It has begun - the holiday season, and everything that goes along with it. Of course, retail establishments all started back in October, but for people like me - I'm just realizing that yes, my holiday deadlines are just around the corner. I need to find gifts for people, and fast! I'm not worried though - I have secret librarian tricks up my sleeve. Sometimes, I like to tell people I have a very particular set of skills...

That's right - librarianship is sometimes like being a CIA operative...yup, mild mannered librarian here, just finding people books, and keeping the world safe for democracy. All in a day’s work. What was I talking about...oh yeah - holiday gifts. Anyway, here is my short list of ideas for holiday shopping this year:

  1. Shop local - have you been downtown lately? One of the things you get while shopping in your local community is a thrill of the hunt, an experience, and an outing. While I admit you may pay a bit more, that is not always the case, and I often find serendipitous items when I shop in person. Whether you are in Port Orchard, Bremerton, Poulsbo, or up on Bainbridge Island - I have a lot of fun while shopping here in Kitsap County. 
  2. Do your research before buying big ticket items. With your library card, you can access Consumer Reports through the KRL website. They currently have a holiday gift guide posted, and you can use the keyword search field to look up whatever you might be looking for (cars, microwaves, calculator’s…etc…). Need help with Consumer Reports; visit your local KRL locations to get help from one of our friendly librarians. 
  3. Books - yeah, well, what else would a librarian recommend? If you are shopping for books for that special person in your life, might I suggest NoveList. KRL pays for this service on your behalf, which you can access for free from home using the number on your library card, or using one of the public access computers at the library. On NoveList you will find book reviews, links to other titles you might like, and a link back to the library's catalog so you can check it out and review it yourself before shelling out your hard earned cash. Don't forget to shop your local bookstores first - we have several in the county, and they are top notch! Want to see or read a book in person before you buy it...might I suggest your local public library...
  4. And last but not least, how about a library card? Young kids at home - maybe now is the time to get them their first library card. It's free, and while it may not be the big, screaming gift that they put on their wish list, it will likely be more long lasting; ensuring many, many outings over the course of their childhood. 

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