Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Learn More Today!

Ever since I was a kid, the library has always been my source for learning.  English was my second language, and before the internet, there was never a better source than the library to grab books to read and expand my knowledge.  Even with the advent of the internet, nothing gets me ready to study or learn like walking into a library. :-)

But as times have changed, so has the library.  It's of course, more than just a collection of books.  There's also training and classes available, for free, at the library.  Two great opportunities are coming up in the next two weeks.

The first is an opportunity to take a free Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification test.  It's available this coming Sunday, on August 30, at the Redmond library.

The other, is for people working towards citizenship.  My family immigrated long ago and went through the grueling process to become citizens in the U.S., and I was lucky to have been born after my father became a citizen.  The Redmond library is offering a class on the naturalization process that allows you to practice speaking, reading, writing and listening in English.  It's happening next Tuesday, September 1.  There's nothing more helpful at getting used to a new language than immersing yourself in it.

Are you interested in either of these?  Visit the KCLS Redmond Classes & Programs page today to get more details!

- James

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Derby Days is Nearing!

While the 4th of July is this weekend, there's another exciting event coming right around the corner... that's right, it's time for the Redmond Derby Days!  In fact, this year is the 75th anniversary of Derby Days!

Image
Derby Days began as a bike derby, a 25 mile race around Lake Sammamish with spectators guessing what the winning time would be.  The closest guess won $25.  

Back then, I would've spectated as biking for 25 miles is not my idea of a good time. :-)  

Even now, biking 25 miles in the heat is not my cup of tea.  Even if there were a chance for cooler weather or rain.

Speaking of, oddly enough it was almost 10 years later when it first rained during the Derby, which is quite surprising, considering the fickle nature that is Seattle weather.

Derby Days wasn't just a bike derby but it was also a parade to raise money for the community.  75 years later and it still is a unique display of Redmond, with parades, races, arts, food and of course... the Criterium!  While it's no longer a race route around Lake Sammamish, it's still a grueling race within downtown Redmond.  Watch as people speed by on their bikes as they race to win!

So come by, enjoy the parades, watch as people dominate in the Criterium and enjoy the community that is Redmond on July 10th and July 11th!

Image Credit:
Redmond Historical Society, from the Roy Buckley collection.

- James


Monday, June 8, 2015

Movies at a Library?

The smell of buttery popcorn, the sounds of people shouting to hurry and save a seat, the rumbling in the background as a movie starts, can all be forgotten for film screenings at the library.  Movies at the library?  That's right, there are actually film screenings occurring this month at various theaters for the Mind Matters summer adult program series at KCLS.

Unfortunately, the screenings are not occurring at the Redmond Library, but still a great opportunity to go out and spend an afternoon at a library.

If you're into classics, the Auburn library has a series of classic films starting on June 15.  For a full schedule, you can check out the schedule at KCLS.

For fans of stories based on true events, Unbroken will be played at the Mercer Island, Auburn and Newcastle libraries.  For a full schedule of when and where, check out the schedule at KCLS.  There's also The Theory of Everything, a movie about Stephen Hawking, which will be screened at the Kent Library on July 21, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

But movies aren't everything for the Mind Matters program.  You can see a whole listing of other fantastic programs to help care, feed and exercise your brain at KCLS.

- James

Monday, April 6, 2015

Nokomis Club - Take a Stand

The winds of change blow through Redmond.  You can see it everywhere, with construction piling on through the streets of the once quiet little town.  New apartments seem to be sprouting left and right, with ground floor commercial space available... but not quite filled.

The sense of community seems to have faded away, replaced by the urban center that demolishes everything in its path.  Look around Redmond now and you start realizing that it's nothing more but box shaped building after box shaped building, with varying degrees of bright, vibrant colors to clash with the dreary weather.  

Long before Redmond began its path to becoming a light version of Bellevue downtown, there was a thriving community, with people willing to help one another out in the most depressing of times.

In fact, in 1909 seven women formed the Nokomis Club, a group dedicated to providing services for the community.  In 1927, one of the members of the Club purchased the land and donated it to the Nokomis Club to build Redmond's first public library.  With the continued usage and popularity of the property, the Nokomis Club decided to expand it and build a Clubhouse to allow for more people to come by and have meetings.

Even with the Great Depression hitting America, the Nokomis Club was able to expand and build the Clubhouse for the community of Redmond to use.  The Club continued to grow and flourish, even giving scholarships for students.  When the Redmond public library moved to a larger location in 1964, the Nokomis Club was handed off to the Chamber of Commerce, continuing to be used as a building for the community, this time for the businesses growing in Redmond.

In 2012, the Redmond Chamber of Commerce agreed to a partnership with the Redmond Economic Development Alliance and Realize Redmond to form One Redmond.  The former Nokomis Club soon became home to another home for books, this time the McDonald's Book Exchange.  Unfortunately it was short lived as plans began to flourish for a new way to use the land.

And now, this land that was once donated to provide a center for the community of Redmond is in the process of being sold.  In it's place will be yet another five story residential / commercial building.  However, there is still something you can do to preserve this part of history.

If you want to take a stand against the change, help spread the word.  Dates and times for appeals are still in the midst of being scheduled.  Get in front of it, reach out to the community, write to the Redmond Reporter, and don't forget to email the mayor of Redmond at mayor@redmond.gov and express your concern.

- James


Thursday, February 19, 2015

If this unseasonably warm weather has you thinking about spring cleaning, please consider donating your gently used books, DVDs, CDs, and magazines to the Friends of the Redmond Library. The Friends resell these donated items, and the proceeds are used to fund a variety of library programs, including World Language Story Times, Summer Reading, and English as a Second Language classes. Please check out the attached donation guidelines! 

You can bring your donations to the Check Out Services desk at the library, or pull up to the back door (next to the garage) and ring the doorbell for larger donations during regular library hours. The Friends of the Redmond Library is a registered 501(c)3 charity, and tax receipts are available upon request.  

The Friends also welcome new volunteers and members. Connect with them on Facebook to keep up with the latest book sale news. Thank you for your donations! 

--Shay 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Help Your Brain!

KCLS is offering programs to help your brain get the care, feeding and exercised needed to keep it in tip top shape.  Mind Matters is a collection of innovative adult programs to learn about your mind and how to help keep it healthy!  

There are several programs available, but two will be hosted in Redmond this month.  

First up is something I enjoy doing everyday, laughing.  Get an interesting look at what humor can do for your mind next week on February 17th at 7 PM.

Power of Humor on February 17th at 7:00 PM
Humor specialist Donna Oiland leads a fun-filled discussion on the healing power of humor and how to incorporate laughter into your life.

The second is regarding everyone's favorite guilty pleasure, chocolate!  Visit the Redmond Library on February 24th at 7 PM to see how chocolate is a mood food.

Mood Food: Why Women Eat Chocolate on February 24th at 7:00 PM
Discover why women crave chocolate and why some chocolates are better for you than others; examine the relationship that carbohydrates and sugar have with chocolate.

There are still even more events available and they can all be found at KCLS.

Get out there and show the world that your mind matters!

- James

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Get Trained on Excel for Free!

I try to help folks with job hunting and resume updating, and there are times when people ask me what a good job skill to learn is.  I usually have a range of ideas based on the jobs they're hunting for.  Now, I've mostly worked with accounting, finance, audit or IT background folks, but one common trait I found was that they needed help with Microsoft Excel, which ends up being part of my advice for folks asking about job skills.  

It works great as a spreadsheet, but people use (or at least try to use) it as more.  The data is used for analytics, creating dashboards, performing complex calculations, performing simple calculations, and the list goes on.  There are times when people create formulas in their spreadsheets, and then leave a company, leaving the new person stumped as to exactly what's happening within the spreadsheet.

I have been called an Excel guru occasionally, though I am far from it, but what I've realized is, as corny as it sounds, that knowledge is power.  Understanding the basics of Excel, and being able to build upon them makes someone a 'go to' person when people need help.  It enhances your skill set and at the same time, you can show off your skills, train new people and grow.

While there are other programs that are similar to Excel out there, I think, for the time being, getting trained up in it would be invaluable.  The reason I bring this up is because there are a couple of free classes available at the Redmond Library this month, of varying levels.  If you have the chance, I'd highly recommend you attend one, or all of them, even if its to brush up on Excel.

Redmond Library Computer Class - Microsoft Excel Courses and Times

  • Level 1 - Wednesday, January 14, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
  • Level 2 - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
  • Level 2 - Wednesday, January 22, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
  • Level 3 - Wednesday, January 28, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
  • Level 3 - Wednesday, January 29, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
For more information and to register, go to KCLS Calendar of classes and programs and search for 'Excel' under keywords.

Until next time,

-James