By SHARON S. LEE
It may be the scent of a book that draws your attention. Or it may be the way it feels in your hand as you turn its paper pages that adds to the experience of reading.
We talk about getting lost in a book and, for some, it is the tactile experience and our senses that help us to get there. A great story is a great escape from stress, from having to think too hard, or from a sleepless night. The right story can refresh a tired spirit, maybe even yours. Your library is full of books and stories that are just right for you.
Face to Face
The Poulsbo branch is one of nine physical branches in this county where you can walk in to find something fine and beautiful to read. There are real live people at real live service desks that will listen to what you think you might be interested in, and offer suggestions. Each of these branches hosts workshops, programs, events and author visits for you at no charge.
The Poulsbo branch, where I get to work, offers a Lunch-Hour Storytime for Grownups during the winter months. Yes, grownups. Always remember that a great story is a great escape for all of us. A number of grownups who came to listen have now signed on to read excerpts from their favorite literature aloud to others. I find this to be inspiring.
Please don’t think that we slouch on storytimes for kids; we offer them in our colorful children’s area several times each week. Preschoolers, toddlers and babies watch Miss Sue tell a story with her hands, a felt board and her voice. Young children and babies come to recognize that symbols arranged into words and sentences in a book can open a world of possibilities for them.
Local mystery author Mary Daheim stopped in last month to have tea and comfortably dish on her Alpine series and the real town that once thrived in the Cascades that inspired it. This month, we’ll welcome author Laurie King to our branch, to a ferry boat on the Bainbridge route and to a special KRL Foundation event in Bremerton.
Our Poulsbo Fjord Film Series continues with choice film selections and lively conversations. Charlie Wise, host, brings behind-the-scenes gossip and factoids to get things started; your comments and questions liven it up. Next feature: “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”
Larger-than-expected crowds have turned out for our Civics 101 workshops this winter, letting us know that our community is hungry for substantive, interactive programs. We’re on it!
And finally, Library Lego sessions in branches across the county engage kids of all ages to engineer unique inventions. Our branch has a special collection of books that feature Lego characters and/or instructions on how to construct some of the more challenging structures.
Miss Sue tells me that several young engineers have sought her out to share the stories behind their Lego creations. Most of these stories involve space ships, “bad guy” aliens, nanotechnology and …
Have you found us, yet? We’re there. Have you “liked” us? Four thousand of your friends and neighbors have.
Facebook is a fun way you can engage with KRL online. This winter, in honor of our “Resolve to Read: Mysteries” campaign, a mystery author posts an opening line each week that you and dozens of your virtual friends can add to and build on. The results can be clever, hilarious and even creepy.
When you visit our digital branch at www.krl.org, our virtual library is always open. You will gain access to 7,000 eBooks and 1,200 eAudiobooks to download onto your reading device, for free. You’ll be able to download music for free. And now you’ll be able to browse and download 100 digital magazines. All you need is your KRL card.
Through Facebook and our digital branch, we keep our fans informed of library programs, services, community events, and still make room for a fair bit of humor. We use social media as a way to reach out to people who are not coming into our physical branches. Our virtual patrons now have the opportunity to interact with librarians online, get ideas on what to read next, and participate in online book club discussions.
On Facebook, our fans get to share their enthusiasm with others, or reach out to us when they need help. Some virtual fans have come into our physical branches to share how our fan page has rekindled their love of library. One wrote, “Thank you KRL! Our family’s world has been changed.” She went on to say she is not able to get out much with her two young children, but now between the digital branch and our fan page on Facebook, she feels part of the community again.
Savoring the old may just be new again. Whichever way you like to experience reading or interacting with others, a library is ready to welcome you in.
— Sharon S. Lee is manager of the Poulsbo branch of the Kitsap Regional Library. Contact her at email@example.com.