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Episode hosted by: Ken Harvey, Paul Pitkin, Jim Hills

A podcast from Sno-Isle Libraries for lifelong learners with inquiring minds.

Episode 32: Summer fun and Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation

Chapter 1

Did you know that July 17 is Yellow Pig’s Day?

Podcast co-host Paul Pitkin didn’t know either when he brought it up, but you will now.

According to a not-quite exhaustive online search, two Princeton math students – David C. Kelly and Michael Spivak – began in the early 1960s celebrating July 17 as Yellow Pig’s Day in honor of mathematics and the number 17, a prime number. The day continues to be celebrated at the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics, which is headed by Kelly.

Why a yellow pig? Even Google isn’t sure, but rumors say Kelly had a collection of yellow pigs. The mascot of the holiday, a yellow pig, has 17 toes, 17 eyelashes and 17 teeth.

Closer to home, other fun things happening in July include the literally hundreds of Explore Summer events at all 23 community libraries in the Sno-Isle Libraries district, plenty of community events and summer-fun resources listed online at “A Sno-Isle Summer” and two Hogwarts summer day-camp events at the Granite Falls and Snohomish libraries.

And, co-host Jim Hills confesses that he didn’t know what he was talking about in podcast Episode 27. Hills said that Spokane’s Bloomsday celebration (which happens in May) is related to all the other Bloomsday celebrations around the world. The non-Spokane, non-May events happen on June 16, which is the day depicted in James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses.”  The day is named after Leopold Bloom, the central character in the book. Spokane’s Bloomsday Run is not about the book and also not affiliated with the area’s Lilac Festival, but both happen around the same time in May.


Chapter length: 23:24

Chapter 2

Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation Executive Director Paul Pitkin (left) and bestselling author Kristin Hannah at a Foundation meet-the-author event in 2017 at the Marysville Opera House. Photo gallery

Paul Pitkin is here to have an impact.

And, having an impact requires money.

Which makes it really fortunate that Pitkin is Executive Director for the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and in charge of raising money for library programs that have positive impacts on lives and in communities across Snohomish and Island counties.

Paul talks about the opportunities that are available through the foundation to build communities.

The foundation funds a variety of programs and services that the tax-supported library district

cannot, including things such as:

  • Third-Grade Reading Challenge
  • TedXSnoIsleLibraries
  • Bookmobile services
  • Issues That Matter
  • The Nysether Family Collection
  • Children’s Services
    • Expanding science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) initiatives through programming, training for both staff and caregivers and community library space enhancements.
    • Videos showing parents how to prepare their children to read early and establish a lifetime of reading and knowledge.
    • Helping improve overall childcare and education by providing STARS training to child caregivers and educators.
    • Providing opportunities with Structured Play kits for children to enhance language and literacy skills.
    • Presenting the Every Child Ready to Rock and Read Concert Series.
  • Other ongoing programs
  • Ready Readers
  • Cultural and literacy programs
  • Leadership development
  • Teen programs
  • Summer learning programs.


Chapter length: 23:45

Episode Hosts

Ken Harvey Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.

Paul Pitkin Paul Pitkin is Director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. He also plays guitar, along with several other instruments, sings and writes music.

Jim Hills Jim Hills is the library district’s Assistant Communications Director, Communications & Marketing. Jim is a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.

Episode Sponsors

Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.