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Clinton Library opens Saturday

"Photo: Cheryl Telford, center, of Sno-Isle Regional Library, takes a break from stocking shelves with books to talk to Friends of the Clinton Library volunteers Linda Falken (left) and Deborah Hall.Jim Larsen / staff photoAll welcome at openingEveryone is welcome to the opening of the Clinton Library Saturday, March 18 at 11 a.m. The library is located next to Dan Porter Park at 4784 Deer Lake Road.After a brief ribbon cutting ceremony the library's doors will swing open for business. A more formal dedication is planned for May, after fine tuning projects are completed.Beginning May 18 the new library hours will be:*Saturdays: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.*Tuesdays: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.*Thursdays: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.For more information, call Linda Falken, Friends of the Clinton LIbrary president, at 321-2655, or Mary Jane Aurdal, 341-4468.It may look like a nicely maintained double-wide mobile home to most people, but to certain Clinton residents it's as beautiful as their own Taj Mahal.The new Clinton Library will open to the public Saturday, March 18, an event that will cap a nine year process from idea to reality, with plenty of stumbling blocks along the way that might have stopped a less determined group of library enthusiasts.For many years Clinton residents have traveled by bus or car to Langley to use its library, or more recently to enjoy the new Freeland Library. But the 10-or-so mile trip kept many people from enjoying what the Sno-Isle Regional Library System has to offer.A lot of people live on the south 40 down here, so this will be great, said Marni Jezek, a volunteer at a recent work party.Beginning Saturday, Clinton residents need only stop by the 1,300 square foot building on Deer Lake Road next to Dan Porter Park. Inside will be a collection of some 4,000 books and other items, and two Internet linked computer terminals -- one filtered for content and the other unfiltered. Children have their own area with shiny new books and colorful plastic furniture.As Sno-Isle's 20th library, Clinton will provide its users with ready access to any book or tape in its vast collection simply by ordering and waiting a day or so.The Clinton Library's Friends group has worked many years to bring a library facility to Clinton, both in drafting plans for such a project and raising funds for its completion, said Linda Falken, president of Friends of the Clinton Library.Originally a small single-wide trailer was brought to the site, but dreams quickly grew larger than the structure. So in January 1999 the present building was purchased and moved the following May to its permanent site. Since then, volunteers and contractors have worked to remodel the structure and get it ready for occupancy. The Friends also have raised more than $20,000 to pay for construction materials, furnishings, landscaping and paving.At the biggest work party ever on March 4, about 20 Clinton residents rolled up their sleeves and went to work. As Jim Scriven dumped loads of topsoil, volunteers spread it around and planted shrubs and flowers.Dennis Giberson donated his tractor to the cause. When I saw all that dirt I just knew they couldn't do it by hand, he said.Inside the building, Cheryl Telford, Sno-Isle's manager for this region, was stocking shelves with books. We've got new material coming in all the time, she said. Patrons will have all the popular choices in fiction, non-fiction, reference materials, a selection of magazines, and children's picture books. And the majority is all brand new materials, Telford said. This is fun for the community.The Sno-Isle Regional Library board provided a grant of $11,000 to help complete the construction, and also loaned shelving and furnishings to ensure a March 2000 opening.Mary Kelly, community relations manager for Sno-Isle, said the library system also spent $8,700 for the personal computers, phones, cabling and printers. For 2000, $15,000 has been budgeted for staffing, starting out with experienced people from the Freeland and Langley libraries. The library system will also cover the costs of utilities and janitorial services, while Friends of the Clinton Library will be responsible for maintenance.Property owners in Island County pay a Sno-Isle library tax of 49 cents per thousand of assessed value. According to the Island County Assessor's Office, the tax will bring Sno-Isle about $2.92 million in 2000 from Island County. Besides libraries in Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Freeland, Langley and now Clinton, Sno-Isle operates 15 libraries in Snohomish County. Sno-Isle is headquartered in Marysville."

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