Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yay Libraries!

Libraries are unlikely to die anytime soon, but if you want some proof of this, check out the Open Source feature (actually airing as I type). I love hearing all of the memories and the ways that libraries are being used today. They mentioned the periodical stacks at SPL's Central Library.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

All Ages Art Night at SPL

All Ages was a blast and everything went swimmingly. The bands and spoken word was really high energy. Jen did a wonderful job putting the performers and the whole thing together. I was really tired by the end. I don't think I have stood up that long since I was waitressing and my legs are still tired two days later.

Natalie Portman's Shaved Head was awesome and had quite the teen following. I mostly got to hear the other bands, and not see them, so I am not sure who was who but I know that Army Corp of Architects played. I was really impressed with their level of professionalism for teen bands. They were tight and fun to listen to. I got to talk to Melissa from Vera who helped Jen set up the bands and she was great. After the show I got a Vera Project t-shirt she left for us.

The fashion show was fun, but ended up giving us some anxiety. They moved their stage twice and the fans totally blocked the through way after the show, as they were giving out T-Shirts and chatting with models right there. It was the only way to get to the escalator, so things got a little crowded. This was the only thing I could say "went wrong" the entire night though, so not much to complain about. It was put on by the Casey Family Foundation and many of the models were foster kids, so it was definitely for a good cause.

The PI covered event, as did a few news stations. The PI's article it already up though. Forgive the pop-ups... If you click on the article above it has the option to see a slideshow of the fashion show too. The kids are all so proud of themselves, and rightfully so!

One of my functions was organizing the organizations presenting materials for teens. These groups included public health, community groups, teen volunteer orgs, art venues and teen theater, music and art groups. I kept track of who was coming, what they needed and where they would be situated. That part went great.

Another thing I did was organize a few teen volunteers to staff a table, give a teen survey to attendees and help direct people to bathrooms and the event. We also planned the table and survey together at meetings prior to the event. Everything went well except the table.

Our table was too far out of the way. I thought it would be a good place until the event started, but by then it was too late to move it. We were near the fashion show stage and the other stage was across the room. Most of the event, attendees massed around that stage. I was hoping that once the fashion show started we would have them on the other end. What I couldn't have anticipated was that they blocked off the area around us for friends and family of the fashion show models and designers. So our booth wasn't visited, which was sad, since we were the ones putting things on.

I spent a lot of my time walking around and talking to the organizations tabling. Everyone seemed happy although only about 10 groups turned in their surveys, so we can't know for sure. I also helped with whatever came up over the evening, including taking a turn directing people by the doors on the first floor for about an hour--why I missed most of the bands. Everything went so well!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Coffee, Anyone?

Guess who's coming to the Central Library???

Chocolati! I have been going to their Green Lake and Wallingford stores since I noticed they existed. Since then, I have read wonderful reviews about the owner and the business. I am really excited that they will be taking over the coffee business at the Central Library starting on June 5th.

The will also be serving their very own fine chocolates, baked goods from Little Ray's Bakery and sandwiches from Harried and Hungry--another place that I like.


That last one got cut short, but I decided to let it stand on its own.

I am at Ballard today and the art work has taken another turn towards the innane. The only art that the Ballard Branch got were these readout displays that are supposed to filter the barometric readings from the roof into graphics that drift across the screens. The first time I came here they were barely working--the words "No Longer Property of the Seattle Public Library" drifted across the screen every now and then--upside down and backwards. The last few times I have been here, waves and dots have appeared, so it seemed that it was fixed. Today when I came in, the words had reappeared, but in the right orientation. Now the waves are back.

This art work leaves something to be desired. The displays are about 10 feet in the air, intermingled with beams, air circulation pipes and vents. The graphics are shown in little yellow lights and are hard to see because of all the light reflecting off the surface--the building is very open to the world, with skylights and large windows.

Otherwise this building is quite beautiful in its modern way. Exposed knotty pine beams, dark green and blue siding inside with some steal accents. The metal air vent pipes are a little unsightly, but I suppose some people would like them. The windows let in a lot of light and there are enough trees nearby to give a green touch to the atmosphere.

This is my neighborhood and I love it. On Livejournal, someone posted to the Ballard Blog asking about where one can find computers where you can access the internet. This turned into a lively conversation about where the library is and where it used to be and what those buildings are now. Funnily enough, one of my friends--non-librarian--beat me to posting the answer.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I am getting ready to do my first ever Summer Reading classroom promotions. This will entail going to several schools and pitching summer reading, including book talking, telling about events planned for the summer and what you have to do to get prizes. As much as I would like to say differently, I am not the most accomplished public speaker. I turn red and sometimes stutter. Not a pretty picture and so far, I have not found a trick to change it. Hopefully just doing it a few times will help.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


This has been my week for outreach. Yesterday I went to the school district's secondary bilingual school, where immigrant children (and a few adults) learn English. They were having a Science and Literature fair and I put up a table in the main area. The fair was pretty successful with over a hundred students attending. There were drummers during the first half and a play after the contest they held to encourage the kids to visit all the exhibits. The aquarium attended and had a workshop where kids could dissect squid. I brought The Boy and his two friends and they loved that and the owl pellets exhibit. They also went out in back of the school and played basketball with some bigger Latino boys. When I came out to gather them, they were hanging out, listening to them speak Spanish. I was really impressed with how their attitude changed between when we went in and when we left.

The Boy and his friends live in Darrington, where everyone is white and speaks English. When I told them where we were going, they started making jokes and pretending to speak a foreign language. When we got there, they were very respectful and impressed with the activities available. They found out how cool the other kids were, especially when they whooped them at basketball. It was a fun transformation to watch. (The also thought that any people walking were bums and women together were lesbians--2+2=5!)

Should be fun at central today. I hope they will lose some more of their preconceived ideas...

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Yay for Programs!

Last night I had my first real program. It was a poetry night held at the local community center. We used the teen room, which was great, aside from the basketball noise from the room next door. I didn't notice the noise at first, I was so nervous. I have been rather worried that no one would come. My presenters--Youth Speaks Seattle canceled on me the day before. I didn't panic. I looked up some quick poetry workshops and made up a little exercise that was flexible as to how much time would be spent.

About 15 kids and 5 adults (parents and the teen coordinator) showed up. Three of the kids were winners of the poetry contest in December. I introduced myself and the program,then had the winners stand up and read their poetry. After that, an older boy got up and read a poem that he had written earlier that day. It was a powerful piece and everyone was impressed. We clapped and I handed out the awards to the three winners. We ate pizza, then started the poetry exercise. All of the kids participated, including one of the contest winner's younger brothers. When it came time to read what we wrote, he got up and told about how bored he was. It reminded me of my son. I got to use his as an example of using repetition in a poem to bring your point home. It was really cute.

Because of the cancelation, we did get done about 20 minutes early, but everything went really well. The parents and the teen coordinator thanked me for setting everything up and it helped my confidence to no end to have this event go mostly as planned. Yay!

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