Library outreach coordinator picked for state merit award

San Juan Island Library
San Juan Island Library's Beth Helstien, public outreach coordinator
— image credit: Journal file photo

San Juan Island Library outreach coordinator Beth Helstien is a 2014 recipient of the Washington Library Association’s Merit Award for advances in library services.

Helstien earned the association award in recognition of her efforts in resurrecting and revitalizing what was a defunct English Language Learning Program into a popular, well-staffed, curriculum-guided program.

“It’s nice to know our program that has so much community support from volunteers and the San Juan Island Community Foundation is getting recognized for the difference it makes in the lives of families learning English,” Helstien said.

English language learning at the library offers instruction to immigrant families in speaking, listening, reading and writing English. An English instructor works with volunteers, who meet in small groups based on students’ English abilities.

Classes meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6-8 p.m. during fall and spring. While parents learn, an enrichment program keeps the children of adult learners busy with homework, reading and craft programs.

In addition to materials to loan, the library offers an array of programs for adults and children, public access computers and WiFi. Info, 378-2798,


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