Program Archive

Endurance Series
Fall 2021 - Spring 2022

Endurance Series

Endurance At a time when many wonder, ‘how am I going to get through this,’ the library seeks to share stories about endurance to help comfort, entertain, and inspire.

Episode #1 - The Westbound Rower

Orcas Library connected with Erden Eruç from the beautiful Waikiki Yacht Club to learn about his solo rowing adventure from Crescent City, California to Hong Kong.

This is the opening event in Orcas Library's "Endurance" series, which will continue on through spring of 2022.

Track Erden's progress across the Pacific at

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Episode #2 - Endure the Excuses

Although so many brilliant writers are inspired to bring their work to the world, few will actually fulfill their heart’s desire to write a book.

learn how to clarify your obstacles, aka justifications, reasons and excuses, so you can consciously choose to either move ahead with your commitment to write, or continue to embrace your justifications, reasons and excuses.

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Episode #3 - Afghanistan, Past and Present with Margaret Mills

Margaret Mills has been engaged in Afghanistan studies – folklore, oral history and cultural anthropology – since 1969. She will offer a short overview of Afghanistan’s history, current state and possible futures to invite audience discussion.

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Episode #4 - Onboard Irene

Peter and Ginger Niemann spent 5 years aboard their ketch Irene, circumnavigating the globe.

Read their blog at

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Episode #5 - Endurance and Vulnerability with Karl Krüger

Karl recounts his record-breaking adventure from 2017, the Race to Alaska, where he was the first person ever to travel 750 miles via stand-up paddleboard. He completed the race in under two weeks.

He goes on to discuss his plans to paddle the Northwest Passage during the summer of 2022.

This is an intense and inspiring presentation of courage, endurance, and vulnerability. We are grateful to Karl for giving us his time and energy to share his story.

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Episode #6 - Richard Rhodes on
"The Enduring Quality of Stone"

January 26, 2022 @ 6:00 pm
in person and via ZOOM™

"Being quintessentially of the earth, stone remains fundamental to our sense of home and our place in the cosmos. Indeed, our relationship with stone is so deep and intimate that we have named the beginning of human history the Stone Age. Older than life itself, stone is our anchor, its timeline bending both forward and back, its very longevity helping human beings define eternity itself."
- Richard Rhodes

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Episode #7 - Bruce Benton on
"The Enduring Benefits of Collaboration in the Treatment of River Blindness in Africa"

The remarkable story of how a large public-private partnership worked to control and defeat riverblindness—a scourge which had devastated rural communities and impeded socioeconomic development throughout much of Sub-Saharan Africa for generations. The story of the battle has an epic scale, both in terms of geography and the vast number of people and organizations involved. It provides a template for a broad range of global health efforts and is an excellent example of evolving, increasingly effective approaches to disease control and elimination.

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Episode #8 - Barb Jensen on
"The Endurance of Migrating Birds"

Join us for an evening with Barb Jensen, a Seattle Audubon Master Birder and Contributing Author to American Birding Association’s A Birder’s Guide to Washington.

Barbara hails from San Juan Island and has lived in Washington all her life. She has served as a tour guide for 20 years, as President of San Juan Islands Audubon, and a San Juan Islands Christmas Bird Count Coordinator

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Zoom Presentations

Science and Spirit of Seaweed with Amanda Swinimer
Sunday, May 8th at 3 pm

Join sustainable seaweed harvester, Amanda Swinimer, for a presentation on her new book “Science and Spirit of Seaweed: Discovering Food, Medicine, and Purpose in the Kelp Forests of the Pacific Northwest”

Learn about:

  • Seaweed varieties along the coast from California to Alaska
  • The traditional, medicinal, and environmental benefits of seaweed
  • Harvesting seaweed sustainably

Free hybrid in-person and online event.

Books will be available for purchase at the event.

Observations from Orcas Island
by Jens Kruse

Please join the Orcas Island Library for a Book Talk with Jens Kruse on Wednesday, January 19th at 6pm by Zoom meeting. In "Observations from Orcas Island," author Jens Kruse – born in Hamburg, Germany in 1949, citizen of the United States since 1999, and resident, since 2009, of Orcas Island, off the coast of Washington State – shares a wide-ranging collection of his writings from recent years.

Learn more about Jens and his book here!

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Radio Turns 101!

with Norman Gilinski

Friday, 11/5/21 @ 8:00 am via Zoom™

Missing your morning joe with the regulars? Make a cup at home and join Norman Gilinsky at 8am on Friday, November 5th by Zoom meeting to hear about radio history and his vintage radio collection now on exhibit at the library. Please bring questions! Watch Video

Susan Slapin

"Painted Bird: Painted Skies and Pastel Poems"

Saturday, 8/21/21 @ 2:00pm via Zoom™

Susan Slapin talks about her creative process, and reads from her newly-published book at the library on a windy Saturday afternoon. Watch Video

Rosalys Peel

"Mike and Me"

Thursday, 8/19/21 @ 6:00pm via Zoom™

Join Rosalys Peel, author and narrator of Mike & Me,in a discussion about "living with, rather than dying from, Alzheimer's." Rosalys is a Registered Nurse, a Certified Couples Relationship facilitator and remains a tireless writer and speaker in the national fight against Alzheimer’s. Rosalys has been featured on NPR and the Today Show. She lives on Bainbridge Island near her children and grandchildren. Watch Video

Christina Orchid

Cooking with Christina

Thursday, 7/29/21 @ 7:00pm via Zoom™

Cook right along with world-renowned chef Christina Orchid as she demonstrates two easy and delicious ways to prepare mussels. Watch Video

Kevin Campion

Whale Tale

Thursday, 6/17/21 @ 6:00pm via Zoom™

Captain Kevin Campion shares his tale to save the rarest whale: the North Pacific right whale. You’ll learn about what right whales mean for modern conservation efforts in the North Pacific and Salish Sea and view scenes from the upcoming film “Right Over the Edge.” Watch Video

Anna Wald

COVID-19 Vaccine

Monday, 5/10/21 @ 6:00pm via Zoom™

Dr. Wald discusses the current COVID-19 vaccines, including their development, effectiveness and adverse events. Watch Video

Ben Montgomery

Author of A Shot in the Moonlight

Wednesday, March 10 @ 6:00pm via Zoom™

In his latest book - A Shot in the Moonlight: How a Freed Slave and a Confederate Soldier Fought for Justice in the Jim Crow South - Ben Montgomery unravels the sensational and little-known story of George Dinning’s life, and the fascinating legal episode that ended with him becoming the first Black man in America to win damages against a would-be lynch mob.

The Orcas Library is delighted to be able to present a Zoom™ book talk by Ben Montgomery

Read Jens Kruse's review of Montgomery's book in the Orcasonian here.

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Thor Hanson

Wednesday January 20 @ 10:30am
via ZOOM™

Join author and biologist Thor Hanson for an exploration of pollination, germination, and other wonders at the heart of gardening. Indispensable but often overlooked, bees and seeds never cease to amaze. Hanson's books include Buzz, The Triumph of Seeds, Feathers and The Impenetrable Forest, as well as a children's book, Bartholomew Quill.

We are pleased to be partnering with the Orcas Island Garden Club in hosting Thor Hanson and invite you all to join us as we learn about bees and seeds.

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Stories in the Night Sky

Thursday, August 27 @ 6:00pm
via ZOOM™ with Amy Oliver

Dramatic stories unfold each night in the skies above us. Join NASA Solar System Ambassador Amy Oliver as she regales us with the myths and legends of our stars and constellations. There are stories of Greek maidens, Roman heroes, mystical creatures, and magical beasts to delight every audience.

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Meet Susan Lampe

Monday, August 17 @ 6:00pm via ZOOM™

Local memoir author and educator Susan Lampe will talk about how you could turn family history into historical fiction. Susan will explain the difference between family history, memoirs and historical fiction, and the importance of research to enhance a story. A short writing exercise will be included in the program.

Meet Greg Bear

Saturday, August 15 @ 3:00pm
via ZOOM™ with Mark Ferrari

Celebrated science fiction author, Greg Bear will join us for a discussion on the science fiction and fantasy genre. Greg has authored more thanthirty novels, short stories, and books. He has been awarded five Nebulas and two Hugos

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Meet Tina Connolly

Thursday, August 13 @ 6:00pm
via ZOOM™ with Mark Ferrari

Join us as we meet author Tina Connolly, who writes stories and novels for teens described as, “bewitching, clever, delightful, original, and unexpected.”

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Wizards of the Coast

via Zoom Thursday, July 23 @ 4:30pm

The Wizards are coming! Join us for an amazing opportunity to meet members of the creative team from gaming giant Wizards of the Coast as part of the 2020 Summer Reading Program.

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With Mark Ferrari
via Zoom Thursday, July 16 @ 6:00pm

Join us as we talk with multiple award-winning author Kij Johnson, in her own words a “writer, dreamer, fritterer". She did not start writing until she was twenty-five, and still has an impressive lineup: novels, short stories, essays, poetry, script, and a blog.

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Creature Creation

With Mark Ferrari
via Zoom Thursdays, July 9 & August 6 @ 3:00pm

Have you ever imagined yourself as a fantasy creature? Are you a bird, a troll, a bunny, a dragon, a hobbit, or something else? See how to bring your imagination to life through story and illustration with this interactive children’s program. Our inspiration for our creatures will be the new online book The Ickabog: Chapter 2. You and read it online HERE.

Watch Video - Session 1

Hybrid Presentations

Concert with Carolyn Cruso, Thursday, April 28th at 6pm

Carolyn will regale you with the intricacies of the fascinating hammered dulcimer. She plays both traditional Celtic and Appalachian tunes as well as her own world inspired contemporary compositions. This program will inspire listeners both musically and intellectually. Watch Video

Author Visit and More!
Thursday, April 21st at 6 pm

Join us on the Library South Lawn for a book talk with Iris Graville, a writer and retired nurse, who hails from Lopez Island. Her profiles and personal essays have been published in national and regional journals and magazines. Iris is the author of four nonfiction books including the memoir, Hiking Naked. Iris is also the publisher of SHARK REEF online literary magazine. She blogs regularly about writing and spiritual matters.

Bonus! She is joined by special guest, Orcas singer/songwriter, Tom Rawson.

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See and Learn about Live Plankton!

Lynnette is a Senior Volunteer with SoundToxins, a group that monitors for toxic plankton throughout the Puget Sound. There are more than 100 currently active monitoring sites around the Sound, only two of them are in San Juan County and both are on Orcas Island. You can find more information about the program at this website: SoundToxins, or read this article: SoundToxins monitor harmful algal blooms.

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Author Talk with Nick Licata

Join us for a talk with Seattle based author Nick Licata. He will discuss his recently published book Student Power, Democracy, and Revolution in the Sixties. Unlike other books on the Sixties, this book shows how predominantly working middle-class white students in a very conservative region initiated radical changes. They ushered in a new era of protecting women and minorities from discriminatory practices. This vivid account of bringing conservative students around to support social justice projects illustrates how step-by-step democratic change results in reshaping a nation’s character.

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Author Talk with Peter Fromm of Friday Harbor

Peter hails from San Juan Island and will speak about his latest book, Cruising with Tuggy, as well as his previous books: Whale Tales: Human Interactions With Whales and Whale Tales: Human Interactions With Whales Volume 2.

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What is the Difference Between US History and Critical Race Theory?

A historian, teacher, and writer, David Kobrin has taught in both high school and university classrooms for more than 30 years. His primary focus has been American history, with an emphasis on helping children and young adults learn history (and do well on standardized tests) by working with primary sources and documents as well as textbooks. Born in NYC in 1941, he a holds Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania. David and his wife/partner Diane have lived full time on Orcas since 2006.

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Toe Pads and Pacifists

In his latest work, Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid, biologist Thor Hanson tells the remarkable story of how plants and animals are responding to climate change: adjusting, evolving, and sometimes dying out.

A story of hope, resilience, and risk, Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid is natural history for readers of Bernd Heinrich, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and David Haskell. It is also a reminder of how unpredictable climate change is as it interacts with the messy lattice of life.

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Old Lady on the Trail:
Triple Crown at 76

Author Mary Davison
Friday, March 6 @ 6:00pm

Author Mary Davison delivers an informative and amusing rendition of her experiences in long distance hiking, which she discovered at the young age of 60. Hiking’s “Triple Crown” consists of the Appalachian Trail (2,181 miles), the Continental Divide Trail (3,100 miles), and the Pacific Coast Trail (2,650 miles.) Starting in 2003 Mary was a novice, hiking long sections of the U.S. National Scenic Trails. In 2012 she started on the Continental Divide Trail, finally completing all three in 2017 at the age of 76.

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Sam Gailey, Author
Jake Perrine, Audiobook Narrator
Thursday, February 27 @ 6:00pm

A discussion with book author Samuel Gailey and audiobook narrator Jake Perrine about their collaboration on The Guilt We Carry. Join Sam and Jake as they discuss the journey of turning a best-selling book into a best-selling audiobook. They will cover the creative process, including how they collaborated, the various voices of each character, jumping back and forth in the story's timeline throughout the novel and how this affects certain characters' voices.

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Orcas Island: Building a More Inclusive Paradise

A Presentation by Kevin Carter
Tuesday, February 18 @ 6:00pm

Orcas Island is this perfect backdrop for creating and living your best life, but for some, there is an undercurrent of intolerance and, in some cases, blatant racism. What will you do to nurture your oasis?

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Dog-Whistles and Cat-Calls: The Modern Signs, Symbols, and Signals of Hate

A Presentation by Clyde W. Ford
Saturday, February 8 @ 6:00pm

From hand gestures to tattoos to code-words, author and scholar, Clyde W. Ford, examines the signs, symbols, and signals of hate. He discusses their historical and cultural significance, laying bare the prevalence of hate-filled imagery in our culture.