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Last chapter celebrated with library dedication

LITTLE BOSTON — Preparations for the upcoming Little Boston Library dedication are writing the last words of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s efforts to renovate its tribal offices and services. Friday, all donors, supporters and community members are invited to the House of Knowledge to help close the book on the project.

The event itself will be small compared with the huge effort that went into creating designs and raising funds for the HOK, which has effectively changed the face of the tribe. But it will hold enormous potential as tribal members celebrate this large achievement and discuss the next, with the library at the center of the festivities.

“It is the last building in the House of Knowledge,” said Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Associate Director Laurie Mattson. “This is going to be an extra special celebration. We’re going to try to keep it low-key and recognize the donors and the people involved.”

The tribe will also present the donor wall, located against the longhouse facing the library, which recognizes everyone who helped financially with the construction project. All of the HOK structures will be open for tours as well, Mattson said.

The Kitsap Regional Library, of which the Little Boston Library is a branch, will keep its portion of the ceremony relatively brief, said KRL public relations director Susan Rosapepe. It celebrated by finishing the move and shelving books, reopening in mid-September. The community response has been fantastic so far, she said.

“The library itself is just gorgeous, and goes so well with the House of Knowledge structures,” Rosapepe said. “From what I’ve heard, the community thinks it’s just a wonderful place. It was really, definitely a collaborative effort.”

She said while branch manager Sue Jones and an army of employees and volunteers were moving the books in early-September, residents got a kick out of them transporting books back and forth in book carts. Jones has overseen two moves now in Little Boston, this one and a move in 1989. The new building boasts 2,767-square feet, and Rosapepe said that will provide plenty of space for a larger collection of books.

“I think the people are really pleased with the new building,” Mattson said. “People comment on how bright and comfortable it is. It’s nice and big, but still small enough to be cozy.”

The library also boasts a meeting space for community meetings and events — something staff had been hoping would be worked into the plan. That along with the additional computer terminals is also a feature residents have been waiting to utilize.

“We’re just very excited about the whole thing,” Rosapepe said.

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