Our history shows what a difference community efforts can make. If you would like to participate in our ongoing support of the Freeland Library, please complete a Membership Application (lower left below) and we'll look forward to adding you as a "Friend". Join us at any of our meetings or events.
In her inherited role as librarian, Bettie selected new books each month to appeal to the reading tastes of her regular customers who ranged from very young children to senior citizens. Library hours were Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sno-Isle reported that 26,000 books had passed through Bettie's hands in the year 1983. The following year the addition of a computer put Bettie online with the Sno-Isle system, its regional libraries and almost immediate access to its 450,000 books.
1984--Check Out a Dress While You Check Out a Book
South Whidbey RECORD Article by Terri Lynn White dated 10/9/1984 describing the thriving library serving the community in a 9'x12' corner of a Freeland Dress Shop--Bettie B's.
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1986--FFL First Public Notice
Scrapbook clipping dated July 8, 1986, announcing the first meeting of the Friends of the Freeland Library. The newspaper in which it was published was not indicated but it was likely the South Whidbey RECORD.
1987--Whidbey Community Tries to Expand Library
This 1987 article by Everett Herald writer, Ned Carrick, chronicles the Bettie B's Apparel/Library years and increasing demand for a larger and more permanent space.
1987--Freeland Seeks New Library Building
February 17, 1987 Whidbey Record article by Lorinda Eastlick describes community mobilization to find new library space after learning of Bettie B's retirement plans.
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1987--The Herald's Opinion--Libraries
Dated July 17, 1987, this Everett Herald Opinion page is entitled "Learning with Libraries". Inspired at the time by the dedication of Mill Creek's new library, the article lauds community support to build public libraries in both Snohomish and Island counties. The opinion page credits list Larry L. Hanson-Publisher and Louis Wein--Editorial Page Editor.
· challenges of librarians in adapting to the changes brought in the way information is communicated by new information technology
· importance of libraries in safeguarding America's intellectual freedom
· the arson blaze that destroyed Everett Community College's library and student center in February of that year
· Specific to Island County, the article mentions plans by both Coupeville and Freeland to build libraries
1987--"City of South Whidbey" Library Service
1987 Letter to the editor (newspaper not noted in archive but likely the South Whidbey Record) by Tom Mayer, Director of the Sno-Isle Library System. Mr. Mayer’s letter clarifies library service for South Whidbey residents in light of the proposed incorporation of the City of South Whidbey being discussed at the time.
June 16, 1987 South Whidbey Record Article entitled "Sale Boosts Freeland Library" covering the garage sale that launched fundraising efforts to purchase land and build a library for the Freeland community.
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1987--Library Drive Begins
Photo of Bettie Bell and Peg Briggs at the fund raising kick-off at the Freeland PayLess parking lot. Selling "Fund the Freeland Library" buttons and giving away helium filled balloons were only part of the festivities to launch the campaign to raise $ to fund a library. The scrapbook clipping has been notated in pen with an incorrect date of 1989 -- from a newspaper article, most likely The South Whidbey RECORD.
1987--Chronicle Fundraising Article
Freeland Library Needs Your Help - More fundraising efforts were underway to raise $100,000 including a fun effort based on pledges for Ruth Rhodes weight loss. "Her loss (of weight) and your loss (of money) will be a great gain for the library fund."
Source: Whidbey Chronicle - November, 1987
1987--A Chapter Will End in 1989
News clipping announcing change for Freeland Library when Beettie B's Apparel closes in 1989, the Friends of the Freeland Library Financial goal and search for new and dedicated library location. Quotes from Kathleen McLughlin, one of the woners of the Freeland Total Home Center (Ace) and their support in fund-raising efforts. (Article credits not included--presumed from South Whidbey Record, Fall 1987.
1987--Forces Gather Momentum
Whidbey Island Chronicle article Fall 1987 reporting funds raised by community and businesses in support of the Freeland Library: Ruth Rhodes weight loss pledge; Freeland Lanes "BowlaThon"; Whidbey Island Chronicle subscription drive.
1987--Children's Story Time at Bettie B's
10/6/1987 South Whidbey Record photo and article of St. Augustine Pre-School students enjoying story time with Brenda Siebert. The scrapbook article is yellowed, torn and curled, but it shares good news of more than $8,000 being raised toward the fund for a permanent library home. Ace Hardware helped out, contributing 10% of sales one weekend to the library fund.
1988-Library Tax Hike
Request to support lifting Levy Lid for the library system by Sno-Isle meets with resistance by Island County Commisioners. News article details commission's concerns.
1988--Well Worth the Money!
Letter to editor in response to April 5, 1988 article expressing surprise at lack of support by commissioners for the Sno-Isle levy increase request.
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Iris Linton, President of Friends of the Freeland Library, and Bettie Bell, proprietor of Bettie B's Apparel where the library has been housed since 1969, sort boxes of donated books for the FFL book sale to raise funds for a permanent home for the Freeland Library.
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1988 Scrapbook Page
Five articles from this FFL Scrapbook page show continuing efforts to raise funds for a library. A book and bake sale was held at Freeland Hall and a photo shows Judy Ingman sorting books. The sale netted about $2,000. The article "Book Tax Discussed" shares the proposed levy details on the ballot in November of that year.
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Nov. 1988 - First FFL Newsletter-Page 1
The first newsletter published by the FFL was a two-sided one sheet publication printed on pastel blue paper. It outlines the FFL mission, announces Casey and Ben Franklin receipt redeeming donation effort, upcoming meetings and fund raisers and launched regular communication between FFL and its community and supporters.
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1988-- FFL First Newsletter - Page 2
Continues the news from the first FFL newsletter published November, 1988 with photocopying funded by Jack Barrett of Pacific Northwest Escrow Corp., Freeland.
NEW! 1989--Library Levy Passes!
Library leaders thank the public for their support in this news article from February 1989. Sno-Isle Board members indicate the public will begin enjoying additional hours, staff, and more books as levy funds become available in January, 1990.
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NEW! 1989--FFL Decides to Lease Space
Newspaper report of 4/20/89 meeting where Freeland Chamber members and interested citizens voiced support and FFL unanimously approved a motion to lease a library facility until a permanent home could be funded. FFL fundraising events had raised nearly $20,000 at the time toward the long term goal of finding a permanent home. A side article asks for book donations to support a fundraising sale.
Membership: Dr. Michael Moch