125th Anniversary Series: What We Were Reading in 1891

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 1890’s. 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 FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest. – editor

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a time machine back to the 1890s? You can! When we read like people in the 1890s, we see the world through their eyes. Go there now, via titles that were all the rage in the Gilded Age: Continue reading “125th Anniversary Series: What We Were Reading in 1891”

Seattle librarians help readers find books via Facebook

Give us a book you like, we’ll give you a book to love!

Next Wednesday, November 14, readers will be able to get personalized book suggestions on SPL’s Facebook page. A team of librarians from six of our libraries will collaborate all day — from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. — to suggest books to readers of all ages.

We’ve done this a kind of thing via our Facebook timeline before — and each time it gets bigger and more fun. Last time, we helped 120 readers during a five-hour period. This time, we’ll be working on finding just the right books to suggest to people for a 10-hour period (so let’s see if we can get 240 people!). Continue reading “Seattle librarians help readers find books via Facebook”

Confessions of a book club dropout

"Leave me alone: I'm reading."

I still haven’t found a book club. Or rather, I haven’t found one I can stick with. I’m pretty sure it’s me; maybe I’m just a solitary reader by nature, or have commitment issues. Still, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out, seeing all those great book groups our library hosts all over the city, including a bunch right here at my branch (just search “book group” in our events calendar and you’ll see). And our book groups are really cool because you’ll find people gathering to have real discussions who might never meet outside of a public library. We also have this group called “Let’s Talk About Books,” where readers get together over lunch and share what they’ve enjoyed reading. I’ve been a few times: it’s a blast. I just haven’t managed to cultivate the habit, though I do love to share titles with my colleagues while we’re recording our Bibliocafé podcasts. #ExhibitionistLibrarian?

Maybe social pressure will be the key; after all, Bike-to-Work month finally got me on my bicycle, logging miles for one of our two library teams. Similarly, I couldn’t help but want to participate in our recent discussion with Chris Cleave via Facebook as part of our Continue reading “Confessions of a book club dropout”

Our online book group discusses “Little Bee”

We’ve been talking for years about doing an online book discussion group, but we never saw a model that really inspired us. It’s easy enough to start something online, but how do you get people to actually show up? People might be eager to share an opinion, but how do you create enough of a sense of a community that the reader will want to come back to the discussion to see what others have said and to add more thoughts?

Facebook seems a fairly obvious place to start (and NPR has done two book discussions on their NPR Books Facebook page), especially since the Library has a community of 10,600 readers right there.  So … today, in conjunction with Seattle Reads, we launched an online book discussion of Little Bee by Chris Cleave. You can head over to our Library’s Facebook page, or directly to our LITTLE BEE: Online Book Discussion. (It’s under the “Discussions” link that’s in the left-hand column.) Continue reading “Our online book group discusses “Little Bee””

1-5 Overpass Songs

Over the I-5

Like most city commuters, I like to mix it up when it comes to how I get to and from work. I’ve recently moved, so now it’s full on bus both ways. But before I moved, I would usually walk to work and bus home or vice versa. I tried to vary my route so I wouldn’t get bored, but one constant remains when you’re walking from Capitol Hill to downtown: I-5. Continue reading “1-5 Overpass Songs”