“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald 

     Goodbye, summer's smoke. Hello, autumn's soft light and sharp tang of air and aspens filling the cobbled beds of the river with gold coins. As Fitzgerald said, we're feeling revived—and we've got good news to share.

New Building Update:
     FoWL is excited to be working closely with the Town of Winthrop to determine the best possible location for our new library, and is beginning to engage consultants in the Community Needs and Feasibility Study. We hope that by late fall, we will have a full definition of project scope and parameters defined in preparation for hiring an architect to begin design services. Watch this space for updates!   

     Even summer's choking fires and smoke couldn't obscure the doin's by the Friends of Winthrop Library around the valley: 

The FoWL Scholarship
     So many highly-qualified seniors from Liberty Bell High School applied for FoWL’s $300 scholarship last spring that our patrons came up with more money… and ended up offering three scholarships! As part of the application, students were asked about their connection to libraries; One winner, Eli Nielsen, wrote how, at first, the library for him was simply a clean, well-lighted place for him to wait for his mother at day’s end. But within a few months, Nielsen wrote, he asked her to pick him up later and later—so he could spend more time reading. The awards were presented the night before graduation in June. Additional winners include Ariana Sprauer (left) and Cristina Dominquez (below). Please congratulate our scholars and their families if you see them around the valley.
4th of July Parade
     Perhaps the best part of FoWL’s participation in the 4th of July parade through downtown Twisp wasn’t the handsome banner bearing a quote from Lady Bird Johnson (“No place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library”), or the kids wearing masks and capes fashioned form pages of old novels, or even the circling unicycle—but the cheers of support from the community, glad to see its library on parade.
Calligraphy Workshop
     In mid-July, FoWL hosted a calligraphy workshop at TwispWorks. The workshop was taught by Alaïa Giglio, owner of Clay & Ink, a modern calligraphy business. Giglio provided attendees with their own pen, nib and ink to take home, and walked them through basic lettering techniques of the age-old script.
Summer Reading Program
     The summer-long reading program hosted by the North Central Regional Library was again a big hit, growing by an additional 60 children! Each summer kids track their reading, and can trade in their credits for treats, whether ice cream, dolls, or books they can keep. The program also featured a weekly event with topics aimed to keep kids entertained, while also teaching them a thing or two. One week an instructor taught the basics of American Sign Language. One morning, valley biologist John Rohr showed them reptiles. The Knights of Veritas whacked each other with swords, and talk about sword fighting. 
     Why is this so important? In addition to fostering community and a love of literacy and learning, studies show kids can lose up to 30% of what they've learned the year before if they don't stay engaged during the summer. With the summer reading program our valley kids have a chance to keep it all in their heads!
     The library was often jammed with kids, a great escape during our smoky August.
     In late August, veteran rare-book conservator (and now valley resident) Jim Hinz talked about his craft—and gave folks some hands-on experience. The event was well attended, the ages of attendees ranging from about 5 to 65. Hinz instructed the group in the basics of bookbinding, and they made three simple books using three different binding techniques.
A FoWL Brew
     Winthrop’s Copper Glance  has generously offered to donate a portion of proceeds from their literary themed cocktails to the library campaign. Summer's offering was the classic and apropos Hemingway daiquiri, made in Cuba for Papa (white rum, fresh grapefruit & lime juice, Maraschino liqueur). Support the library by ordering a literary-themed cocktail from the new fall menu. Thank you to new owners Christine Hoffer and Mike Baerveldt!
"A new library? Don't we already have two libraries in the valley?" 

  Aren't there small libraries in both Winthrop and Twisp? you ask. Why do we need a new, expanded library with better facilities in the Methow Valley? you ask.
     Here's why: 
  • 30% of children in the Methow don't have access to the internet at home, to do their schoolwork.
  • Rural communities lag 8% behind urban centers in the penetration of high-speed (broadband) internet access. Bridging this gap is the best opportunity for economic growth in the valley, according to the Methow Valley Economic Assessment.
  • Isolation is a major health issue in rural communities, including ours.
  • A good library is an antidote to all of this. It has computers and high-speed internet access. But it's also a bright, welcoming place that helps mitigate isolation, including for seniors who need such places to age in good health. 
  • Libraries, too, provide young children and students of all ages, including homeschooled students, a safe place to spend time, grow and learn.


     Once again, FoWL has partnered with the Community Foundation of North Central Washington for October's  Give Methow, autumn’s month-long campaign to support nonprofits throughout the valley. Every cent of your donation through Give Methow goes to our efforts to build a library-- specifically to be used toward architectural services for schematics at the conclusion of our feasibility study this fall!—no credit-card fees deducted! When you give on “Funday Mondays,” you’re entered to win additional funds for the participating nonprofit(s) you choose.


Looking for a reading to attend this fall? A Poetry Slam? Or a way to support our new library? Look no further than our First Fridays events, 6 p.m. at Trail’s End Bookstore. Join us for good conversation, lubricated with beer, wine and refreshments by donation.

October 5, FIRST FRIDAY: Wilderness and Writing, an author panel with local writers Peter Donahue, Christopher Solomon and Sam Lucy, and Stehekin author Ana Maria Spagna, moderated by journalist Ashley Ahearn.​

November 2, FIRST FRIDAY: Libraries and Rural Economic Development, with Ed Marquand from Mighty Tieton, an incubator for artisan businesses located in central Washington. Don't miss this important conversation about the role of libraries in communities and economic development with Marquand, who’s an expert in both topics.  ​

November 9: 3rd Annual Poetry Slam at the Sixknot Taphouse. Bounce some rhymes off your neighbors’ eardrums, or just lean back with a cider and listen to the talent, at this big fundraiser for our future library. Poets: Have three original poems of under three minutes ready to perform. Open to all ages. $10 entry fee. Sign-ups begin at 6:30. Event begins at 7 p.m.

November 10: Book Sale & Bake Sale. Pick up a fresh snickerdoodle with your Salinger, or a slice of pumpkin bread with that copy of Orhan Pamuk, at this big fundraiser for our new library. (ps: looking for books for the book sale...drop them off to Sally!)​ Thanks Methow Trails and Methow Valley Nordic for welcoming FOWL at your ski swap. 

Volunteer bakers and book sellers WANTED! Please contact Nancy at fowl98862@gmail to help.

December 7, FIRST FRIDAY: The Vital Role of Libraries in Community in the 21st Century,
with Ray Johnston. Architects Ray Johnston and his wife, Mary, were a driving force behind the effort for Seattle’s successful levy, "Libraries for All." Come hear about, and discuss, the ways libraries—including ours—can fill critical roles in building community in today's world.​​

December 22: The Night Before Christmas. Head up to snowy Mazama for ornament-making, a story-ski for kids around Erik Brooks' meadow story, cocoa and a reading of the classic poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (“’Twas the night before Christmas…”). 2 p.m.- 4 p.m.​ at the Mazama Community Center

January 4: FIRST FRIDAY, The History of Books, with Greg Thompson, Associate Dean Special Collections at the University of Utah. Early evening, but stay tuned for exact timing of this event.

Sally’s Events

Here’s what Librarian Sally Portman has lined up at the Winthrop Library this fall: 

  • Nov. 1: “New Zealand Adventure.” Valley resident Jan Svendsen gives a slideshow and talk about her trip to the land of the Kiwis. 7 p.m. 
  • Every Tuesday: Storytime! Gifted storyteller Kate Brien tells stories with songs, musical instruments, crafts and movement. 11 a.m.



“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.” 
― Peter Golkin
     Who’s behind FoWL? Well, all of you are the wind beneath our wings. (OK, so it sounds better when Bette Midler belts it out). Day to day, though, our all-volunteer board is working hard to keep FoWL's effort rising higher. Here’s the crew:

Chair Shannon Huffman Polson received a degree in English Literature before serving in the Army as an Apache helicopter pilot. She went on to an MBA and MFA, and then worked on the business side of a really big company you might know in Redmond. She is a leadership speaker and consultant and a writer. She is the author of the book North of Hope, and her essays and articles appear in numerous literary magazines and other periodicals.
     A favorite book: West With the Night by Beryl Markham

Vice-chair Patricia Leigh worked for the IRS and Federal Trade Commission during a 30-year federal career, but she also has made documentary films in Alaska and taught English in Uzbekistan. She has worked with many valley organizations since retiring here with her husband in 2006.
     A favorite book: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Originally from the East Coast, Sarah Berns, Secretary, first came to the Methow to work for the Forest Service.  She fought fires all over the West, working as a helicopter rappeller and smokejumper. Today she is a writer and also runs Winthrop’s Spring Creek Ranch. Sarah, her husband and two daughters visit the library daily.
     A favorite book: East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
In a past life, Treasurer Nancy Juergens was an elementary school teacher in Alaska and then an event coordinator for a non-profit working on systemic education reform. Today she’s a small business owner (she does bookkeeping around the valley) and mother. She’s always been an avid library user which is why she is inspired to give her time and commitment to FoWL.  
     A favorite book: My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Rachel Macmorran, facilities planner, grew up enjoying many summer days at Sherri’s ice cream shop en route to visit her aunt, who was the Oroville librarian for over 30 years. An architect by training, she moved to the valley in 2016 with her husband, son, and giant dog. She volunteers with several valley non-profits, and when she can find the time, keeps working away at her first novel.”
     A favorite book: Tigerman by Nick Harkaway


We're always looking for more volunteers. Have libraries meant something to you? Got a little time and want to give back? To sign up, go to Volunteer Methow (or click here!) Or email
Don't miss out on our upcoming fall events.  Look for our event schedule posters all around the valley- thanks to great and speedy printing by Riverside Printing!
     Why is a strong library so important to a valley like ours, anyway? Don't take our our word for itlisten to your neighbors. Click on a picture to hear what he or she has to say:

     Got thoughts on the topic? Share them with us! Call, email, or let us know through this form!) Or take a short video of yourself and send it over! 

“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.”
— Andrew Carnegie 


     A library sinks or swims based on the support of you, the community it serves. When you donate, you help Friends of Winthrop Library build the walls of the next library! But you also create programs right now that excite kids to read, adults to continue life long learning and all of us to come together in community. Does your company match gifts? We are registered with Benevity for matching contributions!

    Join us today.

You think you know what a library is: a home for books, right? But as knowledge changes, and also how it's stored and how we consume it, how should libraries evolve--including our own? Check out this TedX talk by Tod Colegrove, one of several on the FoWL web site. We'd love your thoughts. 

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 592 
303 Riverside Ave.
Winthrop, WA 98862

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