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San Juan Island Library hires development director

The San Juan Island Library is excited to announce Amy Saxe-Eyler has joined its staff to serve as Development Director. Amy has lived in the San Juan Islands since 2009 and has been assisting nonprofits for decades. She has experience in fundraising, grant-writing, financial management, and marketing and has served in the nonprofit sector as both director and staff member, as well as volunteering and her service on boards.

In her development role, Amy will work closely with Library Director Laurie Orton, the Friends of the Library, and the Board of Trustees to lead the fundraising efforts for the new library capital campaign.

“Growing up as a latch-key kid, as a college student with limited means, and now as a parent, libraries have been a source of support for me my entire life. I’m thrilled to be here to share our wonderful library’s stories and to help it grow into its full potential,” Saxe-Eyler said. “Incredibly, 2022 marks the 100-year anniversary of the first library opened on San Juan Island! A century later, we have wildly innovative, friendly staff and volunteers, state-of-the art collections, and an amazing variety of programs serving all ages. Our small but mighty library is bursting at the seams.”

The library building project was first presented to the community in 2018 and was delayed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit San Juan Island. The project proposes a new facility, central to downtown at 660 Spring Street, the site of the former Life Care Center in Friday Harbor.

Laurie Orton commented, “We love this location as this central site will carry on being an anchor for the community as it was for so many islanders in the past. The new facility will be built with three different avenues of support—a state library capital grant, private and public fundraising, and a bond vote this November. As many of you know, the former Life Care Center building experienced a leak during the island’s recent freeze, resulting in damage to floors, walls, and ceilings. Fortunately, we were not planning to use this structure for the new library, and the library’s insurance is covering all of the cleanup and repairs. Some of the demolition and abatement work that would have had to be done later on is being accomplished now at no cost to the Library. That’s very good news for the project budget.”

Saxe-Eyler has experienced the lesser-known benefits the library offers to San Juan Island. She added, “As a nonprofit worker and volunteer, I’ve witnessed first-hand how the library connects our local community in unexpected ways. It’s a priceless resource for other local nonprofits and their clients, island schools, small businesses, service groups, and many more. An investment in this new space stretches far beyond construction of a building – it’s a sustaining gift to the community.”

For more information, you can reach Amy at asaxe-eyler@sjlib.org or visit www.sjlib.org.


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