Oak Harbor Library Blog

Monday, October 18, 2010


In the 11th century Hai Gaon wrote, "To three possessions thou shouldst look: Acquire a field, a friend, a book." While we can, perhaps, in modern times, assign our field to the expert care of others, our current need for friends and books is no less urgent today.
Next to voting, the act of reading is possibly the most significant gesture of citizenship. To open one's mind to the wide field of ideas and information; to pursue knowledge wherever the spirit leads; to grasp freedom in the shape of education - all these are the cornerstones upon which the public library is built.
As for friends, it is the Friends of the Library whose cause it is to support the library and its work in the community. The Friends of the Oak Harbor Library volunteer their time and raise money through annual book sales. This year the Friends provided nearly $9000 for library equipment and furniture, outreach activities and summer reading programs, and library events such as puppet shows, authors and films. Join the Friends of the Library and support your local library. Mary

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A National Digital Library?

As you may know, the United States does not have a National Library. Indeed, we have a Library of Congress, with its primary intent to serve Congress, a National Library of Medicine, and a National Agricultural Library. There are also State libraries, including the Washington State Library.

These are all invaluable resources for their purposes, but there still remains the absence of a National Library, with the intent to serve and preserve the entire country.

A recent article in the New York Review of Books discussed the possibility of creating a National Digital Library. As defined, this would be "a comprehensive library of digitized books that will be easily accessible to the general public." A great, if complex, idea.

A National Digital Library, as the article describes, "would make the cultural patrimony of this country freely available to all of its citizens. It would be the digital equivalent of the Library of Congress, but instead of being confined to Capitol Hill, it would exist everywhere, bringing millions of books and other digitized material within clicking distance of public libraries, high schools, junior colleges, universities, retirement communities, and any person with access to the Internet."

In the absence of a National Library in this country, and in this Digital Age, this is a very compelling and important idea. Your thoughts?


*Image from the

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hand-dyed Textiles on Display

Mary Burks is displaying her hand-dyed textiles at Oak Harbor Library during the month of October. Mary says of her work in textiles and mixed media:

I work with textiles because I love the tactile quality of the fibers. I generally have at least two projects going at once--the art work and the wearables. The wearables give me an opportunity for spontaneity through dyeing with the silk scarves. Silk loves dye. It is a race of the dye molecules to see which one attaches first to the silk and establishes its color. Lately I have been doing a lot of natural dyeing and find that the colors have a wonderful affinity to each other--they all go together in the finished work.

While the composition is simple, the labor involved is not. It is very time consuming. But I find it to be therapeutic and mentally calming. I like to create texture with the fibers using lots of folding, tyeing and stitching. Most of the techniques that I employ help with the control of the dye process--the adding color process. I like to think of my textile work as painting with threads and dyes. Posted by Nancy.