The Foundation will hold its annual membership meeting on Monday, January 11 at 5:30. This meeting will be held via ZOOM due to the limitations on public gatherings still expected to be in place in January. The program will include Hal Verrell, Foundation President recapping the year 2020; Isaac Huffman, Library Director, discussing library life under a pandemic and Mayor Jill Boudreau, MV Mayor, giving us an update on the site and financing for the new Library Commons. There will be time for questions and answers. Nomination and election of officers for 2021 will also be held. All members in good standing will receive a ZOOM link a few days before the event. Anyone else interested in being a guest at the meeting should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mount Vernon City Council at its Oct 28 meeting approved the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the city looking out five years. Funds for the new Library Commons have been included as a priority level 2 project (It is the City’s #1 project for 2021). The estimated expenditure is $38 million to be spread over three years of the construction process (design expenditures are expected in 2021). The Foundation has committed to providing $4 million of funding to support the interior appurtenances that will go into the facility. $14 million is expected to come from the Local Infrastructure Financing Tool (LIFT) Program which basically redirects sales taxes paid to the state back to Mount Vernon for this worthy local project. See the full CIP report at mountvernonwa.gov/140/Capital-Improvements-Plan
The Skagit Valley Co-op 4% Friday grant has enabled the library to buy high quality materials to read, learn from, and be entertained by. Library staff member Andrea Alaniz has taken the lead in ordering materials to boost interest among Spanish speaking community members. She has ordered an array of Spanish and bilingual books for children and adults both fiction and non-fiction. Children will see new chapter books, board books, and non-fiction books on subjects such as space, animals, and the environment. New poetry, graphic novels, and holiday books will add spark to the collection. Adults will find new books on parenting, cooking, finances, relationships and business. They will also find a mix of popular fiction originally written in both Spanish and English and translated. The Co-op grant has planted a seed that will be nurtured by the library to continue to grow the collection for Spanish speaking community members.
You can be part of the effort to save the periodical section of the Mount Vernon Library by “adopting” one or more of your favorite titles. The budget to renew magazines and periodicals is at risk due to the budget cuts the city has had to impose on all departments.
You can donate the subscription cost of a magazine or multiple magazines which you enjoy to the library through the Library Foundation. It’s easy! Click the "Show Your Support" tab at the top of the page, then click "Adopt A Periodical". Scroll through the list of magazines in the list, choose one, fill out the form, and donate the cost of a year’s subscription. Be sure to include the name of the magazines you are adopting in the comment block. Your name, or the name of someone you would like to honor, will appear on a special label below the where the magazine is shelved. If you would like to donate a subscription to a magazine that is not listed, or if your choice has already been adopted, send an email to email@example.com and let us know and one of our volunteers will contact you. Our goal is to raise $3300 which will allow the renewal of all of the 75 titles the library currently has in their collection.
Budget cuts to the library may mean limited magazines and periodicals in the 2021 budget. You can be part of the effort to save the periodical section of the Mount Vernon Library by “adopting” a magazine. We will very shortly have a donation page available where you can donate the subscription cost of a magazine or a whole genre if you like. Your name, or the name of someone you would like to honor, will appear on the shelf label below the magazine. And remember, you can check out your favorite magazines and catch up on back issues by using the curbside checkout and pickup option.
The Foundation has covered the cost of a graphics-capable computer to be used by a library employee who will be working remotely for a period of time. Acquisition of new computer equipment was put on hold by the City and it would have been difficult for this employee to continue her work. This employee assisted the Foundation with the advertising campaign we conducted in the Herald, and she also does a lot of the marketing materials that are on the web site and library Facebook page. We felt this was a win-win for everyone involved!
The Foundation, with the cooperation of the Skagit Valley Herald, ran a series of six advertisements in the Sunday edition of the newspaper in July and August. The ads were a reminder to the community that the library is still available even though operating under a different set of rules. Curbside pickup has been very popular and the library even has a concierge service where you can call in and ask them to help you find the resource you are looking for. Here's an example of one of those ads!
4% Friday, sponsored by the Skagit Valley Food Co-op on Friday August 23, raised $2132 for the Library Foundation. The success of the day is due to the generosity of community members and the spirit of community embodied by this Co-op program. The funds will be used to augment the Library's Spanish and dual language childrens and young adult book collection. The Foundation is working with Library staff to review the selection of titles proposed by staff member Andrea Alaniz, a former longtime librarian at Westview School (bilingual) in Burlington. On one Friday each month, the Co-op donates 4% of the day's proceeds to community organizations doing important work in the Skagit Valley. We are proud and grateful to have been chosen as a recipient.
Forward progress on the Library Commons project is awaiting finalization of an agreement between the City and the County regarding the site location at 208 Kincaid St. The County owns that plot of land and has agreed in earlier meetings to transfer the site to the City, however the final paperwork has not been executed. This needs to be complete before geotechnical work on the site can begin.
There have been some renderings of what the combined parking structure and library might look like and how it would be situated on the 208 Kincaid St. The geotechnical survey is important because it will determine the extent the foundation will have to go to assure the new facility meets all earthquake standards.