Harper Lee and the Iconic Tale

Wood River Reads logo-What Page Are You On?

Our Wood River Reads title has been announced: it is To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, a persistently loved tale of justice, prejudice, unexpected heroes and childhood wisdom. Libraries around the Wood River Valley will be promoting talks, events, and online commentary, but mostly, we hope everyone picks it up, even just to taste a chapter. After rereading the novel myself this spring, I can honestly recommend it for nearly every reader. The story still sings.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Many dedicated readers and librarians across the globe were stirred and even thrilled to cold chills to hear of the impending release of Go Set a Watchman, the unpublished novel written by Harper Lee before To Kill a Mockingbird. The Library Journal reports that the current planned July 14 release date will include 2 million volumes in the first press run.

The announcement that a new book about Scout and company set twenty years later created quite a Twitterstorm after the February announcement. While Twitter is an ungainly firehose of information at the best of times, it can be useful for wrangling links on breaking news and diverse topics. Our @LibraryDenizenK and @KetchumLibrary accounts will be following the Harper Lee threads from now until the harvest moon in October, when the Wood River Reads project culminates. The Guardian online book club has its readership poised to jump on Go Set a Watchman quite literally the moment it is released, via eBook, print, audio, hook or crook. They have been licensed to release the first chapter, in text and audio–get a taste of the language at The Guardian via this link.

Cover to Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

The release announcement is not without controversy and conflicting reports, but there is no doubt the book is exciting a great deal of interest and anticipation. No pre-publication copies are available, and publishers are sending out stern warnings about keeping the content under wraps until the lay down date on the 14th (somewhat unusual in the library and publication trade, but not unheard of, as Harry Potter readers can attest.) Many are viewing the release with no little trepidation, and a lot of hope.

The looming question for Library Denizens at the Community Library here in Ketchum–how many copies to buy? What are your thoughts about the release?

Wood River Reads–One Book, One Community–July-October 2015

The libraries of the Wood River Valley are banding together to create a Valley-wide event uniting readers from all over the Wood River, and beyond. Librarians from Hailey Public Library, Bellevue Public Library, and the Community Library in Ketchum are conspiring to bring the Wood River one Really Good Book to share, experience and discuss up and down the Wood River watershed.

Wood River Reads logo-What Page Are You On?

What is the book? That’s a secret! The librarians are running silent on the title. However, keep a close eye on the floats in the July 4th parade in Hailey for the big reveal!

The Wood River Reads website on Dreamwidth is now open for speculation and discussion for all! The site is co-hosted by Wood River librarians, but open to all our far-flung readers.

What book will be chosen? We have some clues in advance of the Big Reveal on the Fourth. Enter your guesses in the comments, either here or at Wood River Reads–no account needed for anonymous posting. Some memorable lines from the book are loosely paraphrased here:

“Anxiety is not warranted at this point; you will be informed as soon as it is.”
“At our age, exchanging blows to resolve our differences was out of the question.”
“Drop the embellishments, and what remains will be the actual truth.”

Wood River Reads
Mystery Book Anagram Clue!
Guided by the accompanying clue, rearrange the letters in each phrase to produce the answer.
Answer: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Clue: The “true identity” of one of our young protagonists
(3 words of 4, 6 and 5 letters)

Welcome to Wood River Reads!

The Valley is Open, the Wagon Days Community Party is On!

Double Rainbow over the Firefighter Appreciation Party at River Run Lodge, Sun Valley Idaho

Double Rainbow over the Firefighter Appreciation Party at River Run Lodge

The Wood River Valley is OPEN, and by longstanding tradition after a setback, we are throwing a county-wide party over the Labor Day weekend. We are inviting everyone near and far to celebrate Wagon Days with the Valley this weekend. Also following long custom, the Library will close Saturday Aug. 31st for Wagon Days, and Monday Sept. 1st for Labor Day to join the celebration, including parades, music and two rodeos. The forecast this weekend is for warm weather and clear, blue skies. We are also continuing to celebrate our first responders and firefighters who, in the face of very long odds, made Wagon Days possible this year. Most have now moved on to other critical incidents around the country, including the Rim Fire, and we wish them all fair winds and safe travels.

Soft Track Attack Montana Firefighter shirt logo

Montana Firefighter

Today (Thursday the 29th of August) from 12-2 The Community Library is hosting a panel discussion about the impact of the wildfire on local businesses and non-profit organizations. The panel will be moderated by Cynthia Dillon, ED, Director of The Community Library. We feel the public will be concerned about the economic damage incurred by the evacuations in the Valley, and would like to share ideas promoting the region going forward. Also up for discussion–contingency plans for the next Beaver Creek or Castle Rock Fire, or other regional or state-wide disasters.

Superior National forest fire logo, firefighter

Superior NF Fire Team

As of August 28th, many parts of Bald Mountain and the Sawtooth National Forest were officially reopened to nearby trail use, including the west side of Highway 75 north of Prairie Creek and the 4-H camp to Galena Summit.

There will be plenty of places for visitors to sightsee and camp in and around the Valley. The view off the top of Baldy from the tram should be awe-inspiring, both for where the fire burned, and where it was stopped cold. Fire officials do ask that sightseers observe trail markers and avoid areas where lines are still under construction and rehabilitation around the fire perimeter. Maps can be found on Inciweb, or ask at the Ketchum Ranger District offices on Sun Valley Road.)

Beth Lund Great Basin Type 1 Team commander at Sun Valley thank you BBQ

Team Leader Beth Lund sporting a local fire logo

Thank you to the professionals and volunteers who pulled together throughout the Valley, the nation (and Canada!) to put down the Beaver Creek Fire. We wish the very best of luck on current and future fires threatening communities locally and globally.

The Library has returned to our normal schedule, as of Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

The Community Library is returning to it’s normal schedule today, opening from 12:00 to 8:00pm.  Our scheduled event is on, a free movie at 6:00 pm, The World Before Her, a winner of the World Documentary Competition at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.

The outlook on the Beaver Creek Fire is more positive today, and some evacuation orders have been reverted to pre-evacuation status in some of the hardest hit areas of the fire–Croy Creek Canyon, Timber Gulch, Greenhorn Gulch included.

There are still some problem areas on the fire, and a red flag warning persists due to winds possible thunderstorms through this evening and into tomorrow.  Please drive cautiously–there are firefighters and wildlife on all county roads.  Most businesses in the Ketchum/Sun Valley and Hailey corridor are open and returning to normal as quickly as possible.


Thank you, firefighters!  This photo shows the early stages of the fire a week ago–the plume from the headwaters of Deer Creek was thick enough to bring twilight to midday.  Today, however, the air and skies are clear over Ketchum as we ready for our noontime opening.

New books, CDs, and DVDs are in, waiting for you @The Community Library!

The Beavercreek Fire achieves 30% Containment

FFSupport.jpg large

Last night’s fire information meeting in Sun Valley confirmed the good news that firefighters had held the line in a number of dicey situations in Timber Gulch, Wolftone Ridge, Croy Canyon, Ditto Flats and Baker Creek.  Fire operations will continue to string lines from Baldy to Timber Gulch to tie off that fire.  Crews are being released to fight the fire in the northern sector, which still threatens the highway.

The Community Library will open today from 9:00-6:00 pm, and will open as usual on Thursday at 12:00 noon, and close at our normal time, 8:00 pm, (fire situation permitting, of course.)  We are planning to show our scheduled film tomorrow night, The World Before Her, a tale of two Indias, at 6:00 pm.  It is a free film premiere, shown here first before being released on PBS.  The film is a winner of the World Documentary Competition Award, 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.  Events are on, and we are returning to our normal schedule soonest!


The World Before her

Library will Open Early Friday 10:00 am (Smoke Relief)

We are opening early so our valley visitors and patrons (and firefighters!) can come in out of the smoke.  Currently we are scheduled to have the adult library doors open from 10:00 am-6:00 pm. 

Recent news on the fire is available through a number of sources, including www.inciweb.org–see yesterday’s blog entry for more extensive fire and emergency preparation links.

Just heard from a patron–the Sawtooth National Forest north of North Fork and west of Highway 75 is closing–firefighters need to clear the Baker Creek and nearby drainages of campers, bikers and hikers to establish safety perimeters.  Please observe all forest closures, for your safety, and the safety of our hard-working firefighters.  Future closures may include the eastern side of Highway 75 above the SNRA station, as evacuation trigger points are reached by the fire.

The Community Library offers free broadband access, free computer access, free library cards to all locals, visitors (and firefighters!) 

Good books, good air.  Come on by.

Published in: on August 16, 2013 at 9:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beaver Creek Fire Information Update August 15, 2013


Our general post on fire safety at the start of the month rapidly became more relevant this week as lightning launched wildfires blew up south and west of Blaine County, and rapidly spread, endangering a number of Idaho communities (and many of our patrons.)  The fire progression map for the Beaver Creek wildfire above is updated through August 14th on Inciweb.  Overnight progression is not included.  The fire continued to move down the Deer Creek drainage overnight, and is expected to pick up in intensity today as the winds increase.  Inciweb provides updates as hard information is provided, as well as photos and excellent maps.

Buffy McDonald, our Reference Librarian, has assembled a number of links to local and regional fire news. 

Please note the links to the air quality warning sites as well–the current air in the Wood River Valley is reaching unhealthy levels as toxic woodsmoke increases. The air remains good in the library during our open hours if you need a break from the smoke. Remember, Community Library cards are free for all residents, visitors and firefighters.

Please drive carefully, and for everyone’s safety observe closures and evacuation notices. There are many firefighting vehicles as well as police and first responders on the road, and smoke is occasionally making visibility poor. Stay safe out there, everyone, and thank you firefighters for your hard work.

Everbridge Emergency Alert Program


Sign up for evacuation and other local emergency alerts at this web site.


WildFire Pre-Evacuation Checklist


Review this checklist of things to do to prepare for a possible evacuation.



Beaver Creek Fire Resources:


o   InciWeb Beaver Creek Fire – http://inciweb.org/incident/3635/

Includes a frequently updated, interactive map of the fire and details about the fire’s behavior.


o   Idaho Mountain Express – http://www.mtexpress.com

Click on the Email News Updates tab at the left of the screen and enter your email address to register for the mailing list.


o   Kech 95.3 local news – http://kech95.com/news/


o   Blaine County Idaho Fire Updates- http://tinyurl.com/pkcz2qy


o   Blaine County Sheriff’s Office – http://tinyurl.com/koqhemd


o   City of Ketchum – http://ketchumidaho.org/


o   City of Haileyhttp://www.haileycityhall.org/


o   Great Basin National Incident Management Team #1 on Facebook – http://tinyurl.com/ndwflr5


o   Wood River Fire & Rescue – http://blog.wrfr.com/



Fire information lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 877-647-0663and 877-640-3904.



General Information:


Idaho Smoke Information


Information about the air quality in Ketchum.


Wildfire Smoke and Your Health


From the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, helpful information on ways to reduce smoke exposure, symptoms of wildfire smoke sensitivity and other related resources.


Idaho Department of Transportation


Current Idaho road conditions.


BCRD Trail Closures


Trail alerts and updates.


Firewise tips checklist for homeowners


A simple checklist of preventative action steps homeowners can take to help reduce the risk of their property becoming fuel for a wildfire.


A guide to Firewise principles


Firewise principles and tips that can guide homeowners to prepare ahead of time and help reduce a home’s wildfire risk.

Hailey City Librarian LeeAnn Gelskey is also promoting a site where Wood River Valley residents can network, and both offer and ask for help in emergency situations, and get on volunteer lists. Check out Hailey.Recovers.org for many local resources.

Cities of Ambition

Our July book order is in! July is a strong month for summer reads and literary fiction, but there are some robust nonfiction books hitting the shelves as well for inquiring readers. We’ve just added three new publications centering on iconic American cities–Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York–to the Community Library collection.

City of Ambition

City of Ambition: FDR, La Guardia, and the Making of Modern New York by Mason B. Williams is a strong historical study of Depression era New York and how the partnership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Fiorello LaGuardia laid down the infrastructure of the modern city in the midst of economic crisis. The story of political and personal collaboration in both peace and wartime emergency conditions illustrates a strong lesson in the politics of the possible.

This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral–Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!–In America’s Gilded Capital by Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, comes out in mid-July. Leibovich’s book is in sharp contrast to Williams’ history–it centers more on the comedically dysfunctional aspects of the labyrinthine political networks entwined in modern Washington, D.C. His exploration of the social links that tie the media and power brokers of the Capitol together is peppered with stinging observations about influence peddling, conflict of interest, and social graft. The chapter ‘The Entourage’ is headed with a quote by Eric Hoffer–“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” There is not a lot about the architectural roots and buildings of Washington D.C. in This Town, though, as Gore Vidal’s grandfather, Senator Thomas P. Gore said, “They will make wonderful ruins.”

the third coast

The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream by native Thomas Dyja delves deeply into every layer of his city as it transformed itself from the chaos of the Depression and post-war boom through the heyday of the Daley Machine during 1960 election of John F. Kennedy. Dyja’s account celebrates the renaissance of cultural influences surrounding the city’s turbulent growth, from Louis Sullivan to Frank Daley, Muddy Waters to Sun Ra, Nelson Algren to Studs Terkel, Kukla, Fran and Ollie to Second City. Maps locate the Stockyards, The Macomba Lounge, the first McDonalds, Chess Records, the School of Design, and the Playboy Club. The book fuses art, architecture, music and politics in a crackerjack study of Chicago’s indelible influence on the American Dream.

Next month marks the release of award-winning writer Amit Chaudhuri’s new book, Calcutta, presenting a deep cultural contrast to American cities. Chaudhuri’s work is a blend of memoir and history, and pairs well with Katherine Boo’s study on Mumbai, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Or, if your reading tastes take you in a wilder direction, our Development Director Colleen Crain highly recommends a new and transformative memoir and travelogue exploring quite a different kind of city and terrain, To the Moon and Timbuktu by Nina Sovich.

Read with ambition, at The Community Library!

Mariel Hemingway Reading and Signing this Friday July 5th at 5:00

*Special Event* 5:00pm Friday July 5th, 2013 *Note Special Time*

mariel book running.aspx

Please come to the Community Library this Friday at 5pm to welcome local author Mariel Hemingway and her husband, former Olympic wrestler Bobby Williams back to the Valley. There will be a reading related to Mariel’s newest book Running With Nature in conjunction with Iconoclast. More information about Mariel’s current projects, radio podcasts, blog and Facebook pages can be found at her website, MarielHemingway.com.

mariels kitchen

The Community Library has many books and other resources about Mariel–a name search in our catalog returns 42 hits, including her books, interviews, and photos in the Regional History Library. Patrons interested in mindful health can come by early on Friday to peruse our collection, including Mariel’s Kitchen, and Mariel Hemingway’s Healthy Living. We also have this book in our Spanish language nonfiction health collection, under the title La Utentica Belleza.

La utentica belleza

The Community Library has a very robust collection exploring ways and means to support healthy living. Jump start your summer, get a good walk in, come by and explore the stacks!

The iPads are Here!


The Community Library now has iPads available for checking out! For one glorious week, you can take home an iPad from the Library, and explore hundreds of pre-loaded apps, links, games, and more! This is an ideal opportunity if you’ve been thinking of acquiring a tablet device, and want to explore the iPad interface for work, play, or social media of all flavors. The iPads also work well for travellers on short trips (not long ones–the checkout period is one week, nonrenewable.)

Currently, the iPads are available on a first-come, first serve basis–talk to our adult circulation desk staff to see if the device is available for a test drive.  If they are checked out?  We have two more installed in-House in our Reference Room near our free internet computers, available for all to peruse.


The circulating iPads include protective case, headphones, and charger.  We do require qualifed patrons to sign a users agreement to check out the devices (to cover replacement costs in case of loss or damage.)  Using the ‘Settings’ options, patrons can access their own home wireless internet system, or open wireless networks while out and about.  Patrons may sign in to their existing accounts on apps and sites across the web, and access everything from email to cloud content, multiplayer games to movies.  iPads are cleared by our IT department after every usage, though we strongly urge patrons to log out of personal accounts they access with the iPad device.

The iPads contain a wide variety of apps useful for work productivity as well as play–Dropbox, email, Evernote, Google Drive, WordPress, CloudOn, Numbers, Keynote, Pages and more.  Magazine subscriptions include the digital versions of the daily New York Times, The Economist, The Smithsonian, and many others.  Ebooks include the entire line of our Nook1 seriesGames include Angry Birds, Chess, Flow Free, JawsRevenge, Words HD, Tapped Out, Sudoku, Minecraft and many others.  Music apps include iTunes, NPR music and radio, Spotify, Virtuoso, Pandora, Soundhound, and TuneIn radio.

Ereaders more your style?  We’ve expanded our circulating stable of Nooks to include 4 different adult offerings spread across 24 devices, packed with hundreds of classics and bestsellers.  Our Children’s Librarian, DeAnn Campbell, has also just added 4 new Nooks loaded with Summer Reading Program titles.  All the Nooks can be placed on hold if you see a book (or books!) that you like.

Expand your digital horizons @The Community Library!