Off the Shelf: Winter gifts from your library

This December, we’re all being challenged to adapt favorite traditions and settle in at home for a while. If you’re looking for ideas to help pass the time this winter, visit to learn more about materials and services available online or curbside at your local library.

Reading, listening to music, and watching movies are great pastimes any time of year, especially this season when the nights are long. Many community members have told us how much they miss browsing the shelves, and in response, NOLS launched a Grab Bag service earlier this year.

It’s in the bag

One of the great things about browsing is discovering new-to-you titles or finding old favorites. While Grab Bags can’t replace the experience of browsing in the library, they do provide an easy way to access books, DVDs, music, and audiobooks to browse on a small scale.

They also offer the gift of anticipation; you can look forward to receiving library materials selected for you, based on your preferences.

You might find titles like these in a Grab Bag:

“Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler’s Best” by Neal Bascomb

“Beheld” by TaraShea Nesbit

“Amnesty” by Aravind Adiga

“Barn 8” by Deb Olin Unferth

“Becoming Coastal: 25 Years of Exploration and Discovery of the British Columbia Coast by Paddle, Oar and Sail” by Alex Zimmerman

“Days of Distraction” by Alexandra Chang

“Credible Threat “by J.A. Jance

You may not love everything in the Grab Bag, but consider it a win if you discover a couple of titles to enjoy.

Give it a try at and delight in the serendipity of discovering something new.

More activities, services in December

NOLS also offers a range of programs for kids, teens, and adults. Check frequently for a full list of ways to connect virtually with your community. Here are a few of the fun things happening in December:

Follow NOLS on Facebook ( and Instagram ( as staff share their favorite books from 2020 throughout the month of December!

Pick up a craft kit for “Take & Make Snowflakes” via curbside services, beginning Dec. 7. This activitiy is recommended for ages 8 and older.

Tune in to KSQM 91.5 to listen live to a special radio program, “Winter Stories: Hindsight in 2020” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10. A partnership between NOLS and Out Loud Story Slam, local storytellers will share their own stories about learning things that only seem obvious with the benefit of hindsight. These stories are intended for adult listeners.

Join a virtual CreativiTea program featuring origami boxes at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17. Register at to receive a Zoom link and to reserve a craft kit for curbside pickup. This is recommended for teens and adults.

Filling the time with reading, movies, and library programs may not be enough this winter. If you are struggling with your mental health, please reach out for help: 24-hour telephone crisis service is available through the Salish Regional Crisis Line at 888-910-0416.

Online chat is available at

For your library needs, staff are available by phone at 360-683-1161 or email at

Library services are currently offered through curbside and staff are available to help connect you to the resources you need as well as your next favorite read.

Don’t hesitate to reach out — we look forward to connecting with you!

Emily Sly is the Sequim Library branch manager.