Outstanding Ocean Shores (WA) Library

At the end of a spit on the gorgeous Olympic Peninsula, Ocean Shores Library is a delightful place.  It’s a standalone building, owned by the city.  Though there’s been a library here since 1972, this 4200 square feet location, opened in 1993, doubled the size.

Summer increases the population here to over 10,000 since it’s right on the beach.  Next to the police and fire station, the grounds have a Washington seaside feel with driftwood parking curbs, junipers and dune grass plantings scattered amid white rocks, and a trio of rope tied logs that create a “piling” by the entry where two monster mailboxes beg you to feed them your book donations.

The lobby area has a case with items promoting the food bank and reinforces its point with a blown up shot of a depression area soup line.  A bulletin board by a Library Ave. street sign gives info about local activities and services.

Inside, the building has an open plan.  At the Circulation Desk friendly staffers Michelle and Lori greeted me and gave me lots of details for this post.

To the right, the Kids Corner has children’s artwork, a Harry Potter sorting hat and a children’s internet computer.

A display for the Dream Big! summer reading program reveals an interesting twist, children get one dream dollar for every 30 minutes of reading (they can also earn bucks by attending programs), which they spend on the swag shown here like glow in the dark ducks, bracelets or slime, a flashlight key chain, sparkly super balls or pencils, a star shaped bubble necklace etc.

Adults get their own winter reading program.

It was sunny when I visited, and many people were taking advantage of the comfortable furniture and shade, so I couldn’t take snaps of the main reading areas, but I did manage to get a photo of the media room with this verdant view.

Besides DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks, they also have downloadable e-books and audiobooks and will loan out two Kindles and a Nook.  There are a variety of databases including LegalTrac and a Military and Intelligence database I’ve never seen before.

Open Tuesday through Saturday, there’s a meeting room available to nonprofit groups, even when the library is closed.  A computer room provides added quiet for concentration or test proctoring and classes are held there in the morning before the library opens.  They have wifi, 17 computers for the public (including one for YAs) and a large selection of magazines and newspapers as well as a permanent used book sale.  You can access the library catalog online or from your mobile phone and use self check for materials or pick up your own holds.

A small Teen Area has vivid, eclectic furnishings and a cool YA magazine shelf decorated with drippy Jackson Pollack style handprints.  Young at heart Dot and Bob were reading here and good naturedly allowed me to take their picture.

Art is everywhere.  By the paired kid’s and adult’s bubblers, framed posters celebrate the Ocean Shores Arts and Crafts Festivals through the years, and even the book shelves have pictures.  There’s also a display space for local artists that changes monthly.

They have an active facebook page touting free lunch for North Beach kids and mentioning that library staff marching in the Flag Day parade will be giving out candy and books.  The website is a delight for such a small library.  You can write a review, read staff profiles, or see the great time everyone was having at previous events.  Lots of programs are offered including estate planning, family movies, a talk by the local no kill shelter, anime and book clubs, a scavenger hunt, and an artistic approach to learning about fish and the ocean.

They even let you have a choice of library cards that feature sights frequently seen along the wild Pacific Ocean coast, taken by local police sergeant, David McManus, who graciously allowed the library to use them for free.

The residents are so lucky to have a library that truly reflects the unique character of the area and there’s such an abundance of services available for a small facility.  What a great place!

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