Thanks for Patricipating in Summer Reading at the Library!

Hope you read, read, read this summer and took advantage of the Seattle Public Library’s renowned Summer Reading Program.  Research shows that kids who read even only 4-5 books in the summer score better on fall reading tests.  And for the over 50 crowd, lifelong learning boosts mental longevity.  And for all of you in between, read for PLEASURE–experts tell us that reading a few minutes a day reduces your stress level!!!
Check your branch for the remaining Summer Reading Program events and tell your librarian how many books you and your family read this summer.  This year’s summer goal is 148,000 books read.  Don’t forget that the Library’s closed next week due to budget cuts.  We’ll report the number of books read when we reopen.  Thanks for taking part in the 2010 Summer Reading Program and for making Seattle a book-friendly place to be.

Summer Reading Program a Smashing Success!

Well folks, the results are in, and all of you readers out there helped exceed every goal for The Seattle Public Library’s 2009 Summer Reading Program, both as to books read and number of readers:

Category Goal Actual
Books Read (overall) 125,000 156,361
No. of Readers (overall) 12,029 12,352
Books Read by Teens 2,018 4,898
No. of Teen Readers 734 871
Books Read by Adults 5,220 14,035
No. of Adult Readers 2,040 2,380
Books Read by Children 112,170 137,428
No. of Child Readers 8,505 9,101

Congratulations and thanks to all those who participated!   The Friends of the Seattle Public Library were pleased to join the other entities (The Seattle Public Library Foundation, Verizon Wireless, U.S. Bank, the Burke Museum, Parent Map and Sheraton Seattle Hotel) who sponsored this worthwhile program.  Check back in spring 2010 to see what the Library has planned for the 2010 Summer Reading Program.

And if you are looking for book recommendations for this fall, here are some suggestions from the Friends’ Board meeting in September.  You can click on the links below to get to the SPL site to reserve a copy of these books.

borkmann Borkmann’s Point:  An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery, by Hakan Nesser.  This mystery won the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy Prize for Best Novel in 1994.  The Inspector is an irascible and occasionally near intuitive character who is called on to solve a mystery in a small town.  The board member who recommended this believes that Borkmann’s point (that in every case a point is reached where enough information is available to solve the crime with “nothing more than some decent thinking”) applies equally to life and the conduct of board meetings.  Having said that, our board member admitted that he hadn’t been able to figure out who had done it until it was revealed at the end of the book.  Why not read this novel and see how long it takes you to figure it out?  Starred review by Booklist.

fieldwork Fieldwork: A Novel, by Mischa Berlinski.  Several board members enjoyed reading this novel with its multiple and overlapping story lines about a young anthropologist living in Thailand, a nomadic hill tribe, and the multigenerational missionary family seeking to convert the tribe members.  One member was entranced by the detailed descriptions of the fictional hill tribe and their rituals and culture, calling it a tour de force.

Summer Reading Program Coming to a Close; All Library Branches Closed August 31 – September 7

Make your own comicsThanks to all our patrons, fans and sponsors who participated in the 750+ free programs that were held this summer throughout Seattle for the Summer Reading Program!  What a great array of choices there were — African Drumming, Bee-Boppin’ Bugs, Duct Tape Mania, Bookmaking, Nature PSnake Experiencerintmaking, Snake Experience, Make Your Own Comic, and Watercolor Workshop, to name just a few.

We’ll report back in September as to whether the city-wide goal of 125,000 books read this summer was reached, but in the meantime here are photos from some of these events for you to enjoy.

Hands on Henna

Friendly reminder:  all branches of The Seattle Public Library will be CLOSED from Monday, Aug. 31 through Sunday, Sept. 6 due to citywide budget cuts. Monday, Sept. 7 is the Labor Day holiday so regular Library operations will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 8.  Click here for more information about the closure.  We’d love to know how the closure affects you, so please write us at

109,594 Books Read This Summer, and Still Counting . . . Can We Make It to 125,000?

145x110_logoWell folks, it’s official: as of July 31, the 11,009 readers out there participating in The Seattle Public Library Summer Reading Program have reported reading a total of 109,594 books! Wow, we’re well on our way to meeting our goal of 125,000 books read by 12,029 readers of all ages by Aug. 30.

Here’s a breakdown of who is participating, and how much they’ve read:

-77 percent of the participants are children, and they’ve read 98,124 books

-17 percent are adults, and they’ve read 7,925 books

– 6 percent are teens,and they’ve read 3,545 books

But we still need your help to meet the goals of 125,000 books and 12,029 readers! Haven’t signed up to participate yet? Click here to go to the Summer Reading Program’s Facebook page for more info on how to join the fun! And remember to check out the Facebook photo albums of pictures from past Summer Reading Program events. Or better yet, post your own fan photo to let your Facebook friends know that you support The Seattle Public Library and its programs!

Bugs at the Library

833147_10255345Summer Reading at the Seattle Public Library isn’t just about reading!  There are fun programs at all the branches for kids, teens and adults.  The Library hosts all kinds of events from concerts to crafts to author readings.  Check out the library’s Calendar of Events for events near you.

One great event is Bee-Boppin’ Bugs, a fun concert for ages 10 and under.  Join performer Nancy Stewart to learn all about creepy, crawly things.  Performance times and locations are on the Library’s Calendar of Events and on the Summer Reading Programs page.

SPL Teams Up With the Burke Museum for Summer Reading

burkeDid you know that when children complete their Summer Reading Log they can use it to get a free pass to the Burke Museum? Just take your completed Summer Reading Log to the Burke between July 1 and December 31, 2009 to receive your pass for up to four children and two adults. For more information on the Summer Reading Program, visit the Library’s website.

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture is full of fun and interesting ways to learn more about nature, history and culture of the Northwest. In addition to their wonderful permanent collections, right now the Burke is featuring the following exhibits: Coffee: the World in your Cup and the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition: Indigenous Voices Reply. To learn more about the Burke Museum and these special exhibits, visit their website at

Meeting our neighbors in the library


We see people from all walks of life when we visit our libraries.  Library resources serve many purposes and help businesses, organizations, families and individuals. With this post we’re beginning a series of profiles about the people you see in your library and  how the library enhances and supports  lives and goals.  Liz White and her family visit Broadview branch. Her children are participating in Summer Reading. Since filling up their first reading lists both girls have read 80 books this summer. At this writing more than 4,000 children have signed up to participate in the the city wide Summer Reading program. Liz is currently reading craft books from the library to supplement her hobbies of beading and sewing. She writes:

I am extremely grateful for our community library.  My twin daughters, aged 7, go through about a dozen chapter books a week, and the Broadview Library is an important biweekly destination for us.  They get so absorbed in reading, and love to tell us all about the books when they are finished.  My husband takes the girls once a week to the library where he catches up on magazines we can’t afford to subscribe to.  I also take the girls once a week, browse the New Releases, and browse the Children’s books.  The girls make their own selections of books they will read on their own.  My husband and I choose a variety of children’s books to read to them, such as international folk tales; we really liked Nelson Mandela’s story collection.  I  also enjoy borrowing CDs.


Got a picture and a story? What does the library mean to you?