Friends help to keep Lake Stevens Library booked

LAKE STEVENS — Debby Ames sorted children’s books on a table outside of the Lake Stevens Library.

The table was one of several labeled with different book genres Thursday morning that lined the library’s boardwalk.

“This is my thing,” said Ames, 53. “I like to help with the book sale.”

Volunteers with the nonprofit Friends of the Lake Stevens Library held their largest fundraiser of the year Friday through Sunday. The group raised about $2,300. The Aquafest Book Sale is an anticipated event for the group during the city’s annual summer festival.

Ames, who also is a Lake Stevens Library Board member, has helped with the book sale for the past 18 years.

“You buy them, you read them and then you donate them back to the library,” she said. “It’s the ultimate in recycling. Some of these books that are here have been in past sales.”

Volunteer Rosanne Sterling, 48, said she became swept up in helping with the sale 15 years ago after her family moved to the city. She became an official member of the nonprofit group about five years ago. Single members pay $5 per year and families pay $15.

Becoming a member had a lot to do with her children getting older and learning that the group raises money throughout the year to help pay for library activities and programs, Sterling said. An ongoing book sale is another group fundraiser that helps to fund materials, events and prizes for things like the Kids Summer Reading Program.

“Throughout the year we have a book sale so we have to keep those books constantly stocked,” Sterling said. “I’d come every two or three days and there’d be a huge gap.”

The Friends of the Lake Stevens Library got its start in 1983. The group raised more than $7,000 in 2011 to support and pay for library services that aren’t otherwise funded, said Chy Ross, Lake Stevens Library manager. Of that, close to $5,000 was raised through the Aquafest Book Sale and the year-round book sale inside of the library.

“They supplement services for all age groups but a lot of this group’s focus is on service for kids,” Ross said.

Last year, the group organized a tea party for girls and their dolls and sold raffle tickets and handmade doll clothes, Ross added.

The Friends of the Lake Stevens Library is searching for people to fill three volunteer positions that have been open since spring, said Shaelynn Bates, a Snohomish elementary school librarian and member of the Friends of the Lake Stevens Library.

The organization’s board of directors needs a president, vice president and secretary to provide leadership, run five board meetings during the year, and set and approve a budget. The board members do not need to be residents of Lake Stevens.

The board is the liaison between the people who run the fundraising efforts and the library, said Bates, 38.

“We need a board that can run the fundraising and be in charge of the fundraising events that go on throughout the year,” she said. “I’m sure there are many other things the Friends of the Library could be doing.”

Board members typically decide their own meeting schedule but have met five times a year for hour-long meetings in the past, Ross said. The Friends of the Lake Stevens Library before the beginning of the year needs a board to make financial decisions for the group, he added.

“The group is active, they’re healthy in every other way and they have a great sense of community,” Ross said. “I think a lot of it is just an issue of awareness. A lot of people that are pretty invested may not realize that the board serves an official function.”

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491;

How to volunteer

The nonprofit Friends of the Lake Stevens Library has three vacancies on its board of directors. The unpaid position requires members to meet five times a year to discuss library needs and plan fundraiser activities.

For more information, contact Shaelynn Bates at 425-334-8136 or email

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