Grand Ridge Elementary’s Lightning Readers win county library contest

April 17, 2012

The Grand Ridge Elementary School Lightning Readers celebrate winning the King County Library System’s Global Reading Challenge on March 23. By Tom Corriga

They started in October, eight students setting out to read 10 books.

They spent plenty of their own time between the covers of those books, but toward the end of the challenge they gave up their recess and lunch times to stay in the classroom in order to read and answer questions about what they’d read.

“And all that paid off,” declared Grand Ridge Elementary School student Gargi Panatula.

The Issaquah School District has entered the King County Library System’s Global Reading Challenge for 11 years. Teams competitively answer questions about assigned books. Issaquah squads have made the finals previously. But the district has never won the championship. That changed March 23 when Grand Ridge’s Lightning Readers went the distance and beat out three other finalist teams to win the Grand Challenge.

“And I think we got smarter,” team member Emma Huryn said.

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Issaquah Library celebrates 1962 Seattle World’s Fair

April 10, 2012

Fearless construction workers check the joists on the Space Needle’s halo. Photo from ‘The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy’ Photo from 'The Future Remembered'

The region is in the midst of a back-to-the-future moment.

The 1962 Century 21 Exposition opened a half-century ago and transformed Seattle and surrounding communities. Paula Becker and Alan Stein, staff historians for HistoryLink.org, chronicled the expo in the book “The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy” — a retrospective commissioned by Seattle Center and the Seattle Center Foundation.

The authors plan to lead a discussion about the book April 14 at the Issaquah Library.

Organizers originally scheduled the library event for Jan. 17, but a snowstorm led to a delay. Now, Becker and Stein plan to hold the event a week before the 50th anniversary, as Century 21 nostalgia grows as thick as a Belgian waffle.

April 21 marks 50 years since President John F. Kennedy tapped a telegraph key encrusted in golden nuggets to open the fair. The expo lasted until Oct. 21, 1962.

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Let ‘The Hunger Games’ begin

March 20, 2012

 Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in the film adaptation of the bestselling novel ‘The Hunger Games.’a By Murray Close/Lionsgate

Library hosts events to celebrate bestselling book series’ film debut

Imagine “The Hunger Games” is a mishmash of “Survivor” and “The X Factor” set in a “Lord of the Flies”-style arena.

The film based on the mega-popular novel debuts on the big screen March 23 and to celebrate, the bustling Issaquah Library is hosting a party and a discussion March 28. Organizers said participants can join activities inspired by the book — although nothing as dangerous as the titular games — and nab prizes inspired by the book and the film.

Other activities planned for the library party include flora and fauna identification stations — key skills for characters in the book and film.

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Comic Life brings comic or manga art to Issaquah Library

January 31, 2012

The mobile Digital Discovery Zone of the King County Library System arrives in Issaquah Feb. 9 for what’s been dubbed “Comic Life,” a chance for those ages 9-18 to study and learn about how to create original comics or manga.

The bright, red Discovery van will be at the Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way.

The event is from 2:30-4:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. No prior registration is required. Visitors can bring artwork or photos on a flash drive or saved in an accessible email account.

Go to www.kcls.org/issaquah and click on “Programs, Classes & Events.”

Snowstorm leads to rescheduling for World’s Fair event

January 24, 2012

The discussion about local authors’ book on the Century 21 Exposition has been rescheduled for April 14.

Paula Becker and Alan Stein, staff historians for HistoryLink.org, collected memories from the fair in the book “The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy” — a comprehensive account of Century 21.

The authors planned to lead a discussion about the book and present a slideshow of fair images Jan. 17 at the Issaquah Library, but the snowstorm caused organizers to cancel the event. Expect additional details about the rescheduled date in the weeks ahead.

King County librarians offer student academic aid

January 10, 2012

Local branches of the King County Library System are at the service of students looking for homework assistance or just something to do, said Ann Crewdson, left, children’s section supervisor for the Issaquah and Sammamish branch libraries, and Jessica Gomes, teen services director. By Tom Corrigan

“Fundamentally, we can find almost anything almost any time for almost anybody,” said Marsha Iverson, public relations specialist for the King County Library System.

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Book about 1962 World’s Fair resurrects memories for local teacher, expo’s 9 millionth visitor

January 10, 2012

 Paula Jones, fifth-grade teacher at Sunset Elementary School, holds the sign she still has from Oct. 14, 1962, when the 6-year-old Paula Dahl set a Century 21 Exposition milestone near the end of the Seattle World’s Fair. By Greg Farrar 

The future envisioned in 1962 resembled something lifted from “The Jetsons” — space-age cool, conveniences galore and optimism as boundless as the cosmos.

April marks 50 years since the Century 21 Exposition opened on the Seattle Center grounds, brought the vision to life and transformed the region.

Paula Becker and Alan Stein, staff historians for HistoryLink.org, collected memories from the fair in the book “The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy” — a comprehensive account of Century 21. The authors plan to lead a discussion about the book and present a slideshow of fair images Jan. 17 at the Issaquah Library.

Seattle civic leaders intended to use the fair to stimulate the economy and create a cultural and social hub in Seattle Center.

“Seattle certainly wouldn’t be what it is today” if the fair did not happen, Becker said.

The authors also produced a book about the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition — a seminal moment in Seattle history and the inaugural world’s fair hosted in the city.

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Local library readers’ appetite for ‘The Hunger Games’ dominates top titles

December 27, 2011

“The Hunger Games” — Suzanne Collins’ young adult novel set in a dystopian future — ranked as the top title requested throughout the King County Library System in 2011.

The top titles requested throughout local libraries mirror bestseller lists and offer a glimpse at readers’ tastes. “The Hunger Games” — No. 1 in a popular series about a post-apocalyptic world — and other books in Collins’ lineup jousted against titles from authors Rick Riordan and Laura Hillenbrand, and comedienne Tina Fey, for the top spot.

King County Library System librarians tracked the most-requested titles by determining the number of holds on a particular book. The number indicates readers’ most likely checked out the book, although the figure is not a precise count.

The system does not release the information for individual libraries due to confidentiality policies.

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Zombies overrun Issaquah, menace unsuspecting residents

November 1, 2011

Zombies lift a fallen comrade from the pavement on Front Street North as traffic stops for the horde of undead in downtown Issaquah on Oct. 29. By Warren Kagarise

The undead creaked and rasped to life in Issaquah hours before sunset Oct. 29, as zombie hordes menaced motorists on a downtown street and overran a festival in the Issaquah Highlands.

The zombies, groaning and ashen-faced, clad in blood-spattered and torn clothes, started to creep south along Front Street North just after 3 p.m.

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Issaquah Library’s book sale offers plenty of bang for the buck

November 1, 2011

The local nonprofit group Friends of the Issaquah Library will sponsor the second of its bi-annual Issaquah Library Book Sales this weekend.

Proceeds will go toward library events such as the opera club, story time for children, teen reading groups and a handful of other programs.

“The librarians in King County sponsor the events, we simply pay for them. So we supplement the programs at the library,” said David Wettstein, president of Friends of the Issaquah Library.

The sale is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 5, and from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 6. Organizers hope to raise about $3,500. The sale will take place in the library’s conference room and will be staffed entirely by Friends volunteers.

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