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Sno-Isle Libraries closed July 4

Originally published Jun. 28, 2017

Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed Tuesday, July 4 for Independence Day. Regular hours will resume Wednesday, July 5. See locations & hours.

Learn the write stuff in new class series

Originally published Jun. 27, 2017

Summer is a great time to read a good book.

How about writing one?

For the second year in a row, local writing and publishing experts are teaching dozens of classes on how to write, revise and publish that book that’s bottled up inside your head.

“In 2016, we presented 31 classes in our first ‘Write Now,’ series,” said Jackie Parker, Lead Librarian for Reader’s services at Sno-Isle Libraries, which is sponsoring the classes. “The participants said they loved it; 95 percent said they learned helpful new stuff and 8 out of 10 said they were more confident about becoming involved in the writing community.”

That first round attracted more than 200 attendees and brought comments such as, “It was great to learn from someone that has been through the process,” and “… it was relieving to discover I’m not alone in my struggles to find time and discipline to write.” 

And those attendees said they wanted more. More classes and more often.

“This year, we’ve lined up 46 classes that will run from July 11 to Dec. 4,” Parker said. All the classes are free and subjects range from choosing the right words to choosing the right agent. “We wanted classes that would help aspiring authors get started and accomplished authors get better,” she said.

Camille Griep is scheduled to kick-off the series with “Breaking the Rules of Writing 101” at 6 p.m., July 11 at the Granite Falls Library.

“I start by talking about all things you hear from agents; what authors should do and shouldn’t ever do,” said Griep, a published author and editor of “Easy Street,” a literary magazine. “Then we discuss why authors break the rules, why it works and doesn’t drive readers crazy. We use real world examples.”

Some attendees will come with their manuscript and a problem, Griep said, adding, “It can become a collaborative brainstorming session.”

Building a supportive community around writers is key to good writing, she said.

“It’s a myth that writers sit around in the basement with a whiskey bottle,” Griep said. “I’ve learned that having a writing community around you is really important. It becomes harder to put down your project and say nobody cares. Accountability is good.”

A number of the classes are focused on what it takes to get published with tips coming from the likes of Beth Jusino and Terry Persun.

Jusino is a publishing consultant for both traditional and self-publishing authors and author of The Author's Guide to Marketing. She is a member of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild and has taught at writers’ conferences across the country.

Jusino’s class, “You Wrote a Book - Now What? Understanding Today’s Publishing Choices ,” will take a look at a modern writer’s publishing options, from “Big 5” traditional publishers to small presses to self-publishing to hybrid and other emerging models.  Jusino is also presenting a second class, “Self-Editing Tips for Self-Publishing Writers,” where attendees will walk through a 46-point checklist of things to look for in their own work, from first draft to final layout.

Persun will teach “Get Published, Stay Published.” A prolific author and presence on Amazon, Persun’s class will cover everything from organization through how to contact editors and how to maintain a steady flow of content for publication. “Writing, like any other art, requires skill and creativity,” Persun says and attendees will hear the five specific things that can help writers get into the game and stay there.

Parker said she is excited about the opportunities for writers in the range of subjects and the expertise of presenters in this year’s “Write Now” series.

“We know that writers almost always start out as big readers and that readers often want to be writers,” Parker said. “Whether you’re struggling with page one or you have a full manuscript in your hands, be it fiction, children’s, nonfiction, or if you just want to write your family’s history, there’s a session for you.” 

Due to space limitations, some events require registration and are underlined in the online events calendar.

Sno-lsle Libraries Board of Trustees seeking applications

Originally published Jun. 23, 2017


The Sno-lsle Libraries Board of Trustees is seeking a Snohomish County resident to fill one library trustee position to complete a partial term expiring Dec. 31, 2019.

The Board of Trustees is the governing body for Sno-lsle Libraries, an intercounty rural library district serving Snohomish and Island counties. The Board sets library policies, reviews and approves the annual budget, and determines the general direction of the Library District. The Board is established under the laws of the State of Washington. Trustees represent the Library District to the community and advocate for the Library District at the local and state level.

Applicants must be a resident of Snohomish County and be committed to the principle and philosophy of a tax-supported public library. Additionally, Trustees are expected to support the mission of the Library District "to be a community doorway to reading, resources, and lifelong learning, and to be a center for people, ideas and culture."

Applications are due no later than Friday, July 28, 2017, to Jessica Hanaumi, Sno-lsle Libraries, 7312 35th Ave NE, Marysville, WA 98271. Applications will be evaluated and the selected candidate must be approved by the Snohomish County Council.

For additional information about the Board of Trustees, to request an application, or to request any assistance in completing the nomination form because of a disability, please contact Jessica Hanaumi at 360-651-7002.

Business experts offer the secrets to your success

Originally published Jun. 7, 2017

While imitation may be sincerely flattering, it can also be actually profitable.

For the up-and-coming businessperson, the trick can be in finding someone worth imitating. To get over that hump, Sno-Isle Libraries has put together a list of successful people who are sharing their secrets. For free.

“It’s called ‘Business Pros: Expert Help to Start or Grow Your Business,’” said Kassy Rodeheaver, Lead Librarian for Business Services at the library district. “We are partnering with business owners who have expertise on a range of topics to present workshops, classes and lectures at our community libraries across Snohomish and Island counties.”

In addition to listing all the Business Pros classes on the Sno-Isle Libraries website, Rodeheaver also launched a page on for the Business Pros series.

“Meetup is a great place to find resources and support,” Rodeheaver said. There are 58 upcoming events listed on the “Entrepreneurs-at-Sno-Isle-Libraries” Meetup page which already has 144 followers.

The goal, Rodeheaver said, is to help would-be entrepreneurs, as well as current business owners, develop new skills to help them launch or grow a business.

“Strengthening the local economy is a strategic priority for Sno-Isle Libraries,” Rodeheaver said. “One way we can do that is by inviting those who have business knowledge to share it with the community.”

This is the third time Rodeheaver has put together such a spectrum of business-related classes. “Just like a good business, we listened to our customers and made adjustments,” she said. “I’m very excited about the high-level of expertise available.”

While classes will run through December, Rodeheaver said there is a strong lineup this month. “We have everything from the essentials of starting a business to social-media marketing to how to unclutter your desk,” Rodeheaver said.

Business Pros classes for June are:

Business start-up essentials

Do you have an exciting idea for a new business or want to expand on an existing one, but don't have any idea where to start?  Taking that first step can be the most rewarding and the most terrifying all at the same time!

  • Thursday, June 8
  • 5:30 p.m.
  • Mariner Library

Purge paper, conquer piles, create files

Are you feeling overwhelmed and embarrassed by paper piles on your desk? Are you wasting time looking for important documents? Learn how to organize your office embracing the 5S philosophy, including appropriate office tools, creating a paper flow, scanning documents and creating simple paper file systems.

  • Thursday, June 8
  • 6 p.m.
  • Brier Library

Social media marketing for creative professionals

Creative professionals need to become an expert in reaching their audiences, but social media can appear overwhelming. This class will help you cut through the online maze to choose where and how to promote your business.

  • Friday, June 9
  • 8 a.m.
  • Arlington Library

Turning shares into sales: An intro to social media marketing

Learn how to successfully market your small business on social media in just one hour! Get an introduction to the top social media platforms, who uses them, for what, and which one will drive the most customers to you. 

  • Saturday, June 10
  • 10 a.m.
  • Langley Library

Are you ready to start a business?

We will talk about what it takes to start a business, discussing resources, character qualities, support systems, and things to consider when choosing what product or service to provide or franchise to purchase.

  • Saturday, June 17
  • 11 a.m.
  • Stanwood Library

Create your own website

Do you have an exciting idea for a new business or want to expand on an existing one, but don't have any idea where to start?  Taking that first step can be the most rewarding and the most terrifying all at the same time!

  • Thursday, June 22
  • 5:30 p.m.
  • Mariner Library

Financing your business: Where's the money?

One of the keys to a successful business is your ability to obtain and secure appropriate financing in a timely manner. This workshop will cover the loan program eligibility requirements and credit criteria to accommodate a wide range of financing needs. 

  • Tuesday, June 27
  • 5 p.m.
  • Granite Falls Library

Get clear on your priorities for your business  

Working harder does not always equal more success. We will work through five key strategies to help you become more focused and productive.

  • Wednesday, June 28
  • 5:30 p.m.
  • Mountlake Terrace Library

Essential step-by-steps to successful internet marketing  

Do not miss out on the powerful business results that an effective Internet marketing strategy can afford. From establishing your initial keyword strategy to leveraging social media to promote content online all the way through to analyzing and refining your strategies.

  • Thursday, June 29
  • 5 p.m.
  • Mariner Library

For more information, contact Kassy Rodeheaver, Lead Librarian for Business Services, 360-651-7017,

'Explore Summer: Build a Better World' is underway

Originally published Jun. 1, 2017

Summer is time for activities and Sno-Isle Libraries is chock full of opportunities for kids and teens to build, create, read and have fun.

For 2017, the Explore Summer theme is “Build a Better World” and all 22 community libraries across Snohomish and Island counties have lined up a summer’s worth of activities for children and tweens/teens, said Leslie Moore, children's and outreach services manager for Sno-Isle Libraries.

“Sno-Isle Libraries is the perfect place to help your imagination take off,” Moore said. “Join us at any of the community libraries or online for books, movies, music, activities and a whole lot of fun.”

Books and reading are central to Explore Summer: Build a Better World. Studies show that students who take part in summer reading significantly improve their reading skills and are more ready when they return to school in the fall.

Part of Explore Summer is a reading challenge that allows participants to earn free books. The challenge has four steps:

  1. Register at
  2. Track 10 hours of reading on a printable reading log or online
  3. Win! Show the completed log, either paper or online, to a library staff member and then choose a free book.
  4. Keep reading to “Build a Better World.” For every additional 10 hours logged, participants earn a vote for something new at a Sno-Isle Libraries community library of their choice.

“In addition to great books and the reading challenge, we have fun, free programs for kids and teens all summer long to keep them engaged in the joy of learning,” Moore said. “They’re all listed on the Explore Summer calendar online.”

Here are a few of those programs:


Isaac Peterson and The Reptile Man, Scott Petersen, will bring some of the reptiles such as snakes, alligators and tortoises from the Reptile Zoo in Monroe.


Build a bridge using K'nex and learn how to get from here to there.

Wired Up

Staff members from the Pacific Science Center will help participants explore electricity.


From Prof. Fickelstein's Physics Phactory exploring Isaac Newton's three Laws of Motion utilizing physical comedy, mime, music, magic and sound effects to building roller coasters and creating cardboard cars powered by balloons.


Sno-Isle Libraries is all about the Minecraft video game, from introductory sessions to bring-it-on tournaments.

And, for those who can’t make it to a community library, there is Explore Summer – DIY. Print out one of these do-it-yourself activities such as making a paper house, a drum, or story quilt.

Besides the reading challenge and activities, Sno-Isle Libraries staff members have developed reading categories and lists as jumping-off points for young readers.  “We also want children and teens to just enjoy reading and have the fun of exploring and learning,” Moore said.

The Explore Summer booklist categories for children includes:

  • Global Citizens: Learn more about the many cultures and people of the world
  • How We Live: Does your school or home look different from other kids in your neighborhood or around the globe?
  • Makers & Tinkerers:  Are you a maker? Do you love to tinker? Check out one of these books and get to work!
  • STEM: Science activities, experiments and fiction
  • Young Writers & Cartoonists: Learn from authors, illustrators and comic book artists how to create a story or cartoon this summer.
  • The Stories We Tell: Folktales and fairy tales from around the world

Booklist categories for teens include:

  • Build a Better World with Graphic Novels
  • Inspirational Nonfiction
  • Build a Better World with Teen Fiction
  • The Everett Public Schools 2017 Summer Reading Adventure

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2017 is coming Nov. 4

Originally published Jun. 1, 2017

Ken Harvey, Sno-Isle Libraries Communications Director and licensee for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries, welcomes a speaker to the stage at the 2016 event. Speaker nominations for 2017 are open June 3-11. Photo gallery

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2017

Changes are in store for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries in 2017.

In 2015, Sno-Isle Libraries crossed its organizational fingers and launched TEDxSnoIsleLibraries. In 2016, the tremendous success and support from the inaugural effort propelled even greater community interest. The reserved seating was snapped up in the first 30 hours of availability.

So what’s up for 2017?

“We’re going to try some new things,” said Ken Harvey, Sno-Isle Libraries Communications Director and licensee for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries. “The event will be at Kamiak High School in the Mukilteo School District and the program will be a bit shorter, from 1-5 p.m., Nov. 4, a Saturday afternoon.”

Registration for the free event will open this fall. Speaker nominations are accepted June 3-11.

The two previous TEDxSnoIsleLibraries events were all-day Friday affairs at Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA).

Moving to a Saturday will allow attendance by those who couldn’t come on a work day, Harvey said. An afternoon schedule means attendees will have time for other activities that day.

The 2017 event also will feature more interaction between attendees and the speakers.

“TEDx is a powerful format to share ideas. Audience members get energized and want to ask questions of the speakers,” Harvey said. “We’re going to use the classrooms at Kamiak to create spaces for audience members and the speakers to continue sharing ideas.”

The popular IdeaLab will be back, with space for interactive, informational and display opportunities.

“TEDxSnoIsleLibraries was always envisioned as an event that not only represents the vibrancy of the entire library district, but would also physically move to different locations in Snohomish and Island counties,” Harvey said of the venue change.

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries events in 2015 and 2016 were terrific successes, Harvey said.

 “We’re thankful for the wonderful support provided by ECA, the City of Edmonds and the entire Edmonds community,” he said. “The audience and experience built with the help of ECA leadership and staff is invaluable and allows TEDxSnoIsleLibraries to continue to meet its goals and those of the library district.

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries aligns with Sno-Isle Libraries priorities of building civic engagement and addressing community issues, he said.

Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory has noted that Sno-Isle Libraries is all about ideas and that TEDxSnoIsleLibraries is, in essence, a library without walls.

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2017 speaker nominations open June 3-11

Originally published Jun. 1, 2017

Harshu Musunari stands on the TEDxSnoIsleLibraries stage in 2016.
Photo gallery

Speak up at TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2017

Alone on a stage, standing on a red rug under blinding lights, exposing your ideas to an audience of hundreds and video cameras sending your words and image around the globe.

If that doesn’t sound like a nightmare, you might be interested in applying to be a speaker at TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2017. Or, interested in nominating someone you know. Online nominations may be submitted June 3-11.

“Our theme this year is ‘Sharing Our Future,’” said Ken Harvey, Sno-Isle Libraries Communications Director and licensee for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries.

The event is scheduled for 1-5 p.m., Nov. 4, at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, but successful candidates shouldn’t expect to just show up at noon, check out the green room and go on stage.  Harvey stressed that being a TEDx speaker requires more commitment, but also brings more personal value, than most public speaking engagements.

“We typically think of the audience as being impacted by TEDx talks, but the experience is also transformational for the speakers,” Harvey said.

Applications are carefully reviewed and initial interviews scheduled with potential speakers. Even after being selected, a speaker may be counseled on taking a different approach to the subject. And then comes the coaching.

“We assign a coach to each speaker candidate,” Harvey said. “The speaker and the coach work in regular sessions over the months leading up to the event to hone the presentation.”

Jeff Ericson spoke at the 2015 event about the future of social enterprise, something he knows about as president of Camano Island Coffee Co. and the work he does with small coffee growers in poor countries.

“My advice for anyone that’s going to do a TEDx is just jump in and embrace the whole experience,” Ericson said following his experience. “The process before the speech is really where all the lessons and the learning came from.”

Sno-Isle Libraries closed May 29

Originally published May. 23, 2017

Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, May 30. See locations & hours.

Marysville Library hosts TechFest 2017

Originally published May. 22, 2017

LEFT: The Oculus Rift virtual reality system includes goggles for a 3D experience.  RIGHT: WSU Engineering Club President Mitch Elder pilots the Mars rover.   Photo gallery

Virtual reality goggles, 3D printing and a rover designed to operate on Mars were just some of the technological marvels on display at Marysville Library.

“TechFest 2017: Trending Technology” on May 20 was the library’s second annual celebration of technology-aided creativity and collaboration.

The event included a demonstration of the Mars rover built by students in the engineering club at the WSU North Puget Sound at Everett. The rover placed second in the 2016 worldwide competition and is scheduled to compete again June 1-2 in the University Rover Competition.

Younger attendees got their hands on LEGO Wee-Do robots, LEGO Mindstorm and Ozobots. Others lined up to see a 3D world through Oculus Rift and other 3D goggles and systems. Members of SnoCo Makerspace were on hand with a 3D printing demonstration. Representatives from Marysville Makers were also on hand.

A panel discussion on aspects of robotics was streamed live on Facebook. Panelists included Jeff Lynass, club adviser for the Lake Stevens Robotics Club and speaker at TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2016; Annette  Floyd, Student Achievement and Initiatives Manager, Everett Community College; Pat Burnett, Engineering Department Head, STEM Division, Edmonds Community College; and Mitch Elder, President of the Engineering Club at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett. The panel moderator was Marysville Library librarian Mark Barnett.

While TechFest is an annual event at Marysville Library, all Sno-Isle Libraries community libraries host a variety of technology-related classes throughout the year.

School officials honor Sno-Isle Libraries, Lake Stevens Library

Originally published May. 22, 2017

Lake Stevens School District Superintendent Amy Beth Cook, school district Food and Nutrition Manager Mollie Langum, Lake Stevens Library Managing Librarian Sonia Gustafson and Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory at the Washington Association of School Administrators Region 109 recognition event on May 11. Langum received the group's Student Achievement Leadership Award.

Sno-Isle Libraries and the Lake Stevens Library have been honored by the Washington Association of School Administrators Region 109.

The Community Leadership Award was presented to Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory and Lake Stevens Managing Librarian Sonia Gustafson at a May 11 luncheon in Everett to honor educators and community leaders.

“It is an honor to be recognized by public school officials who are so dedicated to students and our communities,” Woolf-Ivory said.

Sno-Isle Libraries was cited as an integral partner of Lake Stevens School District, supporting early learning programs as well as private child-care centers and preschools in the community. The Lake Stevens Library hosts community programs that engage participants in a variety of activities focused on literacy, education, economics and civics.

“We appreciate Sno-Isle’s efforts to expand our local library facility and we look forward to a continued partnership for years to come,” said Lake Stevens School District Superintendent Amy Beth Cook. 

The Lake Stevens Library is one of 22 community libraries in the Sno-Isle Libraries library district that serve nearly 750,000 residents in Snohomish and Island counties and includes online options and Library on Wheels.

Each year the school administrators group hosts a regional event to honor educators and community leaders. Region 109 includes administrators from Arlington, Darrington, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Index, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Marysville, Monroe, Mukilteo, Snohomish, South Whidbey, Stanwood-Camano and Sultan school districts.?


Hands-on learning with worms

Originally published May. 19, 2017

Alexa Dahl, 6, of Everett gingerly picks out a worm to put into her take-home worm farm at the Snohomish Library on Friday, May 12. Dahl and about 20 other children learned about soil and composting, plants and the environment while building their own worm farms. The children also helped plant flowers in a bed on the north side of the library. The event was supported by The Snohomish Garden Club and The Friends of the Snohomish Library.

Doug Ramsay photo,

Published in The Tribune Newspaper


'The 100 Year Miracle' spawns Whidbey Reads programs

Originally published May. 17, 2017


ABOVE: Tattoo expert Krysteen Lomonaco of Mehndi Madness presents the history, tradition and art of tattooing, followed by the application of henna tattoos for program participants in April at Coupeville Library. Photo gallery

BELOW: Ashley Ream is author of “The 100 Year Miracle” and interviewed recently by Langley Library staff member Kaley Costello for a post on Sno-Isle Libraries “BiblioFiles” blog.

“Whidbey Reads” is about bringing a community together around a book.

The common experience of reading, discussing and perhaps meeting the author becomes a thread in the fabric of a community. That thread can become a whole closet full of experiences when the book resonates with daily life in that community as does “The 100 Year Miracle”  by Seattle-based author Ashley Ream.

Whidbey Reads usually includes several book-group meetings and perhaps a few additional programs before culminating with a meet-the-author event. This year, Sno-Isle Libraries staff members were inspired to create an extensive series of events exploring the rich images and themes used by Ream to weave her story.

Jane Lopez-Santillana, assistant managing librarian at Oak Harbor Library, said the book’s themes include ecology, respect for native traditions and lore, chronic illness, alternative medicines and the potential for discovery of cures in nature. All of that and, mystery, personal intrigue and tragedy.

Some of the Whidbey Reads events include:

  • A demonstration henna tattoos and the history of tattoos
  • Blending therapeutic herbal tea
  • Traditional Native American foods
  • Native American stories
  • Bioluminescence in nature
  • Understanding microbes
  • The underwater world of the Salish Sea
  • Alternative pain management
  • Multiple book discussion meetings

And, there will be two opportunities to meet author Ream:

  • 4 p.m., Wednesday, June 7, Trinity Lutheran Church, 18341 Highway 525, Freeland.
  • 2 p.m., Thursday, June 8, Oak Harbor Library, 1000 SE Regatta Drive, Oak Harbor.

Both events are free and books sales and signing will be available. The Oak Harbor Library event will be streamed live to Sno-Isle Libraries Facebook page.

Whidbey Reads 2017 is a collaborative effort between Sno-Isle Libraries, Whidbey Island Friends of the Library groups and volunteers from each community on Whidbey Island.  Other partners include Skagit Valley College, Best Western Plus Oak Harbor Hotel & Conference Center, The Book Rack, and Moonraker Books.

Upgrade work to close Edmonds Library for one day

Originally published May. 9, 2017

The Edmonds Library will close for one day on Thursday, May 25, for work that will rearrange the customer service area and add new computers and new computer desks. On the closure day, library staff will be in the lobby to help customers pick up items they have on hold.  

The Edmonds Library is going to spruce things up a bit, but the work will require a one-day closure.

“The library will be closed on Thursday, May 25,” said Managing Librarian Richard Suico. “We will have staff members in the lobby from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to help customers pick up the items they have on hold.”

The work will focus primarily on customer services areas and add new computers and new desks in the public computing area.

In the customer service area, the stand-alone reference desk will be incorporated into the current main service desk area. Desks for express checkout computers will be added along with computers for issuing library cards. Part of all that work will include new shelving for items that are on hold for customers.

New computers will be installed in the heavily used public computing area. The Friends of the Edmonds Library are stepping up to cover the cost of new desks for the new computers. “We’re very thankful for the support the Friends of the Library provides for customers,” Suico said.

Some additional, not-so-visible work will occur during the closure, too. Power outlets and computer cabling will be added to facilitate the new and repositioned computer. In the staff area, storage space will be renovated to make it more efficient.

While main library space will be closed, staff members will be on hand working in the lobby, use the time to inventory items on the shelves and performing other tasks.

“It may be a day off for our customers, but we’ll be there and very busy,” Suico said. The library will reopen on Friday, May 26.

'Bookworms' dive into pizza at Mt. Pilchuck Elementary

Originally published Apr. 28, 2017

Third-graders at Mt. Pilchuck Elementary School have pizza on April 28 as part of their reward for winning the 2017 Sno-Isle Libraries Third-Grade Reading Challenge.

Party gallery - Reading challenge finals gallery - Finals video

What do Bookworms eat?

Pizza and cake.

At least, that’s what they eat when they’re third-graders from Mt. Pilchuck Elementary School and part of the winning team in the 2017 Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third Grade Reading Challenge.

On Friday, April 28, the goodies arrived at the school library, courtesy of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. They were delivered by Monica Jackson, children's librarian at the Lake Stevens Library, and Karin Thomsen, children's librarian at the Lynnwood Library.

Mt. Pilchuck Principal Christine Larson, librarian Linda Mauer, third-grade teacher Lisa Holland and para-educator Susan Kent participated in the event.

More than 40 students from Mt. Pilchuck Elementary in the Lake Stevens School District were part of the 2017 reading challenge. Participants read six books and then test their knowledge in a verbal, quiz-style test. More than 1,300 students on 194 teams from 50 schools across Snohomish and Island counties took part this year.

The winning Mt. Pilchuck team, self-named “Bookworms,” made it through semi-final competitions at the school and district level on their way to the finals on March 30 in Mukilteo. The Bookworms faced -off against six other teams and won the title on a tiebreaker question.

This is the second time a team from Mt. Pilchuck has won the reading challenge. The school took its first title in 2015.

The reading challenge encourages children to have fun and enjoy reading while honing their literacy and teamwork skills. The program is sponsored by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and the Northwest Literacy Foundation. 

Ceremony honors Sno-Isle Libraries volunteers

Originally published Apr. 24, 2017

The volunteer awards event took place Saturday, April 22, at the Sno-Isle Libraries Service Center in Marysville. Photo gallery 

Applications for Sno-Isle Libraries volunteers are being accepted now.

Nearly 700 Sno-Isle Libraries volunteers contributed almost 23,000 hours in 2016 to help customers and their communities.

Thirty-six volunteers earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award for their efforts. On April 22, 2017, those awards were presented during a ceremony at the Sno-Isle Libraries Service Center in Marysville.

Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees Chair Marti Anamosa welcomed the volunteers in attendance along with their friends and families. Executive 
Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory in her remarks acknowledged the Sno-Isle Libraries nominees for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards.
The 2017 award recipients, nominees and the location they work are:

- Linda Patterson*, Mountlake Terrace Library

- Kristen  Macaluso, Lynnwood Library
- Hedy Shiu*, Lynnwood Library
- Anthony Le, Mountlake Terrace Library
- David Benjamin Ochoa, Mountlake Terrace Library
- Andrea Vernon*, Service Center

- Dan Clark, Camano Island Library
- Helen Kinsella, Coupeville Library
- Kelly Smith, Edmonds Library
- Shirley Vanderbilt, Edmonds Library
- Gail Lajo, Freeland Library
- Bryan Beecken, Lynnwood Library
- Bonnie  Gerken*, Lynnwood Library
- Jean Minsky, Lynnwood Library
- Trish Motyl-Hruby, Mill Creek Library
- Chris Cannon, Mountlake Terrace Library
- Kevin Kleinecke, Mountlake Terrace Library
- Linda McCann, Mountlake Terrace Library
- Richard McGee, Mountlake Terrace Library
- Elizabeth Coxen, Monroe Library
- Bonnie  Drake, Monroe Library
- Michael Gantala, Monroe Library
- Amber Helman, Monroe Library
- Deborah Kyle, Monroe Library
- Randi Grossman, Mukilteo Library
- Huey-Jong (Amy) Liaw, Mukilteo Library
- David Wachob, Mukilteo Library
- Lillian VanWey, Oak Harbor Library
- Frances Ball, Service Center
- Jeffrey DePue, Service Center
- Denise  Nordland, Service Center
- Lyric Crane*, Snohomish Library
- Laura Lewis, Stanwood Library
- Shirley Snavely, Stanwood Library
- Samantha Sommers, Stanwood Library
- Teri Towle, Stanwood Library
*Governor’s Service Award nominee

Governor’s Service Award nominees
- George Winters, Darrington Library
- Bridget Wisniewski, Darrington Library
- Sue Norman,  Oak Harbor Library
- Zach Furney, Service Center
- Emily McLaughlin Sta. Maria, Edmonds Library

Most libraries open on Easter Sunday

Originally published Apr. 13, 2017

On April 16, 2017, Easter Sunday, 15 of the 22 Sno-Isle Libraries community libraries will be open. This applies to libraries which are normally open from 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.

The decision to open on Sunday, April 16, is meant to meet growing customer demand for access to the library on Sundays and reflects Sno-Isle Libraries’ principle of providing free and equal access to the library’s resources.

Sno-Isle Libraries are closed on all federal holidays. When those holidays fall on a Sunday, such as New Year’s Day 2017, libraries are closed on both Sunday and the following Monday.

Sunday, Dec. 24 will be a notable exception in 2017. All libraries will be closed on Christmas Eve. Community libraries regularly close at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. That would mean libraries would only be open for 2 hours on Christmas Eve this year, with a regular Sunday opening at 1 p.m. opening and then closing the doors just two hours later. Those short open hours were determined to be an inefficient use of public resources.

Library volunteers earn President's Volunteer Service Award

Originally published Apr. 12, 2017

Thirty-six members of Sno-Isle Libraries’ extensive volunteer corps are about to receive a national honor.

“Nearly 700 people give their time and talent toward the mission of Sno-Isle Libraries,” Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “Volunteers at each of the 22 community libraries help us better serve our customers and their communities.”

On April 22, a select group of dedicated individuals will receive The President’s Volunteer Service Award. “We’re thankful for our volunteers and these awards are well-earned recognition of their efforts,” Woolf-Ivory said.

The award is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and honors those who achieve the required number of hours of volunteer service over a year or cumulative hours over a lifetime. The award recognizes milestones of service achievement and includes bronze, silver and gold levels for annual service. The President’s Lifetime Achievement Award is for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.

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

“I commend the volunteers receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award,” Larsen said. “I hope their exceptional service encourages more folks to get involved with their local libraries and give back to their communities.”

The award includes categories for school-age children, teens, young adults and adults. Honorees receive a commemorative pin, certificate and letter signed by the President of the United States.

In addition, five of the presidential award recipients were also nominated for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. Another five volunteers were also nominated for the governor’s award.

The 2017 award recipients, nominees and the location they work are:


  • Linda Patterson*, Mountlake Terrace Library


  • Kristen  Macaluso, Lynnwood Library
  • Hedy Shiu*, Lynnwood Library
  • Anthony Le, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • David Benjamin Ochoa, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Andrea Vernon*, Service Center


  • Dan Clark, Camano Island Library
  • Helen Kinsella, Coupeville Library
  • Kelly Smith, Edmonds Library
  • Shirley Vanderbilt, Edmonds Library
  • Gail Lajo, Freeland Library
  • Bryan Beecken, Lynnwood Library
  • Bonnie  Gerken*, Lynnwood Library
  • Jean Minsky, Lynnwood Library
  • Trish Motyl-Hruby, Mill Creek Library
  • Chris Cannon, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Kevin Kleinecke, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Linda McCann, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Richard McGee, Mountlake Terrace Library
  • Elizabeth Coxen, Monroe Library
  • Bonnie  Drake, Monroe Library
  • Michael Gantala, Monroe Library
  • Amber Helman, Monroe Library
  • Deborah Kyle, Monroe Library
  • Randi Grossman, Mukilteo Library
  • Huey-Jong (Amy) Liaw, Mukilteo Library
  • David Wachob, Mukilteo Library
  • Lillian VanWey, Oak Harbor Library
  • Frances Ball, Service Center
  • Jeffrey DePue, Service Center
  • Denise  Nordland, Service Center
  • Lyric Crane*, Snohomish Library
  • Laura Lewis, Stanwood Library
  • Shirley Snavely, Stanwood Library
  • Samantha Sommers, Stanwood Library
  • Teri Towle, Stanwood Library

*Governor’s Service Award nominee

Governor’s Service Award nominees

  • George Winters, Darrington Library
  • Bridget Wisniewski, Darrington Library
  • Sue Norman,  Oak Harbor Library
  • Zach Furney, Service Center
  • Emily McLaughlin Sta. Maria, Edmonds Library

Mt. Pilchuck students on top in reading challenge

Originally published Mar. 31, 2017

Members of the Mt. Pilchuck Elementary Bookworms before winning the 2017 Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third Grade Reading Challenge on March 30 at Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo. Photo gallery 
Watch interviews and highlights from the 2017 Reading Challenge Finals

The Mt. Pilchuck Elementary School Bookworms are champions of the 2017 Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third Grade Reading Challenge.

Think of it as March madness, except for third-graders and they’ve got books instead of basketballs.

More than 1,300 students on 194 teams from 50 schools across two counties read the same six book titles. Starting in early March, the teams began facing off in book knowledge quiz bowls, first at their schools and then school districts.

The top seven teams met March 30 on stage at Rosehill Community Center. After three, six-question rounds, two teams were left standing with perfect scores, the Bookworms from Mt. Pilchuck in the Lake Stevens School District and the Diamond Dolphins from Discovery Elementary in the Mukilteo School District.

One overtime question later, the champions were crowned.

“This is fun for the students, but there is more to this event,” Sno-Isle Libraries Deputy Director Kendra Trachta told the crowd of more than 250 parents, family members, teachers and other supporters. “We know that reading proficiency at the third-grade level is a strong indicator of success throughout their school careers.”

The reading challenge program encourages children to have fun and enjoy reading while honing their literacy and teamwork skills, she added.

Judges for the finals included Mukilteo School District Superintendent Marci Larsen and Trudy Rosemarin from the Northwest Literacy Foundation. Four members of the Kamiak High School cheerleading squad also greeted the teams as they arrived.

Guest judges at semifinal events included:

  • Arlington Education Foundation Sherri Ballew
  • Edmonds School District Superintendent Kris McDuffy
  • Lake Stevens City Council member Gary Petershagen
  • Lynnwood City Council member Shannon Sessions
  • Oak Harbor School District Superintendent Lance Gibbon
  • Snohomish County Council member Stephanie Wright
  • Snohomish School Board Vice President Shaunna Ballas

The six books used for this year’s challenge were:

Joining Mt. Pilchuck and Discovery elementary schools in the finals were the Reading Rock Stars from Cedarhome Elementary, Stanwood-Camano School District;  the Reading Raccoons from  South Whidbey Elementary, South Whidbey School District; the Super Eight from Beverly Elementary, Edmonds School District; the Book-Reading Dragons from Spruce Elementary, Edmonds School district, and the Book Bashers from Seattle Hill Elementary, Snohomish School District.

All participating schools for 2017 were:

Arlington School District

  • Presidents Elementary

Coupeville School District

  • Coupeville Elementary

Darrington School District

  • Darrington Elementary

Edmonds School District

  • Beverly Elementary
  • Brier Elementary
  • Cedar Valley Community School
  • Cedar Way Elementary
  • College Place Elementary
  • Edmonds Elementary
  • Hilltop Elementary
  • Lynndale Elementary
  • Lynnwood Elementary
  • Maplewood K-8
  • Sherwood Elementary
  • Spruce Elementary
  • Terrace Park Elementary
  • Westgate Elementary

Everett School District

  • Forest View Elementary
  • James Monroe Elementary
  • Silver Firs Elementary
  • Silver Lake Elementary
  • Granite Falls School District
  • Monte Cristo Elementary
  • Lake Stevens School District
  • Glenwood Elementary
  • Highland Elementary
  • Hillcrest Elementary
  • Mt. Pilchuck Elementary
  • Skyline Elementary
  • Sunnycrest Elementary

Marysville School District

  • Grove Elementary
  • Pinewood Elementary

Monroe School District

  • Chain Lake Elementary
  • Frank Wagner Elementary
  • Sky Valley Educational Center

Mukilteo School District

  • Discovery Elementary
  • Fairmount Elementary
  • Odyssey Elementary
  • Picnic Point Elementary
  • Serene Lake Elementary

Oak Harbor School District

  • Broad View Elementary
  • Crescent Harbor Elementary
  • Hillcrest Elementary
  • Oak Harbor Elementary
  • Olympic View Elementary

Snohomish School District

  • Emerson Elementary
  • Machias Elementary
  • Riverview Elementary
  • Seattle Hill Elementary

South Whidbey School District

  • South Whidbey Elementary

Stanwood-Camano School District

  • Cedarhome Elementary
  • Elger Bay Elementary
  • Stanwood Elementary
  • Utsalady Elementary?

Now 30 years of clean state audits for Sno-Isle Libraries

Originally published Mar. 30, 2017

The streak is alive.

Sno-Isle Libraries recently received clean audit reports from the Washington State Auditor’s Office. The audits extend the library district’s record of state audits with no findings to 30 years in a row.

“We take seriously the responsibility of being accountable for the public funds entrusted to Sno-Isle Libraries,” Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “I want to note the leadership of Gary Sitzman, our administrative services director. Results like this show a commitment throughout the organization.”

The Auditor’s Office issued two reports, an accountability audit for the period Jan. 1, 2014- Dec. 31, 2015 and a financial statements audit for the period Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2015.

Accountability audits focus on internal controls that ensure compliance and safeguarding of public resources. Financial statements audits look at the processes in place that allow the library district to accurately monitor finances.

“We are committed to this high level of accountability for the public’s resources,” Sitzman said. “The current audit results and 30-year milestone reflect the continued efforts of dedicated staff focused on serving the public.”

Voices raise awareness at climate-action lectures

Originally published Mar. 28, 2017

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez speaks March 24 at Coupeville High School as part of the Trudy Sundberg Memorial Lecture Series.

The voice of experience and the voice of youth came together to speak about climate change at the 2017 Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series.

And the voices were in agreement.

“Yes, people are impacting the climate,” said 16-year-old Xiuhtezcatl (shoe-TEZ-caht) Martinez, youth director of Earth Guardians, an organization of activists, artists and musicians from across the globe. “But this is not about saving the climate, this is about saving the people.”

Martinez, from Boulder, Colo., spoke to packed houses on March 24 at Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center and March 25 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. He was joined by KC Golden, senior policy adviser at Climate Solutions in Seattle and Board Chair at, a global climate advocacy group.

Golden said is named for the target level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere generally accepted by scientists as needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. The current CO2 level is above 400.

During his remarks, Golden showed an image of the globe at the current CO2 level labeled “Earth” and another with higher levels labeled “Toast.”

“People ask, ‘Couldn’t we consider a more reasonable number than 350?’” Golden said. “It isn’t a matter of what is reasonable. It is what it is. You don’t negotiate with physics.”

Golden warned against cynicism, calling it capitulation: “The ability to turn the corner on climate change is now within our reach.”

Martinez said he comes from a family of activists and started his own efforts at age 6. The idea behind the Earth Guardians is that young people can make a difference by raising their voices and letting adults know that they are concerned about the environment. The group supports local youth-led “crews” across the U.S. and world that organize to make a difference in their own area. There is a Whidbey Island Earth Guardian crew.  

Audience questions ranged from how to deal with the climate impact of naval air operations to the best ways to use purchasing power to combat the problem.

“We can’t say we are anti-military because we are pro-climate,” Martinez replied. “That’s not going to get people on your side.”

Golden argued for making wise transportation choices. “Don’t feel guilty about pumping gas, but feel great and empowered when you do it less often,” he said. Golden also reminded people of the power of divesting from companies that are heavy carbon polluters.

Martinez urged the audiences to consider making personal choices such as supporting local and organic agriculture and cutting meat and dairy from their diets.

The Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series is sponsored by Trudy Sundberg Memorial Fund. Sundberg was known for her commitment as an Oak Harbor High School educator and community leader whose causes ranged from progressive politics to founding the Save Our Kids Crusade to supporting the arts and promoting the Whidbey Camano Land Trust. Family members, friends and the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation joined together to establish the memorial fund to underwrite a lecture series in Sundberg’s name that reflects her many areas of interest and promote lifelong learning. Oak Harbor’s Marshall Goldberg chairs the lecture series planning committee.

The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation appreciates the funding support for the 2017 lecture series provided by Whidbey Sun and Wind, Coupeville; Windermere Real Estate South Whidbey, the Tulalip Tribes and Humanities Washington.

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