Sunday, December 9, 2012

Newcastle Library Opening!

I have a particular fondness for new library openings.

Newcastle Opening

The King County Library System always does a great job with their programming, with representatives from the City, County, State, and KCLS in attendance to celebrate with the community.  Hundreds of people braved the chilly, damp weather to be among the first to enjoy their first Newcastle library.


Inside, KCLS staff were ready to help patrons with all of their questions including a kiosk for eReaders and people stationed to help with self check-in and check-out. The architect was also on hand to discuss the sustainable design including the green roof, cistern, geothermal well, and recycled materials.  The etched glass design is meant to evoke human brainwaves as they learn.

“Check it out” next time you are in Newcastle!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saturday, December 1st - Redmond Lights

SnowflakeCelebrate Redmond's Centennial by Day 
Redmond Lights by Night!

If you’re looking for something to do after the library closes at 5 p.m., you won’t be able to miss Redmond Lights across the parking lot at City Hall on Saturday, December 1st!  Traditionally a winter event held in the evening, the City has added Centennial events during the day. This will begin to close out the year-long festivities surrounding Redmond’s 100th birthday, which began at last year’s Lights event.

Things I Red heart About Redmond Lights:

- The Blinkers
- The Luminary Walk Celebrating Different Winter Traditions
- The [weather permitting] Hot Air Balloons
- The Northwest Boychoir
- Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting

Hope to see you there!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Nonprofits Front & Center, October 30th Event

Free Annual Event for the Nonprofit Community
hosted by the
Nonprofit & Philanthropy Resource Center
at the Redmond Library

Featured Speaker: Janet Boguch
Principal & Owner of Non-Profit Works and Wide Angle Coaching

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

How do the Seven Habit of Highly Effective People, made famous by Stephen Covey, pertain to fundraising?

Nonprofit expert Janet Boguch will address this question with inspiration, humor and practical advice gained from over 25 years of experience in the sector. Janet is highly regarded for her energetic, interactive and results-driven presentations.

Reception to follow the program.

RSVP online or call 425.885.1861.

Sponsored by the Nonprofit & Philanthropy Resource Center at the Redmond Library and the Friends of Redmond Library.

Hope to see you there!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

You’re Invited!

The public is always welcome at Library Board meetings and on occasion we present to the City Council about the state of the Redmond Library outside of our regular “1st Wednesday of the month” meeting times.

On Monday November 5th at 7:30 p.m., the Redmond Library Board of Trustees will be in attendance at the regular City Council meeting to give a short presentation about the last year of events at the Redmond Library.

We’d love to see you there!  But don’t worry, if you miss it, you’ll be able to catch the video when it’s posted on the City of Redmond’s website.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How Do I Love Libraries…Let Me Count The Ways…Part II

One of the things I kind of fail at when I travel is being very, very diligent about opening and closing hours and days for the attractions I want to visit.  For some reason, I forget that places I want to visit might be closed on say, Mondays.  It’s perfectly reasonable that a library might be closed on Monday or that a planetarium might close at 4 p.m., but none-the-less it rarely occurs to me to double-check when I’m arranging my trip’s Excel spreadsheet.  Thank goodness fountains generally are open dusk to dawn!

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

So, on the list of libraries I failed to visit because I wasn’t paying attention is Chicago’s Pritzker Military Library. Sadly, I walked past it literally a dozen times on the preceding days but didn’t step inside since I was otherwise distracted with my friend’s wedding.  As Monday arrived and we were wrapping up our trip, I had hoped to make a visit on the way to catch the train to the airport.  But…no luck.

I was slightly saved from complete and abject failure of library-visiting on this trip by touring a splendid former library building.  The Chicago Cultural Center is housed in what was Chicago’s original central library when it was completed in 1897.  The Preston Bradley Hall, with the world’s largest Tiffany dome, is one of the most fabulous spaces I have ever visited, hands down.  The mosaics surrounding the 30,000ish piece glass dome literally sparkle and I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped when I stepped in and looked up. It used to be the room where collections were delivered to people so they could read through them. The photos say it best:

Preston Bradley Hall Tiffany Dome

Preston Bradley Hall Tiffany Dome

Wherever you are, or wherever you are going, I hope there is a library visit soon!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Road Trip! Deschutes Public Library

We didn’t visit the Bend, Oregon area just for its libraries, but as with most of my travel, sneaking in a look at as many libraries as I can is definitely on my vacation to-do list!

I drove past the Downtown Bend and East Bend branch of the Deschutes Public Library several times, but closed each time! It wasn’t until I was in nearby Sisters that I finally had a peek inside of a DPL branch. I had one more opportunity but though the Redmond branch was probably open when we saw the familiar Library Symbol Highway Sign as we drove through, we didn’t have time to stop for that visit. :-(

The Sisters library is situated just east of the majority of the downtown shopping and retail and the building, built in 2005, evokes a western feel that is consistent with the rest of the area.  Outside, their wide porch is definitely invited. Inside, the reading nook, with its large gas fireplace, is also definitely inviting.  One of my other favorite interior features are the bathroom tiles, created by elementary school students, very unique!

Sisters Public Library Tiles

As I was perusing their Summer Guide, an event that I noticed was “Overnight at the Library”, what fun!  Parents and children aged 6-11 are invited to spend the night at the library on select nights…I know that I would have loved that in my younger years.  This event and others like book clubs, are consistent with the library’s “Summer Reading in the Night” theme: kids are invited to “Dream Big – Read!”, teens “Own The Night” and Adults read “Between The Covers”.

For more information, visit Deschutes Public Library online, or better yet, in person!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Take Time To Read: SeaTac Edition

Take Time To Read is the King County Library System’s multi-year initiative with the goal of increasing reading of all kinds, in all formats, all across the county. Sponsored entirely by the King County Library System Foundation, you might find Quick Reads Shelves in your area while you are waiting for your tires, your doctor, or your license!

Take Time To Read, Skybridge SeaTac Airport

My favorite Take Time to Read Installation is at Sea-Tac. With 3 Quick Reads Shelves, entirely recycled from old library shelving, and four chairs, travelers will be able to “borrow” items through September. I use the term “borrow” loosely because all the items are donated (no public money is used to obtain the items) and are meant to be taken…not necessarily returned if your home base isn’t Seattle! Donations have arrived from KCLS Staff, Lake Forest Park Friends, KCLS Foundation and from a bookstore in Black Diamond called Finally Found Books.

Take Time To Read, Concourse B, SeaTac Airport

A team of five staff from Valley View Library work to keep the shelves stocked with materials. They send one person to the airport six days a week to straighten and restock. With a tote of 46 magazines, 30 adult titles and 15 kids’ books in each shipment, about 600 items per week are re-stocked.

The library reports that the shelves are a smashing success with the public and with Sea-Tac, even the screeners are into it!  I hope you are finding time wherever you are today to Take Time To Read!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Do I Love Libraries…Let Me Count The Ways…

The title isn’t exactly what I’m going to write about, but it felt more creative than “A Visit to Chicago Public Libraries”!

As you might already know, when I travel, I love experiencing new places through their libraries.  In the next six months I hope to be able to visit libraries in Oregon, Illinois (again), New Mexico, California, and South Dakota.  I recently visited an old college friend who lives smack in the middle of The Loop in downtown Chicago.  It’s a fabulous location for a visitor to start from…especially considering how many libraries there are within a few miles walking distance!

My first stop was the Harold Washington Library Center downtown.  Wow.  I’m pretty sure the entryway I came in through had more square footage than the Redmond library!  The building opened in 1991 and is a whopping 756,640 square feet.  (As soon as I confirm the square footage of the Redmond library, I’ll tell you how many times bigger than Redmond that is!).  I picked up the self-guided tour brochure at the reference desk in the lobby (atrium? foyer? rotunda?  lobby doesn’t do the space any justice) and off I went to explore the nine floors.

I won’t bore you with the play by play of my visit to each floor, but will mention a few interesting spaces I saw.  Amanda, Redmond’s Teen Librarian, had recommended “The Book Thief” to me several months ago.  I read it, thought it was fabulous, and was delighted to see it was the One Book, One Chicago selection featured in The Popular Library on the first floor.

One Book, One Chicago

I loved the display of new library card holders in the Thomas Hughes Children’s Library on the 2nd floor! The namesake of this section of the library did a really cool thing after the 1871 Chicago Fire.

Thomas Hughes Children's Library in Chicago

And…we’ll jump all the way up to the 9th floor into the Winter Garden.  This is a shot looking up through the 100+ foot glass ceilings and the beautiful murals on the south side of the garden. It’s a marvelous space available for private events.

Winter Garden


But wait, there’s even more library in store for the day!  In the early evening, we headed over to The Newberry and their annual book fair.  Alas, I only have the one sad photo of the trip below…I spent too much time perusing old cookbooks at the fair so didn’t spend too much time in the other parts of the building and completely neglected to take more pictures.  I did pick up an awesome 1970s crockpot cookbook though! It’s a good thing I’ll be back in Chicago in September and might have another shot at visiting. I’m hoping to visit the Pritzker Military Library on that trip too!

Newberry Book Fair


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hope to see you at Derby Days 2012!

Derby Days Logo

The 72nd Annual Redmond Derby Days is just around the corner and the weather should be spectacular! The pancake breakfast at the firehouse….the parades….the music….and of course, the bicycles!  Spanning three full days this year, I hope you’ll find time to enjoy a few of the events this weekend. This year’s event also has a few special extras to help celebrate Redmond’s 100th birthday.

I’ll be in the Redmond Library booth starting at 3 p.m. and would love to chat with you about how the library can best serve your needs. Beware though, I just might try to recruit you to serve on the Board! Or the Friends!

Along with Redmond Lights (save the date: December 1), Derby Days ties for my favorite Redmond event of the year.  Actually, I think it’s a three-way tie with Ananda Mela, which is the last weekend in July and also on the City Hall Campus. All three events are a wonderful (and free) opportunity to celebrate the diversity to be found in our community and I’m grateful to be a resident in a place that honors our traditions yet is always moving forward!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

July 4th Library Board Meeting Cancelled

imagePlease Note:
The July 4th regular meeting of the City of Redmond’s Library Board of Trustees is cancelled due to holiday observation. Our next meeting will be at its regularly scheduled date and time on Wednesday, August 1st at 7:00 p.m.
Thank You!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Redmond Library’s Then and Now Photo Contest

If you’ve visited the Redmond Library in the past week, you may have seen the collection of historical photos hanging in the entryway. To celebrate Redmond’s Centennial, the Redmond Library, along with its partners, are sponsoring a Then & Now Photo Contest!

Then: Railroad Bridge over the Sammamish River, Image Courtesy of the Northwest Railway Museum

To get started follow these steps:

  1. Choose a historical photo from the display at the Redmond Library or from the Library’s Facebook page.
  2. Take your best ‘Now’ photograph.
  3. Submit your photo in electronic format by email to or in person at the Redmond Library. Photo captions must accompany all submissions, along with your name, email address and telephone number. Captions should include the subject of the image, the location the image was taken, and the name and age of the photographer(s).

Photographers can try to recreate the scene from the historical photograph as accurately as possible or use your creative sense to capture the scene from the historical photograph in a pleasing artful way. Awards will be given in a Youth and Adult Category.

Submit your photos by August 15, 2012. Winners will be announced September 15. See the complete rules online or by inquiring at the Information Desk of the Redmond Library.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Redmond Friends Need You!

Did you know that KCLS enjoys support from 38 Friends of the Library and 15 Library Advisory Board groups? The Friends of the Library Groups provided a combined total of more than $300,158 to support programs, materials, art and other library initiatives in 2011.

The Friends of the Redmond Library are seeking volunteers to provide help with the on-going book sale within the Redmond Library. Duties includes pricing books and weeding the book sale shelves. The time commitment is 1-2 hours a week on any day of the volunteer’s choosing, with the preference that the volunteer can work regularly on the same day of the week.

Friends Logo

The Friends’ mission is to promote and celebrate cultural literacy in Redmond; to support the Redmond Library and its staff; and to support the King County Library System and its mission. As a result of funding from Friends of the Redmond Library, activities that have been added to library programming include, but are not limited, to:

  • Children’s story times in Hindi, Chinese, French, and Russian
  • Teen coffee house/poetry night
  • Licensing for public performances of films & DVDs 
  • Opera preview lectures
  • Library orientations for Rose Hill and Einstein elementary students and parents

If this sounds like the perfect opportunity for you, please contact Jean Marston at or (425) 883-0455.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Carnegie Libraries on a Shoestring: A DIY Nano-Library Guide

What happens when you cross a birdhouse with a lending library?

Little Free Library: nano-library
You get a nano-library!

The Little Free Library project is a national program whose goal is to create thousands of nano-libraries to promote literacy and community involvement. Today, there are over 700 nano-libraries in 45 states and 20 foreign countries, including Ghana, England, and Germany. Click here for a map showing all locations.

The Little Free Library movement started three years when Todd Bol, of Hudson, Wis., built the first nano-library to look like a one-room schoolhouse in memory of his mother, a teacher. Since then, people have created a hundreds of different designs – many are showcased in the Little Free Libraries Galleries.

Little Free Library: gallery

If you want to build a nano-library, the project’s Web site provides a Build a Little Library section, complete with building plans.


There only 8 nano-libraries in Washington state, so go ahead think big and build small.

Redmond Library Board

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Big Data for a Busy Library

Big Data for a Busy Library"Big Data” (i.e. very large data sets) is a hot topic lately in information technology.  With millions of items checked in and out each year across dozens of branches, your local library certainly has more than enough data to go around!

Enter collectionHQ. Last year, the King County Library System joined nearly 5,000 other libraries with its implementation of this software to assist each library branch with managing its collection.  The software is web-based (aka, “in the cloud”) so it can be easily accessed by library staff when data is updated monthly.

In addition to the common analysis one might expect, like top books and authors checked out, the software is also capable of helping the librarians understand what topics are popular in our library.  With this information, they can ensure the shelves are stocked with subjects in demand and relevant in our community.

There's probably still computers somewhere that run MS-DOS but still...The Redmond Library recently completed a weeding project to verify books that hadn’t been checked out in years were a) actually still on the shelf and b) otherwise ready to be retired.  It took nearly 6 months to analyze the Redmond branch collection and remove books that are under-utilized – called “dead” in library book parlance. 

You are 400 in line of 400 holds.Next, they will start analyzing specific topics to help ensure the books available are the ones that Redmond patrons want to check out. In addition, this data analysis tool allows staff to generate reports of “grubby” books – items that have been checked out so frequently they are probably worn out and in need of retiring. (The Hunger Games trilogy, anyone?)

Data is Cool.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Redmond Community Indicators 2012

Redmond Community Indicators is a tool for assessing progress toward achieving the eight broad community goals that underpin Redmond's Comprehensive Plan. The 2012 update was recently published, please see a selection of the highlights below.

(No Overall Trend)

Estimated Per Capita Water Consumption







Resource Consumption. The amount of waste per
single-family customer per week declined 3.5 pounds
to 55.3 pounds. The recycling rate among single family
customers decreased slightly to 62.4%. The
rolling three-year average water consumption fell
about four percent to 271 million cubic feet, the
lowest figure in at least nine years. Streams. All six
stream core sample sites have water quality index
scores greater than 40, which means that they are of
marginal concern or better. Two of eleven stream sites
given BIBI scores (“bug index” scores) rated above
35, the minimum required to support native habitat.

(Improving Trend)

Sales/Use & Property Tax Revenues







Businesses. There are 5,533 businesses licensed to
operate in Redmond: 958 are newly licensed while
1,445 have operated in Redmond for at least seven
years. Population and Employment. Redmond’s
population reached 55,150 in 2011 and employment
reached 76,876 (2010, latest available, not comparable
to prior years). Income and Poverty. Redmond
median household income rose to $95,038; the mean
wage rose to $110,182 (inflation adjusted). Child
poverty rose from 5% to 6.6% in the Lake Washington
School District (2010), the highest level in over 15 years.

(Improving Trend)

Parks & Recreation Program Enrollment by Age Group







Recreation and Arts. The largest increase in
participation in City recreation program was among
those ages 5 to 12, while overall participation
increased to over 148,000. Events. About 24,000
people took part in Redmond Lights and Derby Days
combined in 2011 – about the same number as
participated in 2010. Over 44,000 participated in
arts-related performances and exhibitions in 2011.

Visit the City of Redmond’s Community Indicator page for complete details and access to historical annual reports.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Orientation to Ancestry: A Class for Beginning Genealogists

The Redmond Library hosts a variety of programs across ages and interests, and classes on genealogy are always popular!

EGS Logo

On Thursday, April 26th at 7 p.m. join Bob Barnes from Eastside Genealogy Society to learn how to navigate like a pro. With 7 billion genealogical records from across the globe and millions of family trees, is the world’s largest online family history resource. Savvy researchers can accomplish so much without ever having to look beyond this single resource.

In addition to seminars at the library and other community centers, you can find volunteers from the Eastside Genealogical Society at the Bellevue Regional Library. Volunteers are in Room 6 on the second floor and are available the first Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. and every Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. For anyone, volunteers answer questions and give advice about using the Bellevue Library and other resources in the library but do not conduct any research.

The Eastside Genealogical Society was founded in 1978 and chartered in 1982 and is a member of the Federation of Genealogy Societies.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Join the Library Board!

The Library Board of Trustees consists of five volunteers from the City of Redmond.  Our terms are five years and they are offset each year, so every year, by design, one position expires.  We are allowed to serve two terms, so we don’t always have a vacancy every year, but this year we do. (You’ll see my thank you post to our outgoing board member shortly, he started this blog back in 2008….)

If you are interested, please read the release from the City of Redmond below, we’d love to see your volunteer application!


Redmond, WA – Are you passionate about libraries and the role the Redmond Regional Library plays in the Redmond community? The Redmond Library Board of Trustees is seeking interested Redmond residents to volunteer for a Board vacancy.

The Board advises the Mayor and City Council on library policy, represents Redmond’s interests to the King County Library System and promotes local interest in the library. Members are appointed to five-year terms with a two-term limit. Meetings take place at 7 pm on the first Wednesday of each month at the Redmond Regional Library.

Interested residents living within Redmond city limits should contact the Mayor’s office at 425-556-2101 or download a community service application form.

Mail the completed application to the Office of the Mayor, City of Redmond, P.O. Box 97010, Redmond, WA 98073-9710 or fax to 425-556-2110. If possible, include a summary of related experience.

Applications will continue to be accepted until the vacancy is filled. All board and commission members are volunteers.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dudley Carter: A Life in Pictures

Dudley Carter, who lived and worked here for the second half of his life, is Redmond’s most-renowned artist. Dudley Carter died in 1992, just before he turned 101.

Dudley Carter's signature

As part of the Redmond Centennial, an exhibit of photos showing Carter and his work is on display in the lobby of the Redmond Library. These photos are on loan from the Carter family thanks to the efforts of the Redmond Historical Society. Opposite the photos in the lobby is Carter’s 10’ tall wood sculpture, Rivalry of the Winds.

Dudley Carter photo exhibit in the Redmond Library lobby

Dudley Carter
Carter was born to a pioneer family in 1891 in British Columbia. He was a timber cruiser and forest engineer most of his life, exploring and mapping the Pacific Northwest wilderness. A timber cruiser, using measurements and observations, determined to a fair degree of accuracy the amount of lumber a tract of standing timber would yield. The chief inspiration for Carter's art was his childhood, growing up among the Haida andFawn and Bird Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia. He learned wood carving using primitive tools, such as the wood ax.

When he was 96 years old, Carter became the first artist-in-residence of the King County Parks and Recreation Department. His former home, located in Redmond's Slough Park, was named Haida House Studio. It is now owned by the city of Redmond.

The Redmond Library Sculpture Garden contains one of Carter's wood carvings, Fawn and Bird. This wood carving, like many of Carter's sculptures, uses a single section of a Red Cedar tree.

Redmond Library Board