FROM THE SHELF | Making a trip to the Port Orchard Library


Where are you going to go? “To the Library!”

This is the resounding cheer South Kitsap third graders give after Youth Services librarians Bradley Post and Lisa Lechuga invited them to visit their branch of Kitsap Regional Library.

Now in the seventh year, “To the Library” is a field trip that has become an annual rite of passage for the third graders. Since 2007, more than 5,100 third-graders have made the pilgrimage to their public library and received — in most cases — their first library card.

This two-part field trip starts with youth services librarians visiting each school and inviting the students to the library. They drop off card applications and answer lots of questions at this time, and really get the students excited about what’s in store for them at their library.

Several weeks later, after  a KRL staffer has picked up their completed card applications at the school and preparations for the visit have been made, the students come “To the Library.”

Students are given a tour, hear a story and are shown a dazzling array of appealing materials. They each receive their library cards in an “Academy Awards” type ceremony with each student being called out individually followed by a round of applause. The cards are given in a goodie bag filled with library information as well as their very own paperback books donated by the Port Orchard Kiwanis Club.

Kiwanis has been instrumental in the success of this program, with Port Orchard Kiwanis having donated more than $22,000 over the past seven years to ensure that every third-grade student leaves the library with their very own books. Kiwanis groups all over the county are now supporting this program in other school districts served by KRL.

The goal behind this partnership between South Kitsap School District, Port Orchard Kiwanis and Kitsap Regional Library is to create lifelong library users and readers by forming a personalized bond with our public librarians and creating positive memories of first library experiences.  The first SKSD “To the Library” classes are now freshman and soon will be students at South Kitsap High School. We see many of these students who still use the cards they received on their third grade field trip.

We’re looking forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.

In other library news, we’re continuing to partner with AARP to offer free tax help and filing every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We’re also continuing our partnership with Peninsula Health Services through the end of March to offer help signing up for health insurance before the March 31 deadline.


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