Volunteers honored for their important roles at libraries

The nearly 700 people who volunteer their time and talents as volunteers at Sno-Isle Libraries contributed more than 23,000 hours at community libraries and the administrative service center in 2017.

Bonnie Gerken photo
Bonnie Gerken, a volunteer at the Lynnwood Library and retired librarian, received the 2018 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for Education.

Out of that group, one volunteer received a Governor’s Volunteer Service Award and another five received nomination while 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.”

Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said Sno-Isle Libraries recognizes the significant time and effort that each volunteer gives to with Sno-Isle Libraries, the customers and communities.

“Our volunteers are extraordinary examples of how service can make an incredible difference,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Their service enables the 23 community libraries and our mobile services to be valuable community doorways to information,  learning, resources and culture.”

Woolf-Ivory noted a personal connection with the recipient of the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for Education, Bonnie Gerken.

“Bonnie and I go back a few years,” Woolf –Ivory said. “She has been a volunteer

at the Lynnwood Library since 2009. Prior that, she had a career as a librarian in Colorado and Western Washington,  including 20 years at Sno-Isle Libraries  where she managed our bookmobile service, now known as Library on Wheels.”

Not all of the volunteers have already had careers in libraries.

15-year-old Vanessa Zelenovic qualified for the gold-level recognition in the President’s Volunteer Service Awards.

“Every Sunday, I’d go to volunteer at the Lynnwood Library,” said Zelenovic who will begin Running Start classes at Edmonds Community College this fall. “I like organizing and making things in the proper order.”

Miranda Blum, a page supervisor and volunteer coordinator at the library, said, “Vanessa did an amazing job. Her hard work and adaptability were greatly appreciated by staff.”

Christine Stansfield, volunteer and community engagement coordinator, said volunteering at a local community library is popular because it makes a difference.

“As a library volunteer, you are actually helping to promote literacy in your community,” Stansfield said. “Choosing to help the library can be transformational for the volunteer, for the library, for the community and for all those lives that are touched by that service.”

Woolf-Ivory said that a strong support system helps each volunteer have an opportunity for success.

“Behind every one of our extraordinary volunteers is an equally extraordinary support system. Family, friends, job coaches and staff members all make these wonderful gifts of time and talent possible,” Woolf-Ivory said.

“Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, ‘Everybody can be great because everybody can serve,’” she said. “Our volunteers show how true that statement is.”

The list of honored volunteers includes:

  • Helen Kinsella – Coupeville
  • Robert Biggs – Darrington
  • Winsen  Almacen – Lynnwood
  • Bryan Beecken – Lynnwood
  • Bonnie  Gerken – Lynnwood
  • Angela   Samson – Snohomish
  • Zachary Furney – Service center
  • Quangchieu Nguyen – Service center
  • Denise Nordland – Service center
  • Frances Henning – Service center, Camano Island
  • Laura Lewis – Stanwood
  • Jean Minsky – Lynnwood
  • Kristen   Macaluso – Lynnwood, Mukilteo
  • Bonnie  Drake – Monroe
  • Michael Gantala – Monroe
  • Sherry Ogur – Mountlake Terrace
  • Huey-Jong (Amy) Liaw – Mukilteo
  • David Wachob – Mukilteo
  • Lillian VanWey – Oak Harbor
  • Frances Ball – Service center
  • Hedy Shiu – Lynnwood
  • Linda Patterson – Lynnwood
  • Jeffrey DePue – Service center
  • Matthew Totonelly – Service center
  • Yumi Taneda – Lynnwood
  • Jonathan Kwong – Lynnwood
  • Kaitlyn Pitts – Mountlake Terrace
  • Vanessa Zelenovic – Lynnwood
  • Anna King – Camano Island
  • Ivy Boyer – Lynnwood
  • Xuan Zhou – Lynnwood
  • Sonia Craig – Oak Harbor