Catalog magic: finding new authors via additional contributors

At the library, we are always excited to help you find new authors to explore, although our current ability to hang out and talk books is limited by pandemic closures. Fortunately, our catalog has some neat ways to help you slide from one author you like to another, and today I’d like to highlight the way “additional contributors” can factor in.

First of all – what is an additional contributor? This is someone else, other than the author, who contributed to the creation of a book – often, the additional contributor field is used to indicate the reader of an audiobook; or the translator on a book that has been translated into English. The additional contributor is named in an informational field in the catalog record.

An audiobook narrator may narrate many different styles of book – mysteries, fiction, nonfiction. Likewise a translator will work in one or two languages, but otherwise may translate a variety of materials. Still, narrators and translators are lending their voice and their style to these works, so if you like the interpretation and voice of a certain reader, or the prose style of a particular translator, you may also like that person’s work elsewhere. It’s worth a try! Continue reading “Catalog magic: finding new authors via additional contributors”

Staying Healthy with Your Library: Search the Catalog for Health Topics

In this Shelf Talk consumer health series, we’ve covered a variety of ways of accessing health information through Library databases, but what about the Library’s bread and butter, materials in the online catalog? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. In addition to discovering much of the material in some of our databases, you’ll find hundreds of health-related books, audiobooks, music CDs, and DVDs in the online catalog.

To access The Seattle Public Library’s online catalog from your own device, sign in with your library card number and PIN, then navigate to the online catalog.

Once you’re in the Library’s online catalog, you have a few options. You can start with a simple keyword search, try a more specific subject search, look for a list compiled by other users and librarians, or construct a more complex advanced search.

screenshot of keyword search results for "anxiety and kids" Continue reading “Staying Healthy with Your Library: Search the Catalog for Health Topics”

Charles Curtis, America’s first mixed-race Veep

Kamala Harris is breaking barriers with her election to the Vice Presidency, however, she was not the first person of color to achieve that office.

Obscured along the decades, Charles Curtis, a United States Senator who was a one-eighth Native American member of the Kaw Nation of Kansas, was elected to serve as Vice President with President Herbert Hoover 92 years ago. They had been political rivals for the Republican nomination for the top spot, and when Hoover won the nomination, political fortunes moved Curtis to the second spot, even though they did not get on with each other and represented different wings of the party. They were elected in 1928.

Using the slogan “from Kaw tepee to Capitol,”  Curtis celebrated his rise from a childhood Kaw reservation, speaking Kansa before speaking English, to the center of white America’s political establishment. Beginning in the 1880s, Curtis worked his way up the political ladder, always emphasizing and celebrating his heritage. Continue reading “Charles Curtis, America’s first mixed-race Veep”

New Year Resolutions: Exercise in the Time of Covid

Coming to you from the cyberpunk dystopia that will not end, a series of New Year’s Resolution-themed posts, because the only way out is through.

My fellow apocalypse-sters, you and I both know the importance of exercise. It keeps your meat sack in working condition, helps you sleep better, gives you energy, and can even boost your mood, which we all need these days, so desperately.

Remember when we used to go walking at the mall with friends? Or logging an hour on the elliptical at Planet Fitness? When we could learn Tai Chi in the park? Or maybe you’re like me and never did any of that?? Because exercise is hard to make yourself do under the best of circumstances and these are not even mildly okay circumstances. I don’t know about you, but my body is trying to become one with my couch these days, so I’m willing to try something.

If you, like myself, have hit rock bottom fitness-wise, you’ll be glad to know that SPL has a lot of online exercise videos through Kanopy, Hoopla, and the lesser known Access Video. Exercise videos are great – you just follow whatever the people on your screen are doing until you collapse into a sweaty heap, zero brain work involved. You can do Pilates Essentials, Bollywood Burn, or Dance and Be Fit. Find out what Jeanette is blasting next, may her body rest in pieces. You could even transform your entire actual life with yoga, according to Dashama Konah Gordon. This last one isn’t exactly an exercise video, but I couldn’t sleep at night unless I shared this Super Swordfighting Series for how to do cool movie sword fights. I think that would transform my life. Continue reading “New Year Resolutions: Exercise in the Time of Covid”

Expand Your Thinking with Exploration Guides

Artist credit: Tanaya Sharma via

It’s incredible how quickly you can get pulled into the flurry of online research once an idea, topic or celebrity captures your interest. You start with one tab open on your browser, then suddenly you have fourteen open, and you can’t remember how that Wikipedia article on watering hydrangeas led you to an interpretative dance video about Ada Lovelace. Okay, okay, I made that trail up, but I bet you could find the overlap if you put your mind to it!

Happily, you need not venture into these rabbit holes of curiosity all alone anymore! Your friendly and inquisitive Seattle Public Library staff have thoughtfully curated resources from the library and around the web, weaving together art, poetry, science, activism, history and more in unique explorations of some pretty cool subjects!

Exploration Guides are for students of all ages (adults, too!), but were Continue reading “Expand Your Thinking with Exploration Guides”