Design competition could put a well-crafted Little Free Library on your Capitol Hill corner

Finding one of Capitol Hill’s Little Free Libraries is a lovely little literary treat. What are they reading in Miller Park? What are they giving away?

Sometimes, the design of the free-book boxes also tells a story. A Seattle Little Free Library design competition benefiting non-profit Architects Without Borders will recognize the creativity and functionality of these neighborhood mini-repositories:

PrintClick here for the COMPETITION BRIEF
Click here to REGISTER




SEPTEMBER 6-7 & 13-14, 2014

Let Your Library Loose this Summer!

Get ready to design, build and steward a Little Free Library prototype that promotes community and literacy in Seattle’s neighborhoods!

Little Free Libraries are small-scale book shelters that function as “take-a-book, leave-a-book” gathering places. They provide a location where the free exchange of books, ideas, stories, and interests contribute to a shared experience valued by neighbors and visitors. All entry fees benefit Architects Without Borders – Seattle, a local non-profit that provides ecologically sensitive and culturally appropriate design assistance to communities in need.

(Image: Judy Solomon)

(Image: Judy Solomon)

Libraries on the Loose Jury:
Marcellus Turner – Seattle Public Libraries City Librarian
Audrey Barbakoff – Librarian at the Bainbridge Island Branch of the Kitsap Regional Library
Kimo Griggs – Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington
Lesley Bain – Principal of Framework Cultural Placemaking
Susan Jones – Principal of atelierjonesConsider what design can do to foster community and literacy in our local neighborhoods and let your library loose!

Individuals can register for $75, small businesses for $100. Kids under 18 can enter for free.

We’ll check in on the competition and any new Capitol Hill little library projects to watch for.

Capitol Hill artist paints an apocalyptic background for new Lola comic book series

An excerpt from Lola (Images: Siya Oum with permission to CHS)

An excerpt from Lola (Images: Siya Oum with permission to CHS)

A post-apocalyptic narrative created by Siya Oum hit the racks of Phoenix Comics Wednesday as part of the Capitol Hill-based artist’s first national comic book release. Oum painstakingly forged the tale dubbed Lola out of her Capitol Hill abode through a mostly solo coloring, designing, and writing process.

LOLA-01a-Reg-Siya-OUM“I’ve already written 18 issues,” said Oum. The Wednesday unveiling of Lola, Volume I — that includes six issues — follows the heroine as she navigates the United States after a nuclear disaster and investigates what started it all. The comic was colored in a traditional manner that takes twice as long, she said. The artist plans to release more volumes on a monthly basis, and is getting support for national distribution.

Lola’s release comes courtesy of California-based Aspen Comics. The apocalyptic storyline paints a bleak future for the planet’s environment while creating the legend of Lola and fleshing out the heroine. “It’s a more personal story,” Oum said.

Already with a deep catalog of comics to her name – she’s lost track of just how many – Oum tells CHS that all of her sequential arts have been created on the Hill – and inspired “big time” by the community. “All of it [started here].” Before launching her career on the Hill, Oum had to relocate from some warmer surroundings before digging into her new profession. Continue reading

The one where President Carter comes back to Seattle and visits Capitol Hill with the ‘most important book he’s ever written’

IMG_9683-2Where were you from noon to 12:45 on Monday? While many from the neighborhood were at offices and work sites more than a lunch-time jaunt away from the epicenter, and at least several probably still in bed, Capitol Hill was host to a public visit by a US president for the first time to speak of since, well, we don’t know. Despite the time slot, an estimated 400 people streamed through Elliot Bay Book Co. to get a presidential signature in their copy of Jimmy Carter’s latest book, A Call to Action: Women, Violence and Religion, released last Tuesday, and to have a chance to meet Number 39.

“This is my 28th book, and it’s the most important book I’ve ever written,” the former US president told CHS. “It’s about the horrible abuse of girls and women around the world, including in the United States, so I hope we see some kind of good from it,” he said. An outspoken Christian and “lay minister” from Georgia who turns 90 years-old in October, Carter served as president from 1977 through 1981. In the years since, Carter has gained greater esteem in the eyes of many for his work along with wife Rosalynn at the Carter Center for Human Rights.

A cadre of police cars along with a firetruck and ambulance parked outside Elliott Bay midday Monday, many of their would-be occupants standing by or standing guard on the sidewalk, was just enough of a scene to draw attention.

It wasn’t James Earl Carter’s first visit to Seattle. “I like to come back here,” Carter said. “I’ve come here for many times, and it’s a beautiful city, to deal with Boeing, to deal with Microsoft, to deal with Google, and so forth. And I have been here several times to sell books,” he said. Continue reading

Late March means APRIL poets, writers, readers on Capitol Hill

The APRIL crew (Image: APRIL Festival)

The APRIL crew (Image: APRIL Festival)

In recent years in early spring, Capitol Hill has been the nurturing ground for a growing literature festival. The unconventional and sometimes raucous grassroots APRIL Festival focuses on “Authors, Publishers and Readers of Independent Literature” — a piece of the diverse make-up of contemporary literary culture and literary economies which rarely receives this level of focus.

“It’s like a farmer’s market for books,” said APRIL coordinator — and CHS veteran — Frances E. Dinger. Continue reading

President Carter appearance planned on our Capitol Hill

(Image: Habitat for Humanity International/George L. Hipple)

(Image: Habitat for Humanity International/George L. Hipple)

We see presidents around our Capitol Hill from time to time. Another will be here at the end of the month for a special appearance at Elliott Bay Book Company.

The Elliott Bay Company will host a SPECIAL INSTORE BOOK-SIGNING by President Jimmy Carter on Monday, March 31 at 12 noon.

9781476773957President Carter will be signing copies of his new book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.

Tickets to join the signing line for the event will be given out with a purchase of A Call to Action from the Elliott Bay Book Company. The book goes on sale Tuesday, March 25 and advance purchases may be made online, at the bookstore, or by calling 206-624-6600. This Book-Signing is President Carter’s only Seattle appearance. Due to time constraints we will not be able to accommodate personalized book requests or posed pictures. We will open at 10 a.m. Please call the store at (206) 624-6600 with any questions.

You can read an excerpt of the new book here. These righties call it a “a tome of women’s rights.”

In 1980 when Carter lost the presidency to Ronald Reagan, Pioneer Square-born Elliott Bay was already eight years old.

The former president celebrates his 90th birthday later this year.

Seattle Asian Art Museum hosts SAM ‘Great Big Art Book Sale’

Not all of them are “great big” but many of them are. Fans of glossy pages filled with images of lovely objects will want to swing by Volunteer Park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum to score a few bargains at the Seattle Art Museum’s big clearance sale.

Here are the details from the CHS Calendar:

SAM’s Great Big Art Book Sale
Join us January 22 – 26th for our GREAT BIG ART BOOK SALE!

We are offering inventory-clearing deals on hundreds of art books and exhibition catalogues. At the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park during museum hours.

Books on Warhol, Rome, Picasso, Asian Art, Impressionism, Arts and Crafts, Books for kids and much more!

January 22, 24 – 26 from 10am – 5pm and January 23rd from 10am – 9pm.

Writer brings stories of family’s move from Capitol Hill to Costa Rica mountain town to Elliott Bay

Margot Page is back on the backside of Capitol Hill these days. Saturday night at Elliott Bay Book Company, she’ll share some of the stories born when she, her husband and three children left the Hill for Costa Rica:9780615893648

Capitol Hill writer Margot Page takes the stage in our readings room tonight to speak about Paradise Imperfect: an American Family Moves to the Costa Rican Mountains (Yellow House Press), her memoir of pulling up stakes in Seattle and moving with her husband and three children (aged 4,9 and 12) for a time to a small mountain town. “In the power, beauty, and accessibility of its prose, Paradise Imperfect reminds me of Anne Lamott and Barbara Kingsolver. But the brash charm and dark humor are Page’s own.”– Bob Shacochis. “Page’s writing brings together three elements all too rarely found in combination: fierce intelligence; genuine, irresistible funniness; and authentic sweetness.”– Claire Dederer,

Page appears at 7 PM at Elliott Bay Books, 1521 10th Ave.

Rebuilding a 15th Ave E house with a bookish history, Ada’s prepares for next chapter on Capitol Hill

David and Danielle Hulton (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

David and Danielle Hulton (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Built with the bones, heart and soul of the old bookstore that called the 15th Ave E house home for more than 30 years, Ada’s Technical Books will celebrate the official opening of its new Capitol Hill location on Saturday.

“It feels like the space is different and new — but at the same time, there’s a lot of really cool things that we reused,” owner Danielle Hulton tells CHS. The overhauled 1922-built structure was the location of Horizon Books for more than three decades before it closed its 15th Ave E shop in 2009.

Bits and pieces of the old place including repurposed doors and salvaged wood fixtures are mixed in with the rebuilt store and new cafe space. There will be one checkout line for the entire experience — cafe and books. A central open “spine” aisle runs through the center connecting it all, Hulton says.IMG_6768

Continue reading

New home for Ada’s Technical Books — and cafe — takes shape on Capitol Hill

Inside the new Ada's (Image: Board and Vellum)

Inside the new Ada’s (Image: Board and Vellum)

With new businesses and new development coming to 15th Ave, there’s another mixed-use project underway in the midst of the bustle of this Capitol Hill urban village.

Hulton (Image: Ada's)

Hulton (Image: Ada’s)

Ada’s Technical Books, after growing up on Broadway, is creating a new bookstore and cafe space that will reclaim a longtime home for Hill bookworms while transforming the space into something altogether new.

“The main thing is renovating the house and wanting to keep that,” Danielle Hulton tells CHS about the project to rebuild the old house that was once home to Horizon Books, the oldest used bookstore in the city at the time of its closure in March 2011. “It was in quite the state. Mold, cracking ceilings. We’re cleaning that up. It really has the layout of a house — but the goal is to make it feel like a retail space.” Continue reading

Miller Community Center opens its Little Free Library on World Book Night

Miller storyIf you’ve got some dusty old books laying around the house, tomorrow is your chance to help them find a new life. Miller Community Center will be hosting a World Book Night Celebration, simultaneously launching their new Little Free Library.

“It’s a nice way to reuse and recycle your books rather than just getting rid of them some other way,” said community center coordinator Sophia Sasaki.

The April 23rd event will run from 6-8 pm, and will also feature bookbinding activities, and a keynote speech from Philip Lee of Readers to Eaters, a group that promotes healthy eating habits through literacy. Food literacy is something of an emphasis at Miller Community Center, which features its own urban community garden. The center works with Seattle World School students to teach harvest techniques and culinary skills.

For more information, visit the event page here.

For those who haven’t done their reading, World Book Night is an annual worldwide event in which 30 books handpicked by a panel of librarians are given away for free by volunteers to light and non-readers. Miller Community Center has chosen the night to launch its own Little Free Library. Community members can come and donate their used books to be placed in the free library, which looks like a “big birdhouse” according to Sasaki. Those who find books that tickle their fancy are free to take them from the library without charge.

“We’re very excited about the launch,” Sasaki said. “I think it’s a great way to connect the community and promote literacy and a love of reading.” The community center decided to try out their own Little Free Library after hearing about the project’s success in Wisconsin, where the idea originated.

Those who don’t have books to give can still donate by participating in the MCC Supply Drive, which is seeking “shelf-stable foods (especially those high in protein, such as peanut butter and canned tuna), bus tickets, feminine hygiene products, sample-sized toiletries, and diapers.”