Forums on homelessness spark community conversationsOriginally published Mar. 10, 2017
The homeless are not forgotten.
|Jan. 10, Langley
Photos from the forum - Video from the forum - Audio from the forum
|Jan. 26, Lake Stevens
Photos from the forum - Audio from the forum
|Feb. 22, Arlington
Photos from the forum - Facebook live event video - Audio from the forum
|Feb. 28, Mountlake Terrace
Photos from the forum - Facebook live event video - Audio recording of forum
If there is one takeaway from the four-part series “Homelessness Here” hosted by Sno-Isle Libraries, it is that communities are aware and yearning to help those who are homeless.
The second lesson: While every community is doing something, more is needed.
“I was surprised at the crowd,” said Elizabeth Kohl, director of social services for Housing Hope. “It was wonderful to see so many people and so engaged.”
Kohl was a panelist at the Mountlake Terrace Library event on Feb. 28, the final forum of the series. An overflow crowd of more than 100 people came to Mountlake Terrace, spilling out to the entryway where some watched the proceedings via Facebook Live on phones and laptop computers.
The community response was similar for the other forums.
On Jan. 10, more than 200 people filled Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley with some standing in the wings. On Jan. 26 at the Lake Stevens School District offices, a full
- house of more than 100 came to hear Lake Stevens Mayor John Spencer moderate the panel discussion. On Feb. 22, Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert took on the moderator role at Weston High School where again more than 100 community members and local officials gathered to share their concerns.
Many homeless students
At the Langley event, panelists spoke about the need and efforts on Whidbey Island.
“We push aside thoughts of homelessness because it's too hard,” said Faith Wilder, president of the South Whidbey Homeless Coalition. “We started the coalition with a goal of making homelessness brief and rare on the island.”
Vivian Rogers-Decker is the Student Support Specialist and Homeless Liaison for the Oak Harbor School District. “I have 212 homeless students,” Rogers-Decker told the crowd. She saw the need to do more and in 2012 founded SPIN Café as a way of delivering services outside the school setting. Since then, the effort has become a multi-purpose agency serving all of Whidbey Island.
Rogers-Decker said there are many triggers of homelessness, including disabilities, catastrophic illness, domestic violence, abuse, neglect, death, financial hardship as well as drug use.
“I hope everyone in this room makes a commitment to do something to help,” Rogers-Decker said.
In Lake Stevens, panelist Julio Cortes, of Cocoon House, spoke about the invisibility of some homelessness. “Youth homeless are harder to see and identify,” Cortes said. “When they are couch surfing, moving from friend to friend, you don’t see them.”
The Lake Stevens event prompted subsequent action that resulted in a couple getting help.
Paul Ryan, a Lake Stevens Library Board member and sergeant with the Monroe Police, said he saw a neighbor at the Lake Stevens forum and connected on Facebook the next day. “As a result, I was put in touch with a woman and her fiancé living in their vehicle in Monroe,” Ryan said. “I was able to meet with the woman and put her in touch with some vital resources.
“I took a lot away from the forum, but the opportunity to help the friend of a friend was the most rewarding.”
Arlington Mayor Tolbert noted in her opening remarks on Feb. 22 that while resources are available, the need is greater. “There are 156 students who are homeless in Arlington School District,” Tolbert said. “That’s not acceptable!”
In the audience that evening was Snohomish County District Court Judge Kristen Olbrechts. “I get kids in the courtroom who don't have life skills,” Olbrechts said. “There are resources for them, but they can't follow up on phone calls.”
Hearing from those without homes
The forums drew those who want to help, but the homeless came, too.
One tearful woman told the Arlington audience that she had walked around all night at a local casino just to stay warm. “It is scary,” she said.
A young man at the Mountlake Terrace event recounted how he lives in his vehicle.
“I'm living in my RV with no stable place to park,” he said. “I have a full-time job, but lost my rental house when the owner decided to sell. The state only requires a 20-days’ notice to renters. I don’t have the money for first, last and deposit; how many of us are one or two paychecks from being homeless?”
And on Whidbey Island, one young man asked about the brutal impact of some rules.
“You ask us homeless to suffer thru temps as low as freezing before getting shelter,” he said. “Why?”
Wilder of the homeless coalition responded.
“We're working for year-round shelter in Oak Harbor,” she said. “The (United Nations) says shelter is a basic human right. We see you, we hear you.”
Calls to action
Wilder outlined what audience members could do: “We need a manifesto regarding basic human dignity for everyone. We need to show up at port, transit, city meetings.”
That call to action was reinforced at the final forum
“We need champions for homeless at every level of government,” Kristen Cane, Director of Development and Policy for Housing Authority of Snohomish County, told the audience at Mountlake Terrace.
“Here’s what you can do: Contact local, state, national officials to call attention to homelessness. Then, go volunteer in your community with nonprofit, churches, the groups that are out there doing the work.”
Other suggestions from audience members and panelists
- Real estate agencies should talk with buyers, sellers, about not evicting renters quickly
- Think about long-term solutions as well as short-term help
- Give socks and cold weather gear those who are homeless, but don’t over-give because they have no place to store extras
- Vote for initiatives that would help local government cope, and have money to match federal funds
- Support the “housing first” approach, which helps stabilize people needing help with addiction and other problems
- Spread the word about calling 211, a centralized number for social service resources
- Serve as a mentor to youth at Cocoon House and other agencies helping the homeless
Issues That Matter events are sponsored by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, which relies on contributions.
Best kept secret in the Sky ValleyOriginally published Mar. 8, 2017
Photo by Valerie Rae
By Valeria Rae
Monroe Monitor Columnist
Published Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Since taking the post of Sno-Isle Libraries Monroe branch managing librarian nearly three years ago, Phil Spirito’s mission has been to change that situation.
“My goal is to make folks aware that this beautiful building is a community space. It is open 65 hours a week and it is free,” he said.
Most people think of a library as having books, of course, but the modern library system has much more to offer. Besides books and magazines, audio books and DVDs, Monroe Library offers valuable resources in the highly informed staff that are available to assist in many ways, including helping with general tech questions, how to use the libraries extensive online resources, writing resumes and searching for hard-to-find information. The public can ‘book a librarian’ for an hour by making an appointment.
Climate action the focus of Trudy Sundberg Lecture SeriesOriginally published Mar. 7, 2017
|Xiuhtezcatl Martinez||KC Golden|
Two nationally recognized leaders on climate change are coming to Whidbey Island for the 2017 Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series.
Speaking on “Climate Action: What Now? Reports from the Front Lines,” will be KC Golden and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, two different generations speaking about their experiences in the world of climate-change activism.
The lecture series honors the memory of Trudy Sundberg, a beloved Whidbey Island teacher and civic activist who passed away in 2013. The lectures are scheduled for:
- Friday, March 24, 7 p.m., Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center, 501 S. Main St., Coupeville
- Saturday, March 25, 7 p.m., Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, 565 Camano Ave, Langley
Admission is free and seating is first come, first served. There will be Q&A time following the presentations. In addition to the two public presentations, Martinez will also make a special appearance on Friday, March, 24 at South Whidbey High School.
Golden is senior policy adviser at Climate Solutions in Seattle and Board Chair at 350.org, a global climate advocacy group. He has been a leader in the national climate movement for decades and served as a policy advisor to a number of Pacific Northwest governors and mayors. In 2012, Golden received the Heinz Award for Public Policy for his lifetime achievement as a climate advocate.
Martinez, 16, is youth director of Earth Guardians, an organization of activists, artists and musicians from across the globe. The organization is stepping up to address climate change and other important issues. Martinez is a hip-hop artist and has addressed the United Nations General Assembly. He is also a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the then-Obama administration for its failure to adequately protect their future against climate change. In 2015, the Boulder, Colo., teen received the Peace First Prize and the Nickelodeon Halo Award.
“These two climate leaders bring messages that speak to both young people and adults about the current state of climate action – or inaction,” said Oak Harbor’s Marshall Goldberg, who chairs the lecture series planning committee. “Both of our speakers are on the front lines of climate action and will have a lot to say about what’s working – and what the future holds.”
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 Trudy Sundberg Memorial Fund to underwrite a lecture series in Sundberg’s name that reflects her many areas of interest and promote lifelong learning.
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.
'Prose Bowl 2017' pits 16 top titles in playoffOriginally published Mar. 1, 2017
Readers can get in the game with Prose Bowl 2017, a playoff series that pits 16 top books against each other in bracket competition starting March 1.
“Sixteen of our recent, popular titles will battle against each other in a bracket-style competition where participants will choose the winner,” said Jocelyn Redel, Teen Services Librarian at Lynnwood Library. “Don’t worry if you haven’t read all of the contenders,” Redel said. “Of course, you can check out the books through our catalog, but everyone gets to play.”
The contest details and entry forms are at The Biblio Files. The page also lists all the books along with links to the variety of reviews, summaries and other information.”
As with that other bracket-thing in March, just getting to the Prose Bowl’s version of the big dance is a feat in itself. And, up to a committee.
“We pulled the top 300 titles for past 18 months or so, looking for a variety of genres so everyone could have something they can root for,” Redel said. “Then, we got together and whittled it down to 16.”
Here are the Prose Bowl rules:
Every week in March, participants can go online, see the matchups and then vote for their favorites. Participants will have one week to vote on each bracket, after which the poll will close for that week. At the end of the poll, participants can click to form that asks for an email address that will serve as an entry for consideration for the prizes.
“We’re still working on the prizes,” Redel said, adding that they could be advance copies of hot new books, perhaps a custom poster of the winner with their favorite book or other items and opportunities. “That, and the inherent satisfaction of being named a Sno-Isle Libraries Prose Bowl 2017 champion.”
The schedule is:
- March 1-7: Eight brackets (16 titles)
- March 8-14: Four brackets (8 titles)
- March 15-21: Two brackets (4 titles)
- March 22-28: One bracket (2 titles)
- March 29: Winner posted!
- “My Name is Lucy Barton” by Elizabeth Strout
- “The Summer Before the War” by Helen Simonson
- “‘Til Death Do Us Part” by Amanda Quick
- “Miller’s Valley” by Anna Quindlen
- “Where It Hurts” by Reed Coleman
- “Private Paris” by James Patterson
- “Vinegar Girl” by Anne Tyler
- “Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff
- “The Japanese Lover” by Isabel Allende
- “The Aeronaut’s Windlass” by Jim Butcher
- “This is Your Life, Harriet Chance!” by Jonathan Evison
- “Welcome to Night Vale” by Joseph Fink
- “House of the Rising Sun” by James Burke
- “Dear Mr. You” by Mary-Louise Parker
- “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi
- “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead
Lake Stevens vote encouraging, next steps under reviewOriginally published Mar. 1, 2017
|The existing Lake Stevens Library (above) is one of the smallest facilities in the Sno-Isle Libraries system and serves the growing Lake Stevens community. A new, larger library is identified as a priority in the library district's 2016-2025 Capital Facilities Plan.|
Sno-Isle Libraries officials are reviewing the results of the Feb. 14 Lake Stevens Library election and speaking with community members before deciding on next steps.
“The response from the Lake Stevens community is encouraging,” Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “The Library Capital Facility Area ballot measure passed with flying colors. The approval rate for the bond measure is exciting and it came very close to getting the required voter turnout."
The review and discussions began Monday, Feb. 27 with Woolf-Ivory presenting the election results to the Board of Trustees.
“I’m meeting with Lake Stevens Mayor John Spencer on Thursday to discuss the results,” Woolf-Ivory told the trustees. In the coming weeks, she and other library officials will also touch base with members of the Lake Stevens Library Board and the Friends of Lake Stevens Library group.
“A solid foundation of community support for a new library is in place,” Woolf-Ivory said. “It is clear that the Lake Stevens community values library service and the need for a new building continues to be critical.”
The Feb. 14 election included two measures that needed to pass before the library district could move ahead with a proposed new, larger library to serve the Lake Stevens community. Proposition 1 passed with a 69 percent approval, establishing the Lake Stevens Library Capital Facility Area. Proposition 2 received a 66 percent approval, but failed to pass because it was 749 votes shy of the 8,464 ballots cast required for validation.
If a decision is made to go back to the voters, the earliest that could happen is Aug. 1, Woolf-Ivory said. The deadline for submitting material to the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office for that election is May 12.
'Bears vs Babies' play date at Arlington LibraryOriginally published Feb. 17, 2017
|Matthew Inman (standing) talks with players of "Bears vs Babies" during a Feb. 15 playtest at Arlington Library. Photo gallery|
What do bears and babies have in common?
Perhaps not a lot now, but that may change this summer and on Feb. 15, dozens of people at the Arlington Library got a sneak peek at what’s coming.
Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal website and Exploding Kittens card game is putting the finishing touches on his latest game, Bears vs Babies, due to go on sale this June. As part of the game launch process, Inman and collaborator Elan Lee, organized 45 “playtest” sessions across the globe. One of those sessions was at the library and, in this case, included Inman himself joining the players.
“I’ve been to about four of these,” Inman said. “At this point, the game itself is pretty locked down, but we’re still working on the instructions.”
Inman saw some work to do.
“Did you all get a bear to start the game?” he asked the players at a table while leafing through the instructions that had been distributed. Hearing a unanimous “no,” Inman sat down to get their game back on track. While advertised as being for players age 7 and up, instructions can be a bit cryptic at first. One player at Arlington read aloud: “Choose a baby army and discard half, rounding up.”
Inman said some playtest session are conducted with observers not being able to interact with players. “There’s nothing more frustrating,” he said. “This is nice, being able to help.”
That Arlington Library became a playtest site is largely thanks to the work of Abby Bormann, Arlington’s Teen Librarian. “I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign,” Bormann said. “Then a few weeks ago, I got an email about the playtests.”
Bormann and some teens who frequent the library quickly put together a short video to make their case as a playtest location. “We heard back right away,” Bormann said. “This whole thing came together in just a couple of weeks.”
Those efforts resulted in an afternoon of participants ranging in age from 8 to 67 getting to play what is likely to be one of the hottest games of the summer before its release. “It was great,” said a 66-year-old Stanwood resident. “I was playing with 14- and 15-year-olds, but during the game, there was no age.”
Inman and co-creator Lee, who is a veteran game designer and currently Chief Design Officer for Xbox Entertainment Studios, funded the game through Kickstarter. The campaign broke records for the online crowdfunding site. When Bears vs Babies was listed on Oct. 18, the goal was $10,000. In the first week, it received $1.4 million from backers and topped out at $3.2 million in less than a month.
Joining Inman at Arlington for the playtest were several family members, including his mom.
“I work for him,” said Ann Inman, who lives near Rockport. “I handle the merchandise, the warehouse is at my house.”
Mom says she’s proud of her son and his success, but when Matthew is with family, he’s just one of the family. “He works hard, but all the kids work hard and are successes,” she said.
And, it’s not like success guarantees recognition.
Inman recounted a recent experience in Seattle when the woman behind the counter pointed at his sweatshirt with a cartoon from The Oatmeal and said, “Oh, the Belch.”
“It’s Blerch,” Inman said.
“Oh, well, I’m not much of a fan,” she said.
“I created it,” he said and unzipped the sweatshirt to show his Exploding Kittens t-shirt. “She turned a little red.”
(If you missed the playtest at Arlington Library, the only other one in Washington is 2-6 p.m., Feb. 26, at the Raygun Lounge in Seattle.)
Artists launch rocket mural at Stanwood LibraryOriginally published Feb. 16, 2017
|Some of the young artists who contributed to the rocket mural stand before the artwork at Stanwood Library, Feb. 14, 2017. Photo gallery|
For a project that represents so much love and commitment, Valentine’s Day was certainly the appropriate launch date for a rocket mural at Stanwood Library.
The wall-size project was coordinated by Camano-based artist Danny Koffman with support coming from the library, the city of Stanwood and the Stanwood-Camano Community Resource Center. Koffman started with artwork based on the theme “What would you take to the future” that was contributed by 32 families.
“I started with the list in alphabetical order and the art flowed so well I just kept it that way,” Koffman said. This is Koffman’s third such rocket mural with the others at the Resource Center and Church Creek Park.
The mural is printed on commercial-grade material that can withstand the elements and then mounted on posts along the east-facing wall of the library. “We’re very pleased to have this wonderful piece of art at the library,” said Managing Librarian Charles Pratt. “It is a reflection of the strong connection between the community and the library.”
Forum on homelessness comes to ArlingtonOriginally published Feb. 16, 2017
Less than a month ago, volunteers were gathering at the Stillaguamish Senior Center in Arlington to go count homeless people and while the numbers are still being tabulated, there is no doubt that homelessness is on the rise.
On Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Weston High School Commons, Sno-Isle Libraries will host “Homelessness Here,” a public discussion exploring the causes and prevention of homelessness. The free event will be from 6:30-8 p.m. and moderated by Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert. The event address is 4407 172nd Street NE, Arlington.
The event will include a panel discussion followed by audience questions and comments. Panelists will include Kristen Cane, Housing Authority of Snohomish County Director of Development and Policy; Seanna Herring-Jensen, program manager at the Arlington Community Resource Center; Nicolas Quijano, Cocoon House Advocate Supervisor, and Lynda Plummer, assistant director of social services for Housing Hope.
Over the past three years, the number of unsheltered individuals in Snohomish County has increased by 33 percent, according to a 2016 Snohomish County Human Services survey. Two-thirds of those said “out of doors” when asked where they stayed the previous night. The numbers from the Jan. 24 Point in Time Count will be available later this spring.
The Arlington forum is the third of four as part of Sno-Isle Libraries’ ongoing Issues That Matter series.
“When we ask residents in our communities what issues concern them most, homelessness is always high on the list,” said Sonia Gustafson, leader of the library district’s Issues That Matter team and manager of Lake Stevens Library. A strategic priority for the library district is “Building civic engagement to address community issues.”
The final forum in the “Homelessness Here” series will be Feb. 28, Mountlake Terrace Library, 23300 58th Ave. W.
Issues That Matter programs are meant to encourage community conversations on high-profile topics. Details, along with links to library and community resources, can be found at sno-isle.org/issues-that-matter. Funding is provided by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation.
Sno-Isle Libraries closed Feb. 20Originally published Feb. 14, 2017
Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed Monday, Feb. 20 for Presidents Day. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, Feb. 21. See locations & hours.
Mariner Library opens to appreciative crowd and communityOriginally published Feb. 11, 2017
|Watch highlights of the Mariner Library grand opening celebration from Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017. Photo gallery|
For some, it was the realization of a dream held for years.
For others, it will help dreams come true for years.
On Saturday morning, Feb. 11, 2017, the grand opening of the Mariner Library drew several hundred people, with Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory welcoming the crowd and introducing some of those who helped turn dreams into reality.
“Years ago, I got a phone call,” Woolf-Ivory told the gathering. “I picked it up and the phone said, ‘This is Peggy. I’ve got 1,800 signatures on petitions for a library in the Mariner area.' ”
That call, Woolf-Ivory said, was her introduction to Peggy Nystrom, the former Mariner High School librarian who was a driving force in bringing a public library to an area that is now home to roughly 30,000 residents. “This is a community, but there’s no center, no gathering place,” Nystrom said. “This library will be a place people can come to be together.”
But it took time. While the will and need were there, the timing was difficult and made worse by economic conditions of the past decade. For the past 10 years, the library district has provided Bookmobile service to the area with stops at the high school, Voyager Middle School and the Albertson’s parking lot on 128th Street.
The service was important, but Nystrom didn’t give up on her dream of a library and Woolf-Ivory said the library district didn’t forget.
This past summer, the library district Board of Trustees approved the 2016-25 Capital Facilities Plan which identifies the Mariner Library as a priority. By November, the library district had leased space at 520 128th St SW, and it was Woolf-Ivory’s turn to get on the phone.
In her comments at the opening, Mukilteo School District Marci Larsen recounted the call. “When Jonalyn said they were moving ahead, now, I was just so happy,” Larsen said. “I’m so grateful for the commitment of Sno-Isle Libraries to this community and this library.”
Also coming to the podium was Javier Garcia, a veteran of those 10 years of Bookmobile service.
“I was in sixth grade at Voyager,” said Garcia, who now is recently engaged and starting his own business. “I didn’t go at first because I thought it cost money and I didn’t have any.”
Garcia said he initially thought the Bookmobile was a bookstore, not a public library on wheels. And, he thought only books were available. “I had no idea there were DVDs and CDs and things,” he said. In fact, the very first thing checked out at the new library was a laptop computer, which are available for use in the library and connect to the internet through free Wi-Fi service.
Others attending the event included State Rep. John Lovick and Snohomish County Council member Stephanie Wright.
“Every Saturday, I would take my children to the Lynnwood Library,” Lovick said. “Libraries are just so important to a community.”
Wright said she agreed: “This library will make such a difference to the Mariner area.”
The Snohomish Health District, Community Transit and Mukilteo School District participated in the grand opening with staff and information for attendees.
The Mariner Library is in the shopping area that includes Albertson’s. It is across Fourth Avenue W. from the Community Transit Mariner Park & Ride Transit Center. Regular library hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. The library will be closed on Sundays.
In addition to books, CDs, DVDs and other materials available in the new location, customers at the library will have access to everything in the Sno-Isle Libraries collection including eBooks, audiobooks, other electronic resources and research databases. Materials can be delivered to the Mariner Library or downloaded from the Sno-Isle website.
The library features a “laptop bar” at the front windows where customers can sit on stools and use the computers for a coffee-shop-like experience. The library has a dedicated children’s area, flexible study spaces and a public meeting room that can be scheduled for use.
Woolf-Ivory made a point of thanking all the library district staff members and partners who helped make the dream of a Mariner Library come true for the community: "This was truly a remarkable effort."
Rocket mural to be unveiled at Stanwood LibraryOriginally published Feb. 10, 2017
By Stanwood-Camano News staff
Thirty-two local families contributed artwork for a rocket mural to be placed on the exterior wall of the Stanwood Library.
Artist Danny Koffman coordinated the 21-foot rocket mural art project for which the city of Stanwood, the StanwoodCamano Community Resource Center and the Stanwood Library joined forces to underwrite its construction. The mural, dedicated to the future, will be unveiled at 4 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.
This is the third and largest rocket mural designed by Koffman to be launched in Stanwood in the past year. “The question posed – What would you take to the future? – is a constructive and optimistic topic for family conversation,” Koffman said. As with other rocket murals now in place at the Resource Center and Church Creek Park, participants' responses to the question are in images and words.
Their responses are even more powerful when stitched together because … "we are all on this journey to the future together,” said Koffman, a Camano artist who owns Koffman Gallery, Art with a Smile!
Footsteps in Cuba, today and yesterdayOriginally published Feb. 7, 2017
|Alex Wells in Cuba next to a sign pointing to “Fidel’s House.”|
|Sumner Welles (left) shakes hands with Cuba’s Col. Fulgencio Batisa as U.S. Gen. Malin Craig looks on.|
The door to Cuba is swinging open and Alex Welles has seen what’s on the other side.
Twice … in the past two years.
Welles will share his recent personal experiences along with the perspective gained from his grandfather, Sumner Welles, a diplomat who served as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s special envoy to Cuba. Welles will make two presentations of, “Cuba: Following in my Grandfather’s Footsteps:”
- Sunday, Feb. 12, 2-3 p.m., Coupeville Library, 788 NW Alexander St, Coupeville.
- Monday, Feb. 13, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Langley Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 301 Anthes Ave, Langley.
Both events are free, open to the public and have limited seating.
In addition to speaking about Cuba, Welles will show photos and videos from his visits, including a walk through Havana's Old City. Other sites he visited include the Bay of Pigs, which became politically famous in 1961, and San Juan Hill in Santiago, where Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders charged the Spanish troops in 1898.
Welles is a former Wall Street broker and international banking specialist. He is co-owner of Welles & Rinning Commercial Real Estate Services in Bellevue. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Hobart College in Geneva, NY and an MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management in Phoenix. He lives in Seattle with his wife, King County Council Member Jeanne Kohl-Welles.
Funding for these events is by the Friends of the Clinton, Coupeville, Freeland and Langley libraries.?
Sasquatch (information) coming to Whidbey IslandOriginally published Feb. 7, 2017
Sasquatch (info) sightings
Thursday, Feb. 23
It is quite possible there won’t be a Sasquatch sighting Feb. 23 or Feb. 24 on Whidbey Island.
If, however, those joining the exploration on either day by author David George Gordon of the exceptionally elusive creature should spot a hairy, ape-like being loping across the road on the way home from either the Oak Harbor or Langley library, they will be well-prepared to make a positive ID.
Gordon is author of “The Sasquatch Seeker’s Field Manual: Using Citizen Science to Uncover North America’s Most Elusive Creature.” His approach to answering real-or-myth question focuses on evaluating the data gathered about the legendary Northwest icon and the rules of critical thinking and the workings of the scientific method.
Aside from various footprint casts and eyewitness accounts, some recounted by the earliest humans in the Northwest, no scientifically accepted evidence has been offered to establish this being’s existence. In his presentation, Gordon explains how to be an effective “citizen scientist” by gathering credible evidence that can be used to substantiate the Sasquatch’s status.
He encourages attendees at his talks to share their tales and experiences related to mysterious creature.
Gordon has spoken at the American Museum of Natural History, The Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, Yale University, the Smithsonian Institution, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museums in San Francisco, Hollywood, and Times Square. He has been interviewed by National Geographic, Time, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Gordon is also well-known as "The Bug Chef" and getting TV host James Corden and Edmonds-raised actor Anna Faris to eat various cooked bugs on Corden's "The Late Late Show."
Gordon’s presentations are free and supported by Humanities Washington, the Friends of the Langley Library and Friends of the Oak Harbor Library.?
Sno-Isle Libraries sets date for opening new Mariner LibraryOriginally published Feb. 1, 2017
The new Mariner Library is scheduled to open Feb. 11.
“I’m very pleased that this day is finally coming,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory. “Our Library on Wheels service has been doing a great job in Mariner area and the community needs and deserves more.”
The library district leased space along 128th Street near I-5. The address is 520 128th St SW, Suite A9-10, Everett, WA 98204. The space is in the shopping area that includes Albertson’s. It is across Fourth Avenue W. from the Community Transit Mariner Park & Ride Transit Center, and close to Mariner High School, Voyager Middle School and five elementary schools.
“The Mukilteo School District has been very supportive of this effort to bring increased library services to the students and families they serve,” Woolf-Ivory said, adding that a survey of local school-district families showed 99 percent wanted a public library in the area.
In addition to books, CDs, DVDs and other materials available in the new location, customers at the library will have access to everything in the Sno-Isle Libraries collection including eBooks, audiobooks, other electronic resources and research databases. Materials can be delivered to the Mariner Library or downloaded from the Sno-Isle website.
Library officials are also using the Mariner Library to try a few new things.
“Access to public computers and free Wi-Fi is a normal service for us,” said Sandra Beck, who was recently appointed Mariner Branch Manager Librarian. “At Mariner, instead of hard-wired desktop computers, we’re going to have all laptops with wireless connections to the Internet.
The library will feature a “laptop bar” at the front windows where customers can sit on stools and use the computers for a coffee-shop-like experience.The library will have a dedicated children’s area and flexible study spaces for customers and students.
Another key feature will be a public meeting room that can be scheduled for use.
“One of our core purposes is to provide space to ‘think, meet, work and create,’” Beck said. “Free public meeting spaces are an important resource for a community.”
Beck said she’s excited about the opportunity to open a new library.
“I went out on the Bookmobile to meet some of our customers in the area,” Beck said. “The nearby schools are talking about being able to walk to the library. It’s personally fulfilling for me to be able to bring library services to this community.”
Those services will include programs such as kindergarten readiness, school support, digital literacy and language learning.
For the grand opening on Feb. 11, officials from the library district, school district, Community Transit and Snohomish Health District will be on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony starting at 9:30 a.m. Also attending will be some of the now-former Bookmobile customers who will get to help cut the ribbon on their new community library.
The doors to the library will officially open at 10 a.m. Regular library hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. The library will be closed on Sundays.
“We’ve been working as quickly as possible to open this library,” Woolf-Ivory said. “I’m so proud of our staff who are making this happen.”
The 2016-25 Capital Facilities Plan adopted by the library district in June identified the 128th Street/Mariner community as an “area of opportunity.” The area outlined in the plan includes about 30,000 residents and is generally south of the Everett city limits, east of Paine Field and Mukilteo, west of Mill Creek and north of Lynnwood.
Technically, the Mariner Library is a demonstration project as called for in the capital facilities plan. The library district has a five-year lease for the current location. “We’ll find out more about where and how a permanent facility should serve this community,” Woolf-Ivory said. “We are committed to serving this community long-term.”
With the opening of the library, Library on Wheels service to the area will be cut back and eventually stopped. The current Bookmobile stop at the Albertson’s store will end on Feb. 4, the Voyager Middle School stop ends on Feb. 7 and Mariner High School stop will end in June.
The existing library district budget and the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation will shoulder half the cost of the new library’s lease over the next five years.
“We deeply appreciate the Foundation and its donors for this tremendous commitment to the Mariner community,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Their generous support will make it very convenient for thousands of children and other residents to walk through the doors of the new Mariner Library.”
There's a new way to discover Sno-Isle LibrariesOriginally published Feb. 1, 2017
Sno-Isle Libraries offers an online catalog, making it easy for customers to find, reserve and receive library materials.
Starting Feb. 1, customers begin transitioning to a new online catalog that will provide a better and broader experience.
“This new catalog brings a new level of service and opportunities to our customers and communities,” Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “Our mission is to be a ‘community doorway’ and often that doorway is online. It is important that the online experience is as welcoming, professional and safe as it is at our community libraries.”
The new catalog is powered by software from BiblioCommons, a firm that focuses on serving public libraries. Sno-Isle Libraries joins Seattle, King County and hundreds of other libraries across the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand as customers.
“We like to think of it as a ‘discovery layer’ to the more than a million items available through Sno-Isle Libraries,” said Jeanne Crisp, Director of Facilities & Special Projects, who is overseeing the transition.
At its core, the new catalog provides better search results of all those items. The new catalog offers more. Besides helping customers get the things they’re looking for and discover new items, the BiblioCommons tool lets customers choose to share those experiences.
Customers can read reviews, lists and comments from library staff and other customers. Sno-Isle Libraries customers will also have the choice to write and share their own reviews and other online activities.
A key component of the new catalog experience is choice – your choice, your decision.
“Protecting privacy is important for all of us,” said Crisp, adding that privacy-related policies and statements from Sno-Isle Libraries and the companies we work with are available at sno-isle.org/privacy. “The customer decides whether they want to make comments, reviews and recommendations and if they do, whether or not to share those activities.”
The move to the new catalog has been in process for more than a year. In late December, a group of high volume library users got an early look at the catalog.
“We had a number of customers tell us they like the new search and were enthusiastic about the sharing features,” Crisp said. "We also received some great ideas from customers during this beta phase."
With the launch happening on Feb. 1, there will be a one-month transition period to help customers get used to the new software. During the month, customers will be able to use either the new catalog or what is now being called the “classic catalog.”
“We all deal with change differently, so we’ve built in a transition period to let customers choose whether to test the water one toe at a time or jump in with both feet,” Crisp said.
You don’t need to be a library customer to look at the catalog.
“Just go to sno-isle.org, click on the green “Discover your new catalog!” and have fun discovering what we offer,” Crisp said. “And if you live in our service area and don’t have a card, you can get a card online and use your library immediately.”
Sno-Isle Libraries looking for business-series presentersOriginally published Jan. 30, 2017
Do you have some business expertise? Would you like to share it with budding entrepreneurs and small business owners?
Sno-Isle Libraries has a deal for you.
“We’re soliciting proposals for workshops, classes, lectures and presentations,” said Kassy Rodeheaver, Lead Librarian for Business Services at the library district. The project is called “Business Pros: Expert Help to Start or Grow Your Business.”
“Strengthening our 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.”
The goal, Rodeheaver said, is to help future entrepreneurs and current business owners develop new skills that will assist them in starting and growing a business.
“We’ve had good feedback from our previous business-class series,” Rodeheaver said. “Participants had suggestions about additional topics that would be useful to business owners.”
Proposals for the series should cover a step of starting or running a business and include learning outcomes that can be measured in a post-event survey.
Session topics of particular interest include:
- Business finances
- General marketing
- Social media marketing beyond Facebook
- How to start a business
“I’m planning to host around 40 sessions this year,” Rodeheaver said. “I’ll also be looking for presenters to add to our business speaker directory.”
The timeline for the 2017 series is:
- Feb. 13: Proposals due
- Feb. 24: Notice of acceptance
- Feb. 27: Session list sent to community libraries for bookings
- April-December: Sessions to take place
Rodeheaver is reaching out to local chambers of commerce to solicit their assistance in promoting the opportunity to any of their members interested in applying.
Parameters for proposals include:
- Must be submitted through the online form.
- Sessions should range from 1-3 hours.
- Presentations should have learning outcomes.
- Presentations may include contact information for the presenter.
- Sno-Isle Libraries will not provide presenters with a list of registered attendees due to privacy policies.
- Sno-Isle Libraries will market classes to the public and presenters are encouraged to promote to their networks.
- A contract with Sno-Isle Libraries is required to ensure engagement and payment.
For more information, contact Kassy Rodeheaver, Lead Librarian for Business Services, 360-651-7017, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Something’s coming to Sno-Isle Libraries on Feb. 1Originally published Jan. 27, 2017
Sno-Isle Libraries has more than a million items for you.
It's about to get easier to find what you’re looking for, discover new things AND give you the choice to share your experiences with others.
On Feb. 1, 2017, Sno-Isle Libraries will introduce a new way to access library materials. We like to think of it as a “discovery layer,” offering you a powerful tool to delve into the richness of the collection and resources available through Sno-Isle Libraries.
And you’ll have the choice to do more.
If you like to share the excitement of your latest book, music, movie or other discovery with friends, family, book-club compatriots or even bus-stop buddies, you’ll love what’s coming to Sno-Isle Libraries. Without giving it away, let’s just say that the world is about to be your oyster.
Either way, share or not, the choice will be yours.
The wraps come off on Feb. 1. Keep an eye on your email or go to sno-isle.org that day for the details on how to begin this new journey. On Feb. 1, the secret will be out.
Sno-Isle Libraries closed Jan. 16Originally published Jan. 10, 2017
Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed Monday, Jan. 16 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, Jan. 17. See locations & hours.
Bring imagination for 'upcycling' at Lake Stevens LibraryOriginally published Jan. 4, 2017
Sure, recycling is a good thing to do for the environment, but why stop there? How about upcycling?
A term coined in the late 1990s, “upcycling” refers to using materials that might otherwise be recycled or wind up in the trash, adding a healthy dose of creativity and making something new and useful.
“Each month, we’ll have a different creative project,” said Jillian Coats, a staff member at the Lake Stevens Library. “We provide the materials. You bring the imagination. Just drop in, make things and leave with something awesome.”
Intended for teens, age 12-18, this upcycling, crafting, DIY program is scheduled for 3:30-4:30 p.m. on third Thursdays at the Lake Stevens Library, 1804 Main St. Upcoming projects include:
- Jan. 19 - Hand-Bound Mini-Notebooks
- Feb. 16 - Tiny Snow-Globe Necklaces/Keychains/Charms
- March 16 - Make Your Own Buttons
This program is free to participants with funding provided by the Friends of the Lake Stevens Library.