Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jaime’s KCLS Jaunt #36: Vashon

Go West!Oh, how lucky were we on Saturday!?  I’ve always thought that September was one of the most beautiful months in the Pacific Northwest, but the weather we had been having at the beginning of the month gave me doubts.  However, Saturday made up for every other yucky day we’ve had!

Wheelie on Life Ring The journey to the Vashon branch starts with a drive to West Seattle, a 20 minute ferry ride, and then a short drive towards the center of island to the community of Vashon.  It’s practically an entire adventure in and of itself to arrive “all the way” there from Redmond!  It was my first trip to Vashon and it seems I’m only on a ferry once or twice a year, so it was a treat for me to make the trek.

Wheelie at Vashon Saturday also happened to be one of the first days that the new KCLS catalog went live.  We managed to snag Ursula at the information desk for a few minutes while she was in-between assisting patrons with the new catalog.  She gave us a few updates about the upcoming expansion of the library as well as a few details like when and how the books Puppets! arrived at Vashon. (A lucky courier service makes the ferry trip to Vashon from the mainland 6 days a week.) As we made our way to the exit, we did our part to support the Friends of the Vashon Library – they had very cute tee shirts for sale and a page-a-day book lover’s 2011 calendar.  All of us walked away with one or two or three of something!

In our continuing effort to support the local economy, we headed off to lunch at The Hardware Store.  It was one of the most recommended places to dine and within easy walking distance from the library. It took us a little time to get there though, as we made stops at Bob’s Bakery and the Farmer’s Market along the way! After lunch, Lorin played tour guide to Chris, I, and our spouses for a little island tour before we headed back to the ferry and points east.

This picture really has nothing to do with the library, but I just want to illustrate how picturesque the entire day on Vashon Island unfolded. (This was technically taken from the adjacent Maury Island at Point Roberts, but you get the idea!)

Mt Rainier and Boats


Library Map

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jaime’s KCLS Jaunt #32, #33, #34, and #35: Lake Hills, Newport Way, Bellevue, and Crossroads

Go West! As a Redmond resident, and a downtown Bellevue guest during some work days, I’ve visited Crossroads and Bellevue libraries a fair number of times. However, Lake Hills and Newport Way are a little bit farther outside of my usual library visiting radius, so I was looking forward to my first visit with trip number 18.

100_7320 Lorin and Bruce joined me on this jaunt and we chose Saturday to visit all of the Bellevue libraries because the new Lake Hills branch was opening after over a year of construction.  Chris met us for the opening as well, since Lake Hills was the first branch she worked in at KCLS. From listening to the speeches at the ribbon cutting, it was clear that this was an anxiously awaited day.  The building is sited just a few blocks from the old library and the preview held a couple of weeks before the grand opening was the best attended preview KCLS has ever had.  After (very slowly) managing to get inside the new library, I looked outside and the line of people waiting to get in was still around the building!  Of course, the new building Sketch, Wheelie, Jaimeis beautiful.  Ample natural light, soaring ceilings, and an amazing set of huge pencil sketches adorn the space.  If you visit, see if you can figure out the theme of the sketches, it’s quite fun! After enjoying a look around the new library, and including finally getting a picture with Sketch and Wheelie, we headed out to visit Newport Way’s temporary location in Factoria. 

I didn’t realize that Newport Way was closing earlier this year, so I missed a visit to the pre-renovated branch!  The Newport Way temporary location in FactoriaFactoria location is primarily a place to pick up holds, though  a small collection of Choice Reads is available for limited browsing.  In this location, we met Deborah assisting the steady flow of patrons picking up their items.  Deborah is one of the newest-to-KCLS library staff that we’ve met, but her many years in the airline industry has prepared her well!  She also introduced us to Joe, who gave us the heads up on the construction news posted on the Newport Way Library’s Community Blog

While we were in Factoria, we decided to lunch at Goldbergs’ Famous Delicatessen. They serve breakfast all day and pickles when you arrive at your table.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Wheelie at BellevueAfter our breakfast-for-lunch outing, we headed downtown to the Bellevue branch.  Chris was kind enough to arrange for us a visit with Rob, the Managing Librarian and a tour of The Answer Line.  Open 7 days a week, The Answer Line is a telephone and email quick reference service.  Generally, questions are answered in less than 5 minutes.  Fittingly, they helped a taxi driver on Saturday with the actual address of Husky stadium! If it will take longer to help a patron with their question, they are referred to a reference librarian.  The Answer Line Lazy SusanAlthough not as used as much any more with so much information made available online, The Answer Line has a tall lazy susan with reference books that are easily accessible to everyone on duty.  Ranging from business to bride etiquette and Latin and slang, we had fun browsing the titles at the end of our visit.

For our last branch of the day, we made the drive back across Bellevue to visit the Library Connection @ Crossroads. Crossroads is definitely a location that I think of when I hear the term “third place”.  It’s always bustling when I visit and the library is definitely no exception.  Computers were, of course, all taken, and there were plenty of people enjoying the comfy chairs and reading newspapers. The books at Crossroads can’t be placed on hold, so you might get lucky and find that book 100_7333you are waiting for where you are 1,324 in line with 50 copies circulating :-)   The Library Connection @ Crossroads is designed to provide a sampling to people to the services that libraries can offer, including the information and technology available.  As we headed out, I definitely thought there were many, many people enjoying that “taste of KCLS!”


Library Map

Monday, September 6, 2010

Keeping History Afloat: The Washington State Ferries

On a recent trip to Vashon Island, I took the MV Rhododendron, a Washington State Ferry which runs between the island town of Tahlequah and Point Defiance in Tacoma.

MV Rhododendron approaching Tahlequah

Onboard the ferry is a collection of photos taken of Tacoma in the early 1900s. The Octagon Pavilion pictured below stood on the site of the present day Boathouse complex in Point Defiance Park.

Octagon Pavilion: Point Defiance, Tacoma

The Washington State Ferry system is the largest ferry fleet in the United States Nautical speed control and the third largest in the world. The ferry system began as the Mosquito Fleet around the 1880s. Currently, there are 20 ferries on Puget Sound operated by the state. Many of the ferries showcase historical photos and artifacts on the passenger decks

On the MV Cathlamet, which runs between Mukilteo and Clinton, there are older pieces of ferry equipment on display, such as this nautical speed control to the right.

The MV Cathlamet provides an illustrated history of the early ferries of Puget Sound, such as the photo of the crew of the Hyak.

Crew of the Hyak ferry

There’s also a photo of the MV Kalakala, the first aerodynamically designed ferry that was build in 1934.

Kalakala ferry

In addition to historical displays, the Washington State Ferry system showcases the work of local artists, such as Rainbow Rainbow by Eileen Klatt.

Rainbow Rainbow: by Eileen Klatt

The next time you step aboard a ferry, look around — you’re also stepping into history and art.

Redmond Library Board