Check It Out!

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

Hosted ByKen Harvey, Jim Hills, Jessica Russell and Paul Pitkin

Season 2 Episodes

Episode 46: Books and book’n’em with Alan Hardwick

What do police officer, adopted son, milkman, cheese cutter, fur trapper and international terrorism have in common? They have all been part of Alan Hardwick’s life. Hardwick is author of “Never...

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Episode 45: Serving community with Nate Nehring and Sue Norman

Chapter 1 – Snohomish County Council member Nate Nehring Nate Nehring may look young for a Snohomish County Council member, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a lot of experience....

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Episode 44: Engineering a writing career with Bernadette Pajer

Bernadette Pajer had returned to the University of Washington, intent on completing a degree in engineering. And then the life story of the soon-to-be mystery/crime writer took its own plot twist....

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Episode 43: Newspapers and journalism with The Herald’s Phillip O’Connor

There is no doubt that newspapers and journalism are undergoing changes. Phillip O’Connor should know, he has worked through many of those changes and continues to chart a course into the...

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Episode 42: Library card is the ultimate back-to-school supply

In this episode, Sno-Isle Libraries free-lance reporter Abe Martinez takes a look at four areas related to how the library district interacts with and supports the notion of student success. First,...

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Episode 41: Around the world with Mill Creek librarian Darlene Weber

They say that reading a book can take you around the world. For Darlene Weber, manager of the Mill Creek Library, that is literally true. Weber is a world-class hiker, including...

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Episode 40: On the path to higher education with Paul Pitre

WSU Everett Chancellor Paul Pitre’s career path wasn’t always taking him toward higher-education administration. But once he got there, it all made sense. With a bachelor’s degree in communications studies from...

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Episode 39: The art of writing in the rain with Garth Stein

Even Garth Stein cries over his books. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” is well-known to readers and movie-goers as a tearjerker. Stein says he rented space at a Seattle...

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Episode 38: The world’s top librarian at the greatest library

Carla Hayden, Ph.D, says the Library of Congress is the biggest – the greatest – library in the world. Hayden should know, she’s the Librarian of Congress. And that would make...

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Episode 37: How to collect a collection with Jessica Russell

Jessica Russel is a collector who is looking to the future. As Assistant Director of Technical Services – Collection Services for Sno-Isle Libraries, Russell oversees the process that makes 1.5 million...

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Episode 36: Happy podcast anniversary!

On July 31, 2018, the first Check It Out! podcast aired was posted. In this episode, co-hosts Ken Harvey and Jim Hills, along with podcast producer Debie Murchie, take a look...

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Episode 35: Singing the praises of opera and libraries with Lorraine Burdick

Lorraine Burdick says she came late to her love for both her vocation and avocation. By day, Burdick is a librarian at Sno-Isle Libraries working in collection development. Away from the...

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Episode 34: Following passions for news and education with Lynne Varner

Lynne Varner speaks with authority about the value of higher education and the details of what is available at WSU Everett. That’s not too unusual, seeing that Varner is Associate Vice...

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Episode 33: Oso to opioids with Shari Ireton and the Sheriff’s Office

Usually, the phrase is, “Baptism by fire.” For Shari Ireton, Director of Communications for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, her introduction to emergency management was baptism by mud. It was March...

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Episode 32: Summer fun and Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation

Chapter 1 Did you know that July 17 is Yellow Pig’s Day? Podcast co-host Paul Pitkin didn’t know either when he brought it up, but you will now. According to a...

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Episode 31: Behind the business and communications of Sno-Isle Libraries

First thoughts of a library likely evoke mental images of librarians and shelves full of books. This episode of “Check It Out!” looks at two positions that might not spring to...

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Episode 30: Third-graders Part 2, a community hero and book notes

Chapter 1 – Third-Grade Reading Challenge, Part 2 There is so much going on with the “Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third-Grade Reading Challenge” that it takes two segments to get...

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Episode 29: Actually live with Bill Stainton of ‘Almost Live!’

For some longtime Puget Sounders, it’s a treasured memory, an anchor point of local TV culture. For those with, shall we say, shallower roots? It’s the stuff of legend, lore and...

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Episode 28: Short stories on bestsellers, book notes and third-graders

Chapter 1 – Library Surprise: Beyond Bestsellers Rilee Louangphakdy says that “bookworm” might not be a great description for him and that his favorite library resource is graphic novels. Even though...

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Episode 27: What’s new at the libraries, reading with children, summer events and Kurt Batdorf

Chapter 1 – Hmmm, I didn’t know that about … June and July Once they decide who gets to speak first, podcast co-hosts Ken Harvey, Jim Hills, Cindy Tingley and Paul...

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Episode 26: How poetry chose an immigrant, Claudia Castro Luna

Claudia Castro Luna was a teenager when she came to the U.S. with her family fleeing war in El Salvador. In just two years, her growing English language skills earned Castro...

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Episode 25: Young adults serving their future and ours

This is a special episode of the Check It Out! podcast. It brings four special young people together for a conversation between themselves and moderated by one of their own: Rilee...

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Episode 24: Spotlight on Brian Rush and facilities stewardship

Chapters 1 & 2 Managing the variety and number of facilities in Sno-Isle Libraries is a big and multi-faceted job. To Facilities Manager Brian Rush, facilities management is also an opportunity...

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Episode 23: Business and education align to build communities

Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC) is a catalyst for economic vitality resulting in stronger communities, increased job creation, expanded educational opportunities, and improved infrastructure. Snohomish STEM Network works to foster a...

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Episode 22: Stevens makes the Wheels go ’round

For many people, their first experience with a library came as they stepped on to a bookmobile. For Sherry Stevens, the longtime manager of the Sno-Isle Libraries Library on Wheels service,...

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Episode 21: ‘Albatross’ carries Chris Jordan to Whidbey lectures

In this episode, Check It Out! reporter Abe Martinez leads listeners through an interview with Chris Jordan, a Seattle-based photographer and documentarian who created a movie called “Albatross.” Jordan’s comments come...

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Episode 20: Strings, Selma and seeing the future

Chapter 1 Introduction Check It Out! reporter Abe Martinez chats with podcast co-hosts Ken Harvey and Jim Hills about the experience of interviewing Andre Feriante. Length: 06:41 Chapter 1 – Andre...

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Episode 19: Uniting the way with Allison Warren-Barbour

She comes from a small town in Ohio known for the lack of a discernible accent by its residents. Allison Warren-Barbour is finding other ways to stand out as she leads...

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Episode 18: Comics and audits and books, oh my!

Episode 18 of the “Check It Out!” podcast includes three short stories from three contributors, Rilee Louangphakdy, Abe Martinez and Kaley Costello. Chapter 1 – Library Surprise with Rilee Louangphakdy Rilee...

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Episode 17: The ‘community’ in Community Transit with Emmett Heath

When Emmett Heath thinks about public transportation, buses might not be the first things that pop into his mind. “Our mission is to help people get from where they are to...

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Episode 16: Snow to strategic relations with Susan Hempstead

Chapter 1 – “Hmmm … I didn’t know that” Check It Out! podcast hosts Ken Harvey, Cindy Tingley and Jim Hills chat about a grab-bag of subjects, including: Snowmageddon 2019 and...

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Episode 15: ‘Finding Fixes’ comes to Sno-Isle Libraries

This very special episode of Check It Out! is a podcast, looking at a podcast which looks at one of the most pressing issues facing our communities today: the opioid crisis....

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Episode 14: Finding boundaries, balance with Sarri Gilman

Chapter 1 – Sarri Gilman  Sarri Gilman helps others search for healthy boundaries and find balance in their lives. A licensed psychotherapist, the Whidbey Island resident works with individuals, couples and...

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Episode 13: How to talk about depression with Bill Bernat

Chapter 1 – Bill Bernat Bill Bernat has been dealing with depression – his own and others’ – for a long time. Through his experience, Bernat has developed an approach –...

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Season 1 Episodes

Episode 12: The art of breaking glass with Jack Archibald

Chapter 1: Jack Archibald and breaking glass The Pacific Northwest has a growing number of famous glass makers, but Jack Archibald doesn’t count himself as among that group. “I call myself...

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Episode 11: Awakening the strength of community with Kathy Coffey

Chapter 1: Kathy Coffey and community leadership Kathy Coffey, Executive Director of Leadership Snohomish County (LSC), has more than a little experience in supporting communities and fostering leadership growth. Besides leading...

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Episode 10: Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory and 33 years of Sno-Isle Libraries

Chapter 1: Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory retires at the end of November 2018 after 33 years of service and the past 16 years leading the organization. Jonalyn...

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Episode 9: Kenn Dickinson and teaching the transition game to executives

Chapter 1: Kenn Dickinson and the transition game Kenn Dickinson is a former NCAA and European professional basketball player. Kenn is the president of Fast Break Executive Business Coaching, a Mukilteo-based...

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Episode 8: Evolving through adversity with Seconde Nimenya

Chapter 1 Award-winning author, diversity trainer and naturalized U.S. citizen Seconde Nimenya joins hosts Cindy Tingley and Ken Harvey for a wide-ranging discussion about her 2016 TEDx talk, journey from her...

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Episode 7: How strong roots grow into local leaders

It seems like Marti Anamosa and Terry Lippincott grew up together, it just happened to be in separate parts of the country. Marti is a native of Albuquerque, N.M. and now...

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Episode 6: Finding fulfillment (and coffee) through social enterprise

Jeff Ericson started working at age 12 and found retirement-level success by the time he was 30. What the avowed entrepreneur says that he hadn’t discovered, despite his theological education, was...

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Episode 5: From roots to rockets with Rob Branigin

Librarian Rob Branigin’s interests range from family roots to outer space. Branigin, along with co-hosts Ken Harvey and Cindy Tingley, delves into genealogy, Star Trek and more. The Indiana native discusses...

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Episode 4: Strategically planning the library district

As Deputy Director of Sno-Isle Libraries, does she get to wear a badge shaped like a star? Kendra Trachta shares the answer to that question and what it’s like to oversee...

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Episode 3: Achieving breakthrough growth with Andrew Ballard

Andrew Ballard knows a thing or two about business success. He does it. He teaches it. He wrote a book about it. He gives talks on it, including one at TEDxSnoIsleLibraries....

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Episode 2: Can Amazon really replace public libraries?

Early Saturday morning, July 21, Panos Mourdoukoutas posted on Twitter a link to his latest opinion item just published online by Forbes magazine. And Twitter came unglued. By Monday morning, the...

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Episode 1: Welcome to Check It Out!

Welcome to Check It Out!, a podcast for lifelong learners with inquiring minds. In this inaugural episode, host Ken Harvey, who doubles as Sno-Isle Libraries communications director, introduces himself and his...

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Check It Out! is Hosted by

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 public information manager, a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.

Cindy Tingley

Cindy Tingley is an instructional developer with Sno-Isle Libraries. Through experience as a radio DJ, a police officer in Key West, Fla., certified technology instructor and Usui Reiki trainer, the common thread is Cindy loves teaching new skills.

Paul Pitkin

Paul Pitkin is Director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. He also plays guitar, along with several other instruments, sings and writes music.

Check It Out! is Sponsored by

Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation Logo

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

Edmonds Center for the Arts Logo

Edmonds Center for the Arts provides an array of outstanding performing artists from around the world, hosts events and serves more than 75,000 patrons annually.