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 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! 


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,


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How about a Fresh Start?

Are you in grades K-12?  Have you accidentally forgotten to return an item to the library?  It happens, a busy school schedule with piling homework makes returning an item to the library be the last priority on your checklist.  Unfortunately that leads to fines here and there and before you know it, your library card is blocked.  With the new year approaching, maybe it's time to get a Fresh Start!

KCLS offers eligible participants to get a one time waiver and start using the library again.  That means up to $25 in fines can be forgiven on an existing KCLS card!

How do you know you're eligible?  Check out the Fresh Start page on KCLS and see if you can waive your fines.

Now you can go back to borrowing to your heart's content!


Friday, October 31, 2014

An Unexpected Tour

I had a chance to visit Chicago, the Windy City, a couple months back.  It was a short trip and I didn't get a chance to really prepare for the trip.  Once I landed, I decided to walk around and admire the architecture the city had to provide.  I came across an older building with the words "Public Library of the City of Chicago" etched into the side.

-You can barely see the etching in this picture-

I didn't want to miss this opportunity on seeing a new library in a new city and decided to hop across the street.   

 -Just waiting for the light to change so I can cross the street-

As I entered through the entrance, I was surrounded by tiled and marbled walls.  It was breathtakingly beautiful and I had to take a moment to soak it all in.

I noticed some quotes on the wall within the tile.  Lots of inspiring quotes etched into the walls.

Strangely enough, I started noticing that there were no books in the library I was taking pictures of.  As it turns out, I was actually not in the library!  It was actually the cultural center located within the building.  Talk about feeling embarrassed as I had not noticed until I reached the top floor.  I guess the beauty of the tile and marble had thrown me for a loop.

Ultimately, while it wasn't the library like I thought it would be, it was still a fun little unexpected tour of something I would have just walked by.  So just a little lesson, if you see something interesting, head to it, give it a shot.  If it ends up being something you were not expecting, then even better.  Take in the experience. :-)

  - James

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Spanish Literature Reading Circle

I've always been fascinated by languages in general.  There are so many beautiful ways of saying or communicating the same message to someone.  I've attempted speaking a variety of languages, and will continue to do so.  One thing I've learned is that a key thing with learning a language is immersion.  To listen and speak with others in the language you are trying to learn.

For those of you interested in Spanish, there is an interesting opportunity to immerse yourself, just even for a little bit, at the Redmond Library to talk about Love in Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Local author Nora GirĂ³n-Dolce will be hosting a Spanish language reading group (the first ever!) this Friday, September 5 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.

If you can attend, I'd highly recommend you check out the first ever Spanish language reading group!

- James