June 21, 2011
The top library system in the United States is headquartered in Issaquah.
Moreover, strong circulation at the Issaquah and Sammamish libraries — and others across the 46-library system — helped earn the King County Library System the Library of the Year title from Library Journal magazine and Gale, a publishing company.
“We really got this award because of our patrons and our communities,” Julie Brand, community relations and marketing director for the library system, said after the announcement. “It’s really a reflection of their support and their use of us. Going forward, we need to continue to find the ways to be relevant to them in their lives, in how we deliver services, and the sorts of resources and information that we provide to them.”
Organizers cited the library system’s efforts to encourage reading, help people searching for jobs and community outreach. The library system is run from offices along Newport Way Northwest.
June 7, 2011
Some books make great movies, especially if they have a great director.
For the third consecutive year, the King County Library System is holding the Read.Flip.Win Video Book Review Contest, open to middle and high school students.
Library staff members invite teenagers to shoot a short video about a book they have read. The contest has two categories — video book review and video trailer — allowing participants to create a review for the book or to film a trailer about it.
All videos must be three minutes or less.
“It’s totally a fun contest,” Issaquah teen services librarian Jessica Gomes said. “It’s a highly interactive way of sharing what you’re reading with other people.”
Once teenagers create their video, they have to post it on YouTube and give it the tag, “RFWkcls2011.” Participants can enter as many videos as they want, and each submission must have a registration form.
The deadline for the contest is July 31. A panel of librarian judges will award the winners Aug. 27 during a red carpet event at the King County Library System Service Center in Issaquah.
The top winner in each category will receive a $150 gift card to Best Buy, purchased by the KCLS Foundation. The judges will award mini Oscars to other creative entries.
May 10, 2011
King County has launched a round of another forums dedicated to gathering input from residents.
The program, part of the Countywide Community Forums, comes to the Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, at 6 p.m. May 16. The topic is equity and economic opportunity in the county.
The forum is designed to gather input about the relationship between equity and job creation, as well as what communities need for people to be safe, healthy and successful.
Participation is open to anyone living, working or attending school in King County. Options to participate include both the in-person forums and a Web survey at www.communityforums.org. The online survey can be accessed until May 29.
Residents can also register as citizen councilors, or facilitators. Register at the program’s website
The independent Countywide Community Forums sponsors the discussion and the survey.
May 3, 2011
The DownTown Issaquah Association’s 10th annual ArtWalk season kicks off May 6. The popular event, the first Friday of every month through September, invites visitors to meet local business owners, enjoy free music, watch artists in action, and shop and dine in downtown Issaquah after normal business hours.
ArtWalk draws hundreds of visitors to traditional art destinations such as artEAST’s Art Center and the newly expanded Museo Art and Design School on Front Street. In addition, nontraditional locations open their doors to the event throughout downtown Issaquah and Gilman Village.
Typically, the event ran from 5-9 p.m. in the past. But by popular request, that has changed.
“The event now runs from 5-8 p.m. with a soft close at 8,” said Annique Bennett, cultural events coordinator for the DownTown Issaquah Association. “Those with signs out front of their businesses can now pull them in and go home at 8, or they can choose to stay open as long as they want to.”
For May, artEAST opens a new exhibit, “150 Feet of Art,” at Up Front Art. More than 100 pieces of art on one-square-foot canvases will be displayed and available for purchase during the monthlong auction.
April 26, 2011
Think opera is kind of ho-hum? If so, perhaps you’ve never experienced Norm Hollingshead’s take on it. The retired middle school teacher has been giving opera previews locally for nearly 35 years, and he’s converted many a skeptic.
“We would crawl over broken glass to go to one of his previews,” season-ticket holder Kristin von Kreisler said of herself and her husband John Bomben.
The Mercer Island Library hosted nearly 40 people Feb. 25 as Hollingshead made one of his final stops during a series in the Seattle-area library system. He delivered the 12th of 14 scheduled lectures in preparation for the Seattle Opera’s upcoming performance of Jules Massenet’s “Don Quixote.”
Two regulars at Hollingshead’s opera previews are Bob and Coleen George, of Sammamish, who were in attendance at his lecture at the Mercer Island Library and said they rarely miss one of his previews. They usually go to the Issaquah Library for Hollingshead’s previews, but snow prevented them from going there the last time it was scheduled.
“He does an excellent job,” Bob George said. “He’s almost more entertaining than the opera itself.”
April 12, 2011
How can people reconcile their faith with modern issues, such as immigration, gay spirituality or poverty?
The Community Church of Issaquah invites the public to ponder these issues at a series of free lectures titled, “Faith and Today’s World,” in the meeting room at the Issaquah Library.
Keith Madsen, pastor of the Community Church of Issaquah, said he and his congregants chose the issues that mattered most to them and found experts who could speak about the complexities coloring each topic.
“It’s not always easy to talk about them from the pulpit of the individual church,” Madsen said.
The first speaker, Michael Ramos, the executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, will speak about faith and immigration issues, from April 17.
“From a faith prospective, what does our faith say to use about how we should relate to immigrants?” Madsen asked. “Michael Ramos obviously has a Hispanic name, but he is a Catholic man who is head of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, and as such has some solid credentials for speaking on it.”
March 15, 2011
They had read the books over and over. They had quizzed each other. They had triumphed at their schools’ Global Reading Challenge, landing them a spot at the Issaquah School District’s competition at the Issaquah Library.
In a room overflowing with about 60 parents, teachers and friends, 42 fourth- and fifth-grade students sat raptly listening as librarians quizzed them about books.
Parent Toni Nankova said her daughter Daniela Nankova absorbed the books like a sponge does water.
“After she was done reading, she would say, “Mom, this book is really good. You have to read it,” Toni Nankova said. “And then she would quiz me on it. If I got it wrong, she’d say, ‘You have to go back and read it.’”
Students began preparing for the challenge in October. Each group had seven people and 10 books to read, with some students reading a few books and others reading the whole stack.
First, they competed against other groups at their school. The winning teams from Creekside, Discovery, Grand Ridge, Issaquah Valley, Maple Hills and Sunset elementary schools trooped to the Issaquah Library on March 2 to duke it out with their friends and rivals.
February 22, 2011
With hectic lives filled with chores, errands, work and school, who has time to sit down and read a good book?
Aware of the constant time crunch, the King County Library System developed a time coupon through its Take Time to Read program.
“Chores can wait,” the coupon reads, “Take Time to Read.”
“I flash that one at my family and say, ‘The dishes are going to be there 10 minutes from now,’” Issaquah Library Site Manager Philis Bodle said. “You don’t need a great big block of time to read — five minutes here, 10 minutes there.”
The reading coupons are only one facet of Take Time to Read. It also includes the Winter Reading for Adults program, in which adults 18 or older can tell the library how they took time to read and win prizes for their submissions.
Enter the contest before March 31 at www.kcls.org/taketimetoread for the chance to win gift cards to local stores, including Starbucks, Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, Barnes & Noble and University Book Store.
Participants can also enter on Facebook by searching for Take Time to Read.
“The kids have all the fun in the summer, so we thought, ‘Let’s let adults have some fun, too,’” library system public relations specialist Marsha Iverson said.
February 15, 2011
The tree-lined suburb of today evolved from a frontier town of sinister secrets
Welcome to Issaquah!
On your left, you’ll see the Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-In!
On your right, you’ll find the Village Theatre!
Oh look, over there is the beloved Issaquah Salmon Hatchery!
A typical tour of town might go something like that, detailing the proud past of a historic city.
What about the strange, seedy and sinister history of this former frontier town? What about the ominous undertones? Not many tours take you down the alleys of the city or expose what had been its underbelly.
But this one does, and it will tell you about some of the most notable incidents that occurred here in the decades after white settlers arrived in the 1850s. Murders. Bombings. Fires. Explosions. Abductions. Plus, plenty of other mayhem.
Get in your DeLorean and prepare to tickle your morbid curiosity, because we’re headed straight to the past and into the dark side of Issaquah.
February 8, 2011
Violence broke out in the central Washington town of Roslyn at several area mines — “as neighbor pelted neighbor with rotten eggs and rocks, cars were overturned [and] miners were pulled from their homes and beaten.”
So began an extraordinary labor struggle in the history of Washington state in 1934, according to David Bullock, a professor of communications at Walla Walla University. Bullock will tell the story during a talk at the Issaquah Library on Feb. 12.
“Anyone with an interest in community memory, state mining history, labor disputes, ethnic hostilities, legal snarls, local history or the Roslyn community will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges and dangers of being a miner in the 1930s,” Bullock said.