The Snoqualmie Library and the Snoqualmie Tribe teamed up to kick off the library’s summer reading program with “The Little Red Fish Legacy” event last Saturday, June 17.
Maggie Wong, public services librarian for the King County Library System, said the event was a way to educate children about local the wildlife and ecosystem, and to keep them reading during the summer break.
“Every region of KCLS was charged with throwing a summer reading kickoff event,” she said. “What the Snoqualmie Library has done is we partnered with the Snoqualmie Tribe to turn the library into a museum about the Kokanee Salmon, which is a freshwater salmon local to Lake Sammamish.”
The bookcases in the library were covered with drawings of river systems and information about the salmon. The Snoqualmie Tribe’s display gave the history of the tribe, as well. The library also set up interactive activity stations, such as DJ equipment for children to use to play various sounds of nature.
“When people come in, they pick up a passport and we have four stations that they can go through,” Wong said. The start with “Time immemorial, which is the history of the Snoqualmie Tribe in our area. Then they go through salmon journeys, changing landscapes and habitat restoration. At the end, after they have completed their passports, then they get a prize which has been sponsored by the tribe.”
With sponsorship from the tribe, the library was able to offer prizes for children and incorporate information and volunteers from the tribe into the event.
“This is a new relationship with us,” she said. “We are so excited to have a community partnership agreement with the tribe with the idea being that we are both players in the Valley and both organizations, KCLS and the Snoqualmie Tribe, have an opportunity to team together for the common good.”
In addition to the art on display from the Snoqualmie Tribe, there were handcrafted art works by local youth, Wong said. Students from North Bend, Fall City and Snoqualmie helped create the materials needed for the event.
“All of the materials here were created by teen volunteers and local artists. We’ve have over 25 teen volunteers and more than 70 hours of volunteer time to create these exhibits,” she said.
While The Little Red Fish Legacy was a one-time event, Wong hopes to continue the event at other libraries around the Valley and reuse all of the material that the volunteers worked so hard to create.
“Today it’s a one-day event, but we hope we can use the materials and the momentum here to host other events within Snoqualmie Valley to really promote the work of the Kokanee Work Group and that kids and families and adults and teens can have a true impact in their community,” she said.