Discover Seattle during your ALA Midwinter visit

Jennifer Peterson

seattle

In just a couple weeks, thousands of librarians from across the US, Canada, and other locations will descend on Seattle for ALA Midwinter. It’s great to have a chance to meet with OCLC members and hear about what they’re doing within their communities. And doing so on WebJunction’s home turf is particularly exciting.

My colleagues and I want to help make sure that you enjoy your visit to our part of the Pacific Northwest, so we’d like to offer some recommendations for your upcoming visit.

Some “insider tips” to make your Seattle visit special

It goes without saying—but we will anyway—that you will find restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, and the like tucked into neighborhoods and districts in just about any direction you choose to go. Be curious (and maybe a bit hungry) when you explore. And wear comfortable shoes! Here are our top picks.

  • Seattle has many parks worth exploring, including those planned more than a century ago by the Olmsted Brothers. Another favorite is Discovery Park, where you sometimes see orcas and bald eagles. And if you enjoy good panoramas, WebJunction’s home neighborhood of Queen Anne offers gorgeous views of the Emerald City, especially if the mountain is out. Check out local gems Kerry Park, Parsons Gardens, and Kinnear Park.
  • Maybe too obvious, but of course the Central Library is high on our must-see list. We recommend taking the elevator to the 10th floor, turning to the left for the breathtaking overlook view to start, and then making your way down. They also have a great cell phone tour to listen to as you move through this incredible library.
  • Take an inexpensive, 15-minute ferry ride on the West Seattle Water Taxi for a fantastic view of downtown Seattle. Once you arrive in West Seattle, hop on a free shuttle to see Alki Beach, where Seattle’s first settlers landed and where you’ll find plenty of restaurant options.
  • Do you like bookstores? Head to Capitol Hill for two interesting choices, Ada’s Technical Books and Elliott Bay Book Company.
  • Checking out local artists? Try the galleries in Pioneer Square.
  • Olympic Sculpture Park is the largest green space in downtown Seattle and is a great place to see major sculpture works from influential artists from the past 50 years.
  • Indulge your love for an older form of gaming at the Seattle Pinball Museum with machines that span the 1930s to the present.

I also recommend a look at the Atlas Obscura if you are a hard-core explorer. You’ll find 100 places worth a visit for their uniqueness and variety.

Spend some time with OCLC and WebJunction

WJ staff photoOf course, my WebJunction colleagues and I really hope that we will see you at OCLC’s ALA Midwinter events in between your local jaunts. After all, the Midwinter Meeting is the main reason for your visit to Seattle, right? And since it’s in our backyard, WebJunction staff have a great opportunity to connect with you.

As you make your plans, we would like to invite you to several events:

“Return to the Real: Library as Social Connector,” led by Betha Gutsche and me, takes a look at the role the public library can play in connecting people socially in an era when electronic communication can separate us.

“Community, Equity, and Storytimes,” with CiKeithia Pugh, Early Learning Program Manager at The Seattle Public Library, and Betha Gutsche focuses on how viewing library services through an equity lens—building them in partnership with the community—can enhance youth services and storytime programming.

“Supercharge Your Library’s Storytimes,” led by Kathleen Gesinger and Brooke Doyle, starts an OCLC Power Hour in OCLC booth #2125 at the exhibits. They will talk about free tools and transformation stories emerging from WebJunction’s Supercharged Storytimes program, followed by conversation to connect the ideas to your library.

“Learning on the Go-Go-Go,” a short presentation that I will lead to start another Power Hour in OCLC booth #2125. Join me for useful tips on incorporating learning into hectic schedules.

You can register for any (or all!) events here. In addition to the WebJunction events listed above, there are a number of other “Power Hour” presentations at the OCLC booth on subjects as diverse as delivery services, information literacy, OCLC Wise, and more. We’d also love to see you at our linked data roundtable and the OCLC Research Update panel.

Reward your curiosity

What are you looking for when you visit Seattle? I hope it’s a lot of discovery—both through your ALA Midwinter opportunities, and your explorations around the area. You won’t be disappointed.