For the 23rd year, the Friends of the Edmonds Library has awarded a scholarship to an outstanding student in the University of Washington’s Master of Library and Information Science Program. This year, the group selected a student who has, by her own admission, “really deep roots” in the community — Meadowdale High School graduate Chelsea Cooper.
In remarks before the Friends group’s annual scholarship recognition event Thursday afternoon, Cooper described how her passion for libraries was sparked at a young age and included many summer reading programs at the Lynnwood and Edmonds libraries. She decided to become a librarian while attending Meadowdale Middle School and her teacher at the time was completing an online library science program. The next year, that teacher was the Meadowdale Middle librarian and invited Cooper to come to the school library and volunteer.
“And I spent the year doing that and I had this revelation that this is what I wanted to do,” Cooper said. “Since I was in seventh grade I’ve been working toward where I am now. I know it’s my true calling to be a librarian because everything has fallen so perfectly into place.”
Cooper attended Edmonds Community College before transferring to the University of Washington, where she received her bachelor of arts degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies with a minor in history. She immediately enrolled in the UW’s Master of Library and Information Science program, and will start her second year there this fall.
Cooper said the $4,000 scholarship from the Friends “is really important to me. I’m a first-generation college student so it’s a really big deal that I’ve made it this far.
“As an Edmonds hometown girl it’s really great to have the support of my community to help me get through this program,” she said.
Also speaking at the event was the 2014 scholarship winner, Erin Vonnahme, who just received her MILS degree from the University of Washington and is headed for a library job in the Midwest.
“The success of this innovative scholarship program has been an example to follow for other Friends groups in Washington state,” said Friends of the Edmonds Library publicist Wendy Kendall, “and a source of pride to the Edmonds Friends for creating the first one.”