The Ocean Shores Library will celebrate completion of its expansion and remodel, a three-month project that was funded entirely without taxpayer money, with a ribbon cutting and refreshments on Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 11 a.m.
Located at 573 Point Brown Ave NW, the library closed July 3 for the project that added 1,175 square feet overall, the first major changes since the facility was built in 1993.
Library Director Keitha Owen explained that the library has seen increasingly heavy use in the last few years: Circulation has grown 22% in last three years, with 4,000 patrons, 2/3 of Ocean Shores residents, having library cards. Last year, an average of 30 people came through the door every open hour, 7,000 used the meeting room and 4,000 attended specific programs.
Denise Siers, president of Friends of the Library and the Ocean Shores Library Foundation, said the “no taxpayer funding” came from those two organizations and the legacy gifts of Ocean Shores resident, June Kaba, who bequeathed her entire estate to the Friends of the Library in the 1990s, with the specification that the funds could only be used for the expansion of the Library building in its current location, and the estate of long-time Bremerton resident Victoria Trower, who died in 2017.
“Libraries do indeed change lives,” Siers said, and “the impact of our community library changed the lives of these two people. Now their legacy is going to change lives for the next generation.”
A big chunk of the expansion, 340 square feet, went to increasing the capacity and functionality of the meeting room, which will now seat 50. The computer room has been converted to a small meeting room/quiet study area with an eight-person capacity.
The main part of the library, the collection area, has expanded by 835 square feet, which made room for the addition of 125 shelves, increasing capacity of 2,500 items and added magazine racks for 12 more titles.
The interior boasts a long list of improvements, including LED energy efficient lighting, new paint and trim throughout in warm earth tones, new ergonomic chairs plus comfortable seating, new carpet tiles replacing worn carpet throughout the library, vinyl flooring replacing meeting room carpet, new bathroom walls, floors and counters and ADA compliant toilets, new Friends of the Library book sale shelving in the meeting room, a teen bistro table and new children’s seating.
The exterior has seen dry rot repaired, new paint and trim, half the roof re-shingled, new gutters and new, sustainable landscaping in progress. There is a new, shorter sidewalk ramp in front, ADA push-to-open automatic swing doors and added parking.
More information is available online at the library’s website, www.oslibrary.info.