I think the Pacific Northwest’s best kept secret is our gloriously sunny days. We might not have a lot of them, but I think that might be because one can only appreciate so much natural beauty! Needless to say, it was another gorgeously clear, though chilly, Fall day as I headed into southwestern-ish King County to visit Valley View and Skyway libraries.
Despite a wrong turn off I-5, I quickly found Valley View in Seatac. This had to be one of the most well-signed libraries I’ve visited so far! Plenty of signage to guide me was helpful on this solo jaunt, it’s hard to be the navigator and the driver at the same time in an unfamiliar area. The branch name of “Valley View” is also made abundantly clear as you drive the residential area near the library, there are beautiful views down the streets on the approach from the south. As I arrived on a Saturday afternoon, I wasn’t surprised to see that I snagged one of the very few open parking spots.
And of course, inside, the library was a happening place! All the computers were in use and patrons were being helped at both the check out and information desk. In a break from assisting patrons, Bruce, the Managing Librarian, was kind enough to tell me all the wonderful things about Valley View. Like Tukwila, the area served by Valley View is incredibly diverse. They have a World Map near the information desk that invites patrons to pinpoint their global hometowns. It’s quite colorful and only took a week to be quite populated! The Community Study also provides an excellent synopsis of the history and current state of the service area. And if you haven’t had a chance to listen to The Book Bench, now is a great time to listen to what the Valley View library means to its patrons!
My next stop was a short drive a little bit north to the Skyway library. Skyway is a cozy building with a courtyard style entrance near the parking area that was busy with patrons coming and going. The librarian at the desk was kind enough to let me page through the very, very recently completed Community Study! While visiting Valley View, I (finally) managed to finish Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and at Skyway I had brought my book club reading (a second pass through Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie) so that I could spend time in each library just listening to the sounds of the afternoon!
Once I finished my reading, I headed back into the sunshine to explore the area a little bit more. I had originally planned two potential activities: watching planes land at Boeing Field near the Museum of Flight and visiting Kubota Garden. Unfortunately, it took me longer to finish the reading than I had planned, so I had to choose between them. Since it was a beautiful day, I took the opportunity to enjoy natural beauty over mechanical beauty!. Many, many, many other people had the same idea. . .professional and amateur photographers and artists alike. A brisk walk through the Garden in the setting sun was a great way to finish the day and be re-invigorated for the evening!