As we look ahead to fall and winter, what can we learn from communities who have been at the front lines of COVID response about the role of art, culture, creativity and joy? After enduring more than 18 months of a pandemic, what does the world need now?
These questions are at the heart of an arts-centered community health campaign organized by a coalition of partners including the Library, African American Health Board, Washington Community Alliance, King County Library System, mutual aid organizers of color and community-led BIPOC groups. Called “What the World Needs Now: A Dreamathon,” or #DreamathonWA, this series is part of the Library’s ongoing focus on race and social justice.
Please join this effort to reimagine life together during the pandemic and after. The #DreamathonWA finale events — all free, virtual and public — will take place over the next two weeks. Here are a few sneak peeks:
Virtual dance party: Friday, Oct. 22, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Dancing is a big part of the #DreamathonWA bill. Hosted by local musicians Rell B Free and CarLarans, this 18+ event is for those who may have lingering questions on how they can enjoy themselves and stay safe this fall and winter. Converge Media co-hosts and the lineup includes DJs Toe Jam and Tremenda Diosa.
All-ages Community Celebration: Saturday, Oct. 23, 2 to 4 p.m.
Food justice, poetry, music, cooking, Black wellness, Indigenous insights and children’s well-being: They’re all on the menu at #DreamathonWA’s virtual Community Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. RSVP and find the streaming link at this Facebook event.
The day will showcase community-led COVID responses that increase joy, well-being and health. Hear from renowned pediatrician Dr. Ben Danielson and Black Panther Aaron Dixon, who worked with local children including the Sand Point community’s Art Club to dream up a program on community health. (Don’t miss this video of Art Club kids, lab coats on, interrogating COVID itself.)
Catch a chat with Chef Matt Lewis (of Where Ya At Matt) and activist Roxana Pardo Garcia as they share ideas for tasty, affordable meals that can brighten pandemic life.
I just finished reading the horror book When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen. It is a horror novel set in modern times on a plantation that has been refurbished to an amusement park that reenacts Antebellum times through the eyes of white people, but what they don’t know is that it is haunted by the ghosts of the slaves that worked the plantation. While I was reading this book it made me think of other media that are more honest in their representation of the Antebellum South thanGone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
If science fiction is more your thing, I highly recommend Octavia Butler’s Kindred. It is the story of a black woman who moves into a new place with her white husband. While they are unpacking she starts to be sent back in time to rescue a white boy from near-death experiences but is thought to be a slave every time she goes back.
For a great TV show, I recommend Underground. This is exciting series had 2 seasons. It tells the stories of slaves that have escaped from the plantation and how they survived while they are on the run. Jubilee by Margaret Walker is a classic novel that is hailed as a truer account of the civil war than Gone with the Wind. It is told from the perspective of the daughter of the plantation owner and his black mistress. Margaret Walker used her own family research to tell this story.
The Seattle Public Library reached a major milestone this week. On Wednesday, Oct. 18, we reopened our NewHolly Branch, the last remaining Library branch to reopen from the systemwide closure that began March 2020. With the NewHolly Branch once again open to the public, all 27 of our library branches are now serving patrons in person.
The NewHolly Branch is open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. We look forward to expanding these hours later in the year as staffing levels permit.
We love all our libraries, but this branch is unique and dear to our hearts. It was the first Library branch rebuilt with funds from the 1998 “Libraries for All” Levy, a measure that funded new and renovated libraries in every neighborhood in Seattle. The branch serves one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse areas in the region. It is situated in a “Campus of Learners” in the heart of the NewHolly neighborhood, a development operated by the Seattle Housing Authority. Continue reading “The NewHolly Branch Reopens… and That Makes All of Them.”
No, not that kind of romance, silly! Not that we don’t know some wonderful couples who first met at the public library, but we’re not recommending our libraries as pick up spots: that would be creepy. However, every week dozens of new fresh romance novels arrive on our shelves, ready to be taken home by you. We’ve just updated our Romance Staff Picks list in the catalog with fifty fresh new titles; here’s a taste of what you’ll find there:
Miss Lattimore’s Letter, by Suzanne Allain
When Sophronia Lattimore put pen to paper after overhearing what seemed like some misguided matchmaking, she thought she was saving the day. But little did she surmise the persuasive power of her epistolary wit to sway the errant hearts of others. This sweetly funny novel of Regency era romantic intrigue is a sparkling rom-com in the best Jane Austen tradition.
Hana Khan Carries On, by Uzma Jalaluddin
Between waitressing at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, her family’s struggling restaurant, interning at a Toronto radio station, and secretly producing her podcast, Hana has her hands more than full. Then handsome Aydin Shah starts moving in on her territory, his sheep’s clothing barely hiding his wolfish side. This charming contemporary romance doesn’t shy away from serious issues. Continue reading “50 Ways to Find Romance at your Local Library”