Father, daughter make a whirlwind tour of Sno-Isle libraries

MUKILTEO — Randy West and his daughter, Maggie, embarked on an adventure with book bags in hand.

The duo from Edmonds each checked out several books from the Mukilteo Library before the library opened for the day on July 20. After all, they had a ferry to catch and a schedule to keep if they wanted to accomplish their goal of visiting all 21 Sno-Isle Library branches and one service center in a single day.

“I love libraries, and I thought it would be really cool to go to all of them in one day,” Maggie, 15, said.

She approached her father with the idea and together they started building an itinerary.

“I thought it was a great idea and it sounded like fun,” Randy West, 51, said. “We both love libraries, and well, you can go and look at ones you haven’t been to.”

They decided to check out at least one item from each of the branches of the Sno-Isle Libraries as proof that they visited each. West calculated they could spend up to eight minutes in each library before moving onto the next. The goal was to end at the Edmonds Library, closest to their home.

At 8:56 p.m. the pair accomplished their goal, walking into the Edmonds Library before the 9 p.m. closing time. Library staff greeted them. Each received large cardboard honorary library cards with their name and date on one side and the Sno-Isle logo on the other.

“It was a little like going over the finish line in a marathon.” said Lesly Kaplan, managing librarian at Edmonds Library. “We gave them a big cheer.”

The adventure registered 307.8 miles on his vehicle’s trip odometer, West said. Although he and his daughter were tired by the end of their journey, he said the experience was fun.

Word spread to staff at each of the libraries to watch for them after they were given matching black T-shirts with the phrase, “Infamous for Information” and book bags at Mukilteo Library, West said. At the Darrington Library, a librarian showed them a photo from the beginning of their trip that was shared with each branch through e-mail.

“It was sort of like a wanted poster,” West said.

Along the way, librarians anticipated their arrival by preparing book selections for him and Maggie, West added.

Before Tuesday, Maggie had visited three branches in the Sno-Isle Library System. She checked out more than two dozen books and collected a receipt from each library to add to a scrapbook she plans to make to remember the day. Her favorite stop, she said, was the Snohomish Library.

“The Snohomish Library was really nice,” she said. “It felt really open.”

Choosing a favorite library was a little more difficult for West.

“Coupeville and Langley (libraries) have these wonderful views of the water, and they’re full of light,” he said. “The Darrington branch has a wonderful mountain view.”

West, who works in the Human Resources Department at the University of Washington, said he and his daughter aren’t planning any other tours for the time being. He took the day off Wednesday to recover and open a few of the many books they brought home with them.

“I thought I might do a little reading today,” he said.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

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