Thursday, October 29, 2009

“The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”, Part II

The King County Library System is continuing to offer related programming throughout November in conjunction with the recent airing of Ken Burns’ “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. The programs range from musical performances on a saw to meeting a nature photographer.

Nature Photography My recent nature photography attempt at Mount Rainier.

While there are no Washington State National Parks specifically featured in the film – Washingtonians know that we have plenty of spectacular nationally designated places in our own backyard!

Do you know how many sites the National Park Service manage in Washington state?  There are 14!  If you are from the Puget Sound area, two readily come to mind: Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks. 

Did you also know that the Klondike Gold Rush site in Seattle and Alaska is part of an International Historical Park with units also in Canada?  The fragmentation of the units also leads people to believe that the Seattle site is the smallest US National Park, but it is not.  The area totals over 13,000 acres when Alaska is properly included.

Photo Courtesy of the NPS

kcts If you missed the September airing of “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”, check your local PBS listings in early 2010 for the re-airing dates. Visit the National Park Service’s website to find out more about how you can help continue to improve “America’s Best Idea”.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

InfoVote 2009


Lawn Signs. Door Hangings. Phone Calls. Pounding the Pavement. In other words, Election Season!  The King County Library System’s website can help you with your 2009 voting needs.

InfoVote 2009, created in partnership with the League of Women Voters, The Municipal League of King County, and King County Elections, provides links to help you answer questions you may have about the November 3rd election.

In addition, many KCLS library branches host 24 hour ballot clip_image002boxes that do not require postage (since King County has recently moved to an all-mail voting system.) Lastly, KCLS has compiled a selection of election related material in their catalog for both students and adults.

Don’t forget to postmark your ballot or have it in a drop box by 8 p.m. on November 3rd!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Turn To Us. . .

j0439513[1]The Choices Will Surprise You. How continually apt I find the KCLS motto. Just when I think I’ve nailed down everything the library has to offer, I learn something new! 

Recently, I began preparing to tutor my first GED student through Hopelink’s Adult Education Program. As I was reviewing the tutor resources information on the Hopelink website, there was a mention of resources online at KCLS. The King County Library System’s Testing and Education Reference Center has it all! As I reviewed the GED offerings, I began to notice just how many sample tests were available. . .

Preparation eBooks and practice tests for the GED, SAT, j0430782[1] ACT, MCAT, GRE, GMAT, GAT, LSAT, CLEP, ABCDEF (just seeing if you are paying attention on that one!) and many career related exams for the civil service and other licensing boards are available from home, simply by entering your library card number!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Free Libraries For All

100_5658 We recently spent two weeks roaming the U.S. - from Chicago to Philadelphia and all New England states, ending in Boston.  How I regret not photographing every library we encountered in our 2,600 mile, 13 state journey!  The range of library building styles was incredible as we traversed major cities and tiny towns.

By far one of the most impressive library structures we viewed was the Central Library in the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) system.  (Also, one of the few we saw that we did actually photograph.)


Situated along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Library’s 7 million item collection now, amazingly, overcrowds the massive building. (In comparison, KCLS has approximately 4 million items in their collection.)

While planning began in the 1890s, construction did not begin until 1910. It took 17 years to complete. Finally opened in 1927, the Free Library was one of the most technologically advanced libraries in the world.  Pneumatic tubing and teletype systems helped librarians gain access to the 2 million volume collection that resided on more than 20 miles of shelves!

For more information about the Central Library, including photographs, original blueprints and plans, visit their 75th anniversary website.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Padilla Bay Shore Trail: A Path to Nature

Padilla Bay Shore Trail: beginning trail marker The Padilla Bay Shore Trail is a spectacular bicycle and pedestrian pathway along the estuary of the Skagit River. Part of the estuary tidal flats are ringed by dikes, which were built to create farmland out of the mud flats. The 2 mile trail, atop a dike, follows one of the many sloughs that enter into Padilla Bay. The surface of this flat trail is hard pack gravel, which makes bicycling easy, even for youngsters.  

Padilla Bay Shore Trail: shack

Padilla Bay is a tidal bay that is entirely flooded at high tide — at low tide mudflats are exposed. The bay is very shallow. Near Hat Island the bay is only 12 feet (4 m) deep. These mud flats are habitat for many species of birds and animals. You can often see a great blue heron stalking its prey:

Padilla Bay Shore Trail: great blue heron

All along the trail you can see spectacular views of the San Juan islands and the Chuckanut Mountains to the north:

Padilla Bay Shore Trail: looking north

Drive north on Interstate 5, and take Exit 230 (state Route 20), and turn left (west) and drive six miles to Bayview-Edison Road (turn right). Follow the road for about a mile until you come to the trailhead parking on the left.

Padilla Bay Shore Trail trailhead (click to display larger map)  For more info about Padilla Bay, click here.

Redmond Library Board

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Art in the National Parks: A Redmond Library Art Class

Art in the National Parks is a KCLS program that introduces you to creating art in a natural setting. Learn how to keep journals and sketch outdoors using simple tools like water soluble pens, pencils, and small watercolor kits. Molly Hashimoto will present Art in the National Parks at the Redmond Library on Saturday, October 24th at 2:30pm. Molly is an illustrator and instructor at the Yellowstone Institute.

Art in the National Parks: sketches

In partnership with KCTS 9 Television and PBS, KCLS will offer programs in conjunction with the new Ken Burns series, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea

For more info about KCLS programs related to this series, see the KCLS Web page, The National Parks.

Redmond Library Board

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Downtown Redmond Parking: New Time Limits

Redmond downtown parking sign You may have noticed new downtown Redmond parking signs being installed. To help increase access to downtown, the City of Redmond is implementing time-limits for approximately 300 on-street parking spaces during weekdays. Here’s a map of the area that is affected by the new parking policy:

Redmond downtown parking map

Redmond downtown parking The majority of downtown on-street parking will be limited to a maximum of 2-hours, with some exceptions including 1-hour or 15-minute load/unload designations. Additionally, a limited number of permits will be available for purchase for a paid all-day parking option. Time-limits will be in effect from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

For more info, see the Parking Management Program Brochure.

Redmond Library Board