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Welcome to December at the Library!

It’s hard for me to realize that it has been nine months since our mid-March closure. What a long, strange time it’s been.

We’re now into our second month of “grab and go” services, which has at least allowed people to browse for library materials without having to reserve them online. Look at our homepage at for details.
We continue monitoring our state and local health status in deciding whether to expand the in-building services. We’ll get the word out whenever we have news.
In addition to the highlights in this newsletter, please keep an eye out on our Facebook page (Orcas Island Public Library), as well as the Orcas Buy, Sell, Trade and Orcas Island Buy, Sell, Trade groups, where we plan to post upcoming surplus items.
I hope you can join us in the Library soon.

As always, email me with your questions or suggestions.

Phil Heikkinen
Library Director

Another Installment of Meet the Library Trustees

Hello, I’m Madeline Sheplor and I’ve been serving on the Library Board since January 2019. I’m a firm believer in the importance of libraries and the vital role they play in the community. Libraries have been a central part of my life and I always knew I’d end up working in the field. My paternal grandfather was a librarian, and my mother was my school librarian in elementary school (Kenai, AK) and middle school/high school (Friday Harbor, WA). Many after-school days were spent shelving library books with my sisters.

I received my undergraduate degree in Art History at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and began working as a library page at the Bellingham Public Library. I commuted to Vancouver, BC while working on my Masters in Information and Library Services. When my Master's was completed in 2001, I was incredibly fortunate and was the first full-time librarian hired at BPL since 1979.

In 2014 my husband, Charlie Jabbora, and I left Bellingham after a difficult year when Charlie’s father passed away from cancer. We had always wanted to retire to the islands and decided why wait? It was a big leap of faith for us! We had both been steadily employed in Bellingham for nearly 20 years. Our very good friends, Mike and Sarah Aley, owned Orcas Island Freight Lines at that time and offered Charlie a job. I continued working remotely for BPL for over a year and then began running the office at Orcas Freight.
We met Bob and Gail Toombs at that time and decided to purchase Orcas Freight in 2017. We’ve been happily running the company since then.

I knew I couldn’t stay away from libraries for long, and became involved with the Friends of the Orcas Island Library in 2016. That led me to work with the Board of Trustees in 2019. I’m honored to serve in this role and help as I can in moving the Orcas Island Library forward in the coming days.
We are excited to be partnering with Humanities Washington and Prime Time© to bring the love of books and reading into your family. Together we want to develop a lifelong love of reading for families, focusing on children aged 6-10 years old but siblings of any age are welcome to join in.
From Thursday January 7 to February 11, 2021, Prime Time Family Reading will run for 1-hour every Thursday evening at 6pm. This is a 6-week commitment for parents and children to participate in the program.
In Prime Time Family Reading you’ll enjoy engaging, family-based reading and discussion on topics like fairness, courage, and dreams. Prime Time has a proven track record that develops strategies to increase creativity, critical thinking, and academic success.
With Prime Time Family Reading you will…
  • Have an evening of fun one night a week for 6 weeks via a 1-hour online storytelling program with Children’s Librarian Miss Jenny
  • Help engage children to look deeper into stories
  • Receive up to 10 award-winning books to build your library
  • Receive a $25 Island Market gift certificate for each week you attend (total of $150)
Registration is limited to 15 families who can commit to the 6-week program. You can register for the Orcas Island Library Prime Time Family Reading program HERE

You can learn more about the Humanities Washington Prime Time Family Reading at their website:

For questions about the Library program contact:
Children’s Librarian Jenny DeGroot at
Programs Coordinator Mary Pugh at
 or call 360.376.4985.

Virtual Storytimes @ the Library

New virtual storytimes are posted every Friday on the Library’s Kids Page and the Library’s YouTube channel.

Tuesday, December 15 - 10:30-12:30
Preserving Your Family Heirlooms
Presented by Lisa Oberg

Are you the family archivist? For many, once knowledge of their interest in genealogy spreads to distant family members they find themselves the caretaker for their family’s heirlooms. You will be introduced to preservation tips for family’s treasures such as photographs and textiles. Suggested ways to store objects will be discussed, as well as how to deal with damage and other wear-and-tear. Bring items you have questions about for a quick, informal recommendation.

With winter around the corner and genealogy a very enlightening (and generally inexpensive way)  to “time travel”, you are invited to join the Orcas Island Genealogy Club. It may be the only traveling that many of us will be doing this December!

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 join 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 welcome to join this free local club.

New Books - Fiction

New Books - Non-fiction
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Eastsound, WA 98245

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