Friday, December 2, 2011

2011 Redmond Lights

If you’re looking for something to do after the library closes at 5 p.m. this Saturday, take a few steps across the parking lot to the City Hall campus and join the crowd for the 13th Annual Redmond Lights.  You’ll actually want to arrive closer to 4:45 though, so you don’t miss Santa’s arrival and the tree lighting! Music and activities abound in City Hall, the Senior Center, and the Public Safety Building.

Redmond Lights Logo

After you pick up your blinker around the campus, walk the Sammamish River Trail’s Luminary Walk to Redmond Town Center (1.3 miles) to enjoy more cultural and holiday entertainment.  The Luminary Walk is one of my favorite holiday activities – it’s great to see all of the diversity that Redmond has to offer and learn about holiday and winter traditions from other cultures.

Once you arrive at Redmond Town Center, I’d highly recommend the Chili Cook-Off.  The last time we taste-tested, the Redmond Fire Department was our hands down favorite (sorry, Police!), but the field of competitors has widened this year with the addition of the City Council and a few local restaurants. There will also be plenty more music, food, and activities to enjoy.

Logistically speaking, there will be shuttles between City Hall and Redmond Town Center, every 30 minutes until 8:30 so you don’t have to walk there and back – unless you are super motivated to keep working off all of those holiday treats! You can leave your raingear at home, but don’t forget your hat and mittens – the weather forecast is for a clear, but frigid, night.

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Puget Brass Holiday Concert

Join Puget Brass on Sunday, December 11th at 2:00pm for a holiday concert at the Redmond Library. This  entertaining performance for the whole family consists of popular music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Puget Brass performanceSome of you may remember that Puget Brass performed at the Redmond Library in December 2009.

Puget Brass is a local British brass band that performs traditional and contemporary music throughout the Pacific Northwest. From school teachers to Boeing engineers, truck drivers to entrepreneurs, the group brings together 30 community brass and percussion musicians to perform this genre of music.

Here's a video of their performance at the Northwest Brass Band Festival in January 2011.

Brass Bands
Puget Brass was formed in 1999, inspired by the movie, Brassed Off, based on a modern-day English mining town and its brass band. The band members’ camaraderie combined with the movie’s stirring renditions of songs such as Danny Boy and Floral Dance served as a template for Puget Brass.Baritone horn

In the mining industry, bands were sponsored by companies, and over time contests with rival company bands developed. At the turn of the 20th century, these contests drew audiences of up to seventy thousand in large industrial cities, such as Manchester. Today hundreds of brass bands worldwide, like Puget Brass, keep the spirit and fun of the golden-age of the brass bands alive.

Scottish colliery brass band - 1890

Redmond Library Board

Sunday, November 13, 2011

America by Design: Posters from the WPA 1936-1943

The By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 collection consists of 908 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress collection of more than 900 is the largest.

By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943These striking silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters were designed to publicize health programs, cultural programs, travel and tourism, educational programs, and community activities. The posters were made possible by the Federal Art Project, whose primary goal was to employ out-of-work artists. The project administrators believed that art should be part of the daily lives of all Americans, not just the elite. Even though there were diverse approaches to poster design, the WPA collection embodies a truly original American poster style.

The Posters
Here are some of the Collection Highlights. The following 1936 poster is from the Tenement House Department of the City of New York. The poster promotes better living conditions by keeping tenement neighborhoods clean. Notice the expressive use of bold colors and lines.

Help your neighborhood by keeping your premises clean : Tenement House Dept. of the City of New York

The following poster is a 1936 poster announcing the second annual photograph exhibition of the Sioux City Camera Club. Note the stylized simplicity of the man and his camera, echoing the streamlined curves of the then popular Art Deco style.

Second Annual Exhibition of the Sioux City Camera Club

Before the advent of television, posters were widely used as public service announcements. The follow poster promotes eye examinations for children.

John is not really dull - he may only need his eyes examined

Some of the most striking WPA posters are ones that promote travel and tourism. The follow poster, showing two bighorn sheep, highlights America’s national parks. Many of the posters were produced by the silkscreen printing process, which allowed graphic artists to create rich layers of colors and textures.

The national parks preserve wild life

And of course, libraries and reading were also promoted.

A year of good reading ahead

This extraordinary collection of posters from the 1930’s continues to influence modern designers today.

Redmond Library Board

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The East Lake Sammamish Trail: Paved and Open

On November 7th, the Redmond portion of the East Lake Sammamish Trail was reopened. This 1.2 mile section of the trail has been paved previously, it was hardpack gravel. However, the non-Redmond portion of the 11-mile trail is still unpaved.

East Lake Sammamish Trail improvements

The East Lake Sammamish Trail improvements included the construction of a 77-space parking lot next to the trail on the south side of NE 70th Street (near Whole Foods).

East Lake Sammamish Trail parking

Here’s a map showing the location of the new parking lot:

View Larger Map

For more info on public access, parking, and restrooms along the East Lake Sammamish Trail, click here.

Regional Trail Corridor
The East Lake Sammamish Trail is part of a 44-mile urban regional trail corridor that also includes the Burke-Gilman Trail, the Sammamish River Trail, the Marymoor Connector Trail and the Issaquah-High Point Trail. This corridor links Seattle to the Eastside and the Cascade foothills.

Regional Trail Corridor
For more info, see the East Lake Sammamish Trail Master Plan.

Redmond Library Board

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The World of Alagaësia: A Visit from Christopher Paolini

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini On Tuesday November 29th at 7:00pm, meet Christopher Paolini, whose most recently published work, Inheritance, is final book of the Inheritance Cycle. Join us at the Redmond Library, where you’ll get to chat with the author and hear about the remarkable fictional world of Alagaësia, in which Eragon and his dragon Saphira battle the forces of evil. Books will be available for sale by Secret Garden Books, and a book signing follows Christopher’s presentation.

  Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.

Watch the trailer:

About the Author 
Christopher Paolini was born in Southern California and lived most of his life in Paradise Valley, Montana.Christopher Paolini The tall, jagged Beartooth Mountains that rise on one side of Paradise Valley inspired the fantastic scenery in Eragon, the first novel in his Inheritance cycle.

Christopher was homeschooled by his parents and often wrote short stories and poems. He made frequent trips to the library, and read widely. He was fifteen when he wrote the first draft of Eragon and his family self-published the book in 2001. His literary inspirations include the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, E. R. Eddison and the author of the epic poem Beowulf.

Inheritance Cycle In August 2003, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers published Eragon and it was an instant success worldwide. Christopher's second novel Eldest was published in 2005, followed by Brisingr in 2008. To date, Eragon has been translated into 49 languages. The first three books in the series have sold 25 million copies worldwide. Inheritance, the fourth and final book in the cycle will be published on November 8, 2011 with a first printing of 2.5 million copies.

Inheritance Quest on Facebook For more info about Christopher Paolini, see The Inheritance Cycle. This Web site contains activities, such as an interactive map of Alagaësia and an adventure game. You can also play the Facebook game, Inheritance Quest.

Redmond Library Schedule of Events
For upcoming events, including book discussions and author visits, see the Redmond Library’s Schedule of Events.

Redmond Library Board

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Only in Redmond: Geek Graffiti

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later my favorite graffiti in Redmond got painted over. For those of you who missed it, here's a photo of the tag underneath the NE 90th St. bridge along the Sammamish River trail from earlier this year. Apparently, someone was very passionate about the metric system!

Geek graffiti -- go metric!

Redmond Library Board

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Evolving Role of the School Librarian

Is the term “school librarian” an oxymoron? What defines this role as schools become more wired?

School Libraries: What's Now, What's Next, What's Yet to Come Smashwords has just published an ebook collection of over 100 short essays from around the world about trends in school libraries written by librarians, teachers, publishers, and library vendors. This ebook, School Libraries: What's Now, What's Next, What's Yet to Come, provides an enlightening look at the changing role of this venerable institution.

The essays are organized into 10 topic areas:

  1. Learners
  2. Who And When We Teach
  3. Emerging and Multiple Literacies
  4. Gaming
  5. Reading
  6. Physical Libraries
  7. Virtual Libraries
  8. Collection Development
  9. Collaboration
  10. Professional Learning

Here’s an excerpt from an essay entitled Lighting the Fuse of Inquisitiveness, which highlights the role of a school librarian as an information shepherd:

Regardless of how dramatically content changes, both in form and function, students will always need to think critically and to possess problem-solving skills as well as the ability to question and to investigate.

Further, these skills of discernment are in greater demand now than ever before, due to students’ unprecedented access to an unprecedented flood of information. Now the
greatest commodity is not the information itself but the distinct ability to synthesize and contextualize it, to turn it into useful, practical knowledge.

Another excerpt, from an essay entitled The Future of Storytimes: The School Media Specialist as Performer, highlights the role of a school librarian as a content evangelist:

The school media center is the gateway for new and exciting content; the book is the “script” of storytime. School media specialists must choose books with content that will capture the attention of their students. Children love reading good books they have been introduced to and storytimes are the most effective way to share that book with them. A wonderful new book can sit on the shelf of a library for months until it is read during a storytime; afterwards, every child asks, “Can I check-out THAT book?”.

Available Formats
You can read this book in the following online formats: HTML, JavaScript reader, and PDF. You can also download this publication as an ebook in the following formats: mobi (Kindle) and Epub (iPad, Nook, Kobo, etc.).

Redmond Library Board

Sunday, October 23, 2011



In the past week I’ve received my King County mail-in ballot with the accompanying voter’s guide and it’s reminded me of the resources your local KCLS library has to help you cast your vote! 

The KCLS infoVote2011 site details resources available to help you to register to vote and learn about the candidates, measures, and initiatives on the ballot. Through the KCLS Collection, search the catalog for keywords such as elections; civics; voting; and democracy to locate election-related materials.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th and the final day to register to vote is Monday, October 31st. If you have more questions about voting in King County, also visit King County Elections online.


Monday, September 26, 2011

It’s Raining Books! 2011 Northwest Bookfest

It looks like it’s going to rain actual water too this coming weekend, but what better weather to get acquainted with a new-to-you author and curl up with one of their books!?  Or attend a workshop and start working on your own debut novel?

2011 Northwest Bookfest

Dotted around Peter Kirk Park and including the Kirkland Library as one of the venues, there are activities at the 2011 Northwest Bookfest for the young and young-at-heart in every genre.  Exhibitors, author panelists, and workshops will abound. Some of my favorite topics include:

  • Did It Really Happen or Did You Make It Up? Historical Novels (Saturday 10 a.m.)
  • Original Music Inspired by The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Saturday 1p.m.)
  • Screenwriter Survival 101–The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sunday 10 a.m.)

And if this wasn’t enough, perennially favorite library program Caspar Babypants will be performing at 10 a.m. on Saturday.  Plan your weekend with the complete author, workshop, and event line-up!  The event is free, but donations are accepted; suggested $5 per person or $10 per family.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Colorful Past of Old Russia: Prokudin-Gorskii's Photo Collection Reconstructed

Almost all photos from around the early 20th century are in black and white. However, Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorskii, a pioneering Russian photographer, developed an ingenious photographic technique for generating color images. His color images, reconstructed from his original glass negatives, provide an extraordinary look at early 20th-century Russia. You can find his photos as part of the Library of Congress online exhibit, The Empire That Was Russia.

Isfandiyar, Khan of the Russian protectorate  of Khorezm

The Russia of Nicholas II on the eve of World War I was a land of striking ethnic diversity. Comprising all of the republics of what later was to become the Soviet Union, as well as present-day Finland and much of Poland, Russia was home to more than 150 million people of which only about half were ethnic Russians. In his travels throughout the empire, Prokudin-Gorskii captured this diversity.

Dagestan is a Russian republic in the North Caucasus region on the Caspian Sea. Here is an image of Dagestani women around 1905:

Dagestani women

Another image shows an Armenian woman in her national costume:

Armenian woman in national costume
Daily Life
In the early 1900s Prokudin-Gorskii formulated an ambitious plan for a photographic survey of the Russian Empire which won the support of Tsar Nicholas II. Between 1909-1912, and again in 1915, he completed surveys of eleven regions, traveling in a specially equipped railroad car provided by the Ministry of Transportation. One of Prokudin-Gorskii’s goals was to capture the daily life of the Russian people.

The following image shows a Russian family resting in a hay field during harvest time:

Harvest time in a Russian wheat field

Another image shows Jewish children with a teacher in Samarkand, Uzbekistan:

Jewish children with teacher in Samarkand
Another image taken in 1910 shows a family working at a pit mine in Bakalskii, which is in the Bakaly Hills of the Ural Mountains:

Family working at Bakalskii mine
Color Photographic Technique
Prokudin-Gorskii's process used a camera that took a series  of three monochrome pictures in sequence, each through a different-colored filter. Each negative contains the color value for each RGB component. In Photoshop terminology, these 3 images represent RGB channels. In fact, adventurous Photoshop users have recreated Prokudin-Gorskii's color images by combining the digitized versions of the RGB negatives as layers with specific channel values.

Monochrome negatives containing RGB values

results in

Bukhara emir 
Given the complex process of printing color images at the Three lens projection lantern time, Prokudin-Gorskii often displayed his images using a special projection lantern with three lenses. By projecting all three monochrome negatives using the correct colored light, and then overlapping the images, he was able to reconstruct the original color scene.

Library of Congress Exhibits
The Library of Congress offers a wide range of online exhibitions featuring treasures from its own collections as well as the treasures of other national libraries. Here are some of the current exhibits available online:

Redmond Library Board

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Enduring Literary Legacy: Carnegie Libraries in Washington State

On several recent trips around Washington state, I stopped by Sound Bend and Port Townsend. I was surprised to discover that both these towns have original Carnegie libraries still in use. In fact, the South Bend library, which is now part of the Timberland Regional Library system, has functioned continuously as a library for over 100 years.

South Bend Library, Pacific County WA

These libraries are a legacy of Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-born American industrialist and philanthropist. Andrew Carnegie At the end of the nineteenth century, Carnegie had become the richest man in the world, amassing a $500-million fortune (worth about $200 billion in today’s dollars).

In 1901, he sold his Carnegie Steel Company and retired. However, he decided to use his wealth for the public good. He donated about $350 million to several causes, including the endowment of over 2,500 libraries worldwide. Of these libraries, 44 were funded and built in Washington State between 1901 and 1916.

Nearly all of Carnegie's libraries were built according to "The Carnegie Formula", which required applicants to:

  • Demonstrate the need for a public library
  • Provide the building site
  • Provide partial support for its operation
  • Provide free service to all

Carnegie Libraries in Washington
The first Carnegie library grants were approved for several Seattle area libraries. A $430,000 grant was given for the construction of the original Seattle Central Library, which was razed in 1957.

Seattle Central Library (1919 photo)Of the 44 Carnegie libraries built in Washington (see list), 33 still stand. Of those, 14 still serve their original purpose.

As many of these existing libraries enter their second century of service to their communities, they’ll need to be expanded and modernized. Port Townsend is launching a capital campaign to expand and upgrade the historic Port Townsend Public Library, which would double the library’s existing square footage. Here’s an architectural rendering of the project.

Port Townsend Library expansion 
Expansions for historic buildings, such as Carnegie libraries, typically preserve the architectural heritage of the building. In 2004, the Carnegie-funded Columbia Branch of the Seattle Public Library was expanded to twice its original size. The new portion of the building extends from the back of the original structure, maintaining the building’s original street presence.

Columbia Branch Library entrance

Grand Tour
The Carnegie Library Consortium of Washington is an Grand Tour Guide organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the Carnegie libraries in Washington state and to preserve them for future generations. In 2009, this organization sponsored the Mr. Carnegie’s Grand Tour of Washington a driving tour of the remaining 33 Carnegie library buildings in Washington. The Grand Tour Guide provides useful info on visiting these historical sites.

So with 2 libraries visited, I have only 31 more to go!

Redmond Library Board

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Library: Center of Derby Days Action! (IMO)

Chances are, if you visited the 71st Annual Derby Days last weekend, you passed the Redmond Library.  The parade route led by, vendors had booths set up in the shared parking lot with City Hall, and it was only (a few) steps away from the firefighter’s pancake breakfast.

I borrowed the bike rack at the library to park my wheels, arriving early enough that I was the first person to lock up there.  Bike secured, it was off to support the Redmond Firefighter’s Benevolent Fund and enjoy eggs, sausage, and M&M pancakes. 

Mmmm, Breakfast!

I finished breakfast just in time to find a spot for the start of the parades.  It’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen the Kids’ Parade but I think it’s safe to say it was very, very well attended.  The children, and their adorable costumes, just kept coming!  Our neighbors took part and the pictures I snapped of them look like a “Where’s Waldo” photo. Following all of the cute tikes on trikes and bikes, the Grand Parade included approximately 50 entries (I think) and the All City Marching Band/Seattle School District took top honors.  However, my favorite, of course, was the Redmond Library entry!

Library2Go Van Rounding Parade Corner

After the parades, I perused the booths before heading back to the library to extract my bike from the pile at the rack. (so much harder going home…one of these days I’ll be able to bike back up the Puget Power Trail to Education Hill from the Sammamish River Trail….) I hope that you and yours were able to enjoy the community festivities and stop by the library to see all that it has to offer too! If you missed the parades, you can catch the replay on RCTV.

p.s. The fireworks were rescheduled for this Friday.  Head down early to enjoy music by Leroy Bell and Doctor Funk!