Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Get free tax help this season at the Queen Anne Library

January 27th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

AARP Tax HelpThis year, the IRS is short-staffed and that means the upcoming tax season could be a little more daunting for some taxpayers. According to Forbes, IRS budget cuts will mean refund delays, correspondence delays, fewer resolutions, and unanswered calls.

But, don’t fret just yet. AARP is offering free tax-preparation at libraries across Seattle, including our own Queen Anne Library branch. The AARP Tax-Aide is free and open to all taxpayers.

QALibraryThe AARP’s tax-certified volunteers on hand at the sessions can answer 2014 filing questions, including changes based on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and help prepare your tax returns.

The Queen Anne Library tax-prep sessions begin Wednesday, February 4th and run through April. Sessions will run from noon-5pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. No appointments, walk-ins only (and welcome).

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Join the Seattle Chamber Music Society for a free lecture at the Queen Anne Library

January 13th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

SCMS Winter Festival previewThe Seattle Chamber Music Society will kick off its Winter Festival later this month. The 2015 Winter Festival includes both paid concerts and free recitals at Benaroya Hall, plus a Family Concert on January 24th.

To give you a taste of what they have on tap for the upcoming Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Society (SCMS) is hosting a free Preview Lecture at the Queen Anne Library tomorrow, Wednesday, January 14th, from 3pm to 4pm.

According to SCMS, the multimedia presentation will “explore the development of the accompanied violin sonata as well as the birth of the concerto. We’ll explore violin sonatas by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, a viola sonata by Schubert, and also have a look at the earliest form of concerti with Vivaldi’s 1711 L’Estro Armonico.”

Jeremy Jolley, Director of Education Programs, and Seneca Garber, Director of Marketing will lead the informal presentation that will include a background on the history and impact of the upcoming musical works, plus recorded musical examples.

The event is free and open to all.

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Seattle Sketcher sketches Queen Anne library

January 11th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

Seattle Sketcher QA Library

Sketch by Seattle Sketcher, Gabriel Campanario

Last month, the Seattle Sketcher (aka Gabriel Campanario), asked via Twitter what Queen Anne locations would be good subjects.

That week, I’d published a blog post on the Seattle Public Libarary Queen Anne branch’s 100th anniversary celebration, so I suggested the library, and voila!

Today, the Seattle Times published his drawings of our library in a post entitled: “Queen Anne Library to turn page on century of memories” - so a nice tie-in to this Sunday’s birthday celebration at the library.

You can check out his sketches in the Seattle Times article (or click on the image) – and don’t forget this weekend’s free celebration at the Queen Anne branch:

When: Sunday, January 12th, 2pm to 4pm
Where: Queen Anne branch, Seattle Public Library (400 W Garfield St)
What’s happening:

  • Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection exhibit of vintage clothing and an interactive hat show
  • Historical information provided by Queen Anne Historical Society
  • Music and refreshments
  • A commemorative bookmark
  • Children’s craft activity making whirligigs

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Queen Anne library turns 100 in January – help mark a century with your own scrapbook entry

December 16th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

QALibraryOur Queen Anne library branch one of the coolest spots on Queen Anne – ok, I’m partial to libraries, but you have to admit, our branch is beautiful!

What makes our library so special, other than that it’s ours? Well, for starters, it’s one of six Carnegie libraries in Seattle. From the brickwork to the windows to the multi-colored roof, I think everyone can admit it’s pretty unique and a special spot on Queen Anne.

Library Plaque

Plaque with 1913 construction date

Andrew Carnegie gave Seattle $200,000 to build a new fireproof library after the original Yesler Mansion burned in 1901. In 1910, he went on to donate $105,000 for the West Seattle, Green Lake, and University District branches. Another gift of $70,000 resulted in our Queen Anne branch in 1914 and the Columbia branch in 1915.

The Queen Anne branch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated as a landmark building by Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board. In addition to its architectural significance, the Queen Anne branch is also a key part of our neighborhood’s history, and it’s celebrating a big birthday – 100 years – in January.

QA Library kids

SPL Collection: Queen Anne Library branch
ca. late 1950s-early 1960s
Submitted by Mrs. Floyd W. Mason, Jr. Queen Anne Manor

It looks pretty good for a centenarian (thanks in part to a 2007 renovation), and is well loved by patrons both young and old.

Although, it did cause quite a stir for one Queen Anne resident 100 years ago – one parent sent the following letter to Miss Helen Watson, the branch’s first children’s librarian:

“Dear Madam: Will you please stop John and Mary from getting any more books as we can’t get anything out of them at all – they won’t go to bed at night and won’t get up in the morning and won’t do anything but read when they do get up.”

To celebrate the special anniversary, the Seattle Public Library is planning a free celebration at the Queen Anne branch on Sunday, January 12th from 2pm to 4pm. Activities include:

  • Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection exhibit of vintage clothing and an interactive hat show – step back in time and try on one or more of 50 vintage hats!
  • Historical information provided by Queen Anne Historical Society
  • Music and refreshments
  • A commemorative bookmark
  • Children’s craft activity making whirligigs
QA Library Scrapbook paper

Queen Anne library scrapbook paper
Pick up yours today!

And, you can be a part of the preparations via an anniversary scrapbook that the library is putting together. Just stop by the library and share written stories now about your favorite Queen Anne branch experiences on specially designed scrapbook paper.

The paper is available now at the branch, so be sure to take part in the storytelling today.  Your story may be featured in another 100 years, just as the “stop John and Mary from getting any more books” story was shared today!

The anniversary scrapbook will be on display during the celebration, so make plans now to share your stories to mark the happy occasion. If you can’t make it to the library, you can also email your story to and it’ll be included in the scrapbook. Submissions will be taken up to January 12th.

And, mark your calendars to join in the celebration on January 12th, and Happy (early) Birthday, Queen Anne library!

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Intrepid band of Seattle readers are celebrating Read Across America by visiting every SPL branch

March 1st, 2013 by Laura Fonda

The National Educators Association (NEA) sponsors Read Across America every year on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2nd, and a local group of Seattle Library Walkers will be trekking 30 miles as they criss-cross Seattle to visit each and every SPL branch (27 in total). And, as you likely know from our Wednesday post, the Queen Anne Library will be hosting the Sundays are Special event this weekend – so, naturally, the group has planned its two day walk to include a Sunday stop at the Queen Anne library.

The group members will be sporting striped Cat in the Hat hats and stopping to read from “Oh the Places You’ll Go” at each library branch. Everyone is welcome to join in!

The walk starts at 7:30am on Saturday at the Columbia City branch, and the Sunday walk picks up at the Broadview branch the next morning. The schedule is below if you’d like to jump in, and keep your eyes peeled on Sunday for the group making their way from Magnolia between roughly 1:30pm and 2pm, stopping at our branch by 2pm, then winding their way to Fremont.

Updated - route info from the group:

We’ll be working our way up Dravis from Magnolia and then through Queen Anne to the Aurora Bridge.

Saturday, March 2nd:
1. Columbia (7:30am) 2. New Holly (8:10am) 3. Rainier Beach (8:50am) 4. South Park (10:30am) 5. Southwest (11:40am) 6. High Point (12:20pm) 7. Delridge (12:45pm) 8. West Seattle (1:45pm) 9. Beacon Hill (3:30pm) 10. Madrona-Sally Goldmark (4:45pm) 11. Douglass-Truth (5:10pm) 12. International District/Chinatown (5:40pm) 13. Central Library (5:50pm)

Sunday, March 3rd:
1. Broadview (7:30am) 2. Lake City (8:20am) 3. Northgate (9:00am) 4. Northeast (10:00am) 5. Greenlake (10:40am) 6. Greenwood (11:10am) 7. Ballard (12:00pm) 8. Magnolia (1:00pm) 9. Queen Anne (2:00pm) 10. Fremont (2:45pm) 11. Wallingford (3:10pm) 12. University (3:40pm) 13. Montlake (4:30pm) 14. Capitol Hill (5:20pm) 15. Central Library (5:50pm)

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Celebrate new Queen Anne Library hours at Sundays are Special event this… Sunday

February 27th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

As reported back in December, Sunday hours are a welcome 2013 change for our local Seattle Public Library branch – and now our Queen Anne branch has its turn at celebrating with the community! Mark your calendars for this Sunday, March 3rd for the Sundays are Special celebration, which runs from 2pm-3:30pm.

I spoke with the Library director about the event, and in addition to refreshments and craft activities (which are drop-in during the celebration), he also expects special guest attendees including City Librarian Marcellus Turner and SPL Director of Programs and Service Stephanie Chase. I’ve also confirmed with the Seattle City Council that Councilmember (and Queen Anne resident)  Tim Burgess will be attending Sunday’s event.

The Friends of The Seattle Public Library will be at the event with customized Queen Anne branch canvas tote bags. These will be limited-edition bags, and it’s cash only ($15) to get one of your own.

In addition to the celebratory activities, you can also participate in the Check-Out Challenge – visit any Library branch on Sundays until May 5 to get your card stamped. Patrons with 15 stamps can enter a prize-drawing for a chance to win a booklovers basket and lunch with Marcellus Turner, SPL City Librarian. Plus, if your old SPL card is worn-out or you just want to change things up, you can also swap out your card for one of the new ones with photos of the Central Library, Space Needle, Pike Place Market, or Mt Rainier.

Remember, you can stop in at the Queen Anne Library any Sunday between 1pm and 5pm in 2013 – the only non-holiday where you’ll see a “closed” sign on the door is Friday.

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All SPL Branches Open Sundays in 2013, Sunday Celebration at Queen Anne Branch and More

December 15th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

I’ve all too often walked to the Queen Anne Library on a Friday or Sunday to be foiled by a “closed” sign. But now, thanks to the library levy approved by voters in August, I’ll only need to remember to plan around Fridays. Starting in January, all Seattle Public Library branches will be open on Sundays; the Queen Anne Library branch will be open 1pm-5pm every Sunday.

You may recall taking an SPL survey a few months ago – if you took it and asked SPL to have more accessible hours, your voice has been heard! (I asked for both Sundays and more consistent hours, but I’ll take Sundays).

In an SPL press release, City Librarian Marcellus Turner stated:

“At community meetings and through patron surveys, we heard that Sunday hours were important. Particularly for families, working people and students, having Library service available in every neighborhood on Sunday will be a huge benefit.”

To celebrate the new Sunday hours, all libraries with new Sunday hours will participate in special celebrations on Sundays. The “Sundays are Special” events will be held from 2pm-3:30pm, featuring a children’s craft activity and refreshments.

The Queen Anne branch will host Sundays are Special on Sunday, March 3rd.

Other noteworthy SPL news:

  • Check-Out Sundays Challenge: just visit any SPL branch on Sundays and get your Check-Out Challenge card stamped. Once you get 15 stamps, you can enter to win prizes such as Booklovers Baskets and lunch with City Librarian Marcellus Turner.
  • Sundays Survey: Complete a survey about the types of services and activities you’d like to see on Sundays. Surveys are available at the library through January.
  • New Library Cards: 5 new Library cards will be available in 2013, you can swap out your old card for a new one at no charge. The new cards include a special design for kids, and four different Seattle images – Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Mount Rainier and the Central Library.

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Week-long library furlough begins today

August 29th, 2011 by Thea

Due to budget cuts, the Seattle Public Library system has closed down for a week-long furlough beginning today, Monday, August 29 until Sunday, September 4. All branches will also be closed the following day, Monday, September 5, for Labor Day, reopening on Tuesday, September 6.

From the Seattle Public Library:

The week-long closure will help the Library achieve its $3.7 million budget reduction target for 2011. The closure will save approximately $650,000. The closure will mean salary reductions for nearly 640 employees who will not be paid during that week and who are taking cuts in their cost of living adjustments. In addition, the book budget has been reduced, positions have been eliminated and 2010 cuts to branch hours have continued this year. Fifteen branches are only open 35 hours a week.

No materials will be due and no fines will be charged during the one-week closure, and most library services will be unavailable, including book drops, Wi-Fi,  regular programs and events in library meeting rooms, TeleCirc (the library’s telephone circulation service that provides patrons with information on their library account), and text, email or or phone communication with a librarian.

Access to the online catalog will be limited to searching and checking library records, but patrons won’t be able to place holds.

Some online services will remain available, including the calendar of events; the SPL Mobile page; online payment of fines and fees; library podcasts; access to premium online databases, including Britannica Online,, Mango Languages, Consumer Reports and Morningstar Investment Research Center; access to downloadable media, such as e-books and audiobooks, songs and movies; and digital collections, such as photos from the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Collection, the Northwest Art Collection and The Seattle Historical Photograph Collection; the Seattle City Directory Collection; and the Century 21 Exposition Digital Collection.

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All Seattle Public Libraries to close Aug. 29-Sept. 5

July 11th, 2011 by Thea

The Seattle Public Library system will be closing down for the week before Labor Day weekend, from Monday, August 29 through Sunday, September 4 due to citywide budget cuts. All libraries will be closed for the Labor Day holiday Monday, September 5. Regular Library operations will resume Tuesday, September 6.

Most Library services will be unavailable during the one-week closure and will have the following impacts:

No materials will be due and no fines will be charged.

The last day to check out Library items before the closure is Sunday, August 28. The Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., will be open until 6 p.m. that day and another 11 branches will be open until 5 p.m. Visit or call 206-386-4636 for more information on Library locations and hours.

No book drops will be open. The Central Library book drops will close at 8 p.m. Sunday, August 28 and will reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday, September 6.

If you’re desperate for library access, the Lake City Neighborhood Service Center and parking garage will remain open. It is co-located with the Lake City Branch, but has a separate entrance. The Ballard Neighborhood Service Center, which is co-located with the Ballard Branch, will stay open as well.

August 29 through September 4 was the week selected for the closure because general Library use at that time is not as high as other times during the year, school is not in session and there are fewer Library programs scheduled.

For more info, visit the Seattle Library site.

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Library’s Summer Reading Program kicks off today

June 1st, 2011 by Doree

The Seattle Public Library’s Summer Reading Program kicks off today with the theme “Where Does Reading Take You?” The annual program encourages everyone, especially children, to read during the summer.

To participate, sign up in person at any of the 27 Library locations, including the Queen Anne Library, at 400 W Garfield Street. Children can get a reading log and collect a sticker for each book read.

buy essays online

Teens and adults can also track books at their local branch.

Children who participate in the Summer Reading Program will receive a free paperback book and a pass to the Burke Museum after reading 10 books. Children who read 10 books by Monday, Aug.

1 will be entered into a drawing for the city librarian’s popular Breakfast of Champions event held at the Space Needle in August. One winner from each Library location will be selected.

Participating in the Summer Reading Program is a great way for kids to have fun and improve reading skills during the summer break from school. A 2004 study in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk found that having elementary school students read just four or five books during the summer can prevent the reading-achievement losses that normally occur over those months.

The Summer Reading Program includes hundreds of free programs for families at library locations. Here are the programs scheduled at the Queen Anne Library:

  • Puss in Boots – 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursday, June 23. “The ethnic diversity and rich musical traditions of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayous are the background for Oregon Shadow Theatre’s version of the classic French fairy tale. Colorful shadow puppets inspired by Mardi Gras’ outrageous parade costumes along with live Zydeco and Cajun music give spicy flavor to this production. For ages 4 and up.”
  • Snakes: Friend or Foe – 3 to 4 p.m., Monday, July 11. “Learn all about snakes in this program led by wildlife educator Nick Sutton. Discover natural history, learn how to identify both local and tropical species, and even touch a real snake! All featured snakes are non-venomous. For ages 7 and up.”
  • Going Global – 11:30 a.m.m to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, July 30. “Join juggler Alex Zerbe for a high-energy comedy show that excites kids and adults alike about different cultures and phenomena from around the world. See why this two-time Guinness World Record holder was voted Seattle’s Funniest Prop Comic. For ages 5 and up.”
  • Hands-on-Henna – 3 to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 9. “Create and wear great-looking art! Learn about the fascinating history and traditions of this beautiful form of body adornment with artist Krysteen Lomonaco. Not suitable for large groups such as day cares or summer camps. For ages 10 and up. Limited to 30 people. Call the branch to register.”
  • Brother Coyote and Sister Fox – 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursday, August 8. “Join Thistle Theatre for a delightful and humorous adaptation of a beloved Mexican folktale featuring puppets, music and humor. For ages 3-11.”

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Seattle Public Schools open enrollment begins

March 15th, 2011 by Marina Gordon

If your child will enter the Seattle Public School system this year, or if you want a school other than your attendance-area elementary, middle or high school, be sure to apply through Open Enrollment, which runs today, March 15, through April 15.

Forms and detailed information are available at the Seattle Public Schools site. Families may also contact an Enrollment Facilitator at the Service Center at the John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Ave S (3rd and Lander), via telephone at (206) 252-0010, or via fax to (206) 252-0761. There is also a Recorded Information Line at (206) 252-0410.

Registration and application materials may be mailed, faxed or submitted in person. The mailing address is:

Seattle Public Schools
SPS Service Center
MS 11-174
P.O. Box 34165
Seattle, WA 98124-1165

All school choice forms received during open enrollment are processed together after open enrollment ends on April 15. There is no advantage to submitting forms earlier or later during the open enrollment period. The first few days and the last few days of open enrollment are the busiest. To avoid long lines, families are encouraged by SPS to consider this when planning their visit to the enrollment center.

Current students may drop off School Choice Forms in a 24-hour drop box in the JSCEE parking lot at 3rd and Lander. Forms must be filled out completely and signed to be accepted. The drop-off box is only for school choice forms for current students who already have a school assignment but would like to apply for a different school. New students must submit enrollment materials either in person, by fax or email.

Seattle Public Schools enrollment staff will also visit libraries and community centers around the city throughout March so parents may enroll new students and/or submit School Choice Forms for the 2011-12 school year. Staff will be at the Queen Anne Library, located at 400 W Garfield St., on Tuesday, March 29 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

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Free tax help at Queen Anne library starts Feb. 2

January 27th, 2011 by Thea

As tax time approaches, Seattle Public Libraries is once again getting ready to roll out its tax assistance program. The Seattle Public Library, AARP and United Way are teaming up to offer free tax preparation services at 11 branches around town now through mid-April.

The Queen Anne branch, located at 400 West Garfield Street, will be offering free tax help from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday, starting this coming week on on February 2 through April 13. Assistance is offered at a first-come, first-serve basis. No appointments are necessary.
A free, quality, volunteer-run tax assistance, preparation, and e-filing service. The program is operated by the AARP Foundation and the IRS in collaboration with the Seattle Public Library. The service is confidential, there are no membership- or age requirements. Volunteers are IRS-certified. More information
If Wednesday doesn’t work with your schedule, tax services will be offered at the downtown Central Library branch on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and the Ballard branch Mondays and Thursdays. Find more information on when tax help services will be offered at other Seattle Public Library branches here.

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