A Bit of Library Magic: Ancestry Library Edition

I believe in library magic. I’ve seen it many times in my sixteen years with the Seattle Public Library. Now some may wonder “What is library magic?” Well, its finding that newspaper article from 1937 that talked about your grandmother, discovering that movie you grew up watching over and over as a child and enjoying it now as an adult, chasing down the book your mom used to fall asleep reading and you would make sure to mark her page before turning off the light, and its tracking down a relative from searching family trees in Ancestry Library Edition.

My personal story with library magic was the latter. I had been playing with Ancestry off and on over the years, but it wasn’t until I started looking at the Ancestry Library Edition database we offered that I really got pulled in. I focused on my mother’s side because they kept the best records and slowly found our native home: Roscommon, Ireland. Continue reading “A Bit of Library Magic: Ancestry Library Edition”

PressReader: the World From the Library

I like reading news from other countries. There tends to be a shift in perspective that can help clarify issues and controversies.  Whether you are from another place, a student doing a report on another country, or just someone who is fascinated by the world, then PressReader is the database for you. Here are just five reasons to love it.

PressReader is Comprehensive

PressReader (formerly Press Display) includes more than 5000 newspapers and magazines from more than 100 countries in more than 60 languages.

When you open PressReader you’ll see the Home Feed, a collection of articles selected for your geographic location. As you sweep right on the Home Feed, more articles will appear so you can do this forever.

home feed

Continue reading “PressReader: the World From the Library”

Libraries Where You Least Expect Them: Library Stations of the 1920s

2016 marks the 125th anniversary of The Seattle Public Library. After it was adopted as a department of the city in 1890, the Library opened its first reading room in Pioneer Square on April 8, 1891. To honor this milestone, we will be posting a series of articles here about the Library’s history and life in the 1890s. We also encourage our patrons to share their favorite memories of SPL on social media using the hashtag #SPL125. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

Library Deposit Station No. 1, Weeds Pharmacy
Library Deposit Station No. 1, Weeds Pharmacy

Imagine being able to check out your next library book at your neighborhood pharmacy, candy store, or even your local department store. In the early 20th century, the library depended on exactly this model. They were referred to as deposit stations to reach underserved populations who weren’t able to make it to an official library. These stations were scattered across pharmacies, fire stations, schools, hospitals and other locales throughout the city and offered mini-library collections catered to each location. Continue reading “Libraries Where You Least Expect Them: Library Stations of the 1920s”

A Little History of Seafair

 Photo of Seafair royalty with Navy men, ca. 1950 Courtesy Paul DorpatWith Seafair just around the corner, ever wonder about the history?

The Seafair Beginnings article on HistoryLink,org writes, “The first Seafair took place from August 11 to 20, 1950. Hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed more than 100 events throughout King County. The events ranged from a 25-mile bicycle race around Lake Sammamish to a decorated-boat parade on Lake Washington with 350 participating boats. Spectators witnessed a Police Pistol Contest at 106th Ave S and East Marginal Way, a steamboat race on Elliott Bay, a Coast Guard lifeboat race, also on Elliott Bay, a “husband calling” contest at Seward Park, and an operetta called “The Desert Song” at Volunteer Park attended by 10,000. Continue reading “A Little History of Seafair”

Resources for Learning Another Language



Have you ever thought about learning another language? Are you interested but not sure where to start? Overwhelmed by the options and not sure what would work best for you? If you answered yes to any of these questions then this series of posts is for you.

Learning a second (or third or fourth) language is a popular activity. Research has shown that it not only improves cognitive development in children but can also stave off dementia later in life. Who wouldn’t want those benefits? And with all the resources and technology we have these days it is easier than ever to learn just about any language out there.

This first post is dedicated to figuring out what language you should learn. If you already know what language is best for you then the next post will be May 23 and you can bide your time until then by having a look at our language learning webpage to get an idea of some of the library’s resources. So let’s begin… Continue reading “Resources for Learning Another Language”