Sharing the power of literacy: Consider joining Friends groups to help Valley libraries in changing times

I’m halfway through the out-of-print history book I picked up back in the Friends of the North Bend Library book sale.

And yet the buck I paid for the book has probably already been earmarked to help a Valley family discover the pleasure and utility of reading.

Perusing the sale is a guilty pleasure—‘guilty’ because I must go to the sale five or six days running, rounding up pocket change, trying to justify another purchase and wondering where I’ll find room on the shelves.

I love the written word, and indeed make my living from it. So I see the importance and potential of what libraries and their Friends do, and in my own small way, am proud to support that.

We live in an age when knowledge, more than ever, is power: Crucial to succeeding in education and getting a decent job. This week, the Snoqualmie Valley school board took a bold step, approving new guidelines to ensure local high school graduates are fully prepared for college. Such success has roots very early on in a child’s life, and indeed, in the reading habits of his or her parents. Our local libraries, and their Friends, are key to that.

There is a reason that, every week, I make sure to include the round of children’s library storytimes on the Record’s calendar page. I see such activity as important, perhaps more than almost anything else on that page. Yes, the civic classes, benefits and live shows are vital to a community, but more important than that is the literacy, the love of learning, that make young people thrive and become those active members of tomorrow’s community.

The annual book sale is just one manifestation of what Library Friends groups do. Proceeds from these fundraisers supplement your tax dollars, making for a richer experience that includes not only books on shelves, but special speakers and programs. Since libraries can’t make gifts of public resource, the Friends use their proceeds to buy books for special children’s giveaways, ensuring that little ones love books. That’s an awesome way to get a child on the road to literacy.

It’s worth noting that things are changing in our local library network. Our current library cluster manager, Michelle Drovdahl, is going to the Issaquah/Sammamish system. A new replacement, Laura Boyes, takes over. She is currently cluster manager in the Lower Valley, and her arrival means that Valley libraries are now being woven into a tighter river-valley network stretching from North Bend to Woodinville.

Now more than ever, it’s a good time to get involved at the library. The best way to do that is to become a Friend of your library, be it Snoqualmie, North Bend, Fall City or Carnation.

• North Bend Library: (425) 888-0554

• Snoqualmie Library: (425) 888-1223

• Fall City Library: (425) 222-5951

• Carnation Library: (425) 333-4398

Membership is $10 per family. Meetings are held once per month.

Join, and you help make your library—and community—the best it can be.


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