Check It Out!

Episode hosted by: Ken Harvey, Jim Hills

A podcast from Sno-Isle Libraries for lifelong learners with inquiring minds.

Episode 47: From the Bookmobile to regency romance, discovering the library

The Sno-Isle Libraries Bookmobile.

Even for the folks whose jobs are to know things about the library, Sno-Isle Libraries continues to amaze and surprise.

In this episode, co-hosts Ken Harvey, Jim Hills, Jessica Russell and Paul Pitkin, “Go over the highlights of what we don’t know.”

Service Center

Hills points out the oddity that while the library district’s Service Center in Marysville serves all 23 community libraries, Library on Wheels and online services, it is not itself a library.

Jessica Russell, Assistant Director of Technical Services – Collection Services, says that, yes, all the materials that are in community libraries flow through the Service Center, those items aren’t there for very long. “Our job is to get them out into the libraries and the hands of our customers,” Russell says.

Pitkin adds the fact that for visitors and employees alike, the Service Center building can be a confusing place. “You see people wandering around looking lost because the building has been added on to three times. People walking around lost, but trying to not look like they’re lost.”

Special days

With everything from Peanut Butter Fudge Day (a Pitkin favorite) to special days for vegans, clams and craft jerky, November is more than just Thanksgiving. “Craft jerky?” Russell asks. “You mean, like craft beer?”

With the “fall back” to standard time in November, Hills takes an informal poll of the co-hosts for their preferences:

  • Harvey – “Daylight Savings Time all the time.”
  • Pitkin – “Never. I like the darkness. In the summer it just gets ridiculous.”
  • Russell (a recent Texas transplant)– “But, it’s such beautiful light here, so soft. If you ever want to know what it’s like to be a bug under a magnifying glass, go to Texas.”
  • Hills – “I’d keep both. I love summer nights when it’s light until 9:30 maybe 10 p.m.”
  • Harvey (again) – “And if our listeners have an opinion, let us know at

Title talk

“One of the most clicked on things on our website is the ‘new items’ link,” Hills says. “And Jessica is responsible for getting the stuff that’s new in the collection.”

Russell says it is actually the work of “the amazing, wonderful, collection development staff.”

For a person who sees the world of what’s published, Russell says her personal reading list is currently focused on “regency romance” novels. “There are tons and tons of regency romances,” she says.

For Russell, that means downloading from Overdrive to her iPad. “I have become an almost exclusively digital reader,” she says.

Still, Pitkin wondered about “regency.”

“Is that a publisher?” he asks.

The phrase, regency romance” refers to a time period of dukes and other royalty, Russell says. “If you’ve ever watched ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ you’ll love regency romances,” she says.


As executive director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, Pitkin says he is always looking for great stories of how library services supported by donations to the foundation are helping customers.

“The Bookmobile is just an amazing service,” Pitkin says of the mobile service that is part of the larger Library on Wheels department.

Russell said a recent ride-along was inspiring to her. “The depth of knowledge our staff members have of their customers and how they know what customers are looking for is amazing,” she says.

Episode length: 34:45

Episode Hosts

Ken Harvey Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.

Jim Hills Jim Hills is the library district’s Assistant Communications Director, Communications & Marketing. Jim is a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.

Episode Sponsors

Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation proudly supports the innovative work of Sno-Isle Libraries through private donations.