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History: The origins of the library go back to the late 1950s when Mabel Crawford worked at the Shaw Store. Mabel loved books and wanted to share them with others, so she dedicated a shelf at the store to books that people could borrow.

When Gwen and Don Yansen sold the store, the books moved to the home of Mabel's brother, Frank Fowler, and his wife, Elsie. Frank built book cases and Elsie served as librarian. But people didn't feel free using a private home as a library and decided a separate building was needed.

The Shaw Island and Historical Society was incorporated in 1966. In the summer of 1967, Babs and Malcolm Cameron and Zora Gross each bought one-acre parcels kitty-corner from the school and donated the land to the society.  Malcolm Cameron, an architect, donated his services to design the library and Zora donated the log cabin, part of which had been the island's post office, which became the museum. Henry Hoffman and his uncle, Loyal Hoffman, finished the work in the summer of 1970 and the library and museum were formally opened Aug. 22, 1970.

The first addition to the library--the children's library--was opened in 1985. The back building, which provides work and storage space for the library and historical society volunteers and is linked to the main library by a breezeway, was completed in 2003. All three projects were undertaken by longtime Shaw Islander Skip Bold.

Currently: The library and museum have about 2,000 visitors each year. They check out approximately 1,200 books and an equal number of videos. The library also has a selection of magazines and local newspapers, a copier and a computer with internet access available to all members.

The Shaw Island Library and Historical Society generates all its operating funds from donations and relies heavily on volunteers in order to provide its services, making it one of the last such organizations in the state. 

2016-17 Board Members:
President: Caryn Buck; Vice President: Doug Crosby; Treasurer: Lorrie Harrison; Corresponding Secretary: Tina Hilen Mandt; Recording Secretary: Annette Smith; Building: Gary Lange; Merchandise: Corrine Storey; 50th Anniversary Historical Projects: Annette Smith, Alex MacLeod, Jan Sanburg.

Non Board Special Helpers:

Tech Assist: Ray Glaze
Book Covering/Processing: Amy Dudek

Elaine Griffin, Associate Head Librarian in charge of Membership and Digital Records;  
Brian Lynch, Associate Head Librarian in charge of Main Book Collection and Video Collection;
Jody Schmidt, Associate Head Librarian in charge of Volunteer Librarians and Children’s Collection.

Associate Librarians, Children's Collection:
Jennifer Swanson, Shannon Klohr

Volunteer Librarians:

Arlyne Abbott, Sue Anderson, Amber Borner, Carolyn Brantigan, Caryn Buck, Stephanie Buffum, Terry Cable, Mother Caterina, Doug Crosby, Sister Mary Danielle, Lola Deane, Janice Ekstrom, Elaine Griffin, Barb Husted, Chris Hopkins, Gabriel Jacobs, Ruth Kennedy, Shannon Klohr & Jasper, Gary Lange, Chris Larson, Annie Linzer, Brian Lynch, Buni Lynch, Alex MacLeod, Diana Miller, Hannah Miller, Tia Yansen Miller, Alice Nelsen, Cathy O'Neil, Jenn Patrick, Carol Poliak, Mara Poliak, Jody Schmidt, Deanna Shannon, Aidan Shannon, Annette Smith, Liz Stedman, Jennifer Swanson, Dittie Weinel, Willie Williams

Annual Memberships are available to anyone for $5; Lifetime Memberships are $50.