Sunday, June 29, 2008

RCTV 21: Redmond City Television

RCTV logoRCTV was created in 1996 as a comprehensive and convenient way for residents to receive information about issues, services and events within Redmond. RCTV‘s award winning programming tells the stories and highlights the unique character of the Redmond community. You can view the schedules for RCTV’s two 24-hour channels RCTV 21 and RCTV 75. You can also view RCTV on demand or RCTV live! content.

RCTV on demand
RCTV provides on-demand programming from the RCTV video archives, which includes city council and board meetings, as well as special events. Here’s a sampling of on-demand programming from the RCTV video archives:

Date Meeting Length Link
June 24, 2008 Council Meeting 2h 16m Video
June 17, 2008 Planning Commission Meeting 1h 40m Video
Making the Smart Commute 0h 6m Video
2008 Spring Garden Fair Drought Tolerant Plants with Ciscoe Morris & Meeghan Black 1h 1m Video
Windows Media Player Ver 9 required.
Download player at
Versions of Media Player
if needed.

RCTV live!
In addition to on-demand programming, RCTV provides live streaming video of its currently airing programming at RCTV Live!.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chat with a KCLS librarian

Can telephoneYou can reach a KCLS librarian online, by phone, and in person for help with reference requests. Your online options include Live Chat and Email. For the complete list of ways to contact a KCLS librarian, see Ask a Librarian.

Live Chat
This service provides up to 20 minutes of live chat service for your question. The main focus of this service is to provide quick information and referrals using online sources, including KCLS online databases, the library catalog and the Internet. For information on how to use this service, see About Live Chat.

Live Homework HelpFrom the beginning, the Ask a Librarian live chat service attracted a growing numbers of students needing math and science help — this type of help was extremely difficult to answer in a traditional chat environment. To solve this problem, KCLS started an online tutoring service for students in grades 4-12, and began to transition students from the Ask a Librarian live chat service to the new Live Homework Help service in 2005.

Students in grades 4-12 and those taking introductory college courses can receive up to 20 minutes of specialized help per session with homework assignments in math, science, English, and social studies.

Both these chat services are only available to KCLS cardholders. If you do not have a library card, you can apply for one online or in any KCLS community library.

Fast Facts:
Since online chat services started in 2003, the volume of requests has risen:
Volume of online chat services

Ask a Librarian
also provides an E-mail reference service available to KCLS cardholders. Note that you can search the library collection, place holds, and even renew items yourself by using the KCLS Library Catalog.

What types of questions do people ask?Questions
KCLS librarians receive questions about all sorts of topics. Here’s a sampling of questions asked:

Q: Where can I find free images to use in a presentation featuring historical photos of dams, hatcheries, and salmon?

Q: Where can I get statistics on the number of people traveling abroad for business and vacation?

Q: Where can I find information on how to build a hydrogen generator that converts water into hydrogen fuel?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

SeaTac Travel Help: Flight Tracker and Airport Tracker

Airplane on runway Many airports are beginning to provide online services for their flying customers. One of the most widely used tools for monitoring airline flight and airport status are the set of tools from Flight View. These two tools can now be used directly from Flight View, and can help you track SeaTac flight arrival and departure information, as well as provide you with SeaTac airport status. 

Flight Tracker
Flight Tracker is a real-time flight monitoring system powered by FlightView. Flight Tracker provides real-time flight arrival and departure information for all commercial flights in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. International flights originating from or terminating in North America can also be tracked while they are in US and Canadian airspace. Flight information is based on estimates using the aircraft's actual position and speed taken from FAA radar data.

Specify the flight you want to find by entering the airline and flight number. Then select the departure date. In this case, I want to find flight information for Alaska Airlines flight 2606 for June 23rd. Click the Find Flight button.

Flight Tracker

The following image shows the updated information for Alaska Airlines flight 2606. Notice that the image of the airplane represents its current location between Portland and Seattle — in this case, about 1/3 of the way to the destination. The green areas to the right of the airplane represent areas of light to medium rain in the Cascades.

Alaska Airlines flight 2606 information

Airport Tracker
Airport Tracker is a real-time airport monitoring system powered by FlightView. Airport Tracker provides the current on-time arrival and departure status of current flights. In addition, Airport Tracker provides the current FAA status of the airport.

Select the airport by either clicking the map or selecting the airport from the dropdown list. In this case, I want to find airport status for SeaTac.

Airport Tracker 

The following image shows the current information for SeaTac airport. The on-time status shows departures are about 82%, while arrivals are about 72%. In addition, the current FAA status is shown as Normal.

SeaTac airport status

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Friends of the Redmond Library: One day only book sale June 28th

Book shelf The Friends of the Redmond Library is having a giant one-day-only book sale on Saturday, June 28th. Unless there is a price tag on a book, no reasonable offer refused! The sale includes rare and interesting books donated to the Friends of the Redmond Library. Proceeds benefit the Redmond Library.

The Redmond Library opens at 10:00 am on Saturday.

For more information, visit Friends of the Redmond Library.

Redmond Library entrance

Monday, June 23, 2008

Redmond has 7,004 trees on its streets

Redmond neighborhoodLearn about other facts and figures in the Redmond Community Indicators 2008. This third edition of the Redmond Community Indicators, is now available online at Redmond 2022. This year, you can either access each indicator individually, or view the entire set in the Annual Report 2008. Redmond Community Indicators is a tool for the community at large, elected officials, boards, commissions, and City staff, to monitor progress toward implementing the Redmond Comprehensive Plan.

Here are some of the interesting figures about the City of Redmond provided in this year's indicators:

Redmond Community Indicator figures 
For more information about the above figures, go to Redmond 2022.

Other Blog Postings on Community Studies
Here’s a list of other Redmond Library blog postings on community studies:

Engage: Redmond Library 2009 Community Study
Communities Count 2008: Social & Health Indicators Across King County
Sound Transit’s Plans for Redmond
City of Redmond: Pedestrian Program Plan

Redmond Library Board

Saturday, June 21, 2008

BookPage: a review of the best in new books

BookPage book reviewYou can pick up a complimentary copy of the BookPage review guide in the hallway of the Redmond Library. This monthly newspaper provides dozens of reviews on the latest fiction, non-fiction, and audiobooks just published. You can also view the online version of this review guide at

Here are a few books currently featured in BookPage:

Swiss author and photographer Thomas Marent is obsessed - in a good way. And his gloriously gigantic new book, simply titled Butterfly, offers a larger than life size look at these 'flying flowers'. The more than 500 stunning photographs in Butterfly - all shot on location in natural habitats - offer an extraordinary portrait of some of the 165,000 species found in almost every region of the world.

The Golf Book
This visually stunning coffee table book covers everything from golf history to golf clubs, including an easy-to-understand section with techniques for proper driving, chipping and more, suitable for both the novice and the experienced player. The remainder of the book highlights golf's favorite champions and rounds things out with a beautiful overview of the world's greatest courses.

The Golf Book
Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp
Brown Shoes is going on vacation. Betty is staying with Mrs. Pink Slippers, but Mrs. Pink Slippers does not like dogs. So Buster will be going to . . . Cowboy Camp! Denise Fleming’s signature style of painting brings her characters to life with vibrant colors and creative compositions, including a fun map of Cowboy Camp.

Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

An online guide to noxious weeds in King County

The King County Web site is a great resource for identifying and dealing with noxious weeds. A noxious weed is defined by law as a plant that is especially undesirable, troublesome, or difficult to control. The Weed Photo Index provides a photo gallery of noxious weeds that makes it easy to identify any weeds that may be growing in your area:

Weeds photo index

Garden Loosestrife
Weeds_quote When you click on one of the images in the Weed Photo Index, a detailed description of the weed appears. For example, clicking on garden loosestrife reveals that this weed is most widespread in King County and that weed control is required. Garden loosestrife displaces native vegetation along streambanks, wetlands and shorelines, and reduces habitat need by waterfowl and fish.

Weed Maps
You can find out how widespread any of the cataloged weeds are by viewing the collection of Weed Maps. Of particular interest is the Noxious Weeds Interactive Map, which allows you view a selected region of King County for specific details about weed infestations. The following image shows a map of the Redmond area with major weed infestations indicated by weed symbols:

Noxious weed interactive map

Other Blog Postings on Environmental Topics
Here’s a list of other Redmond Library blog postings on environmental topics:
King County EcoConsumer: Educating the Public About Conservation
KCLS Offers Eco-Friendly Bags
infoGreen: Green information in the KCLS collection

Redmond Library Board

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How it works: a video on the KCLS Automated Materials Handling system

KCLS Shipping Center What happens when you place a hold on a book and it's not in your local branch library? Welcome to the KCLS Shipping Center in Preston where every day thousands of library materials move from one branch to another in the 43 branch library system.

AMH_quote The KCLS Shipping Center uses the Automated Materials Handling (AMH) sortation system. This systems sorts library material into plastic totes, weighing up to 40 pounds, for delivery to branch libraries. Tony Miranda, KCLS Shipping Manager, stars and narrates the following video on the AMH system:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Redmond Library sculpture garden

Wisdom Seekers The Redmond Library contains a number of sculptures surrounding the building. Most people are familiar with the impressive sculpture of the four ravens, outside the entrance to the library. This sculpture by Tony Angell is entitled, Wisdom Seekers. In addition to sculpting, he has published a number of books, focusing on birds of the Northwest.

Sculpture Garden
Connections, 2005The library also has a sculpture garden in the back of the building. Here, you can find a variety of different types of sculpture, such as one shown in the photo to the right. This sculpture by Shirley Erickson is entitled Connections, 2005. This sculpture is part of the Redmond Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, sponsored by the Redmond Arts Commission. Now in its ninth year, the exhibition features the works of sculptors in locations throughout the downtown area. For photos and details of the exhibition works, as well as a map, visit Sculpture Tour.

Dudley Carter
The sculpture garden contains one of the three wood sculptures at the Redmond Library by the local artist, Dudley Carter.

Dudley Carter's signature

Carter was born to a pioneer family in 1891 in British Columbia. He was a timber cruiser and forest engineer most of his life, exploring and mapping the Pacific Northwest wilderness. A timber cruiser, using measurements and observations, determined to a fair degree of accuracy the amount of lumber a tract of standing timber would yield. The chief inspiration for Carter's art was his childhood, growing up among the Haida and Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia. He learned wood carving using primitive tools, such as the wood ax.

Fawn and Bird When he was 96 years old, Carter became the first artist-in-residence of the King County Parks and Recreation Department. His former home, located in Redmond's Slough Park, was named "Haida House Studio." It is now owned by the city of Redmond.

The Redmond Library sculpture garden contains one of Carter's wood carvings, Fawn and Bird. This wood carving, like many of Carter's sculptures, uses a single section of a Red Cedar tree.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Books24x7: a KCLS online technical resource

Books24x7_logo KCLS provides free access to Books24x7you will need to enter your KCLS library card to access this service. Books24x7 provides on-demand business, technical, and engineering content containing thousands of digitized best-in-class books, book summaries, research reports and best practices.

Software reference books
Books24x7 is an invaluable service for browsing software reference books. Often times, all you want to read is a chapter or two of a reference book, without having to own it. Books24x7 provides software reference titles by all the major publishers, such as WROX, Wiley, Sams, Sybex, and Microsoft Press. Here are some of the most viewed software reference titles on Books24x7.

Visual C# 2008 Visual C# 2008—Step by Step
Get the hands-on, step-by-step guide to learning the latest enhancements in Microsoft Visual C# 2008. Visual C#, one of the tools in Microsoft Visual Studio ® 2008, is a modern programming language designed to deliver a productive environment for creating business frameworks and reusable object-oriented components.
SQL Server 2005 - Integration Services SQL Server 2005—Integration Services
Integration Services is a powerful tool for business intelligence. Understanding the essentials of how to develop and deploy SSIS packages, as well as how to apply these skills to data warehousing solutions, is critical to harnessing the full benefits of SQL Server.
Programming Interviews Exposed Programming Interviews Exposed
The pressure is on during the interview process but with the right preparation, you can walk away with your dream job. This classic book uncovers what interviews are really like at America's top software and computer companies and provides you with the tools to succeed in any situation.
Design Patterns for Dummies Design Patterns for Dummies
Ever feel as if you've solved this programming problem before? You — or someone — probably did, and that's why there's a design pattern to help this time around.

Accessing Books24x7
To access Books24x7, go to KCLS Databases. From the list of database categories, select Science and Technology. Click the link to Books24x7. Next, you will need to enter your KCLS library card account number, which you can find on the back of your card.

KCLS database access

Once you've accessed the Books24x7 home page, select the topic and sub-topic category; then, select your choice of reference book to view.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A bird's eye view of Redmond High School

Over the last several years, there has been an enormous increase in online aerial mapping. Live Search Maps provides a variation of aerial mapping called bird's eye view. Rather than looking straight down on the area being photographed, a bird's eye view is an aerial image that is taken 30° off center. The effect is striking — you see features in a more 3D-like perspective. Here's a bird's eye view of Redmond High School.

Redmond High School
Setting Bird's eye view
To set bird's eye view when viewing a map, select Bird's Eye as the type of view from the Live Search Maps toolbar. Note that this map view may not be available for all map areas.

Bird's eye toolbar setting

Compass Control
Compass controlAnother useful feature of Live Search Maps is the ability to view a bird's eye image from 4 different directions: North, South, East, and West. The compass control allows you to control the bird's eye view. Clicking the E, S, W, or N button determines which directional image is displayed. Clicking the + and - buttons determines the zoom level for the image. Clicking the clockwise and counter-clockwise buttons rotates the image.

Here's how Redmond High School looks like from the 4 different directional bird's eye views:

Bird's eye view from 4 different directions

Give it a try!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Apply online for a KCLS library card

5 designs to choose fromOpen up a world of learning and entertainment with a KCLS library card. With a library card, you can borrow materials, get free access to subscription online databases, reserve a PC to use within a KCLS library and much more.

Library cards are available to anyone living in or owning property in an area served by the King County Library System or in a service area of another library system that has a Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement with King County Library System. See Areas Served by KCLS.

To fill out a KCLS library card application online, click here.

Your new library card will be mailed to you within 14 days.

BTW, you get 5 cool designs to choose from!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Subscribing to the Redmond Library blog

Using Internet Explorer 7, you can easily subscribe to the Redmond Library blog feed by following these steps:

Step 1:
Step 1Click the feed icon when viewing the Redmond library blog.

Step 2:
The feed for the blog appears in the browser window. Click the Subscribe to this feed link.

Step 2
Step 3:
The Subscribe to this Feed dialog appears. Click the Subscribe button.

Step 3

Step 4:
The following type of message should display in the browser window. Click the View my feeds link to display the current feed for the Redmond Library blog:

Step 4

Step 5:
The feed displays in the browser window. Click a title to display the entire contents of the blog posting:

Step 5

Congratulations! You have successfully subscribed to the Redmond Library blog feed.