Move afoot to keep Camano library open

CAMANO ISLAND — Laurie Wheeler knows that a little support can go a long way.

That’s why Wheeler, 39, and a group of dedicated islanders started small to help save the Camano Island Library, a pilot project running until 2010.

“We’d like to keep the library on Camano Island,” Wheeler said. “We know our community wants this, and we want other people to know too.”

When the time comes, it will be up to the community to decide if the library stays and how to pay for it.

Wheeler and others from the Camano Island Library Friends started raising awareness and money that will help keep the library in their community, which otherwise is isolated two counties away from the rest of Island County.

The group is still waiting for its nonprofit status, Wheeler said. Until then, there’s a limit on what it can and can’t do to raise funds.

The goal is to raise $40,000 by the end of the year, Wheeler said.

“Yes, economic times are hard; that’s why we need a library even more,” she said. “If 1,000 people gave $40, we would reach our goal.”

It’s not clear how much it will cost to save the library, Wheeler said. “The more we raise, the less is the burden on taxpayers,” she said.

One of the two current fundraisers is a penny drive aimed at the library’s young patrons, Wheeler said. “That way, the children can be a part of it. They get left out of so many decisions.”

Kids who donate pennies take home a little crochet bookworm, Wheeler said.

The worms were donated by Wheeler’s international crochet club. Some of the bookworms came from as far as New Jersey. “People who don’t even live here believe in our library,” she said with a laugh.

The local library has become a place for different generations to come together, Wheeler said. Many use it for the high-speed Internet service that’s hard to come by on the island.

“It would be nice to have something that is ours,” Wheeler said.

Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452,

Join the Friends

Camano Island Library Friends meets every fourth Thursday of the month at the library at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

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