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Apprenticeship classes can lead to careers
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 skills 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 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 the 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 those provided by Workforce Snohomish as part of its strategic focus to build economically sound communities through workforce readiness.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

  • Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

  • Kassy Rodeheaver, Lead Librarian – Business, 36-651-7017,
  • Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,
Science programs for kids at 19 libraries during winter break
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 at

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 those provided by Imagine Children’s Museum as part 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.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

  • Dawn Rutherford, Sno-Isle Libraries Teen Services Coordinator, 360-651-7069,
  • Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,
Stained glass at Camano Island Library a window on craftsmanship
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 do it for everybody, but we go back 40 years. And then, we call Eddie.”

Price makes his party 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.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,


TEDxSnoIsleLibraries reaches the world
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, Mattius, 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.”

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,

Partners join TEDxSnoIsleLibraries in serving community

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.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Sno-Isle Libraries ComicCon comes to Snohomish Library Nov. 13

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.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,


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

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,


TEDxSnoIsleLibraries announces speakers for 2016 event

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 along with four partner sites 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.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,

Sno-Isle Libraries asks February vote on new Lake Stevens Library
photo of Mayor John Spencer and Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees Chair Susan Cohn
Mayor John Spencer (left) and Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees Chair Susan Cohn on Sept. 27, at 99th Avenue NE and Market Place, the proposed site for a new, larger Lake Stevens Library.

A new, larger Lake Stevens Library could go to voters in February.

The Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees on Monday, Oct. 24, approved a resolution asking the Snohomish County Council to put two measures on the Feb. 14, 2017 ballot. If both measures are approved by voters, the library district would move ahead with building a new and much larger library to serve the rapidly growing Lake Stevens-area population.

“We’ve been working with the community on a new library since prior to 2001,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory. “I’m excited to be at the point to take this next step.”

In June, the library district finished a 10-year capital facilities plan that identified the current Lake Stevens Library, about 2,500 square feet, as too small to serve the community. With projected population growth in the City of Lake Stevens and surrounding areas, a larger facility in the neighborhood of 20,000 square feet is a top priority of the capital facilities plan.

The Lake Stevens downtown subarea plan process envisions the city-owned library building and at least some other city facilities moving out of downtown. In September, the library district agreed to buy property near 99th Avenue NE and Market Place, adjacent to a city-owned parcel. An agreement between city and library district calls on both parties to work together in developing the properties.

“The city and library district have worked closely to move this project forward,” Woolf-Ivory said. “We would not be at this point without the full support of Mayor (John) Spencer.”

The mayor said he sees a new library as a key resource for the community.

“The City is very excited at the prospect of a new library in Lake Stevens. It is an unmet need that is truly overdue. I look forward to working with the community on the election to fund our library” Mayor Spencer said.

The resolution passed Monday is a joint request to the county from the library district and the city. If approved by the county council, two library measures would go on the Feb. 14 ballot:

  1. Create a Lake Stevens Library Capital Facility Area with boundaries that mirror the Lake Stevens School District lines.
  2. Authorize building a new library and issue $17 million in bonds that would be paid back over 20 years by a property tax.

If approved, the bond would mean a levy of about 24.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. That’s about $86 a year for a $350,000 home.

“Both measures have to pass to move forward,” Woolf-Ivory said. “The first measure requires a simple majority, 50 percent plus one. The second measure would need 60 percent approval and the voter turnout must be at least 40 percent of those who vote in Nov. 8 General Election.”

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,

Pre-event for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries to take flight

TEDx event graphic

xClusive tickets

Day/Date: Friday, Nov. 4

Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Place: Future of Flight, 8415 Paine Field Blvd., Mukilteo, WA  98036

Tickets: Online at BrownPaperTickets, 

Talk about a hot ticket.

Just 24 hours after registration opened, every seat at the Edmonds Center for the Arts was reserved for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016.

Now, there’s a chance to get a pre-event glimpse thanks to the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation.

“The response to event registration was just overwhelming,” Foundation Executive Director Paul Pitkin said. “The foundation had been planning a small, private event prior to the TEDx for our donors. However, after speaking with library officials, we decided to significantly expand the program and invite the public.”

Pitkin’s vision will take off at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4, at the Future of Flight, in Mukilteo. Tickets are available online.

“We’re calling it, ‘Ideas Worth Celebrating: A TEDxSnoIsleLibraries xClusive,’” Pitkin said. He added that attendees will be able to:

  • Meet the 2016 speakers and learn the topics they will be discussing before anyone else.
  • Hear follow up talks from 2015 speakers about their personal and professional transformations.
  • Find out how the speakers develop their talks

“We’ll also have a TEDxSalon-style panel discussion with speakers from both 2015 and 2016,” Pitkin said. The two-hour event will include appetizers and beverages along with live music from past and present TEDxSnoIsleLibraries presenters.

“This is not a re-creation of the TEDxSnoIsleLibraries event on Nov. 18,” Pitkin said. “This is a peek behind the curtain of TEDx, meet the speakers and see how it's done.”

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

  • Paul Pitkin, Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation Executive Director, 360-651-7092,

  • Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,
Sno-Isle Libraries business librarian headed in the right direction

In March of 2016, Kassy Rodeheaver was attending her first SXSW conference.

In March of 2017, Rodeheaver will be presenting at the iconically cool, global gathering in Austin, Texas.

Photo Kassy Rodeheaver
Kassy Rodeheaver, Sno-Isle Libraries'
Lead Librarian for Business

“I couldn’t be more excited or honored,” said Rodeheaver, who is Sno-Isle Libraries’ Lead Librarian for Business. Rodeheaver and Jay Lyman from the Seattle Public Library received notice this week that SXSW (pronounced “south by southwest”) wants their presentation on how public libraries can help entrepreneurs for the event’s Interactive Festival in the “Startup Village.”

According the SXSW website, the Startup Village “brings together startups, entrepreneurs, investors and innovative tastemakers. Topics range from B2B, B2C, Bootstrapping, Business Strategy, Future of Money, Startups and anything in-between.”

Rodeheaver is familiar with the needs of entrepreneurs because she is one in the world of public libraries.

“Kassy is in a position that perhaps only a few libraries across the country have,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Deputy Director Kendra Trachta. “Our strategic focus says ‘We will build economically sound communities (through) entrepreneur and small business support and workforce readiness.’ The position of Lead Librarian for Business is dedicated to those outcomes.”

Rodeheaver started two years ago with those marching orders, but she was going to have to draw her own roadmap.

“I started learning about the market I wanted to serve, reaching out to potential partners, shaking hands, saying ‘hello’ and building a network,” Rodeheaver said. ”Many of the same things entrepreneurs do, or should do.”

In collaboration with business experts and other agencies, Rodeheaver launched a series of business classes this fall that cover a range of skills needed for startup businesses. “We’re offering ‘Steps to Starting a New Business’ and subjects such as ‘SEO and Getting Your Business to Rank on Google,’” Rodeheaver said.

The no-charge classes introduce attendees to the free resources available through Sno-Isle Libraries, which is also the subject of the SXSW conference presentation.

“Our presentation is called ‘Validate Market Share Without Breaking the Bank,’” Rodeheaver said. “Entrepreneurs may have a great idea, but it takes finding a market to make it a great business.”

The trick is that regardless of need, market research can be financially out of reach for a startup business. Rodeheaver is introducing local startups to what she says is a forgotten secret to business success: market research help from the public library.

“This region ranks near the top in the U.S. for entrepreneurship and business startups,” Rodeheaver said. “Library customers can access amazing market research databases and other resources related to business as a part of our regular services.”

Next March, Rodeheaver and Lyman will be letting that little secret out of the bag at SXSW.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

  • Kassy Rodeheaver, Lead Librarian for Business, 360-651-7017,

  • Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,


Kiwanis help third-graders learn how to look it up
Jack LaPoint at Mill Creek Elementary on Oct. 11. Photo gallery

No matter what the question, Jack LaPoint has the answer.

“Look it up,” he says. “If you know how to look things up, you can be the smartest person in the world.”

It’s a message LaPoint has been bringing to third-graders for 10 years as part of an annual dictionary giveaway sponsored by the Silver Lake Kiwanis and supported by Sno-Isle Libraries. On Oct. 11, LaPoint and fellow Kiwanian Jill Fraley brought dictionaries and the message to students at Mill Creek Elementary.

“Yes, we’re Jack and Jill and, no, we didn’t plan it that way,” LaPoint says to giggles from the crowd. LaPoint uses humor, but the core of his message is serious. It’s clear his squirmy-but-attentive audience sitting cross-legged on the lunchroom floor is listening when he taps his head and calls it the greatest super-computer in the world.

“And you’ve got one, too,” he says. “Yours is the newer model, but mine is still pretty good.”

Then come the books.

LaPoint, Fraley and the teachers hand out brand-new copies of “A Student’s Dictionary,” purchased by the Kiwanis from the With each dictionary, there is also a “Why Get a Library Card for a Child” and Homework Help brochures from Darlene Weber, Mill Creek Library Managing Librarian. He also provides Sno-Isle Libraries’ Homework Help posters for use in the students’ classrooms. LaPoint is also a Mill Creek Library Ambassador.

“This is a dictionary and it’s yours to keep forever and ever,” LaPoint tells the new owners, some with noses buried in the smell of the new, previously unopened book. “There’s a sticker inside where you can write your name and make this book yours.”

LaPoint introduces the students to their new books, shows them how to find information and pointing out it is more than just a dictionary.

“This book includes the Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, maps and information about all 50 states,” he says. LaPoint urges the students to look up at least one thing a day, then go home and quiz their parents.

This year, LaPoint will visit more than 20 schools in the area, including all the Everett School District elementaries and about 10 private schools. “We’ll hand out 2,000 dictionaries,” he said.

Despite the obvious enjoyment that both LaPoint and the students get from the program, this will likely be its final year, he said.

“Our Kiwanis club has voted to disband; we’re down to just nine members,” LaPoint said. “I didn’t want to, but that was the vote. I think I’ll go try to start a club in Mill Creek.”

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,

Earthquake expert coming to five libraries
Sandi Doughton  photo
Seattle Times science reporter Sandi Doughton

As part of the Great Washington Shakeout, Seattle Times science reporter Sandi Doughton will speak at five Sno-Isle Libraries community libraries on how to be safe during big earthquakes.

Doughton is author of “Full-Rip 9.0: The next big earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.” Along with her presentation, “Shake, Rattle & Rebound,” Doughton will lead discussions of the earthquake risks in the region, the potential impact of a major quake on people and economy, and ways to better prepare for those impacts, both individually and collectively.

Doughton is scheduled to speak at:

All events are free and open to the public.

Sno-Isle Libraries is participating in The Great Washington Shakeout, part of an annual national earthquake awareness campaign billed as “the world’s largest earthquake drill.” At 10:20 a.m. on Oct. 20, customers visiting many of its community libraries may take part in a drill called “Drop, Cover and Hold On!”

Displays of disaster-preparedness books, posters and other literature are available now in the libraries. Information also library district’s website at It features books on the subject, quick links to other online resources, and a news feed of earthquake stories.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Washington’s Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services, and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Jim Hills, Public Information Manager

Challenge prompts Island County teens to get down to business
Student entrepreneur Challenge logo

Teens in Island County have a chance to build real businesses and earn cash prizes in the second annual Student Entrepreneur Challenge.

The challenge is a hands-on business learning opportunity organized by the Island County Economic Development Council Foundation and supported by Sno-Isle Libraries and the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. Teens form teams and then choose a product or service, do research,
write a business plan, market the goods or services and actually run their business for one week in November.

“It’s really impressive how motivated these students are to successfully manage their own businesses,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Lead Librarian for Business Kassy Rodeheaver, who along with others will teach team members how to use free business research tools available through Sno-Isle Libraries.

“Last year during the competition, the student-run businesses sold over $3,000 in product and services in one week. I know some small business owners who would love to have those sales numbers,” Rodeheaver said.

In 2015, teams launched businesses selling items such as candy and candles and providing services including baking, catering, landscaping and taking portraits of high-school seniors who couldn’t afford professional photographs. The 2015 winning team from Oak Harbor made more than $1,000 during the challenge week by selling breakfast items and conducting a raffle at Oak Harbor High School.

Teams are assigned mentors from local businesses to advise them during the challenge. Challenge sponsors include US Bank, Whidbey Coffee, Whidbey Island Bank, Brandman University, The Star Store, The Goose Community Grocer, Puget Sound Energy, Valentine Medical, Spoiled Dog Winery and Greater Freeland Chamber of Commerce.

To enter, Whidbey and Camano island teens can form teams with three to five members in grades 9-12 as well as home-schooled students. Then, complete and submit the online application before the 4 p.m., Oct. 19, deadline. Teams are required to attend one of four training meetings scheduled for:

Teams will do market research and write business plans by Nov. 13. From Nov. 14-20, the teams will operate their businesses and then submit their business plans, bibliography and financial reports by 4 p.m., Nov. 21.

Challenge officials and sponsors will announce winners and celebrate all of the young entrepreneurs at an awards event in December.  Cash awards include a grand prize of $250 per winning team member, $100 for the business that officials believe has the greatest chance of continuing outside the challenge and $500 for the team that makes the best use of Sno-Isle Libraries resources in their business.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Washington’s Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services, and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Humanities Washington honors Sno-Isle Libraries with 2016 award

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.”

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Washington’s Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services, and Library on Wheels.

For more information

  • Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,
Sno-Isle Libraries garners 'Top Innovator' award for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries

Sno-Isle Libraries has been recognized by a leading library organization for its inaugural TEDxSnoIsleLibraries event, held in November 2015.

Library district executive director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory accepted the Top Innovator award from the Urban Libraries Council on Oct. 6, at the council’s annual forum in Kansas City, Missouri. 

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries Transformations logo

“We launched TEDxSnoIsleLibraries as an opportunity to bring people together, to share ideas and transform our communities in that process,” Woolf-Ivory said. “We’re humbled to receive this award and energized to know that our work is not only meeting the needs of our communities, but seen as valuable by our peers, the best and biggest libraries in North America.”

Woolf-Ivory also noted that the award is timely.

“On Monday (Oct. 10), registration opens for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016, which is scheduled for Nov. 18,” Woolf-Ivory said. “The 2015 event was a powerful day and I’m sure this year’s lineup of speakers and experiences will be just as transformational.”

The Urban Libraries Council serves as a forum for library leadership to produce innovative ideas and best practices that ensure community impact. Member libraries are based in the United States and Canada, and include the largest systems, such as those in New York and Los Angeles.

"Today's public libraries are thought leaders, educational institutions and technology centers that play a critical role in building and strengthening the fabric of their communities," said Susan Benton, Urban Libraries Council president and CEO.

Sno-Isle Libraries was one of 10 libraries honored for their innovative work in specific areas. The Sno-Isle Libraries award is in the “Positioning the Library” category. Other top award winners include:

  • Race and Social Equity - St. Paul (Minnesota) Public Library
  • Civic and Community Engagement - King County (Washington) Library System
  • Health, Safety and Sustainability - San Francisco (California) Public Library
  • Organizational Change and Strategic Management - Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Libraries
  • Learning: Birth through Teens - San Mateo (California) County Libraries
  • Learning: Adults - Queens (New York) Library
  • Collections - Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County (Ohio)
  • Customer Experience - Wichita (Kansas) Public Library
  • Workforce and Economic Development - Rochester (New York) Public Library


About Sno-Isle Libraries
Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Washington’s Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services, and Library on Wheels.

For more information, contact:
Jim Hills, Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,


Speaker to explore women's changing political influence (rescheduled for Oct. 29)

Jeanne Kohl-Welles

(Update: Due to weather conditions on Oct. 15, this program has been rescheduled for Oct. 29 at 10 a.m.)

LANGLEY, Wash.  —  What motivated women in Washington state to buck social norms and pursue political leadership roles?

Jeanne Kohl-Welles will answer that question and more in her Oct. 15 presentation at Langley Library, 104 Second St. Her talk, “Women as Political Change Agents,” will start at 10 a.m. It is free and open to the public.

Kohl-Welles will engage with the audience to examine the development and influence of women’s leadership roles from the late 1800s to the present. She will include a parallel examination of male leadership roles and discuss what is needed to increase representation of women in politics today.

Kohl-Welles is a member of the King County Council. Before being elected to that position in 2015, she served in the Washington state Senate for 21 years. Since 1985, she has taught women’s studies, sociology and education courses as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Washington. So co-founded Win With Women, which supports the election of women to the Washington state Legislature.

Her Langley talk is supported by Humanities Washington and Friends of the Langley Library.

About the sponsors

Humanities Washington,, sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across our state.

Sno-Isle Libraries,, serves 728,745 residents in Washington’s Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services, and Library on Wheels.


For more information, contact:
Vicky Welfare, Langley Library Branch Manager, 360-221-4383,

Sno-Isle Libraries hosts Indie Author Day events, fall classes for writers

Sno-Isle Libraries will join almost 300 libraries across the U.S. and Canada on Saturday, Oct. 8, to celebrate the inaugural Indie Author Day with free public events. Sno-Isle Libraries will feature three classes aimed at aspiring and published authors.

Indie Author Day

The classes are part of the library district’s Write Now series of 32 fall classes covering all aspects of writing and publishing for aspiring and established authors, whether their interest is in traditional or independent publishing.  

This Saturday’s classes and presenters will be:

  • "Make Writing a Business: Nitty-Gritty of Being an Author Entrepreneur" by Maya Sullivan, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Stanwood Library, 9701 271st St NW, Stanwood, WA.
  • "Self-Publishing 101: Basics & Best Practices" by Joy Burke, 1 - 2:30 p.m., Lake Stevens Library, 1804 Main St., Lake Stevens, WA  
  • "Poems from Postcards (and Other Found Texts)" by Amanda Laughtland, 2 - 3:30 p.m., Brier Library, 23303 Brier Rd, Brier, WA.

The full list of fall classes is available online at

“We know that throughout our communities there is a real interest in learning about writing and publishing. With our Write Now series and Indie Author Day, we hope to address that interest and connect writers with library resources and each other to create an environment that facilitates their publishing dreams,” said Jackie Parker, Sno-Isle’s lead librarian for Readers’ Services.

Parker encourages writers to watch a live streaming presentation featuring publishing industry leaders that will be posted at at 11 a.m. Saturday. Library customers can watch the event from their personal devices or from one of Sno-Isle’s 600 free public computers.

The Indie Author Day website helps libraries and authors stay connected throughout the year.

For more information about the events, contact Jackie Parker, lead librarian for Readers’ Services,


About Sno-Isle Libraries
Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Washington’s Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services, and Library on Wheels.

For more information, contact:
Jackie Parker, Lead Librarian for Readers’ Services,, 360-651-7049


Grant helps bring award-winning author to Mariner High School
Matt de la Pena photo
Last Stop on Market Street book cover photo

On the basketball court and in life, Matt de la Peña knows something about taking the shot.

As a teenager, de la Peña says he dreamed of finger rolls in pickup games at San Diego’s Balboa Park. His persistence in pursuing that dream paid off, taking him 500 miles north and a world away to the University of the Pacific on a full-ride basketball scholarship.

A 6-foot-1 guard, de la Peña made an impact on the court, but what he found in the college classroom made an impact on his life. That’s where he was introduced to books like “The Color Purple,” “Their Eyes Were Watching God” and Junot Díaz’s “Drown.”

“When I finally fell for literature, I fell hard,” de la Peña said.

The self-described “half-Mexican hoop-head” earned a master’s degree in creative writing at San Diego State University and went from reading books to writing them.

In six young adult novels, de la Peña writes about what he knows in “Ball Don’t Lie,” “Mexican WhiteBoy,” “We Were Here,” “I Will Save You,” “The Living” and “The Hunted.” And this year, de la Peña received the Newbery Medal for his 2015 picture book, “Last Stop on Market Street.”

De la Peña’s stories, both in his books and his life, struck a chord with Mariner High School librarian Stephanie Wilson. Wilson was looking for a way to connect students with good role models and decided to try to get de la Peña to the school.

“There was an article he wrote on NPR a few years ago called ‘Sometimes the Tough Teen is Quietly Writing Stories,’” Wilson said. “I sent it to the English department and our principal. The principal said, ‘Get him here.’”

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Wilson’s own persistence will pay off when the author arrives for a full day of events with students and faculty. However, getting to this point wasn’t easy.

“I started applying for grants and got $1,500 from the Friends of the Mill Creek Library,” Wilson said.

Sue Ramsey, secretary of the Friends group, said the request was a bit unusual. “We have a professional development grant fund,” Ramsey said, adding that normally those requests are for teacher training opportunities. “This was for a whole school. We just thought this one was special.”

Still, more was needed. Some came from school-supporter funds and some came from Wilson's own library budget. In the middle of all that, she went on leave for a year.

“And then, he wins the Newbery,” Wilson said. “I’m not sure our students and maybe some of our staff understand the magnitude of him coming.”

Wilson is going to wring everything she can out of the visit.

“We will have two assemblies on that day, two book signings at lunch and he will work with staff after school in a seminar and Q&A format,” Wilson said. While those events aren't open to the public, de la Peña will be at University Book Store in Mill Creek from 7-8 p.m., Oct. 4, where he is scheduled for a free and open reading and book signing.

For his part, de la Peña says he still can’t quite believe what has happened in his life.

“Growing up, I never could’ve imagined anything like this,” de la Peña said in his comments accepting the Newbery Medal earlier this year. “Me and books? Reading? Nah, man, I was a working-class kid.

“Over the past 10 years, I’ve visited hundreds of schools and met tens of thousands of young people. And so many of them are just like that old version of me. Self-defined nonreaders who spend all day reading the world. My mission as an author is to help a few of them translate those skills to the written word.

“But what if I can nudge a few of these kids toward the magic of books at a younger age? What if I can write a story that offers that tough, hoodied kid in the back of the auditorium a secret place to feel?”

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Jim Hills, Sno-Isle Libraries Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,

State's poet laureate coming to Edmonds LIbrary

Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall 

Write on Tod

Tod Marshall is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Bugle, which won the Washington State Book Award in 2015.  His work has been published in many journals, including Narrative, The Southern Review, The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, Shenandoah, The Colorado Review, Poetry Northwest, Volt, The Canary, The Kenyon Review and elsewhere.

Tod Marshall, Washington’s Poet Laureate, is coming to the Edmonds Library.

Marshall will read from his work and answer questions from 5-5:45 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30, at the library, 650 Main St., Edmonds. The Edmonds Bookshop will be at the library with copies of Marshall's books available for sale.

Marshall is in town to participate as a presenter at the sold-out 2016 Write on the Sound writer’s conference presented by the City of Edmonds Arts Commission that runs through Sunday, Oct. 2. His presentation at the library on Friday is funded by the Friends of the Edmonds Library.

Marshall will also available to sign books at the conference Book Signing Reception from 5:15-6:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 1, in the Edmonds Plaza Room, directly above the library. The reception is free and open to the public.

An English professor at Gonzaga University, Marshall’s two-year appointment as the state’s poet laureate began this year in February. The role includes building awareness and appreciation of poetry through public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations across the state.

And Marshall is taking the statewide part of that mission to heart. He is presenting at the conference on Saturday morning, zipping north to Bellingham for a Poetry Camp, then heading back south for sessions in Edmonds later Saturday and Sunday.

“The previous three laureates have all traveled a great deal and so I think that (a lot of travel) is an expectation,” Marshall said. “Outreach in the arts - in the humanities generally - is something that I’m passionate about, and so although the long hours on the road can get exhausting, I’m always enthused by the encounters with people.”

To get to those encounters and help the miles go by, Marshall said he is getting plenty of podcasts, talk radio, sporting events and ’70s/’80s rock.

“I am continually reminded of how important the arts, the humanities, are to people,” said Marshall, who is attending his first Write on the Sound conference. “Poetry doesn’t just thrive at universities or in schools; from my many encounters with very young students and with old enthusiasts, I know that there is a powerful appetite for art, for philosophy, for history, for poetry - it’s great to encounter that.”

Marshall said the poet-laureate duties are an extension of outreach he’s been doing since his undergraduate days at Siena Heights University in Michigan. “I’ve always felt that education is both continual and for everyone,” he said.

Whatever the setting, Marshall said he tries to take the same respectful approach.

“Whether folks are enrolling in a class or taking time out of their evenings to hear me talk, that gesture is a profound one; I want to make whatever happens worth their time, their attention,” he said.

During his talks in Edmonds, Marshall said he’ll be talking about blurring of lines between different modes of writing.  “Poetry, fiction and non-fiction all share so many qualities; I’ll try to help writers see how they can work on all those modes of writing,” he said.

And modes of presentation. Marshall said he believes poetry needs to be both read and heard.

“I think that it needs both forms to thrive.  They are two different flowers - think radiant, exuberant sunflower and tiny, quiet orchid,” he said. “You know what, though?  Both of them have the opportunity to achieve a similar sort of beauty - sometimes in the hush after a spoken line, there is a hushed echo of how ‘page’ poems function; sometimes in the raucous music of a Hopkins or June Jordan, there is a brash energy that unfolds in the mind. 

“We need all of our poetries.”

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

For more information

Libraries are the concert halls of the finest voices gathered from all times and places.
- Jean Paul Richter

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