ARLINGTON — The Arlington Library has been a part of its community for 100 years, and on Saturday, Oct. 13, the library celebrated the 50th anniversary of being a part of the Sno-Isle Libraries community and put together a time capsule to celebrate.
“In 1962, the two library districts, in Snohomish and Island counties, came together to form Sno-Isle,” said Arlington’s managing librarian Kathy Bullene. “We’ve gathered things people thought were significant in 2012 and are placing them in a time capsule. We are opening it in 10 years.”
Dozens of local residents reminisced about what the library has meant for them over the years, while others predicted what the library would be like in the future.
“The reason we decided to open it in 10 years, is so that some of these kids who are involved might still be here to come back for that ceremony,” said Bullene.
The time capsule ceremony included music from the Haller Middle School Marimba Band and local library supporter and flute player Paul Nyenhuis.
“We are within walking distance of two middle schools. They are our neighbors and on weekday afternoons this building is filled with middle school students. We invited them to be a part of this ceremony,” said Bullene.
The time capsule’s contents include written memories of the library, from patrons and librarians alike. The tale of a persistent cream-colored cat who sneaked through the front doors behind patrons, only to zip to the back room to sleep on a swivel chair, is a favorite memory for one librarian. Participating in summer reading programs to help achieve higher reading levels is a favorite memory for one patron and student who wrote, “I would DIE without the library!!!”
But testimonials weren’t the only items placed in the capsule. It also became home to newspaper clippings, a City Council photograph, a Girl Scouts 100-year anniversary patch, local restaurant menus, the Arlington High School commencement program and more.
Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert read a proclamation from the City Council, naming Oct. 13, 2012, as the official Sno-Isle Libraries anniversary, and she spoke of the importance of the library as a part of the community.
“The Arlington Library provides a heart for the functioning community’s vitality,” Tolbert said. “It reflects our needs and expectations. And there are no social or economic barriers.”
Sno-Isle Deputy Director Kendra Trachta also attended the event and spoke of the important role that a community library fills.
“A public library is a key institution in our community,” said Trachta. “It’s free for everyone to use. Whatever you need to know for your life, you can find it in your public library. It’s key to a free society and a truly democratic society with an educated citizenry. I am proud to be a part of this community.”