Camano Profile: Marlene Moodie


Camano Island is home to a diverse and talented group of people. Thousands of them work on the mainland, some quite a distance from their enchanted isle. Despite the time it takes to commute to and from their jobs, they are able to balance enriching home lives on Camano with fulfilling careers that benefit other communities as well.

One such Camano resident is Marlene Moodie, who manages the Brier Library. Brier is a mostly residential area sandwiched between Lynnwood and Kenmore just north of the King-Snohomish County line. This library is part of the Sno-Isle Library system, the same library district that serves the Stanwood-Camano area.

The Brier Library has to be the cleanest library branch I’ve ever seen, and its staff members are extremely helpful. Their pride in their work shows. They’re the kind of public servants who go above and beyond to ensure that library patrons obtain the assistance they need.

I’ve always been curious how a Camano resident ended up working in the farthest reaches of their own library system, so I interviewed Marlene to gain some insight.


Marlene, how on earth did you, a Camano resident, wind up managing the Brier branch of the Sno-Isle Library System? Did you have any choice, or does the system assign you to a branch?

I began working at the Arlington Library, which was just a few blocks from my home at the time, over 34 years ago (I started just out of preschool). I transferred to Marysville and moved to Camano over 25 years ago. My husband lived there for several years before we met. We moved back when my son was in the second grade.

When a temporary opening became available in Mountlake Terrace I saw it as a career advancement. I was driving a delivery truck for the library so pretty much anything that provided working inside a building was an advancement. At Mountlake Terrace I supervised 5 Pages (shelvers). The temporary position eventually evolved to eight years and I loved my job (still do!).

When the opportunity for the Branch Manager position opened I decided I would like the challenge. I have been at the Brier Library for just over three years. There have been several mornings I’ve wished my commute was shorter but overall I really love the Brier community. Positions are not assigned. You apply for what is open (including location).

How many people do you supervise, and what are your main duties?

I supervise five employees. My duties are mainly making certain the library is adequately staffed, that staff are trained, and all operations run as expected. However duties are not limited to this. I also schedule programs, do school visits, and perform other “duties as assigned” (which, this morning, was spraying WD40 into the locks in an attempt to get them to stop sticking!)

Do you have an opinion or thoughts on whether it’s important for Camano to have its own library branch? Or does Stanwood suffice?

The Camano Island Pilot Project was put into place because Camano residents asked for their own library. Sno-Isle funded the pilot project for three years to evaluate the community’s interest in local library service and the success has been overwhelming.

The Sno-Isle Trustees recently approved continuing the project based on an annual contribution by the Camano Island Friends of the Library to offset the facility rental cost until successful passage of a bond measure. The Friends are very active and have raised more than $40,000 already to continue library service on Camano Island.

I’ve had the opportunity to work at the Camano Pilot Project Library on several occasions. The customers have all been very supportive and very vocal about their desire to have a library in their community.

Speaking as a Camano resident, I feel having a library that is specific to the needs of our area (Camano) is priceless. Though Stanwood and Camano are close in proximity, the issues and needs of their people can be very different. The needs and interests of a community can affect programming needs, collection needs, hours of operation, etc.

If you had the opportunity to move closer to your workplace, would you?

No. I love the Brier community, but I just love living on Camano Island more.


Thanks Marlene! I appreciate your enthusiasm for the library system both as an employee and as a citizen. Even though local government agencies are facing huge challenges in their budgets right now, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I do hope that Camano gets its own library branch. As a former weekend resident, I can attest to the fact that it’s not always practical to run to Stanwood.

For more information about Sno-Isle Libraries visit


I cannot live without books. –Thomas Jefferson

©2011 H. Hiatt/ All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/

One thought on “Camano Profile: Marlene Moodie

  1. I was happy to see your article about Marlene Moodie, manager of the Brier Library with the Sno-Isle Libraries. I am an employee at Brier, and I wanted to say just how grateful I am to have Marlene as my boss. She is very competent and does her job exceedingly well. I have always felt supported and respected by her and I couldn’t ask for a better supervisor. I know that we at the Brier Library are glad that she is there to lead us and that her hard work continues to ensure that the library remains a vital contribution to its community.


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