Sno-Isle Libraries seeking input on maintenance, possible new libraries

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    A new Lynnwood Library is part of Sno-Isle Libraries vision for the next 10 years.

    The recommendation are part of a Draft Capital Facilities Plan available now for review and includes proposed recommendations for all 21 of the libraries across the library district plus the service center in Marysville.

    The plan also includes maintaining several current libraries, including those in Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Brier.

    The draft plan recommendations are informed by work that began in the fall of 2015 by library-district officials and consultants and included an extensive public outreach campaign However, before finalizing a plan, Sno-Isle Libraries officials are checking back to see if they got it right.

    “We’re taking a fresh look at our facilities and how our customers and communities are using them,” Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “We listened to our customers, communities and partners. We think we’ve got a plan that can guide our decisions over the next 10 years, but we want to ask for feedback before moving ahead.”

    To get that feedback, the draft plan is posted online. Click here to visit an interactive map. More information is also available at www.sno-isle.org along with a link to an online survey. The survey is open through June 3. In addition, each library will have information about the draft plan for review and library-district staff are taking the information to city councils, community groups and other public gatherings.

    Although the existing Lynnwood Library is meeting current demands, the draft plan acknowledges that significant growth is occurring with more on the way. The City of Lynnwood’s City Center Plan identifies a new, larger library as one of the goals. At a recent Lynnwood City Council work session, Woolf-Ivory said the library district is prepared to work closely with the city on both continuing to serve the community and in siting a new library that will meet demands from projected population growth.

    The draft plan also proposes a new library in the 128 th Street area southeast of Paine Field and west of I- 5 and another in the Lakewood/Smokey Point area.

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

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

    Besides the sheer number of people to serve, Sno-Isle Libraries and libraries across the country are seeing changes in customer uses. To help inform the capital facilities plan, plan, Sno-Isle worked with design consultant Margaret Sullivan Studios to take a big-picture look at the future of library facilities.

    The national trend is to create library spaces that facilitate timeless activities such as collaborative learning, even though specific tools like desktop computers might change.

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

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

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

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

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