Community

Pack it up, explore with library, park program

Books, pamphlets, a map, a notebook, some local hiking and trail information, a magnifying glass, binoculars and a seven-day park pass are included in each Explore Olympic! pack.   - Submitted photo
Books, pamphlets, a map, a notebook, some local hiking and trail information, a magnifying glass, binoculars and a seven-day park pass are included in each Explore Olympic! pack.
— image credit: Submitted photo

In addition to an abundance of books found in the library, the Sequim Library has a backpack available to check out.

The Olympic National Park and North Olympic Library System combined efforts to create the Explore Olympic! packs. Each pack is equipped with books, pamphlets, a map, a notebook, some local hiking and trail information, a magnifying glass and binoculars.

Although the Sequim Library will house only one pack, similar to books, a hold system has been established. Forks, Clallam Bay and Port Angeles libraries also have packs available.

Given the multiple packs, each one has its own tag for easy identification.

Five packs are circulating now, but if there is a high demand, additional packs will be made.

“There are a lot of people in Sequim I am sure will be excited to use the packs and the material inside,” said Emily Sly, Sequim library manager. “People want to get outside and play with their families and these packs can help facilitate that.”

Because one of the goals of the park and library’s collaboration was to help local families be able to explore the national park given its close proximity, each pack is accompanied by a seven-day ONP pass.

“We’re hoping people will of course check out the packs, use all the material and perhaps this partnership will bring community members into the library that otherwise don’t come in,” Erin Shield, library technical services manager, said. “By providing a park pass we hope to make it more affordable for some families to be able to visit the park.”

The original idea to create something like the packs grew from ONP superintendent Sarah Creachbaum’s suggestion to partner with the library after she had tried to pursue a similar program in Hawaii at one point, Shield said.

The Explore Olympic! packs are among the other projects the park and library recently have partnered on. Just this year the two organizations also have worked together to provide a Nature Walk program and self-guided Poetry Walks within several areas of the park.

“Everyone involved is very excited about this partnership,” Shield said. “There’s a lot of potential there.”

Although the library has taken on the brunt of work when it comes to handling and tracking the packs, Olympic National Park partners, including the Washington National Park Fund and Discover Your Northwest, financially support the program.

Looking toward the future, a library staff committee formed in early 2014 to explore other types of “non-traditional items” to potentially circulate via the library.

“The library as a whole is moving toward providing services to fill gaps in the community,” Shield said. “By the end of the year we hope to have five to six additional non-traditional items for check out to encourage the community to use more local resources.”

Partnerships such as the park and library’s may be one of the first of many community and library partnerships to come.

For more information on the Explore Olympic! pack at the Sequim branch, call 683-1161.

 

Reach Alana Linderoth at alinderoth@sequimgazette.com.

 

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