Mville librarian headed for Burlington
August 28, 2008 · Updated 9:13 AM
MARYSVILLE I wasnt looking to leave, said Maggie Buckholz, 53, who spent a little more than the last six years as the managing librarian of the Marysville Library.
Im very grateful for the time I spent here, Buckholz added.
Still, while looking at online pictures of the new Burlington Library in Skagit County, Buckholz discovered the job of director for that facility suddenly was available.
I was kind of shocked and surprised, Buckholz said, adding the former director had put a great deal of hard work into bringing a new library building which opened in May to Burlington.
In any case, Buckholz couldnt resist taking a shot at the open spot. The Burlington and Marysville libraries are about the same size, with about 50,000 pieces in each collection.
But Marysvilles library is, of course, a branch of the Sno-Isle Libraries. Burlington is a stand-alone operation. That means as director, Buckholz will have greater authority, greater responsibility.
I manage this branch, Buckholz said of her position here. But I dont work with the board of trustees to set policy, I dont pick the collection.
In short, Buckholz said the change amounts to a promotion. But shes also quick to admit there are a few other reasons the switch is welcome. She and husband Mike have been married for 25 years.
And we still really like each other, she adds.
More to the point here, Mike Buckholz is a teacher at Burlington-Edison High School. Hes also the coach of the schools girls basketball team which, as of this writing, was headed to the state playoffs. A self-confessed basketball fan, Maggie Buckholz keeps the teams stats. She even timed her starting date in Burlington with the hope that she would need to be in Tacoma rooting on her husbands squad.
Maggie Buckholzs last day in Marysville was March 4. She starts her new position in Burlington March 10.
The community aspect of this change was huge for me, Buckholz said. Im really looking forward to connecting with that community.
Before arriving in Marysville, Buckholz spent some as a school librarian for a tiny, 100-student school. Shes been the director of a senior citizens center and worked as an academic librarian for the University of Washington and Washington State University. She said she was happy to join the Sno-Isle system. Her assignments included two years as library manager in Arlington.
I really love public libraries, its a real passion, a calling, Buckholz said. I think I enjoy the variety of people we get in a setting like this. Its a great opportunity to interact with a great number of people. Im a fairly social animal, so I like that.
Buckholz easily remembers her first days with the Marysville library. She started Sept. 1, 2001, just a few days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Things were pretty intense around the community, Buckholz said.
Her favorite accomplishment during her time here? Revamping the librarys teen section.
When we got here, it wasnt big enough or inviting, Buckholz said. We were able to get some furnishings and really open that space up. The library even hired a librarian specializing in teen collections.
In regard to the teen section, Buckholz approach apparently worked. Teen books now have the highest circulation rate of any library category. Buckholz also said she put an emphasis on customer service at the Marysville branch, with special training for her staff. Again, the approach appears to have paid off. Buckholz estimates about 70 percent of the local population carries a Snohomish-Isle library card.
Buckholz further mentioned increases in programming at the library and had nothing but praise for the local Rotary and its various literacy programs, most recently handing out dictionaries to third-graders throughout the city.
Thats the thing about Marysville, she said. This is a very, very nice community.
For the future, Buckholz has arranged some new furniture, mostly chairs and couches, for the library.
This building is in excellent shape for being 13 years old, she said.
For now, Buckholz said an interim director from the Mill Creek branch of the Sno-Isle system will take her place in Marysville. She expects the Sno-Isle board to conduct a national search for her eventual, permanent successor.