PORT TOWNSEND — As Emily Bufford sees it, the library is greater than its stacks.
In highschool, Bufford, now 26, reveled within the variety of younger individuals who got here into the Jefferson County Library after faculty. As a 16-year-old web page there, she noticed how this was a spot to attach with the group; to be round adults who’re there for you.
“The books are amazing, and I’m super passionate about reading,” she mentioned on a current afternoon.
But it’s that sense of group plus lifelong studying that saved her coming again to the library.
Bufford, who grew up on Marrowstone Island and earned a grasp’s diploma in library and knowledge science on the University of Washington, has simply turn into Youth Services & Outreach Library supervisor on the Port Townsend Library.
“This is the library my mom took me to as a kid,” lengthy earlier than she bought that first job on the county library.
“It’s been really nice coming back,” mentioned Bufford, who labored for 2 years on the Kitsap Regional Library on Bainbridge Island.
That job included youth packages and cellular companies, and after the pandemic started, she discovered a approach to join the 2.
Bufford invited younger library patrons to write down letters — messages of encouragement and solidarity — to folks staying at residence.
More than 100 “Letters from Your Library” had been delivered by the cellular companies crew.
“Emily is a ray of sunshine,” mentioned Port Townsend Library Director Melody Sky Weaver.
As it turned out, Bufford’s first look on the library’s Tuesday morning story time was bathed within the stuff.
On the grass the place a tarp and a circle of chairs had been arrange, Bufford joined Associate Librarian Paige Wynkoop, one other new staffer, and a small coterie of infants, toddlers and fogeys.
First Wynkoop offered a few image books, after which invited all people to take a break, rise up and wiggle. Next got here another “Pete the Cat” e-book.
The story occasions, which begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays outdoors the library at 1220 Lawrence St., are a part of the spring programming detailed at PTpubliclibrary.org.
Next up is the summer time studying program, which Bufford famous is for youths, teenagers and adults.
“We’ll have a lot of programs aimed at families,” she mentioned, including she’ll do a weekly story time at Chetzemoka Park, at Blaine and Jackson streets, from June into August. Bufford’s tales will begin there at 10:30 a.m. each Friday.
Weaver famous that Bufford, whose annual wage is $69,935, is a part of a crew of library staffers who’re persevering with to navigate pandemic-era challenges. They search to supply COVID-safe programming, Weaver mentioned, be it outside story occasions or writer displays on-line.
The library lately restored its Sunday hours of 1 p.m. to five p.m., along with Tuesdays via Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to five p.m. Face coverings are inspired.
For those that wish to use the library outdoors these hours, any companies can be found 24-7 through PTpubliclibrary.org, Weaver famous.
In-person, indoor packages will restart in some unspecified time in the future, the library director mentioned. She additionally appears to be like ahead to exploring the return of the Salish After Hours and Summer at Salish packages on the Salish Coast Elementary School library.
Of Bufford, Weaver added: “I am so excited to see her vision for connecting patrons of all ages.”
Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz will be reached at 360-417-3509 or durbanidelapaz @peninsuladailynews.com.