Shannon speaks with the Friends of the Seattle Public Library about her creative process, inspiration, and love for casual Northwest style in art and fashion.

Stop by the FriendShop on Level 3 of the Seattle Public Library-Central Branch (5th Avenue entrance) to check out Shannon’s jewelry. Her work will be highlighted throughout the month of May as we all get used to the sunshine and need some new jewelry to model as the sweaters come off.


Your background is in photography. How did you make the transition from photography to jewelry? Do natural connections exist between the two forms?

About 10 years ago the shift to digital was making it harder and harder to get the chemicals and paper I wanted for my darkroom. Doing my work on the computer did not have the same satisfaction that the darkroom gave me. I also was finding it hard to get large chunks of time to go in the darkroom as I had a young child. I began looking for other outlets that could be more portable and jewelry was one of them.

I think for me my photography and my jewelry could not be more different. I was a strictly black & white photographer and now I cannot get enough color in my jewelry. In both of these fields though I take something that already exists and twist and manipulate it until it reflects me.

    Buttons are a strong feature of your design aesthetic. How do buttons speak to you and the wearer?

I have always loved miniatures. Buttons are like little paintings that you string together into a gallery showing. Putting one perfect little thing next to another connects them into a unit that is appreciated as a whole. They are also highly addictive to collect and I have the collection to prove it!

Where do you draw inspiration from as a Northwest artist?

I am inspired by the casual lifestyle we lead out here. I love clothes and jewelry that are easy to wear yet have an element of surprise or edge to them. I love that most of us live in gray and black and want a pop of color somewhere to set it off.

Swirl necklace web

How is playful design an important element of your creation process? 

My work is all playful design!  I am not a serious person and do not like to wear predictable or serious clothes and jewelry. I hope that part of me is reflected in the designs I make with my work. The buttons I choose need to be unique and sparkly – just like the women who wear them!

     How would you gift a piece from your collection to a friend?

I have made many pieces for friends over the years. I always consider their clothing style and colors first and then start putting buttons together. Often I have to sit with them for a few days before assembly to make sure it feels right. I am always so pleased when they are thrilled and I see them wear it regularly.

Do you have a favorite chic literary figure?

Scroll Peacock bracelet webBroken for You by Stephanie Kallos is high up on my favorite books of all time list.  Her character Wanda Schultz is an amazing artist and the journey her artwork takes her on captivated me the first time I read it.

Do you have any advice for local artists trying to elevate artistic hobbies into a business?

Find something you love to do and perfect it. It doesn’t have to be overnight – in my case it has been years. I see artists flip and flop from medium to medium never fully exploring any one thing. It is that exploration that brings great things. Also find other artists to talk to regularly. They will help you see things in your work you did not know where there.




You Can Find Us:


The Central Library – The Seattle Public Library Main Branch (Level 3/5th Ave. Entrance)

Seattle, WA 98104

We are also happy to assist sales by phone: 206-733-9015

Contact: Jessica Frederick, Social Media Manager,


“Books for Teachers” by Matthew Hestad April 4, 2013

Matthew Hestad, a 3rd grade teacher at Van Asselt Elementary, chats with us today about  Friends of the Seattle Public Library’s teacher voucher program. Since 2009, the Friends have received generous funding from the Renee B. Fisher Foundation to provide classroom books in high-need (Title I) Seattle public schools. Through these grants, teachers receive $100 in vouchers to purchase books for their students. Our Spring Book Sale on April 6th and 7th will see 49 vouchers redeemed by teachers from 21 different schools!

Matthew Hestad in his classroom

This program puts books into the hands of students by one of the most important figures in a child’s lifetime of learning: the teacher. Here is Matthew’s story.

On the Friends’ Book Sales and “Books for Teachers”:

What drew me to the Friends’ voucher program was the need to get more books into the hands of my students. Every classroom has a leveled library in their classrooms where students can choose from a small variety of books at their own independent reading level and one of our most important reading genre’s is that of informational text or nonfiction. The Friends’ sales have given my students so many more choices of books that match their interest levels and this allows for a much broader range of excitement when reading informational text.

I am a teacher who loops between grade levels and have taught my students for the past three years beginning in first grade. Because of “Books for Teachers”, as my students’ reading abilities have increased, the Friends’ books have enabled my students to explore nonfiction and learn about topics that haven’t been able to read about previously.

When I leave the sale I always have received the maximum number of books that my voucher allows. I get there as early as possible and bring a very large suitcase on wheels. As I walk out the door my suitcase is filled with mostly nonfiction books from topics dear to my students hearts to books that I know as their reading abilities grow they will discover new and more developmentally enticing topics.

The classroom library, with books from the Friends’ book sales.

It’s amazing to be able to choose books for my students. We know each other well and as I browse titles or topics my students’ faces are constantly jumping into my head. “Oh, a book on tornadoes… Ben will hold this book and need it close to him for days. A book about Egypt… Susan will need this for her project. Wow, book #3 from the 39 Clues series is what Ra’Janae was looking for but our library was out of. Tarik will need to read the Gail Gibbons book entitled “Bats”.

I leave the book sale with 100 books and once back in the classroom, in front of my students, and causing great anticipation and excitement, will open the suitcase and begin pulling the many books out for students to see. My student’s excitement is explosive and contagious as they peruse titles and genres. The books immediately get sorted and labeled into different categories like reptiles, fish, weather, insects and of course a favorite… the human body. They go by topic, author, genre etc and are always available.


Thank you, Matthew, for this personal insight into the program. Teachers throughout the Seattle area will be utilizing the Spring Book Sale on April 6th and 7th to restock the shelves of their library classrooms. Come join them in one of the city’s biggest used book sales of the year! All proceeds directly benefit the Seattle Public Library.


9600 College Way N., Seattle, WA 98103

Saturday, April 6th 9:00am-5:00pm

Sunday, April 7th 9:00am-4:00pm



Pop-Up FriendShop coming to Beacon Hill Branch – Saturday, March 30th – March 28, 2013

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Pop-Up FriendShop coming to Beacon Hill Branch - Saturday, March 30th -


Sundays Are Special… at the International District Branch March 12, 2013

Filed under: Branch Happenings,Library Levy — friendsofspl @ 6:50 pm
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2013 is a great year for Seattle readers: for the first time in at least a century, all locations of The Seattle Public Library will be open on Sundays. 15 branches have new Sunday hours, and we’re celebrating at each location with the Check-Out Challenge, refreshments, and craft activities. We stopped by the International District/Chinatown branch on Sunday, March 10, to join in the fun.

intl dist sunday sm

The party was in full swing by the time we arrived, with dozens of patrons browsing the shelves, enjoying snacks and drinks, and getting their Check-Out Challenge game cards stamped. At the craft table, volunteers helped kids and parents make colorful creations out of felt, googly eyes, and glitter glue. The kids also got pencils, stickers, and other goodies. And, of course, the Friends were on hand with our new limited-edition book bags.

sundays craft sm

Here are just a few of the things you can do at the Sunday celebrations:

Check-Out Challenge

Pick up a free Check-Out Challenge game card at your local branch. Then, visit any library location on Sundays between Jan. 6 and May 5 to get your card stamped. Once you’ve collected 15 stamps, you can enter a prize drawing for a chance to win a book lover’s gift basket and lunch with the city librarian!

sunday card sm


Apply for a New Library Card

Lost your library card (or haven’t signed up for one yet)? The Library’s new card designs feature six iconic images of Seattle. We especially like the kid-friendly illustrated card.

Take Home a Tote

Special limited-edition canvas tote bags, featuring a commemoratively styled icon of your Library branch, are available for $15 (cash only). Look for the Friends of The Seattle Public Library table and take home one of these handy bags. They make wonderful gifts for out-of-town readers, too!

See all the upcoming neighborhood branch Sunday events and plan a visit to help us celebrate!




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