What’s New in our eLibrary?

This past year a major goal for the library has been to improve and increase our online offerings. Take a look at some of the new content we have available now.

Overdrive/Libby – New Genre Collections
We’ve added some great genre collections! Browse them all from our Overdrive home page or peruse them individually from the links below:

ComicPlus
If you love graphic novels, manga, and comics, be sure to check out ComicsPlus! There are no limits, and no need to place holds – these titles are always available. Get the app here, or sign in and read online. This incredible collection was made possible through a partnership between Comics Plus and cloudLibrary.

Magazines from Overdrive
Overdrive just dramatically increased the magazine titles available to us, and they are making more improvements to streamline finding issues of your favorites magazines in one place. They will also be adding back issues. See the whole collection here.

Don’t forget cloudLibrary
cloudLibrary is another ebook platform that has a lot of great content and much shorter holds queues. (Okay, it’s not new, but it needs more promotion!) Get the app here, and browse the whole collection on our website.

There’s so much more to explore, and new resources will be coming very soon! From Hoopla and Kanopy for streaming movies and music, to numerous online learning options, and research resources, well, there’s too much to mention here, so to see it all in one place, explore our eLibrary page.

What’s Happening at the Library?

“Life has come to a stand-still”, my coworker said to me the other day as we talked about how quiet things are right now in the library and elsewhere. But library programs and events have not stopped; in fact we in the midst of planning and scheduling a great lineup of online program for the next few months, as well as creating and distributing activity kits for all ages. We have also been busy providing curbside and phone service. Here are the details.

Upcoming events

Heating Up: The Ethics of Climate Change
What if we could tell ourselves a new story about climate change—and, in doing, so, alter our relationship to our planet?

With larger, longer wildfire seasons, accelerating species extinction, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise, it’s increasingly clear that climate change isn’t something that’s about to happen—it’s here. But while the laundry list of problems wrought by climate change is well-known, few talk about how our moral beliefs about nature have led us to the brink.

In this presentation, ethicist Brian G. Henning discusses how global warming itself is not the only problem—it’s a symptom of a larger issue concerning how we conceive of ourselves and our relationship to the natural world.

Brian G. Henning is a professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Gonzaga University and has earned a PhD in philosophy. Henning has served as the inaugural faculty fellow for sustainability for three years, is the chair of the Environmental Studies department, and has delivered nearly 100 community presentations to general and academic audiences. Henning lives in Spokane.

Sign up here.

Writers Live: Every Penguin in the World with Charles Bergman
Every Penguin in the World combines narratives and photos to tell the story of the author and his wife Susan as they go on a quest to see all the world’s penguin species in the wild. The larger narrative is developed in three parts, each with its own stories: A journey of adventure, a quest for knowledge and conservation, a pilgrimage for something sacred and transformative. The penguins may need to be saved, and yet, unlike us, they do not need to be redeemed.

Join us for an amazing visual presentation about the book and the quest that inspired it! 

Charles Bergman is a writer, photographer, and speaker. He is a professor at Pacific Lutheran University.

Sign up here.

Storytimes and Youth Events

Be sure to keep an eye on our youth events calendar and storytime page as we add events and recorded storytimes!

Free Kits

Take and Make Kits – no signup required
Arrive during curbside hours and ask for the kit(s) of your choice.

Suncatcher Window Stars
Brighten up your life a little! Starting on January 5th, pick up a free kit with supplies to make four different window stars from colorful ‘kite paper’ that lets the light shine through. Follow along at your convenience with a how-to video which will be posted on that same morning on the library’s Facebook page, as well as on our YouTube page, and the Create@Home web page. Kits will be available for curbside pickup, and are first come, first served. Supplies are limited; one per household please. This project is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Kits for Preschoolers
Play and Learn Kits (a partnership with Everett Public Schools), January kit available starting 01/02/21, for ages 3 to 5 – Activities and free book to practice early math and literacy skills (for ages 3+). Online video lessons available.
Preschool Craft Kits, available starting 01/02/21, for ages 3 and up – A new DIY craft each month with materials for young children to develop fine motor skills and creativity.

Kits to reserve
Little Science Lab Kit – Register for waitlist through the Imagine Children’s Museum. Reserved only for registrants who received confirmation from the Imagine Children’s Museum.

Ongoing: Curbside service & phone and email reference

Curbside Service
We are happy to bring the library outside to you through a curbside pickup service. How does it work?
– Place holds/requests for library materials through your account at www.epls.org or by calling the Main Library at 425-257-8000 or the Evergreen Branch at 425-257-8250.
– You will be notified when your items are available to pick up. You will have 10 days to pick up your items.
– Arrive at the Library during curbside service hours. For the Main Library, call 425-257-7617.  For the Evergreen Branch, call 425-257-8260. Library staff will check out materials to your account and deliver them to your vehicle.

Phone and email reference service
Ask us! Call the reference librarians at the Main Library at 425-257-8000 or the Evergreen Branch at 425-257-8250. We can place holds for you, look up information, choose your next read, and print documents for you. Email us at libref@everettwa.gov if you prefer, or fill out this form, and we will respond as soon as possible.

We have more engaging, thought-provoking, and interactive events scheduled for February and March. Keep your eye on our calendar and be ready to sign up!

Survival of the Fittest

Reading dystopian novels during a pandemic? Maybe that’s the last thing you’d want to do right now, or maybe you find courage and inspiration in reading about how people survive harrowing situations. Dystopian is defined in the Oxford Dictionary:

relating to or denoting an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or injustice

Personally, I love survival stories of all kinds, and a favorite book of 2020 renewed my interest in the genre.

“I love building worlds – I think it’s one of my favorite parts of writing.” So says author Diane Cook, author of The New Wilderness. Cook certainly succeeded in building a fascinating world and a gripping story about survival, sacrifice, and relationships challenged by this tough world. I was thrilled to find out the book was a finalist for The Booker Prize. (The prize was awarded to another book, Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart.) I agree completely with what Roxana Gay says about Cook’s debut novel “I was entirely engrossed in this novel. I didn’t want to leave it…” Learn more about the book by watching this video.

What is it about The New Wilderness that really stuck with me? I checked Novelist (featured in this blog post) to see how they describe it:

Genre: Dystopian fiction; Literary fiction; Multiple perspectives
Character: Complex
Storyline: issue-oriented
Tone: Darkly humorous; Suspenseful; Thought-provoking
Writing style: Compelling; Descriptive

If these descriptors sound good to you, take a look at these dystopian/survival favorites of mine from over the years. All of these titles, like The New Wilderness, left a lasting memory in my mind of their worlds.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood must be at the top of the list because it sparked my fascination with this genre (plus Atwood is just amazing overall). In the Republic of Gilead, male dominance has returned with a vengeance and women are relegated to a handful of truly horrible roles from Commanders’ wives to colony slaves. Don’t miss the Hulu series, which you can check out from the library!

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
The world has been devastated by a pandemic, and outdoorsman Hig is surviving in an abandoned airport. He loves his dog, misses his wife, and has conversations with his weapons hoarding neighbor, while fighting off marauding bands of desperate savages. He also occasionally takes his small plane out to search for more survivors, and one day hears a voice on the radio. Library Journal describes the book: “In spare, poetic prose, [Heller] portrays a soaring spirit of hope that triumphs over heartbreak, trauma, and insurmountable struggles.”

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag is another climate change related book in which the ice caps have melted, raising the sea level so high that only mountains are left above water. Most of life is spent traveling by boat, trying to find enough to eat, and hoping to find some place on land not under the control of ruthless gangs of pirate types. Myra and her 7 year old daughter, barely making a living by fishing, hear a rumor that Myra’s oldest daughter, stolen by her ex and presumed dead, may be living in an encampment in the far north. The two embark on a perilous journey. Booklist describes it thus: “Anchored by a complicated, compelling heroine, this gripping, speculative, high-seas adventure is impossible to put down.”

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is the first in a four part young adult series which, despite being published 14 years ago, stays with me to this day. The moon has been knocked off course by a meteor and an extreme winter sets in. As the situation gets more and more dire, 16 year old Miranda and her family tries everything they can think of to stay alive. Publisher’s Weekly wrote in 2006: “…readers will find it absorbing from first page to last. This survival tale…celebrates the fortitude and resourcefulness of human beings during critical times.”

Gold, Fame, Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
The California drought turns the landscape into mountains of sand, and a mass exodus ensues, with only a few hearty, pioneering types left behind. Former model Luz and AWOL Ray are squatting in an abandoned mansion when they encounter a strange little orphan girl. They take to the hills in search of a safer place to raise her. BookList describes their trek: “Their journey across the vast, ever-changing dunes is cosmic and terrifying as Watkins conjures eerily beautiful and deadly sandscapes and a cult leader’s renegade colony.”

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller, does not fit perfectly into this genre, but definitely involves survival. Eight year old Peggy has been taken to the woods by her survivalist dad who claims the world has ended and they are the only two people left. Library Journal, in its Starred Review of the book concludes, “Though not always easy reading, Fuller’s emotionally intense novel comes to an unexpected but rewarding conclusion. Don’t let this gripping story pass you by.”

But this is just a beginning – there are so many other good dystopian and survival books out there. Our librarians have created a few collections you may enjoy: If You Liked The Handmaid’s Tale, and Pandemic Apocalypse Fiction. If you prefer nonfiction, check out this list of true survival stories.

New Craft Books

New books are arriving in droves right now at the library because we are at the end of our purchasing year, and those on the topic of arts and crafts are no exception.

Since we are definitely moving into that time of year when we are stuck indoors more often than not, how about learning a new art technique or craft to keep you busy during the long fall and winter months?

Some of the new arts and crafts books available on the shelves at the Main Library.

There are many different titles to choose from, so in an attempt to show the variety, I grabbed eight new books off the shelf to check them out. Take a look, and place some holds to pick up through curbside service!

Drawing with Fire : a Beginner’s Guide to Woodburning Beautiful Hand-lettered Projects and Other Easy Artwork by Aney Carver, starts off with this quote that I truly believe – we all can be creative.

“Millions of people spend their spare time watching television day in and day out, and most feel unsatisfied. Why? I’m convinced that everyone is hardwired to create and be creative in their own way, despite how they may feel about their creative aptitude. It all starts with a moment of inspiration that encourages us to think, I can do that; I can be creative! Of course you can! Now get up and let’s do it.”

Drawing with Fire has projects that are mostly focused on lettered signs, which would be a good way to learn the techniques and develop control.
Templates are provided in the back of the book and can be enlarged to fit your project.

Check it out and see if you aren’t a little tempted to try woodburning. I know I am, especially the eagle project.

Beginner’s Guide to Screen 
Printing : 12 Beautiful Printing 
Projects with Templates by Erin Lacy, explains screen printing at it’s simplest. Card stock can even be used as a stencil for the most basic designs. Information on screens, paints and inks, and fixing your design after printing are covered, and then the projects begin, which involve surfaces of clothing, fabric, and paper.
Templates are provided at the end of the book.

Garden Mosaics : 19 Beautiful 
Projects to Make for Your Garden
by Emma Biggs and Tessa Hunkin has some gorgeous designs and projects to offer. The authors cover the direct and indirect methods of creating a design and explain surfaces and tesserae (the pieces of glass or tile used to create a mosaic design). While most of the projects employ the use of square and other simple shaped pieces, the designs are striking and professional looking.

Creative Alcohol Inks : a Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving Amazing Effects by Ashley Mahlberg showcases the fascinating effects that can be achieved with this medium whether the surface being painted is tile, glass ornaments, special papers, or wood panels.

If you’ve never explored alcohol inks, check out this book and try one of the projects. You’ll probably soon be buying more inks and supplies than you can ever use.

The Woven Home : Easy Frame 
Loom Projects to Spruce Up Your Living Space by Rainie Owen features large and small projects ranging from camera straps to string bags to wall hangings.

There’s a section on how to make your own loom, and the projects are all pleasing to look at; in fact the whole book is beautifully photographed. Weaving can be a peaceful meditative pastime for these stressful times.

50 Knitted Wraps and Shawls by Marisa Noldeke features a real spread of wonderful, warm looking yet not too bulky creations. Instructions and charts are provided for each project.
The author states there are projects that are suited to those learning to knit up to more complex designs, and there are illustrations of both knit and crochet techniques in the front.
Not being a knitter, all I can say is I want them all, and may beg my coworker who is a knit and crochet whiz to make me one!

Macramé : Techniques and 
Projects for the Compete 
Beginner by Tansy Wilson and Sian Hamilton
Macramé comes and goes in style, and clearly it’s back in again. This book is full of a variety of projects; one of the most simple yet beautiful is a dip-dyed wall hanging attached to a driftwood branch. The authors seem to excel at using color to add depth to their works.
Other macramé artists and their works are featured as well.
This is another craft that you can lose yourself in and free your mind.

Crocheted Dogs by Vanessa Mooncie features patterns for ten different dog breeds to choose from: Dachshund, Border Terrier, French Bulldog, Labrador, Chihuahua, Dalmation, Spaniel, Yorkie, German Shepherd, and Poodle.
Each set of instructions is thorough and fills several pages. Materials, and stitches are explained in the back of the book, as is stuffing and sewing. Check it out and try creating your own miniature dog!

If you are yearning to create but don’t know where to start, remember the library and all the books waiting patiently to be checked out. Give us a call at 425-257-8000 if you need more help finding books on any subject – we will be glad to pull some for you and place them on hold for curbside pickup.

Explore our eLibrary

Most local libraries offer a good selection of digital books, movies, and music, as well as research and other databases for learning, business, auto repair, etc. Everett Public Library is no exception. We spend a lot of time, and frankly, money, subscribing to these quality resources for the community to use. Unfortunately, this library collection can sometimes be one of the least visible.

Here’s a short video to show you how to navigate to EPL’s eLibrary and full list of databases.

If you watched the video you may have noticed that there was much more in the A-Z list that was not mentioned, so make sure to check out the whole list here. Below are a few highlights of the many resources to which the library provides access, both research and entertainment focused.

Northwest Room digital content can help you find historic photos, research property history, or even reminisce over photos of your old classmates in Everett High’s “Nesika” yearbooks. Some of the photography collections, such as the Juleen studio collection, are amazing records of Everett’s history, both in terms of the places and the people. Staff adds new material to these online collections regularly; check out Northwest Room Historian Lisa’s recent video tour of the Juleen panoramas, which are in the process of being digitized.

Brue Building school with children, 3410 Everett Avenue, Everett, Washington, 1892. From the King and Baskerville Collection. Building still stands today.

Online learning
Lynda.com offers a wide variety of expert-taught courses on topics including photography, business/management training, web design, graphic design, computer coding, and much more! Learning Express, GCF Free Learn, and Khan Academy are other good sources for tests, training, and skills development.

Genealogy Research
Did you know Ancestry.com is currently available from home? In normal times this popular genealogy resource is only accessible at the library, so if you’ve been thinking about starting to research your family roots, now is a great time to try it out.

In Novelist Plus, you can search among hundreds of thousands of popular fiction and readable nonfiction titles, and also retrieve author read-alikes, book lists, book discussion guides, and more. All of this rich editorial content is crafted by librarians and reading authorities who are experts in the field.Learn more in this Reading Life blog post, Know About Novelist?


Magazines through Overdrive/Libby
Many of our patrons know and love the Libby (by Overdrive) app for e-books and e-audiobooks, but did you know there are magazines available as well? Check out this video made for us by Overdrive staff, to show you how to find magazines from the app. Speaking of apps for library content and resources, you can find all of them here.

Music: http://www.bensound.com

Ebooks and e-audiobooks are available from both Overdrive and cloudLibrary. Each collection has different titles available, so make sure to search both, or use the catalog and limit to ebooks to see all in one place. CloudLibrary often has fewer holds on popular items, probably because people are used to only searching in the Libby app, so do check it out and give it a try. The app is easy to use!

Creativebug, has been featured in a few blogs posts: Summer Sewing and Homemade relief for your dry hands? Yes, please!. It’s a great place to look for arts and crafts classes and projects from quick crafts to month-long series.

Creativebug’s Make Tissue Paper Pompoms is an easy project that brings so much festivity, color, and joy to a room, and all you need is tissue paper, wire, scissors, and string.

Movies and Music: Hoopla and Kanopy

Hoopla offers movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone – and even your TV! With no waiting, titles can be streamed immediately, or downloaded to phones or tablets for offline enjoyment later.

Kanopy streams thoughtful entertainment to your preferred device with no fees and no commercials by partnering with public libraries. Everyone from film scholars to casual viewers will discover remarkable and enriching films on Kanopy. Log in with your library membership and enjoy the diverse catalog with new titles added every month.

Until we can open our doors again and welcome back our patrons, we hope you find entertainment and education in EPL’s eLibrary.


Behind the Scenes at the Library

Ever wonder what it’s like in the library right now, and what staff are doing in the building, behind those closed doors? Here’s a little movie to show you.



It’s actually very quiet without our patrons in the library, and we all look forward to when we can reopen, but you can be sure we are keeping busy at both locations!

Many carts of books checked in and ready to shelve.

Curbside Service has been popular, especially at the Main Library. Last week we determined that over 1200 patrons have taken advantage of this service. You can place books, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks on hold from our website, or call us at the numbers below and we will be happy to do it for you! Pick up is easy – see all the details here.

Delivering bags of books to a patron

Phone Service has also been steady. Give us a call and we can put library materials on hold for you, help you get ebooks on your device, look up a phone number, suggest a book, research a question, find historical material, etc. If there’s a way for us to do it remotely we will try our hardest to help:

Reference questions: Main Library 425-257-8000 Evergreen Branch 425-257-8250
Account questions: Main Library 425-257-8010 Evergreen Branch 425-257-8260

At the Main Library we can be reached Monday to Friday: 10-6, Saturday: 10-5. At the Evergreen Branch: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10-6, Saturday: 10-5



Books for You is a new book matching service that was started recently as a way to quickly get staff-picked books to patrons. There are many different lists that we’ve created; take a look at the web page. Once you’ve chosen a “Books for You” category that interests you, fill out this form or give us a call at 425-257-8000, and we’ll place some books on hold for you!

Kids and teens can participate too! Simply fill out this form to let us know what your child or teen would like, and we’ll handpick items we think they’ll love.  You can also call us at 425-257-8000 to speak to a librarian. For more reading suggestions for kids and teens, visit our What to Read Next page.

You choose the category. We choose the books!

Summer Reading is in full swing. Read 24 hours and earn a new book! Prizes will be available starting in mid-August. Visit the Summer Reading page to print out reading logs, or ask for one when you come by for a curbside pickup.

Summer Reading Logo, Imagine your story, Thank you to our sponsor - Friends of the Everett Public Li

Storytimes are recorded and generally posted three times a week. Watch for them on our Facebook page, or click here to see our available previously recorded storyimes Join in the fun with Miss Andrea, Miss Leslie, Miss Emily, and Miss Eileen!


Online Program for Adults:

The Northwest Room at Home video series examines local history in a number of ways. Check out “Digitizing the Juleen Panoramas“, the most recent video.


The Stay Home, Stay Healthy Virtual book club meetings through Microsoft Teams have just begun. The next session is on August 22nd, and the book is Miracle Creek by Angie Kim.

Presentations on job searching skills and resources took place on Facebook weekly through July, and the recordings can all be viewed at epls.org/jobseeker. Starting soon in August, look for a series on entrepreneurial skills and resources to help people start their own businesses.

Grow Your Jobseeking Skills


Create @ Home recorded DIY arts and crafts videos have been posted monthly during this time. This week’s episode is on how to make “hypertufa’ flower pots – a type of lighter weight cement material – from a mixture of ingredients.


Behind the scenes down in technical services, selecting, ordering, receiving, cataloging, and labeling new materials have continued throughout the time the library has been closed. To see what’s been ordered, take a look at the new fiction, nonficiton, DVD and children’s books lists. All on order items can be found in the catalog.

Website improvements have been ongoing, as we try to provide the most needed information such as COVID-19 updates and job searching resources front and center.


Repairing and Re-configuring – While we are closed, we will be renewing, repairing, and replacing some service desks, and adding features to increase the safety of patrons and staff when we can reopen.


Library staff are used to helping people in all sorts of ways, so it certainly does not feel the same without you, but at least we can see you for curbside pickups, and talk to you over the phone. Libraries will be allowed to reopen in a limited fashion in Phase 3, so we have to get there first. We hope that day comes soon.

The library fish miss you too!

Summer Sewing

Get out that machine and give sewing a try (again) this summer.

It seems like lots of people have taken an interest in making things by hand these days, whether it be bread or soap or clothing. Some of the library staff have been busy baking sourdough, making masks, remodeling, tidying, and gardening during the time the library was closed, and for some of us the creative frenzy continues even now that we are back in the library.

If you have a sewing machine collecting dust and never really learned how to use it, check out this beginner level class on how to make a tote bag from Creativebug, one of the library’s most recent additions to our online resources.

To see the whole video, follow this link: Market Tote Bag.
You will need to login with your library card number and PIN.

Everyone can use another shopping bag, right? Well, maybe if it’s a cute, lined, one-of-a-kind version! In this session, instructor Cal Patch makes sure to explain the project in terms that any beginner will understand. There’s even a section on how to thread the needle. The good thing about Creativebug classes is that they are broken up into segments; if you don’t need to watch a section just skip ahead.

I tried out this project and found it to be easy to follow, but there are a few places where you can go wrong. I had to take mine apart twice! (It is pictured at the bottom of this article):

1. Make sure to pay special attention to what she does with attaching the straps. The straps must be placed on the outside of your bag cover before you put together the lining and outer cover.

2. Copy exactly what she’s doing when she’s putting the two layers together. The outer piece, whether liner or cover, needs to be wrong side out, and the inner piece needs to be right side out. On my final try I just did what she did and it worked.

The bag and strap dimensions are left up to the maker. I cut my bag pieces to 17″x17″ for a 16″ square bag. You could make yours smaller, larger, or rectangular. Even if you aren’t a beginner, you may be inspired by this project to start sewing again


In addition to lots of Creativebug sewing classes, the library has many books on sewing. Here are a few 2020 titles for you to check out!

Sew Step by Step: How to Use Your Sewing Machine to Make, Mend, and Customize by Alison Smith, would be a great choice for anyone wanting to learn in depth how to sew. With chapters on fabrics, stitches, hems, patterns, pleats, and more, you can’t go wrong with this handy and complete guide.

Maybe your life is focused right now on your kids, or maybe you miss your grandkids and would like to send them a surprise. Animal Friends to Sew: Simple Handmade Decor, Toys, and Gifts for Kids by Sanae Ishida contains lots of simple projects to choose from.

House of Pinheiro’s Work to Weekend Wardrobe: Sew Your Own Capsule Collection by Rachel Pinheiro while not for beginners, has designs for wardrobe staples that you can mix and match to get you through the work week and into the weekend, and there are even accessories. Many of the garments would be suitable for summertime.

If hand sewing is more your speed, Joyful Mending by Noriko Misumi shows techniques for artful mending and reusing of clothing and other worn items that we still enjoy, instead of throwing them away. These attractive repairs will make your clothing more original and you will likely treasure the pieces even more.

Joyful Mending: Visible Repairs for the Perfectly Imperfect Things We Love! (Paperback)

Quilt: Modern Curves and Bold Stripes by Heather Black and Daisy Aschehoug contains 15 different projects for all skill levels. Quilting can be fun to get into because you can make a beautiful quilt entirely with simple straight lines, but the modern designs in this book are heavy into circles, a favorite motif of mine.


Sewing can be peaceful and meditative, and/or challenging and frustrating, but it’s almost always rewarding in the end. Get out that machine and those fabrics you’ve had for years and give sewing another try.

Birding from Home

No photo description available.
Photo by JoAnna Thomas of me and my camera, seeking Lazuli Buntings near Snohomish one spring.

A few years ago I became one of those (some may say) weird people who are fascinated with birds. You know, the kind that you see pulled over on a country road gawking at something in a field, or in a big group of blandly dressed folks all wearing binoculars, or stopped in the middle of a trail pointing a camera with a giant lens up at the trees.

When COVID took over our lives it was necessary to stay home, and stay healthy, but it’s been a good time to keep birding, too. It seems we had an amazing spring in terms of ‘good’ birds in our fairly urban area close to downtown Everett, from what I could see and what others reported as well. I spent a lot of time taking photos and recording birdsongs in my own backyard, and in the parks close to home.

I also listened to a really interesting and accessible book about birds by author Jennifer Ackerman, who has been writing about science and nature for 30 years. The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think is available as an e-audiobook which is read by the author, and it is thoroughly enjoyable.

The book contains lots of new scientific discoveries about how smart birds actually are; now it’s known that their tiny brains, previously assumed to be mostly operating on instinct, are capable of astonishing feats. How birds use intelligence and ingenuity in their daily activities is explored in separate chapters in the areas listed in the subtitle.

The section about bird songs and calls was really mind blowing. Birds can and do understand ‘foreign languages’ – they quickly learn to decipher an incredible amount of detailed information in other species vocalizations. Other chapters feature raptors who spread fire to increase their hunting success, hummingbirds who know how long a flower takes to replenish nectar, cooperative nesters who aren’t even related, and crows and parrots who solve puzzles, sometimes as a team. Ackerman says this is really a thrilling time in bird science. I agree!

File:Phylidonyris novaehollandiae Bruny Island.jpg - Wikipedia
New Holland Honeyeater, an Australian bird that conveys super-detailed information about predators in its calls. Photo from Wikipedia.

If you haven’t heard of Ackerman, you’ve probably heard of David Sibley. For any fellow birders out there, check out this video that features the two of them in a virtual program on World Migratory Bird Day.


The library has a hundreds of books about birds for adults and youth. Below are a few recent additions to the collection to check out.

John Marzluff, probably best know for his work with crows at the University of Washington, as well as his talks at EPL, has published a new book, In Search of Meadowlarks. This book looks at sustainable food production methods that are compatible with bird and wildlife conservation. Meadowlarks live in most areas of the country, yet their numbers, like many birds, are in decline. Marzluff examines the reasons and ends with a chapter on what we can do to help.

Image may contain: bird, sky and outdoor
Hopefully you have been lucky enough to see a Meadowlark, and to hear its beautiful song.

What It’s Like to be a Bird, by David Allen Sibley, who’s famous for his illustrated bird guides which are favorites of many birders, is a bit of a departure for the author. Like The Bird Way mentioned above, Sibley takes a look at questions such as: “Can birds smell?” “Is this the same cardinal that was at my feeder last year?” and “Do robins ‘hear’ worms?” He says that he first planned this book many years ago as a children’s book. With two starred reviews, it sounds like it was worth the years of effort.

If birds themselves aren’t interesting enough, check out the bird related The Falcon Thief by Joshua Hammer. This is the story of Jeffrey Lendrum, who for two decades had a lucrative business of stealing, smuggling, and selling endangered falcon’s eggs to wealthy clients who were involved in falcon racing. Part true-crime narrative, part epic adventure, this book is hard to put down.

If gardening comes first for you, but you’d like to learn more about birds, try out Attracting Birds and Butterflies by Barbara Ellis. Planting for wildlife will certainly increase your chances of seeing some of our amazing local birds in your yard, acreage, or balcony. Even if you have little experience or time, you can make some changes that will help birds and butterflies survive.

Pacific Flyway by Audrey Benedict is a gorgeous photographic collection of images of the Pacific Flyway, the 10,000 mile stretch from the Arctic to southern South America, which is traveled by many bird species on their seasonal migrations. Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California coasts are crucial to support these birds on their journeys.

Close to Birds: an Intimate Look at Our Feathered Friends by Roine Magnusson is another photographic examination of the wonder of birds which features close up, super detailed photos of birds, all the work of the author.

So take a look at these great bird books, look around your yard and neighborhood, and discover the joys of birding, if you haven’t already. It is simultaneously challenging, relaxing, exciting, healthy, and just plain therapeutic!


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Chestnut-backed Chickadee in my backyard with a grub for its babies. It was a great joy to watch the progress of the family without leaving my yard.

Know About Novelist?

There are many ways we at Everett Public Library try to to help you find your next great read. Normally, we offer book clubs, Everett Reads!, book displays all over the library, and author talks, plus you can ask us for recommendations in person. Right now the options are more limited since we are closed, but you can still check out our book reviews and Notable New Fiction book lists on our blog, A Reading Life. We have staff picks collections that show up in our catalog. You can email us at libref@everettwa.gov, call us Monday-Friday from 10-5 (425-257-8000), or ask us for recommendations on Facebook. If none of those appeal to you read on.

Novelist is one of many research databases that the library subscribes to for our patrons to use, but it happens to be one that a lot of librarians use on occasion as well. It’s a fast way for busy librarians to find a list of books similar to a one a patron just finished. It has a variety of ways to find your next read by genre, appeal, themes, and award winners. I recently used it myself to discover how I might describe a certain type of book that I love reading.

Since we’ve been been staying home basically all the time due to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy emergency order, I’ve been listening to more audiobooks on weekends. I finished one I really enjoyed called After Me Comes the Flood, by Sarah Perry, and realized how much I have liked the other books I’ve read by her, The Essex Serpent and Melmoth (for a fascinating look at what was happening medically in her life when she wrote that one, check out this Guardian article “Out of my mind: Sarah Perry on writing under the influence of drugs“).

Since there wasn’t another book by her I could listen to, I decided to see how NoveList categorized or described After Me Comes the Flood.
Genre: First person narratives; Psychological suspense
Storyline: Character-driven
Pace: Leisurely paced
Tone: Atmospheric; Creepy

Okay, so I like creepy, psychological books that take place in eerie, atmospheric settings. I always knew I was weird. So how to find more? When searching by title, scroll past the reviews to find a Search for More option where you can choose from those descriptors and more to find similar books. For me it was the creepiness, atmosphere, and psychological suspense that were most appealing, so I can check those boxes to find similar titles, 66 of them in this case.


Searching by author gives the option for author read-alikes and title read-alikes lists. This is one of the most useful functions of NoveList for librarians, because you will get a printable list to be able to hand to patrons for future reading ideas.

You will often find NoveList recommendations right in our catalog without having to navigate to NoveList. Look up the title of the book you loved, click on the link to fully open the information about the title, scroll down a bit, and often you will find Read-alikes right there.

NoveList is not just for novels – there are nonfiction categories to search through – and it isn’t just for adult books. You can find books for ages 0-8, 9-12, and teens. There are many genres to choose from for each age range; for instance Ages 9-12 brings up a real variety such as Adventure Stories, Horror, If you Like…, and Mysteries.

We also subscribe to NoveList K-12, which is similar but focused on books for kids and teens. By doing an advanced search you can find books in the right reading level (Accelerated Reader and Lexile), publish date, and even limit by gender and cultural identity of the author. You can also look for titles that received starred reviews.

Another nice thing about NoveList is that it connects with our catalog; by clicking on Check Availability and then Go to Catalog, you can place a hold on the book. What NoveList doesn’t do so well is find our ebooks – it seems to only be able to connect with our print copies of titles. Still, you may find it useful to find a list of titles to read now or in the future.

May you find something good to read in whatever way suits you best. We are still here, ready to help.

Happy reading!

Homemade relief for your dry hands? Yes, please!

Lotion bars made by EPL staff member JoAnna

Hands getting dry after all the hand washing?  My horribly dry, painful hands got me thinking about what I could do to heal them, since regular old lotion isn’t cutting it. Then I remembered my coworker JoAnna had made a lot of lotion bars, which are very moisturizing, and it turns out she’s tested the following tutorial.

You’ve probably heard by now about our newest arts and crafts resource, Creativebug. I have looked at it quite happily for quick and easy art projects, but hadn’t thought to look for tutorials on making soaps, lotions, and other skincare and natural home products. But they do indeed have such classes. If you are looking for some relief for your hands, check out this quick and simple DIY Lotion Bar tutorial.

Tips from JoAnna:

* You can substitute coconut oil for one of the butters.
* If you do not have a double boiler, you can make it in a small crockpot or in the microwave. Be sure to use a glass bowl in the microwave as the beeswax takes a long time to melt and the bowl will get very hot.
* Melt the beeswax first, once melted you can add the other butters to mix.
* You can add vitamin E to help with skin repair; break 1-2 capsules into the mix.
* If you do not have any molds on hand, you can use silicone cupcake holders.
* Put completed bars in a tin or plastic bag to store so they don’t get messy.
* Beware, in warm temperature they can melt.
* To use, hold in your cupped hands. The warmth of your hands will soften the wax.
* The ingredients can be ordered and delivered from hobby and craft stores, or soap making supply companies.


Besides Creativebug (which really has tons of great classes) we have eBooks about making your own bath, skin care, and cleaning products.

The Organic Country Home Handbook by Natalie Wise, includes recipes for cleaning all areas of the home, from kitchen to bath, and everywhere in between. If you are so inclined you can find everything you need here to do some spring cleaning! There is also a chapter, “The Medicine Cabinet” that features homemade skin care products.

DIY Beauty: Easy, All-Natural Recipes Based on Your Favorites from Lush, Kiehl’s, Burt’s Bees, Bumble and bumble, Laura Mercier, and More!
by Ina De Clercq
From lip balm to bath bombs, these recipes attempt to recreate best-loved products from popular beauty product companies.

Homemade Bath Bombs & More: Soothing Spa Treatments for Luxurious Self-Care and Bath-Time Bliss by Heidi Kundin
This book focuses on bath bombs and other fun and luxurious bath products such as sugar scrubs, body butter, and bath jellies. Bath jellies? I will have to look that one up!

Natural Beauty: 35 Step-by-Step Projects for Homemade Beauty by Karen Gilbert
These ‘lotion and potion’ recipes for face, body, and hair, use readily available, natural ingredients and easy-to-follow methods.


I hope Creativebug classes and our crafty eBooks inspire you to try your hand at making healthy, simple home and beauty products! And may your hands be in much better shape than mine.