Oak Harbor Library Blog

Monday, February 28, 2011

Poseidon's Horses: Drawings by Betty Bastai

Betty Bastai was born in Italy and has an MA in Painting from Edinburgh College of Art. She creates mixed media drawings on paper and site specific installations. Bastai explores the themes of nature, the human body and language. In 2007 she was awarded a GAP Grant from Artist Trust, Art Patch Healthy Funding Award and the Patron Award from California State Polytechnic University. Her work is in the Dee Roy and Mary M. Jones Memorial Art Collection and numerous private collections in the US and Europe.

She is currently working on a community art project about self-portraiture. If you would like to submit a self-portrait please visit her Raw Bubbles blog at:

“The works that I exhibit at the Oak Harbor Library are mixed media drawings on paper that are part of a series titled Poseidon’s Horses. They represent my experience of the Pacific Northwest filtered through my Mediterranean cultural background. They are semi-abstract seascapes where shapes, marks and figurative elements float and mingle on the picture plane striving for a balance and suggesting an ‘open-ended’ narrative. The colors reflect the brilliancy and contrast of the local sea-life. The horse is the mediator between the mysterious and fascinating natural world and my perception of it. Its captivating forms turn into a symbol of psychological freedom, personal renewal and growth.”

For more information about Betty Bastai's work, you can contact her at bettybastai@gmail.com

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Best Books for Discussion

Whidbey book groups gathered en masse at the Coupeville Library last week to share food, wine and good books. Librarian Terry Beck reviewed this year's notable books, and book groups presented their favorites. Here are some of the titles that evoked the best discussions (see the complete list at http://www.whidbeybookgroups.com/)
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Kits for book groups, sets of 10 paperback copies with discussion questions, are available for checkout at Sno-Isle Libraries. Visit the library's web site at http://www.sno-isle.org/applications/bookcollections/ for more information about Book Discussion Kits.

Join the all-Island discussion with author Erica Bauermeister, School of Essential Ingredients, on Wednesday, March 9, 7pm at the Oak Harbor Library. Mary

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Learn about eReaders at the Oak Harbor Library

Learn about eReaders, such as the Nook and Sony Reader, at the Oak Harbor Library on Tuesday February 22 at 3pm.

You will see comparisons of several eReaders and learn the basics of downloading an ebook to read for free from the Sno-Isle website.

Come with your questions!

See you there,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Coming Soon To Sno-Isle Libraries: Polaris

Did you know that Sno-Isle Libraries contain more than a million books, movies and cds available for check-out? Have you ever experienced difficulty in using the library's clunky old online catalog? It is, after all, 20 years old - practically an antique in the world of technology. Well, there is good news: better access is coming soon! Sno-Isle Libraries ILS (Integrated Library System) will upgrade to Polaris within the next few weeks. Here are some of the improvements you'll experience:
  • You'll save time and get better search results with improved searching ability and ease-of-use (just try searching for It by Stephen King in the old system if you want an exercise in frustration).
  • You'll have more control over holds and a more powerful library experience, with features similar to those expected from sites like Netflix, Google and Amazon. For example, you'll be able to put your holds "on hold" while you are out of town and not miss them when they come in.
  • You'll also be able to keep a wishlist of things you want to read, view or listen to but are not quite ready for. Not only that, but you will have the option of keeping a running list of all the items you've checked out, and to edit the list at any time using your own password.
In short, you will receive more for your tax dollars and more personal service. This is a smart investment and smart spending for the library and the community. Polaris leaves our old system in the dust when it comes to efficiency of work processes. The upgrade to Polaris allows the Library to remain a relevant, valuable community resource in the 21st century.

The Denver Public Library went live with Polaris on Thursday, Feb. 3. If you visit their website, you'll find a nice list of Polaris features, many of the same things that will be available to Sno-Isle Libraries customers. We are most grateful to Denver Public Library for going ahead of us by a few weeks; we will benefit from their experience, particularly in our work to migrate data from our old system to the new one.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Meet the Author of "Circumference of Home"

When Kurt Hoelting, author of Circumference of Home, realized the gap between his convictions and his carbon footprint, he gave up traveling by car for a year and stayed within 100 kilometers of his Whidbey Island home.

"The question is no longer whether I must respond. The question is whether I can turn my response into an adventure."

Join us for Kurt's presentation and book signing on Tuesday February 8, at 5:30pm, at the Oak Harbor City Hall. Funded in part by the Friends of the Oak Harbor Library.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This Month’s Artist: Zachary Billings

Zachary Billings uses acrylic paints, fine ball point pens and felt tip pens, markers and colored pencils to create his imaginative drawings. The 8½ x 11 originals were scanned and enlarged onto watercolor paper. Zachary explains his technique:

“I then commenced to redo all my work going over every line and detail and enhancing all my colors. I redid my work so precisely that it has proved to become a great improvement from the originals.

I loved drawing birds as a child. I did not get serious about art until I left the Army in 1980. I started out with Indian ink and a tiny brush. I was introduced to color with glycerin-based water-colors and sold my first work, The Double-Headed Dragon of the Seventh Heaven, to the owner of the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA. I worked my brushes down to one or two hairs. I was fascinated with intricate designs and images found on ancient vases from China. In 1982, I challenged myself with a mandala design of my own creation using a lighted glass table, the smallest brush sold on the market, and Indian ink. This later became my logo for Diamond-Point Needle Vessel Ship Productions, Inc. In 2002, I sold a portfolio of fine art illustrations to the owner of Labor Ready in Shrevesport, LA that included about thirty works.”

Zachary is interested in connecting with other artists in the Oak Harbor area. To contact him about his artwork or starting an artists’ cooperative, call 360-202-7940 or send email to zacharybillings@ymail.com.