Sno-Isle Libraries
Sno-Isle Libraries is a public library system serving Island and Snohomish counties in the U.S. state of Washington. The system is among the largest in Washington state and has an annual circulation of 11 million materials. The library's 23 branches and bookmobile services reach every incorporated city in the two counties, with the exception of Everett (which retains its own municipal system) and Woodway. Sno-Isle was formed in 1962, from the merger of two systems serving each county that were established in 1944 and 1962.
Sno-Isle Libraries

The Marysville branch of Sno-Isle Libraries, opened in 1995
TypePublic library
Service areaIsland and Snohomish counties, Washington
Size1.2 million items
Access and use
Circulation11.3 million
Population served729,076
Other information
Budget$57 million (2018)[1]
DirectorLois Langer Thompson
References: Washington Public Library Statistical Report, 2016[2]
While cities in Island and Snohomish counties established their own libraries in the early 20th century, the first inter-city system was created by voters in unincorporated Snohomish County on April 2, 1944.[3] The state government sponsored demonstration library and bookmobile projects on Camano and Whidbey islands in 1961, spurring interest in establishing an Island County system.[4] The Island County Rural Library District was established by voters in November 1962 and merged with the Snohomish County system in December, forming the Snohomish-Island Inter-County Rural Library District.[5][6]
The new library system was named "Sno-Isle" to reflect the two counties.[7] Initially, the Sno-Isle Regional Library signed contracts with incorporated cities to operate their libraries and join the system for a fixed amount.[8] Rural branches would rely on property taxes generated within the district, as well as donations from organizations and members of the community.[9] Incorporated cities began voting to annex themselves into the Sno-Isle district in the late 1980s, with promises of new libraries and potential cost savings over the contracted service.[10]
All Sno-Isle branches were closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but reopened with curbside pick-up service three months later.[11] In-person services resumed at some branches in early 2021.[12]
The Mariner demonstration library, which opened in 2016
As of 2018, the Sno-Isle Libraries system has 23 branches.[13] They serve every city in Island and Snohomish counties, with the exception of two cities: Everett, which has its own system, and Woodway, which had contracted service until 1978.[14] The system covers an area of 2,260 square miles (5,900 km2) and a population of over 700,000 residents.[15] Two of the locations, in the Mariner area of Everett and Smokey Point area of Arlington, are "demonstration" libraries that are in leased retail spaces that precede a permanent branch.[13][16] The Camano Island location was formerly a demonstration library that was replaced by a permanent branch in 2015.[13]
NameOpened[17]Floor space[17]
sq ftsq m
Camano Island20154,900460
Granite Falls20016,500600
Lake Stevens19852,500230
Lakewood/Smokey Point[18]20184,000370
Mariner (Everett)[19]20173,700340
Mill Creek19927,400690
Mountlake Terrace198812,8001,190
Oak Harbor199311,2001,040
The Sno-Isle Libraries system is headquartered at an administration and processing center on the Tulalip Indian Reservation, west of Marysville.[20] It is governed by a seven-member board of trustees, of whom two are appointed by Island County and five by Snohomish County.[21] The system is overseen by an executive director that is appointed by the board of trustees. Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, a longtime library employee, was appointed as executive director in 2002 and retired in 2018.[22][23]
The library system has an annual budget of $57 million,[1] with 98 percent of revenue funded by a property tax levied on all properties within the district.[24] The remaining two percent of revenue comes from a timber excise tax, a leasehold excise tax, contract fees from municipal governments, and donations.[25]
In 2016, Sno-Isle had a total circulation of 11.3 million items, placing it second in the state of Washington behind the King County Library System. It had the state's highest turnover rate, at 9.22 checkouts per item.[2]:6
See also
Everett Public Library
  1. ^ a b "2017 Budget – Revenue" (PDF). Sno-Isle Libraries. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "2016 Washington Public Library Statistical Report" (PDF). Washington State Library. October 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "Sno-Isle Regional Library celebrating anniversaries". The Enterprise. Lynnwood, Washington. April 28, 1965. p. 3.
  4. ^ "50th Anniversary Celebration in 2012". Sno-Isle Libraries. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Salyer, Sharon (April 12, 2012). "50 years later, Sno-Isle Libraries 'bet' a success". The Everett Herald. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  6. ^ "Sno-Isle Libraries history". Sno-Isle Libraries. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  7. ^ "New name for regional library". The Enterprise. Lynnwood, Washington. February 27, 1963. p. 2.
  8. ^ "Lynnwood Civic Center Near". The Seattle Times. December 28, 1969. p. F5.
  9. ^ Macdonald, Sally (January 14, 1981). "Friends come to rescue of library". The Seattle Times. p. G4.
  10. ^ Bergsman, Jerry (December 8, 1987). "Sno-Island library system looks for levy help". The Seattle Times. p. D3.
  11. ^ Bruestle, Sara (June 18, 2020). "Curbside service beckons bookworms to downtown Everett library". The Everett Herald. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  12. ^ Dennis, Ellen (March 6, 2021). "Shrinking the 'digital divide,' area libraries slowly reopen". The Everett Herald. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  13. ^ a b c Bray, Kari (January 2, 2018). "Sno-Isle library to open in Smokey Point, in leased space". The Everett Herald. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  14. ^ Brooks, Diane (August 9, 2006). "No library cards?! Families' petition spurs Sept. 19 vote". The Seattle Times. p. H3. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  15. ^ "Sno-Isle Libraries at a glance". Sno-Isle Libraries. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  16. ^ Bray, Kari (February 9, 2017). "Everett community finally gets long-awaited library". The Everett Herald. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Bray, Kari (May 16, 2016). "Sno-Isle Libraries seek input on 10-year growth plan". The Everett Herald. Archived from the original on May 17, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  18. ^ Buell, Douglas (December 13, 2017). "Lakewood/Smokey Point Library to celebrate grand opening in January". Marysville Globe. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  19. ^ "Mariner Library - Meeting Rooms and Other Services". Sno-Isle Libraries. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  20. ^ "Administrative & Service Center". Sno-Isle Libraries. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "Sno-Isle Regional Library Board Of Trustees". Snohomish County. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  22. ^ Reardon, Kate (March 25, 2002). "Sno-Isle library hires chief". The Everett Herald. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  23. ^ Bray, Kari (May 21, 2018). "Sno-Isle Libraries executive director retiring after 33 years". The Everett Herald. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  24. ^ Stevick, Eric (December 1, 2017). "Sno-Isle Libraries will have to make cuts or go to voters". The Everett Herald. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  25. ^ "Funding sources". Sno-Isle Libraries. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
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Last edited on 9 May 2021, at 20:11
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