Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Books find home thanks to foundation

WORK IN PROGRESS | Herald staff
Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation Executive Director Angelique Leone

Contributed photo

Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation Executive Director Angelique Leone

Angelique Leone may not be a librarian. But this book-lover helps ensure local libraries are well stocked with page-turners as executive director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. And why, yes, she does have some book recommendations to share …
Q: How, or why, did you decide to work for or open your current job?
A: Libraries have always played a major role in my life, from when I visited the bookmobile as a child, to studying at my university’s library, to bringing my children to story hour. In fact, whenever I moved to a new city, the first place I would visit would be the public library. Even when I moved to Italy, one of the first stops I made was to the biblioteca! I knew I would find great people behind the desks, as well as other customers in the stacks, who would welcome me and help me find the ins and outs of my new home.
Q: What convinced you that this was the job for you?
A: I was an active user of the Sno-Isle Libraries, so already had first-hand experience with the high standard of service one sees in the library district. Then, I met the leadership behind that standard and knew I wanted to be a part of their team. The library staff’s commitment to excellence, as well as accessibility to resources and information, impressed me greatly, and I believed I could help continue that tradition.
Q: What does it take to blend your passion with your livelihood?
A: Well, it doesn’t hurt that I love to read! One of the most wonderful things about working for Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation is that I easily blend my passion for reading and information with what I do as the executive director. I am passionate about funding a story hour, creating an adult program about databases or bringing in an author because it is what I have enjoyed at the libraries myself.
Q: What are the crucial elements of success for your business?
A: Patience is definitely needed. It takes time to build and maintain a donor base for a nonprofit. You have to be willing to earn trust and respect and that only happens over a period of time. And integrity is vital. Say what you mean and do what you say makes all the difference in the world when you are seeking support.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how did you meet it?
A: I have had to learn a lot about library information and science. I am so impressed with those individuals who choose this as their career. They are some of the brightest and most giving people I have ever met. I have spent a fair amount of time talking with librarians about how a library operates and how private funds can make an impact that is beyond putting books on shelves.
Q: How did your friends and family react when you told them you were getting into this business?
A: They were thrilled that my love of reading was going to be put to good use! It is exciting to hear my sons tell their friends that their mom isn’t a librarian but she helps put books on shelves! I have also received a lot more requests for book suggestions.
Q: So, what do you recommend?
A: It is always fun to share book suggestions. “The Sherlockian” by Graham Moore, “The Tragedy of Arthur” by Arthur Phillips and “The American Heiress” by Daisy Goodwin are all books I have immensely enjoyed recently.
Q: What motivates you?
A: My desire to ensure others have the same access to library services that I have enjoyed my entire life motivates me every day. I want to help maintain Sno-Isle Libraries’ role as a community centerpiece.
Q: What personal abilities do you think are needed to excel in your line of work?
A: You have to be willing to ask people to join you in your efforts. You are giving others an opportunity to be a part of your vision of a great future. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a sense of humor. This work is fun – that is why they call it FUNdraising!
Q: When you’re not working, how do you enjoy spending your time?
A: My sons keep my husband and me very active with their sports. We are also big fans of camping and exploring. Of course, I have at least two books going at any time!
Q: What books are you reading now?
A: Currently, I am reading “There But For The” by Ali Smith, a wonderfully quirky book, and “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins, the third book in the Hunger Games series, by no means just a teen read!
Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation
WHERE: 7312 35th Ave. NE, Marysville
PHONE: 360-651-7092