On Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008, the Library released Libraries for All: A Report to the Community. The release of the report set the stage for a daylong celebration. The Library distributed free commemorative Library Passports and invited people to tour all 26 new and remodeled branches and the Central Library. The passports featured beautiful color photographs and highlights of each building project.
People also were invited to hear Joshua Prince-Ramus, co-designer of the Central Library, discuss "Learning from The Seattle Public Library." Download Audio (mp3) [play time: 1 hour 36 minutes /file size: 88 MB]
Four Library Passport finishers win Booklover's Bags at the Central Library on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009
Finishers of the Library's popular Passport Program gathered on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 at the Central Library hoping to be one of four lucky winners of a "Library Booklover's Bag."
View a Photo Gallery of the event
Nearly 80 finishers - people who visited every new or renovated library and got their Passports stamped - attended the prize drawing. Every finisher present received a colorful Certificate of Completion, which featured pictures of all the branches, and a Tully's Coffee Gift Card.
Drawing the four winning names out of a large transparent box were Library Board President Eric Liu, Seattle City Councilman Nick Licata, Friends of The Seattle Public Library President Linda Ruiz and The Seattle Public Library Foundation Board President Susan Adkins.
Winners were: Huiling Xiong of Capitol Hill, Robert Monsen of Lake City, Laila Barr of Wedgwood and Thomas Koepsell of Phinney Ridge.
The Booklover's Bags included Friends of the Library memberships, certificates for personalized booklists, special Central Library tours, FriendShop gift items, Seattle Mariner bobbleheads of Adrian Beltre (with the Central Library in the background), Libraries for All coffee mugs and much more.
Upon receiving his award, Monsen remarked, "This is even more fun than when I was a dead man on 'Northern Exposure!' " Monsen said the Library Passport "adventure" gave him an opportunity to see all the libraries in the city, including the art and diverse resources. "I got to explore the personal flavor of each library," he said. "Even the Passport stamps were interesting. Some of the architects had separate stamps. I enjoyed it a lot."
Kathie Koepsell, who accepted the Booklover's Bag on behalf of her husband, said "we went to all the libraries together. We have photographs of us at every library, smiling broadly."
Special awards were given to Queen Anne resident Kathy Biever, who organized hikes to all the branches through the Mountaineers and ultramarathoner Sam Thompson who attempted to run to all the branches on Dec. 18. Thompson, a Broadview resident, made it to 19 locations when branches closed early because of the snowstorm. "I got the idea to run to all the branches from reading a story about the Mountaineers hikes," he told the audience. "I thought, 'I wonder if I could run to all the libraries in one day?' Unfortunately, I didn't pick the best of days since it was the first day of the snow. I still went for it."
Thompson added that he "loves the Library system. We have an amazing resource here. Many people are not aware of the libraries in their own neighborhoods. Especially with the economy being the way it is, it's really important to be grateful for what we have and the libraries are one of those things."
George Nevler, a passionate Library patron from the Broadview Branch who died unexpectedly before getting his final stamp, was also recognized. His wife Sue and their two children were present to accept his Certificate of Completion.
Northeast Branch patrons Marsha Donaldson and Bill Ferris were honored for initiating the idea of having a Library Passport.
The Passport Program was made possible by support from The Friends of The Seattle Public Library, U.S. Bank, The Seattle Public Library Foundation and Tully's Coffee.