Mindfulness for a New Year

Like most folks, I generally look at the beginning of a new year as a chance to reset, hopefully shedding some of those old, bad habits and starting some healthier new ones. And, as I get older and ponder more deeply how I want to be living my life (rather than how I sometimes find myself living it), I have been searching for ways to be more intentional as I go through my day. Mindfulness meditation, also simply called mindfulness, is a practical way to accomplish this goal that requires surprisingly little time and effort.

While rooted in Buddhism, there are many mindfulness guides and methods that are decidedly modern and completely Western, but all focus on staying present in the moment with the aim of calming the mind. Here are some titles I have found particularly useful in learning the practice of mindfulness meditation: Continue reading “Mindfulness for a New Year”

#BookBingoNW2017: Young adult

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Need a book for that Young Adult square but aren’t quite sure where to start? Young adult fiction has come a long way since Sweet Valley High, with captivating, well-written titles that cross and blend just about every genre out there.  There is, of course, an abundance of teen romance but there is also excellent historical fiction and realistic fiction that shows just what it means to be a teen in 2017.  With thousands of titles published for young adults each year it can be a challenge to find books that will resonate with adult readers.  Here are some of our favorites: Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2017: Young adult”

Streetwise Revisited: Homeless Youth

Follow us throughout the fall for posts which highlight library resources and information that supports the Tiny: Streetwise Revisited exhibit at the Central Library and its community programming.

Every year the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness conducts a One Night Count, a county-wide effort to count the number of individuals sleeping on the streets, in shelters or in transitional housing.  They also conduct another count that focuses exclusively on youth ages 12-25 called Count Us In, now in its sixth year.  The results of the 2015 Count Us In efforts reported a staggering – and increasing – number of youth and young adults without reliable housing.  Over 800 youth did not have housing on January 22, 2015.   Within those results are some figures that are especially troubling: fully one third of homeless youth identify as Black/African American, and nearly one quarter identify as LGBTQ.  These numbers make it clear that we, as a city and county, have a lot of work to when it comes to supporting youth who are struggling.  Continue reading “Streetwise Revisited: Homeless Youth”

Book Bingo: Young Adult Book

Join The Seattle Public Library and Seattle Arts & Lectures for our 2nd annual Summer Book Bingo for adults! Follow us throughout the summer for reading suggestions based on each category.

YAEven if I wasn’t a Young Adult librarian, I would still read tons of YA literature.  While I love the maturity and intellectual demands of adult literary fiction, sometimes a YA novel just hits that sweet spot of delivering a fully satisfying read that is challenging and fresh, yet doesn’t require too much time or mental energy to complete. Continue reading “Book Bingo: Young Adult Book”

Book Bingo: Banned

Join The Seattle Public Library and Seattle Arts & Lectures for our 2nd annual Summer Book Bingo for adults! Follow us throughout the summer for reading suggestions based on each category.

BannedEvery year, the American Library Association compiles reports of challenged and banned materials from libraries around the country.  The Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books are reported annually, and the results can act as a cultural barometer of sorts, reflecting the country’s tolerance (or lack of it) on certain themes or issues.

Regardless of which titles make the list each year, one thing we can always count on from the annual Top Ten is at least one surprise.  The 2015 list did not disappoint, presenting an especially diverse range of titles and containing more adult books than usual, including The Holy Bible!

While each book on the list this year is worth of examination, these first-timers are of particular interest.  All three were very well received by critics and the public alike, and each is ground-breaking in its own particular way: Continue reading “Book Bingo: Banned”