Help Your Kids Learn All Summer Long

School may be out, but learning is still in.  The library has launched its 2015 Summer Reading Program, offering kids and teens a way to have fun all summer long and be ready for school this fall. 

Studies show that kids who read regularly during summer vacation keep up or even move ahead in school, while ones who don’t often slide backward. Research confirms that students who don’t read during the summer lose about two months of reading progress and fall behind academically.  It’s called the summer slide. 

This year’s Summer Reading Program theme is Every Hero Has a Story.  The library is offering all kinds of fun learning activities throughout the summer, including art classes,  visits from the Hands On Children’s Museum and Reptile Man Scott Peterson, teen writing classes, movies and more. 

We encourage kids to try to read or be read to each day.  For every five hours of reading, participants select a free prize book provided by the Friends of the Jefferson County Library.  Teen readers choose a free book for every ten hours they read.  In addition to great programs at the library we have also partnered with the YMCA to offer classes and events in Quilcene this summer. 

The library is here to help families integrate books and literacy into their summer and their daily lives.  


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Posted in Director's Report by Meredith Wagner on Thursday, July 2nd 3:35pm   |   0 comments

We Can Bring the Library to You

The Library offers a home delivery service for county residents who are unable to visit the Library due to age, disability or illness. This unique service helps us extend our services beyond the Library’s four walls. 

Library staff work closely with HomeLibrary patrons to identify the library resources they are most interested in.  This may include books, audio books, videos, or music CDs.  Library materials are then selected and delivered by library staff to the patron’s home.  Items are selected based on patron requests and preferences, and are delivered once a month on Wednesdays.

Staff can also assist patrons with setting up their devices so they can download titles from our free e-book collection through the Washington Anytime Library.  

Services like these can be lifeline for citizens who are shut in.  Many users of home delivery services are longtime library patrons, who, through no fault of their own, can no longer visit the library.  This service restores that connection. 

This free, personalized service is available to residents of the unincorporated area of Jefferson County, those who live outside Port Townsend City limits.  To inquire about HomeLibrary Service or for more information, call the library or click here to enroll online.

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Posted in Director's Report by Meredith Wagner on Monday, June 22nd 3:41pm   |   0 comments

Trustee Vacancy Filled Welcome Ellen Hargis

The Jefferson County Library Board of Trustees recently conducted a search to fill the vacancy left when Trustee Marilyn Mitchell completed her second five-year term in March, 2015. Marilyn was a terrific asset to the board and the years she dedicated to serving the library are deeply appreciated. 

The Trustees sought someone who has an interest in public libraries, knowledge of public finance, sound judgment, a knowledge of or an interest in non-profit fundraising, an ability to work cooperatively with others and a commitment to public service. 

Ellen Hargis was appointed by the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners to serve a five year term and attended her first board meeting on April 8, 2015. 

For information about the Trustees, please contact Library Director Meredith Wagner by email or by calling 360-385-6544.

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Posted in Director's Report by Meredith Wagner on Wednesday, April 8th 12:00am   |   0 comments

Climate Change Programs Coming in February

Beginning February 5 at 6:30 pm, the library will provide individuals an opportunity to become more informed about the topic of climate change in our upcoming series of lectures, Climate Change: What are Earth’s Climate Systems and Can They Be Engineered?, a series of four weekly sessions to be presented by Paul Loubere at the library.  This series is co-sponsored by the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Loubere holds a Ph.D. in Ocean Sciences/Marine Geology from the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.  He was a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University and is a Professor Emeritus in that Department and the Department of Anthropology and has over 30 years experience researching global ocean and climate systems.  He has participated on scientific expeditions in much of the world’s oceans from the Arctic to the tropical Pacific.

During these interactive lectures, Paul will address questions such as: Can earth’s climate be managed or ‘engineered’ by humanity to control global warming?  Ideas abound, but to even enter the conversation on this issue, you need some knowledge of the planet’s main climate systems and how they work.  This series examines those climate systems in a non-technical way (lots of pictures, no math) and provides a basis for a discussion of the active management of climate.

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Posted in General by Brwyn Griffin on Thursday, January 15th 11:08am   |   0 comments

Tech Tuesdays 2015

Every Tuesday we offer a class on a specific technology subject from 3:00-4:00 pm.  These one hour classes are followed by drop-in individual assistance from 4:00-6:00 pm, a time when help is available on any technology topic. Bring your device or practice on laptops provided by the library.  

2015 Class Schedule

PLEASE NOTE:  Tech Tuesdays will be on hiatus June 16 - 30. Watch for new classes beginning July 7.

June 9 - Learn About Microsoft Office Word (Session 1 of 2)
In this session we will cover the basic layout, features and menus of the Microsoft Word software program. We will then build on this information in our Learn About Microsoft Office Word (Session 2) class on July 14.

June 2 - How to Download Library eBooks
Discover various titles of eBooks and eAudio books available through your library.  Learn how to prepare your computer or device to enable downloading the titles you wish to read or listen to, and how to check-out and return the books you borrow. 

May 26 - The Great Outdoors - There's an App for That!
Going hiking and need a map? Want to identify that peak over yonder? Or, maybe you are just looking for a nice simple hiking trail near you.  Join us for an exploration of how apps and technology can be used to meet these needs.

May 19 - Social Media:  Skype
Voice calls, video calls and more!  In this session we’ll walk through the steps of setting up and using Skype, and give you a chance to practice making, receiving and ending calls from your device or computer. 

May 12 - Learn About Microsoft Office Excel (Session 3)
In this session we'll build on the information presented in the February and March Excel sessions.  We'll continue looking at formulas and formatting, and we'll explore the ways Excel can be used to create charts with your data.

May 5 - How to Download Library eBooks
Discover the various titles of eBooks and eAudio books available through your library. Learn how to prepare your computer or device to enable downloading the titles you wish to read, and how to check-out and return the books you borrow. 

April 28 - PC Cleanup
Learn about cleaning a computer, tools for removing software junk and what you should use to clean your computer’s hardware.   
April 21 - Intermediate Facebook (Session 2 of 2)This second session of our two-part class (Introduction to Facebook class scheduled on March 17.) is designed for current Facebook users. We will begin this class with the understanding that you are already signed up and are using Facebook. We will review security settings; show you how to make a page attached to your personal Facebook site, review "tagging;" and show you how to refine your Facebook settings to limit who can see your posts.
April 14 - Novelist and Other Book Finding Guides
Don't know what to read next? Try Novelist, a library database that holds information on authors, series, read-a-likes and more. Want to find other book lovers who love to talk about them? Try Good Reads, a website dedicated to books and those who read them! Need some authoritative advice on what's good and what’s not? Check out Book Lust, a book written by former Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl.

April 7 -  How to Download Library eBooks
Discover the various titles of eBooks and eAudio books available through your library.  Learn how to prepare your computer or device to enable downloading the titles you wish to read, and how to check-out and return the books you borrow. 

March 31 - What is an App?
Join us for a discussion of Apps and find answers to: What is an App? What is the difference between an App and a program? Why would I use an App, or for that matter when might I want to use a program or browser?  We will also share some of our favorite apps.

March 24 - The Future of Libraries
What are some new innovations sweeping libraries worldwide? How are libraries adapting in their communities? Some of the results are surprising. Join us for a tour of some incredible innovations and see if you recognize the library of the future.

March 17 - Introduction to Facebook (Session 1 of 2) 
In this first session of a two-part class (Intermediate Facebook class scheduled on April 21) we will cover:
  • Facebook and social media in general (i.e. Social Media is not designed for privacy).
  • How you sign-up for an account (you must have an email address).
  • How you follow pages and invite "friends" to follow you.
  • How you "post" content to your site.
March 10 -  Learn About Microsoft Office Excel (Session 2 of 3)
In this session we will expand on the information we presented in our Feb 10th session.  We will go into more detail about importing data, formulas, and formatting options you have within an Excel spreadsheet.  This training will continue in our Excel training scheduled on April 14. 

March 3 -  How to Download Library eBooks
Discover the various titles of eBooks and eAudio books available through your library.  Learn how to prepare your computer or device to enable downloading the titles you wish to read, and how to check-out and return the books you borrow. 
February 24 – MOOCS and Online Academies for Further Learning
Learn about the numerous online resources for continuing your education. Sites such as the Kahn Academy, iTunes U, or one of the numerous Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), providing courses ranging from the sciences to lectures on arts and history to learning a foreign language there is something for everyone.
February 17 – Introduction to Pinterest
Learn how to set-up your Pinterest account, begin collecting visual bookmarks, and create a variety of boards to store your bookmarks. Learn how to share pins, and how to participate with and create group boards.
February 10 – Learn About Microsoft Excel (Session 1 of 3)
In this session we will cover the basic layout and features of the Microsoft Excel program, learn what an Excel spreadsheet is and why you might choose to work in Microsoft Excel. We will then build on this information in the March 10th and April 14th sessions.
February 3 – How to Download Library eBooks
Discover the various titles of eBooks and eAudio books available through your library.  Learn how to prepare your computer or device to enable downloading the titles you wish to read, and how to check-out and return the books you borrow. 
January 27 – What is an App?
Join us for a discussion of Apps and find answers to: What is an App? What is the difference between an App and a program? Why would I use an App, or for that matter when might I want to use a program or browser?  We will also share some of our favorite apps. 

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Posted in General, Technology, Teens by Brwyn Griffin on Wednesday, January 14th 2:00pm   |   1 comments

El Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skulls

For the past four years, Teen Librarian Sylvia Platt has spent a day on a date near Halloween with all the 6th graders at Chimacum Middle School teaching the students about the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. This year the students had some sugary sweet fun in addition to learning some history.

Sugar Skulls 2014

Sylvia was joined by Monica van Loon, the Spanish teacher at Sunfield School, who is of Mexican descent. Monica could talk to the 6th graders with the knowledge from her first-hand cultural inheritance, and related the history of this holiday in Mexico. The two women worked with each 6th grade Chimacum Middle School Humanities class taught by Joni Langston, and for the first year, the students got to make and decorate a sugar skull. Working with the materials helped deepen the understanding of the holiday for the students, as well as providing a messy and fun art project!

The school librarian, Deborah Gilbreath, had prepared the students by asking them to write a paper to compare and contrast Halloween and Dia de los Muertos to deepen their understanding of the art project. 

If you'd like to know more about this project, you can contact Sylvia Platt at


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Posted in General, Service, Teens by Brwyn Griffin on Thursday, October 30th 11:50am   |   0 comments

New Fall Programs!

We're happy to announce these new programs for all ages!


From Tall Ships to Family Art, there are new programs on a variety of subjects beginning September 24, when we host the author of A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain, Adrianne Harun, at 6:30 pm at the library. October 7 we're proud to host New Yorker cartoonist, Roz Chast as our 13th annual Huntingford Humanities Lecture presenter. This event will be held at Chimacum High School Auditorium and begins at 6:30 pm.

Two lectures about tall ships will be presented by Stan Cummings and are co-hosted by the library and Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The first, Tall Ships and the Rise of the British Empire will be held on Wednesday, October 22 at 6:30 pm, and the second, Pilgrim, the Story of the Tall Ship Featured in "Two Years Before the Mast" will also be held at the library on Wednesday, November 5 at 6:30 pm.

On October 23, we're hosting two young women from Palestine and Israel who work together as peacemakers with Creativity for Peace, a New Mexico nonprofit with operations in Israel and Palestine. Yaara Tal (from Gaza Israel) and Deema Yusuf (from Ramallah, Palestine) will talk about their peacemaking work both at this special event, as well as at local schools in both the Port Townsend and Chimacum School Districts. This event will be held at the library and begins at 6:30 pm.

On November 12, we will host the author of House Girl, Tara Conklin at a Meet the Author event at the library beginning at 6:30 pm. House Girl, a story of art and injustice that intertwines the lives of a young house slave in 1852 with a current day, young, ambitious lawyer. House Girl received a starred review from Library Journal.

Family Art

One Saturday every month, beginning October 4 from 2-4 pm, families can come to the library and get creative together! Taught by local artist Sidonie Wilson, Family Art is designed for adults and children to create and explore a variety of art mediums together. It starts with a demonstration and art conversation, followed by creative work-time. Space in the program is limited - sign up at the library, or call to register.

The topics for the Family Art workshops include: Vine and Creeper: Illuminated Letters; Silk Narratives: Sujani Quilts; The Art of Gift Giving: Explosion Boxes; Marc Chagall and Russion Fairytale Art: "I and the Village"; HeARTS: Victorian Puzzle Purses, Code Writing, Paper Stitching and Secret Love Messages; and an Introduction to Japanese Sashiko.

Thursday Afternoons for Kids and Teens 

Literacy, Games, Art and HOMAGO (Hanging out, Messing Around, Geeking-Out) -- a Teen Writers Club and Library Advisory Groups are all part of the weekly new youth programs. Learn more about these Thursday programs.

And, in addition to all this wonderful new programming, we still have our ongoing programs, including: Tech Tuesdays, Babytime, Toddler Storytime, Preschool Storytime, Mothersong, Boffer Club, and Homework Help.  


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Posted in General, Kids, Technology, Teens by Brwyn Griffin on Thursday, September 18th 9:18am   |   1 comments

Huntingford Humanities Lecture: October 7

We are pleased to announce the 13th annual Huntingford Humanities Lecture, "Theories of Everything: An Evening with New Yorker Cartoonist Roz Chast," scheduled for Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Chimacum High School Auditorium.

The Huntingford Humanities Lecture was established in 2001 in memory of Sara L. (Sally) Huntingford, a long time supporter of the Jefferson County Library. The Library District was formed in 1978, due in part to Sally's efforts. As a teacher and mother, Sally understood the importance of opening the door of learning to people who live in isolated, rural areas. She realized that quality library service was the key to that door. The Huntingford Lecture is funded by the Jefferson County Library and lecturers are chosen for their contribution to the humanities and their ability to communicate that knowledge in a broadly appealing way.

The history of Huntingford Humanities Lectures include the following celebrated speakers: 2013 - Karen Joy Fowler, 2012 - David Guterson, 2011 - Mary Doria Russell, 2010 - Garth Stein, 2009 - Nancy Pearl, 2008 - Sherman Alexie, 2007 - Timothy Egan, 2006 - Milenko Matanovic, 2005 - Stephanie Coontz, 2004 - Tom Jay, 2003 - Jim Wittaker, and the first Huntingford lecturer in 2002 - Ruth Kirk.

Our Huntingford Humanities Lecture guest speaker for 2014, Roz Chast, sold her first cartoon to The New Yorker magazine in1978 and has since established herself as one of our greatest artistic chroniclers of the anxieties, superstitions, furies, insecurities, and surreal imaginings of modern life.

Since then, nine collections have been published of Chast's cartoons, most recently Therories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons of Roz Chast, 1978-2006, a twenty-five year retrospective. In her newest book Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant, Chast chronicles her relationship with her aging parents as they shift from independence to dependence. In the book Chast addresses the realities of what it is to get old in America today with tenderness and candor, and a good dose of her characteristic wit.

Chast recently collaborated with Steve Martin on the children's book The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z! published by Random House. Her children's book Too Busy Marco, was published by Simon and Schuster and released in 2010, with a sequel published in the fall of 2012. She has illustrated a book with songwriter Stephen Merritt called 101 Two-Letter Words to be published in fall, 2014.

Chast is known for her cast of recurring characters - generally hapless but relatively cheerful "everyfolk." In her cartoons, she addresses the universal topics of guilt, anxiety, aging, families, friends, money, real estate, and as she would say, "much, much more!" The editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, has called Chast "the magazine's only certifiable genius." View a video interview of Chast at home in May, 2014 commemorating the publication of her 1,267th cartoon in The New Yorker here.

Chast grew up in Brooklyn. She received a BFA in 1977 from Rhode Island School of Design with studies in graphic design and painting, but returned to cartooning which she had begun in high school. Less than two years out of college, she was added to the forty or so artists under contract to The New Yorker which has continually published her work for 33 years, from black and white cartoons to color spreads, back pages and covers. In addition, she has provided cartoons and editorial illustrations for almost fifty magazines and journals from Mother Jones to Town & Country. She has illustrated several children's books and contributed to many humor collections, lectured widely and received several prestigious awards including honorary degrees from Pratt Institute and the Art Institute of Boston. In 2013 she was inducted as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Roz Chast lives in Connecticut with her family and several parrots.

Photo of Roz Chast by Bill Franzen


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Posted in General by Brwyn Griffin on Tuesday, August 19th 11:16am   |   0 comments

Summer Reading Program Starts June 19

Fizz! Boom! Read! Our 2014 Summer Reading Program features reading, activities, prizes and events for children and adults of all ages. Join us each week for exciting workshops such as Science with Thaddeus Jurczynski and Art with Sidonie Wilson. Learn to make Steampunk art, brush up on your fiction writing skills, or participate in our weekly Science Cafés. Enjoy performances by Oregon Shadow Puppet Theatre and entertainer extraordinaire Alex Zerbe. Read throughout the summer and win prizes.

Don't miss the Summer Reading Program Kick-Off on June 19 for highlights of upcoming events and to pick up one or both crafting kits for our summer-long contests. “Peep into a Classic” and “Spectacular Structure” kits will be available for groups, families and individuals who want to get wildly creative this summer.

Check out our Calendar of Events for detailed program information, or download our printable Summer Reading Program Calendar. Look for special Quilcene Summer Reading Events for our south county patrons. We have something for everyone. Celebrate your love of reading this summer!
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Posted in General, Kids, Teens by Teri Burroughs on Thursday, June 19th 6:34pm   |   0 comments

Learn About US Foreign Policy

"Great Decisions 2014" is coming to Jefferson County Library this month.  Produced by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) and facilitated by Joyce Francis, PhD; "Great Decisions" is America’s largest civic discussion program on world affairs.  The mission of the Foreign Policy Association today, as it has been throughout its 96-year history, is to serve as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues.  Through its balanced, nonpartisan programs and publications, the FPA encourages citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.

The first Great Decisions group was launched in Portland, Oregon in 1954 by FPA's Vice President Roger Mastrude.  Based on the so-called "Avon" model of face-to-face, active and informal conversation, participants would read a fact sheet on each of the eight topics before meetings, where they aired their respective views and opinions.  FPA would tally up opinion ballots and report the results to the Department of State.  The program gained media attention, was picked up by local schools, and soon gained national attention.

The grassroots, face-to-face model adopted by Great Decisions more than 50 years ago continues today, with tens of thousands of participants taking part in discussions nationwide annually.

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Posted in General by Brwyn Griffin on Tuesday, April 8th 2:15pm   |   0 comments