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19th-century San Juan Islands Photos & Maps

Join Boyd Pratt, Doug McCutchen and Mike Vouri for an evening of viewing 1890s images of the San Juan islands by the U.S. Coast Survey's John Gilbert, scheduled 5:30pm, Thursday October 9 in the Orcas Island Library Community Meeting Room.

The program is free. Contact the park at 378-2240, ext. 2226 for information.


Vouri will open the discussion with a look at the first survey of the islands by the Coast Survey's naval assistant, Lt. Cmdr. James Alden, and surveyor and map maker George Davidson operating from the U.S. Coast Steamer Active from 1853-1860. Pratt will follow with insights on Gilbert's land-use T-sheets. McCutchen will then present a series of slides that capture from the same perspective today the sites of Gilbert's images.

As an Assistant (a formal title) , Gilbert accomplished most of his San Juan Islands survey in the Fuca, a 45-foot (12 feet abeam with a 5.5 foot draft) steam launch built by J.F.P. Mitchel in 1882. The Fuca was in service from 1882 to 1904 on the Pacific Coast and served Gilbert well in the Strait of Georgia surveys for most of that period. The hydrographic survey, meanwhile, was being done by Lt. J.N. Jordan with the schooner Earnest.

Gilbert's topographic maps (known as "t-sheets") of the San Juan Islands reveal not only details of coastlines and land cover (including agricultural uses), but are also accompanied by lucid narratives and photographic images that capture the islands and surrounding regions before 20th-century development. The t-sheets were largely forgotten documents until reintroduced on web sites of Washington State University and the University of Washington. A thorough analysis of the t-sheets has been done by Tom Schroeder, whose website can be found at http://www.rockisland.com/~tom/index.html .

welcome to the redesigned website

We've redesigned the website! First: to get back to the home page simply click on the logo, as before, or click on the little house in the menu bar. Second: no more scrolling to the bottom of the page to find things! Now, by using the drop-down menu above, you can find the information you seek. Third: the red log-in button takes you to the new catalog, where a pop-up window will prompt you for your 14-digit library card number and your PIN [still the same numbers you've used before]. Fourth: if you get lost, you can go to the index page, which lists all the pages in the website.

The links to the catalog on the Library's website will take you to a separate website, and will open in a new browser window. It is recommended you use Google Chrome as your browser when accessing the Library's catalog.

the touring reel youth film festival

Friday, October 10, 2014 — 6:30 PM at Orcas Center

Tickets are $10, $5 for students, and can be purchased through the Orcas Center Ticket Office.

Orcas Center, The Funhouse Commons, and the Orcas Island Library have teamed up to host the Reel Youth Film Festival

Reel Youth is a not-for-profit, media empowerment project supporting youth, adults and organizations to create and distribute engaging films about the issues they care about most.

Orcas teens are invited to submit self made films to be included in the Orcas Reel Youth Film Festival. Deadline for submissions is August 31st 2014. Submission forms are available at Orcas Center, The Funhouse, and Orcas Island Library.

All submissions are eligible for inclusion in future Reel Youth Film Festival Tours which debut at the Vancouver International Film festival each year.

nancy pearl's reading list

Nancy Pearl spoke on Orcas Island on Wednesday, July 16th. She offered her thoughts on scores of books to engage your mind this coming year. Nancy's approach to enjoying reading is the "Rule of 50" which states "If you still don't like a book after slogging through the first 50 pages, set it aside. If you're more than 50 years old, subtract your age from 100 and only grant it that many pages."

Here is a list of reading Nancy recommended at her talk on Orcas Island this summer. Enjoy!

microsoft it academy

Microsoft IT Academy program provides industry-leading technology skills to help bridge the skills gap.

Microsoft IT Academy provides digital curriculum and certifications on fundamental technology skills -- as well as courses critical for learners of all ages to be successful in today's technologically evolving world.

Interested in free access to Microsoft training?


get our mobile app

The Orcas Island Library now has a mobile app. Scan the QR code to the left, or download from wa.boopsie.com

Access the Library's online services using Washington State Library Now, the library app for Washingtonians.

Library Now works on mobile devices including Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod and iPod Touch), Windows Phone 8, Windows Mobile, Windows 8, Kindle Fire, Blackberry, Palm, J2ME, and Symbian Series 60.

friends of the library

The Friends of the Library want more members. They want you! Click on the poster image below to get more information on the Friends of the Library.

what's a mooc?

What's a MOOC? It's a Massive Open Online Course. A MOOC is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.

Coursera and EdX are two of the most popular providers of MOOCs. But, there are many more: visit our eLearning page. Or, visit MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities.

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