May is Older Americans Month

Aging Unbound logoIt’s Older Americans Month! We want to celebrate and honor our elders and challenge the narrative on aging not just in May, but throughout the whole year. Our society tends to view aging in a negative light and it doesn’t have to be that way; aging is beautiful, and it’s an experience that all humans share. During May, reflect on this year’s theme, “Aging Unbound,” and what it can mean for you by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is ageism and how does it affect you? What can you do to be more aware of ageism?
  • If we were living in a world built for all ages, what kinds of things would we see, hear, or feel in our family and in our community?
  • When is the last time you had a meaningful engagement with someone from a different age group?
  • What is your reason for changing the narrative on aging?

You can read the proclamation issued by King County and learn about local resources for older adults on this page. To learn more through books about aging and ageism visit our Older Americans Month book list.

Older Americans Month logo and decorative banner

~ posted by Emily B.

The Soul Pole Celebrates its 50th Anniversary at the Douglass-Truth Branch

MOHAI photo of Soul Pole installation
Historic photo of Raqib Mu’ied (formerly Gregory X) at the Soul Pole’s 1973 installation, shown with permission from MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, 2000.

If you grew up in Seattle’s Central District, it probably seems like the  Soul Pole — a 21-foot artwork that stands tall on the lawn of the Douglass-Truth Branch at 23rd and E. Yesler — has always been been there.

In fact, the sculpture, has stood there for (almost) exactly 50 years. Carved in the late 1960s from a telephone pole by young members of the Rotary Boys Club to represent 400 years of African American history and injustice, the Soul Pole was given to the branch and then installed on April 24, 1973.

The Soul Pole in 2022, after the conservation project and reinstallation

Over the decades that passed, which saw so many momentous changes in the neighborhood, city and world, the Soul Pole became, as the Black Heritage Society of Washington has said, “a symbol of tenacity, legacy, and pride that anchors the history of Black people to Seattle’s Central District.”

You can learn more about the Soul Pole’s history and legacy at a 50th anniversary celebration at the Douglass-Truth Branch this Saturday, April 29 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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Women’s History Through Film

Every so often, we like to remind folks about the incredible wealth of content available through the Library’s streaming databases, such as Kanopy. And what better way to celebrate Women’s History Month than watching a series of documentaries about inspiring women?

Film Image - Chisholm '72 Unbought and UnbossedFor those wanting to learn more about Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to U.S. Congress who launched an unprecedented campaign for president in 1972, check out Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed. This trailblazing hero is still an inspiration for leaders from marginalized communities who are fighting for a seat at the table.

Film Image - Rita Moreno Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for ItAnother trailblazer who has been in the entertainment industry for over 70 years and counting is Rita Moreno, renowned EGOT (a winner of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, AND Tony awards) who has graced the stage and screen (big and small), and served as a role model for countless Puerto Rican and Latinx artists. Learn more about Moreno’s life and contributions in Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It Continue reading “Women’s History Through Film”

A Peek at Peak Picks – March 2023

10 titles are joining Peak Picks in March!

In fiction, Rafael Frumkin introduces us to juvie-bound Ezra and Adonis-like Orson, unlikely friends (and sometimes lovers) who share a passion for scamming people in Confidence; Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle) travels to Prohibition-era Virginia where Sallie Kincaid battles family and residents alike to be the best bootlegger in town in Hang the Moon; Ann Napolitano (Dear Edward) reveals what happens when a secret from William Waters’ past threatens to upend not just his marriage to Julia but also the lives of her three sisters in Hello, Beautiful; Victor LaValle follows Adelaide from California to Montana -accompanied by a trunk that, when opened, makes people disappear – in Lone Women; and Balli Kaur Jaswal presents the tale of three Filipina domestic workers in 1950s Singapore who band together after another domestic worker is accused of killing her employer in Now You See Us.

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Theater, Music and Film: February 2023 Events at The Seattle Public Library

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We’ve got some amazing author programs and community events planned for February, from Lambda Award-winning novelist Annalee Newitz to Bonnie Garmus, author of the bestselling novel “Lessons in Chemistry”. The Fifth Avenue Theatre is also back with a Sondheim show talk and the South Park Branch is hosting a movie screening with former Washington State poet Claudia Castro Luna.

Many events require registration, but all Library events are free and open to the public. Find information and registration through the event links below or at


Show Talks With the 5th Avenue Theatre – The Genius of Sondheim: From 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11. Central Library, Level 1 – Microsoft Auditorium. In this special musical tribute to one of “the most revered and influential composer-lyricists” in Broadway history, artistic director Emeritus of the Fifth Avenue Theatre David Armstrong will share fascinating insights into Sondheim’s life, times, and career. This event will also include musical performances by guest artists.

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