Besides the plethora of wonderful services of Sno-Isle Libraries which we have highlighted in the past several weeks, there are still others to talk about in this post. You might want to open another tab so you can refer to the Sno-Isle website as we walk through some lesser known jewels that make Sno-Isle Libraries shine so brightly in our region.
|Just one of many resources available on the Kids page|
Consider what kids can find on the library website. Click the Kids button on the Home page and look at the list of options on the left side of the page. I spent thirty minutes or more just browsing the resources offered to kids and their grownups through Sno-Isle, and I barely scratched the surface. Check it out yourself for links to everything from listening to books read online, booklists, online games, and resources for young writers and creators, to help for parents as they encourage young readers and suggestions fort internet safety.
Children and teens alike will benefit from taking advantage of Homework Help, an amazing program that provides many online resources, and also allows kids to post questions 24/7 or talk directly with a tutor between 1:00 and 10:00 pm.
|Some of the kinds of things you can research online through Sno-Isle|
Through Sno-Isle you can get help researching your genealogy, hunting for a job, locating a grant, or preparing for a debate on a political issue. Your club or group can schedule an event in your local library's meeting room. And you can take advantage of one of the many programs hosted by your library.
Just one of these programs occurred last winter as Daniel Brown, the author of The Boys in the Boat, visited all five libraries on Whidbey Island, talking about his book and the writing experience. Throughout the year such programs are presented by authors, story tellers, children's entertainers, librarians, and others. Family Storytime, Toddler Storytime, even Baby and Me Storytime are available in most community libraries. Visits from Reptile Man, opportunities to explore science, and hands-on experiences like Lego Club for kids and Cryptology for teens—exploring and decoding secret messages—are also offered throughout the Sno-Isle system. Click on Classes and Events in the middle of the website's Home page to see what tickles your fancy, then sign up for the fun!
|Upcoming classes, events, and Storytimes for the last few days of summer vacation|
Have you noticed the section of used books and other material for sale in your library? Each community library has a Friends of the Library group whose purpose is to raise funds for their particular library. Each Friends group is a 501c3, with its own governing board, and exists to provide the extras that fall outside the Sno-Isle budget. You wouldn't think that they'd make much money selling items for 50¢ and $1, but in 2014 the Friends groups $250,000 and gave back to Sno-Isle Libraries over $233,000! Over $116,000 of that money went to fund programming: Explore Summer (summer reading program) the Insect Man, the crafts at children's programs, and other programs.
Next time you stop by your community library, don't just walk past the Friends book sale. Even if you only get an item or two, you'll be helping make it possible for another great program to come to town. You might even go a step further—contact your local Friends of the Library and see how you can get involved. They're always looking for new folks to join their groups. It just might be a perfect fit for you!
|Check this out!|
For fifteen years I've had the idea of visiting each of the twenty-one branches of Sno-Isle Libraries. Alas, I still have five to go. Maybe I can finally accomplish my goal before Fall arrives. I know this feat has been accomplished before, and it took only one day. In 2010, fifteen-year-old Maggie West and her dad, Randy, started at the Mukilteo Library and made it to every library in the system, a 307.8-mile trip, squeaking into the Edmonds Library, their last, at 8:56 p.m., just four minutes before closing. You can read about it here, in the Herald, and watch the fun video below.
Bonus: There's a great map of Sno-Isle Libraries included with the Herald article.
Sno-Isle Libraries is worth exploring, whether you visit all twenty-one or just your local library. But, as LeVar Burton said on every episode of Reading Rainbow, "You don't have to take my word for it." Go hang out at your library or check them out online!
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