Sno-Isle is new owner of library

Library to be expanded next summer.

After more than a decade since they first opened the building, the Friends of the Freeland library are transferring their ownership of the building to Sno-Isle Libraries.

"The Friends of the Freeland Library have done a remarkable job making library services available to their community," said Sno-Isle director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory. "Their care and dedication is evident throughout the library."

But over the years, the building's upkeep has become a lot to handle for Friends of Freeland.

"If the siding needed to be fixed, we fixed it. If there were plumbing issues, we took care of it," said Joanne Peterson, Friends of the Freeland Library president.

"There was the time and physical effort part, but there was also the cost," said Mary Kelly, spokeswoman for Sno-Isle Libraries.

"It was really a lot of work for a small group of dedicated volunteers," she said.

The Friends of Freeland Library aren't finished with their contributions to the library. They will continue to support the library by focusing on children's and adult programs and special library needs. The Friends will also continue their monthly book sales.

Sno-Isle Libraries began their partnership in 1962, when its services were extended to Island County.

In 1994, the Freeland Library was built through funding by the Friends of Freeland, Sno-Isle and a federal grant.

Their was no monetary exchange for the Freeland library, but an agreement was made to remodel the building.

The project will include an expansion to the building that will provide more public space and a larger staff work area. Sno-Isle Libraries has committed $240,000 toward construction and the Friends agreed to provide $115,000 for library improvements.

The exchange of ownership didn't come as a surprise to the Friends.

"We knew this day might come and, in fact, included it in our 1993 services contract with the Sno-Isle Libraries," Peterson said.

"Sno-Isle has been a wonderful partner with the Freeland Friends," she said. "That will not change even though the building ownership has."

The ownership change was triggered when the Friends decided the library needed expanding.

"When we began our fundraising efforts we realized it would take year and years and years to get the expansion done," Peterson said.

Sno-Isle agreed not only to take over the responsibility of ownership of the building, but also the expansion of it.

"The Friends are going to do everything they can to help out," Peterson said. "There are so many ways that we can help Sno-Isle to keep good library services going here."

The two groups are well underway with their plans to expand the library, and construction for the project is scheduled to start in summer.

Both Sno-Isle and the Friends of the Freeland library are welcoming the changes to the library.

"It is a mutually beneficial arrangement for both us," Peterson said. "But overall the community is going to be the major beneficiary of this change."

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