Rising to the challenge, the Library immediately added more ebooks and audiobooks to the digital collection and more online learning resources. As a result, more patrons than ever before used the Library online in 2020, with a 37% increase in downloads from the previous year.
Services were reimagined, starting with offering online classes and events. This quick action meant that storytimes could continue for new parents, seniors could stay connected with their book groups, kids found their favorite librarians on YouTube and popular Summer Learning events could continue to connect people.
Meeting together online has been critical. However, the need for in-person connection during a time of extreme isolation might be even greater. While offering pick-ups of holds and printing curbside has been an essential step to getting back to service, the impact of a friendly, familiar face cannot be underestimated. Personal connection matters more than ever. So, in the fall, the Library launched its Book Bundles service - library staff browse the stacks for patrons, creating selections of books to meet each person's unique needs.
Like so many other organizations, physical barriers and sanitizing supplies have been critical to getting services back online. This is an ongoing cost that was unexpected. To meet this need, several grantors focused on providing COVID-19 relief to Kitsap organizations stepped up to provide support. Their generosity made it possible to ensure the safety of Library staff and patrons, allowing the Library's focus to stay on delivering the best possible service.
Additional thank you to:
Bainbridge Island Community Foundation
Puget Sound Energy Foundation
Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation