Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jaime’s KCLS Jaunt #18: Mercer Island

A long time ago I worked on Mercer Island. Sadly, before the offices moved to Bellevue, I never went farther south on the island than those offices - which were right off the freeway!  I certainly didn’t know what I was missing.  And truth be told, I wouldn’t have seen as much of Mercer Island on trip number 10 if I hadn’t gotten “lost”. (Though, it’s a 5 mile by 2 mile island, so one really can’t get that lost!) 

Go West!

After a leisurely drive around much of the island due to a missed turn, streets that don’t go through, and only a vague Mercer Island Library Signidea of the geography of the place, I found myself pulling into the Mercer Island Library parking lot.  One of the things I love about the KCLS libraries is how many melt into the backgrounds of the community.  This library building was completed in the early nineties, before Mercer Island joined the King County Library System.  It’s surrounded by schools and houses and with lush landscaping, it’s barely noticeable from the street. Fortunately, the bright red brick sign pictured above is prominently placed on the corner!

"Between Two Worlds," a bronze sculpture by Northwest artist Georgia Gerber It was a beautifully sunny, warm Mother’s Day, and as it was early afternoon, I wasn’t sure what to expect of the crowd. Didn’t matter, it was still busy!  Most of the computers were taken and there was more than one person enjoying the seating areas near the windows as they flipped through the newspaper. 

As I was on my own, I had planned to find a comfy chair to read my book club book that I would need to discuss later Quiet Reading Areathat afternoon (Miriam Toews, The Flying Troutmans). But, before I sat down, I made a big personal step and managed to introduce myself to the librarian at the desk, Vicki.  We had an engaging chat about my jaunts so far and we talked a little about Redmond Ridge, as she hasn’t yet visited it.  I’m so thankful that she was the perfect embodiment of the welcoming atmosphere at the King County Libraries as I’m painfully shy about introducing myself to strangers!

My original plan for visiting the library also included a picnic lunch in the park across the street, but since I took a bit of extra time driving around the island and then subsequently lost myself in my book, I ran out of time!  My idyllic sunny day picnic turned into a frantic freeway feeding as I headed back to Redmond for my book club meeting.  No matter, I know I’ll soon find myself back on Mercer Island, this time with husband and dog in tow, to take advantage of a few of their trails!


Library Map

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