Sno-Isle Libraries, City of Lake Stevens set stage for new library and civic facilitiesOriginally published Aug. 24, 2016
Sno-Isle Libraries and the City of Lake Stevens will work together on a project that could result in a new library and civic facilities.
In separate meetings on Aug. 22 and 23, the library district Board of Trustees and the City Council passed an interlocal agreement that calls for both entities to jointly develop a site for a new, larger library as well as civic facilities for the city.
“We’re very pleased this interlocal agreement is in place,” Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “Lake Stevens-area residents deserve a new, larger library. Sno-Isle Libraries, the City of Lake Stevens and the community have been working toward this for a long time.”
Lake Stevens Mayor John Spencer agreed that the time has come for expanded facilities to serve residents.
The mayor said the new site will place the library and civic facilities, including a new police station, closer to the center of the city’s population making services more easily available. “It’s great working together to develop these library and civic facilities,” Spencer said.
During this past Legislative session, lawmakers included funding to help remove some current city buildings that Spencer has called “totally inadequate.” The city is working on a Downtown Lake Stevens Subarea Plan focused on redeveloping city-owned property in the area and has established a citizens advisory committee for the subarea plan.
The Sno-Isle Libraries 2016-25 Capital Facilities Plan calls for replacing the Lake Stevens Library with a new, larger building. According to the plan approved this past month by the Board of Trustees, “The Lake Stevens Library is too small to meet existing and future community needs. Public comments collected for this plan indicate strong interest in building a new library within the community.”
The current library building is owned by the city and the city’s redevelopment plans preclude expanding the library at the current site.
The city has already purchased property in the Frontier Village area for potential civic-facilities use. With the interlocal agreement now in hand, library-district officials are working to finalize the purchase of property.
Once the library-district purchase is final, the interlocal agreement says the city and library district will work together to develop the site. A four-member committee, two from the city and two from the library district, would work out the details and supervise the process.
Both Woolf-Ivory and Spencer said they’re pleased with the agreement and the opportunity to bring increased service to residents.
“The current Lake Stevens Library is well-used and beloved, but it just isn’t meeting the needs of this growing community,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Sno-Isle Libraries is here to serve community members and they’ve told us they want a new library.”
Lake Stevens is one of the fastest growing cities in Snohomish County through annexations and an influx of families looking for affordable housing and good schools. Spencer has indicated the city will continue to grow. “We have areas that haven’t been annexed that we’re looking to annex and we’ve been growing a lot organically in the city,” the mayor told The Daily Herald newspaper in February.
How the Monroe Library got its 'Close'-upOriginally published Aug. 22, 2016
(The following was published Aug. 20, 2016 in The Daily Herald (Everett). Betsy Lewis is the retired managing librarian at the Monroe Library)
By Betsy Lewis
After seeing the exhibit “Chuck Close: Prints, Process &Collaboration” at the Schack Art Center in Everett, I want to share the story of how an original work by the artist came to the Monroe Library, where it hangs today, a gift of the artist to the library and the people of Monroe.
|Chuck Close: Self-Portrait hangs in the Monroe Llibrary.|
In 2002, the Monroe community was excitedly planning for a new library facility on Village Way. It came to the attention of two library supporters, Monica and Tony Wisen, that Chuck Close, an artist of international repute, had been born in Monroe. It seemed a long shot to Monica and Tony, but they sent off a letter to Close, care of Pace Editions, his New York gallery. Maybe Close would send a poster or similar token.
Months went by. One day Monica was at home ironing and taking care of her preschoolers when the phone rang. On the other end of the line was Close’s gallery representative. Close wanted to know how much space was available for a work of art.
I was managing librarian at the time and will never forget the thrill of taking delivery of the magnificent silk screen, “Self Portrait,” one of an edition of 80, that arrived from Pace.
Years later, I met Chuck Close. He was giving a talk in conjunction with an exhibit of his work at the Tacoma Art Museum. I was struck by his stories of childhood influences on his life and career: the easel his father built him for a birthday gift; how he would entertain the neighborhood children performing magic shows to gain their approval; his undiagnosed dyslexia; and how the patterns his grandmother’s crochet squares made hanging on the clothesline influenced his work.
Some of Closes’s former Everett Junior College classmates had travelled to Tacoma to see him. They stood in line for Close’s autograph on copies of the exhibit catalogue. Even Close’s EJC art professor was present, and Close introduced him, with affection, to the audience, as someone who had taken him under his wing.
My story is about an artist who long ago left a small town behind but didn’t forget his roots; an artist who was fondly remembered by his fellow junior college art students; and an artist who persevered to overcome a learning disability and later a health crisis to continue to make art; and how his Everett Junior College education laid the foundation for an artist of Close’s stature and achievements.
Libraries participate in National Night Out eventsOriginally published Aug. 12, 2016
Sno-Isle Libraries participated in a number of National Night Out events on Aug. 2 across Snohomish and Island counties.
“We are community libraries and National Night Out is all about communities,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory.
|Monroe Library librarian Shannon Dye with McGruff the Crime Dog at a National Night Out event on Aug. 2, 2016.
National Night Out was founded in 1984 with a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Justice. The concept is for communities and neighborhoods “to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live,” according to the National Night Out website.
Not all communities host National Night Out events, but among the libraries participating in local events were:
Brier Library staff member Morgan Farrow and Danielle Armstrong, along with members of Brier Friends of the Library, attended National Night Out at Brier Park.
“The Friends were giving away books and asked for donations while Danielle and I promoted Explore Summer and other upcoming children's and teen programs,” Farrow said. “We also had a superhero craft, pirate pencils, tattoos, and a crime prevention/safety coloring and activity book. It was a cloudy evening at the park, but we had many visitors to our tables!”
The Lake Stevens Library hosted a variety of events and projects in the parking lot outside the library along with visits from Lake Stevens Police officers, said Managing Librarian Sonia Gustafson and library staff member Yoko Cailotto.
Librarian Michele Bates and staff member Kelley Murdock represented the Mill Creek Library at the National Night Out event at Snohomish County’s Willis Tucker Community Park.
“We gave out a bazillion stickers and bookmarks, answered multiple queries about proposed changes to the Mill Creek Library, encouraged kids to sign up for summer reading, explained how to access ‘Homework Help,’ and even found a new member to join our BYOB (Bring your own book) group,” Bates said. “A good time was had by all.”
The event was one of six attended officially by Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office deputies. The Sheriff’s Office demonstrated the K-9 unit and the search and rescue helicopter rescue team, as well as emergency vehicles and had booths with safety tips, games and activities, live music and free hot dogs, sno-cones and corn on the cob.
“Monroe has one of if not the biggest National Night Out event in the state,” said Monroe Library Managing Librarian Phil Spirito. “We usually have about 4,000 people from the community attend and this year there were 75 community organizations and businesses who had booths.”
Spirito said the Friends of the Monroe Library group collaborated to host a table for the event at Lake Tye Park and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Monroe and the City of Monroe.
“We gave away 500 Sno-Isle Libraries bags and crayons and talked to many more people than that promoting summer reading as well as other programs and services,” Spirito said.
The National Night Out event in Oak Harbor was at Fort Nugent Park.
“We were able to speak and connect with at least 356 community members as well as people from other organizations within our community,” said Sabrina Huff, volunteer coordinator at the Oak Harbor Library. Among the goodies available were book bags that could be colored on and included crayons and an information sheet on upcoming programs at the library, cell-phone holders, pencils, bracelets, stickers, carabiners and pens.
“We had a raffle drawing for many books and a Dungeon & Dragons starter set, which was very popular,” Huff said. “We spoke with a lot of families about the Explore Summer Reading program and passed out log sheets with information on registering and keeping track of their time reading.”
Huff said staff also brought along a “voting counts” white board and took pictures of young adults holding the board with their comments on why voting counts to them.
“At certain points in the evening, music and dancing broke out and all who helped with the booth had a very enjoyable time,” she said.
“Sultan Library did participate very successfully at the National Night Out,” said Sultan Library Managing Librarian Jackie Personeus. Just Sultan’s second National Night Out effort, the event was a big hit with community members, she said.
“The Sultan Library booth was bustling with kids, teens, and adults wanting to sign up for Explore Summer or chat about some of the new services such as Drop-In Job Help and also our collection of free eBooks and other ‘downloadables,’” Personeus said.
More than 250 visitors stopped to see what was new at the library. Library staff registered 35 young people for the Explore Summer reading program that includes the opportunity to earn a free book prize as for reaching a reading goal in August.
“At times, there was a long line of kids eager to spin the prize wheel, which sounds like the Wheel of Fortune’s wheel,” Personeus said. “Kids won a variety of prizes, some related to safety such as a mini flashlight or a glow bracelet. Others won a mini beach ball, a new book, brain teaser puzzles, fruit snacks, and lollipops.”
All library booth visitors received a bag with a graphic that can be colored and crayons and information about upcoming events at the library.
Personeus said that as the event was winding down, one middle-school age boy went by on a scooter. Staff members flagged him down and he turned around and came back.
“We thought he would want one of the toys or candy, but as the prize wheel slowly spun he said, ‘I really want that book!’” Personeus said, adding that there was one new paperback left, “The Call of the Wild,” and the wheel landed on “book.” “He scooted away with his book, his bag and a lollipop we threw in for good measure.”
Oak Harbor Library Board has an openingOriginally published Aug. 11, 2016
There is an opening on the Oak Harbor Library Board.
Susan Norman, current president of the five-member board, is leaving the board on Dec. 31, 2016 due to term limits. Members the city board are appointed by the mayor with city council confirmation for a term of five years. Each member may serve two terms. The other current board members are Pat Morse, Marshall Goldberg, Margaret Grunwald and Anne Sullivan. Mary Anderson, Oak Harbor Senior Services Administrator, serves as city staff liaison.
Board duties include providing advice and recommendations to the mayor and city council regarding general supervision and provision of library facilities and programs in accordance with the contract with Sno-Isle Libraries. In addition, the board members serve as liaison to share community needs, provide a forum for discussion, recommend programs, services and strategic focus, and to encourage best use of library facilities and resources.
The board meets quarterly at 2 p.m. on the second Wednesday of January, April, July and October in the Oak Harbor Library Meeting Room, 1000 SE Regatta Drive, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Application and information packets are available at the library and the City of Oak Harbor website. Applicants must live in Oak Harbor in order to qualify. Applications may be submitted by email to the Oak Harbor City Clerk at email@example.com or by mail to: City of Oak Harbor, Attn: City Clerk, 865 SE Barrington Drive, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.
Applications must be received by 6 p.m., Sept. 30, 2016.
For more information, contact Oak Harbor Library Managing Librarian Mary Campbell, 360-675-5115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classes can help cultivate your businessOriginally published Aug. 10, 2016
Whether your business is sketched on a napkin or already pulling in customers, Sno-Isle Libraries has classes that can help take it to the next level.
|The first in a series of 40 business-related classes at Sno-Isle Libraries is Saturday morning, Aug. 13, at the Lynnwood Library. See the full calendar of classes|
“We’re committed to helping start and grow businesses,” said Lead Librarian for Business Kassy Rodeheaver. Rodeheaver and community-library staff members have lined up 40 classes that start Aug. 13 and run through December at 11 libraries.
“We’ve got everything from ‘Steps to Starting a New Business’ to more advanced subjects such as ‘SEO and Getting Your Business to Rank on Google,’” Rodeheaver said. “And, lots more in-between.”
Teaching the classes are 10 local and regional experts in a variety of business-support areas. “I’m excited about the expertise of our presenters,” Rodeheaver said, adding that many have advanced business degrees and years of experience managing their own businesses.
The list includes Jack Stiegler, who heads the Snohomish County branch of SCORE; Maya Sullivan, author of “Dare to Be Your Own Boss;” and Jean Simpson, of GROWashington and the Girandola Academy. Also, two presenters from the 2015 SnoIsleLibrariesTEDx, Anna Rohrbough and Matt Cail, will teach classes this fall.
Other presenters include Bob Hale, a franchising coach; Jane Wines, a senior benefits adviser with the U. S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration; Sandy Bjorgen, a presentation and speaking coach; Robin Bush, on organizational structures, and Robbin Block, on creative marketing strategies.
The classes are scheduled at 11 libraries in five areas, including:
- North Whidbey
- South Whidbey
Registration for these classes is required and available through the class listings in the online calendar.
“Some areas have more or fewer classes based on the classes each library chose to host,” Rodeheaver said. “However, anyone can attend any of the sessions. They are all free and open to the public.”
So why does Sno-Isle Libraries offer business classes? It’s a question Rodeheaver says she often hears.
“This region ranks near the top in the U.S. for entrepreneurship and business startups. Our strategic focus says ‘We will build economically sound communities (through) entrepreneur and small-business support,’” Rodeheaver said. “Library customers can access amazing market research databases and other resources related to business as a part of our regular services. These business-focused programs are an extension of our service.”
Rodeheaver added that these classes are just some of the ongoing business-support programs at Sno-Isle Libraries. “We’ve got programs going on all the time in our libraries and we’re adding new resources and new offerings; just check for the latest at our website, sno-isle.org/business.”
Music series coming to Edmonds LibraryOriginally published Aug. 9, 2016
A new music series is coming to the Edmonds Library in partnership with the City of Edmonds Arts Commission.
“We’re excited to bring entertaining and informative musical performances to the library,” said Edmonds Library Managing Librarian Richard Suico. The series will be in the Plaza Room above the library. Three of the scheduled five events will coincide with Art Walk Edmonds on the third Thursday of the month.
- On Thursday, Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m., world flute artist and storyteller Gary Stroutsos will present a tribute to the tradition of song and story in the Zuni, Navajo and Salish cultures. The event will include a showing of "Remembering the Songs," - a 30-minute film offering a glimpse of the music-makers of the Diné, Zuni, and Salish communities. Stroutsos will play his traditional American Indian made flutes and answer questions following the presentation.
- On Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m., The Hot Club of Troy will present a musical performance and education about the jazz and life of the Belgian-born French jazz guitar genius Django Reinhardt. The Langley-based Hot Club of Troy features Troy Chapman, guitar; Keith Bowers, guitar, and Kristi O'Donnell, bass.
- On Thursday, Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m., Bryan Stratton will guide listeners through the lives and music of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and other influential singer-songwriters of the ’60s. Library regulars may recognize Stratton, a Sno-Isle Libraries staff member, who uses his music-education degree to perform and inform at many libraries and other venues in the area.
- On Saturday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m., the DownTown Mountain Boys will preview Wintergrass 2017 with a 45-minute performance. After performing, the band will stay for a jam session and audience members are encouraged bring an instrument to join in or just stay and listen. The DownTown Mountain Boys include Paul Elliott, violin; Don Share, guitar, lead and harmony vocals; Dave Keenan, banjo, lead and harmony vocals; Terry Enyeart, bass, lead and harmony vocals; and Tom Moran, mandolin.
Suico said the March, 2017, event is still in the planning stages.
The City of Edmonds Arts Commission and the library are collaborating on the series, based on the intersecting values that build on and foster the power of community and cultural experiences. “The Edmonds Arts Commission is excited to be a partner with the library on this program,” said Frances Chapin, Edmonds Arts & Culture Manager.
“Over the years, Sno-Isle Libraries has developed relationships with many local performers. We’re so happy to be able to bring some of our friends to Edmonds for this series,” Suico said. “We’re also thankful to the Friends of Edmonds Library. They gladly fund many of these events and we appreciate seeing their hard volunteer work expressed in high quality programs for community.”
Project floors Snohomish Library in AugustOriginally published Aug. 8, 2016
Snohomish Library customers use the "mini-library" that is open Aug. 8-31 while flooring is replaced in the main library. The full library will re-open Sept. 6.
The main area of the Snohomish Library building will be closed through Sept. 5 for a carpeting and flooring project.
|A worker operates the "Terminator," a machine that removes old flooring, as part of the work at the Snohomish Library.|
During the closure, a “mini-library” is open in the building’s meeting room from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Mondays-Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Available services include picking up materials on hold, returning materials, checkout materials, wi-fi, accepting Explore Summer logs and handing out prizes. No public computers and no public restrooms will be available during the project.
The full library will re-open on Sept. 6.
“This is a standard replacement and update cycle of carpeting for us. After 13 years of use in a public space we would expect to be replacing the carpet,” said Brian Rush, facilities manager for Sno-Isle Libraries. Most of the carpet and flooring in the 23,000-square-foot library is original to when it was built in 2003.
Flooring in the public areas of the library were a combination of carpet tiles and rolled carpet. The new material will be all carpet tiles to make it easier to replace damaged or worn areas. The staff work area was a hard flooring material that had been put down in one piece. Rush said the replacement material will also be tiles and much more resistant to wear.
The flooring work is just part of ongoing maintenance and upgrades to the Snohomish facility in recent years. After energy efficiency upgrades in 2015, the building is using 17 percent less electricity and 70 percent less natural gas than in 2011.
Volunteers helping libraries and citiesOriginally published Aug. 5, 2016
|Sheri Lieurance, a Grove Church member from Camano Island, braces the roller handle against her head to reach the top of the wall with a new coat of paint for the Stanwood Library, Aug. 4, 2016. Photo gallery|
Fresh paint is going on at the Stanwood and Arlington libraries, courtesy of members of The Grove Church in Marysville and volunteer programs in both cities.
“We’re just excited for the help in getting the library painted,” Stanwood Managing Librarian Charles Pratt said. “The city owns the building and they arranged to provide the materials with the church members volunteering the labor.”
At the Arlington Library, Managing Librarian Kathy Bullene said the work includes new paint in both restrooms as well as general cleanup of the landscaping around the library.
The volunteer effort has been going on for about five years, said Duane Palmer, a Stanwood-area resident and church member who was overseeing the crew at the Stanwood Library on Thursday, Aug. 4.
“Overall, there are about 300 members working in crews out doing projects,” Palmer said on Thursday, Aug. 4. “We have 10 people here today. We started on Tuesday and we’ll be finished Friday.”
Palmer said other community projects include painting restrooms at the Arlington Library as well as non-library projects in Lake Stevens, Marysville, Everett and Tulalip. Previous-year projects in the Stanwood area include painting the Triangle Bridge and at Church Creek Park, he said.
Longtime Stanwood Library staff member Almira Jones said this is the first time in her memory that the library hasn’t been painted white, but the change seems to be just fine with customers. “People are saying they like the new color,” Jones said. “And, it matches with the neighboring buildings.”
Others look to Sno-Isle Libraries as innovative leaderOriginally published Aug. 2, 2016
BY PAMELA NYBERG KIESNER
Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald
A library is not just a building that holds books (though, true, that can be magical). It is a space that serves and advances the community.
That is a key message from a study recently commissioned by our library neighbors to the south at the Sno-Isle Libraries, serving Snohomish and Island counties.
“Public Library Facilities for the Future,” a nationwide review by Margaret Sullivan Studio, paints an exciting and inspiring future for public libraries. It was commissioned by Sno-Isle Libraries to help its leaders envision and plan facilities over the next decade, and it provides timely and relevant ideas for our own community’s library needs.
A changing mindset
The study notes that a changing mindset drives contemporary libraries, even as they carry forward.
“Twenty-first century public libraries are necessary for the same reason that public libraries were created in the 19th and 20th centuries: to provide platforms for social equity, income equality, social cohesion and pathways to economic success and opportunity,” the study states. “Libraries are not only providing different services to customers, but customers’ needs and expectations are also changing, forcing the library’s physical spaces to support a variety of activities and programs unimagined even 10 years ago.”
It goes on to describe contemporary needs for learning and connecting: “Libraries are learning institutions and how learning occurs is being re-defined. Therefore, spaces in public libraries need to be re-designed to support this variety of learning experiences, including spaces for social learning, active learning and collaborative learning.”
“Buildings should be designed to accommodate the variety of programming the library is doing now and in the unforeseen programming future. The library design should enable librarians to be innovative, flexible and adaptable to provide programs and activities the community would enjoy. The building should not hinder this potential.”
The study notes that “key spaces” are vital to modern libraries as they break free of simply being repositories of materials. Some key spaces include: welcoming spaces and dedicated spaces for browsing materials in a store-like atmosphere; computer labs and tech arts labs dedicated to digital arts and equipped with the latest technology; multipurpose rooms for meetings, quiet study, group study and more; vibrant cafés and bookstores, maker spaces for messy projects and those requiring special equipment; phone rooms designed for telephone conversations and video conferencing; gallery and performance spaces; and many other types of spaces.
The study describes specific examples of ways libraries across the country are carrying out these ideas, meeting the unique needs of their communities with innovative, accessible, customer-oriented facilities and services.
Planning for our future
“Public Library Facilities for the Future,” and its focus on innovative library facilities and services, provides timely inspiration as the Bellingham City Council deliberates the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update.
City officials are weighing our community’s needs for capital facilities – streets, fire stations, water and sewer systems and others – as part of the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update. The draft plan reiterates our library’s facility needs among the many other needs it identifies.
Included in the draft plan is the goal of replacing or expanding the Central Library, the 65-year-old hub of the Bellingham Public Library system, to serve Bellingham and its projected growth. This long-standing need is well-documented in numerous adopted plans during the past decade.
The Central Library no longer serves our community well. It now supports more than double the population it was originally intended to serve, and falls far short of meeting city goals of ensuring efficient, cost-effective, technologically innovative facilities.
The draft update also calls for developing plans for additional library services in the north part of Bellingham, along with seismic and other improvements to the Fairhaven Branch Library, and continued collaboration with the Whatcom County Library System and other partners.
Bellingham has many priority capital needs and library facilities is among them. We join city officials in encouraging community members to weigh in on these needs during City Council deliberations on the draft 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update this summer and fall.
An inspiring road map
As our community’s conversation about library facilities continues, we’ll be looking to library professionals and communities across the state and nation for ideas and inspiration. And we’ll be watching our neighbors at Sno-Isle Libraries to see what innovative directions they take with “Public Library Facilities for the Future” as their road map.
Pamela Nyberg Kiesner is the director of the Bellingham Public Library and chair of the Library Council of Washington.
Sno-Isle Libraries at Seattle Small Business Expo Aug. 11Originally published Jul. 28, 2016
Sno-Isle Libraries will exhibit at the Seattle Small Business Expo on Aug. 11, 2016. The expo will be held at the Washington State Convention Center. For more information and free registration, visit the Seattle event page.
The day-long conference and trade show, which travels throughout the country’s top cities for small business, brings together industry thought leaders and experts in a hands-on environment that features more than 20+ free business critical workshops and programs along with 100+ interactive booths, demos and brand exhibits.
Start-ups and business owners can take advantage of free admission and educational workshops covering online/social media marketing, employee benefit plans, credit and financing, strategies for increasing revenue and team productivity, mentoring, cloud technologies, retirement plans, and more.
Small Business Expo expects to have more than 4,000+ registered attendees from across the Seattle metropolitan area shopping for business resources, developing business leads, gaining new insights, and networking with peers.
“Sno-Isle Libraries is pleased to exhibit at the Seattle Small Business Expo. We’re dedicated to serving the small business community with our free workshops, market research databases, and one-on-one business mentoring,” said Kassy Rodeheaver, lead librarian for business. “Being present at this regional event will allow us to connect with more business owners and entrepreneurs unaware of the powerful tools that we provide to our library customers.”
Sno-Isle Libraries will be located at exhibitor booth BDC. Stop by the booth and learn more about our free business tools and support.
New 10-year plan for library buildings approvedOriginally published Jul. 26, 2016
There could be as many as seven new facilities in the Sno-Isle Libraries system over the coming decade, according to a plan unanimously approved by the library district’s Board of Trustees at the regularly scheduled July 25, 2016, meeting.
“We call it the ‘Capital Facilities Plan,’ but really it’s more of a statement of capital facilities needs across the district,” Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “This plan responds to the services our customers are requesting and the growth in the communities we serve.”
The plan is available online at sno-isle.org/facplan. It puts facilities in four broad categories: maintain, renovate, replace and areas of opportunity.
Most of the existing 21 libraries, and the administrative service center in Marysville, fall into the “maintain” category. These facilities are anticipated to meet current and projected needs with regular and ongoing maintenance, according to the plan.
One facility, the Mill Creek Library, is identified for renovation. Built in 1987 and expanded in 1992, the plan acknowledges that the library “is significantly undersized” for the community. However, further expansion at the current site may not be possible so the plan recommends renovating the building to maximize its service to the community.
The plan also calls out library buildings in Arlington, Lake Stevens and Stanwood as too small to meet current needs, let alone existing and anticipated growth in those areas.
“These communities told us they want new libraries and we’re working with them to determine the best way forward,” Woolf-Ivory said. “There are reasons for each of these facilities to be replaced.”
The approved facilities plan refers to an “Areas of Opportunity” category, which includes an interesting mix of projects.
“The common theme of these projects is addressing unserved or underserved community needs, as well as population growth,” Woolf-Ivory said.
Topping the list is an area identified in the plan as “128th Street/Mariner.”
“There are 30,000 people living in this island of unincorporated Snohomish County surrounded by Mukilteo, Everett, Mill Creek and Lynnwood,” Woolf-Ivory said of the area south of the Everett city limits which includes Mariner High School. “The tremendous library needs in the Mariner area were becoming apparent a decade ago, but the economic downturn put things on hold.”
The plan calls for a “library demonstration project” for the area and Woolf-Ivory says it could be up and running in the first quarter of this coming year. Such a project could mean a library using leased space, staffed with existing Sno-Isle Libraries employees and stocked with existing materials and the normal collection-addition processes.
The plan calls for a second demonstration project in the Lakewood/Smokey Point area, where significant growth is occurring now with more expected by 2025, according to the plan. “The Camano Library (which opened in 2015), started as a demonstration project,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Using the demonstration-project model, I’m hoping we can provide increased services to Lakewood/Smokey Point by the fourth quarter of 2017.”
The plan identifies a new library for what is termed the greater Mill Creek area.
According to the plan, “The current (Mill Creek Library) is too small to adequately serve the existing customer base and significant population growth is projected in the areas east and south of the current Mill Creek Library.” Strong community feedback from area residents indicate they want the existing Mill Creek Library to remain at its current location in addition to a new library in the area.
Also in the areas-of-opportunity category is the Lynnwood Library. “While the existing library meets today’s needs, tomorrow is a different story,” Woolf-Ivory said.
More than 1,000 multi-family housing units are under construction or permitted in and around Lynnwood’s core. City officials are also moving forward with the City Center Project, which envisions a new library as part a new civic center. In addition, Lynnwood is already a regional transit hub and Link Light Rail is expected to open in 2023.
“We want to be prepared to support the city’s vision for itself,” Woolf-Ivory said.
While the plan lays out the needs, it doesn’t include a timeline for the projects or the costs.
“Each of these projects is as unique as the community it serves now or will serve,” Woolf-Ivory said. “The timeline for each project will be a collaborative effort and influenced by each community's sense of urgency for an improved library.”
That said, some projects on the list that are likely to move ahead more quickly than others.
“Lake Stevens’ efforts for a new library 10 years ago were frustrated by the economic downturn,” Woolf-Ivory said. Voter-approval for funding will be required to match the community’s urgency for a larger library. “The soonest that could happen is Feb. 14, 2017,” Woolf-Ivory said.
Also on a potentially faster track are the library demonstration projects at 128th Street/Mariner and Lakewood/Smokey Point. Because they will get started with the library district’s existing budget and won’t require voter approval, both projects could up and running in 2017.
“This document reflects what we heard from our communities and customers,” Woolf-Ivory said. “We asked questions and listened. Residents told us they love their libraries and want more space to read, to study and to gather as a community.”
As for costs, that, too, is determined through the collaborative process with each community.
“Size, location, new building or existing building, level of philanthropic support; there are many variables that can affect project cost,” Woolf-Ivory said. Library facilities are generally funded by capital bonds, which must be approved by voters in a designated Library Capital Facilities Area. “In the end, it is a decision by the community, not by Sno-Isle Libraries.”
Work on the plan began mid-2015 when the library district commissioned a study to look at the future of libraries. “We could see our own data, but we wanted to check our trends against a national perspective,” Woolf-Ivory said. Findings from that study, released in September, 2015, confirmed what Sno-Isle Libraries officials were seeing, that libraries are becoming places to meet, study, attend programs and use technology.
“More people are coming to the community libraries and they are coming for more than checking out a book,” Woolf-Ivory said. While numbers vary from library to library, data comparing the first quarter of 2015 and 2016 show an average 12 percent increase in people going to libraries across the district.
This past fall, an initial phase of public meetings, an online survey and interviews with community leaders began with the help of the Seattle-based consulting firm EnviroIssues.
“We knew that some of the community libraries are undersized for their communities; the Lake Stevens Library is a prime example,” Woolf-Ivory said. “But we work closely with our communities to provide the library and services that they want. We needed to go listen to our customers and the communities.”
That community input became part of a draft plan that was released this past May. “Then, we took the draft plan back out to the communities to check our work,” Woolf-Ivory said of the second phase of public review. An online survey and face-to-face presentations to community groups by her and other library officials helped fine-tune the plan.
“It was very helpful and we did make some changes,” Woolf-Ivory said. “For example, the draft plan identified the Arlington Library for renovation. The community told us they wanted more, that they want a new building, and that’s reflected in the plan approved by our trustees.”
About Sno-Isle Libraries
Sno-Isle Libraries is a tax-supported library district serving Snohomish and Island counties. The mission is to be a community doorway to reading, resources and lifelong learning, and a center for people, ideas and culture. Policy is set by a seven-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Snohomish County Council and Island County Board of Commissioners.
Sno-Isle Libraries provides a network of public library services to more than 728,000 residents across approximately 2,200 square miles. The population within the library district is projected to increase by 14 percent by 2025, with some areas growing at a much higher rate.
Library services and materials are delivered through 21 facilities in 21 cities, towns and communities; through mobile library services and online. Eight of the 21 community libraries are owned by the library district. The library district owns the Service Center, an administrative and distribution facility in Marysville which supports library operations across the district. Twelve facilities are owned and maintained by individual cities and towns. One facility is owned by a local Friends of the Library group.
ALA honors Maloney for Whidbey Reads graphicsOriginally published Jul. 20, 2016
This Whidbey Reads poster by Brenda Maloney was part of the work that won the 2015 American Libraries Association contest in that category.
Brenda Maloney, graphic designer for Sno-Isle Libraries, has been recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) for her work.
Maloney’s posters and programs for Whidbey Reads 2015 won in the category of “Reading Program Themes (all ages) -print” in the large library group. The award was announced in June at the ALA national conference in June. This is the third year in a row that Maloney has been honored in the ALA’s PR Xchange Awards Competition.
Contest organizers said the panel of 17 judges was very impressed with the depth and breadth of all of the work submitted. About 390 entries were submitted and judges called the competition “extremely tight.”
Robot Rally brings turnout for technologyOriginally published Jul. 20, 2016
More than 50 children, tweens, teens and adults built, programmed and operated robots on Saturday, July 16 at the Marysville Library, all part of the “Robot Rally” program.
|Jose Alcantara holds his robot after a successful run at the Robot Rally, July 16, 2016, at the Marysville Library.
“I think it was really successful,” Jill Wubbenhorst, assistant managing librarian at the Marysville Library, said as the event was wrapping up. “We had children with their parents, the high-school team and university students.”
The event included demonstrations by the Lakewood High School's Full Metal Robotics team, the Cedarcrest Middle School Timberbots and the Washington State University - Everett engineering club. The WSU students brought components from their second-place entry in the University Rover Challenge at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah.
Participants on Saturday were able to use Ozobots, LEGO Mindstorm robots and laptop computers.
Kathy Smargiassi, children’s librarian at the Marysville Library, was helping some of the younger participants get their first experiences with robot hardware and the coding that makes robots work. “It’s not that I’m an expert, but the lesson is you don’t have to be to get started,” Smargiassi said.
But there were experts on-site, including Austin Sundseth, Vice President of the Engineering Club at WSU – Everett. Sundseth and his club-mates recently placed second in an international competition to build Mars rover prototypes. To make many of the specialized parts they needed, club members worked closely with the Advanced Manufacturing Training and Education Center at Everett Community College.
“It was a great experience and we’re getting ready to enter again next year,” Sundseth to a group of younger attendees. “I’m from Marysville, went to high school here and did Running Start. When I graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I’ll be 20 years old.”
And then what?
“I want to work on space technology,” said Sundseth, adding that he’s got his sights set on companies such as Blue Origin, the Kent-based space firm set up by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Pokémon among the stacks: Libraries welcome playersOriginally published Jul. 15, 2016
|Pokémon at the Arlington Library|
“I wanna be the very best,
Like no one ever was.
To catch them is my real test,
To train them is my cause.
… Gotta catch ’em all.”
Lyrics from the Pokémon
On July 11, a group of 20-somethings walked into the Stanwood Library and stood in a circle.
With heads down, they stared intently at their phones.
Unsure, library staffer Melissa Borders approached the all-male group and asked:
“Are you playing Pokémon GO?”
It’s a scene playing out more and more since the mobile online game launched in the U.S. on July 6 and one that is especially common in places such as libraries.
“We love it,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory. “We are all about supporting our communities and Pokémon GO has quickly become something our customers are embracing.”
Libraries and other public places figure prominently in the world of Pokémon GO. Players go in search of Pokémon figures, which they capture and then train at Pokémon GO Gyms. Along the way, they may need supplies, which are available at PokéStops.
Libraries can be any or all of those things and Sno-Isle Libraries welcomes players on their quests.
“We’re putting up signs that say ‘Welcome Pokémon Trainers,” said Dawn Rutherford, Teen Services Coordinator for the library district. If there is one caveat, it is a request to respect other library users while capturing Pokémon, training or resupplying.
So far, that doesn’t seem to be a problem.
“Pokémon GO players can be very focused on the game,” Rutherford said. “We are also hearing stories of people making it out of the house more and families walking around playing the game together. We are thrilled to be a place Pokémon trainers can safely connect and discover!”
Rutherford added that it appears that most if not all Sno-Isle Libraries facilities are identified in some way in Pokémon GO: “Some of our libraries are Gyms, many are PokéStops and I’m pretty sure all have Pokémon waiting to be caught.”
'Write Now' looking for instructors with 'write stuff'Originally published Jul. 7, 2016
Ernest Hemingway said writing is easy: “All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
There definitely won’t be any bleeding and typewriters are unlikely, but Sno-Isle Libraries is looking for people who can help others be writers, maybe even the next Hemingway.
“We’re soliciting proposals for a series of workshops, classes, lectures and presentations,” said Lead Librarian for Readers’ Services Jackie Parker. “The project is called ‘Write Now: Write, Revise, Publish, and Find an Audience.’”
The goal, Parker said, is to help writers and prospective writers develop their skills.
“There’s been a lot of interest from local authors and attendees at writing and author-related events,” Parker said. “Writers are readers, readers are often writers and Sno-Isle Libraries has hundreds of thousands of readers.”
The project is accepting proposals that cover any step of the writing and publishing process and from any perspective, including: traditional publishing, indie/self-publishing, fiction, non-fiction, author, agent, bookseller and marketing. Selected proposals will include clearly measurable learning outcomes that will be measured in a post-event survey.
Sample session topics include:
- Specific aspects of how to write or revise
- How to get an agent
- How to self-publish
- How to design a book cover
- How to market a book on social media
- How to approach booksellers
“The strongest proposals will be on a list of courses that each our 21 community libraries can book,” Parker said. “We’re hoping to sponsor between 15-20 sessions this fall.”
The timeline for fall 2016 classes is:
- July 20: Proposals due
- July 28: Notice of acceptance
- July 29: Session list sent to community libraries for bookings
- October-December: Sessions to take place
Parker said she is reaching out to established writers groups in the Snohomish and Island counties, but that proposals will be considered from all corners. If the series is a success, Sno-Isle Libraries will continue to offer the Write Now series through 2017.
Parameters for proposals include:
- Must be submitted through the online form.
- Sessions should range from 1-4 hours.
- Presentations should focus on learning
- Presentations may include contact information for the presenter
- Presenters are welcome to sell books after their session.
- Sno-Isle Libraries will not provide presenters with a list of registered attendees due to privacy policies.
- Sno-Isle Libraries will market classes to the public and presenters are encouraged to promote to their networks.
- A contract with Sno-Isle Libraries is required to ensure engagement and payment.
For more information, contact Jackie Parker, Lead Librarian for Readers’ Services, 360-651-7049, email@example.com.
Candidate, issue forums July 6 & 7 on Whidbey IslandOriginally published Jul. 5, 2016
The League of Women Voters and Sno-Isle Libraries are partnering on two public forums for races and issues to be decided in the August primary election. League of Women Voters of Whidbey Island representatives will ask questions of the candidates at these events which are free and open to the public.
The scheduled forums are:
Wednesday, July 6, 6:30 p.m., at Oak Harbor Elks Lodge, 155 Ernst St., Oak Harbor
- 10th Legislative District Senate - Candidates expected to attend include Sen. Barbara Bailey, Angie Homola and Nick Petrish.
- Island County Board of Commissioners Pos. 2 – Candidates expected to attend include Commissioner Jill Johnson, John Fowkes and Dustin Amundson.
Thursday, July 7, 6:30 p.m., at Unitarian Universalist Church, 20103 SR 525, Freeland
- 10th Legislative District Senate - Candidates expected to attend include Sen. Barbara Bailey, Angie Homola and Nick Petrish.
- Discussion of Port District of South Whidbey Island ballot measure “Concerning Fairgrounds property and a property tax increase to support it.”
Speaking at teen-suicide forums difficult, but rewarding, choiceOriginally published Jul. 1, 2016
Megan LaPlante (right) speaks during the June 23 Issues That Matter forum at Snohomish Library. Listening are Rena Fitzgerald (left) and Dr. Gary Goldbaum. Photo gallery
It was the end of an eighth-grade choir field trip and Megan LaPlante and her friend were braiding each other’s hair.
“They were laughing, just girls being girls,” said Megan’s mom, Susan LaPlante.
Hours later, the friend took her own life.
It wasn’t until the next morning at school that Megan and her classmates learned about the suicide.
“I got a call from Megan about 8:15 in the morning. It was awful,” Susan LaPlante said. “She couldn’t speak; just sobbing.”
Three more Issues That Matter forums on teen suicide are scheduled:
All events start at 6:30 p.m. They are open and free to the public with funding provided by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. The forums feature panels of experts and community members to discuss what can be done about teen suicide.
Library research resources
A year later, the loss still feels fresh, but Megan is working to turn tragedy into something that may help others. A freshman at Monroe High School, Megan is also Miss Washington High School America and will compete for the national title, July 15-16 in San Antonio, Texas.
As part of the pageant, each contestant is required to have an advocacy platform, something that they not only feel passionately about, but are also supporting with their time and voice. After losing her friend in 2015, Megan decided her platform would be “Preventing Teen Suicide through Hope and Awareness.”
It wasn’t an easy choice.
“Megan wasn’t sure,” Susan LaPlante said. “It’s so personal and so difficult. We talked about it a lot. I told her, ‘You need to talk about it for yourself. And, it can help others.’”
While she’ll be taking the message to the national stage, Megan’s first opportunity to speak publically on the subject came June 23 at Sno-Isle Libraries’ Issues That Matter forum on teen suicide at Snohomish Library. She will speak at similar forums on July 7 in Stanwood and July 21 in Oak Harbor.
At the Snohomish event, the public packed the meeting room. Megan was on the panel with two experts on the issue, Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Director of the Snohomish Health District, and Rena Fitzgerald, manager of the Care Crisis Chat line at Volunteers of America Western Washington in Everett.
When it was her turn to speak, Megan’s voice was charged with emotion.
“It’s such a big issue, but not a lot of people know about it,” Megan said later. “People don’t touch on it. Parents don’t learn about this and kids die. They don’t know, but they should know about this.”
The path to suicide, why some choose it and others don’t, can be difficult to understand. From Megan’s perspective, one important thing to do is just be there for someone who reaches out.
“If they’ve opened up to you, they are trusting you and thinking you will do something and possibly stop it,” Megan said. “Just hang out as much as possible and make them feel loved and welcome because they are, they really are.
“There are things that you can do. Say, ‘Come on over,’ or ‘Go to a movie with me.’ And if they say, ‘Leave me alone,’ tell them, ‘No, you’re hurting, I’m staying with you.’”
Part of Megan’s platform is to work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The organization works with local supporters to sponsor Out of the Darkness Walks to raise funds for suicide prevention work. Fellow panelist Fitzgerald and Denise Bathurst, a Mukilteo School District counselor, are organizing a walk for Oct. 15 at Legion Park in Everett.
While choosing to speak about teen suicide wasn’t easy for Megan, the response at the Issues That Matter Forum convinced her that it was the right choice.
“A girl came up to me after it was over to say how much it helped,” Megan said.
Susan LaPlante had a similar experience with a parent.
“The father of a boy who died in April came up and said Megan’s comments were so relevant. It was very confirming,” Susan LaPlante said. “That night was amazing.”
'Storytime' is about growth; the children and the communityOriginally published Jun. 29, 2016
|Logan Schlicker launches a toy airplane during Storytime at Lake Stevens Library. (Photo gallery)|
Two or three mornings a week, the Lake Stevens Library is full of young readers.
Well, make that soon-to-be young readers and don’t expect it to be whisper-quiet because the groups that are filling the air and floor are all under age 5 and accompanied by a parent or caregiver. It’s called “Storytime” and children’s librarian Monica Jackson says it is a popular and growing program.
|Lindsay Johns and her daughter, Ava, during Storytime at Lake Stevens Library.|
Fall (weekly, starting Sept. 20)
“Every week it seems a new child and parent are joining us,” said Jackson, who is the children’s librarian at the library. “The Lake Stevens area is just growing so fast with young families.”
On a recent morning, one of those first-timers was Mandi Schlicker and her son, Logan.
“It was our first time to visit the library for Storytime,” Schlicker said. “The program offered many aspects of entertainment for Logan, stories, singing, dancing and then a little play time with lots of toys. We look forward to going again!”
And, it’s not just the little ones who like these 60-minute sessions: “It was nice to socialize with other moms,” Schlicker said.
Lake Stevens Library Managing Librarian Sonia Gustafson agrees that while such reading programs are popular at most libraries, the community’s demographics make them particularly attractive in Lake Stevens.
“This area is growing fast,” said Gustafson, who stays close to community issues by regularly participating in meetings with city staff.
In 2000, Lake Stevens had about 6,300 residents and was the 12th largest city in Snohomish County. In 2014, the population was just shy of 30,000 and ranked fifth in the county. The city is planning for another 10,000 people by 2035. Much of that growth so far is coming from young families attracted by good schools and comparatively affordable housing.
“We see families come in, sometimes with laundry baskets to load up with books and DVDs,” Gustafson said. “The next week, they’re back to return those and load up again.”
For the younger ones, and their parents, Storytime is the draw.
“We started going there because my friend from high school takes her daughter here,” said Lindsay Johns, mother of Ava. “She posted on Facebook and we went and its lots of fun.
“The movement and interaction with kids her age is always fun. We love the songs and hanging out with other babies. I feel like she can move around there.”
Johns said she also appreciates the expertise of the library staff: “Monica is really great at what she does.”
Jackson has been a children’s, teen and adult services librarian in school, public and college libraries. Her undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education and she received her Master of Library Science from the University of Washington. She’s been at the Lake Stevens Library since 2011.
Sno-Isle Libraries closed July 4Originally published Jun. 28, 2016
Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed Monday, July 4 for Independence Day. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, July 5. See locations & hours.
Arlington Library starts summer program with Hungry GamesOriginally published Jun. 27, 2016
After removing the plastic bags, 12-year-olds Ocean Jang (left), Treety Jang and Sheamin Kim go after doughnuts on a string without using their hands Monday while competing in The Hungry Games outside Arlington Library.
Dan Bates photo/The Herald
By Kari Bray, Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — The wreckage of squashed bananas and shattered pretzels littered the grass. Shirts were stained white with whipped cream and teeth were stained black by Oreo cookies. Doughnuts dangled from a string between three trees on the edge of the battlefield.
Librarian Abby Bormann called out orders amidst the chaos, a megaphone her only tool for corralling more than 50 children and teens fueled by the thrill of starting summer break.
The students were challenged to participate in the Hungry Games, a series of food-themed contests, to kick off Sno-Isle Libraries' summer reading program Monday afternoon. The reading program started June 1 but many students are just now starting their summer breaks.
On Monday, kids lined up to “Face the Cookie,” where they balanced an Oreo on their forehead and tried to get it to their mouths without using hands or arms. They partnered up for the pretzel toss, where one teammate held a crazy straw in their mouth and the other tried to toss five pretzels onto the straw like horseshoes. They tied Twizzlers into knots with their mouths and searched with their faces for a piece of bubblegum buried in a plate of whipped cream.
In one of the most popular tournaments, participants faced off against each other for banana jousting. They mounted their trusty steeds — pool noodles with a horse or shark face on them — and exchanged blows with bananas to see whose would break open first. The person with the last banana in one piece claimed victory.
“For war. For glory. For bananas!” shouted Lucas Gibson, a 12-year-old who goes to Post Middle School. He and his friend, Shayne Shelton, were the first two to joust. Lucas won a squishy stress ball as a prize after Shayne's banana fell apart.
Friends Katanna Breece and Annabelle Hoffman, both 12, competed in all of the Hungry Games events. They were looking for something to do now that their school is out until fall.
“We've been kind of bored for the summer,” Katanna confessed.
Annabelle shrugged. “I just wanted to eat doughnuts off of trees.”
That was the final challenge of the day: trying to eat a doughnut hanging off of a tree without using hands.
After the games, Bormann urged students to stop by the library, across the street from the battlefield, and sign up for the summer reading program. All 21 Sno-Isle Libraries have programs this summer for elementary-age kids and middle or high school students. They can sign up in person at one of the libraries or online at sno-isle.org/explore-summer.
By keeping track of how many hours they read, participants can get books as prizes and be entered into a drawing for a gift certificate to their nearest book store.
There also are dozens of summer reading events at libraries around Snohomish and Island counties.
“Each branch is doing something different,” Bormann said. “We're focusing on games and gaming.”
Upcoming activities in Arlington include a Harry Potter game day and a Doctor Who trivia and costume contest. Calendars of events for all of the libraries are available at sno-isle.org/events. Other libraries have planned activities with music, magicians and presentations from Sarvey Wildlife Center, among other highlights.
The summer reading program, called “Explore Summer,” goes until Aug. 31.
Sheamin Kim, 12, is excited to start her summer reading. She loves books and planned to go find a new one at the library after finishing the Hungry Games.
“If I could live in the library, I would,” she said.