A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Library news: Personalized learning plans, mystery author Rebecca Morris reads at Greenwood Library, Homework Helpers needed, Summer of Learning programs

July 11th, 2016 by Doree

Local author Rebecca Morris will read from her latest true crime novel, “A Killing in Amish Country: Sex, Betrayal and a Cold-blooded Murder,” co-written with Gregg Olsen, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 18, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

The reading is free. Couth Buzzard Books will have Morris’s books available for purchase and signing by the author.

In “A Killing in Amish Country,” Amish wife Barbara Weaver is happy with her family and her faith in Apple Creek, Ohio. Her husband Eli, however, is tempted by technology and eventually masterminds a murder. It is only the third murder in hundreds of years of Amish life in America, and the task of seeking justice falls to Edna Boyle, a young assistant prosecutor.

Morris, a New York Times best-selling author, is also a veteran journalist who worked in radio and television news in New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle. Before she began writing true crime books, Morris was a freelance writer for The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, People, Entertainment Weekly and other publications.

Seattle Public Library is looking for mentors for K-12 students for the next school year. Homework Help volunteers are needed at 10 Library locations, including the Broadview Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.

Homework Help volunteers will mentor K-12 students who are working on homework assignments, developing literacy and mathematics skills and preparing for college and careers. They provide help with all academic subjects up to the eighth grade level and may specialize in subjects up to the college-prep level.

Most of the students are first-generation Americans who speak a language other than English at home. Volunteers must be comfortable interacting with students of all ages in small groups and individually.

Volunteers will provide Homework Help once a week when public schools are in session, and a commitment throughout the school year is requested. Visit www.spl.org/homeworkvolunteer for more information. Volunteer applications are due by July 25, 2016.

SPL librarians are offering personalized “Your Next Skill” learning plans.

Expand your personal or professional expertise by learning salsa dancing, woodworking, computer coding, running a successful Kickstarter campaign, or how to cook Thai food. Whatever your learning goals are, Your Next Skill will set you up with personalized suggestions you use to can get started on according your own timeline.

To get your list, go to yournextskill.spl.org. Fill out a brief form with your name and email address and say what you’d like to learn and how you want to learn it. Options range from reading or listening to books, watching videos, downloading resources and attending free or paid classes online or in-person.
Within four days, you will receive a personalized list of resources to learn your next skill. For examples, visit yournextskill.spl.org/examples/.

SPL’s Summer of Learning is in full swing, with hundreds of reading, science, art and other programs for kids and families through Sept. 4. This theme is “Astounding Tales of Nature!” and encourages reading and activities around science, technology, engineering, arts and math. All programs are free.

Children and teens can learn to program robots, create video games, learn songwriting, take digital photos, make crafts with electronic circuits, design stop motion animation videos and more. Some classes require registration, which will open up online two weeks before the first class begins at each Library location.

Children who take part in Summer of Learning will receive a free Explorer’s Handbook packed with fun nature-related activities. Participants who complete five activities in the handbook, read 30 or more days over the summer, or solve the Super Secret Mystery Challenge will have their names placed on the Wall of Astounding Explorers at their home library.

Teens who take part in Summer of Learning will receive a free Read to Win game board. Participants who complete a reading challenge will be entered in a prize drawing for a $10 Starbucks card; each teen can enter up to five times.

Families with young children ages 0-4 can pick up a fun flier filled with nature-related activities to do together with babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The Early Learner flier will be printed in English, and a printable versions are available online in Amharic, Chinese, English, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya and Vietnamese.

The Library offers summer programming because research shows that during the summer young people can forget a certain amount of what they learned during the school year. Educators call that the “summer slide.” The Summer of Learning program mitigates the summer slide and teaches children and teens 21st century learning skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking and digital skills.

The Library has partnered with the Burke Museum to offer free family admission, for up to two adults and four children, when families bring an Explorer’s Handbook or an Early Learner flier from July 1 to October 31, 2016.

When the weather gets hot, most SPL locations have air conditioning to help patrons cool off. Libraries in and near our neighborhood with air conditioning include:

  • Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • Broadview Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • Ballard Library, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W.
  • Wallingford Library, 1501 N. 45th St.
  • Northgate Library, 10548 5th Ave. N.E.

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Give your input on planned park by Greenwood Library

June 10th, 2016 by Doree

Seattle Parks and Recreation is asking for public input on the design of a new park that will be built on the site of a nearly empty strip mall at 8100 Greenwood Ave. N. and the adjacent Bleachers Pub. The park will cover the entire east side of Greenwood Avenue North between 81st and 82nd streets, just north of the Greenwood Library.


The city has already purchased the land. Development money — $750,000 — is coming from the Seattle Park District.

The two buildings are scheduled to be demolished this fall. Cascade Design Collaborative will design the park this summer and fall. Construction will take place winter through fall of 2017.

During the Greenwood Car Show on June 25, stop by the site from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for an open house to ask questions and provide your ideas. You can also take an online survey. They’ve even got a Pinterest page where you can post ideas.

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Family STEAM night at the Greenwood Library next Tuesday

May 18th, 2016 by Doree

The Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., is hosting a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) night next Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. for families with children ages 5 and up. The drop-in activities will explore engineering and mazes by having children design and create their own mazes with a variety of materials, from sand and straws to LEGOs and cardboard. There also will be a scavenger hunt.

The event is free and registration is not required.

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Library news roundup

May 5th, 2016 by Doree

The Ballard Library, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W., is hosting a community celebration for “Spilled Ink: Ballard High School Music and Art Night” from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.

The Ballard Branch’s teen advisers have joined forces with the Ballard High School Ink Club to present the annual release of INK Magazine, Ballard High School’s online art and literary journal. This event will showcase student works including art, photography, literature, music and videos.

This event is co-sponsored by Ballard High School Ink Club and Ballard Teen Service Learning Group. To view past issues of INK Magazine, click here.

With the Ballard Library closing for about two months of renovation starting May 9, the “It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series” has moved to the Greenwood Library at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 12. The monthly series features author readings and an open mic.

The … meeting features Sandra Noel, Lyn Coffin, Anne McDuffie and Judith Roche with a short lecture by Carolyne Wright, lead editor of “Raising Lilly Ledbetter,” on writer’s craft: “Women Write About Work: Assembling the Workspace Anthology.”

The Greenwood Library is hosting a Medicare Made Clear workshop from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 28.

The “Medicare Made Clear” workshop will provide an overview of the different parts of Medicare, including what each part covers and how they work. Discussion topics will include how to receive benefits, the pros and cons of each part, approximate costs, enrollment and eligibility guidelines.

Seattle Public Library is hosting its African-American Film Festival at numerous branches from now through the end of June. The Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., will show “Straight Outta Compton” (R) at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 29.

Films selected for the Library’s African-American Film Series were chosen for being exciting, enlightening, thought-provoking and entertaining. The films feature African-American actors in prominent roles and touch on issues that speak to the human experience.

This year’s “Seattle Reads” is Karen Joy Fowler’s “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.”

In 1998, The Seattle Public Library launched a program to get Seattleites reading and discussing the same book. “Seattle Reads” is now an annual event and has been widely emulated in cities, states and countries around the world.

“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” is a smart, funny, heartbreaking novel about a middle-class American family that’s ordinary in every way except one: Fern, being raised by psychologist parents, is a chimp. Rosemary, the narrator, knows Fern as her sister. Then something happened, and Fern disappears from the family. The novel explores memory, family life, childhood, child rearing and what it means to be human.

Fowler will visit Seattle May 20-22 to talk to readers about her book. Click here for the complete list of Seattle Reads talks and activities.

And the Friends of Seattle Public Library is hosting its 45th annual huge book sale of more than 100,000 items, including children’s books, old/rare books, graphic novels, foreign language books, DVDs, CDs, and audio books, May 6-8, at the Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall. Most items will be priced from $1-$3.

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Library News: Money Smart Week, free online Seattle music collection, new Space Needle construction photo collection

April 21st, 2016 by Doree

The Seattle Public Library is hosting “Money Smart Week” with free workshops at various branches from April 22-30. Topics will include how to live within a monthly budget, manage debt, and maintain good credit.

Library staff have compiled a list with the Top Ten Ways To Be Money Smart With The Library. And beginning Monday, April 25, they will have a week-long series of Money Smart lunchtime lectures at the Central Library downtown.

Free Money Smart Week workshops in our neighborhood:

  • “Drive Away Happy: Car Buying Decisions – Get prepared for the choices involved in buying a car”; from 3-4 p.m. Friday, April 22, at the Broadview Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • “Identity Theft – Learn about identity theft, including the techniques thieves use, tools for prevention and steps victims can take to recover”; from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

This summer the library is launching an online Seattle music collection called PlayBack, starting with 50 albums of local music available for free download and streaming. The library plans to add another 100 new albums each year to its catalog.

All Seattle-area musicians who record or perform in the city of Seattle are invited to submit a music album. The album must contain four or more songs and have been produced within the last five years. If an album is accepted, the artist will receive an honorarium of $200. Selected albums in the PlayBack collection will be discoverable through the Library’s online catalog and highlighted through the Library’s social media channels. Artists will also have opportunities to perform live at the Library.

The Library seeks works that reflect the rich variety of genres represented in Seattle’s music scene. Broad and inclusive submission criteria is detailed on PlayBack’s Information for Artists page. This new music collection is intended to reflect the diversity and abundance of Seattle’s music scene.

The first submission period will be open Monday, May 9 through 5 p.m. on Monday, May 23. A second submission period will open this fall. To submit music to The Seattle Public Library’s PlayBack platform, visit www.spl.org/playback. Submissions will only be accepted online. The preferred file types are FLAC, WV and AIFF. Other accepted file types are MP3, AAC and Ogg Vorbis.

The library also now has a new collection of historic Space Needle photos, to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the start of construction of Seattle’s most well-known icon. The George Gulacsik Space Needle Photograph Collection has more than 2,400 images, including many never-before-seen photos of construction, plus Gulacsik’s notebook detailing day-to-day construction.

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Reminder: Councilmember Mike O’Brien at Greenwood Library on Friday

April 13th, 2016 by Doree

A reminder that Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who represents District 6 (which covers Northwest Seattle, including Greenwood), is hosting in-district office hours this Friday, April 15, from 3-6 p.m. at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

The in-district office hours are designed to make it easier for constituents to ask questions or share their perspective about city policy, without having to travel downtown.

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District 6 City Councilmember Mike O’Brien to host in-district office hours at Greenwood Library April 15

March 30th, 2016 by Doree

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, representing District 6 (which covers Northwest Seattle, including Greenwood), is hosting three in-district office days in the coming weeks, including one at the Greenwood Library from 3-6 p.m. on April 15. The in-district office hours are designed to make it easier for constituents to ask questions or share their perspective about city policy, without having to travel downtown.

Councilmember O’Brien’s upcoming in-district office hours:

  • Thursday, March 31, 3-6 p.m.: Green Lake Library, 7364 East Green Lake Dr. N.
  • Friday, April 15, 3-6 p.m.: Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • Thursday, May 5, 4-7 p.m.: Ballard Library, 5614 22nd Ave. NW

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Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America Day at Greenwood Library on Wednesday

February 29th, 2016 by Doree

The Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., will celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and his gift for helping millions of children learn to love reading, from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday with stories, crafts, treats and a photo booth. All activities are free and all ages are welcome.

Wednesday is also Read Across America Day. You can go to Seussvill.com to download the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day activity booklet and find reading lists and classroom activities.

Mike V sent us photos of several signs at Green Lake that celebrate Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day.

Dr Seuss sign-resized

Read Across America sign-resized

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Greenwood author Rita Wirkala to read from ‘The Encounter’ at Greenwood Library Saturday

February 1st, 2016 by Doree

Greenwood author Rita Wirkala will read from her new book, “The Encounter,” from 12-2 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

“The Encounter” is a story of adventure, romance, immigration and the social realities of Latin America that begins with the dumping of toxic waste into the Amazonian jungles of Ecuador. Following Wirkala’s reading will be a Q&A session and book signing.

Wirkala is an Argentine writer and professor of medieval Spanish literature at the University of Washington. She writes novels, poetry, literary essays and textbooks that have been published in both the United States and Europe. Wirkala lives in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood.

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