December 2020 Newsletter
Leaf by Leaf, Growing Into the Future...
2020 December Legacy Circle
Legacy Circle Members Linda Meier

"Libraries are in my genes. Some of my fondest mom/daughter moments were spent on Saturday visits to one of two Seattle Carnegie branches, returning home with a stack of books to make the difficult decision of which to read first. Our Bainbridge Library is a community jewel, beloved by all. I can't imagine our island without it. I have designated a portion of my estate to help ensure our library's existence for generations to come. "

~ Linda Meier

You, too, can make a pledge to the future by becoming members of the Bainbridge Public Library Legacy Circle. Visit our website,, and click on A Lasting Legacy under the Support BPL tab to learn more about putting your leaf on the Library’s Legacy Tree. You can leave a message at 206-866-1250 or email us at to make your pledge.
From the Library Garden
2020 December
I remember being impressed by Japanese gardens even when I was quite young. They seemed timeless in their perfection. I never imagined that maintaining such gardens was a craft that I would one day study, and eventually practice.

As it happened, I did end up pruning every winter in my family's vineyards. It was a good foundation, learning the basics of how plants grow, but difficulties arising after a knee surgery in 2004 led me to investigate other options. Doug Tanaka had offered me an opportunity to apprentice with him, so the Haiku Garden became our first classroom.

Doug had installed the garden in 1997 and for years had done all of the pruning. He turned over care of several specimens each to both me and Betsey Wittick, his other student. We now had our “own” trees to learn with over time.

By 2007 I'd obtained a business license and pursued pruning professionally. Summers became devoted to ornamental trees, and my winters filled with orchard work. In between, I kept returning to the Haiku Garden.

Over the years I learned that Japanese gardens are anything but static and perfect. The big pear tree failed in an autumn windstorm. The Shore pines looked less healthy every year. The unfortunate plum trees along Madison Avenue were finally removed. I watched as Doug made choices about which plants to move and which to remove, and what new trees to put in their place.

Finally, the biggest change of all came when Doug needed to step back from his role in the garden he'd built. For a season we were rudderless, and challenges kept coming anyway. The large Japanese maple by the north entrance had failed, and the Katsura by the south gate had begun breaking the foundation wall of the library and had to be removed. The once-sheltering garden was now laid exposed from one end to the other. I still felt committed to the garden, but wasn't sure of how to proceed.

Luckily John Van Den Meerendonk, unsung protagonist of the Fern Garden on the east side of the building, stepped up to the task. John began cleaning up weedy beds and planting small specimens. I began to see that even without Doug we could chart a new course forward. What really brought home the transition was two years ago when I took over the annual pruning of the two Black pines over the pond. They'd been Doug's most personal investment in the garden. It was gratifying when I heard from him that he was pleased with my work. I guess that 16 years after taking me on as an apprentice, his investment had paid off!

So this fall, I took a leap and began planting trees that I hope will replace ones that we lost. A Parrotia by the north entrance should someday grow to obscure the noise and traffic of High School Road. An Aconitifolium is now in the position of the Katsura – but will never grow so large as to cause the same type of structural problems. A dissectum maple now takes the place of a dying rhododendron. The list goes on, with more yet to come...

When I look at the garden now it still conveys serenity through Doug's enduring design, but I also see it in a dynamic and exciting light. The Haiku Garden is poised to enter a new phase, and this spring will arrive full of promise and possibility. It has taught me what gardens have been teaching gardeners for millennia – that the only constant is change itself.

~ Ian Bentryn
Ian has been an Island resident since 1977

Friends of the Library
2020 December COVID
While the library is not open to the public, the Friends of the Library are unable to hold our normal book sales. However, our “Buy a Bag of Books” plan is in full swing! Books are packed by FOL volunteers into a paper shopping bag and sealed by taping or stapling the bag closed with the genre contents written on the outside. The bags of books are available for pickup Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 1 PM. They are located under the awning by the Children's Library entrance. Access is from the Children's Library parking lot facing High School Rd. Each bag of books is priced at $5.

You can pay online by clicking here and making a donation to the Bainbridge Friends of the Library for the number of bags you want to purchase. Leave a note with the online donation indicating when you would like to pickup your bag(s). The bag(s) will be waiting with your name written on it. You can also just drop by and select one or more bags and pay in cash or by check. if you pay online, you can leave a note requesting a specific genre if you wish. Your custom selection will be waiting with your name on the bag. Pre selected bags are labeled by genre and available on the cart outside. 

Also, magazines are being accepted again!....any flavor, any year!

If you have any questions, just send us an email at
What's Up With Facilities?
2020 December Facilities stock art
For all of us, 2020 was a challenging year we're unlikely to forget. Just as our prioritized list of dozens of 2020 Facilities Projects were underway in late winter, our "best laid plans" were squelched. After lock-down, however, we slowly learned how to safely continue our efforts in preparation for the day we reopen. The city approved the work in November for our HVAC improvement and work is scheduled to take place in December. We completed a thorough building and system assessment, prepared for the rainy season, continued our interior paint touch-up and carpet improvements, began updating contracts with our partners for 2021 and finalized plans for repairing and upgrading some of the library grounds in 2021. (We think you'll approve.) Happy holidays from all your volunteers on the BPL Facilities Committee.
Have You Seen This Library (sculpture)?
Were we able to travel to London (sigh!), we’d see this curious guy in the piazza of the British Library. He is Sir Isaac Newton, sculpted in 1995 by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. He is fashioned after a watercolor by William Blake circa 1805 that now resides in the Tate Gallery. The sculpture is audio-enabled and you can scan the plaque on Newton’s plinth with your smartphone and receive a phone call from the great man himself, who talks about his early life, his scientific and mathematical discoveries and his work as Master of the Royal Mint – a part of the Library’s Talking Statues project!
Books Worth Sharing!
Still Life by Val McDermid
Still Life
By Val McDermid

When a lobster fisherman discovers a dead body in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, DCI Karen Pirie is called to investigate. Simple murder cut and dried, done and dusted, well, not really. Number 6 in award winning Val Mc Dermid’s Karen Pirie series is arguably her most complex and tightly plotted. Along with her new sidekick Jason and a fresh new detective Daisy, Karen dives into this multilayered case revealing a clever art forger, a skeleton in a suburban garage, false identities, and the required cooperation of police from Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland. And just how are these elements connected and who’s the real villain you might ask? Ah, that is what makes this latest Val McDermid so propulsively readable and so very entertaining. Throw in a lot of Edinburgh urban detail and gorgeous Irish countryside and You will be delightfully entertained for hours! I love this series and you need not read it in order. Karen Pirie is a great character, smart, thoughtful, and humane (though not without her own demons) with wonderful, talented colleagues at her back and call.

~ Susan Braun
Please remember the library when you donate to One Call for All. Thank you! ( )

You can also give online at
Did You Know?
  • Bainbridge Public Library, a separate nonprofit organization, owns, operates, and maintains the Library building and grounds through community donations and grants.
  • Kitsap Regional Library provides the library staff, collection, classes, and a virtual library at with funding from property tax revenues.
  • Together we provide the quality library our community wants and has come to expect.
Be safe... Be well!
Christmas book tree stock clip art December 2020
“A library is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival—a cathedral of the mind; hospital of the soul; theme park of the imagination.” ~ Caitlin Moran