News from your local libraries

The Year Ahead

The Year Ahead

by Laura Tretter

Bear with me as I write one more column centered around the New Year.

Somehow I just can’t skip the traditional review of the past year and quick look ahead to the New Year. I don’t need to convince anyone on the importance of reflecting on where you have been and where you are going. It can be too easy to simply focus on the things not completed and forget all the things that have been accomplished. So here are a few things that stand out in my mind when I think of 2008 at the San Juan Isalnd Library:

The launch of the Community Event Calendar. In partnership with ByDesign we brought back a service the library once offered. We have had a lot of positive feedback from this and look forward to seeing it continue. If you haven’t checked it out go to:

The Jim Crook Collection and our first digitization project. If you haven’t already checked it out go to: With a lot of support from the Washington State Library this has been a great opportunity for us to work through the entire digitization process from start to finish. In close partnership with the Historical Museum we put together a collection of which I am truly proud.

Annual Report. For the first time as long as anyone around here can remember, the library put out an annual report to the public. Some may not consider this much of a highlight, but it is the start of many more.

Shannan Sword our Youth Services Librarian of over three years moved onward and upward to become the Director of Sylvan Lake Municipal Library in Alberta, Canada. She’s doing well and living right on the beautiful lake.

We’re almost finished with our interview process to fill her position.

Jen Fleming joined our permanent staff!

Thanks to the Town of Friday Harbor we now have a sidewalk all the way from town to the Library! As part of the construction our parking lot underwent a redesign as well.

In 2009 I’m looking forward to a few new and expanded things:

We have begun work on our next digitization project with a grant from the State Library. This project will bring in the community to create a collection of items that tell the story of life on our island in a new and exciting way.

One Book, One Community grant is bringing author Laurie King to the island and creating an opportunity for everyone to read the same book and explore what it means to live in our community together.

We will welcome a new Youth Services Librarian and see what new services and opportunities they bring to our island kids.

Maybe the return of the art committee…Let me know if you are interested!

Lopez Island Library – What a year Lou Pray, Lopez Library Director

Looking back at 2008, the Lopez Island Library has had a busy year. We now have 2,795 registered library patrons. 300 young people are registered library card holders. We added 6,009 new items to the library in 2008. 77,174 library items were checked out of the library – up 11,257 from 2007. That is approximately 28 items checked out for every Lopez Island Library card holder. 56,539 people used the library – an increase of 9,955 from 2007. Both the building and the computers were updated this year. Community outreach included everything from a radio show with recommendations, reviews, and a sampling of new audio books and music CDs to visits to the school to promote new databases. In short, we’ve had a jumping year.

Speaking of new databases, we’ve added several new sources to Infotrac which accessible from our library website under Find It Fast/Articles.

Health and Wellness Resource Center and Alternative Health Module  1980 – Jan 2009 provides instant access to carefully compiled and trusted medical reference materials. Includes nearly 400 health/medical journals, hundreds of pamphlets, over 700 health-related videos from partner Healthology, Inc., and articles from 2,200 general interest publications in addition to a broad collection of reference titles.

History Resource Center: US History Resource Center: U.S. provides integrated access to over 4,000 historical (primary) documents, articles from more than 30 reference titles, and over 110 full-text journal covering themes, events, individuals and periods in U.S. history from pre-Colonial times to the present. The material also includes citations from over 180 additional history journals from the Institute for Scientific Information’s Arts and Humanities Citation Index, as well as the entire “American Journey Online” series.

History Resource Center: World is a comprehensive collection of award-winning reference, full-text articles from leading scholarly publications, an array of primary sources, and images, maps and charts which provide expansive geographic and chronlogic research materials for the study of world history. From ancient Europe to Latin America and from the Far East to the Renaissance, world history curricula is supported with over 1,800 primary sources, over 27 reference titles and more than 110 journals.

Akira Kurosawa film buffs take note. The library just purchased the Criterion collection of great films, including the following:

Ran, Hidden Fortress, High and Low, Kagemusha, Rashomon, Red beard, Sanjuro, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo, Dreams

These are in Japanese with English subtitles and are in the DVD collection at the library.

Join us at the library for Saturday matinees this month at 2pm. We’ll be showing a musical, Mamma Mia! on Saturday, Jan 24th and Horton Hears A Who on Jan 31st.


Phil Heikkinen, Orcas Island Public Library

The Orcas Library has a variety of upcoming events and classes, both tried and true and new.

In the former category, due to popular demand, Kim Middleton is again offering her Introduction to Birding class, beginning January 17 and continuing for a total of eight Saturday s (as of the 15th, we still have room for late arrivals); and JoEllen Moldoff continues facilitating the Memoir Writing group, while also planning a spring poetry class.

The Crossroads Lecture Series resumes on February 20 with “China, India, and Global Economic Leadership in the 21st Century,” presented by Joseph Massey, Professor of International Business and Founding Director of the Center for International Business at Dartmouth College. Following that look for these lectures in March and May: “Politics and Democracy in Post-Communist Russia,” “Fueling the Future: Oil, Nuclear Power, and Alternative Energy Sources,” and “On the Frontiers of Medicine: Using Genetic Information to Create Individually Tailored Approaches to Treatment.” Look for more information on our website, at the Library, and in print.

The Friends of Orcas Island Library have scheduled the Winter Book Sale from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday, February 21 at the Orcas Island School District cafeteria. Even after cleaning out their inventory at last August’s Library Fair, the Friends have a full load of great books to share.

New classes and programs include John Louton’s overview of China from ancient times to today, offered in five sessions beginning on January 29. Describing John’s qualifications would take up more room than I have available in this column, so I’ll just list his Ph.D. in Chinese Language and Comparative Philosophy, five years in Taiwan, and ten years in China. I hope to see him offer more classes in the future.

Nichole Proffitt has organized a photography project in which beginning photographers of various ages share their lives through photographs. The Library will host an opening reception from 6 to 9 pm on Saturday, January 31 here at the Library, after which we will display the photos for the month of February. She is still welcoming donations to help cover expenses; people can offer them via the Library.

Finally, the Library Board and I continue to explore directions for services, revenues, and a possible building addition. Look for more information through links on our website. Also, please let me know if your group would like to schedule a presentation. We can tailor it to your available time!