Anna King has had a thing for libraries since elementary school.
“In fourth grade, I volunteered at the school library,” said King, who this fall will be a junior at Stanwood High School. “The library is very structured. I like that everything has its place.”
King and a friend spent some of their lunch and recess time shelving books, cleaning and helping other students find their way around the library. “Ever since then, I have found libraries to be invaluable,” King said.
Two years ago, King responded to a call for teen volunteers for Sno-Isle Libraries. King joined teens from across the library district to learn more about libraries and working with people.
In 2017, King was one of nearly 700 people who gave their time and talents as volunteers at Sno-Isle Libraries. Volunteers contributed more than 23,000 hours at community libraries and the administrative service center. Six volunteers were nominated for the Governor’s Volunteer Service award and 32 volunteers qualified for President’s Volunteer Service awards.
“Volunteers help strengthen the connection our libraries have with their communities,” said Marti Anamosa, president of the library district’s Board of Trustees. “Volunteers inspire others to take positive action to change the world.”
Rep Rick Larsen, D-Wash., is also a supporter of volunteerism and the awards.
“I have a deep appreciation for the library volunteers and administrators who keep these important institutions running,” Larsen said. “Congratulations to everyone nominated for this year’s volunteer service awards. Thank you for your work to give folks access to resources they might not otherwise have.”
King received a silver presidential award for her service at the Camano Island Library and says she’s loving the experience.
“I like helping people,” she said. “I like do everything here. I put books away, clean things, help with programs.”
Help with programs? How about start programs.
In 2017, King provided key vision and energy for the first CamanoCon event.
“We had cosplay contests, panel discussions, virtual reality headsets,” King said of the events at which many attendees dress as characters from books, comic books, graphic novels, films, TV, anime and other sources.
“We weren’t sure how many people would come,” King said. “More than 70 people showed up!”
Credit for success goes to King, said Kelli Bragg, volunteer coordinator at the Camano Island Library.
“Anna is terrific,” Bragg said. “I’ll show her a program I’m thinking about doing and then ask her how to make it more exciting.”
King does have some experience with events as a member of the NAGO club at school.
“NAGO stands for Nerds and Geeks Organization,” said King, one of the club’s leaders. “We put on events, do board games, have like Hogwarts house; I’m in Ravenclaw. NAGO is one of the biggest clubs at school besides athletics.”
While Bragg says she’d just hire King now if she could, King has other ideas.
“I’ll be a junior next year and I’m part of the ORCA program at Everett Community College,” King said, referring to the Ocean Research College Academy. “It’s like a subset of Running Start.”
King said she will be on track to graduate from high school and community college at the same time.
“I only have two electives this year and next year and I think they’re going to have to be calculus and physics,” said King, who racked up perfect attendance for spring quarter. From there, she is eying the electrical engineering program at the University of Washington. “I want to design games and work for Nintendo,” she said.