The Library on Wheels program from Sno-Isle Libraries will add a community bookmobile stop in south Snohomish County to its regular routes starting Sept. 14.
That’s when the Bookmobile will pay a visit in the Safeway store parking lot at Thrasher’s Corner between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and on every Saturday after that on the northeast corner of Bothell-Everett Highway and Maltby Road.
The new stop joins regular Bookmobile service at the Rainbow General Store in Maltby, the town of Index, Port Susan Nature Trails and the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club on the Tulalip Reservation, Northwest Regional Learning Center in Arlington, and Lincoln Way Apartments and Somerset Village in Lynnwood.
Some stops, such as Index and Maltby, are many miles away from a Sno-Isle Libraries community library. Other stops serve tight-knit communities or neighborhoods whose residents often have limited transportation options to get to a nearby library.
Denise Douglas-Baird, Library on Wheels temporary manager, says Thrasher’s Corner falls into a different category.
Thrasher’s Corner is busy. Population and development are dense. Heavily traveled Bothell-Everett Highway runs north-south through the area. Many other roads are narrow and some lack shoulders or sidewalks for pedestrians.
There’s a population to serve, but it’s kind of a no-man’s land for library services, Douglas-Baird said.
Traffic and distance from other Sno-Isle Libraries community libraries is an issue for Thrasher’s Corner, especially for parents and caregivers with young children.
“It’s the streets and geography, not just the miles,” said Kendra Wight, a Library on Wheels librarian.
From Thrasher’s Corner, the closest Sno-Isle Libraries community library is in Mill Creek, 3-1/2 miles north on Bothell-Everett Highway with regular Community Transit bus service. The Brier Library is next closest, about 5 miles southwest of Thrasher’s Corner and across Interstate 405. There’s no direct bus service between Thrasher’s Corner and Brier.
After reviewing community needs, traffic data and limited access to Sno-Isle Libraries nearby, Thrasher’s Corner became a logical addition to the Bookmobile schedule, Douglas-Baird said.
Two other Bookmobile stops grew so popular they became demonstration libraries for Sno-Isle Libraries, she said. The former stop near Lakewood High School moved to a shopping center east of Interstate 5 and became the Lakewood-Smokey Point Library. The stop at the Albertson’s store at Mariner Shopping Center became the Mariner Library at the other end of the complex.
Time will tell if the same thing happens in Thrasher’s Corner. Sno-Isle Libraries leaders hope that by offering service, public support will follow.
“It’s a good way to help us gauge community interest,” Douglas-Baird said.