826 Seattle and SPL present Greenwood Family Forum

by Jacob, Teen Advisory Board, Greenwood Branch

Did you know the library goes way beyond great books to read!?

826Come see at the Greenwood Family Forum, an introduction for families about free school and student support resources. Cosponsored by The Seattle Public Library and 826 Seattle, this free event is open to any families with children and will take place at the Greenwood Public Library before Halloween on Wednesday Oct. 29 @ 6:30-7:30. The forum is for you if you are interested in:

  • 826 Seattle’s tutoring and support programs for students
  • Learning about the Seattle Public Library Catalog
  • Tips and tricks for better researching
  • Introduction and demonstration of our wonderful library academic databases, including History in Context, a database with primary resources
  • Demonstration of Seattle Public Library’s Online Tutoring Program

Any family is encouraged to come if they are at all interested in learning more about these resources. Students may come unaccompanied if they are in sixth grade or above.

The Greenwood Library address is 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.
Call 206-684-4086 with any questions.

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The Making of a Monster

~By Anne C.

Beasts, phantoms, despots and serial killers have thrilled and fascinated humans, time out of mind. Some of us shy away from such frightening thoughts, but others venture bravely into the dark corners of imagination, seeking out monsters, making their acquaintance, and bringing them into the light through arts and literature.

Earlier this month we explored the human relationship with monsters, both real and imagined, with a selection of psychology, sociology, and history books. In this post, we discuss the many ways of making monsters using visual and textile arts.

If you haven’t delved into the arts in a long time, making monsters is the perfect introduction because a monster can take any form, however strange and lopsided. As proof of concept, check out the paper mâché  creature we made and perched on the “Monsters” display in the Business, Science, Technology (and Monsters) department on level 7 at the Central Library.

Monster BIG face

Is it a dragon? A dinosaur? A sea monster? We’re not sure, and that’s okay. He’s made using both a standard paper mâché  recipe and paper mâché  clay, which we found out about through YouTube videos on the website Ultimate Paper Mâché .

For tips on making your own paper mâché creatures, we suggest both the website above and the book Paper Mâché Monsters, by Dan Reeder.

Looking for something a little less… gooey? Why not turn your singleton socks into little lurking friends with Stray Sock Sewing, by Daniel Nault.

If you’re a knitter, perhaps it’s time to branch out into needle felting with Little Felted Animals, by Marie-Noelle Horvath. (If the sweet kitten on the cover doesn’t look like a monster to you, we have one word of explanation: Bunnicula.)

For these books and more, check out the list “Making Monsters – Creature Crafts,” in The Seattle Public Library catalog.

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Polio: Ongoing challenges

posted by Ann G.

Polio was one of the most dreaded diseases on earth during the first half of the 20th century, but if you were born after about 1970 you probably haven’t given it much of a thought—until recently. Current news reports include both accounts of the concerning increase in cases of Enterovirus 68, a “cousin” of polio (along with the question of whether it is related to rare instances of child paralysis), and the advances still being made in preventing polio by means of a combination vaccine. Polio is ALMOST (99%) eliminated from the earth, but in these days of international travel, that’s not a sure tInside the Outbreaks book coverhing!

As we mentioned in a previous post, this year is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jonas Salk, who developed the first safe and successful polio vaccine, and the library is celebrating this milestone with a program called Polio Then and Now: From Salk’s Game-Changing Vaccine to Today’s Resurgence on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Central Library, and a related booklist. It’s a perfect time to learn about polio in today’s world!

You can stream these three videos right from the library’s catalog. Continue reading

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Romantic Wednesdays: Best Bets for Fall

By Eric G.

Every season is a great season for romance books, but there’s something especially enjoyable about reading them as the leaves change, the days shorten, the temperatures drop and the holidays approach. All that’s missing from the following books is a blanket, a fireplace and a hot beverage – preferably pumpkin-flavored.

In Your Dreams in the Library catalogIn Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

On the surface you have probably heard this one before: insecure woman gets dashing local man to accompany her to her ex-fiancee’s wedding. It might be a trope at this point, but with Higgins every story is fresh, charming, witty and absorbing. She is a master of crafting smart but flawed characters who must navigate bumpy roads to self-discovery and romance. This is part of her ongoing Blue Heron series, though you do not have to have read the others to indulge in it.


The Suffragette Scandal in the Library catalogThe Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

This is the rare historical romance that deserves to be shared with both historical fiction and romance fans alike, due to Milan’s meticulous detail and smart social commentary. I loved reading about Free Marshall, the fearless editor of a paper devoted to advancing women’s rights (including the right to vote), and her burgeoning relationship with Edward, a self-described scoundrel with a secret past. This whip-smart book deserves heaps of praise and exclamation points (an in-joke you will get once you read it). Don’t forget to pick up the other titles in this noteworthy series as well. Huzzah!
Continue reading

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Mystery Challenge: Queen of Mystery

~by Lori T.

If Sir Author Conan Doyle was the founder of the mystery genre, Dame Agatha Christie was the Queen.  Agatha Christie wrote 66 mysteries, 14 short stories, and the play The Mousetrap. She is the only mystery writer with two world famous detectives, Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple, to her credit. She changed the mystery genre by gathering the suspects together at the end of the story and having her detective go through the clues to present the killer to the reader.

Introducing Hercule Poirot

Click here to find The Mysterious Affair at Styles in the SPL catalogIn 1920, after six letters of rejection, Agatha Christie’s first mystery, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published; and the world was introduced to Ms. Christie’s most famous detective, a Belgian immigrant named Hercule Poirot. Poirot, with his many idiosyncrasies, his ‘little grey cells’ and keen observation, collected morsels of important information given by many people without them realizing it was vital to the investigation.

Many Hercule Poirot mysteries are well known: Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, and The Clocks; but have you read Dumb Witness, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, or Taken at the Flood? Continue reading

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Movie Mondays: Halloweird

I’m not a huge fan of scary movies for one very legitimate reason. They scare me. That can be difficult this time of year as Halloween draws ever closer and seemingly everyone I know is watching the creepiest, ickiest films imaginable. That’s not to say that I’m completely unable to get into the undead spirit of the season. For example, I love horror films that use the genre’s conventions for laughs as much as scares, from films like Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn to Shaun of the Dead and The Cabin in the Woods. But I really enjoy horror films that aren’t scary as much as just plain weird. Continue reading

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Sharing Our Stories: Family History Storytelling at Northeast Library

by Tom M.

Gomez 1915Every family has interesting stories. In my own family, both my wife and my sister have started to think about how to present all that they have discovered about their own families.

The library can help everyone learn how to tell these family history stories, starting with an innovative workshop on the subject presented by genealogy librarian Mahina Oshie at the Northeast Library on Wednesday, October 22, from 6-7:45 p.m.

Come to learn about library, community and Internet resources for uncovering, recording, writing and publishing your own family history stories, as part of the library’s Sharing Our Stories storytelling program series. Continue reading

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