Most stories in a library come from books. But at Sno-Isle Libraries, our stories come from you. Here are true stories from you, our customers, partners and stakeholders, about how the library has enhanced your life.
They walk in with stooped shoulders, downcast eyes and defeated grimaces with seemingly the weight of the world on their backs. Job losses, divorces, loss of a beloved mate, homelessness... it's all the same. World weary souls in search of information or a simple diversion of activity. What they get in addition to information sought is a smile and affirmations from staff of being "seen" in a world where they are mostly treated as invisible. I think of the fictitious bar, "Cheers, where everybody knows your name". The library can be that safe place of affirmation and camaraderie. A place to get an "atta boy or atta girl" pat on the back. We see you, we value you and we welcome you. More than just an information palace, the library is a place of safe harbor and a life line to bone weary souls in search of a friendly face and human comfort.
Susan - Stanwood Library staff
A few years ago I spent a lot of time in the Snohomish Library studying for a state licensing exam. The quiet and inspirational atmosphere proved conducive for learning, because I passed the exam!
Jon - Snohomish Library customer
I grew up in Everett and became a patron of the Sno-Isle Library System when I was about six years young. My library card was my first “real” plastic card and I worshiped it.
From the time I was able to sound out words on the page, I’d always loved the satisfaction I gained from reading, and I spent every summer as a child absolutely devouring books, forever longing to color in one more box on my Summer Reading Adventure tracking sheet. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, so to speak, and I checked out gobs of books at a time - more books than I ever would’ve been able to read before they were due. My mother, after helping me move my loot from the library to the car and then from the car into the house on numerous occasions, instigated a rule in which I could “only check out as many books as I could carry.” On my next trip to the library, I brought with me a Rubbermaid tub, filling it to the brim while glaring at my mother in mock defiance. She just laughed.
I’m still an avid reader and Sno-Isle patron. As an adult, I’ve had the opportunity to familiarize myself with two other library systems, and Sno-Isle is by far my favorite. Sno-isle has the most comprehensive selection of books and movies I’ve encountered; I almost always find what I’m looking for, no matter how obscure or specific it might be. At least once a month, I search for an item, my expectations low, and upon finding it, think to myself, “They actually have that? Awesome!”
Still, books aren’t the only thing in Sno-Isle’s arsenal of treasures. A friend came over to my house not long ago and saw a few hot new DVD releases sitting on my mantle. “You got these from the library? For free?” he asked upon seeing the Sno-Isle barcode on their cases. “Didn’t these movies just come out on DVD?” I answered yes to all. “I can’t believe they have these movies at the library!” he exclaimed in surprise as he flipped through the stack.
Sno-Isle has teamed up with Freegal, which is a legal music download service with artists like Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, John Mayer, The Fray, Pitbull, Miley Cyrus, Mumford & Sons, John Legend, Train, Sara Bareilles, and One Direction. As a Sno-Isle Library cardholder, I get three free downloads per week. Three free songs a week, people!
It doesn’t stop there. Sno-Isle has more free resources at its patrons’ disposal than I ever realized. Did you know that you can learn languages through Mango, get help with resumes and homework, receive full access to Consumer Reports’ online magazine, and utilize search engines of published articles and papers? There are resources upon resources! I recently discovered Khan Academy, a free, hip website offering quality education on a smorgasbord of topics to those who want to learn for the sake of learning. Sign me up!
It’s true that you never really know what you have until you lose it. I once had a dismal experience with another library system, after which I sorely realized how much I missed Sno-Isle. I had three overdue books in my possession, which I eventually returned, but the library kept sending me notices that I owed money. I called them to clear up the mistake. “The books aren’t lost,” I explained in frustration. “I returned them.”
“I see that,” replied the librarian, “but you still owe the late fees.”
Late fees? What are those? As a born-and-bred Sno-Isle patron, I had no idea that late fees were the norm on overdue library materials. I finally realized how lucky I’d been all those years! I’ve definitely had overdue and even lost items (yikes!) on my record before, but I’ve always returned them, at which point Sno-Isle kindly wipes my slate clean.
Sno-Isle is also generous with its check-out guidelines. Anyone can check out any item for three weeks and can renew an item up to five times, provided no one else has requested it. I’ve seen other library systems be stingier with their popular items (such as newly released DVDs), reducing the check-out period to a mere seven days. Despite Sno-Isle’s lenient check out time frame, I always receive my requested materials in a timely manner. Even if I’m number 350 on the holds list for a popular new movie, I get the DVD reasonably quickly. Sno-Isle anticipates the needs of its patrons when it comes to highly sought after items, and it always seems to have a large number in circulation.
I adore Sno-Isle Libraries - all that knowledge and entertainment at my fingertips, and for free! What could be better?!
Michelle - Mill Creek Library customer
I homeschooled my three children for seven years, and I could not have been successful without the help of the Lynnwood Library. This privilege has helped me to instill a love of learning, as well as a love for the written word, in my children. It is something I will always treasure.
Michele - Lynnwood Library customer
There have been times in my life when I haven't been able to buy the books I want, so libraries have been a way to deal with my problems, going places I have never been and learning new things even at 60 years of age. Libraries are pathways to learning and fun.
Annette - Lake Stevens Library customer
We have a family that frequents our library. One of their older boys is away in California and the other day was his birthday. The father asked us for help installing Skype on his laptop. We quickly showed him how to sign up and he walked away in awe at how simple it was.
Shortly after, I heard "Happy Birthday" being sung from our meeting room. I looked over to see the mom and dad and four of the siblings gathered around the laptop, singing! With closer inspection, I was able to see their son's smiling face on the screen and even wish him a "happy birthday" myself. I was so thrilled to see this family "gathering" and had to smile at this clever application of technology.
The library remains a center for people, ideas, and culture; a place where families can congregate, even if it means using our high-speed Wi-Fi to do so. His mom's only complaint was that she wasn't able to hug him through the computer.
Asheley Bryson - Darrington Library customer
On Saturday, Aug. 7, artist and fly fisherman Bob Banks taught a Fly Tying class at the Marysville Library. Three people attended. Unsuccessful program? Not in the slightest.
One of the attendees, John, had flown in from Missouri to visit his brother-in-law and met Bob the day before through the Evergreen Fly Fishing Club. John works with veterans and had heard about a device called the ‘Evergreen Hand,' which enables people to tie fishing flies with just one hand.
Bob's assistant Jesse Scott, who also works with disabled veterans, is the designer of the device. When John had the opportunity to spend the two-hour workshop experimenting with the Evergreen Hand, he was delighted! He kept exclaiming, "I can't believe I'm getting to use this!" Then Jesse told John he could take it with him to use with veterans in Missouri, and the smile that split John's face is something I will never forget!
Getting to be a partial catalyst in helping people halfway across the country in a way I could never have imagined gives me one more reason to be thankful for my profession and the variety of services Sno-Isle provides.
Mark - Marysville Library staff