Library News

Get ready to 'Explore Summer' with Sno-Isle Libraries

Originally published May. 26, 2016

Think summer reading is lazing under a tree as a warm breeze turns the pages for you?

Well, could be, but the Sno-Isle Libraries, “Explore Summer – Read, Learn Discover” program is aimed at youth from tiny to teens and has something more competitive, energetic and probably louder in store.

Explore Summer graphic“While children and teens of all ages are welcome to participate in ’Explore Summer, it is designed to better prepare students when they return to school in the fall by battling the summer slide” said Leslie Moore, youth and outreach services manager for Sno-Isle Libraries. “We have a really full lineup of events, activities and library materials to keep kids engaged, entertained, and learning while having fun.”

“Explore Summer,” which runs from June 1-Aug. 31, may just make students smarter, too.

Educators from school districts across Snohomish and Island counties say that summer programs such as “Explore Summer – Read, Learn Discover” can improve a student’s performance when they go back to school in the fall. School officials supporting Sno-Isle Libraries’ program include:

  • Edmonds School District Library and Instructional Technology Coordinator Marianne Costello
  • Everett School District Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Joyce Stewart
  • Lakewood School District Director of Teaching and Learning Melissa VanZanten
  • Mukilteo School District Assistant Superintendent Alison Brynelson
  • Oak Harbor School District Special Programs Director Janice Gaare
  • Sultan School District Superintendent Dan Chaplik

“Explore Summer” challenges participants to become bronze-, silver- and gold-medal readers. The program includes reading logs for kids and teens that are available at any Sno-Isle library or can be printed at home by going to Gaining each level and other milestones will make participants eligible for prizes awarded at each library.

In addition, children can earn extra badges in Beanstack. Beanstack is a personalized online service designed for families with young readers discover books, activities, apps and other items that matched to your child's age and interests.

 Yes, “Explore Summer” definitely includes reading, but there is more.

“The Sarvey Wildlife Center is bringing their ‘Birds of Prey’ show to several libraries, we’ve got bands playing, magicians, the Pacific Science Center, the ‘Noiseguy’ … a whole summer of some pretty exciting and fun activities scheduled across our libraries,” Moore said.

The “Explore Summer” program addresses a number of the Sno-Isle Libraries strategic goals, including literacy and learning, community and culture, free and equal access and championing early literacy.

Dedication of library friends results in dedication of art

Originally published May. 24, 2016

It was a long time coming, but on Saturday, May 21, a dedicated group from Friends of the Camano Island Library were joined by their friends and supporters for an art dedication event at the library.

John Ebner and Ryan Jansen with Islnaders sculture

John Ebner (left) and Ryan Jansen stand with their art piece "Islanders" following a May 21, 2016 dedication event at Camano Island Library. Ebner conceived of the sculpture and Jansen fabricated it at the Stanwood High School welding shop. More photos

Officially installed and accepted as permanent art displays were:

"Wonders and Curiosities on Every Shelf," a 14-foot by 2-foot, mixed-media mural printed digitally on aluminum by Danny Koffman.

“Brown, Matsui, and Levi Strauss,” by Duane Simshauser includes metal plates, hardware cloth, jeans, branches, concert tickets, acrylic on wood panels.

"Islanders," a steel sculpture conceptualized by John Ebner and fabricated by Ryan Jansen.

The event included a reception to meet the three local artists, followed by opening remarks by Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, executive director of Sno-Isle Libraries, then the presentation of the three art pieces, followed by comments by Connie Hall, co-chair of the Camano Library Fundraising Committee and then closing comments by Woolf-Ivory.

The Camano Island Library began as a pilot project in 2006. The economic downturn and other factors turned the intended three-year timeframe into an eight-year odyssey that resulted in the opening of the new library in August, 2015.

Norma Mouton, chair of the Friends of Camano Island Library Art Committee, said art was always part of the plan and more is on the way. “We decided on five pieces and ended up with seven,” Mouton said prior to Saturday’s ceremony. “These are just the first three.”

Sno-Isle Libraries closed May 30

Originally published May. 24, 2016

Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed Monday, May 30 for Memorial Day. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, May 31. See locations & hours.

Survey asks library customers about technology use

Originally published May. 24, 2016

Sno-Isle Libraries is asking its customers to share how they use and value various library technology services.

Impact Survey graphicFrom May 23-June 12, an online survey will be open to ask library customers how they use and benefit from technology and related services at their library. Called the Impact Survey, it is an ongoing national research project created by the University of Washington Information School with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This is the second time Sno-Isle Libraries has offered the survey to customers. In 2014, library district officials used the information from the survey to inform and adjust services such as public computers, wireless internet access, online resources and digital literacy training.

Anne Murphy, lead librarian for public computing, said the 2014 results were informative and some have been put to work.

“We learned that our services such as internet access and printing are valuable, even to those with access at home,” Murphy said. “We also learned that staff assistance on the computers is frequently requested and highly valued by our customers.”

Murphy said that information resulted in added staff training to help ensure even service levels across the district’s 21 libraries.

“We want every customer that walks through our doors to receive the same high quality level of assistance with technology,” Murphy said. “To date, 42 information services staff members have received training about teaching technology classes, and many have already taught classes in their branches.”

More training will be on the way later this year with the development of curriculum around the most popular devices and electronic resources used by Sno-Isle Libraries customers, Murphy said.

The plan is to offer the survey every two years.

“We want to learn if the changes we make are effective,” said Christa Werle, public services project manager. “We want to stay close to our communities and learn how customers’ needs are evolving.”

The survey results from Sno-Isle customers also help inform the national study. Since October, 2013, 71,239 library customers from 1,167 libraries across the U.S. have taken the survey.

Camano Island Library project garners design award

Originally published May. 18, 2016

Camano Island Library photo

The Camano Island Library is a striking addition to Terry's Corner on Camano Island. Photo by Lucas Henning. Photo gallery 



Camano Island Library staff members are getting used to hearing customers’ verbal votes of approval about their building:

“Ooh, what a nice library!”

“Aah, what a pleasant space.”

And now, it’s official. The Camano Island Library is an award-winning design.

Library art dedication set for Saturday, May 21

From the beginning, art was part of the design for the Camano Island Library and on Saturday afternoon, May 21, work by three local artists will dedicated for permanent display at the library.

The event is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. at the Camano Island Library, 848 N. Sunrise Blvd., Camano Island, WA 98282.

 “When the library moved to the new location, we decided we needed permanent art as part of the décor,” said Norma Mouton, chair of the Friends of Camano Island Library Art Committee. “We worked with the architect to determine where (the art would be located).”

Art works to be dedicated on Saturday are:

  • "Wonders and Curiosities on Every Shelf," a 14-foot by 2-foot, mixed-media mural printed digitally on aluminum by Danny Koffman.
  • “Brown, Matsui, and Levi Strauss,” by Duane Simshauser includes metal plates, hardware cloth, jeans, branches, concert tickets, acrylic on wood panels.
  • "Islanders," a steel sculpture conceptualized by John Ebner and fabricated by Ryan Jansen.

The AIA Northwest Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects has honored architect Dan Nelson of Stanwood-based Designs Northwest, Stig Carlson of Stig Carlson Architecture in Coupeville, general contractor Kirtley Cole Construction of Everett and Sno-Isle Libraries with a Citation Award for their collective work in turning a former restaurant into a library.

The honor was bestowed May 5 at the group’s annual awards dinner in Bellingham. The awards celebrate projects that represent the finest standards in sustainability, innovation, building performance and overall integration with the client and surrounding community. Architects based in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island counties are eligible for consideration.

“I think the award is recognition that we took an existing structure and turned that into a focal point and an asset for the community,” Nelson said. “The award criteria included social enhancement and community involvement. There was really good community input, a lot of public meetings and working closely with Camano Islanders.”

The process for a Camano Island Library began in December, 2006, when the Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees approved a pilot library project. Six months later a temporary facility opened in a storefront at Terry’s Corner. With voter approval of funding, work began in 2014 on the then-empty Islanders Restaurant, also at Terry’s Corner in Camano Commons, and the new library opened in August, 2015.

“We had a good working relationship with Dan at Designs Northwest, Stig Carlson and everyone on the project,” said Jeanne Crisp, Director of Facilities and Special Projects for Sno-Isle Libraries.

It helped, Nelson said, that his firm was familiar with the site.

“We did the initial concept for Camano Commons and the schematic for the restaurant that the library eventually became,” Nelson said. “”Then, Stig came together with Designs Northwest to work on the library. There were challenges in turning a facility that had been a restaurant into a library, but it helped the functionality to add approximately 900 square feet on to the original structure.”

By all accounts, the customers, community and the library district are happy with the now award-winning result.

“The support of the community meant we can provide what they had asked for: adequate library space for children’s activities; a larger selection of popular books, movie and music titles; as well as more space and public computers for research, school assignments and comfortable browsing,” Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director said. “A permanent library on Camano Island enables Sno-Isle Libraries to continue to focus on building literate, economically sound and connected communities.”

Other firms involved in the project include structural engineering by Lund Opsahl of Seattle, interior design by H2K Design of Stanwood, mechanical  consultant RICE Group of Lynnwood and electrical by Case Engineering of Bothell. Jayme Zold and Kim Williams were the project architects from Designs Northwest Architects who also worked on the project.

Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation gets statewide award

Originally published May. 18, 2016

The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation has received the 2016 Washington Library Association Foundation Merit Award.

Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation logo“The foundation is a strong supporter of our efforts to serve our communities and customers,” Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “The foundation enhances programming aimed at early literacy, multicultural understanding, staff development and community involvement. The foundation has been a strong advocate for public libraries since its formation.”

The award was presented in April during the state library association’s 2016 conference in Spokane.

Three very visible examples of recent foundation support include the TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2015 event, the increasingly popular annual Third Grade Reading Challenge and just this past month, the Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series.

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries was the first TEDx event in Snohomish County. At the Edmonds Center for the Arts, the day-long series was an unqualified success. TEDxSnoIsleLibraries could not have happened without the support and trust from the foundation’s Directors. The foundation’s initial $20,000 pledge encouraged 22 community partners to jump on board, which resulted in over $80,000 of regional support for the effort.

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016 is scheduled for Nov. 18, again at Edmonds Center for the Arts.

The reading challenge, officially known as “The Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third Grade Reading Challenge,” began seven years ago with just two schools on Whidbey Island. This year, the program involved had 46 schools and 192 teams with 1,312 students participating. The foundation’s support helps prepare the next generation of readers to become the literate leaders of tomorrow.

The Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series was three years in the making, fundraising in honor of the former Whidbey Island educator and activist. The two inaugural lectures earlier this month by Pulitzer Prize winner Hedrick Smith drew overflow crowds.

“I’m just so pleased to be able to support an organization such as Sno-Isle Libraries,” said Paul Pitkin, the foundation’s executive director. “We have great people supporting a great mission.”

Chamber and Rotary honor Monroe librarian

Originally published May. 13, 2016

Monroe Library managing librarian Phil Spirito

And the award goes to … Phil Spirito!

Spirito, the managing librarian at the Monroe Public Library, was honored with the Community Caring Award presented by Monroe Chamber of Commerce at 25th annual Community Awards celebration. 

The April 27 event at the Monroe High School Performing Arts Center got underway with comments by Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Yvonne Gallardo-Van Ornam, Monroe Mayor Geoffrey Thomas welcomed guests and chamber member Sally Petty served as emcee.

“Phil Spirito at the library has just made quite a splash in Monroe,” Petty said. “If you’ve not gotten to know him, stop by the library; he and his team are phenomenal.”

Spirito came to Monroe in summer 2014 with his wife, Libby, and dove into community activities. In addition to being a member of the Monroe Rotary Club, Spirito is a musician and a community advocate who focuses on homelessness and poverty issues. In his spare time, he helps his wife operate Orange Star Farm, a sustainable small farm that sells vegetables at area farmers markets.

At the Monroe Library, Spirito is working to create a welcoming community space for everyone. Under his guidance, the children’s area was renovated to include activities that encourage early literacy.  Spirito also increased the size and visibility of the Spanish language collection to better serve Monroe’s Hispanic community, but his main focus has been on outreach to increase community awareness of all the amazing resources that are available at Sno-Isle libraries.

“From the moment he arrived, Spirito embraced Monroe and the people in it,” Petty said.

In addition to the chamber award, the Monroe Rotary Club honored Spirito for his contributions to the club and the community since moving to Monroe and becoming a Rotarian.

“I feel like I’m going to be a lifetime Rotary member,” Spirito said. “They’ve taught me how to do service in a year and a half, and I’m giving back and I feel just so lucky to be a part of this community.”

Sno-Libraries seeks input on Draft Capital Facilities Plan

Originally published May. 11, 2016

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Sno-Isle Libraries is a tax-supported library district serving Snohomish and Island counties. The mission is to be a community doorway to reading, resources and lifelong learning, and a center for people, ideas and culture. Policy is set by a seven-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Snohomish County Council and Island County Board of Commissioners.

Sno-Isle Libraries provides a network of public library services to more than 713,000 residents across approximately 2,200 square miles. The population within the library district is projected to increase by 14 percent by 2025, with some areas growing at a much higher rate.

Library services and materials are delivered through 21 facilities in 21 cities, towns and communities; through mobile library services and online. Eight of the 21 community libraries are owned by the library district. The library district owns the Service Center, an administrative and distribution facility in Marysville which supports library operations across the district. Twelve facilities are owned and maintained by individual cities and towns. One facility is owned by a local Friends of the Library group.

Sno-Isle Libraries is planning how its facilities will meet the changing needs of communities and customers now and in the future.

A Draft Capital Facilities Plan available now for review includes proposed recommendations for all 21 of the libraries across the library district plus the service center in Marysville. The draft plan recommendations are informed by work that began in the fall of 2015 by library-district officials and consultants and included an extensive public input campaign

Before finalizing a plan, Sno-Isle Libraries officials are checking with communities to see if they got it right.

“We’re taking a fresh look at our facilities and how our customers and communities are using them,” Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “We listened to our communities, customers and partners. We looked at how customers have been using their libraries, as well as national trends in libraries and technology.

“We think we’ve got a plan that can guide our decisions over the next 10 years, but we want to ask for feedback before moving ahead.”

The draft plan is posted online at along with a link to an online survey that is open for public comment. The survey is open through June 3. In addition, each library will have information about the draft plan for review and library-district staff are taking the information to city councils, community groups and other public gatherings.

The draft plan includes recommendations to add services in three areas that currently have inadequate library service, including the Lakewood/Smokey Point area, the 128th Street area southeast of Paine Field and west of I-5 and the area east and south of the current Mill Creek Library.

Three current libraries are identified for replacement with larger facilities in Lake Stevens, Stanwood and Lynnwood. Renovation and/or expansion is proposed for the current libraries in Arlington and Mill Creek. The rest of the libraries in the district plus the service center, 14 facilities in all, are identified in the draft plan as able to meet current and predicted demands.

“As population and use has grown, some of our libraries are now undersized for their service areas. The need for new buildings is already being discussed in cities such as Lake Stevens and Mill Creek,” Director of Facilities Jeanne Crisp said. “In other places, remodels or additions are called for. And, some existing facilities as well as our newer libraries are well-suited for their communities -so we don’t anticipate any substantive changes in the next 10 years.”

Population growth is adding fuel to the need for new or expanded libraries in growing areas, Crisp said.

“Some areas of the library district are among the fastest growing in the U.S.,” Crisp said. “In some cases, that growth is coming to formerly rural areas. In others, unincorporated suburban areas are filling in as well as cities seeing significant growth.”

Besides the sheer number of people to serve, Sno-Isle Libraries and libraries across the country are seeing changes in how customers use services and the buildings which provide them. To help inform the capital facilities plan, plan, library project staff worked with design consultant Margaret Sullivan Studios to take a big-picture look at the future of library facilities. The idea is to create conditions that facilitate library activities that are timeless, even though technologies may change.

For example, Crisp said, many customers want access to computers, printers, wi-fi, maker-spaces and other technology. Meeting and study spaces are in increasing demand as well as small-business support centers. Also, while print books and DVDs are the most used materials, the popularity of downloadable items such as eBooks, audiobooks and movies is rapidly growing.

“This is a plan for our facilities, but it also aligns with our Strategic Plan which guides the services, programs and strategic priorities of the library district,” she said.

Crisp said the survey results will be compiled with the assistance of the Seattle-based consulting firm, EnviroIssues. “They helped with the outreach effort last fall and we’re fortunate to have them assist this time, too,” Crisp said.

Once all of the feedback is gathered and reviewed, library-district officials will determine if adjustments to the draft plan are needed. The goal is approval and adoption by the Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees in mid- to late summer.

Camano Island Library art dedication set for May 21

Originally published May. 5, 2016

Camano Island Library art photo
"Wonders and Curiosities on Every Shelf" by Danny Koffman will be dedicated on May 21 at the Camano Island Library.

The vibrant and active local arts community has been working hard to support the Camano Island Library.

The results of those efforts will be on permanent display starting May 21 at a dedication event for works from three local artists. The event is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. at the Camano Island Library, 848 N. Sunrise Blvd., Camano Island, WA 98282.

“When the library moved to the new location, we decided we needed permanent art as part of the décor,” said Norma Mouton, chair of the Friends of Camano Island Library Art Committee. “We worked with the architect to determine where (the art would be located).

“We decided on five pieces and we ended up with seven.”

While not all of it is ready yet, pieces from three artists will be dedicated at the May 21 ceremony, including:

"Wonders and Curiosities on Every Shelf"

By Danny Koffman, the mixed media artwork printed digitally on aluminum depicts three surprised and amazed children as book subjects come to life on the shelf. The 14-foot by 2-foot mural is installed in the reading room. The artwork is donated to the library by Gay and Oren Campbell in memory of their son Drew Campbell.

“Brown, Matsui, and Levi Strauss”

Donated by the artist, Duane Simshauser, in memory of Julie Simshauser, this piece includes metal plates, hardware cloth, jeans, branches, concert tickets, acrylic on wood panels. The artwork is installed in the teen area of the library.


With the design concept from John Ebner, this steel sculpture was fabricated by Ryan Jansen of Stanwood High School Welding Shop. The pieces are flat steel and banded with one inch steel trim and powder coated. The installation is outside on the north side of the library.

The background of the artists and the committee members illustrate the library’s strong connections to art and the community.

Mouton is a watercolorist who came to Camano four years ago, she said. “Shortly after I arrived, I found out about the library project,” she said. “It made me more interested in my own art and became a way to meet more people.”

For Danny Koffman, the library project is close to his heart and his gallery.

“The idea for the piece is that the three children are responding to what they are seeing on the shelf,” said Koffman, who came to Camano 10 years ago after owning a gallery Monterey, Calif. “The titles on the book spines are coming alive and in the background is Port Susan and Mount Rainier.”

Koffman said the concept for the work “came to me immediately” as an outgrowth of his work with children at local schools. “I just want people to smile as they look at the shelves,” he said.

Mouton said the May 21 dedication event at the library is scheduled to include remarks by Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, the artists and others connected to the project.

With Mouton as chair, the Camano Library Art Committee includes community members Gay Campbell, Ann Barbas, Barbara Scott and Tamara Drake plus branch manager David Menard and district manager Becky Bolte.

The Camano Art Fundraising committee includes Rose Olson, a member of both the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and Sno-Libraries Board of Trustees; Jackie DeFazio, a former Sno-Isle Libraries trustee; and Connie Hall, a member of the Friends fundraising committee and lead planner on unveiling ceremonies.

“The level of commitment to our community is impressive,” Mouton said.

Call to artist for TEDxSnoIsleLIbraries 2016

Originally published May. 4, 2016

call to artist logoTEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016 is all about showcasing inspirational and innovative ideas from the region and now, in partnership with the Snohomish County Arts Commission, there is an opportunity to do the same for art.

The arts commission has issued a call-to-artist to create or provide a temporary interactive-based work of art, or performance art experience, to be included as part of the TEDxSnoIsleLibraries main event, scheduled for Nov. 18, 2016 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. The deadline for submissions is June 6 for a project that includes a $3,500 budget.

The theme for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016 is “Transformations” which should be the inspiration for the installation.

“The Snohomish County Arts Commission is pleased to select and commission an artist to develop an interactive artwork for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries again in 2016,” said Robert Fairfax, Chair of the Snohomish County Arts Commission.  “We’re fortunate to have this wonderfully executed, well-attended platform to connect artistic talent to our broad Snohomish County community.”

Sparked by the celebrated TED conferences worldwide, TEDxSnoIsleLibraries is a locally organized event featuring over a dozen talks, demonstrations and performances under 18 minutes each. The day-long program will harness the spirit of TED's mission, "ideas worth spreading" and focus on the rich innovation, invention and cultural depth of our region.

“The presence of art at last year’s TEDxSnoIsleLibraries event showed the perfect symmetry of ideas and beauty,” says Terry Lippincott, president of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation Board of Directors. “We are excited that the Snohomish Arts Commission is working to make art available again for attendees of the 2016 TEDx event.”

The public installation/performance of the project will take place throughout the day of the event within a space identified as the TEDx IdeaLab. This space will be in the gymnasium of the Edmonds Center for the Arts. An exceptional submission would propose an original, bold and creative concept that is designed to engage a large audience as they enter and exit the IdeaLab, either of a large scale or interactive or kinetic in nature. The selected artist will be paid $3,500 to complete the installation.

For an artist prospectus:

  • Office of Economic Development, 3000 Rockefeller Ave., M/S #411, Everett, WA, 98201
  • 425-388-3186


Filmmakers flood Stanwood Library on rainy weekend

Originally published Apr. 28, 2016

The Stanwood Library is about to get its 253 seconds of fame.

A rainy weekend, a kind librarian and a cast of creative educators were all in the script that will put the library up on the silver screen May 6 at Tacoma’s Grand Cinema 253 Short Film Party.

Filmmakers photo
The cast and crew of "How I Did It" at work in the Stanwood Library on April 23.

On film

“It all started about five years ago,” said Lance Cadena, who married into his wife’s family cabin on Camano Island’s Juniper Beach. The cabin became the site of an annual spring getaway for a Cadena, a Tacoma School District educator, and a group of fellow teachers and librarians from across the Puget Sound region.

“We used to bring our cameras and shoot photos during the weekend,” Cadena said. “Then, we saw that this film festival is the same weekend and said, ‘Let’s do a movie!’”

The 253 Film Competition is a quick-turnaround event, perfect for the group’s weekend plans. The rules are that the films can be no more than 253 seconds long, must include references to a list of “mystery items” that change each year and must be completed in just 72 hours.

The group calls itself Too Many Cooks Productions and their entry this year is titled “How I Did It,” an amusing look into the dream of making it big. The mystery items that all entries must include are a dialog line “That’s all she wrote,” an allergy, a toothbrush and a Tacoma business.

The library’s turn in front of the camera came in a book-signing scene with the help of group member Indie Berg, a Tacoma schools librarian.

“It was raining like crazy,” said Cadena, which washed out some anticipated locations. The library looked like a good and dry option. “Indie is a librarian so she says, ‘I’ll just go ask.” They said ‘yes’ and we started shooting.”

Berg said the library staff was very helpful. “When I asked and told them what wanted to do, they were just so accommodating,” she said.

Cadena said the crew for the weekend film-shoot is growing. “We’ve gotten so big that we now rent a house in addition to using the cabin,” he said, adding that the effort is starting to have local economic impact.

Still, the weekend getaway is all about having fun, Berg said.

“It’s like a 72-hour summer camp,” Berg said. “We’re all in charge of a meal. We bring our cameras and props and whatever we can scrounge up. Everybody brings sleeping bags, but we don’t get much sleep.”

TEDx Salon set for May 10 at Edmonds CC

Originally published Apr. 28, 2016

Matt Cail photo Jeff Ericson photo
Matt Cail Jeff Ericson
Sarri Gilman photo Shaela Niles photo
Sarri Gilman Shaela Niles

Think of it as a taste of TEDx.

On Tuesday, May 10, Edmonds Community College, Sno-Isle Libraries, Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and The Daily Herald will serve up “Shift Happens: Creating New Futures.” The 7 p.m. event will be at Black Box Theatre in Mukilteo Hall at Edmonds CC, 20000 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood. It is free and open to the public.

The program is a TEDx Salon event, an extension of TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016, scheduled for Nov. 18 at Edmonds Center for the Arts.

“TEDx Salons are bite-sized TEDx events” said Ken Harvey, TEDxSnoIsleLibraries organizer and communications director for the library district. “The audience and speakers can have a closer interaction. Attendees are invited to discuss speakers’ ideas and experience a cohesive community of thinkers.”

“We’re excited for this opportunity to partner with the Sno-Isle Libraries and The Daily Herald to bring rich dialogue to our campus and community,” said Dr. Jean Hernandez, Edmonds CC President. “The TEDx conversations are invaluable to our community.”

Host and moderator for the evening will be publisher of The Daily Herald, Josh O’Connor. The event will include three speakers and one video, including:

Matt Cail – An online marketer and consultant, Cail started out with message boards and expanded into social media, search engine marketing, web design and online advertising. His company, Super Charge Marketing, provides digital marketing support and services.

Jeff Ericson - Now in his second successful career, Ericson owns Camano Island Coffee Roasters, known for its zeal in making the world a better place. In addition to running the company, Ericson lectures around the world on business, sustainability and the future of social enterprise.

Sarri Gilman – Gilman’s book, “Transform Your Boundaries,” is based on insights gleaned from decades of experience as a marriage and family therapist. The founder of two organizations focused on youth homelessness, she created partnerships and programs to increase the chances of success for youth in overwhelming circumstances.

In addition, a video will show Shaela Niles’ inspirational battle to overcome mutism and unlock her life and future.

“Shift Happens” is a year-long theme for Edmonds CC providing the framework for a variety of campus and community events.  “Shift Happens: Creating New Futures” is part of a lecture series sponsored by the Center for Student Engagement and Leadership to bring thought-provoking and inspirational speakers to campus.

“We appreciate the opportunity to host this event with Edmonds Community College and The Herald,” Harvey said.

Trudy Sundberg's legacy helping the community

Originally published Apr. 27, 2016

Trudy Sundberg photo
Trudy Sundberg

Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Hedrick Smith speaking about his most recent book “Who Stole the American Dream?,” an analysis of the growing gap in income and wealth in the United States. Free, open to the public.

  • Friday, May 6, Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Langley. Doors open at 6 p.m. for an informal reception in Zech Hall. Presentation is set for 7 p.m. on the Main Stage, followed by a question-and-answer session.
  • Saturday, May 7, Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center. The presentation is scheduled to start at 7 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session.
  • Listen to interview with Hedrick Smith on KSER radio, 90.7 FM at 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 3.

On Whidbey Island, “Sundberg” is synonymous with community.

A longtime Oak Harbor High School English and journalism teacher, Trudy Sundberg loved literature, history, the arts and advocacy.  She was a lifelong member and three-term president of the League of Women Voters of Whidbey Island.  Sundberg also founded the Save Our Kids Crusade anti-violence coalition in the 1990s.

When she passed away in 2013, Sundberg’s family and friends quickly began looking for a way to honor her legacy and keep her commitment to community and education alive. That search led to the creation of the Trudy Sundberg Memorial Fund.  Working with the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, Sundberg’s family members and friends began the process of creating an ongoing fund that would continue to bring the things she loved to the community she cared so deeply about.

A growing endowed fund is now in place to underwrite a lecture series that will explore Sundberg’s areas of interest, including education, literature, history, the arts, civic engagement and politics.

Dr. Marshall Goldberg, a retired Oak Harbor physician and friend of Sundberg, was a driving force behind the plan. He worked with Oak Harbor Library managing librarian Mary Campbell and the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation to set up the memorial endowment. For Goldberg, it was a fitting way to honor and keep alive the memory of an extraordinary Oak Harbor woman who impacted and inspired him and so many others on Whidbey Island.

“She was very eclectic and interested in a lot of things,” Goldberg said of Sundberg. “So it was important to do this in a way that was appropriate for her.”

Campbell said just the process of raising money for the fund continued Sundberg’s penchant for community building. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to be able to contribute something that’s going to do good long into the future and provide memories of someone very special to Oak Harbor,” Campbell said.

Goldberg’s vision of an annual, significant speaker event is about to become reality.

On May 6-7, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Hedrick Smith will be the speaker for the first installment of the Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series.

Smith will speak about his most recent book “Who Stole the American Dream?” an analysis of the growing gap in income and wealth in the United States. At 7 p.m., Friday, May 6, Smith will speak at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. An informal reception will start at 6 p.m. in Zech Hall. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, Smith will speak at the Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center.

As a New York Times reporter, Smith was a member of the news team that broke the Pentagon Papers story in 1971, which won him a Pulitzer Prize. In 1974, he again won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Soviet Union and its allies. Smith also won an Emmy Award for his documentaries on the PBS series, “Frontline.”

“The enthusiasm and tremendous support for this lecture series from Trudy’s family, friends, the community and Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation is a testament to her legacy,” Goldberg said. “Trudy made a real difference in her community, and I’m thrilled that we can honor her memory with such a renowned speaker on a topic that meant so much to her.”

Tax-deductible contributions to the Trudy J. Sundberg Memorial Fund may be sent to the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, 7312 35th Ave. NE, Marysville, WA 98271. Contributions may also be made online at  Select "Giving" under the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation tab to support the endowment.

Seven personal finance eBooks available now

Originally published Apr. 25, 2016

Book cover photo
"Real Money Answers for Every Woman" is one of seven personal finance eBooks that are available now for immediate download. 

While the memory of Tax Day is still fresh, now may be the time to get a handle on those personal-finance decisions.

For those looking for a few tips, Sno-Isle Libraries has seven financial advice titles available as eBooks for immediate download through May 15. The eBooks are:

“This the first time we’ve offered a group of eBooks around a general theme with no-wait, no-hold access,” said Michael Hawkins, electronic resources librarian for the library district. No-wait, no-hold means that downloads occur immediately and there is no limit to the number of people who can download the eBooks.

The seven eBooks are available at along with a number of related titles. Once downloaded, eBooks can stay on a device for up to three weeks. A Sno-Isle Libraries card, which is needed to download eBooks, is available at

 “We want to provide access to materials no matter where you are,” Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “The use of eBooks continues to climb year after year.

The circulation of eBooks in the first quarter of 2016 is up 35 percent of the same period in 2015, according to library district data.

A wide variety of devices and platforms are compatible with eBooks from Sno-Isle Libraries, including: Android, Chromebooks, many eReader brands, iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod), Kindle eReaders, Kindle Fire, Kobo tablets, many MP3 players, NOOK tablets, Windows phones, Windows and Apple OS.

This eBook collection is tied to Money Smart Week, an educational effort by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and supported by Sno-Isle Libraries, publisher HarperCollins, eBook distributor OverDrive and the American Library Association.

Young scientists get up a head of STEAM with Sno-Isle Libraries program

Originally published Apr. 25, 2016

The forces of nature are not to be trifled with.

That is, unless you are an inquisitive 9-13 year-old attending a Sno-Isle Libraries “Tween STEAM” event. If that’s the case, then trifling, poking, questioning and experimenting is what it’s all about.

Photo of girl
Sela Kramer, a fourth-grader at Twin City Elementary in Stanwood, is all smiles during the Tween STEAM event, April 21 at Camano Island Library. Photo gallery

Remaining Tween STEAM events                            

Camano Library

  • Physics – Thursday, April 28, 4-5:30 p.m.

Edmonds Library, Saturdays, 2-3:30 p.m.

  • May 7 - Dry ice
  • May 14 - Physics
  • May 21 - Electricity & Magnetism
  • May 28 - Chemistry

Freeland Library, Mondays, 4-5:30 p.m.

  • May 2 - Dry Ice
  • May 9 - Physics

Sultan Library/Boys & Girls Club, Fridays, 3-4:30 p.m.

  • April 29 - Electricity & Magnetism (Boys & Girls Club)
  • May 13 - Chemistry (library)
  • May 27 - Physics (Boys & Girls Club)

The Tween STEAM program includes four, 90-minute sessions that let fourth- through eighth-graders get their hands on fun science experiments. With roughly one session a week at each of four libraries, the young scientists get an up-close look at electricity, magnetism, chemistry, physics and the amazing properties of dry ice.

“I just love working with the kids,” said Christine Longdon, who teaches the classes through her company, “I also like seeing the parents engaging with their kids.”

A Stanwood-area resident, Longdon said she hadn’t intended to start of business teaching hands-on science to children, but it just kept growing. “I scuba dive and I started volunteering with Oceans for Youth and World Oceans Day,” she said. “Then, I got involved in Beachwatchers.”

Longdon said she didn’t like studying science when she was young, but was motivated to give her son additional exposure to science beyond what was available in school. “I started developing these hands-on classes; everything is hands-on,” she said. “Now, I like science. Maybe I needed a more hands-on approach, too.”

Hands-on in Longdon’s classes means things such as each participant building an electric motor, including winding coils, stripping wire leads and watching it run. The chemistry lesson includes making a plastic-like material from whole milk and vinegar, while physics may include shooting ping pong balls with a leaf blower.

A dry-ice session at the Camano Island Library on Thursday, April 21, had about 20 youngsters wearing safety glasses and gloves to see and experiment with the wonders of solid carbon dioxide at minus-109.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Sno-Isle Libraries has just been so good to me,” Longdon said. “My first classes were at the Stanwood Library where they helped me work things out.”

The “STEAM” part of Tween STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The idea of STEAM, also referred to as STEM, is a growing educational focus for schools and industry. Sno-Isle Libraries offering of Tween STEAM and other similar programs is part of the library district's strategic focus to coordinate programs addressing community needs and interests.

Attendance at all four Tween STEAM sessions isn’t required, but space may be limited, so registration is advised. For more information, go to

About Sno-Isle Libraries
Sno-Isle Libraries serves 713,835 residents in Washington’s Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services, and Library on Wheels.

New lecture series to feature Pulitzer-winning journalist

Originally published Apr. 8, 2016

The Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series, three years in the making, will bring its first speaker to Whidbey Island stages on May 6 – 7.

Hedrick Smith

Hedrick Smith

Two talks by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Hedrick Smith will inaugurate the annual series, which honors the memory of a longtime and beloved Whidbey Island teacher.

“We’re so grateful for the tremendous support we’ve received from Trudy’s family, friends, the communities and Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation to launch this series in her name,” said Dr. Marshall Goldberg, a retired physician who chairs the Lecture Series Planning Committee.

Smith will speak about his most recent book “Who Stole the American Dream?,” an analysis of the growing gap in income and wealth in the United States.

Smith will speak on:

  • Friday, May 6, Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Langley. Doors open at 6 p.m. for an informal reception in Zech Hall. Smith’s presentation is set for 7 p.m. on the Main Stage, followed by a question-and-answer session.
  • Saturday, May 7, Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center. The presentation is scheduled to start at 7 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session.

As a New York Times reporter, Smith was a member of the news team that broke the Pentagon Papers story in 1971, which won him a Pulitzer Prize. In 1974, he won another Pulitzer for his reporting on the Soviet Union and its allies. Smith also won an Emmy Award for his documentaries on the PBS series “Frontline.”

Who Stole the American Dream?Sundberg, who died in 2013, touched many lives with her passion for education, the arts and civic engagement. She was known as an activist and innovator whose causes included the Whidbey Island Democratic Club, League of Women Voters and Whidbey Camano Land Trust. She was also founder of the Save Our Kids Crusade anti-violence coalition and numerous book clubs.

Family members, friends and the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation began in 2013 to establish the Trudy Sundberg Memorial Fund. The fund is in place to underwrite a lecture series that will explore Sundberg’s areas of interest, including education, literature, history, the arts, civic engagement and politics.

“The effort has just been amazing, a real tribute to Trudy’s impact on the community,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation Executive Director Paul Pitkin.

The lecture series will be part of an annual programming initiative for adults on Whidbey Island, promoting reading and lifelong learning and covering issues of local, national or global interest. The fund may also be used to enhance library resources and access to information for residents of the Sno-Isle Libraries district.

Tax-deductible contributions to the Trudy J. Sundberg Memorial Fund may be sent to the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, 7312 35th Ave. NE, Marysville, WA 98271. Contributions may also be made online at  Select "Giving" under the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation tab to support the endowment.


Listen to Hedrick Smith's interview on KSER from May 3, 2016.

For more information, contact: 
Jim Hills, Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050,
Marshall Goldberg, Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series chair, 360-675-5888,

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016 is coming in November

Originally published Apr. 5, 2016


Sno-Isle Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory at the 2015 TEDxSnoIsleLibraries event.

Tammy Mach presents "The Prototype of the American Dream" at the 2015 TEDxSnoIsleLibraries event.

2015 event photo gallery

The region’s most fascinating thinkers, innovators, performers and speakers will be on stage this November at TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016.

This day of ideas is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 18 at Edmonds Center for the Arts and will include live speakers, TED talks on video. The event will also be live-streamed for group viewing to multiple locations across Snohomish and Island counties.

Attendees will have opportunities to hear fascinating ideas from the stage, as well as discuss these concepts and mingle with TEDx speakers and fellow audience members. Sno-Isle Libraries’ inaugural TEDx event in 2015 received overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees, speakers and partners.

“It was a powerful day,” said Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, Executive Director of Sno-Isle Libraries. “We continue to hear from individuals who were delighted by the Libraries’ role in convening people around the ideas and issues featured in a regional TEDx event.”

Twenty-three speakers and performers took the stage with subjects ranging from innovation strategies to preparing for a NASA mission to Mars. Event attendees ranged in age from 14 to over 80 and traveled from as far away as British Columbia, California, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina and Massachusetts.

The event drew the attention of thousands at Edmonds Center for the Arts; at 10 community libraries around Snohomish and Island counties; viewing locations at Edmonds and Everett community colleges, the Snohomish PUD auditorium and the Arlington City Council chambers; as well as those who viewed the live stream on their own devices. TEDx talks posted from the event have received more than 17,000 views.

Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling said the city is excited about hosting the TEDxSnoIsleLibraries event for the second year. “The stimulating and engaging talks presented during the day showcases the best and brightest in our region,” Earling said

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries organizers have opened the presenter nomination process for the upcoming 2016 event. The idea and presenter nomination period runs through May 8. Nominations must be made online and those interested in submitting an idea or nominating a speaker should read the content and speaker guidelines available with the online form.

“It was clear from last year’s event that there is a deep well of ideas and innovations in our region,” said TEDxSnoIsleLibraries organizer Ken Harvey. “We barely scratched the surface on the ideas submitted to us. So we are confident there are more great ideas and speakers out there for the 2016 event.”

Snohomish County Excecutive Dave Somers said he's pleased that Sno-Isle is moving ahead with a second year of the event.

"Snohomish County benefits when we have smart people articulating ideas to help our community be better, more just, and more equitable," Somers said. "I salute those who are stretching our minds and helping us imagine the solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s challenges."

Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson served as one of the hosts in introducing speakers at the 2015 event. “The event applied the library’s values and influence to a whole other level,” Price Johnson said. “It was inspiring to watch the audience as the speakers shared their ideas and experiences. The stories were impactful, thought-provoking and very personal.”

Joe McIalwain, Executive Director of the Edmonds Center for the Arts agreed with Price Johnson.

“When Sno-Isle Libraries first approached our team as a potential venue for the event, we knew that we aligned with the Libraries’ mission to serve as a doorway to ideas and information,” McIalwain said. “We are looking forward to a repeat of one of the most popular events we have ever hosted.”

The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation was a key partner for the 2015 TEDx effort and made the commitment to support the event again in 2016.

“TEDxSnoIsleLibraries was an incredible experience that raised the visibility of our organization,” said Paul Pitkin, Executive Director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. “Our support of the Library’s 2016 effort was completely validated by our results with last year’s experience.”

Organizations that have chosen to become partners for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016 include:

  • Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation
  • The Daily Herald
  • Edmonds Center for the Arts
  • United Way of Snohomish County
  • Community Transit
  • The Everett Clinic
  • Edmonds Community College
  • Snohomish County Arts Commission
  • Economic Alliance Snohomish County
  • Leadership Snohomish County
  • Coastal Community Bank
  • City of Edmonds
  • Heritage Bank
  • University of Washington, Bothell
  • Island County Economic Development Council
  • Snohomish PUD

Lake Stevens team tops in Third Grade Reading Challenge

Originally published Mar. 30, 2016

With more than 50 third-graders on stage, hearing a pin drop seemed unlikely, but that was the scene at the finals of the 2016 Sno-Isle Libraries Third-Grade Reading Challenge.

Teams of students from seven elementary schools across Snohomish and Island counties participated in the quiz-style program, Tuesday, March 29, at the Lake Stevens High School Performing Arts Center. All the teams were on top of their games. Following three scheduled rounds of questions, it took 11 tiebreaking stumpers before the Sunnycrest Elementary “Wild Horses” from Lake Stevens School District emerged as the top scoring team.

Going down to the wire with Sunnycrest were the Angry Books team from Cedar Way Elementary in the Edmonds School District and the Wildcats from Discovery Elementary in the Mukilteo School District. The other teams in the finals were: the Cedarhome Elementary Word Chompers, Stanwood School District; Broad View Elementary Reading Cheetahs, Oak Harbor School District; Brier Elementary Book Busters, Edmonds School District, and the Machias Elementary Bob-Nanas, Snohomish School District.

The Sunnycrest Wild Horses team members, all from teacher Heidi Scott's class are: 
Grace Cook, Ryedan Reed, Logan Merkel, Carson Burley, Sarah Carpenter, Coren Coe, Autumn Bardsley
and Jessica Garingo.

Staying quiet is part of the challenge event to prevent distraction and giving away or influencing an answer. The team members gather their chairs into a tight circle as the quiz starts. Team captains are chosen and a runner designated to bring a team’s answer to the judges’ table. And “runner” is a misnomer, because quiet walking is required.

Even the celebrations are quiet. As correct answers are announced, team members raise their hands and shake their fingers in support.

Quiet doesn’t mean a lack of student enthusiasm.

“It’s just fun to see the excitement and how much the students enjoy reading,” said Pam Murkerson, library para-educator at Sunnycrest Elementary. Murkerson, who works with librarian Jill Haack on the reading-challenge project, said the challenge process all starts in the fall.

“We have them read the books, then they find websites with quizzes, they write their own questions and ask each other and we meet in the library and do practice challenges,” Murkerson said. “We even have the older grades come back to tell the third-graders about the challenge and what to expect.”

The reading challenge identifies six books from which quiz questions are drawn. The books this year were:

  • “Adventures of a South Pole Pig,” by Chris Kurtz
  • “The Great Cake Mystery,” by Alexander McCall Smith
  • “The Lemonade War,” by Jacqueline Davies
  • “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” by Beverly Cleary
  • “Odd, Weird, & Little,” by Patrick Jennings
  • “The Sasquatch Escape,” by Suzanne Selfors

Authors Selfors and Jennings were on stage as judges for the final, along with Chuck Pratt, managing librarian at the Stanwood Library.

The reading challenge is the brainchild of Jane López-Santillana, children’s librarian at the Oak Harbor Library.

“It started seven years ago with just two schools on Whidbey Island. This year, we had 46 schools and 192 teams with 1,312 students participate,” López-Santillana said. “Third grade is an important point in reading development. The reading challenge is an opportunity to get those 8- and 9-year-olds engaged and excited about reading.”

Parents seem to like what the challenge does for their children, too. A post-challenge parents survey brought these comments:

“My son always hated reading and getting him to read was always a chore … I've seen him go from despising reading to loving it.  He willingly signed up for the challenge and read longer than his required nightly reading so he could participate in the challenge.”

“A great experience for my daughter.  Builds confidence getting up on the stage.  Encourages them to read and work together as a team.”

 “It taught her to be diligent in note taking and to understand the words she is reading.  It also prompted more conversation between her and me as she shared what she was reading.”

“His pride in reading and being on a team has increased his confidence.”

“My daughter loves to read!  She tends to be pretty quiet, and isn't into team sports.  This is a great experience for her to shine at something she's passionate about while getting a great team experience, too.  Thanks!”

The Third Grade Reading Challenge is officially known as “The Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third Grade Reading Challenge” and made possible by funding from the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, the Northwest Literacy Foundation and Howarth Trust.

Photo gallery

Whidbey Reads hosts presentations by BC author

Originally published Mar. 30, 2016

Brian Payton knows the wilderness.

The British Columbia-based author has chronicled his own off-the-beaten-path travels in tracking down the eight remaining species of bears on Earth. He has also told the tale of a 19th-century ship and its crew sent into the Arctic in search of a lost expedition, only to find its own icy end.

Payton will bring his latest battle with the elements, "The Wind is Not a River," to Whidbey Island on April 13-14 for two free presentations. The first event will start at 2 p.m., April 13, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 18341 SR 525, Freeland, and the second at 7 p.m., April 14, Oak Harbor Library, 1000 Regatta Dr.

The public is also invited to an author reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. April 13 at Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge, 63 Jacobs Road, Coupeville. RSVPs requested to Jennifer O'Brien at the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation.

Payton’s visit is part of the annual Whidbey Reads program sponsored by Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, Whidbey Island Friends of the Library groups and volunteers from across Whidbey Island.  Other partners include Skagit Valley College, Best Western Harbor Plaza, Wind & Tide Books, and Moonraker Books.

In "The Wind is Not a River," Payton takes readers back to WWII and the mostly forgotten Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands. He weaves the brutal facts of wartime with the emotions of human frailties and sets it all in the harsh realities of Alaska’s inhospitable environment. In the story, journalist John Easley, driven to uncover the truth of the invasion, is shot down over the Aleutian Islands where he struggles to survive and hide from Japanese patrols. Meanwhile, his wife, Helen, begins her own Alaskan journey by joining the USO in an effort to follow her husband and discover his fate.

“The environment in the Aleutian Islands is very much a character in the book,” Payton said by phone from his Vancouver Island home. “For the man, the environment is both his protection and a formidable enemy. For the woman, it is an unknown and persistent element in her search.”

As a teen, Payton spent time living in Anchorage where he first learned of the Battle of Attu during WWII. “In Alaska, the details are not well-known and outside of Alaska people generally have no knowledge,” he said.

A 2014 New York Times review called the book “gripping” and “meditative,” appropriate words given that the author’s background includes tracking down bears and an education by Benedictine monks at the Seminary of Christ the King in Mission, BC.

“I’m so pleased to be invited to be part of the Whidbey Reads program,” Payton said. “It is a very special treat to speak with people who may have already read the book. My presentation will be on the story behind the story, what drew me to it and what it took to tell it.”

"The Wind is Not a River" is available for immediate download through April 30 in both digital and audio formats at Sno-Isle Libraries where print copies may also be reserved.

Whidbey Reads, with Brian Payton

April 13, 2 p.m.
Trinity Lutheran Church
18341 SR 525
Freeland, WA 98249

April 14, 7 p.m.
Oak Harbor Library
1000 Regatta Dr.
Oak Harbor, WA 98277-3091

Whidbey Reads is an annual program that brings Whidbey Island residents together to read and talk about a book. A series of public events focuses on themes related to the story. The shared experience serves as a springboard to explore commonalities and differences. Donations to the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation may be earmarked "Whidbey Reads" to help bring more great authors to Whidbey Island.

Sno-Isle Libraries to honor 38 President's Volunteer Service Award recipients

Originally published Mar. 25, 2016

The 2015 numbers for Sno-Isle Libraries’ volunteers are impressive:

  • 38 President’s Volunteer Service Award recipients
  • 654 total volunteers
  • 22,700 total volunteer hours

“The Sno-Isle Libraries volunteer program is an unqualified success thanks to the people who commit their time, talents and hearts to serving their communities,” Executive Director Jonalyn Wolff-Ivory said. “I’m so proud of the 38 volunteers who achieved the President’s Volunteer Service Award and all our volunteers who help across the system.”

Presidential Volunteer Service AwardsThe President’s Volunteer Service Award is a nationally recognized initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency founded in 1990. With a mission of inspiring more to answer the call to service, the agency and the award celebrate the impact volunteers can make in bettering their communities.

Congressman Rick Larsen said he supports the volunteers, their efforts and the award program.

“The contributions that volunteers make through service to our communities in Northwest Washington is invaluable,” said the 2nd District Democrat. “The hundreds of hours these volunteers have given make our libraries an even stronger community resource to encourage reading and lifelong learning. I thank these volunteers for their service and commend them on qualifying for the President’s Volunteer Service Award.”  

The award honors those who complete specified numbers of volunteer hours serving specific age groups over 12 months. Volunteers who achieve these milestones are recognized with gold-, silver- or bronze-level awards. The Sno-Isle volunteers who reached this goal will be honored during an event from 10:30 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 16, at the Sno-Isle Libraries Service Center.

For 2015, the 38 Sno-Isle President’s Volunteer Service Award recipients contributed a total of more than 5,400 volunteer hours. The recipients are:

Gold award

  • Anthony Le, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Shaela Niles, Oak Harbor Library

Silver award

  • Bryan Beecken, Lynnwood Library
  • Jeffrey DePue, Service Center
  • Molly Leung, Arlington Library
  • Linda Patterson, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Hedy Shiu, Lynnwood Library

Bronze award

  • Mary Aquala, Service Center
  • Frances Ball, Service Center
  • Sharon Bilbro, Snohomish Library
  • Karen Bodnar, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Mary Brown, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Elizabeth Coxen, Monroe Library
  • Lyric Crane, Snohomish Library
  • Bonnie Drake, Monroe Library
  • Michael Gantala, Monroe Library
  • Bonnie Gerken, Lynnwood Library
  • Thomas Ghebreyesus, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Suzie Gibson, Lynnwood Library
  • Justin Green, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Helen Kinsella, Coupeville Library
  • Gail Lajo, Freeland Library
  • Laura Lewis, Stanwood Library
  • Israel Maza, Lynnwood Library
  • Linda McCann, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Richard McGee, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Patrick McGourty, Marysville Library
  • Jacquelyn Meadows, Arlington Library
  • Jean Minsky, Lynnwood Library
  • Trish Motyl-Hruby, Mill Creek Library
  • Julie Nord, Lake Stevens Library/Service Center
  • Norbu Sangpo., Mill Creek Library
  • Ryan Scheffer, Arlington Library
  • Rosie Severns, Lynnwood Library
  • David Wachob, Mukilteo Library
  • Hayley Wedler, Snohomish Library
  • Terry Wright, Stanwood Library
  • Tina Yang, Lynnwood Library

While volunteers have long played an important role with Sno-Isle Libraries, the volunteer program was formalized in 2006, resulting in an immediate jump in service hours. In 2010, Sno-Isle joined the   

President’s Volunteer Service Award as a certifying organization and 2015 was the sixth year Sno-Isle volunteers have been honored with the awards.

More information, contact:

Nancy Pursel, Volunteer Program Coordinator,, 360-651-7003

Jim Hills, Public Information Manager,, 360-651-7050

I have always imagined that paradise will be some kind of library.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Sno-Isle Libraries Administrative & Service Center
7312 35th Ave NE, Marysville, WA 98271-7417
360-651-7000 (local) • 877-766-4753 (toll free) • 360-651-7151 (fax)
©2016 Sno-Isle Libraries