Bring Your Senses to an Inclusion Festival and StoryWalk® at the Seattle Sensory Garden

The Thing About BeesBring your five senses to the Seattle Sensory Garden this Saturday, June 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to experience a special milestone: The Seattle Public Library’s first in-person Inclusion Festival in two years. Caregivers and kids of all abilities can explore, enjoy a Braille-enhanced StoryWalk® about bees, an ASL-interpreted story time, a pollinator puppet show and more.

Held in partnership with The Arc of King County and Northwest Center, an Inclusion Festival is a program that is inclusive of children and families of all abilities. The Library hosts monthly festivals online, and we’re thrilled to host this outdoor program at the Seattle Sensory Garden, which is located in the northeast corner of Woodland Park Zoo’s Rose Garden at 700 N. 50th St. in Seattle, and is always free to visit.

At 11 a.m., children’s librarian Miss Erin will host a story time featuring “The Thing about Bees: A Love Letter,” by Shabazz Larkin, as well as fun songs, and some bubble-blowing. ASL interpretation will be provided.

At noon, Woodland Park Zoo will present a Pollinator Puppet Show, also with ASL interpretation.

After the puppet show, stop by Woodland Park Zoo’s table to make a seed ball, and visit the accessible, Braille-enhanced StoryWalk® in the Sensory Garden also featuring “The Thing about Bees.” Children and caregivers can wander the trail and enjoy this outdoor reading experience. Continue reading “Bring Your Senses to an Inclusion Festival and StoryWalk® at the Seattle Sensory Garden”

First Ukrainian Books Added to The Seattle Public Library’s Collections

Ukrainian books

Responding to requests from patrons, The Seattle Public Library has added the first books in Ukrainian to its collection, approximately 120 physical books for adults and children that comprise 95 titles. We will add more titles in Ukrainian this summer.

The Ukrainian books include picture books and chapter books for children and a mix of fiction, nonfiction and poetry books for adults.

“We are delighted to add books that will serve our Ukrainian patrons,” said Rachel Martin, acquisition manager for Collection Services at The Seattle Public Library. “By providing titles in the languages our community speaks, we hope that Library users see themselves reflected in books in the Library and have support maintaining their home language skills.”

Alina Kalian, a Library patron who moved to Seattle from Ukraine in 2018, said her family was very happy to hear about the Ukrainian books. “My son said ‘Let’s order all of them!’” she said. “We want our kids to know, read and learn our melodic, beautiful language, and the Library’s kind help and support is so important.”

Kalian had corresponded with the Library about the need for physical Ukrainian books, especially for seniors and children who might not be used to reading on electronic devices. She said that because of travel restrictions due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is more difficult to access books in Ukrainian, yet very important to her community.

The Ukrainian books for adults are shelved at the Central Library in downtown Seattle on Level 1 in the Literacy, ESL and World Languages department. Children and their caregivers can find titles in the Faye G. Allen Children’s Center. Ukrainian language patrons can also browse and place holds in the Library’s online catalog.

Happy After All in Dari and EnglishThe Library has also added a small selection of children’s picture books that are bilingual in Pashto/English, and Dari/English, responding to requests from Afghan patrons. The picture books are shelved in the children’s areas at the Central Library and the Beacon Hill Branch, and can be found in the online catalog.

TWho Are We in Pashto and Englishhe Library actively collects books in 17 languages as part of its World Language Collections. Books in Chinese, Japanese and Spanish are the highest circulating of the Library’s World Languages collections.

Elisa M., Communications

Watch ‘The Legacy of the Soul Pole,’ Converge Media’s New Film

The Soul Pole has stood tall outside The Seattle Public Library’s Douglass-Truth Branch for almost 50 years. Now, the 21-foot tall artwork – which the Black Heritage Society of Washington State has called a “beacon of Black pride” in the Central District – is starring in a short documentary produced by Seattle’s Converge Media.

In the 10-minute film titled “The Legacy of the Soul Pole,” Converge Media, a leading producer of culturally relevant content in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest, follows the Soul Pole over a one-year period starting in April 2021. At that time, the artwork was deinstalled from its historic spot at 23rd and East Yesler Way in Seattle’s Central District, because of concerns over deterioration. It was reinstalled in April 2022 after successfully undergoing conservation work.

The film will be promoted today, June 14, on the Converge programs “The Day With Trae” at 11 a.m. and “Truth With Proof” at 11 p.m.

“For us at Converge Media, documenting the story of the Soul Pole was a labor of love,” said Omari Salisbury, founder of Converge Media, in the press release. “Converge Media was born in the Central District of Seattle and many of us on staff including myself grew up going to Douglass-Truth as children and we remember how mighty the Soul Pole was and the story it represents: To be front and center through this amazing process to yes, restore the Pole, but more than that, to reaffirm that the Central District is still the cultural and historical epicenter for Black culture in the City of Seattle and beyond. We want people to know that this film was not commissioned by The Seattle Public Library or any other funding source. We were able to tell this very important Black history story with assistance from the generous supporters of Converge Media, who believe in the value of community storytelling and uplifting of the Black experience in Seattle and to them I say thank you and we offer you the ‘Legacy of the Soul Pole.’”

“We are grateful to Converge for creating an extraordinary film that sheds light on the Soul Pole’s past, present and future, and to the Black Heritage Society for their support in the research and preservation of these stories,” said Tom Fay, Chief Librarian of The Seattle Public Library. “Everyone who has an interest in the untold stories of Seattle should watch this film, and then go visit the Soul Pole at the Douglass-Truth Branch, where it stands tall once again.”

“The Soul Pole represents the tenacity and significance of the African-American footprint in the Central District. This is a beacon on this corner and I’m so proud to see it back,” said Stephanie Johnson-Toliver, president of the Black Heritage Society of Washington State, at the artwork’s reinstallation on April 5, 2022, a moving moment that is included in the film. “I’m kind of fighting back the tears.”

Continue reading “Watch ‘The Legacy of the Soul Pole,’ Converge Media’s New Film”

Seismic Retrofit, Air-Conditioning And More Coming To The Green Lake Branch

In 2019, Seattle voters overwhelming passed The Seattle Public Library’s 2019 Library Levy, which helps us fund major maintenance work on our libraries to make them safer, more accessible, and better able to meet the evolving needs of the community. Among the major maintenance projects funded by the levy are seismic retrofits to our Green Lake, University and Columbia branches; three of our historic Carnegie libraries.

We are excited to share that we are preparing to begin the seismic retrofit of our Green Lake Branch, a historically landmarked building that opened in 1910. The LEED-certified project will also include accessibility improvements, a more energy efficient heating system, and the addition of air conditioning and interior improvements.

Construction is planned to begin in the fall, which means we need to close the Green Lake Branch near the end of the summer to prepare for construction. The exact dates have yet to be determined, but we will alert patrons as soon as we know.

We expect the branch to reopen early in the summer of 2023 after the work has been completed.

What to do if you’re a Green Lake Branch patron

In the weeks prior to closure, we will notify Green Lake Branch patrons by email that they should change their home branch – the library branch where their holds and pickups will be – by logging into their MySpl account and selecting My Settings > Account Preferences > Holds and Pickup Locations. If you haven’t done this prior to closure, your home branch will be changed automatically to the Greenwood Branch (8016 Greenwood Ave. N.). But you can change your home branch anytime.

Additional closure information

At least 30 days prior to the closure of the Green Lake Branch, patrons will no longer be able to reserve meeting rooms at the branch.

Patrons will not be able to return books at the Green Lake Branch during the closure. Nearby Library branches with book returns available are listed below.

The branch parking lot will be used for storage during the construction project and will not be available for parking.

Nearby Library branches

Continue reading “Seismic Retrofit, Air-Conditioning And More Coming To The Green Lake Branch”

COVID-19 Rapid Testing Kits Available at Libraries

COVID-19 rapid testingStarting this week, The Seattle Public Library will begin distributing a limited supply of COVID-19 rapid testing kits at all 27 of our locations. Public Health — Seattle & King County is providing these free self-tests to the community to make it easier for those most impacted by COVID-19 to test when they need to and help prevent spread.

Patrons can pick up a BinaxNOW rapid testing kit, take it home, and get results within 15-20 minutes. Continue reading “COVID-19 Rapid Testing Kits Available at Libraries”