Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More people checking out South County libraries

  • The library managers from our four local Sno-Isle Libraries, Michael Delury (Lynnwood), Lesly Kaplan (Edmonds), Rosy Brewe (Mountlake Terrace) and Mar...

    Weekly Herald/MINA WILLIAMS

    The library managers from our four local Sno-Isle Libraries, Michael Delury (Lynnwood), Lesly Kaplan (Edmonds), Rosy Brewe (Mountlake Terrace) and Marlene Moodie (Brier).

From the smallest to the largest, Sno-Isle Libraries bring literature, art, imagination and respite to South County. And boy, are they popular with residents.
Overall the demand at Sno-Isle branches has increased almost 97 percent since 2000. More than 95,000 digital downloads for reading, listening and viewing were done in 2010, according to Ken Harvey, Sno-Isle spokesman.
“The digital age hasn't taken away the demand for our physical book collection and the opportunity for communities to use their libraries as places to meet and visit,” he said.
South County sites
Last year close to 950,000 visitors crossed the thresholds of the Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace libraries. These people checked out more items – books, magazines, movies, music – than the year before. And that doesn't even count the electronic downloads of e-books or online renewals.
Each library has its own personality and draw.
As one of the smallest in the system, Brier's library can best be described as warm. “People love us because it feels like an extension of their living room,” said Marlene Moodie, library manager.
“Our customers often include a visit with a neighbor, a friend, a child's teacher or Scout leader with their library excursion,” she said.
Ruggedly handsome is how the Edmonds library is best described, said Lesly Kaplan, library manager. With a view of Puget Sound this location is the place to come to gaze at the water and ponder ideas.
Views are just one of this library's allures. Its good-sized collection helps visitors solve research problems and study questions and quells the strongest of browsing compulsions.
“Our Edmonds population is weighted more heavily with older, very well-educated and curious (visitors),” Kaplan said. Edmonds' large collection supports these lifelong learners.
If Edmonds is the salty sea dog of Sno-Isle, Mountlake Terrace's library is the environmentally-sensitive wooded wonderland. With wall-to-wall windows showcasing the flora of an adjacent park, it's as if visitors are in the woods, said Rosy Brewer*, library manager.
This library also has a patriotic side, with English language and citizenship classes offered regularly.
Lynnwood, the largest building in the Sno-Isle system, has more than 50 computers standing ready for use. It also has a strong flair for cultural diversity, illustrated by its multi-lingual collection.
“Lynnwood library is a vibrantly diverse and busy community hub,” said Michael Delury, library manager.*
“Being the largest … it's not surprising that Lynnwood also has the most visitors (more than 500,000 annually), who checked out more than 1 million items in 2010.”
By the numbers
Library branch . . . Total visitors . . . Items checked out*, increase from 2009
Brier . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34,211 . . . . . . . . 75,655, +12.73%
Edmonds . . . . . . . . . 241,609 . . . . . . . 467,048, +2.61%
Lynnwood . . . . . . . . . 519,481 . . . . . . . 1,059,780, +8.28%
Mountlake Terrace . . .152,211 . . . . . . . 203,450, +6.73%
Total . . . . . . . . . . . 947,512 . . . . . . 1,805,933
* does not include online renewals or digital downloads

*Correction, Aug. 25, 2011: This article originally used an incorrect name for Michael Delury and Rosy Brewer.