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Check It Out!

Author: Sno-Isle Libraries

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A podcast from Sno-Isle Libraries for lifelong learners with inquiring minds. Check It Out! introduces the amazing people who work at, use and collaborate with the library district – and all of the services it offers to residents of Washington State’s Snohomish and Island counties.
35 Episodes
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Lorraine Burdick says she came late to her love for both her vocation and avocation. By day, Burdick is a librarian at Sno-Isle Libraries working in collection development. Away from the library, Burdick can often be found on the Seattle Opera stage as a member of the regular chorus. “I've been working in the library since I was in high school. I started as a page putting books away,” Burdick says.  “And I've worked in all the different levels of being a staff member at the library. I put myself through college, my undergraduate degree by working in the library.” After graduation, Burdick was working full time in a library. “… but I was not a librarian,” she says. “A few years and went and, ‘Boy, I really like this work. I want to be a librarian.’ So I've been in the library since I was very young, and decided when I was about 28 to become a librarian.” Similarly, Burdick says her early musical tastes ran toward musical theater, Harry Belafonte and the Kingston Trio, not opera. After happening upon a role with the Long Beach Opera in California, Burdick has been focused on the classic form. That opportunity turned out to be a gold-medal choice. Burdick decided to enter the solo category as a mezzo-soprano in the International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales. “(The) choir that I was singing with was going and I thought, ‘Well, I'm a singer, I will go and audition; I will go and participate in the solo competition,’” she says “I'd never done anything like that before. “… I won first place.” For the past 11 years, Burdick has been singing as a member of Seattle Opera’s regular chorus. “Whenever there is a show that has a full chorus, I'm in it, unless I'm not available but I usually I'm because I love it,” she says. Burdick says her interest and expertise in music pays off while performing her duties as a collection development librarian focusing on children’s materials, which she has been doing since about 1985. When reviewing additions to the library’s musical collection, she casts a critical eye. “I listen to see if it sounds like it's well-produced because a lot of these are self-published,” Burdick says. “I listen to how it's orchestrated, meaning what kind of instrumentation it has. I listen to how the person sounds, I listen to several of the songs on it to make sure they don't all sound exactly the same. And I look and see what they're singing about, and such.” Combining both vocation and avocation makes Burdick smile. “One of my favorite points is when I finish singing and there's this moment of silence before the audience starts to applaud, that is just, I just feed on that,” Burdick says. “That's just a joy.” And the library? “I really believe that the library provides many, many, many tools for people to live fully,” Burdick says. “Collection development gets to choose all the books, audiobooks, eBooks, DVDs; all the materials people can check out.” And she loves that, too. Chapter length: 47:05 Episode links Seattle Opera Long Beach Opera Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Cal State Long Beach music University of Washington music Seattle Opera Il Trovatore Seattle Opera Chorus 2013 – The Daughter of the Regiment Vashon Opera Baroque dance Seattle Symphony Lorraine’s favorite genres Romance Science Fiction Lorraine’s favorite authors Lois McMaster Bujold Connie Willis   Episode hosts Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.     Paul Pitkin is Director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. He also plays guitar, along with several other instruments, sings and writes music.       Episode sponsors   The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.   Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.    
Lynne Varner speaks with authority about the value of higher education and the details of what is available at WSU Everett. That’s not too unusual, seeing that Varner is Associate Vice Chancellor for Marketing at the Snohomish County-based campus of Washington State University. But Varner has also used to her voice to speak with authority first as a reporter for the Washington Post newspaper and then as an opinion writer for the Seattle Times. Her efforts at the Times led to two nominations for a Pulitzer Prize. Varner says those two career paths are tied together with an early desire to learn and research subjects. That desire was first fed with first jobs serving as a staff member in congressional offices and interning at United Press International. Varner also shares that growing up near Washington, D.C. in a military family instilled an appreciation for discipline and hard work. At the Times, Varner started as a reporter on the education beat. “I knew that someday I would leave journalism and help pull up others as they had helped pull me up,” Varner says. Episode length: 58:10 Links Lynne’s LinkedIn profile WSU Everett Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine Land-grant universities wiki United Press International The Pulitzer Prize University of Maryland Seattle Times Washington Post Rainier Scholars Episode hosts Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.     Jim Hills is the library district’s Assistant Communications Director, Communications & Marketing. Jim is a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.   Episode sponsors   The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.   Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.          
Usually, the phrase is, “Baptism by fire.” For Shari Ireton, Director of Communications for the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office, her introduction to emergency management was baptism by mud. It was March 22, 2014, a Saturday, and Ireton was out with the family shopping for science fair supplies when she got a message about a slide that had closed Highway 530. “I didn’t think much of it because slides happen all the time,” Ireton said. What was unusual is that she heard nothing else for the next several hours. “Usually, there’s a flurry of activity, but this was completely silent,” Ireton said. “A couple of hours later, I called.” Starting that afternoon and for the next five days straight, Ireton was the on-site public information officer for the massive Oso landslide that claimed the lives of 43 people. And Ireton, still relatively new to her job, had not yet been through the training provided by the Federal Emergency Management Administration that virtually all public agencies use manage responses to such events. “I was on the waiting list,” Ireton said. “There were lots of others helping,” she said. “And, I have to give a shout-out to the Everett Herald … those reporters; we walked through it together from day one.” Ireton notes that she is not a commissioned officer, doesn’t carry a gun and can’t arrest people. What she can and does do is interact with the media and public and tell the stories of the Sheriff’s Office. “The role is changing,” Ireton said. “Deputies are doing more social work, mental health work that we’ve ever done before.” Ireton made note of effort that started in 2015, pairing a deputy with a social worker. Together, they visit homeless camps and make other contacts with the goal of addressing underlying causes. Ireton said that almost always they find a combination of untreated mental health and addiction issues. The approach, she says, “has been really successful.” Episode length: 47:20 Links Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff’s Office on the opioid crisis Sheriff’s Office on Twitter Oso landslide resources at Sno-Isle Libraries Sno-Isle Libraries support during Oso event Linda McPherson dedication event Oso landslide wiki “Check It Out!” podcast on “Finding Fixes” “Finding Fixes” podcast University of Idaho Gonzaga University Episode hosts Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.     Jim Hills is the library district’s Assistant Communications Director, Communications & Marketing. Jim is a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.   Episode sponsors   The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.   Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.    
Chapter 1 Did you know that July 17 is Yellow Pig’s Day? Podcast co-host Paul Pitkin didn’t know either when he brought it up, but you will now. According to a not-quite exhaustive online search, two Princeton math students - David C. Kelly and Michael Spivak – began in the early 1960s celebrating July 17 as Yellow Pig’s Day in honor of mathematics and the number 17, a prime number. The day continues to be celebrated at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics, which is headed by Kelly. Why a yellow pig? Even Google isn’t sure, but rumors say Kelly had a collection of yellow pigs. The mascot of the holiday, a yellow pig, has 17 toes, 17 eyelashes and 17 teeth. Closer to home, other fun things happening in July include the literally hundreds of Explore Summer events at all 23 community libraries in the Sno-Isle Libraries district, plenty of community events and summer-fun resources listed online at “A Sno-Isle Summer” and two Hogwarts summer day-camp events at the Granite Falls and Snohomish libraries. And, co-host Jim Hills confesses that he didn't know what he was talking about in podcast Episode 27. Hills said that Spokane’s Bloomsday celebration (which happens in May) is related to all the other Bloomsday celebrations around the world. The non-Spokane, non-May events happen on June 16, which is the day depicted in James Joyce's novel “Ulysses.”  The day is named after Leopold Bloom, the central character in the book. Spokane’s Bloomsday Run is not about the book and also not affiliated with the area’s Lilac Festival, but both happen around the same time in May. Links Explore Summer with Sno-Isle Libraries Harry Potter-themed events at Sno-Isle Libraries A Sno-Isle Summer: Adventure Awaits Events calendar for all community libraries Prime number-related materials in the library collection Ulysses by James Joyce Spokane’s Bloomsday Run Hampshire College summer math program Didgeridoo in the library collection Chapter length: 23:24 Chapter 2 Paul Pitkin is here to have an impact. And, having an impact requires money. Which makes it really fortunate that Pitkin is Executive Director for the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and in charge of raising money for library programs that have positive impacts on lives and in communities across Snohomish and Island counties. Paul talks about the opportunities that are available through the foundation to build communities. The foundation funds a variety of programs and services that the tax-supported library district cannot, including things such as: Third-Grade Reading Challenge TedXSnoIsleLibraries Bookmobile services Issues That Matter The Nysether Family Collection Children's Services Expanding science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) initiatives through programming, training for both staff and caregivers and community library space enhancements. Videos showing parents how to prepare their children to read early and establish a lifetime of reading and knowledge. Helping improve overall childcare and education by providing STARS training to child caregivers and educators. Providing opportunities with Structured Play kits for children to enhance language and literacy skills. Presenting the Every Child Ready to Rock and Read Concert Series. Other ongoing programs Ready Readers Cultural and literacy programs Leadership development Teen programs Summer learning programs. Links Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation website Issues That Matter TEDxSnoIsleLibraries Third-Grade Reading Challenge Ready Readers STARS training Nysether Family Collection Sno-Isle Libraries Library on Wheels Paul Pitkin LinkedIn profile Chapter length: 23:45 Episode hosts Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.   Paul Pitkin is Director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. He also plays guitar, along with several other instruments, sings and writes music.       Jim Hills is the library district’s manager of communications and marketing, a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.   Episode sponsors   The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.   Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.    
First thoughts of a library likely evoke mental images of librarians and shelves full of books. This episode of “Check It Out!” looks at two positions that might not spring to mind when imagining libraries, but play critical roles in managing the business aspects and communications needs of a large public agency Gary Sitzman is Administrative Services Director and Communications Director Ken Harvey both sit on the leadership team for Sno-Isle Libraries. Each of them has extensive professional experiences outside of public libraries and bring those skills to the opportunities to serve communities and customers. Together, they share their thoughts on leadership, tips on success in the business world and what’s next for public libraries. Sitzman joined the library district five years ago following a career primarily in the wood-fiber products industry. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the avowed “cheesehead” who unabashedly wears a Packers jersey during the football season, Sitzman started at Scott Paper in Wisconsin. He moved to Snohomish County and a position at the former Scott Paper mill in Everett. His career came full circle when he helped oversee the closure of that plant after it transitioned to Kimberly-Clark ownership. Harvey came to Sno-Isle Libraries in 2011 following stints at Community Transit and Sound Transit. With additional prior experience in TV, radio and emergency management, Harvey can look through many lenses at the needs and ways to communicate library district information to customers as well as non-customers. Sitzman shares that the lessons learned about adapting as a child growing in a military family that was often on the move have helped him in the business world. “I think there is an element of (adaptability) in leadership,” Sitzman says.  “Leaders have a sense of where they want to go and some enthusiasm for how to get there, but also not being afraid to step out and be adaptable to the outcomes.” Harvey agrees that growing up with a family with military service brings such benefits along with a sense of something greater than the individual and sense of service. Away from the job, the pair say that it’s important to have a way to leave the pressures of the day behind. For Sitzman, that includes mountain biking at the moment and Harvey says he enjoys a variety of activities including relearning to play the viola and dabbling in arts and crafts projects. As for the future of where they work, both say libraries always have and will continue to evolve to serve customers. “(Some) ask do we need brick-and-mortar libraries anymore?” Sitzman says “That’s a myopic view for what a library brings to a community.” Harvey says the definition is continuing to transform. “The physical space is an important gathering place and giving access to materials, while at the same time, libraries are also serving outside those four walls.” Episode length: 55:18 Links Library funding and budget Sno-Isle Libraries news Library strategic priorities Issues That Matter community discussions Ken Harvey LinkedIn profile Gary Sitzman LinkedIn profile “Military families” in the library catalog “Organizational change” in the library catalog “Work/life balance” in the library catalog “Naming and Taming Overwhelm” by Sarri Gilman Sarri Gilman’s TEDxSnoIsleLibraries talk Duthie Hill bike trails Episode host   Jim Hills is the library district’s manager of communications and marketing, a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.   Episode sponsors   The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.   Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.
Chapter 1 – Third-Grade Reading Challenge, Part 2 There is so much going on with the "Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third-Grade Reading Challenge" that it takes two segments to get it all in. This literary trivia program for students enrolled in public schools throughout Snohomish and Island counties. Part 1 explores the origins of the reading challenge and the important academic and development reasons it is aimed at third-graders. In Part 2, Sno-Isle Libraries reporter Abe Martinez continues his conversation with Joy Feldman, Lead Librarian for Early Literacy, and Jane Lopez-Santillana, Children’s Librarian at the Oak Harbor Library. They explore the origins of the reading challenge and the important academic and development reasons it is aimed at third-graders. Feldman points out that while the program is focused on reading, introducing students to teamwork is a significant part of the reading challenge. “Teamwork very important,” Feldman says. “Teams with that do have a mix of abilities tend to do better.” There can be benefits to the families of the participating students, too, Lopez-Santillana says. “Many (school staff members) mention that the third-grade reading challenge brings parents in who they don’t otherwise see,” Lopez-Santillana says. “Parents mention they are having more interactions with their children. Students have said, ‘This is the first time reading in English in my house’ and ‘I’m reading to my little brother and he likes it so much he’s making me read every night.’” The third-grade reading challenge encourages children to have fun and enjoy reading while honing their literacy and teamwork skills. After reading six books, children participate in in-school, semifinal and final Reading Challenge events. These competitive events are styled like a knowledge quiz bowl, testing the teams' knowledge of the books. In 2018-19, 1,334 third-graders participated on 193 teams from 51 schools across Snohomish and Island counties. Links Reading challenge Part 1 segment Third-grade reading challenge website 2019 Reading Challenge video Understanding the reading challenge video 2019 Reading Challenge photo gallery Chapter length: 5:51 Chapter 2 – Spotlight on a Community Hero: Shaelyn Charvet Bates Libraries have long been part of Shaelynn Charvet Bates’ life. Growing up in Snohomish, Bates says her parents would let her go by herself to the library, then housed in the Carnegie building, knowing she would be safe and entertained. “I spent a lot of time there in high school,” says Bates, now a Lake Stevens resident. “I read a lot of stuff. I read a lot of science fiction, I read a lot of historical fiction.” Bates adds that books, and the library, first caught her attention as a student at Cathcart Elementary where she discovered choose-your-own-adventure books. “You could read 15 different endings in one book and I just thought it was so clever,” she says. At college to get a teaching degree, Bates says an “off-hand comment” by a professor put her on a path back to the elementary-school library and Snohomish where she is now, serving as school librarian at Riverview Elementary. Bates says familiarity with library resources paid off on a recent cross-country family vacation by car, even though they were far from home. “We downloaded audiobooks from OverDrive,” Bates says. The result was family-time listening to and then discussing the stories. Links OverDrive at Sno-Isle Libraries Choose-your-own-adventure books Lake Stevens Library Board Snohomish Carnegie Foundation City of Snohomish Carnegie Project Chapter length: 5:29 Chapter 3 - Book Notes with Marie Byars Oak Harbor Library staff member Marie Byars offers two recommendations: “Something in the Water” by Catherine Steadman, is a “fast-paced, twisty thriller,” Byars says. “Our House” by Louise Candlish is the story of divorced parents take turns coming back to the family home to raise their children until one day the mother finds a moving van at the house and a new family moving in. Chapter length: 1:38 Episode host Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.   Episode sponsors   The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.   Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.
For some longtime Puget Sounders, it’s a treasured memory, an anchor point of local TV culture. For those with, shall we say, shallower roots? It’s the stuff of legend, lore and YouTube. And for Bill Stainton, “Almost Live!” on Seattle’s KING-TV was all of that and more, it was his job. The Snohomish County resident joins Check It Out! podcast co-hosts Ken Harvey and Jim Hills in this episode. Stainton brings stories about just how rare the show was and his role as executive producer and cast member. Stainton recalls that “Almost Live!” had such a loyal following that for 10 years, Seattle was the only market in the U.S. that delayed airing “Saturday Night Live” to give the local show top billing. Today, the 29-time Emmy winner is translating the lessons learned from producing laughs every week for 15 years to lessons on how to produce results in the business world. Stainton brought his message to the TEDxStanleyPark stage in 2017 and served as an emcee at the 2017 TEDxSnoIsleLibraries event. Stainton notes that creativity is often about combining existing ideas in new ways, a process that can be planned for and cultivated. And in the process, maybe get a few laughs. Episode length: 1:16:03 Links Bill’s website Bill’s presentation at TEDxStanleyPark 2017 KING-TV interview with Bill “Almost Live!” on YouTube “Almost Live! The Show That Wouldn't Die” book Presidents of the United States of America in the library collection Caspar Babypants website Episode hosts Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.     Jim Hills is the library district’s manager of communications and marketing, a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.   Episode sponsors   The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.   Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.
Chapter 1 – Library Surprise: Beyond Bestsellers Rilee Louangphakdy says that “bookworm” might not be a great description for him and that his favorite library resource is graphic novels. Even though he’s a fan of the form, Rilee admits he doesn’t always know how or where to find the next graphic novel that will capture his attention and imagination. Then, Rilee says, he found Beyond Bestsellers. It’s a “digital bring-your-own-book club” led by Jackie Parker, Lead Librarian for Readers’ Services. Each month, Parker and her team of librarians take a deeper look at a genre, book title or author. The goal is to uncover “read-alikes,” titles and authors that are similar and may also appeal to readers. In addition, Rilee says, Beyond Bestsellers encourages library customers to use the features in the Sno-Isle Libraries catalog to connect and share their favorites with other readers. Links Beyond Bestsellers Bibliofiles blog “We Suggest” reading suggestions Rilee’s TEDxSnoIsleLibraries talk Rilee and friends podcast episode Chapter length: 2:51 Chapter 2 – Book Notes with Kristi Sheeler A member of the Sno-Isle Libraries Readers’ Services team, Kristi Sheeler is most often found traveling around Snohomish and Island counties on the Bookmobile. At those stops, Sheeler brings suggestions for her customers and she has two for listeners in this chapter. “When She Woke” by Hillary Jordan is a dystopian novel that fits some of the political discussions of today. Kristi says that readers who liked “A Handsmaid Tale” might like this book. “When She Woke” is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, audiobook download and in large print. Kristi’s favorite book from 2017 is her next suggestion. “Everyone Knows You Go Home” by Natalia Sylvester is a story about a woman who marries into an immigrant family and meets the ghost of her father-in-law on her wedding day. Kristi says “Everyone Knows You Go Home” is about how the immigrant experience can affect individuals as well as entire communities. Links “When She Woke” “Everyone Knows You Go Home” Sno-Isle Libraries Bookmobile services Chapter length: 4:19 Chapter 3 – Spotlight: Third-Grade Reading Challenge The "Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third-Grade Reading Challenge" is a literary trivia program for students enrolled in public schools throughout Snohomish and Island counties. In this chapter, Sno-Isle Libraries reporter Abe Martinez speaks with Joy Feldman, Lead Librarian for Early Literacy, and Jane Lopez-Santillana, Children’s Librarian at the Oak Harbor Library. They explore the origins of the reading challenge and the important academic and development reasons it is aimed at third-graders. The program encourages children to have fun and enjoy reading while honing their literacy and teamwork skills. After reading six books, children participate in in-school, semi-final and final Reading Challenge events. These competitive events are styled like a knowledge quiz bowl, testing the teams' knowledge of the books. In 2018-19, 1,334 third-graders participated on 193 teams from 51 schools across Snohomish and Island counties. Links Third-grade reading challenge website 2019 Reading Challenge video Understanding the reading challenge video 2019 Reading Challenge photo gallery Chapter length: 6:31 Episode hosts Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.     Cindy Tingley is an instructional developer with Sno-Isle Libraries. Through experience as a radio DJ, a police officer in Key West, Fla., certified technology instructor and Usui Reiki trainer, the common thread is Cindy loves teaching new skills.       Paul Pitkin is Director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. He also plays guitar, along with several other instruments, sings and writes music.       Episode sponsors   The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.   Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.  
Chapter 1 – Hmmm, I didn’t know that about … June and July Once they decide who gets to speak first, podcast co-hosts Ken Harvey, Jim Hills, Cindy Tingley and Paul Pitkin have a bunch of fun chatting about what happens during June and July in the Pacific Northwest and what's new at Sno-Isle Libraries. Two new videos posted on YouTube focus on early literacy tips and how to find great books to read. And June and July have official days for lots of things such as dairy, turkey, candy, flip-a-coin, hug your cat, yo-yo’s, doughnuts, chocolate ice cream, VCRs, Juneteenth and lots more including … Bloomsday! In the interest of full disclosure and righting an ill-informed wrong, one of the hosts (shhh, its Jim) noted that June 16 is called Bloomsday in commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce. The date is observed annually in Dublin and elsewhere around the world as the day in Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” of protagonist Leopold Bloom’s first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle. However, the Bloomsday Run in Spokane is traditionally the first Sunday in May, part of Spokane’s Lilac Festival and not tied to Joyce’s book. At all. Ever. But wait, there’s more! Chapter 2 – Hmmm, I didn’t know that about … Kurt Batdorf Kurt Batdorf is a recent addition to the Communications Dept. at Sno-Isle Libraries. Kurt brings 25 years of journalism experience covering communities within the library district across Snohomish and Island counties. Kurt recalls what it takes to sit through a school board meeting where even the school board members are falling asleep. Kurt even acknowledges that, on occasion, a source may have given him “the stink-eye” after a story was published. Kurt’s experience includes being the editor of a local business publication and started his tenure during the recession that affected many local businesses. Kurt also opines on the difficulties facing journalists today working to bring forth facts that inform communities. And some of the things that Kurt didn't know about Sno-Isle Libraries include the Snohomish Library's Hobbitt painting and just how dedicated library employees are to helping others. Episode length: 1:01:33 Episode hosts Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.     Cindy Tingley is an instructional developer with Sno-Isle Libraries. Through experience as a radio DJ, a police officer in Key West, Fla., certified technology instructor and Usui Reiki trainer, the common thread is Cindy loves teaching new skills.       Paul Pitkin is Director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. He also plays guitar, along with several other instruments, sings and writes music.       Jim Hills is the library district’s manager of communications and marketing, a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.   Episode sponsors   The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.   Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.
Claudia Castro Luna was a teenager when she came to the U.S. with her family fleeing war in El Salvador. In just two years, her growing English language skills earned Castro Luna the top English student award as she graduated from high school. Now decades later, Castro Luna was named this past February as Washington State Poet Laureate and in April received an Academy of American Poets Laureate fellowship! “It’s a huge honor to be granted this chance to serve in this capacity at a statewide level,” Castro Luna tells Check It Out! podcast co-hosts Ken Harvey and Cindy Tingley. “I thought long and hard about applying … I decided this historic juncture we’re in, it made sense for me to apply because if selected; I’d be the first immigrant selected. “(This is) an opportunity to lead by example to both inspire other immigrants … and also as a way of dismantling stereotypes of what immigrants do or can do.” Castro Luna says she came to poetry relatively late, after her children were born, and started by taking community college poetry classes. “For me, it was always, poetry,” she says. “I say (poetry) chose me.” Castro Luna has written two books, “Killing Marias” and “This City.” Castro Luna also served as Seattle’s Civic Poet and started a drop-in poetry writing program called, “The Poet Is In,” taking place in Seattle’s public libraries. “Libraries are these wonderful civic spaces,” she says. “Libraries are hubs of life.” Castro Luna will serve a two-year term as poet laureate. She succeeds Tod Marshall. Prior to Marshall, Elizabeth Austen (2014-16), Kathleen Flenniken (2012-14), and Sam Green (2007-9) were in the position. The Washington State Poet Laureate program is jointly sponsored by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA). Links Claudia Castro Luna’s website Claudia Castro Luna work at Sno-Isle Libraries Media reports on Academy of American Poets fellowship Crosscut The Spokesman-Review Seattle Times The New York Times KCTS documentary Episode length: 48:01 Episode hosts Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.     Cindy Tingley is an instructional developer with Sno-Isle Libraries. Through experience as a radio DJ, a police officer in Key West, Fla., certified technology instructor and Usui Reiki trainer, the common thread is Cindy loves teaching new skills.     Episode sponsors The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.   Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.    
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