Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed Monday, Jan. 16 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, Jan. 17. 

Library News

Sno-Isle Libraries closed Jan. 16

Originally published Jan. 10, 2017

Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed Monday, Jan. 16 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, Jan. 17. See locations & hours.

Bring imagination for 'upcycling' at Lake Stevens Library

Originally published Jan. 4, 2017

Sure, recycling is a good thing to do for the environment, but why stop there? How about upcycling?

A term coined in the late 1990s, “upcycling” refers to using materials that might otherwise be recycled or wind up in the trash, adding a healthy dose of creativity and making something new and useful.

“Each month, we’ll have a different creative project,” said Jillian Coats, a staff member at the Lake Stevens Library. “We provide the materials. You bring the imagination. Just drop in, make things and leave with something awesome.”

Intended for teens, age 12-18, this upcycling, crafting, DIY program is scheduled for 3:30-4:30 p.m. on third Thursdays at the Lake Stevens Library, 1804 Main St. Upcoming projects include:

  • Jan. 19 - Hand-Bound Mini-Notebooks
  • Feb. 16 - Tiny Snow-Globe Necklaces/Keychains/Charms
  • March 16 - Make Your Own Buttons

This program is free to participants with funding provided by the Friends of the Lake Stevens Library.

New search tool knows where to look for answers

Originally published Dec. 27, 2016

Whether you’re a fifth-grader needing a report on goldfish, a high-school senior facing the SAT or a voter trying to understand the Electoral College, doing a bit of research is the first step.

Sno-Isle Libraries has a new way to make sure that first step is in the right direction. It doesn’t look like much, just a box on the website labeled “Search All Databases,”  but, don’t let the simplicity fool you, said Information Services Manager Terry Beck.

“It is a powerful tool,” Beck said. “Enter a term like ‘goldfish.’ For many searches, the first result is called a ‘Research Starter,’ an overview. Then, you can filter the results by things like source type, publication, geography, language and much more.”

A drop-down menu can even re-order the results by publication date, oldest or newest listed first.

The new tool is called EDS, for EBSCO Discovery Service. Each search accesses many databases at the same time, including more than 60 sources of information, ranging from newspaper archives and auto repair manuals to business reference guides and the Oxford Dictionary.

Before implementing EDS, separate searches were often required for each source of information. “If you didn’t know where to look, well, you missed it,” Beck said.

EDS searches were added to the Sno-Isle Libraries website in the fall. It’s getting good reviews from staff and customers. One popular feature is the easy ability to share search results.

“Our librarians are there to help our customers—online, on the phone and in person,” Beck said. “Regardless of when, where or how, search results can be saved and shared by email.”

Actually more than just email. A click on the “Share” button brings options to email, add the results to a folder, create an email alert or RSS feed, create and copy a permanent link, or even access and then share via nearly 200 social media options.

The system does have a few limitations.

EDS doesn’t access every database at Sno-Isle Libraries. However, those additional sources are listed prominently under “Additional Resources” and a previous search can easily be applied.

“Adding this tool to make research and accessing data easier is a real benefit to our customers and communities,” Beck said.

Sno-Isle Libraries closed for New Year's holiday

Originally published Dec. 27, 2016

Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 and closed all day Sunday, Jan. 1 through Monday, Jan. 2 for the New Year's holiday. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 3. See locations & hours. Have a safe and joyful holiday season!

Homelessness the focus of four community forums

Originally published Dec. 19, 2016

With regional counts of people without homes showing sharp increases, Sno-Isle Libraries will host “Homelessness Here,” four public discussions to explore the causes and prevention of the problem in Snohomish and Island counties.

“When we ask residents in our communities what issues concern them most, homelessness is always high on the list,” said Sonia Gustafson, leader of the library district’s Issues That Matter team and manager of Lake Stevens Library.  

The forums will be in Langley, Lake Stevens, Arlington and Mountlake Terrace. All are free and open to the public. They will start at 6:30 p.m. Locations and speakers are:

  • Jan. 10, Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, 565 Camano Ave., Langley. Panelists will be Joanne Pelant, housing resource coordinator, Island County Department of Human Services; Faith Wilder, president of the Whidbey Homeless Coalition; Lori Cavender, founder of Ryan's House for Youth and creator of Island County's Host Home program; Gail LaVassar, homeless education coordinator for South Whidbey School District. The moderator will be Marshall Goldberg.
  • Jan. 26, Lake Stevens School District Administration Building, 12309 22nd St NE. Panelists will be Kristen Cane, director of development and policy, Housing Authority of Snohomish County; Julio Cortes, public relations manager, Cocoon House; Seanna Herring-Jensen, program manager at the Arlington Community Resource Center, Lake Stevens Family Center and Granite Falls Family Support Center. The moderator will be Lake Stevens Mayor John Spencer
  • Feb. 22, Weston High School Commons, 4407 172nd Street NE, Arlington. Panelists will be Kristen Cane, director of development and policy, Housing Authority of Snohomish County; Nicolas Quijano, Advocate Supervisor, Cocoon House; Seanna Herring-Jensen, program manager at the Arlington Community Resource Center, Lake Stevens Family Center and Granite Falls Family Support Center. The moderator will be Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert.
  • Feb. 28, Mountlake Terrace Library, 23300 58th Ave. W.  Panelists will be Kristen Cane, director of development and policy, Housing Authority of Snohomish County; Elysa Hovard, director of outreach, Cocoon House; Mark Waldin, program manager of South Snohomish County Emergency Cold Weather Shelter. The moderator will be Kathy Coffey, executive director of Leadership Snohomish County and member, Lynnwood Human Services Commission. 

Issues That Matter programs are meant to encourage conversations on topics of community needs and interests, a core service of Sno-Isle Public Libraries. Details, along with links to library and community resources, can be found at  Funding is provided by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation


Sno-Isle Libraries holiday closures

Originally published Dec. 18, 2016

Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24 and closed all day Sunday, Dec. 25 through Monday, Dec. 26 for the Christmas holiday. All libraries will also be closed at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31 and closed all day Sunday, Jan. 1 through Monday, Jan. 2 for the New Year's holiday. 

Oak Harbor Library will remain closed an additional day, Tuesday Dec. 27, for repairs to the heating and ventilation system.

Have a safe and joyful holiday season!

Oak Harbor Library holiday closure extended one day

Originally published Dec. 9, 2016

The Oak Harbor Library will be closed Dec. 25-27, one day longer than previously scheduled, to accommodate work to replace HVAC equipment serving the building that includes a meeting room and Skagit College classrooms and library.

Oak Harbor Library customers may want to stock up on books, movies and music: The library’s coming holiday closure will be one day longer than anticipated.

Tuesday, Dec. 27, has been added to the previously scheduled Dec. 25-26 closure to accommodate an HVAC-equipment replacement project. The library will be open until 3 p.m., Dec. 24.

Skagit Valley College and the City of Oak Harbor are collaborating to replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in Hayes Hall, the building that houses the Oak Harbor Library, the library meeting room, the college library and several classrooms. Johansen Mechanical, Inc. is scheduled to replace all 16 HVAC units that serve the building from Dec. 27-30. The new equipment will be more efficient and replace units that are beyond their operational life.

The Oak Harbor Library will remain closed on Tuesday, Dec. 27 to allow the library parking area to be used for the project. The book drop will also be closed on Dec. 27. Library customers may keep materials an extra day or return them to the Coupeville Library.

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, the Oak Harbor Library will resume regular hours although it may be chilly; heat will be restored to the library sometime that day. There will be limited access to the parking area on Dec. 28 and the meeting room will remain closed until the project is complete.

During construction, library customers may consider accessing library materials online or visiting other Sno-Isle Libraries community libraries. The nearest is the Coupeville Library, 788 NW Alexander St., Coupeville, WA 98239.


Voters will see new Lake Stevens Library on Feb. 14 ballot

Originally published Dec. 7, 2016

If voters approve two related measures on the Feb. 14 election ballot, work will start on a new Lake Stevens Library near this corner at 99th Avenue NE and Market Place.

A new Lake Stevens Library will be on the ballot in February.

“There will be two questions for voters,” said Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, Executive Director of Sno-Isle Libraries. “First, create a Library Capital Facilities Area; second, build a new, larger library.”

Both questions will be on the ballot for the Feb 14, 2017 mail-only election. Ballots will be mailed Jan. 26. With the approval of both measures, work on a new library would start as soon as possible, Woolf-Ivory said.

The two Feb. 14 ballot measures would:

  1. Create a Library Capital Facilities Area and define the boundaries as mirroring those of the Lake Stevens School District.
  2. Approve funding to build a new library.

Voters living within the proposed Library Capital Facilities Area (LCFA) will see both measures on their ballot. Both measures must pass for a new library to move forward. By state law, an LCFA can only fund library construction and once a library is paid for, the LCFA is dissolved.

If approved, a new library would be built near the corner of 99th Avenue NE and Market Place where Sno-Isle Libraries purchased land earlier this fall. The current Lake Stevens Library is in a building owned by the City of Lake Stevens in the downtown area. The city plans to demolish some city-owned buildings in that area as part of the downtown subarea plan. Lake Stevens Mayor John Spencer has said he supports a new, larger library in the proposed location.

10-year capital facilities plan recommends replacing the current Lake Stevens Library. The plan, approved in June by the Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees, says the facility is too small to meet existing and future community needs. In public comments gathered for the plan, community members said that a new larger library should offer more books and other materials, group study spaces, a children’s area, a meeting room, computers, space for programs, quiet reading areas and community gathering space.

In 2008, voters in the City of Lake Stevens approved joining the Sno-Isle Library District. Residents outside the then-city limits were already part of the library district. Funding from the 2008 vote helps cover Lake Stevens Library operating costs, but not a new facility and the current building remains owned by the city.

Apprenticeship classes can lead to careers

Originally published Dec. 5, 2016

Workforce Snohomish logo

Most of the time when the word “career” is mentioned, the word “college” is close by.

Bill Gable is offering another word: “Apprenticeship.”

“My role is to go out and promote apprenticeships,” said Gable, an Education and Employment Navigator with Workforce Snohomish. “I talk to people, analyze their situation and help the person qualify. I connect them with partners and help them address barriers like tools or application fees or union dues.

“Our flyer asks if you are interested in a career instead of job.”

For the past month, Gable has been presenting information about apprenticeships and career opportunities at Sno-Isle Libraries community libraries. There are two free scheduled events remaining, including:

  • Dec. 12, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Darrington Library
  • Dec. 14, 6-7 p.m., at the Lynnwood Library

Gable says there are hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities out there. Part of his job is to match interests, skills and abilities of applicants with industries and openings. Gable said he likes to present everything to everyone and let them choose their path.

“The grant I’m working on now for advanced manufacturing and maritime careers has 13 sponsors, but there are apprenticeships for just about anything you’d like to do,” he said. “My presentation at these workshops is to give a general overview on how to get into an apprenticeship, what that means, what are the requirements and things like required documents, the application process, the selection process and timeline.

“It helps you find out if an apprenticeship program is right for you.”

Workforce Snohomish represents a broad cross section of local community members interested in workforce development issues. Workforce Snohomish oversees the implementation, local planning and management of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in Snohomish County.

Sno-Isle Libraries hosts classes and programs such as those provided by Workforce Snohomish as part of its strategic focus to build economically sound communities through workforce readiness.

Science programs for kids at 19 libraries during winter break

Originally published Dec. 5, 2016

Science programs for school-age children will be provided by Imagine Children's Museum at 19 Sno-Isle Libraries community libraries in December and January.

Schools may take a winter break, but science marches on at Sno-Isle Libraries.

The Imagine Children’s Museum is providing programs for school-age children at 19 community libraries from Dec. 19-30 and at Darrington Library on Jan. 11.

There will be seven subject areas, including: Creature Features, a look at wild mammals of the Pacific Northwest; Fossilology, examining fossils and how to learn their origins; I Can’t Believe My Eyes, the science behind optical illusions; Rockin’ Rollercoasters, engineer your own roller-coaster model and learn about kinetic energy; Solids, Liquids and Chemical Creations, all about the properties of matter and experimenting with non-Newtonian substances; Topsy Turvy, the physics behind and the use of tops; Tree Treasures, exploring the anatomy and environmental significance of trees.

Space may be limited and registration is suggested.

Imagine Children’s Museum is a community-based organization that promotes learning and growing through play for children ages 1-12.

Sno-Isle Libraries values literacy and learning and hosts classes and programs such as those provided by Imagine Children’s Museum as part of its strategic focus to build literate communities and coordinate programs addressing community needs and interests.

The Imagine Children’s Museum science programs include:

Creature Features

Investigate Pacific Northwest wild mammals and their habitats. Discover the unique features that help animals thrive in their environment.

  • Marysville Library – Thursday, Dec. 29, 11 a.m.-noon


Examine how fossils form, decipher different types of fossils, and use clues to investigate their origins.

  • Arlington Library – Monday, Dec. 19, 10-11 a.m.
  • Oak Harbor – Wednesday, Dec. 21, 10-11 a.m.

I Can't Believe My Eyes

Learn the science behind optical illusions and experience the tricks our brains can play on us.

  • Camano Island Library – Monday Dec. 19, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Lynnwood Library – Thursday Dec. 22, 10-11 a.m.

Rockin' Rollercoasters

Learn about potential and kinetic energy as you engineer a rollercoaster model!

  • Mukilteo Library – Thursday, Dec. 22, 2-3 p.m.
  • Coupeville – Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2-3pm
  • Snohomish Library – Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2-3 p.m.
  • Stanwood Library – Thursday, 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Edmonds Library – Friday, Dec. 30, 2-3 p.m.
  • Darrington Library – Wednesday, Jan. 11, 1-2 p.m.

Solids, Liquids and Chemical Creations

Investigate the properties of matter and experiment with non-Newtonian substances.

  • Granite Falls Library – Monday, Dec. 19, 2-3 p.m.
  • Lake Stevens Library – Wednesday, Dec. 28, 10-11 a.m.
  • Brier Library – Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2-3 p.m.

Topsy Turvy

Learn the cultural, historical and scientific significance of tops, and use them to test balance, motion, gravity and energy.

  • Mountlake Terrace Library – Wednesday Dec. 21, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Langley Library – Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2-3 p.m.
  • Sultan Library – Wednesday, Dec. 28, 10-11 a.m.

Tree Treasures

Explore the cultural and environmental significance of trees and their many surprising by-products, investigate the anatomy of a tree, and create your own treasure.

  • Monroe Library – Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2-3 p.m.
  • Freeland Library – Thursday, Dec. 29, 2-3 p.m.

Stained glass at Camano Island Library a window on craftsmanship

Originally published Dec. 2, 2016

A Goldfinch Brothers employee sandwiches one of 12 panes of stained glass between two layers of clear glass to create an insulated window for the Camano Island Library. Photo gallery

When great care is taken to create art, great care is called for when that art needs a bit of repair and the stained-glass window at the Camano Island Library is getting great care.

 “The window has leaked since we opened and with the heavy rain, it was getting worse,” said library branch manager David Menard.

Jeanne Crisp, Director of Facilities & Special Projects for Sno-Isle Libraries, knew the leak had to be fixed, but she also wanted to save the window if at all possible and started looking for help. Little did Crisp know that her Request for Proposal would tap into a small group of local businesses and craftsmen with the skills and commitment to preserve the art.

The window is by Camano Island resident and artist Jack Archibald, commissioned for the former Islanders Restaurant by then-owner and Camano Island Coffee Roasters entrepreneur Jeff Ericson. When the restaurant closed, the library bought and renovated the building and kept the window.

First, Crisp brought in Archibald.

“Getting that window out was a fairly major undertaking,” Archibald said. “I told them they could just smash it up.”

There would be no smashing.

Titled “Frozen Explosion,” the window, actually a 12-window mural, uses “dichroic glasses and flashed mouth-blown Fremont glasses (to) change radically depending on the viewer’s position,” according to Archibald’s website. “When you look at it from one side, it is cold and blue and the other side is amber and warm,” Archibald said. “I wanted it to look a certain way during the day and a certain way at night.”

When Crisp opened the bids for the work that included removal, restoration and re-installation, the clear winner was Cobra Construction Co., Inc. of Everett. Which turns out to be fitting because libraries and stained glass are both labors of love for owner Jack Walkley.

“If you like stained glass, you’re drawn to them,” Walkley said. “We get involved in churches and special projects that most people don’t want anything to do with.”

And Walkley’s mother was a librarian.  “My mother started out with the bookmobile,” he said. “She was always reading.”

When Walkley gets a stained-glass project, he knows who to call: Stan Price at Covenant Glass and Eddie Perez at Goldfinch Brothers, both in Everett.

“There are a few of us old guys who do it,” Walkley said. “Stan won't do it for everybody, but we go back 40 years. And then, we call Eddie.”

Price makes his part of the project sound simple: “Walkley brought me the windows to clean them.”


“No, no, no ammonia,” Price says in quick response. “We use a spray cleaner with no ammonia. Then we clean each and every piece of glass on both sides. Those windows have some really nice glass in them.”

And then on to Goldfinch to be sandwiched into specially made insulated windows.

“The work is time-consuming,” said retail sales manager Brandi Hoskins. “We work a lot with Covenant Art Glass. We do this all by hand so the art can be displayed safely and last a long time.” 

Walkley says it’s all about experience and good people.

“You learn a few things along the way,” he said. “We have good people, and Jack Archibald is good-people, too.”

Library branch manager Menard said getting the artwork out turned out to be pretty noisy and fully expects putting it back in will be noisy, too.

“They had to build a platform up by the window,” Menard said. “The workers did the very best they could, but it involved a lot of hammering. What was a little funny is that when they weren’t banging away, the workers spoke to each other in whispers because they were in a library.”

The timetable to put the windows back is weather dependent, needing two consecutive dry days.

“When the reinstallation happens, customers should expect it to be noisy again,” Menard said. Maybe noisy in the short run, but drier in the long run.

Sno-Isle Libraries closed Nov. 24

Originally published Nov. 18, 2016

Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving Day. Regular hours will resume Friday, Nov. 25. See locations & hours.

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries reaches the world

Originally published Nov. 18, 2016

TEDx photo
Harshu Musunuri, a junior at Jackson High School in Mill Creek, on stage during TEDxSnoIsleLibraries, Nov. 18 at Edmonds Center for the Arts. Photo gallery

Livestream viewing

The video of the livestream will be available for viewing through Nov. 20. The individual speaker videos will be posted later this fall.

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries has quickly become the locally focused event with a global reach.

“As a library, we’re passionate about information, whether that information is in a book, or on a DVD, or online or even live on a stage,” said Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, executive director of Sno-Isle Libraries. “Our purpose for this event has always been to share ideas that come from our communities, with our communities."

The second iteration of TEDxSnoIsleLibraries took place Friday, Nov. 18. Standing on the round red spot made famous by TED talks, 17 presenters and two special guests went on stage at Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) to share personal stories and insights under the theme of “Transformations.”

While more than 800 people filled ECA’s seats, the information from the event went well-beyond those walls by streaming the live video online.

“We had more than 1,400 connections to the livestream,” said Ken Harvey, Sno-Isle Libraries communications director and TEDxSnoIsleLIbraries licensee. “We hosted the livestream in 13 of our libraries and four additional community sites, but others in 140 cities across 19 countries - Algeria to United Arab Emirates - also saw these inspiring, transformational messages online.”

Woolf-Ivory said those numbers support her feeling that, “TEDxSnoIsleLibraries is truly a library without walls.”

The day got off to a rousing start with a guest appearance by 2015 TEDxSnoIsleLibraries alumnus, rap musician Xola Malik. This year, Malik brought his son, Mattias, on stage to help get the audience on their feet and bouncing to his rhythms.

In the afternoon, special guest Bridget Foley, an author and actor, invited the audience on an emotional journey with the presentation of a story she wrote for Humanities Washington.

Between presentations and during breaks, attendees at ECA could go to the IdeaLab, an area that included interactive opportunities provided by the some of the 34 creative and innovative organizations that provided event support.

Among the 17 presenters were two high-school students, Radhika Dalal, a senior at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo; and Harshu Musunuri, a junior at Jackson High School in Mill Creek.

Both of the young women are science-focused. Dalal is an intern at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, while Musunuri interned at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is a student researcher at a University of Washington chemical engineering lab. Both presentations focused on the humanity of science and the hope of building a better world, and, both received standing ovations.

One attendee, a retired teacher from Everett, summed up the experience of many in the audience.

“What wonderful day,” Linda Smith said. “I had to go before my heart exploded from joy. Thank you so much for providing me the opportunity to attend. Professional, expertly executed and more than anything, a beacon for all things good about humanity.”

ComicCon at the Snohomish Library presents ‘all kinds of fun’

Originally published Nov. 14, 2016

(This article was published Monday, Nov. 14, 2016 in The Daily Herald newspaper and posted online at

Snohomish Library ComicCon photo
Chloe Taton (at left) talks with Shane Harris during the Sno-Isle ComicCon on Sunday morning at the Snohomish Library. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

By Sharon Salyer

SNOHOMISH — The library opened more than three hours early Sunday to welcome kids and adults dressed up as super heroes. They walked into a room with the Evergreen Community Orchestra playing tunes from “Star Trek” and “Star Wars.”

Conor Griffin, 10, of Everett, was One Punch Man, dressed in a yellow jump suit, red glove and boots.

Sister Keira Griffin, 7, was dressed as Princess Unicorn, but there was just one problem. She wasn’t crazy about wearing the costume’s headband, which included a unicorn’s horn.

They were among the nearly 100 people participating Sunday in a ComicCon event at the Snohomish Library. It’s thought to be the biggest such event sponsored at Sno-Isle Libraries.

“Who doesn’t like dressing up every now and then?” said librarian Grant Perrigo, whose costume was Mr. Incredible from the Disney movie “The Incredibles.”

The event included “typical ComicCon stuff,” Perrigo said, such as a costume contest, a photo station, and virtual reality video games.

Dressing up as a character is part of ComicCon events scheduled around the nation, including Emerald City ComicCon in Seattle.

“A lot of times they sell out or they’re too far to travel to, and they cost money,” Perrigo said.

He and librarians from Monroe and Lake Stevens wanted an event that was free, with its targeted audience being kids and teens.

That didn’t stop adults from participating. Shane Harris, 50, who drove up from Tacoma costumed as the outer planetary character Dakkon Knox. His helmet had both a cooling system and a way to amplify words so he could hear comments from people who gathered around him.

Part of Sunday’s Comicon event encouraged participants to award tickets to people they thought had winning costumes in three categories: best homemade costume, most imaginative and best overall. Kids eagerly walked up to Harris to hand him their tickets.

ComicCon events “are all kinds of fun,” Harris said. “I have three or four costumes — all ‘Star Wars’ based.”

Kathryn Orbino, 15, of Lake Stevens, was dressed as Kiki from the “Kiki Delivery Service” movie, with a big red bow in her hair, black dress, orange purse and holding a broom.

Orbino said she enjoys dressing up as a character whose personality she likes. Kiki, she said, “doesn’t give up; she’s happy.”

Raelene Mock, 17, came from Arlington as a warrior elf. “She likes to be in the woods and take care of others,” she explained.

Perrigo said he hoped that the event demonstrates the variety of materials the library has to offer, including ComicCon-themed DVDs, comic books and books.

Some of those attending took the opportunity to check out and take home some of those materials.

Emily Felt, a teen librarian at the Monroe Library, dressed in a homemade costume of R2D2 from “Star Wars.” She beamed as she looked around the room.

“It’s kind of like a second Halloween,” she said. “Costumes, candy. I’m having a great time.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486;

Partners join TEDxSnoIsleLibraries in serving community

Originally published Nov. 14, 2016

When Sno-Isle Libraries officials considered getting into TEDx, a key criteria was that the effort must be community-focused.

“The TEDx model allows us to both serve and partner with our communities,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory. “These events are significant undertakings and we knew we’d need help. We are honored by the response from the creative and innovative organizations who have joined us.”

For the inaugural TEDxSnoIsleLibraries in 2015, 22 businesses and agencies joined Sno-Isle Libraries and the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation to bring forth 23 innovative and interesting community members with, as the TED mantra says, “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

“What we’ve found is that there are a lot of people who want to create connected communities and TEDxSnoIsleLibraries provides a venue for engagement,” said Ken Harvey, Sno-Isle Libraries Communications Director and TEDxSnoIsleLibraries licensee.

For the 2016 event, 12 more partners joined the original group bringing the total to 34 business and agencies contributing more than $120,000 in financial and in-kind support.

 “TEDxSno-IsleLibraries brings together people to honor and celebrate the talent, achievements and resources we have in our community,” said Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. “We share those same goals of connecting our community and celebrating the local spirit.”

Paul Pitre, Chancellor for WSU North Puget Sound at Everett Chancellor, said, “Partnering with Sno-Isle Libraries makes sense for us. The TEDxSnoIsleLibraries event and WSU are both focused on the people and ideas that come from the communities we serve.”

That a library district would provide the catalyst for such an event is innovative. Sno-Isle Libraries received a 2016 Innovator award from the Urban Libraries Council, an organization for the nation’s largest public library systems.

Woolf-Ivory said TEDxSnoIsleLibraries may be innovative, but not out of step with the library district and values, purpose, core services and strategic focus.

“It’s critical to the purpose and values of the library district to make this event free for everyone, ensuring free and equal access to information and ideas,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Because at its essence, TEDx is a library without walls providing ideas worth spreading.”

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016 partners

Organizations that partner with TEDxSnoIsleLibraries help transform communities and the marketplace through the power of ideas. The partners are innovating examples for their industry as well as our community. Their contributions cover the cost of staging a world-class event with free admission:

The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation provides a way for people to help their community libraries through private donations, enabling excellence beyond what is possible through public funds alone.

The Daily Herald, with its website,, has been the leading news and information source in Everett and Snohomish County for more than a century.

The Everett-based law firm of Anderson Hunter emphasizes efficient, comprehensive, and cost effective service for clients in a number of practice areas.

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines along with its sister airline Horizon Air, is part of the Alaska Air Group and has the highest customer satisfaction for nine consecutive years.

Edmonds Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization that presents an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world. Host of the mainstage TEDxSnoIsleLibraries event.

United Way of Snohomish County transform lives by bringing people, resources, and strategy together to solve our community's toughest challenges. They are working with other organization to determine solutions to break the cycle of poverty.

Community Transit is at the forefront of helping Snohomish County residents think transit first and a public transportation leader for the Puget Sound region.

The Pacific Northwest’s reader-supported, independent, non-profit electronic journal provides readers with the facts and analysis to intelligently participate in civic discourse on politics, culture and technology.

Coastal has a strong commitment to customer engagement and the longevity of their valued relationships.They prosper when you prosper.

A vibrant, urban city with a compact, walkable downtown area, Edmonds also preserves many characteristics of its historic origins along with access to a waterfront community.  The City has a strong commitment to community engagement, sustainability, diversity and economic development.

Edmonds Community College strengthens our diverse community by helping students access educational and career opportunities in a supportive environment that encourages success, innovation, service and lifelong learning.  Community viewing site for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries.

The Everett Clinic, part of DaVita, makes lives better together through health and healing with providers and staff doing what is right for each patient.

Economic Alliance Snohomish County is a catalyst for economic vitality resulting in stronger communities, increased job creation, expanded educational opportunities, and improved infrastructure.

The downtown Edmonds business improvement district is focused and funded to ensure downtown stays lively, attractive and prosperous.

Everett Community College educates more than 19,000 students every year at several locations in Snohomish County, with most students and faculty at the main campus in north Everett. Community viewing site for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries.

FIRST Washington inspires all young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills.

Heritage Bank directs decision-making in four fundamental areas: customers, communities, employees and shareholders. The community bank focuses on building lasting relationships to help customers reach financial goals.

Innovative is driven by the same mission as their customers: to provide the best service possible to library patrons.

In addition to operating and managing the Future of Flight, the Institute embraces the important role of stewardship of an active and healthy culture of philanthropy.

The ICEDC fosters economic balance that preserves the county’s rural character while providing business, employment, and quality of life opportunities for its residents.

KSER enriches our community through local, independent public radio and other services dedicated to arts, education, ideas and civic engagement.

Leadership Snohomish County is the place to go for leadership development in our region, convening public, private and nonprofit leadership.

OverDrive is an early leader in the digital content industry, working closely with libraries to deliver through the internet.

With a winning formula of quick service and reasonable prices, small enough to cater to individual customers as well as some of the largest corporations in the Northwest.

The Snohomish County Arts Commission cultivates and enhances a vibrant community of artists and arts organizations by connecting citizens with a range of cultural opportunities to celebrate, appreciate and participate in the diverse arts and culture of the County.

Snohomish County PUD is the second largest publicly owned utility in Washington, serving more than 337,000 electric customers and about 20,000 water customers in Snohomish County and Camano Island. Community viewing site for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries.

The Snohomish Health District is an independent special purpose district responsible for public health in Snohomish County and is an essential community partner.

The Starbucks mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

With more than 5,000 students and 45 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the University of Washington Bothell is the fastest-growing four-year public university in the state of Washington.  They are committed to helping students succeed. Community viewing site for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries.

Family-owned and providing tailored comfort and energy saving solutions while committed to exceeding your expectations.

WSU North Puget Sound at Everett aligns with the economic development and vitality of the region and the state of Washington to prepare graduates for leadership in a rapidly changing and globally connected world.

Known for their dedication to excellence in the way they source, roast and develop our coffees to bring customers the best possible experience.

Whole Foods Market offers a place for tour community to shop where value is inseparable from values.

Sno-Isle Libraries ComicCon Nov. 13 at Snohomish Library

Originally published Nov. 8, 2016

Sno-Isle ComicCon posterWhat do the Evergreen Community Orchestra and Oculus Rift have in common?

They’ll both be part of Sno-Isle Libraries ComicCon from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 13 at the Snohomish Library.

“This comic-con is aimed at teens, but everyone is welcome,” said Grant Perrigo, Teen Librarian at the Snohomish Library. “We’re really excited to be able to stage this event using the main library and the community room before we open for normal business hours.”

For the uninitiated, ComicCon stands for comic book conference, but the events have become so much more. Perhaps the largest - and original - is in San Diego, but Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon draws tens of thousands over four days.

“We thought the Seattle and Bellingham comic-cons are great, but that there is room for a free event, closer to home and welcoming to teens,” Perrigo said. Sunday’s event in Snohomish is co-sponsored by the Monroe and Lake Stevens libraries, he said.

A unique feature of the Snohomish event will be live music provided by the Evergreen Community Orchestra, a volunteer community group with support from the Snohomish County Music Project.

“They will be playing music by John Williams from ‘Star Wars, ‘Star Trek’ and other sci-fi and fantasy-theme music,” Perrigo said. “The orchestra will be providing the musical score for our event.”

 There will also be an opportunity to experience virtual reality games with the use of two Oculus Rift equipment stations. “We’ve got three games loaded that will be great for all attendees,” Perrigo said. Other video games will be available and a board-game area will be set up for attendees to play.

A big part of comic-cons is dressing the part of a favorite character.

“It’s certainly not required, but we are encouraging people to come in costume,” Perrigo said, adding that there will be a costume contest, with a twist.

“Everyone will get a ticket which they can then give to the person wearing the costume they like best,” Perrigo said. “Of course, that person can keep them or use those tickets to vote for their favorite costume. We’ll have prizes for the winners.”

There will be a photo booth as well as booths exhibiting a variety of materials, much of it from the Sno-Isle Libraries collection. “We want people to know that we have a lot of the things that they like,” he said. “And, they can check it out for no charge.”

Attendees will get a Sno-Isle ComicCon badge and a map of the booths. Those who get stamps from the booths can then enter raffles during the event for prizes.

In the community room, T. Andrew Wahl, a comic book historian and instructor at Everett Community College, will give a presentation. There will also be a panel discussion on cosplay in the community room.

This event is co-sponsored by the Lake Stevens and Monroe Library with support from the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, and the Snohomish Friends of the Library.

Foundation supports TEDx at Future of Flight event

Originally published Nov. 7, 2016

The red X marks the spot on Friday, Nov. 4, for the Sno-Isle LIbraries Foundation sneak preview event at Future of Flight for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016. Photo gallery

Supporters of TEDxSnoIsleLibraries turned out Friday, Nov. 4, to meet the TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016 speakers, hear from the speaker Class of 2015 and get a peek “behind the curtain” to find out how speakers develop their talks.

“We’re thankful for the interest and support of this really fantastic event,” said Paul Pitkin, Executive Director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, which hosted the evening program at the Future of Flight at Paine Field in Mukilteo.

The event was billed as “Ideas Worth Celebrating - A TEDxSnoIsleLibraries Xclusive!” and drew more than 100 attendees. Among the highlights was a drawing for an unrestricted ticket from Alaska Airlines, a TEDxSnoIsleLibraries partner.

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016 is scheduled for 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. All seats for that venue have been reserved, but additional free opportunities to participate remain at many of the 17 livestream viewing sites.

Ken Harvey, Sno-Isle Libraries Communications Director and TEDxSnoIsleLibraries licensee, said he’s excited about the lineup of speakers for the Nov. 18 event.

“The speakers range in age from 16 to 64,” Harvey said. “They also range from a CEO to high-school students, from a horse trainer to a robotics team coach along with other backgrounds that serve as launching points for the ideas they will bring forth.”

Sno-Isle Libraries to open new library near Mariner High School

Originally published Nov. 3, 2016

Mariner Library location photo
The new Mariner Library will be just off 128th Street SW near the Albertson's store in leased space that had been used by a yoga studio.

A new public library is coming soon to the area near Mariner High School.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory. “If not for the recession, this library would have opened years ago. Now, we’re moving as quickly as possible to give this community the library service it deserves.”

The library district has leased space at 520 128th St. SW, Suite A9-10, Everett, WA  98204.

“The location is in a high-traffic shopping area, across the street from a transit center,” Woolf-Ivory said. “It’s also close to five elementary schools, a middle school

Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory with books that are destined for shelves at the new Mariner Library. 

and Mariner High School.”

The new Mariner Library will open with the full support of Mukilteo School District officials.

“The Mukilteo School District has been tremendously helpful in their enthusiasm to locate a demonstration library for this underserved community,” Woolf-Ivory said.

A survey of local school-district families showed 99 percent would like a library in this area.

“We’re very pleased to support Sno-Isle Libraries to increase public library services in the Mukilteo School District,” said Andy Muntz, manager of communications and public relations for the school district. “With programs from early literacy to workforce readiness, the library district is a strong partner in serving our community.”

Woolf-Ivory said the new facility will be open and serving customers in the first quarter of 2017. “I’d really like to open the doors in January. However, there is a lot of preparation that goes into opening a library so we’ll have to wait a bit before we can announce the opening date,” she said.

The 2016-25 Capital Facilities Plan adopted by the library district in June identifies the 128th Street/Mariner community as an “area of opportunity.” The area outlined in the plan is south of the Everett city limits, east of Paine Field and Mukilteo, west of Mill Creek and north of Lynnwood.

“There are 30,000 people living there,” Woolf-Ivory said.

The capital facilities plan calls for a library demonstration project that moves beyond current weekly library bookmobile services.

“It will be a full-service library,” Woolf-Ivory said. “We’ve signed a five-year lease and during that time, we’ll find out more about where and how a permanent facility should serve this community.”

Usage of the bookmobile service at the Mariner-area stop has been consistently strong over the past decade. The capital facilities plan noted that area residents have limited access to other libraries in south Snohomish County.

Community-leader comments in the capital facilities plan highlight the area as needing a library. Other public comments in the plan include:

  • The library should focus on meeting the needs of students from nearby schools.
  • The library should provide ample parking and be located with nearby public transit service.
  • Library space should be available for classes and programs such as English as Second Language, study areas and community meetings.
  • Area residents highly value access to technology and the internet.
  • Siting considerations should include repurposing or renovating an existing structure.

At least for now, the existing library district budget and the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation will shoulder half of the cost of the new library’s lease over the next five years.

“We deeply appreciate the Foundation and its donors for this tremendous commitment to the Mariner community,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Their generous support will make it very convenient for thousands of children and other residents to walk through the doors of a Sno-Isle library early next year.”

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries announces speakers for 2016 event

Originally published Nov. 1, 2016

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries speakers graphicThe speaker lineup for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016 is set.

“Through the nomination and review process, we’ve got what I believe will be an exciting, thought-provoking and transformational program,” said Ken Harvey, Sno-Isle Libraries Communications Director and TEDxSnoIsleLibraries licensee. “The audience will experience a line-up of individuals who will stand on a TEDx red circle on the Edmonds Center for the Arts stage and share ideas they hope to implant in your mind or heart.”

The event is scheduled for 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Nov. 18. Along with the live event at Edmonds Center for the Arts, 13 community libraries will host livestream viewing, including Camano Island, Coupeville, Darrington, Edmonds, Freeland, Granite Falls, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mukilteo, Oak Harbor, Snohomish and Stanwood. Also four partner sites will host livestream events, including Snohomish PUD auditorium, Everett; Everett Community College, Edmonds Community College and University of Washington Bothell. To ensure seating, registration is required for the Sno-Isle Libraries sites. Registration is not required for the four partner sites.

“We’ve heard some frustrations that we are just now announcing the speaker lineup, even though registration opened 20 days ago,” Harvey said. “This is something that sets TED and locally organized TEDx events, such as TEDxSnoIsleLibraries, apart from other conferences.

“TED and TEDx is about coming to hear something, not see someone,” Harvey said. “It is the promise of delivering and connecting with a day of ideas, not about speaker names, credentials or personalities.”

Still, Harvey said he’s pretty excited about who will be delivering those ideas.

“The speakers range in age from 16 to 64,” Harvey said. “They also range from a CEO to high-school students, from a horse trainer to a robotics team coach along with other backgrounds that serve as launching points for the ideas they will bring forth.”

Harvey also pointed out that the day is intended to be transformational for the speakers as well as those who hear and see them.

“The speakers are chosen by a team of Sno-Isle Libraries staff members, starting from a list of nominations that we solicit from the public,” Harvey said. “But that’s just the beginning. Once chosen, the speakers go through a substantial orientation and training to help hone the presentation of their messages.

“Many of the speakers from the 2015 event said this was one of the most valuable and transformational things they’d ever been involved in,” Harvey said.

The speakers for TEDx SnoIsle Libraries 2016 are:


Andre Feriante, flamenco guitarist, poet

Andre's career path was set at 13, when he first heard the flamenco guitar. He mastered the art and has blended it with classical and Brazilian styles. He has studied with Andres Segovia in Madrid, given a private performance at Carnegie Hall, and performed the National Anthem at a Seattle Sounders game. This concert performer has also released 14 albums. Andre is artistic director of Leavenworth's Guitar Euphoria Festival.

Andrew Ballard, growth Strategist

Andrew loves helping clients understand why listening to the voice of the customer is just as important as delivering great goods, products or services. He and his wife, Sandra Ballard, launched Marketing Solutions, a research-based growth strategies company, in 1997 and have clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Andrew is author of "Your Opinion Doesn't Matter."

Betty Smith, aerospace engineer, advocate

Betty is a lifelong learner with an insatiable curiosity for the sciences and neurosciences. Now a senior systems engineer in aerospace for Boeing, Betty has 38 years of management and leadership in a range of projects, including weapons design and ways to improve soldier survival on the battlefield.

Darcy Ottey, bridge-builder, gift-unleasher

Darcy spent her college years studying anthropology and sociology to develop an understanding of culture and social change theory. She has dedicated her life to helping young people open the door to deeper self-discovery and claim their gifts, skills and strengths. Darcy  was executive director of Journeys, an organization based in suburban Seattle, and more recently helped struggling Hawaiian teens through a gardening-based therapeutic program.

Dawn Shaw, author, speaker

Dawn is a public speaker and the author of a memoir, a web series and a blog in which she shares her unique experiences with adversity and advice on overcoming it. Her latest book is "Facial Shift." Dawn knows all about Icelandic horses, having spent years breeding, training and selling the beautiful animals. She owns Lone Cedar Icelandic Horses in Grapeview, Wash.

Ed Castro, musician, educator

Ed often heard the phrase "innovation through imitation" as a young musician, and the concept has defined his career. A founding member of the Mosaic Brass Quintet, he is both a freelance musician and a teacher at Soundview School. Ed is also a lecturer and affiliated artist at Pacific Lutheran University, where he performs with the Lyric Brass Quintet.

Ivette Bayo Urban, doctoral candidate, educator

Ivette is interested in how we teach with, and about, technology —especially as it relates to information equity, interdisciplinary learning, diversity and inclusion. She advocates for the role libraries play in supporting literacy and providing access to information for all. A doctoral candidate at the University of Washington, Ivette is a former middle school teacher from Miami.

Jeff Lynass, adviser, educator

Jeff excels at helping kids to reach their potential and find their passion for learning. He has taught and coached children from middle to senior high school for 21 years at Lake Stevens School District. He advises two robotics clubs and has been an event partner for the Western Washington State VEX Robotics competition for three years.

Karla Hawley, music therapist, overcomer

Karla seeks solitude in wilderness and playfulness in people's smiles.  She uses music therapy to build communities within assisted living and memory care facilities, and to treat people who have suffered from trauma. Karla directs music therapy services for the Snohomish County Music Project, working with families and intimate community circles of youth who are at risk, in legal trouble or on the streets.

Kevin Bowcutt, hypersonics scientist

Kevin has been on the leading edge of aerospace science for the last three decades, whether leading classes of advanced engineering students or scientists. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and member of the National Academy of Engineering. Highlights of his 30-year career include leading the team that designed reusable space launch vehicles with the National Aerospace Plane program and investigating the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Kevin is now at Boeing Research & Technology.

Matt Poischbeg, mixed martial arts fighter, VP

Matt believes that much of his success in life stems from life and technical skills acquired as an at-risk teenager in Germany. When he came to the Pacific Northwest as a young man, he parlayed those skills to move up from his mail room internship at Sea-Dog Corporation and now serves as vice president and general manager for sister company Sea-Lect Plastics.

Rachel Maxwell, CEO, adviser, crowdfunder

Rachel’s driving motivation is to put some love into finance. She co-founded Community Sourced Capital, which Entrepreneur Magazine listed among its Brilliant 100 companies to watch in 2015. Prior to cofounding the company, Rachel was Deputy Director of Renewable Energy & International Law, an organization bringing together select international leaders to create clean energy and climate policy solutions.

Radhika Dalal, student, TEDxYouth organizer

Radhika is a senior at Kamiak High School. As a first-generation American, she takes pride in her Indian heritage. She is an intern at the Institute for Systems Biology and aims to pursue a career in science. Radhika is also a licensee for TEDxYouth@KHS, an upcoming school event that will focus on Kairos, or “topics of the age.”

Rilee Louangphakdy, college student, storyteller

Rilee is committed to helping and motivating others to emerge from their teen years transformed by their experiences. He has shared his stories of personal loss and gain in a commencement speech, at the 2015 YMCA Minority Achievers Program banquet, and to students at the Marysville Getchell High School International School of Communications. Rilee is a Marysville Getchell 2015 graduate and Everett Community College sophomore.

Robert Hoyt, aerospace technologist, CEO

Rob loves overcoming the big technical hurdles that we face on our way to becoming a spacefaring civilization. He co-founded Tethers Unlimited Inc. in 1994, and built it into a research and development firm for space and defense. He is now building a spin-off, Firmamentum, to commercialize in-space manufacturing. Rob has won more grants from NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program than any other researcher.

Seconde Nimenya, author, diversity Leader

Seconde travels the world sharing a message of tolerance and peace, working to bridge the gaps between multicultural communities, and urging others to use the adversity in life to become better people. She advocates for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and education system. Seconde is author of “Evolving Through Adversity.” Her second book, “A Hand To Hold,” is a novel of love and redemption.

Sriharshita "Harshu" Musunuri, student, inventor, scientist

Harshu conducts research in thermoelectrics and has earned national recognition for her studies and invention. She was an intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is curriculum director of the non-profit Girls Rock in Science and Math. She is a 2016 Davidson Fellow Laureate, junior at Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek, and student researcher in a University of Washington chemical engineering lab.

Humanities Washington honors Sno-Isle Libraries with 2016 award

Originally published Oct. 26, 2016

Sno-Isle Libraries is the recipient of the 2016 Humanities Washington Award.

“We treasure our partnership with Humanities Washington and are thrilled to be honored with this award,” Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. The award was presented Oct. 7, at “Wildest Dreams” the 18th annual Seattle Bedtime Stories Fundraiser for Humanities Washington.

Sno-Isle Libraries was honored for its ongoing participation with Humanities Washington’s programming and support of authors and the arts in Washington.

“Part of our mission is to be a center for people, ideas and culture,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Our work with Humanities Washington helps us bring a cultural richness of experiences to the communities we serve that might not otherwise be available.”

Upcoming Sno-Isle Libraries events supported by the Humanities Washington speakers bureau include scholar Lance Rhoades’ multi-media exploration of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” The seasonally appropriate event debuted Oct 8 at the Sultan Library and can be seen again Oct. 20 at the Oak Harbor Library and Oct. 25 at the Freeland Library.  On Nov. 13, T. Andrew Wahl, an Everett Community College journalism instructor and Humanities Washington comic book historian, will present as part of Sno-Isle ComiCon at the Snohomish Library.

Sno-Isle Libraries is only the third organization honored by Humanities Washington in the past 20 years. Previous organizations receiving the award are the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane in 2009 and the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center in 1996.

The Humanities Washington award event at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel featured current Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, who spoke Sept. 30 at the Edmonds Library. Marshall along with National Book Award-winner Charles Johnson, “Hugo and Rose” author Bridget Foley and original music by the Bushwick Book Club. Several authors also debuted original short stories based on the evening’s theme, “Wildest Dreams.” Emcee for the evening was Garth Stein, author of “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”

There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library,
this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.
- Andrew Carnegie

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