Library Staff

Laurie Orton
Library Director

Loving the outdoors after years in the desert, Laurie is hiking and traveling, currently exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest region. Other hobbies include spotting (real) and collecting (fake) foxes, Spider Solitaire, playing April Fool’s jokes on coworkers, and making folded book art (the only acceptable form of folding book pages, don’t you know?).

Reading Interests: Fiction—science fiction, fantasy, historical, suspense, literary, contemporary, romance, dystopian, zombies and vampires, with small or large doses of magic thrown in here and there. Nonfiction—quirky memoirs.
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Kathy Babbitt
Youth Programs Associate

Our fearless Kathy spends her time channeling Martha Stewart and Harry Potter while entertaining hundreds of children effortlessly. At least she makes it look effortless...

Reading Interests: I enjoy historical mysteries, memoirs and biographies. I loved Harry Potter long before I joined our Youth Services Department and have become a fan of many current Juvenile & YA authors since.
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Leslie Baker
Assistant Director/Manager Adult Services

Sci-fi fanatic (especially Star Trek), mystery and horror fan, ex-archaeologist and hoarding bibliophile. Not ashamed to admit to having cosplayed…

Reading Interests: Crime, classics and Jane Austen
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Floyd Bourne
IT Administrator

This singing, tap-dancing thespian keeps the library running with super IT skills…and coffee.

Reading interests: The New York Times
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Jenni Fleming
Collection Development Associate

Favorite hobbies besides reading are traveling, obstacle course racing and watching her chickens run around. She is fascinated by alligators and crocodiles, but is terrified of cockroaches.

Reading interests: Travel books, World War II non-fiction, YA dystopian fiction and zombies. Her favorite children’s fiction series is Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins.
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Pat Gislason
Circulation Assistant

Finding herself with no cows to chase, Pat has taken to wrangling books at the Library when she is not out horsing around…

Reading Interests: Horse, horses and more horse books.... non-fiction, good fiction, cookbooks, history... likes to read good stories about REAL stuff.
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Beth Helstien
Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator

Beth spends her days raising bees, knitting teeny-tiny socks, and preserving the bounty of the garden.

When she is not engaged in outreach, which includes visiting the senior center and the skilled nursing facility, she is exploring the technology that surrounds us.
Reading interests: Cultural collisions, Literary fiction, science, memoir, anything about the arctic or Antarctica
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Carrie Lacher
Admin. Specialist

A book-keeping wizard, keeping the books is keeping Carrie busy. Though she still has time for cute cat pictures. Oh, and being Mayor.

Reading interests: Contemporary women’s literature, new releases, periodicals. "I fancy that at the beginning some fairy may have offered me the choice between great power and station and the privilege of living always among books, and that I, like the good child in the fairy tale, chose the latter." ~James L. Whitney, "Reminiscences of an Old Librarian," November 1909.
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Melina Lagios
Youth Services Manager

Ditched urban life for rural living on five acres with a guitar playing chords man, one barky dog, four quacking ducks, and a cat from the Galapagos who brings bull froggies home for dinner. For a little peace and quiet Melina plays bells every Monday night with the High Class Ding-a-lings.

Reading Interests: Picture books, biographies, creative nonfiction, The New Yorker, well-written obituaries, books on self sufficient living, and anything by Jonathan Franzen
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Heidi K Lewis
Interlibrary Loan Coord./Collection Dev. Specialist

“I read, I travel; I become” – Derek Walcott. And I walk and walk so that I may delight in dark chocolate daily. Chocolate is my one weakness. And books. And dogs.

Reading interests: It’s difficult to not want to read almost everything published, but I gravitate towards my favorite categories. For fiction, this includes bildungsromans, epistolary, historical, literary, mysteries that are character and setting driven, and the quirky. And for nonfiction, this includes memoirs, travel, and art. I also enjoy a good children’s picture book and find the “Toot & Puddle” books particularly meaningful to my dual personality of homebody and traveler. When I retire, I hope to make a large dent in my colossal “to read” list, visit the many destinations on my bucket list, and cook all those yummy recipes in my many cookbooks. And adopt another wonderful dog.
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Boyd Pratt
Adult Programs Associate

An architectural historian by training, a presenter and program organizer by passion, B as in Boyd: Bibliomaniac, Bibliophile, Bookaholic, and last but not least, Barn-hugger.

Reading interests: (when not watching horror movies or foreign films or listening to Miles Davis or John Coltrane): Kenneth Rexroth, 100 Poems from the Chinese; Annie Dillard, Abundance; Arthur Danto, What Art is; Benjamin Black, Christine Falls; and Ted Gioia, How to Listen to Jazz
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Sue Vulgares
Circulation Manager

Our resident Raptor expert, Sue likes to watch wildlife and observe the seasonal changes in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Reading interests: Non- fiction and historical drama and indulges in a yearly reading of the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Other favorite recent readings include The Boys in the Boat, The Last Bus to Wisdom, Grandma Gatewood's Walk : The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail and The Orphan Train.
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Diana Warner
Collection Development Specialist

Diana enjoys pottering in the garden, reading, hiking, crocheting, thrifting and rejuvenating secondhand treasures.

Reading pleasures include stories (fiction and non-fiction) of strong women rallying to overcome adversity or diverse and eccentric characters coming together to form their own versions of family. She is especially drawn to pioneer tales.
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Colleen Clancy
Substitute

Colleen came here 30 years ago, left for a while and then came back because...it's the island. She read way too much about medieval English history and modern American art but at any given time you can also find her immersed in cookbooks, biographies, historical novels or other books that support her latest obsessions. Otherwise, she haunts the new book shelves and pick up whatever catches her eye.

Betsey Ferguson
Children's Substitute

An island resident for 40 yrs, Betsey has long been working at the Family Resource Center and at the library doing Lapsit and Linger programs. When not engaged with small people, Betsey enjoys being out on the water in her kayak, beach fires with friends and gardening.

Reading Interests: Chicago by Brian Doyle, Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver, and A Man Called Ove by Frederk Backman
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Judy Henley
Substitute

Starting her education in a one room Kansas country school, Judy ended up at KSU with a BS degree in Medical Technology. Throughout the school years, she studied cello and piano as an extracurricular interest. The library has had the delightful privilege of having Judy as an active volunteer and substitute for many years.

Reading Interests: Historical fiction, world war II history, literary novels, good memoirs, and catchy titles such as "Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu".
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Karmen Mallow
Substitute
Karmen grew up in a remodeled cheese factory in Wisconsin, after college she moved around living in England, Taiwan, Australia, and California before moving to Friday Harbor. In her free time, she loves to travel, cook, hike, and sketch.
She enjoys reading graphic novels, fiction, biographies, and studying foreign languages. Some of her favorite books are the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, City of Thieves by David Benioff, Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, and Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami.
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Stephanie Mattox
Substitute

Currently prefers listening to audio books rather than actually reading. Stephanie's family keeps her busy and entertained as well as their pug, Clark, nine hens (the numbers and names vary due to a very sly neighborhood fox), and they now have honey bees. Stephanie just recently learned how to swim, someday wishes to be able to do one pull up, and her favorite game to play is Words with Friends.

Reading Interests:
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Ellen Roberts
Substitute

Never one to get bored, Ellen enjoys delving into new areas of interest. With her lifelong love of theatre and music, she continues as a stage manager at San Juan Community Theatre, and is now learning to play the fiddle.

Reading Interests: Non-war sci-fi, historical fiction and non-fiction about technology and cooking.
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Marty Robinson
Substitute
Marty has been involved with the San Juan Island Library for over 40 years, in a wide range of positions. She is an intrepid traveler and often can be found exploring the sights in Nepal, Spain or Thailand. When she is on the island she is a keen reader, singer and always ready with a smile!
Reading Interests: Travel books, biographies and basically anything which looks interesting.
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Jill Twist
Substitute

Jill grew up in Buffalo, New York, where she lived until she moved to San Juan Island in 2014. She is a fiction writer, artist, and lover of family.

Reading Interests: Literary fiction, especially short stories. Will read anything by Andrea Levy, Grace Paley, Ernest Hemingway (who she calls Hem) and Ray Carver. Loves discovering new writers, and the New Yorker Fiction Podcast.
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