A Stronger Library, A Stronger Community

Jill Jean, Director of Kitsap Regional Library

On behalf of Kitsap Regional Library’s staff, partners and trustees, I want to extend a most heartfelt thank you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, thank you for listening and thank you for taking time to participate in the November elections. I have been truly humbled by this process and the civic responsibility of our community. You asked a lot of questions — many of which were not easy — but they made for a better plan, and ultimately, a stronger Library.

We truly appreciate your engagement and the thought you have shown in getting informed and holding us accountable in being good stewards of public funds. 

Your support in the passage of the levy affirms our vision for the future and proves we are aligned with the unique needs of our Kitsap community. I also want to publicly thank the staff and volunteers of Kitsap Regional Library, whose dedication, innovation and passion for the work they do and the communities they serve has engaged the community like never before. They have built a nationally recognized, award-winning library, one that our community has now stood up to say they are proud to help fund.

Now, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and make the dreams of our community a reality. Because of your support, we will now be able to:

  • Restore Sunday service and provide more consistent hours
  • Address critical maintenance needs of aging buildings, invest in up-to-date technology and create spaces that are flexible and welcoming
  • Support Kitsap goals in youth education, with more robust programs in early development, afterschool STEM and teen internships
  • Provide the first cost of living increase staff have received in nine years

 

We invite you to be an active part of the process. We are committed to continuing the conversation and will be holding more discussions for input on how we grow as an organization in the coming year.

For those whose votes we did not earn, we promise to continue to listen and work on creating a library that is about equality, opportunity and access—one that meets the diverse needs of every single Kitsap resident.

Thank you for entrusting us with the resources we need to continue to inspire our community to dream more, learn more, do more and be more.

 

What’s Next?

On Nov. 7, Kitsap County voters approved Library Levy Proposition 1, providing Kitsap Regional Library with a levy lid lift. This allows Kitsap Regional Library to raise its regular property tax rate by 8 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value, which will add approximately $3.43 million dollars to the Library’s 2018 budget. This will provide the Library with the funding it needs for long-term, sustainable funding for the public libraries in Kitsap.

Supporting youth education, preparing our community for tomorrow’s jobs by:

  • Increasing support of early development tools and classes for parents, babies and toddlers, preparing them for success in school
  • Further investing in afterschool STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classes for K-12 youth
  • Adding internship opportunities for teens in all locations

Increasing physical and digital collections of books and other materials providing:

  • Faster access to popular materials and reduced wait times
  • An increased selection of diverse materials

Improving and preserving all library facilities by:

  • Creating more meeting, programming and quiet areas for reading, studying and collaborating
  • Investing in up-to-date computers, Wi-Fi, software and technology learning
  • Providing additional, comfortable seating and outlets for personal devices
  • Addressing routine needs to increasingly aging buildings

Increasing hours of operation by:

  • Restoring Sunday hours in 5 locations at the Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Silverdale and Sylvan Way locations of the Library
  • Providing more consistent open hours for each location

Aligning salaries, after nine years without cost of living increases, to match the local region and industry

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