Have your say on the new Seattle Public Library website

The Seattle Public Library will soon be launching its new website, and they’re asking for community input on the design. The current site was designed in 2003.

The redesign is happening in response to voters who passed the 2012 Library levy, who “said they wanted a strong website that would be a true ‘virtual library.'” To view and comment on the draft designs, visit this website, where there’s a short video (above) showing the design work already completed and a comment form. Comments may be submitted online by 5 pm on August 8.

SPL expects to launch the new site in early 2018; for more information about the library’s website redesign project, call 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

Body-positive figure drawing at Populuxe Brewing on Sunday

On Sunday, June 25, the Seattle Public Library will hold a body-positive figure drawing class, taught by a local comic book artist, at Populuxe Brewing (826B NW 49th St) from 3 to 5pm.

Artists of every skill level are encouraged to attend, but everyone needs to bring their own supplies for drawing. The class will be taught by local artist Tatiana Gill, who will, “lead attendees through a series of exercises that take a body-positive approach to figure drawing and representation.” There will be live, clothed models, including local model Curvy Curly Chelsie. Gill is a Seattle cartoonist, focusing on themes such as body positivity, feminism, mental health and recovery.

The event is free and open to the public; drinks are available for purchase. Registration is not required. For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

SPL to kick off 2017 “Summer of Learning” next month

The Seattle Public Library’s 2017 Summer of Learning for youth and families kicks off on Thursday, June 15. The 98th annual program, which continues through Tuesday, September 5, is designed to keep students reading and learning while school is out.

This year’s program features the theme “Blast Off to Space!” and encourages reading and activities around science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

The Library is offering hundreds of free programs all summer long for families, children and teens. All programs are free and open to the public. Visit www.spl.org/summeroflearning for more information.

Children and teens can learn to program robots, play a ukulele, create videos, write songs, take digital photos, practice calligraphy, design sound effects and more. Some classes require registration, which will open up online two weeks before the first class begins at each Library location. The Library will also celebrate the upcoming solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, with programs, events and displays and by distributing free eclipse glasses in late August.

Children who take part in Summer of Learning will receive a free Mission Log packed with fun space-related learning activities. There will be three levels for participants to complete of daily reading and activity missions. Level 1 finishers will be entered into the grand prize drawing and will get one prize from the prize box, and will also have their names placed on the Wall of Space Voyagers at their home library. Level 2 and 3 finishers will win additional prizes from the prize box and entries into the grand prize drawing.

Teens who take part in Summer of Learning will receive a free Teen Book Bingo card. Participants who complete a Book Bingo card can bring it into the Library, or post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #SPLteenbookbingo2017 for a chance to win an iPad Mini or free movie theater passes! Examples of Book Bingo squares include: book you judged by its cover, turned into a movie, banned, #WeNeedDiverseBooks, a book you finish reading in a day or read outdoors, and a comic or graphic novel.

Families with young children ages birth to 5 years old can pick up a fun bingo card filled with reading and learning activities to do together with babies, toddlers and preschoolers. For every five completed squares in a row (up, down, across, or diagonal), children can get their name on the Wall of Space Voyagers at their home library. The Early Learner bingo card will be printed in English, and printable versions will be available online in Amharic, Chinese, English, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya and Vietnamese.

The Library offers summer programming because research shows that during the summer young people can forget a certain amount of what they learned during the school year. Educators call that the “summer slide.” The Summer of Learning program mitigates the summer slide and teaches children and teens 21st century learning skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking and digital skills.

The Library has partnered with the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture to offer free family admission, for up to two adults and four children, when families present a completed Mission Log or an Early Learner flyer from July 1 to Oct. 31, 2017.

For more information about Summer of Learning, visit www.spl.org/summeroflearning, call The Seattle Public Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

Nearby News: Greenwood Library to close for second phase of construction

The Greenwood Branch (8016 Greenwood Ave N) will temporarily close beginning Monday, June 26, for its second phase of construction work to install a custom made exterior glass wall. The book drop will remain open; the garage will be closed.

The branch is expected to reopen in about two weeks. Because the branch will be closed for such a short time, holds will be temporarily suspended during the closure period. Patrons do not need to take any action – holds will be automatically restarted once the branch is open.

The 12-year-old branch was closed from February 13 – April 16 for refurbishing and improvements that support the changing ways that patrons are using libraries.

At that time, an indoor-outdoor boulder in the children’s area was removed due to ongoing moisture problems and the exterior wall was temporarily covered with plywood. A permanent glass wall is being fabricated for the area.

Other improvements included adding a laptop bar in the teen area, combining service desks, increasing seating options, adding electrical outlets to tables, upgrades to the meeting room and repositioning the public computers to reduce glare. The worn carpet in the branch also was replaced.

The changes were designed to improve access to technology, make it easier for patrons to interact with one another, and create flexible, open, welcoming spaces throughout the building.

A public celebration will be scheduled for later this summer after all the work is complete.

For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

SPL encourages adults to read with launch of “Book Bingo”

The Seattle Public Library is aiming to encourage adults to read this summer with the launch of Book Bingo! The Book Bingo contest is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) and offers a fun and creative way for Seattle readers to expand their reading selections.

Locals can start playing now by picking up a Book Bingo card from any location of The Seattle Public Library or printing one online. Participants are encouraged to fill in the card with titles of the books they read all summer long.

When participants have marked out an entire row or all 25 squares, they can bring the completed Book Bingo card to any Library location or mail it to SAL (340 15th Ave. E., Suite 301, Seattle, WA 98112.)

Participants can also can enter by posting a photo of your completed card using #BookBingoNW2017 via Facebook (@SeattlePublicLibrary @SeattleArtsAndLectures), Instagram (@seattleartsandlectures @seattlepubliclibrary) or Twitter (@SeaArtsLectures @SPLBuzz).

Participants who complete a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line will be entered into a drawing to win a $30 gift card from one of nine independent book stores.

Winning entries will be selected at random. Prizes may be collected at the Library location of your choice. Prizes include gift cards to Ada’s Technical Books, Elliott Bay Book Company, Open Books: A Poem Emporium, Phinney Books, Queen Anne Book Co., Ravenna Third Place Books, Secret Garden Books, Seward Park Third Place Books and University Bookstore.

Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 5.

Seattle Public Library launches second round of local music collection

In 2016, The Seattle Public Library launched an online Seattle music collection called PlayBack that enabled Seattleites to download free local music.

Now, 50 more local artists have been added to playback.spl.org, including NAVVI, Fysah, Golden Gardens, Raz Simone and more. Anyone can stream the albums for free, and Library cardholders can download and keep any music in the PlayBack collection.

PlayBack is open to all Seattle-area musicians who record or perform in the city of Seattle and have had an album produced within the last five years. PlayBack is intended to be an ever-expanding collection of Seattle’s musical culture, and a total of 100 new albums will be available each year through the Library’s catalog.

The jury for the second submission period included:

  • Tim Lennon, executive director of the Vera Project and music commissioner for the city of Seattle
  • Sharlese Metcalf, KEXP DJ, host and producer of Audioasis
  • Liz Riley Tollefson, co-founder of Three Imaginary Girls
  • Jonathan Zwickel, senior editor at City Arts
  • Kreg Hasegawa, adult services librarian at The Seattle Public Library
  • Kathleen Morley, selections services librarian at The Seattle Public Library
  • Cameron McCracken, library associate II at The Seattle Public Library
  • Abby Bass, adult services librarian at The Seattle Public Library

A third submission period will open during spring 2017. More information will be posted on PlayBack’s Information for Artists page.

Funding for PlayBack has been made possible with the generous support of The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

For more information, visit www.spl.org/playback, call (206) 386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

SPL to accept Student Assistant Program applications next month

Teens ages 16 and older are invited to learn about and apply to the Student Assistant Program at The Seattle Public Library.

The Student Assistant Program gives young people valuable work experience at the Library. Applicants must be enrolled in a school program, but may not yet have completed bachelor’s degrees. Students accepted into the program may participate for up to three years, or until they no longer qualify as students.

To apply, a student must complete an employment application, a cover letter, proof of school enrollment and a reference from an educator or employer (form included in the application). The application will be available online on Saturday, April 1.

Screening the application materials can take between four and six weeks following the application deadline. Throughout the application and screening process, students are welcome to log in to their online applicant profile and view their status in the recruitment process. Applicants are asked to check their status online before contacting Human Resources.

Eligible students will have until 5 p.m., Sunday, April 30, 2017 to apply. More details on how to apply will be posted on the Library Job Listings on Saturday, April 1.

For more information, call the Library at (206) 386-4636 or Ask A Librarian.

Nearby News: Seattle Public Library to host weekly pop-up library in Greenwood

While the Greenwood Branch is closed, The Seattle Public Library will host a pop-up library from 11 a.m. to noon every Thursday, February 23 through March 30 at the Green Bean Café (8525 Greenwood Ave N).

The pop-up library will have books available for checkout. A children’s story time with storytelling and singing will start at 11:30 a.m.

For more information, call the Library at (206) 386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

SPL Foundation announces scholarships for local students

Seattle high school seniors and college undergraduates are invited to enter an essay scholarship competition created by The Seattle Public Library Foundation to honor civic leader Stimson Bullitt.

The fourth annual Stimson Bullitt Civic Courage Scholarship seeks essays that explore civic courage. Essays may be submitted online through 11:59 p.m. on March 15, 2017. For full contest rules, click here.

Three scholarships will be awarded: the author of the winning essay will receive $5,000, and the authors of the two second-place essays will each receive $2,500.

The competition is open to high school seniors and college undergraduate students who live, work or attend school in Seattle. Participants must have a Library card issued by The Seattle Public Library.

Winners will be announced in June 2017, and winning essays will be added to the collection in the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Seattle Room at the Central Library. Blue ribbon scholarship judges include authors Sherman Alexie, Paula Becker, Jon Krakauer and Jonathan Raban.

The Library Foundation created the Stimson Bullitt Civic Courage Scholarship Competition to commemorate Bullitt’s dedication to the community and his appreciation of individuals who were willing to go against public opinion and take a stand to better the world.

“This civic courage essay contest is a most fitting tribute to his legacy,” says Jonna Ward, CEO of the Library Foundation. “Stim’s commitment and generosity helped build and sustain important Seattle institutions like the Seattle Parks Foundation, the Bullitt Foundation and the Library Foundation. We are happy to honor his contributions to the Seattle community.”

Bullitt, who died in 2009, was a lawyer, decorated soldier, outdoorsman, civil rights activist, developer, philanthropist, broadcaster, environmentalist and community leader in Seattle. He believed that courageous civic leadership could improve the lives of people in our community now and in the future.

Bullitt saw the Library as an institution that embodied his commitment to equality of opportunity for all. Through his significant bequest to the Library Foundation, his commitment lives on in programs, resources and opportunities at the Library.

For more information, call Megan Locatelli Hyska, communications and events coordinator for The Seattle Public Library Foundation at 206-413-7473 or Ask a Librarian.

Seattle Public Library seeks local submissions for online music collection

This summer, The Seattle Public Library is set to launch an online Seattle music collection called PlayBack.

The collection will start with 50 albums of local music available for free download and streaming for SPL members.

AccordingPlayBack is intended to be an ever-expanding collection of Seattle’s musical culture, and 100 new albums will be available each year through the Library’s catalog.

“Any Seattle-area musician or group can submit work that was recorded in the last five years,” said Andrew Harbison, assistant director for Collections and Access Services at the Library. “One of the Library’s key service priorities is community engagement.”

All Seattle-area musicians who record or perform in the city of Seattle are invited to submit a music album. The album must contain four or more songs and have been produced within the last five years.

If an album is accepted, the artist will receive an honorarium of $200. Selected albums in the PlayBack collection will be discoverable through the Library’s online catalog and highlighted through the Library’s social media channels. Artists will also have opportunities to perform live at the Library.

The Library seeks works that reflect the rich variety of genres represented in Seattle’s music scene. Broad and inclusive submission criteria is detailed on PlayBack’s Information for Artists page.

According to SPL organizers, the new music collection is intended to reflect the diversity and abundance of Seattle’s music scene.

The first submission period will be open from Monday, May 9, through 5 p.m. on Monday, May 23. A second submission period will open this fall.

The jury for the first submission period includes:

  • Tim Lennon, executive director of the Vera Project and music commissioner for the City of Seattle
  • Larry Mizell, Jr., KEXP DJ, host of Street Sounds, digital media specialist for the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and columnist for The Stranger
  • Liz Riley Tollefson, founder of and contributor to Three Imaginary Girls
  • Kreg Hasegawa, adult librarian at The Seattle Public Library and project lead
  • Meira Jough, program coordinator at The Seattle Public Library

To submit music to The Seattle Public Library’s PlayBack platform, visit www.spl.org/playback. Submissions will only be accepted online.

The preferred file types are FLAC, WV and AIFF. Other accepted file types are MP3, AAC and Ogg Vorbis.