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APRIL 2021

Welcome to April at the Orcas Island Library

We continue looking ahead to continuing to expand our open hours and available services, after increasing last March 15 to Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat from noon to 5, offering access to study tables and public computers for up to 30 people at a time, and for up to a half-hour in the building. I’m hopeful that we will continue on the path toward normal services and hours of operation before too long. In the meantime, please come by and enjoy what we can offer now, including our greening spring landscape. It’s going to be increasingly comfortable to sit outside at our tables and benches.

Due to a staff retirement, we have an open part-time position, described at the left. Along with our hours and services in general, we hope to increase our library program offerings, perhaps someday even having them inside the building again!

Check your calendar for this Friday morning, when the SJC Director of Emergency Management, Brendan Cowan, offers a brief overview and update on commonsense approaches to handling potential disruptions to normal operations in the County and on Orcas Island. You can find the Zoom link in this newsletter.

Also — we are including a Zoom link to the April Poetry Month community reading, 6 pm on the 15th, in which participants can read a favorite poem, either their own or someone else’s.

And be sure to browse the ongoing Friends of the Library lobby book sale on your next visit. I can honestly say that I’ve never lived anywhere with such top-quality used book offerings.
As always, call us with any questions or requests, at 360-376-4985. Or email me at

See you soon, I hope.

Phil Heikkinen
Library Director

Being Prepared Is the Island Way

Friday, April 2, 9-10am via ZOOM™

Brendan Cowan
Director, Emergency Management, San Juan County

The Orcas Island Public Library and the Orcas Island Rotary Club invite you to join us on Zoom for a special community presentation: Brendan Cowan, the Director of Emergency Management for San Juan County, will engage us on Disaster Preparedness “Being Prepared Is the Island Way”
Brendan will not only educate us on the topic of disaster preparedness, he will also lead an open discussion on self-sufficiency, resilience, and the importance of natural disaster preparedness. What are the risks? How do we prepare? How can it be simple and realistic? What is the sweet spot between anxiety and denial? Based in Friday Harbor, Brendan has been the Emergency Management Director for San Juan County since 2003. Previously, he worked in international crisis response. Brendan has responded to a wide variety of large-scale disasters across the US.

We hope you’ll join us!
Join the Discussion on ZOOM

Public Services Librarian for Programs and Communication

General Description: Within the Public Services Librarian job description, and with supervision from the Library Director, exercise overall coordination of adult programs and public communication for the Library. Lead assigned paid and volunteer staff members in this and other responsibilities as assigned. Manage appropriate budget categories;and recommend, implement, and maintain relevant policies and procedures.

Start date: April 2021. Schedule: 15 hours/week, projected, depending on the Library’s needs at time of hiring. Flexible and variable, including some evening hours and Sundays as scheduled, plus occasional substitute hours.

Application deadline: Monday, April 5 for first consideration. Open until filled.

For more information go to

Join us for a family-friendly poetry gathering!
Read one of your own or one from a favorite poet.
Visit our Facebook page for updates.

Join the Reading



A season of new beginnings at the Seed Library

Have you visited the seed library yet this spring to explore the flower, veggie, and grain seeds your neighbors have grown to share?  
April is the perfect time to start planting peas, radishes, and leafy greens straight into the ground, and start slower growing flowers and herbs indoors.  It’s also prime time for planning out your garden space, thinking through trellises and walkways before the lush spring jungle emerges, and repairing fences and watering systems. Fortunately, the library has resources for inspiration on those fronts as well!
As always, the seed library is self-serve and is available during library open hours. Browse the drawers of seeds, find packets and scoops to package up your selections in the lower drawer, and help yourself. Bring back mature seed at the end of the season if you’re able!  Find out more at (

Many of Spring’s transitions are filled with hope and excitement, and some with a bit of sadness as well.  Our long-time seed Librarian Katie Wilkins has recently moved back to Ohio to be closer to her family.  She’ll bring her brightness and gardening ingenuity wherever she goes, and I can’t help but be a little jealous of Ohio for inheriting this treasure of a person!

In Katie’s absence, I’ll be tending to the Seed Library.  I’ve been a professional gardener in ornamental home gardens, food and farming operations, and the nursery industry in Washington for over 10 years. Although I've only been gardening on the island for a year, I am smitten.  I’m delighted to have a chance to connect more with the gardening community here. Please reach out with any questions, or just to say hi! 

You can get in touch at

- Marisa Hendron
Find your next read with Novel List, offering curated “read-alike” suggestions and browsing features based on what appeals to you.
It’s time to meet Kolby!  The Orcas Island Genealogy Club is bringing “Good Time Girl” Kolby LaBree to the Tuesday, April 20 monthly meeting. History, genealogy, creativity, experience and enthusiasm coalesce in Kolby’s work.

Kolby LaBree is co-owner and operator of BellingHistory with the Good Time Girls, providing guided historical tours of Bellingham, Washington.  Kolby has a degree in anthropology from WWU and a background in cultural resource management and historic preservation. She currently serves on the Historic Preservation Commission in Bellingham.  Kolby has worked on many historical projects and surveys and particularly loves to research historic homes and buildings.  Kolby also specializes in historical and genealogical research. She will talk about her work in historic preservation, research and giving guided tours, as well as her own genealogical connections and interest in San Juan County.

The club meets (virtually during the pandemic) on the third Tuesday of every month from 10:30 to 12:30 and is hosted by the Orcas Island Public Library.  To attend please contact either Vicki Leimback at or Kathi Ciskowski at 360-376-4186 or  There is a different topic every month.  Anyone interested in genealogy (any knowledge level) is invited to join this free local club.  A zoom link will be sent via email before the meeting.
Virtual Storytimes: we'll meet you where you are.

New storytimes are posted every Friday morning at 11:00 on the Kid's page, the Library's Youtube account, and on the Instagram account, #Orcaskidsread.  Snuggle up and join us wherever and whenever you'd like.

New Books - Fiction

New Books - Non-fiction
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Eastsound, WA 98245

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