Opening a brand new chapter at the library

Joe Irwin/Staff Photos Colorful books and background adorn the new children's wing at the library - a spot which is sure to appeal to the kid in everyone living in North Kitsap.

“New building finally booked from A to Z. POULSBO – Next to getting married and having three children, I guess I would have to say this is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me, Susan Lavin said of yesterday’s public reopening of the Kitsap Regional Library in Poulsbo. Lavin, librarian at the Valborg Oyen branch since 1988, isn’t the only one at the renovated library who’s happy to see the building finally swing its doors wide to the public. Staff at the Lincoln Avenue site were all smiles as well, enjoying the additional room provided by the expanded library. The hard-working crew spent the past several months in cramped quarters at a temporary location on 8th Avenue. Aside from that, sorting and shelving over 30,000 existing books and receiving numerous additions to the stock in preparation for the big day was no easy task, the group agreed. The unpacking process was long and tiring but it was fun opening boxes and seeing books that we hadn’t seen in months, Renée Bush explained. We’ve been opening boxes since the beginning of December. Despite the hours of intensive labor, Bush took a light-hearted approach to her heavy work load. It’s been like Christmas every day because we have received so many new books, she said with a grin. We’re glad that it’s open – everybody’s going to love it. With numerous additions from the local artistic community, the newl Valborg Oyen Library boasts much more than good books, according to Lavin. It also stands as a tribute to the diverse cultural influences which have shaped the region. I think it adds a wonderful visual element, she remarked. It really fleshes out the cultural offering here and adds to the whimsy. For Nancy Rogers the new library is everything that the old one was and much, much more. I think it’s always been wonderful here but now it’s even better. It’s a wonderful thing for this community and the surrounding communities, she said, noting that the special additions at the site make it all the more fantastic. I really am pleased that we’re able to offer the meeting room, Rogers said of the large basement area. I think that’s a real bonus. Nevertheless, even with all the amenities, more books, fabulous art and the expanded space, the new library, Lavin said has been lacking one very crucial element for the past several months. Its numerous patrons. We’ve been looking forward to having people back in here and seeing them smiling. It’s been weird not seeing people, she explained. It’s the people that make the library. We think of the library as something tangible – like a building – but it’s the people that make the memories. Grand Reopening of the Valborg Oyen Library Sunday, Jan. 7 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. “