Library bookmobile to be at county fair

Children and adults can visit Violet, the Kitsap Regional Libraries
Children and adults can visit Violet, the Kitsap Regional Libraries' bookmobile at the fair this year.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

It’ll be hard to miss the big purple bus—known as Violet—at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede this year.

The bus, also known as the bookmobile, will bring with it a variety of books and reading materials for fair visitors to check out on site.

The mobile will be provided by the Kitsap Regional Library (KRL) as a way to showcase a higher-level library presence at the fair. Over the last several years, KRL offered information from a booth at the fairgrounds. The bookmobile will be located next to the Dog Barn near the entrance to Carnival Midway, toward the west side of the fairgrounds. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day of the fair.

“We’re very excited about it, and we’re looking forward to it,” said Gwen Detweiler, outreach bookmobile supervisor. “We’ve had the bookmobile for a long time … we want them (patrons) to know we’re out there and available. It’s a little bit of everything that you would find in a regular, physical library.”

Detweiler said the books on board will be for a variety of ages and will include all genres. Books and audio books will be available, and DVDs will most likely be on the shelves as well, Detweiler said. Visitors will also have the opportunity to sign up for a library card, if needed. Parents with children are also encouraged to stop by for story time at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day the fair is operating.

“From a public relations perspective, being at the fair is important for KRL,” said Jeff Brody, KRL’s director of community relations. “The library system has a great relationship with its patrons, who consistently give KRL high marks for customer service and express strong overall satisfaction with our libraries. But we also want to engage people who haven’t visited a library in a while and may not be aware of all the programs and services we offer.”

According to a KRL press release,  KRL and the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede have partnered together for years.

“The Kitsap County Fair each year has donated fair tickets to the KRL Summer Reading Program,” states the press release. “Those tickets, valued at $28,000 this year, are used as incentives for children and teens to complete the reading program. The first 4,000 children and teens who complete the required hours of reading receive tickets to the fair.”

The fair has been donating tickets for the several past years as a way to give back to the community through an educational and entertaining way, said Sunny Saunders, Kitsap Fair manager.

“We all felt the bookmobile would create a bigger and better experience for our guests at the fair. It is a great truck, service and unique experience for many people in our community,” said Saunders.

Violet frequently visits rural areas of Kitsap County, including areas like Seabeck and Olalla where it is difficult to regularly access library branches. According to the KRL website, the bookmobile makes more than 30 stops every two weeks. Items checked out can be returned to any KRL branch. Likewise, any items checked out from other branches can be returned to the bookmobile. Stop times vary from 30 minutes to two hours, Detweiler said.

“Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, you pay taxes every year to support the library system,” said Brody. “You’re already paying for the library, so it’s a shame if you don’t explore the different ways you can make that investment work for you.”

The fair is slated for Aug. 21-25 at the Kitsap County Fairground. Children are encouraged to take photos  with Violet and will receive a sticker that reads, “I said hi to Vi,” states a press release.


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