Sno-Isle to open library in Mariner area

‘Demonstration’ library part of 10-year capital facilities plan
By Nicholas Johnson | Feb 08, 2017
Photo by: Nicholas Johnson Tierney Grim, a Sno-Isle Libraries circulation assistant, stocks the shelves of the new Mariner Library on Feb. 2.

Sno-Isle Libraries staff are stocking shelves and boning up on Spanish-language skills ahead of the Feb. 11 opening of a new library in the Mariner area.

“We’ve been working as quickly as possible to open this library,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory.

Sno-Isle has leased a 3,600-square-foot retail space, which was previously home to a hot yoga studio, at 520 128th St. SW, Suite A9-10 in the Albertsons store shopping area near I-5.

Mariner-area residents have relied upon Bookmobile service for the past 10 years, unlike residents of Mukilteo, Lynnwood and Mill Creek, which are served by permanent, full-service libraries.

“Our Library on Wheels service has been doing a great job in the Mariner area,” said Woolf-Ivory, noting that a community survey conducted last year as part of Sno-Isle’s development of a 10-year capital facilities plan showed 99 percent of some 300 respondents wanted a full-service library.

“The community needs and deserves more.”

The new library is across Fourth Ave. W. from the Community Transit Mariner Park & Ride Transit Center, and it’s close to Mariner High School, Voyager Middle School and five elementary schools.

On top of books, CDs, DVDs and other materials, library patrons will have access to everything in the Sno-Isle collection, including eBooks, audiobooks, other electronic resources and research databases. Materials can also be delivered to the Mariner Library or downloaded from the Sno-Isle website.

Sandra Beck, who was recently appointed Mariner Branch Manager Librarian, said she’s excited to provide programs such as kindergarten readiness, school support, digital literacy and language learning.

“It’s personally fulfilling for me to be able to bring library services to this community,” said Beck, who will be one of eight regular branch employees.

Special to this branch: desktop computers are replaced with some 15 laptops available to check out and use at the library.

“Access to public computers and free Wi-Fi is a normal service for us,” Beck said. “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 computers in a coffee-shop-like experience.

The library will also have a dedicated children’s area and flexible study spaces for customers and students, as well as 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.”

With the new library’s opening, Library on Wheels service in the area will come to an end. It’s already made its last stops at the Albertson’s store and Voyager Middle School. Bookmobile service at the Mariner High School stop will end in June.

The library district, which aims to serve some 30,000 residents through the new branch, has a five-year lease on the retail space, half the cost of which is being covered by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation.

“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,” Woolf-Ivory said, noting the library is identified as a demonstration project in the capital facilities plan. “We’ll find out more about where and how a permanent facility should serve this community. We are committed to serving this community long-term.”

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.

Officials from the library district, school district, Community Transit and Snohomish Health District are expected to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 11, as well as some of the now-former Bookmobile customers who will get to help cut the ribbon on their new community library.

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