Camano Island library a hit in first year

CAMANO ISLAND — The Camano Island Library isn’t a typical library, but don’t judge a book by its cover.

The library has been wildly successful since it opened in June 2007, said David Menard, the library’s branch manager.

Unlike regular libraries — which are packed with shelves upon shelves of books — the Camano Island Library, at 848 N. Sunrise Blvd., is smaller. However, it’s stocked with more copies of popular new books, and feels more like a bookstore than a library.

The Sno-Isle Library System opened the library as a three-year pilot program to test how successful a smaller, bookstore-style library would be.

“The folks here have really been great in terms of welcoming us into their community,” Menard said.

The library is planning a day of music and activities for June 28, its one-year anniversary.

Earlier this month, the approach used at the Camano Island Library was adapted by Whidbey Island’s Clinton Library, Menard said.

By focusing on carrying the most popular books, smaller libraries can appeal to more people than they would normally, he said.

The Camano Island Library also offers a computer lab with Internet access, summer reading programs and children’s reading programs. Patrons can order books from other libraries in the Sno-Isle system, as well.

“Especially now with gas prices so high, people like the fact we’re that much closer,” Menard said. “They don’t have to go off the island to get what they need.”

Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or

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