Over the past 33 years, Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory has left her mark on Snohomish and Island counties.
On Thursday, the Sno-Isle Libraries executive director was recognized for that commitment to people and communities with the Elson S. Floyd Award from Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC). The award is named for the late Washington State University president who played a key role in establishing the WSU Everett campus.
“I couldn’t be more honored to accept this award for myself but also on behalf of Sno-Isle Libraries,” Woolf-Ivory said. “It is important for Sno-Isle Libraries to be recognized by Economic Alliance Snohomish County for the library’s focus on community partnership, commitment to improving the community’s quality of life, and its work to make a positive impact on the region’s economy.”
Paul Pitre, chancellor of WSU Everett, presented the award during Thursday’s EASC annual meeting at the Tulalip Resort Casino.
“She believes that public libraries should serve as a hub for people, ideas and culture,” he said of Woolf-Ivory. “She sees libraries as a doorway to reading, a doorway to new and innovative resources, and a doorway to lifelong learning.”
“Jonalyn will retire at the end of the year,” he added. “We will all be sad to see her go. We will also be grateful for the impact she has had on this community throughout her career.”
Pitre read a congratulatory message from Carmento Floyd, Elson Floyd’s widow.
“Elson strongly believed in the power of education, and nothing was more important than everyone having access and opportunity,” she wrote. “Thank you for your commitment to providing the best opportunities for citizens of that region. Again, congratulations – and Go Cougs!”
Woolf-Ivory earned her undergraduate degree in political science from WSU. While she received a master’s in library and information science from the University of Washington, Woolf-Ivory remains a steadfast supporter of the WSU Cougars.
The Elson S. Floyd Award is especially meaningful to her family, she said. “My grandad, my mother, my uncle and my son. We are all Cougars, and we all just brim Cougar spirit.”
Community-program achievements under Woolf-Ivory’s direction include the ongoing Issues That Matter series, bringing thoughtful and frank discussions on difficult topics to communities. She also initiated the award-winning three-year run of TEDxSnoIsleLibraries.
Serving nearly 750,000 residents through 23 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels. In the past two years, Woolf-Ivory led the organization opened demonstration libraries in two underserved communities: the Mariner area near 128th Street and I-5, and the Lakewood/Smokey Point area near Arlington.
“It’s important to me that Sno-Isle Libraries is a tenacious good neighbor to all of our partners and to each of you,” Woolf-Ivory told Thursday’s audience.
Woolf-Ivory is an active participant in local organizations that support civic engagement and address the needs of the community. She is a member of the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County Board, the Compass Health Board of Directors, and the Snohomish County Health Leadership Coalition. Woolf-Ivory has also served on the board of Leadership Snohomish County, including a term as president, and on the board of the Interfaith Association of Northwest Washington.
Other honorees at the EASC event were Clay Siegall, who received the John M. Fluke, Sr. Award; Dr. David Beyer, who received the Henry M. Jackson Award; and Lacey Harper, winner of the HBJ Emerging Leader Award.