Serving more than 270,000 Kitsap residents, Kitsap Regional Library is foundational in our community.
Visit any of our nine locations, opens a new window, access digital library materials and services or utilize mobile services, opens a new window for individuals with significant barriers to using their Library location. The Library has more than 400,000 physical items in its collection and over 63,000 downloadable ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines available online, along with 50+ free digital research tools.
Each of our libraries was born from a passion for creating opportunities for individuals to grow and thrive. Every day we look for new ways to pursue our mission, inspiring our community to dream more, learn more, do more and be more.
Inspiring our community to dream more, learn more, do more and be more.
- Be relentlessly resourceful
- Be fun, fresh and fearless
- Inspire and be inspired
- Never stop learning
- Deliver excellence
- Build connections
- Anyone can lead
- Open to all
The Library is a junior taxing district and depends on approximately $16 million in annual property tax revenue to provide over 95% of its operating budget. For 2022, an estimated tax rate of $0.32 per thousand dollars of assessed property value generates this revenue. This funding is limited by law to a 1% annual increase and is capped at $0.50 per thousand dollars. When other revenue sources are factored in, the Library’s revenue growth since 2018 has been approximately 2.6% annually.
With continually rising staffing and materials costs, this annual increase does not keep pace with average growth. The Library must practice a continued cycle of understanding the needs of its facilities, services and staff, five to 20 years in the future, and developing plans and budgets that support these needs. Regularly levying for new dollars is an essential part of planning. This practice creates sustainable funding, allowing the Library to consistently support the level of service offered and expected by our Kitsap communities.
The Library budget is presented annually in two parts. The Operating Budget is adopted in December and represents the following year’s projected revenue. It is a balance sheet of incoming revenue and the ongoing costs of running the Library. The Capital Budget, adopted in January, identifies significant needs which have a one-time cost. Projects in the Capital Budget are often anticipated and planned several years ahead, allowing the Library time to consider funding carefully. Capital projects address critical maintenance to buildings and regular updates to spaces, furnishing and technology, ensuring responsible stewardship of the spaces the Library has been entrusted with.
Additionally, the Library maintains two reserve funds. By policy, the Operating Reserve Fund is maintained at 10-15% of the Operating Budget and provides a source of emergency funding. The Capital Reserve Fund allows the Library to plan and fund capital projects.
Review the 2023 Operating and Capital Budgets.
In 2017, the Library communicated a need for increased funding to maintain current service levels, provide critical updates to facilities, improve collections and staff wages and restore Sunday hours and staffing levels lost in previous years due to budget constraints. The passage of this levy authorized a one-time raise of the Library’s regular property tax levy by $0.08 per thousand dollars of assessed value, adding approximately $3.43 million to the Library’s 2018 Operating Budget.
In 2018, this additional funding allowed for increased hours for part-time staff-, needed to support hour increases; hiring additional staff in critical positions; increased investment in collections and youth programs and materials and a 2% cost-of-living increase for all staff.
The Library also partnered with Cabot Dow Associates to conduct a compensation study to ensure wages were equitably and responsibly addressed. This study used neighboring library systems similar in population and budget sizes, such as Tacoma Public Library and Whatcom County Library, along with other local public organizations, such as Kitsap County and the Central Kitsap School District, to determine a fair pay structure for Library staff.
On January 1, 2019, implementation of the study findings increased all staff wages by an average of 6.47%, while also raising annual salary step increases from 2% to 3%. Beyond the implementation, cost-of-living increases and salary step increases have been provided annually. Staffing costs currently account for 80% of the Operating Budget.
The Kitsap Regional Library Board of Trustees is comprised of five members appointed by the Kitsap County Commissioners to represent the five geographic regions of Kitsap County. The Board of Trustees selects a Library Director to whom the Board delegates the authority and responsibility for the administration of the Library. This includes the development of the Library’s annual operating and capital budgets, authorization and oversight of all major expenditures and policies relating to staff and public services. The Board of Trustees reviews, provides recommendations and is responsible for the final approval of all policies and budgets. Learn more about the Board and View Board Meetings.
Kitsap Regional Library is committed to attracting, retaining and developing a motivated and diverse workforce that is customer focused, holds the values of the Library and reflects the rich diversity of Kitsap County. Explore more about working at the Library.
Kitsap Regional Library is committed to meeting the letter and the spirit of Washington State laws regarding open public meetings and access to public records. Learn more...
The Kitsap Regional Library Foundation raises, manages and allocates funds to support library programs that benefit all the communities in Kitsap. Donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible.
Friends of the Library groups are organized at most Kitsap Regional Library locations. Through fundraising events such as book sales, Friends groups raise money for items not in the Library's budget. Joining a Friends of the Library group is a wonderful way to support your Library location. Are you looking for a way to get involved? If so, your Friends group needs you!
You can help us by:
- Donating your skills and time to help strengthen your Library location.
- Serving as a volunteer at special Library events.
- Promoting the resources our Library brings to the community.
- Volunteering at Friends of the Library book sales, which raise funds for equipment, materials and other library projects.
Projects sponsored by Friends of the Library include:
- Children's reading awards
- Entertaining and educational programs
- Library equipment and fixtures
- Grounds beautification
- Concert series
How do I join?
Most Friends groups ask that members pay nominal annual dues, around $5.00 per year, and volunteer limited amounts of time to fundraising projects, community events and meeting attendance.
If you are interested in joining a local Friends group, you are encouraged to come to a meeting or your Library location, opens a new window.
To see the activities of our Friends groups, check our online calendar, opens a new window of events.
List of Friends Groups
Volunteers are an important part of strengthening the Library’s relationship with the community along with sharing valuable knowledge and skills. Learn more..., opens a new window
Kitsap Regional Library Board of Trustees, opens a new window sets library policies governing activities such as access to Library materials, rights and responsibilities of Library users and use of Library-owned facilities. All of our current policies are incorporated into the Policy Handbook.