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Welcome to Online/Curbside August at the Library!

I’m happy to see that many of you have been able to take advantage of our curbside pickup service since we started offering it in June.

Please note further details below, and as always be sure to call or email with any questions. 

Also, our online programming has ramped up dramatically since we had to close the building so long ago in March. Our Program Coordinator Mary Pugh has become quite experienced at organizing Zoom meetings and programs. Attendance has been good, however we can always use one more!

The big news of the month is the retirement of Martin Arnold, who has worked with us for around 14 years. He started as a volunteer, and finished his time here as the librarian managing our adult collections and interlibrary loans, as well as spending lots of time providing front desk services, along with the other varied duties we all perform at a small public library.

Martin shares more about his plans below. Due to our strange virus-pandemic times, we’ve all been groping with how to say goodbye. Although we’re sorry to see him leave, the good news is that he will be nearby and can visit us as a library user every now and then.

Thanks, Martin!

Phil Heikkinen
Library Director

Make tracks with the
2020 Summer Explorer’s Guide

Pick up a 2020 Summer Explorer’s Guide (or download one here) and ‘Imagine Your Story’ while visiting Orcas Island Preserves.  Complete four activities and return your packet to Orcas Public Library for a free, kids t-shirt or a metal water bottle (while supplies last).  Complete all activities and we’ll put your name in a drawing for more prizes.
Who said staying on-island had to be boring this summer? Go on, pick up a guide, and make some tracks today!

Creature Creation 2

Thursday, August 6 @ 3:00 pm
via Zoom

Have you ever imagined yourself as a fantasy creature?  Are you a bird, a troll, a bunny, a dragon, a hobbit, or something else? See how to bring your imagination to life through story and illustration with this interactive children’s program.
Our inspiration for our creatures will be the new online book The Ickabog: Chapter 2. You and read it online HERE. Register below for Creature Creation.

Register for August 6th @ 3pm
Writer & Poet

Thursday, August 13 @ 6:00pm
Via Zoom with Mark Ferrari

Join us as we meet author Tina Connolly, who writes stories and novels for teens described as, “bewitching, clever, delightful, original, and unexpected.” (
Tina says, “Lately I want to tell stories of hope, and people working toward positive change, whether that’s in little ways or big. (And also stories about aliens obsessed with Elvis and Kenny G.)” ( March 2019 ). Tina lives in Portland, Oregon with her family in “a house that came with a dragon in the basement and blackberry vines in the attic.” ( This is an online program via Zoom.

For more information, visit the Library’s website at or REGISTER HERE.

Author & Illustrator 

Saturday, August 15 @ 3:00pm
Via Zoom with Mark Ferrari

Celebrated science fiction author, Greg Bear will join us for a discussion on the science fiction and fantasy genre. Greg has authored more than thirty novels, short stories, and books.
He has been awarded five Nebulas and two Hugos (basically the academy awards of science fiction). Greg and friends were instrumental in the origins of the immensely popular Comic-Con. He is also an artist and illustrator. His work has appeared in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine and the VERTEX game-artist books. This is an online program via Zoom.  Register Here.


Monday, Aug. 17 @ 6pm
via Zoom

Turning  Family Stories into Historical Fiction

Using family letters, journals, legends and tales to write historical essays, short stories, and novels.

2020 Summer Reading Program 
for all ages
Go to the web page

2020 Summer Reading Events and Activities - Readers of all ages will explore all things fairytale, fantasy, and myth this summer as Orcas Island Public Library presents “Imagine Your Story” library programming. Check the website (link above) to see all the events and activities. Then let Orcas Island Library’s Summer Reading Program introduce you to some of the most imaginative and thought provoking tales ever invented, and inspire you to imagine your own story!

Coming in August

Dramatic stories unfold each night in the skies above us. Join NASA Ambassador Amy Oliver as  she  regales  us with the myths and legends of  our stars and constellations. There are stories of Greek maidens, Roman heroes, mystical creatures and magical beasts to delight every audience.
This is an online program via Zoom . For more information, visit the Library’s website at

Virtual Storytime @ the Library

Join us once again for storytimes with Jenny in the big red dog chair.

Blanket and jammies not required for viewing but optional.
New virtual storytimes will be posted on the Library's Kids Page
and on the Library's YouTube channel every Friday at 11:00 am.  


Curbside Pickup for Reserved Materials 

We invite you to continue reserving books, DVDs, and other materials through our website at, by searching the online catalog, identifying items you want, and placing the request (or “hold”) using your account information. You may have a total of up to ten holds at a time on one account. Look for an email when your holds are available; if you don’t have an email address on your account, we’ll give you a call.

Items will be available for pickup at our front entrance between 12:00 and 3:00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays.

This approval is for curbside pickup only: no one is allowed inside the building. When approaching the pickup table, please maintain the 6-foot spacing requirement and wear a facemask.

Please visit our website for more details, or call us at 360-376-4985 with any questions or concerns. If you don’t have internet access to place requests, we can place them over the phone for you.

Also—our book returns are all open, so please continue returning items you’ve had since our closure on March 16.

Thanks for helping us to work this out! We’re excited that we can offer this service until the day we are able to reopen the building.


Librarian Martin Arnold retires from the Orcas Island Library after nearly 14 years.

Martin started at the Library in 2006 as a front-desk volunteer.  In addition to his front-desk volunteer duties, he learned some back-room functions such as book covering and cataloging.
In 2007, when Carole Erickson retired and Nita Couchman succeeded her as the Children's Librarian, Martin was hired to fill Nita's Support Staff position.  Also that year, he enrolled in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University.  He received his Master’s degree in Library and Information Science in 2011.

Martin has performed many functions during his career at the Library.  Mostly he's coordinated Interlibrary Loans and managed the website.  Lately, he's managed the Adult collection, purchasing books, audio books, and DVDs.  He also served as an exam proctor for distance learners, and published the Library's monthly newsletter.

Martin will be retiring to Lynden, Washington where he'll get to spend more time with his 10-year-old granddaughter, take daily walks with Tillie, their 6-year-old greyhound, take care of the yard, and catch up on reading he's put off over the years.

New Books - Fiction

New Books - Non-fiction
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