Oak Harbor Library Blog

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Take The Library With You: 24/7 Downloads

Planning a trip this holiday season? Busy with last minute details? Who's got time to go to the library! The good news is, you don't have to. Why not add one more online shopping stop and visit your Sno-Isle Libraries download site. It's available 24/7 with access to free audiobooks for IPod and mP3 players, and free eBooks for your Kindle, Nook or other eReader.
We just got back from a terrific weekend in eastern Washington. On the way over and back we listened to Bill Bryson's At home: A short history of private life, which I had downloaded earlier to my mP3 player. Read beautifully by the author, it was both fascinating and thought provoking. Even more important, it made the miles speed by.
At our friends' house with time to relax, we dipped into eBooks downloaded free from the library web site: The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee on my Kindle; and Wallace Stegner's classic, Angle of Repose on my husband's eReader.
Of course I still love those print books - one in the hand, one on the eReader and one to listen to as I walk, ride, clean house and work in the yard is generally about right.
Learn how to download books with OverDrive's Digital Media Tutorial or sign up for a free class at your local library. Enjoy this busy season - and be sure to make time to read!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Great Design, Beautiful Library

I recently visited one of the more inspiring buildings (and libraries) I have ever seen. It was the downtown Vancouver, WA, branch of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District in Southwest Washington. They opened their new Main Library in July 2011.

They clearly focused on great design, community, early learning, technology, adult learning, teens, green building, inspiration, creativity, and contemplation.

From even before I walked in the door I felt excited and inspired. While wandering around the building -- to the point of forgetting about time, just wanting to hang out -- I found myself thinking about how great design engenders great feelings.

There are floor to ceiling glass windows, bringing the outside in and letting in lots of natural light. A coffee cart, serving local coffee, tea, and pastries, greets visitors on the first floor, surrounded by comfortable seating and shelves of "Lucky Day" books of popular titles. The building's "green" design is clean and professional, and spaces are offered throughout the library for all ages and interests. The entire third floor, for example, is dedicated to children, including a whole wing for Early Learning based on the process of reading.

Comfortable places to sit and read or work, with plug-ins built into the tables, welcome laptop users, writers, and contemplatives on each floor. The top floor enjoys a beautiful terrace with benches, plants, and a great view of downtown, the Columbia River, and looking on to Portland.

These pictures show a huge wall that begins in the lobby on the first floor and extends up to the ceiling, clearly demonstrating the vision of the building and the unsurpassed value of public libraries. This wall was one of my favorite parts of this beautiful building. What is your favorite part of your favorite library (or any other) building? -Kara

Friday, November 18, 2011

Library Children's Area Reimagined

Oak Harbor Library's Children's Area entryway has a gorgeous, new interactive look. Visible from the library entrance, the art installation by Celia Marie Baker clearly identifies the children's area. It welcomes and engages young children and their families, while highlighting the natural history of Whidbey Island.
Children are greeted with large trees which house a variety of woodland animals, birds and insects. Painted screen transitions from green to blue, as the artwork moves from forest to ocean. From inside the children's area the view is beach, fish, sealife and ocean birds. Early literacy concepts are employed as children are invited to find the animals and their accompanying letters (as in "U" is for urchin).
The project was funded through a grant from the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, in support of the Oak Harbor Library's work with preschool children and their families. Come check it out - Mary

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Canoe Journey Photos on Display

This month, Oak Harbor Library displays photographs taken by Toni Kay Smith at the Coast Salish peoples’ annual Tribal Canoe Journey. Tribal Journeys began in 1989 with nine canoes participating in “Paddle to Seattle.”

Since 1993, various tribes in Washington State and British Columbia have hosted the canoe journeys. In July 2011, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community hosted end of journey events on tribal land in La Conner.

November is National American Indian Heritage Month. During the second half of November, artwork by Swinomish tribal members Frank Campbell and Joe Bailey, and photographs from the 2011 Tribal Canoe Journey will be on display in the case in the library lobby.

For more information about Paddle to Swinomish 2011, visit the http://paddletoswinomish.com/ web site.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Consumer Reports Online

Did you know you can access Consumer Reports online for free with your Sno-Isle Libraries card?

Click on the Consumer Information page where you'll find access to all Consumer Reports magazine issues back to 1985. All from the comfort of your home or phone.

Ask a Librarian if you have any questions. -Kara

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Consider the Conversation: Documentary Film

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. On Thursday November 17 at 2pm, Hospice of the Northwest invites you to take part in an intimate conversation about end of life issues at the Oak Harbor Library. Consider the Conversation is a thought-provoking film that sheds light on the 21st century American struggle with communication and preparation at the end-of-life. Forty years ago, most people experienced a quick death, but today we are more likely to suffer a slow, incremental dying process. This documentary film looks closely at the emotional, spiritual, physical and social burdens we now associate with dying, and begins to examine personal solutions.

While you are waiting for the film event, check out some of these titles:
Handbook for mortals : guidance for people facing serious illness by Joanne Lynn
A better way of dying : how to make the best choices at the end of life by Jeanne Fitzpatrick
Hard times require furious dancing : new poems by Alice Walker