Monday, November 30, 2009

Kirkland Library Re-Opens December 5th!

The King County Library System has nearly completed the 4,500 foot expansion of the Kirkland branch.  This renovation project increases the library size by nearly 30% and accommodates new conference/meeting rooms, study rooms, materials, and computers. Additional space for children and teens as well as wireless access were also included in the project.

Kirkland Construction

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house will be presented on Saturday, December 5th at 10 a.m. Refreshments will be provided. Once the doors are open, the public has their full-service Kirkland library again after nearly a year of closure. (Note:  The temporary location in Parkplace Books will close on 5 p.m. Thursday, December 3rd.)

Kirkland Construction

The Kirkland library expansion is part of KCLS’ Capital Improvement Plan – funded by the voter-approved capital bond in September 2004.  This bond also funded the Redmond branch’s refresh in December 2008-January 2009.

For those Kirkland patrons that temporarily used the Redmond branch’s amenities – we hope you enjoyed your time in Redmond and congratulate you on your expanded library site!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Washington’s Lighthouses: Point No Point

The Point No Point Lighthouse, built in 1879, is considered to be the oldest lighthouse on Puget Sound. A visit to the lighthouse and the surrounding beach park makes for a great day trip. For info on lighthouse tours, see Friends of Point No Point Lighthouse.

Point No Point Lighthouse
The lighthouse is located on the northeast point of the Kitsap Peninsula and overlooks the main shipping lane in Puget Sound.

Point No Point: shipping lane
The lighthouse is part of the 61-acre Point No Point Park, which includes a half-mile accessible shoreline. Along the sandy beach, you can find all sorts of washed up items, including logging debris.

Point No Point: log washed up on the beach
On your way to Point No Point Park you might want to stop and take a look at the unique architecture of the boat house on NE Point No Point Road. The house is the actual bridge of a U.S. naval ship, the M/V Jupiter Inlet.

Point No Point: tug boat house
History of Point No Point
From the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula, a low sand spit extends east for over a quarter of a mile into the waters where Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound come together. In 1841, Charles Wilkes of the U.S. Exploring Expedition approached the spit thinking it was a substantial point. On finding that it was much smaller than he had expected, Wilkes named the spit Point No Point.

Click to display full map
Previously, Native Americans had given the point a more descriptive name - Hahd-skus, meaning long nose. The Point No Point Treaty was signed on the spit in 1855 by Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens and leaders of the Chimacum, Skokomish and S'Klallam tribes.

Point No Point: treaty marker
Renting Out the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage
With the cooperation of the U.S. Lighthouse Society, Kitsap County Parks, and thePoint No Point: vacation rental Friends of Point No Point, the historic lighthouse keeper's home is available as a vacation rental. Come and experience the century-old history this unique property has to offer by spending time as keepers of the light. However, unlike the lighthouse keepers of days gone by, you won’t have any bothersome lighthouse duties to attend to! For more info, see Vacation at the Point No Point Lighthouse.

Redmond Library Board

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Microsoft Commons: It’s a Mall World After All

In April 2009, Microsoft opened The Commons on its new Redmond campus near Highway 520 and NE 40th St. The commons is a complex of restaurants, shops, soccer field, and meeting areas. It’s a popular lunch-time venue for Microsoft employees and their guests.

Microsoft Commons
Microsoft Commons: restaurants The centerpiece of the commons is The Mixer, a two-story building that includes a spinoff of Pike Place Market. In fact, many of the food vendors are local favorites, such as Mayuri, Typhoon, and Acapulco Fresh.

Microsoft Commons: Post Alley Cafee
The Mixer contains large sections of restaurant-style seating. Colorful decor and artwork add to the overall stylish effect.

Microsoft Commons: seating areas
This 106,000-square-foot building also includes a credit union, a post office, several cellular phone providers, and even a sports shop that sells bicycles and snowboards.

Microsoft Commons: Ski and Sport shop
The Gallery 
The Gallery is located in the Submixer, a companion building to The Mixer. The current exhibit is entitled, “Through the Lens: 23 years of Collecting Photography”, and contains photographs from the Microsoft Art Collection.

Microsoft Commons: The Gallery
The Microsoft Art Collection includes almost 5,000 works of art and is displayed in more than 180 buildings throughout the world. The collection emphasizes contemporary art from around the world, displayed for the benefit and enjoyment of Microsoft employees, their guests, and Microsoft customers. The Microsoft Art Collection includes painting, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, ceramics, studio glass, and multimedia works. For more information on Redmond-area events, such as the Artist Lecture Series and Film Series, see Microsoft Art Collection.

Is The Commons open to the public?
No. The Commons restaurants, retail outlets and services are solely for Microsoft employees, vendors and Microsoft sponsored events. Microsoft employees may bring guests to the campus and The Commons, but all Microsoft badge security requirements apply. Guests will be required to register and obtain a name badge available at The Commons and any building receptionist.

Other Blog Postings on Microsoft Here’s a list of other Redmond Library blog postings on Microsoft:
Microsoft Lincoln Square: A Lunchroom with a View
The Microsoft Visitor Center: An Interactive Experience
A New Bridge for Redmond: The NE 36th Street Overpass
Redmond Town Center: A View from Virtual Earth 3D
Exploring the Skies with the WorldWide Telescope

Redmond Library Board

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just In Time For The Holidays. . .

The King County Library System’s little helper – LibraryElf, assists patrons in keeping track of their library materials!


Designed for families or individuals with accounts to more than one system, LibraryElf allows patrons a 3 month view of holds, dues, and overdues from multiple library accounts.  Notices are available by text, email, or RSS.

KCLS is a subscriber to LibraryElf so that all patrons have access to premium services at no additional cost. For more information, including directions on how to sign up for the service, visit the KCLS website.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Take Winter by Storm

Take Winter By Storm: downed trees As the windstorm season approaches, Puget Sound Energy urges residents to get prepared and exercise caution and common sense when encountering downed power lines.

As part of Take Winter by Storm campaign, PSE has created a Web site ( that provides information about how to prepare for bad weather and what to do when storms come our way.

December 2006 Windstorm
Many of you may remember the record-breaking windstorm that hit the Pacific Northwest in mid-December 2006. Here are some facts about that windstorm:

   bullet_square Strongest windstorm since January 1993
   bullet_square Wind gusts of 70 mph, according to official record
   bullet_square Local gusts estimated at more than 80 mph (100+ mph in the Cascades)
   bullet_square 1.5 million customers served by Northwest utilities lost power
   bullet_square 700,000 homes and businesses served by PSE lost power
   bullet_square Governor Christine Gregoire requested federal disaster aid for 19 counties

Emergency Preparedness
PSE: shutting off gas procedureOne of the ways you can better prepare for a windstorm or other emergency is to know the shut-off procedure for natural gas service. You can find the steps to take for shutting off both natural gas and electricity at the Emergency Preparedness section of the PSE Web site.

The Take Winter by Storm Web site also provides a Winter Preparation Check List that you can use to build an emergency kit of essentials, as well as a plan for action in the event of an emergency.

Redmond Library Board

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Preview the Library Express at Redmond Ridge!

The much anticipated Library Express at Redmond Ridge officially opens on Monday, November 9th at 10 a.m.  If you’d like to get a sneak peek at this innovative KCLS pilot program, you can register for a preview tour on Saturday, November 7th.  Tours run every half hour beginning at 10 a.m. The last tour starts at 12:30 p.m.

HoldsThe Library Express concept allows patrons to pick up holds and browse a small collection of Choice Reads.  The site is un-staffed, though a telephone with a direct line to Redmond Regional is available for patrons with questions.

Library Express at Redmond Ridge is a joint project in partnership with the Redmond Ridge Residential Owners Redmond RidgeAssociation (ROA).  Located in the ROA’s management office, you will be able to access the separate entry with your library card number during the same hours as the Redmond Regional Library. Additionally, there will be security cameras inside and outside to ensure patrons enjoy a welcoming environment.  

Hope to see you there!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Plow That Broke the Plains

One Book, One Redmond: The Worst Hard Times As part of the One Book, One Redmond program the Redmond Library will show a series of films that depict the times and hardships of the Great Depression. The Plow That Broke the Plains, a documentary film that includes Bam White, will be shown on Saturday, November 29th at 2:00pm. Bam White is a central character in Richard Egan's book, The Worst Hard Time, which chronicles the life in the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s.

For more info on this film and others in the series, see One Book, One Redmond Film Festival.

The Plow That Broke the Plains
The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) is a short documentary film which shows what happened to the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada when uncontrolled agricultural farming led to the Dust Bowl. It was written and directed by Pare Lorentz. Lorentz worked on the film with composer Virgil Thomson, who shared Lorentz' enthusiasm for folk music and incorporated many folk melodies, along with other popular and religious music, into the soundtrack.

You can view this film below:

The film was sponsored by the United States government (Resettlement Administration) to raise awareness about the New Deal and was intended to cost $6,000 or less; it eventually cost over $19,000 and Lorentz, turning in many receipts written on various scraps of paper, had many of his reimbursements denied. In the end, he paid for much of the film himself.

Texas Dust Storm 1935

In 1999, The Plow That Broke the Plains was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Redmond Library Board