Through Aug. 20: After-work creativity displayed at library

PULLMAN, Wash. – Clock in, clock out, five days a week, eight hours a day (frequently more) is the common work routine. But a Washington State University Libraries’ exhibit looks at the creative lives of library employees after the workday is done.

“After Hours 2: What Do You Do?” will run in the Terrell Library atrium display case through Aug. 20. Started last year as a nod to “Mythbusters” TV show cohost Adam Savage and his 10 Commandments for Makers (, the “After Hours” exhibit has expanded its focus from the creative works of staffers to all interests and activities.

So in addition to arts and crafts, Terrell passersby will see roller derby skates, Zentangles, iced cookies, kung fu weapons, a great-grandmother’s cherished recipe for apple cake and more in the display.

“We wanted to encourage folks to show off what they do with their time when they’re not at the day job,” said Wendy Blake, a library and archives paraprofessional in the technical services unit and exhibit co-organizer. “We are all so very much more than what we collect a paycheck for, and it’s a good thing to remind ourselves of that once in a while.”


Caitlin Enos skates around the Terrell Library skylight. (Photos by Nella Letizia, WSU Libraries)

A library and archives paraprofessional in the access services department, Caitlin Enos trades books for skates outside work as a member of the Palouse River Rollers. She’s been involved with flat-track roller derby for almost five years and skates for one of PRR’s home teams, the Lumberjanes. Her derby name? Extermicate.

For “After Hours,” Enos contributed black Riedell skates and a magnet featuring the PRR logo. She was drawn to roller derby mostly because it suited her rough-and-tumble nature.

“It’s just like football. You expect to get hit. You expect it to hurt sometimes,” she said. “I love the competitiveness and aggression of the sport. Throwing a big hit at the perfect moment is the best part of the game for me.”


Database administrator Cindy Ellis makes “Zentangles,” a meditative art form drawn on 3½-inch square tiles. She began Zentangling to help switch gears in a busy life; in addition to being a wife, mother and grandmother of 18, she is a full-time student and avid Spyder 3-wheel motorcycle rider when she’s not at the libraries.

The key to drawing Zentangles is to focus on each stroke with no predetermined outcome, she said. For more information about the art form, see

“It’s inspirational and relaxing even for the nonartist,” she said. “I enjoy the creativity and focus of Zentangle to help me clear my mind, ground myself and then move on to the next task on my vast to-do list.”

Unicorns and unicycles

Access services manager Sue Shipman recently discovered the art of decorating cookies with royal icing, a hard white confection made from softly beaten egg whites, powdered sugar and sometimes lemon or lime juice. She will have a plate of the cookies – unicorns, cows, pigs and more – in the exhibit case.

“I bake and I watercolor, and this seemed like a nice mesh of the two,” she said. “I don’t eat flour or sugar, but I do like to feed other people.”

When she’s not baking or painting, Shipman can also be seen riding her unicycle periodically near the libraries, around Pullman or even in Chicago when the American Library Association held its annual meeting in 2013.

Building confidence

Jessica Striffler, a library and archives paraprofessional in the technical services unit, will display three weapons used in Shaolin kung fu: the kwan dao, sai and nunchucks.

Striffler began studying kung fu three years ago as a way to help her overcome timidity. She will test for her black belt next year.

“My confidence has come up so much from kung fu,” she said. “There’s a marked difference from who I was a few years ago to who I am now. It’s changed my life, and I’m really grateful for that.”

Preserving a family tradition

Science and instruction librarian Chelsea Leachman will share one of her family’s long-held cooking traditions: an apple cake recipe from her great-grandmother, Louise Mayhak of Tacoma. The recipe has been a staple for generations – along with clam chowder spooned over macaroni and cheese.

Chelsea Leachman carries on the tradition of baking her great-grandmother’s apple cake.

“Cooking is a passion. I grew up cooking in the kitchen, especially around the holidays,” Leachman said. “We’re a family that likes to eat.

“My great-grandmother had a wonderful garden and made many things from scratch, including the recipe in the exhibit,” she said.

For profiles and photos of the nine exhibitors and their work in “After Hours 2,” visit the libraries Facebook page,


Wendy Blake, WSU Libraries library and archives paraprofessional, 509-335-2778,
Nella Letizia, WSU Libraries public relations/communication coordinator, 509-335-6744,