Kirk Boxleitner/Staff PhotoJonalyn Woolf-Ivory

Future library plans include underserved Smokey Point

SMOKEY POINT — Sno-Isle Libraries is looking to fill a service gap in Smokey Point/Lakewood.

  • Wednesday, May 25, 2016 4:32pm

SMOKEY POINT — Sno-Isle Libraries is looking to fill a service gap in Smokey Point/Lakewood.

Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, executive director of Sno-Isle, presented a 10-year draft capital facilities plan to the Arlington City Council May 16. She advocated for creation of a new library for the underserved Smokey Point/Lakewood area, especially given population growth expected in the next 10 years. Woolf-Ivory suggested a “pilot demonstration” library to show locals the benefits of having a library closer to home.

“The owner of the complex in Camano where we sited the demonstration library saw changes in the levels of traffic and businesses opening there,” Woolf-Ivory said. “It helped foster economic development.”

She suggested that a pilot library could make the area safer, and possibly even persuade voters to approve a bond for a permanent facility. Woolf-Ivory explained that Sno-Isle’s two-step process started in September with data-gathering — determining exactly who is using the libraries, how they’re being used and what locations — and moved into drafting a plan this year.

She asserted that a 10-year timetable works better than a longer-term plan because of the rapid pace of changing technology, which she said “makes it difficult” to anticipate a facility’s tech needs much more than a decade down the road.

Meanwhile, she reported that the Arlington Library, a 5,055-square-foot facility built in 1981, sees an average traffic of roughly 13,000 visitors a month. Woolf-Ivory identified Arlington as a “top priority” for renovation and expansion.

“Based on community feedback, there’s a real interest in keeping the Arlington Library at its current location,” Woolf-Ivory said, citing its proximity to several elementary and middle schools. “However, as one of our oldest buildings, it obviously needs some attention.”

Sno-Isle’s online open house on the draft capital project plan will run through June 3 at www.sno-isle.org.

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