Seattle’s Coming Out Party

Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition According to Paul Dorpat, Seattle’s iconic historian, in the introduction of the wonderful new book by Alan Stein and Paula Becker, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific-Exposition A Timeline History (published by Historylink),  Seattle caught a lucky break back in 1907 when Jamestown, Virginia claimed that year for their tercentenary celebration. The event Seattle had planned to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Gold Rush (in 1897) was delayed and morphed into a much grander spectacle. Two extra planning years and a far more robust economy helped propel the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition into a rousing success for the nascent boomtown. Our city’s first world’s fair brought people from all over the world and as nearly every account mentions, “put Seattle on the map.”

Stein and Becker will discuss their new book at our Microsoft Auditorium on June 13, from 2-4 p.m. is the invaluable online encyclopedia for Washington State started by the late Walt Crowley, also a noted Seattle historian. The book is dedicated to Mr. Crowley. Continue reading “Seattle’s Coming Out Party”

Yokes and Chains

“I am so sorry. “

Yokes and Chains

These very powerful words have the ability to transform a  relationship.  When an apology is offered sincerely, the opportunity for healing and forgiveness may begin. Most of our lives have been touched by offering or receiving a heartfelt, courageous  apology.  But what good can it do to apologize for something you did not do?

Michael Lienau and his Camano Island family discovered just how potent this sort of an apology can be when they joined the Lifeline Expedition and traveled to England, Africa, the Caribbean and the United States to honor the abolition movement and to offer apologies to the descendents of slaves. Continue reading “Yokes and Chains”

Women of the Seattle Fire Department


Women fire fighters-Washington (State)- Seattle-Recruiting Poster-1978


beers_portrait_med1What’s it like being a pioneer?  Just ask Bonnie Beers.

Here’s your opportunity.  Beers, the first woman hired as a fire fighter for the Seattle Fire Department will be speaking on March 24th at 2:00 p.m. in the Bertha Knight Landes Room of City Hall.

The Seattle Municipal Archives has created a terrific online exhibit, “Strength & Stamina: Women in the Seattle Fire Department.” 

Lest you believe times must have surely changed a great deal since Beers joined the SFD,  this report from Cornell University, will enlighted you. While Seattle does have a higher than average percentage of women fire fighters (9%) on the job, the national average is still just 2.5%. ~ Carol L

Watching the Weather with Cliff Mass

Normally we don’t write about new books that are already slammed with holds and Cliff Mass’ new book, The Weather of the Pacific Northwest, certainly fits that description with over 300 holds on it already.

But the weather outside is frightful…well, at least unusual. Since I’ve been glued to his weather blog over the weekend, I thought you might enjoy reading it while you’re waiting for his book or for the streets to clear. Professor Cliff Mass works at U-Dub, is a regular on KUOW and his blog is perfect reading for this wild winter weather we’re having.

Bus Talk

Perfect! For once, the bus and I are in sync. I arrive at my bus stop just in time to catch the #12 down Madison to the Central Library. Rarely do Metro and I have such synergy. Even better, a friend of my partner’s is gettng on the bus and we sit down and chat it up. After the usual how you doin’, she mentions she needs to revive her Spanish speaking skills because, even though she’s fluent, she doesn’t get a chance to speak Spanish lately. She said she’s afraid she’s losing her ability to carry on a conversation. “Hey”, I tell her,  “we just got a new language database at the Library. You can use it from home. All you have to do is log on to your account and click on the  Databases and Websites link on the home page. Then you just go to the link for Databases A-Z and look for the  “Mango Languages” database. Very cool (I think to myself).

Then she tells me she has an assignment for a scholarship she just got from Seattle U. She has to re-do her resume by Friday (this is Tuesday morning). “Guess what?”, I tell her. “We just got another new database for creating resumes. It’s called “Resume Builder. Go to and type in “Resume Builder” in the seach box and select the “Search…This Site” button. Or you can use the same “Databases A-Z”  list you used to find the Mango Languages database.

We are both amazed that in the time it took to go a mile and a half her most pressing information questions were answered.  And if that weren’t enough, after I get off the bus and wave goodbye, a woman comes up to me on the sidewalk and says, “Thanks for the information”. I ask her what she means and she tells me, “I have to re-do my resume this week too!”

All this before I even GET to work. It’s a good day to be a librarian!

What information did you share today?