The Birds and the Bees… and Gardening

Gardening, for me, can be an interest that waxes and wanes. I usually get excited about flowers in the spring, and then get tired of it all by the parched days of August, when all I can do is keep plants watered enough so they don’t die. This past winter on a very cold day, I noticed a large flock of birds, mostly American Robins and Ceder Waxwings, descend on my cotoneaster shrub and start eating berries like mad. Usually birds leave these berries alone, so I knew they were a bit desperate. That started me thinking about deliberately landscaping with plants that birds can use for food and shelter, and those that provide for bees and other pollinators. What can we do to help? Luckily, the library has some books on the topic, because I have a lot to learn. Most are available in ebook format, as well.

A Cedar Waxwing joins a mob of berry seeking birds in my backyard cotoneaster tree (a non-native plant, that does attract bees, and on occasion, birds).

Douglas Tallamy, an ecologist who teaches at the University of Delaware, has been a trailblazer behind the research that proves we must plant native trees, shrubs, and flowers in order for butterflies and other pollinators to survive, and we must do it now. The decline in bird populations is believed to be partly caused by lack of food for their young; almost all birds exclusively feed their offspring caterpillars and insects. The sterile landscapes that dominate our neighborhoods do not support enough insects to feed birds, but if enough of us plant native plants, we can make a difference together. Even those of us with tiny yards can contribute in this way. Learn more by watching this talk given by Tallamy to WWF-Canada.

Books by Douglas Tallamy
Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants was Tallamy’s first book about planting natives to regain the biodiversity we’ve lost. Check out the audiobook and listen while you garden!
Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard describes Tallamy and others quest to start a national movement to enlist homeowners everywhere to help create conservation corridors. You will learn specific tips on how to add native plants to your yard.
The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy
This book, full of photos by Darke, will help you create a beautiful, natural, and diverse garden that will work for both your family and wildlife.

Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest by Arthur R. Kruckeberg
This is an older book but it’s still useful – after all, native plants aren’t new varieties created by humans, but the original species that have been around for thousands of years. The Garden Uses section after each plant’s description gives a lot of detail on growing needs and habits. Also useful are the plant lists in the back for specific settings such as shady dry, shady wet, maritime sun, etc. These are excellent lists for planning a native garden.

Real Gardens Grow Natives: Design, Plant, and Grow a Healthy Northwest Garden by Eileen M. Stark is another PNW guide, but this one is packed with color photos of plants, and includes many of our best native species. The usual garden book tips on soil, location, and landscape design are there, but this time with the focus on our beautiful Northwest native plants.

Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change by Larry Weaner The author wants us to plant native, but instead of focusing only on the environmental benefits, he makes the point that it’s much easier and more rewarding to garden with native plants; they have evolved right here so are perfectly suited for the conditions. His ‘design’ method is much more natural – let the plants choose their place. Your garden can be “…a sanctuary for indigenous wildlife, and a protector of biodiversity.”

New Naturalism: Designing and Planting a Resilient, Ecologically Vibrant Home Garden by Kelly D. Norris explores the elements needed to create the natural looking outdoor spaces that we crave, rather than the tightly controlled and difficult to maintain landscapes that do nothing for the soul, or the environment. You can build your own meadow or prairie even in urban or suburban yards, and help increase biodiversity, while increasing your peace of mind.

The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening by Kim Eierman shows us how we can help pollinators, which are so important to our own food supply, to increase in number by making a change from “vast green pollinator deserts” (lawns) to pollinator havens. Pollinators, not just bees but many other insects, are in a steep decline. We can all help to win the war against pollinator decline by following the suggestions in The Pollinator Victory Garden.


Gardening with native plants feels rewarding. I have just started, and now have about 20 different species planted in pots. I have plans to turn a mostly empty garden bed into a natives only section. It feels like maybe I can make a difference.

A note about finding native plants at nurseries – it’s difficult. Consider telling your favorite nurseries that you want them to carry native plants. There are some native plant nurseries in our area, but don’t expect to find the plants you want in your usual shopping spots.

Douglas Tallamy and others have started Homegrown National Park, a way to promote the native plant movement and track the progress nationwide. After you start your garden, you can get on the map! Currently there is only one garden listed in Snohomish County – let’s create more, and help our birds, bees, and ourselves survive.


Recent Reads

Last month I found myself with some unexpected time to read several fiction books that are hard to find a common theme for, but perhaps the common denominator is that they all transport us into another place, culture, or time.

The Removed by Brandon Hobson follows a Cherokee family, the Echotas, as they plan their yearly bonfire remembrance for their son Ray-Ray, who was killed by police at a mall at age 15. Their remaining son struggles with addiction and ignores their calls, escaping to a nightmarish town and the home of an old friend who is up to no good. Daughter Sonia gets herself tangled up in multiple unhealthy relationships with younger men. A mysterious child, Wyatt, who reminds the Echotas so much of Ray-Ray, comes into their lives briefly for foster care. Interspersed is the story of ancestor Tsala, who was killed on the Trail of Tears, and who tries to effect change in the here and now.
Kirkus Reviews states: “Spare, strange, bird-haunted, and mediated by grief, the novel defies its own bleakness as its calls forth a delicate and monumental endurance. A slim yet wise novel boils profound questions down to its final word: “Home.”


Who Is Maud Dixon by Alexandra Andrews
Florence is trying to get ahead in her job in publishing but makes a grave mistake. A new opportunity comes out of nowhere – a position as assistant to a wildly popular but extremely private author, known as Maud Dixon. The two of them travel to Morocco so that Maud can work on research for the setting of her next book. Florence begins to question Maud’s ability as a writer and the progress being made on the book. The two of them go out drinking, and the next day, Florence discovers that Maud has disappeared and presumes she is dead. Is it possible for Florence to assume Maud’s identity, finish to book, and grab the glory and the money? I had to find out!
Kirkus Reviews: “At every diabolical twist and turn, Andrews’ impish sense of humor peeks around the corner to jack up the fun. Terrific characters, vivid settings, and a deliciously dastardly, cunningly constructed plot.”


There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura is the first English translated work by the author who is well known in Japan. The main (unnamed) character is in her thirties, and after experiencing burnout at her former job, returns to live with her parents. She signs on with a temp agency hoping for a stress free job, and begins a series of strange occupations which range from surveillance, to writing ad copy for busses, to sitting in a hut in the woods in a huge park, so vast that many people get lost and need her to find them. Things get more complicated and mysterious as she progresses through the jobs. Just like the small number of other Japanese fiction I have read, I was sorry when this audiobook ended. There’s something peaceful yet oddly fascinating about the mundane details of every day life. See – I cannot describe it. Just give it a try!

Raft of Stars by Andrew Graff is an adventure story that I could not put down. This one really transports the reader to a very different place. ‘Fish’ and ‘Bread’ as they call each other, are 10-year-old summertime friends from very different life situations. Fish is loved, yet has experienced a tragic loss, while Bread has dealt with years of abuse from his father. Fish knows how scared Bread is of his dad, and one evening has the feeling he needs to turn around and check on him after he leaves him at home. A gun goes off, Bread’s father is shot, and the two boys take off on an ill-advised quest to travel many miles through dense forest and by river, supposedly to reach Fish’s father and get help. A new, inexperienced sheriff and Fish’s grandfather set off to find them, while Fish’s mother and a local young woman begin their own search. All sorts of trouble ensues, from thunderstorms to rapids, and finally a deadly waterfall.

Three O’clock in the Morning by Gianrico Carofiglio feels a bit quiet and contemplative in comparison to some of the others on this list, but it still had a lasting effect for me. Due to an epilepsy diagnosis, Antonio’s teen years have been negatively affected by restrictions placed on him by doctors. His father finds him a new specialist located in Marseille. Trips from their home in Italy to see this doctor force the two, who have not been close after a divorce, to spend time together. As Antonio nears adulthood, his doctor who believes he has outgrown the epilepsy, gives one last test: stay up for two days straight to try to trigger a seizure. During that time, father and son explore the city and talk about everything from literature to love, and subsequently learn to love and respect each other. The title is from an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote:
“In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning.” 

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Saving my favorite for last! We meet Klara in the shop where, along with many other Artificial Friends (AFs), she is waiting patiently to be bought and taken home by a child who needs her. Klara is last year’s model, and worries she doesn’t have the features that will attract discerning kids, but Klara has gifts of perception and understanding that are beyond the usual abilities of AFs. Finally Klara is chosen by a very sick girl, and goes go live in a home where the mother’s attitude is puzzling. Slowly, Klara learns the truth about Josie and her late sister. You may feel that Klara is more human than any of the actual humans. The Guardian’s review stated: “People will absolutely love this book, in part because it enacts the way we learn how to love.” Love it I did!

Drawing for Meditation and Relaxation

Are you one of those people who says ‘I can’t draw a stick figure’? Do you freeze and stress out when you’re expected to freehand draw anything? Drawing doesn’t have to be stressful. What you draw doesn’t need to be the least bit realistic, and it certainly doesn’t need to be perfect. You don’t ever have to show your art to anyone – your drawings can be just for you.

Coming up on March 11, attend out free virtual program, Draw and Doodle with local artist Rosemary Jones. Explore drawing as a meditation, and learn how to enjoy the process of playing with shapes and patterns to create unique creatures. Discover your inner artist and experience the joy of drawing and doodling for pleasure and relaxation. All you need is paper and pen, but if you just prefer to watch and listen, everyone is welcome! Register here.

The library has hundreds of books about all things drawing, from coffee table books of hyper-realistic masterpieces, to how-to books for drawing dinosaurs, dogs, dresses, and dragons, to doodling for fun and relaxation. Check out these doodling and simple drawing books for inspiration.

Craft-a-Doodle Deux: 73 Exercises for Creative Drawing by Jenny Doh
Seventeen artists share ideas and prompts to get you drawing original doodle designs in markers, paint, and pens.

Botanical Line Drawing by Peggy Dean walks the reader/artist through techniques for doodles beginning with simple designs and moving to increasing complexity. It is aimed at all skill levels.

Zentangle®, a method of doodling for meditation and relaxation, focuses on concentration and mindfulness rather than on the finished product. The library has hosted programs on the Zentangle method taught by Certified Zentagle Teachers, and we have books in the collection, The Art of Zentangle by Stephanie Meissner, and Zentangle for Kids by Sandy Steento Bartholomew, to name a few.

20 Ways to Draw a Dress and 23 Other Fabulous Fashions and Accessories by Julia Kuo is in our juvenile nonfiction section but the drawings look fun for all ages. If you love fashion you may want to check this one out. Learn how to draw bunches of kinds of shoes, dresses, sunglasses, etc!

Ladies Drawing Night : Make Art, Get Inspired, Join the Party by Julia Rothman
This is a fun book and a fun concept. A group of friends meet regularly to draw together. Sometimes they work on a central theme, other times each works on their own project. Art parties are one of my favorite activities. They are great for shy people who enjoy creating with others but may find a more formal party stressful. I look forward to when we can gather and craft together again.

If you still don’t want to draw after all that encouragement, or if traveling to the library to pick up books through curbside service doesn’t appeal to you, maybe you just want to color. How about an e-coloring book? Our Overdrive magazine collection has two dozen to choose from including Doodle Emporium: A Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Book by Lori Geisler. These coloring books are always available to check out through Overdrive. Of course you will need to print out the the designs before coloring. See the whole collection here.


Try out drawing and doodling and see if it relaxes you. I know for me when I draw, craft, build, or create in any way, it takes my mind off of my worries, and that has to be a positive thing.

Random Acts of Kindness

Several years ago I learned about Random Acts of Kindness Day (celebrated yearly on Feb. 17th), and incorporated it yearly into our library arts and crafts classes. The projects we did allowed our crafters to make small items to hand out to people randomly, just to show appreciate or encouragement. I love the idea, and right now we could all use a little extra kindness.

A couple of months ago the library hosted Donna Cameron, along with Garret Hunt, to talk about Cameron’s book A Year of Living Kindly. All of our virtual programs, through the platform Crowdcast, are recorded and can be viewed later. Check out that conversation here.

In the book, Cameron shares her experience of committing to 365 days of practicing kindness. She explains the health benefits and feelings of well-being that come with being kind to others. The book includes tips on what we can do to practice kindness, even when it is not easy, and how when we do, we help change the world.

The library has other recent books on kindness. Check out these titles, and take a look at our catalog to find more on the subject.

Deep kindness : a revolutionary guide for the way we think, talk, and act in kindness by Houston Craft

Craft started an organization called Random Acts of Kindness, Etc. in college to create a more connected, compassionate campus. Deep Kindness examines how kindness can help heal divisions between people and improve anxiety that is so prevalent today. Kindness can and should be a part of our daily lives and Kraft shares ways in which we can practice being kind.

The war for kindness : building empathy in a fractured world by Jamil Zaki

Zaki, a Stanford psychologist, presents the argument that empathy is not a trait we are born with, but that it can, and must, be cultivated. By developing empathy we can overcome feelings of isolation, and work to prevent divisiveness between groups. With many stories of people who are doing this work, this book is an inspirational call to action.

Radical kindness : the life-changing power of giving and receiving by Angela C. Santomero; foreword by Deepak Chopra

Santomero, writer of children’s educational shows, calls kindness a radical power, and through her study with mentor Fred Rogers, has spent her life teaching empathy and compassion through her programs.

The kindness method : change your habits for good using self-compassion and understanding
by Shahroo Izadi

While we are learning to be kind to others, we also need to be kind to ourselves. Practicing self-compassion is the only way to make lasting change in your life, Izadi explains, and using personal and professional experience, she guides the reader to strengthen willpower and understanding of themselves.


If you’re more inclined to share kindness through creative expression, and want to show appreciation to your grocery clerk, doctor, teacher, or random people at the bus stop for Random Acts of Kindness Day, try out this easy art project suitable for kids and adults alike.


So go forth and practice the radical act of kindness, on Random Acts of Kindness Day, and all year round. It may not always be easy, but it will be worth it.

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!