EVERETT — The long-awaited Mariner Library is set to open Saturday with a morning celebration.
Sno-Isle has leased space at 520 128th St. SW, Suite A9-10. It’s in the same shopping area as an Albertsons and across the street from a transit center. The library is close to Mariner High School, Voyager Middle School and five elementaries.
The area has been served by a bookmobile for more than a decade. People petitioned Sno-Isle multiple times to get a permanent site. The recession put those plans on hold.
As valuable as the bookmobile has been, the Mariner community “needs and deserves more” than a library on wheels, Sno-Isle executive director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said in a news release.
The new library’s expected service area is bordered by Everett on the north, Mukilteo on the west, Mill Creek on the east and Lynnwood on the south. About 30,000 people live there. It’s a diverse area with a high population of low-income families.
Sno-Isle signed a five-year lease on the new space. Mariner is a pilot library, which means it can be used to test the response and pave the way for a permanent location. The same approach was used to plan for Sno-Isle’s recently added branch on Camano Island.
Sandra Beck, who previously worked at the Brier and Mill Creek libraries, is taking over as branch manager at the Mariner Library.
That area has “been lacking that daily service,” Beck said. “We had the bookmobile out here and that provided great service to the area, but this will be more regular service.”
Library hours at Mariner will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. The library is expected to be closed Sundays.
Along with standard offerings such as books, DVDs and CDs, the library is being used to try a new approach for Sno-Isle in providing public computers with internet access. Instead of a bay of desktop computers, the plan is to have laptops with wireless internet access and a “laptop bar” where people can sit like they would at a coffee shop.
People also can bring their own computers, tablets and other devices to connect to power and wireless internet, Beck said.
“It’s a very mobile-friendly library,” she said. “Any place you sit down, basically, there will be a place to plug in your device.”
The library has a children’s area and study areas for children and adults, as well as a public meeting room that can be reserved.
Expected programs include kindergarten prep, study support for school-age children, digital literacy for all ages and language learning assistance. Librarians also hope to do some workplace readiness programs and children’s story times, Beck said.
With the Mariner Library opening, nearby bookmobile service is being reduced this month.
An opening celebration is planned at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Former bookmobile customers have been invited to help cut the ribbon.