Latest Northeast Branch renovations nearly complete!

The meeting room of the Northeast Library (6801 35th Avenue NE) still has some children’s area materials stashed in it, but the remainder of our local branch of the Seattle Public Library is nearly done with its recent renovations.

Ravenna Blog Intern #2 samples the selection in the newly renovated Children's area of the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library.

Ravenna Blog Intern #2 samples the selection in the newly renovated Children’s Area of the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library.

After an open house held in October, the library saw some reduced hours (including Friday closures) in November and December as construction rotated through the branch. Changes for the staff included the obvious during construction…

…as well as a new layout: The reference desk area is now where the public computers are located, and all staff service desks and self-checkout area are along the west wall (or the top of the picture below).


Bird’s-eye, roof-off view of the renovated portions of the Northeast Branch. NE 68th Avenue entrance is on the left (click to enlarge).

All the new pieces of the Jodi Green and Mike Halperin Children’s Area — seating, tables, even the shelves in the center of the area — are mobile.


A slightly out-of-focus Delavan at the October 2013 open house gave the plans a thumbs-up.

Folks with small kids, you’ll like this: Story Times are starting up again soon! Here’s the schedule, which starts up again on January 14:

Toddler Story Time (ages 1-3): Thursdays at 10:15 AM and 11:15 AM.

Preschool Story Time (ages 3-5): Tuesdays at 10:30 AM.

Pajamas and Puppets (all ages): Wednesday, January 29 at 7 PM.


City Librarian Marcellus Turner, Library Board members, representatives from Miller Hayashi Architects, and Children’s Services Librarian Erica Delavan at the open house in October 2013.

The Northeast Branch doubled in size after a major expansion in 2004. It was renovated most recently in 2009. Seattle architect Paul Thiry designed the building, which opened June 3, 1954 and was designated a landmark by Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board in January 2001.

Summer Story Times and more at the Northeast Branch

Northeast Branch Children’s Services Librarian Erica Delavan will be taking a break in mid/late July for a summer vacation, but there are a few more Story Times before she’s gone (via email):

Preschool Story Time (Geared for ages 3-5)
Tuesdays, July 2, 9 at 10:30 AM

Toddler Story Time (Geared for ages 1-3)
Thursday, July 11 at 10:15 & 11:15 AM

Pajamas & Puppets (All Ages)
Wednesday, July 10 at 7 PM (a week earlier than normal!)
Wednesday, August 21 at 7 PM

There’s also the Seattle Public Library’s Summer Reading Program to participate in:

The Summer Reading Program is in full swing, and we have prizes for all kids from 0 – 12 years old! (Yes, I even have board book prizes for infants, so read to those babies this summer.) Just come to the library to pick up a reading log, keep track of the books your child reads or that you read to your child, and after 10 books, they win a free book! We also have lots of great programs going on this summer for kids, and you can find out about everything here.


To help fill the gap between now and fall Story Times, there are an assortment of free events for families with kids of various ages to participate in, too:

Ponte el Ritmo – Afro-Latino Rhythms! (Ages 5 and up)
Monday, July 22 at 4 PM

Roots and Branches – Music with Harmonica Pocket! (Ages 1 – 6)
Thursday, July 25 at 11 AM

Can You Dig It? with Alex Zerbe (Ages 3 and up)
Friday, August 2 at 2 PM

Storybook Science: Incredible Insects! (Ages 4 – 8)
Saturday, August 17 at 11 AM
Registration required.

Center of the Earth Tour with the Brian Waite Band (Ages 5-11)
Friday, August 23 at 11 AM
At the Meadowbrook Community Center
10517 35th Avenue NE

Make a Pop-Up Book (Ages 3 and up)
Tuesday, August 17 at 3 PM

December Story Times for NE Branch; City Librarian reading on Tuesday (PHOTOS)

Straight from the Northeast Branch’s Children’s Services Librarian, Erica Delavan, here are the Story Times for the rest of the year (via email; emphasis mine):

Toddler Story Time (Geared for ages 1-3)
Thursdays, December 6, 13, 20 at 10:15 & 11:15 a.m.
(No Story Time Dec. 27 or Jan. 3)

Preschool Story Time (Geared for ages 3-5)
Tuesdays, December 4, 11, 18 at 10:30 a.m.
(No Story Time Dec. 25 or Jan. 1)

Pajamas & Puppets (All Ages)
Wednesday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Special Guest on December 4!
At Preschool Story Time on December 4, we will be joined by City Librarian Marcellus Turner. (We just call him MT.) He is looking forward to reading one of his favorite picture books to everyone!

The Seattle Public Library’s Northeast Branch (6801 35th Ave NE) is located one block south of Wedgwood Top Pot Doughnuts (6845 35th Ave NE), an important fact that is not lost on any member of the Ravenna Blog staff.


UPDATE (12:19 PM): City Librarian Marcellus Turner read “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by  Jon Scieszka (illustrated by Lane Smith).


Children’s author Jon Klassen visits the NE Branch this Sunday

If not for our deep and abiding love in this neighborhood (and our slightly fanatical desire to find out what’s happening here), we’d probably writing a blog about our favorite children’s books.

Happily, this weekend, both these passions intersect.

This Sunday, October 14, from 3-4 PM, Jon Klassen will be at the Northeast Branch (6801 35th Avenue Northeast) to talk about his books!

Manitoba-born Klassen is the author and illustrator of two picture books for children: The twisted and charming “I Want My Hat Back,” published in 2011, and the brand new “This is Not My Hat.”


July Story Time schedule for the Northeast Branch (plus library history) UPDATE

Here is your Northeast Branch (6801 35th Ave NE) Story Time schedule, courtesy the Children’s Services Librarian, Erica Delavan:

Toddler Story Time
(Geared for ages 1-3)

Thursdays, July 5, 12, 19 at 10:15 & 11:15 a.m.
(No story time July 26)

Preschool Story Time
(Geared for ages 3-5)

Tuesdays, July 3, 10, 17 at 10:30 a.m.
(No story time July 24 or 31)
Pajamas & Puppets
(All Ages)
Wednesday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m.

And since we’re on the topic of libraries, did you know that the Northeast Branch started as a humble deposit station at 6259 33rd Ave NE in December of 1945? And that the building at the library’s current location was designed by the primary planner and principal architect of the Seattle World’s Fair?

Read all about it (and see some pictures of the older incarnations) at (“North East Branch, The Seattle Public Library”).

Fellow local site and Seattle Times Local News Partner, the Montlaker, sent us the link to the Pacific Coast Architecture Database listing for Paul Thiry, the aformentioned designer of the Northeast Branch building. Over his lifetime, Thiry designed 55 structures, including the Frye Art Museum, the Washington State Library in Olympia, and, for the World’s Fair, the Washington State Coliseum (now Key Arena).

Enjoy Story Time this week in your PJs, or with seeds, or both!

Story Times at the Northeast Library (6801 35th Ave NE) are back on their regular weekday schedule the first week of May, but there is a Pajamas and Puppets this Wednesday, April 25, from 7-7:30 PM.

And if you’re looking for a weekend story time to take your sprout(s) to, you may want to check out the Miller Library at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens (3501 NE 41st St) this Saturday, April 28. The library holds a monthly story time with activities for kids age 3-8 years and their families. The program runs from 10:30-11:15 AM.

Here’s a description:

Amazing Seeds Story Program

This is a story program that starts small and grows into something amazing! Before the stories, join us in the program room to make a seed mosaic.

PLANT SECRETS by Emily Goodman

Information on upcoming Story Times at the Miller Library can be found here.

NE Library Firefighter Story Time: When you gotta go, you gotta go

Front grill of Engine 38 - THAT'S HOT

Firefighter Story Time at the Northeast Library (6801 35th Ave NE) yesterday had everything you’d ever want in a Firefighter Story Time: Lots of firefighters (one of which was in his FULL GEAR), a HUGE crowd of enthusiastic listeners, a good story highlighting fire safety, and ACTION.

Lieutenant Milton, Firefighter/Storyteller

The crew of Engine 38 treated a crowd of over 200 parents and kids to a reading of No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) by Jean E. Pendziwol.  But before he got too far into the story, Lieutenant Milton did warn the crowd about his pager:

If this thing goes ‘BEEP BEEP,’ we have to go.

We all laughed.

With so many eager listeners in the crowd, Lt. Milton had the rest of the crew spread out through the space with extra copies of the book so that everyone could see the pictures.

Firefighters Lt. Milton and John Paul Jones

Firefighter Becky Mathews turns the page.

Firefighter Dyer, not part of Engine 38's crew that day, was also on hand to help.

After the story, Firefighter Chris Hassel showed off his full firefighting ensemble.

Flash photography is NOT helping us out here, but still looks pretty cool. (Hassel on left, Lt. Milton on right)

A now helmeted and masked Hassel shows the crowd his position relative to a smoke-filled room.

At this point, the crew of Engine 30 headed outside to ready the truck for inspection.

Priority parking behind the library

Fire engine 38's cab section

One of many storage areas on the engine, opened up to reveal the equipment inside.

Doors to the engine’s cab were opened, and a multitude of storage areas were revealed all over the exterior of the engine.  Kids and parents filed out of the library and surrounded the engine and her crew.

Then Lt. Milton started to talk about the differences between fire engines and fire trucks, and how this engine hooks herself up to a hydrant,

This engine carries its own 500 gallons of water all the time! Neat!

and then we heard:


Lt. Milton looks at his pager, says, “‘Motor vehicle accident.'” Pause. “We gotta go.”

“AWWWWWWW…” said the crowd.  What a bummer. But duty calls! What are you gonna do?!

The crew of Engine 38 rapidly closed up all the compartments and hopped in the cab as the crowd backed away to make room for the engine to head out.

Here’s a video of their all-too-soon departure:


I think the engine sounded really sad about leaving, don’t you?

But take heart, citizens of Northeast Seattle! There’s another opportunity to see a fire engine up close just this next week, as Firefighter Story Time heads to the Green Lake Library (7364 E Green Lake Dr N) on Wednesday, October 13 from 11:15-11:45am.

You can find the full schedule of Firefighter Story Times here, at the Seattle Fire Department Event Calendar page.


EXTRA FIRE DEPARTMENT-RELATED TIDBIT: The NEW Fire Station 38 (across the street from the Sand Point Metropolitan Market) should be wrapping up construction around the end of December 2010. Stay tuned for open house dates, and information on how YOU could own the OLD Fire Station 38.