Welcome to the Spring issue of Alki. Incoming WLA President Craig Seasholes points out that “as librarians we serve a bridgebuilding role all day long: patron by patron, question by question,” and in doing so we help strengthen our communities (pg. 3). Sometimes our communities help strengthen us, as in the case of the Seattle Public Library, who worked with local Somali families, several community organizations, and a book distributor and publisher to produce a much-needed Somali language board book (pg. 5)
Building a bridge to homeless populations is very much on our minds. The Bellingham Public Library, with guidance from the mayor and the City of Bellingham, is embracing the challenges of working with homeless patrons (pg. 8). In a similar vein, the Spokane Valley Library is putting philosophy into practice in the way they approach their users experiencing homelessness (pg. 11)
More than 8,000 people are released from incarceration each year in Washington State, and for many of these former prisoners, the reentry process can be daunting. The Washington State Library, in collaboration with the Seattle Public Library, the Spokane Public Library and other state libraries, hopes to ease that process by issuing library cards to inmates prior to their release from prison. (pg. 13) And for anyone seeking to better understand Washington State law, Kelsey Smith interviews state law librarian Rob Mead and Barbara Engstrom, director of the Public Law Library of King County about the state’s various free and low-cost legal resources (p. 15).
Walls, of course, can be literal and the stories of what transpired within yours could be found at the Everett Public Library’s Northwest Room (p. 18), or via digitization made possible by the partnership between the WSU Vancouver Library and the Clark County History Museum (p. 20). Sometimes walls get new life when they become an exciting new performance space, as in the Community Lens at the Spokane Public Library (p. 22). And sometimes we build bridges to new patrons by moving beyond our traditional walls entirely, as with the Spokane County Library District’s BookEnd at the Spokane Valley Mall (p. 23).
The University of Washington Libraries recently launched an internship program for high school students that also provides an introduction to both campus life and the wealth of resources available at the UW Libraries (p. 24), while Jefferson County Library finds that their sometimes challenging geography is no match for their commitment to bringing important cultural and entertainment opportunities to their patrons (p. 28).
I’d Rather Be Reading (p. 33) takes a look at six recent high interest titles by Washington authors, and Read This Book (p. 31) profiles recent releases that encourage students to build their own bridges.
The issue wraps up with something a bit on the more humorous side as Jared Criswell is surprised to find that neighborhood social media forums are library publicity machines waiting to happen (p. 29), and Dispatches from Swellville offers an Alki first – a little advice from the stars (pg. 35).
Alki Editor: Sheri Boggs
Alki Editorial Committee: Frank Brasile, committee chair; Kris Becker; Suzanne Carlson-Prandini; Karen Diller; Anna Shelton; Kelsey Smith; Mindy Van Wingen; Dusty Waltner
Design: Sonya Kopetz, KB design
Cover attribution: “Three Young Authors with Baro Af-Soomaali,” by Amy Twito
Download the full-color PDF issue below.
By Craig Seasholes
By Sheri Boggs
By Frank Brasile
By Suzanne Carlson-Prandini
By Sarah O’Hare
By Bo Kinney
By Kelsey Smith
By Mindy Van Wingen
By Robert Schimelpfenig
By Jason Johnson
By David Wyatt
By Kian Flynn and Elliott Stevens
By Kris Becker
By Jared Criswell
By Linda Johns
By Brooke Shirts and the Puget Sound Council for Review of Children’s and Young Adult Literature
By Darcy McMurtery