Forys Meeting Room opens at Woodinville Library

  • Written by Deborah Stone
Karen and Ed Forys. Courtesy photo.
The next time you visit the Woodinville Library, make sure to check out its newly renovated meeting room.

The 1,000-square-foot space is much improved with the addition of three windows to the outside and sliding glass doors that lead directly into the general library.

Soon there will be new tables and chairs, as well as updated lighting.

“Even though it’s the same size, it feels bigger,” comments Laura Boyes, library cluster manager for Woodinville, Duvall, Carnation and Skykomish libraries. “It’s definitely lighter and more open. We didn’t have any windows in here at all before, but now the natural light can come in, plus the glass doors allow you to see out into the library. It gives you the impression of being more spacious.”

The room was remodeled to the tune of $150,000, funded via a gift made in memory of Ed and Karen Forys.

Many people may remember Karen Forys, who served as superintendent of the Northshore School District for many years.

She passed away in 2007 after losing her battle with cancer.

Four years later, her husband Ed, a highly decorated flight navigator for the U.S. Air Force, died.

Wood Library meeting room
Laura Boyes, KCLS cluster manager for Woodinville, Duvall, Carnation and Skykomish libraries, shows off the newly renovated meeting room at Woodinville Library, which was funded in memory of longtime Woodinville residents Ed and Karen Forys. Deborah Stone/Staff Photo
The couple, who were devoted residents of the Woodinville community, spent many hours in the Woodinville Library, finding the King County Library System to be a great resource for both professional and recreational information and reading materials.

Ed’s three sisters, Georgiana, MaryAnn and Dianne, and their families, made the donation to the King County Library Foundation upon Ed’s death.

After much discussion as to the best use for the money, the decision was made to utilize it to remodel Woodinville Library’s meeting room.

“There are several things that led to this decision,” comments Cindy Sharek, director of major gifts for the King County Library System.

“The overarching goal was to use the donation in a way that would make the biggest and most lasting impact. We wanted to ensure that everyone who used the Woodinville Library would benefit from this gift. Also, since Karen Forys was an educator and she and her husband cared deeply for literacy, education and lifelong learning, we wanted to use the donation for something that would support this passion.”

Sharek notes that the Forys family was the first foundation donor to take advantage of the opportunity to “name” a room.

Officially, the meeting room at the Woodinville Library has now been renamed the “Forys Meeting Room” and the library’s atrium is the “Forys Atrium.”

The meeting room will be used for library programs, including the ever-popular children’s sessions, and it will also be available for community groups to book on a first-come, first-serve basis.

When not in use for these purposes, the space can serve as an additional quiet study area.

“We are very excited about it,” says Boyes, “and very glad it’s completed.” She adds, “Having the room incorporated into the general library will enhance its versatility and flexibility. And it will help make what happens there visible to the public. Patrons will now be able to see what’s going on in there and they will hopefully become more aware of all the different programs we offer.”

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