Beyond Books: Exploring new multi-sensory kits in the collection

Excerpted from the Winter 2024 issue of Chapters, opens a new window

There are more than books available at the library. In addition to Discover Passes, ukuleles, and telescopes, Kitsap Regional Library has learning kits ready for you to check out. These kits are developed by the Library's Collections & Technical Services team (CTS) who select and purchase everything, from books to video games, for every library branch. Each learning kit includes a backpack, books, educational toys, and activities. Specially curated by age group for babies, kids, teens, and adults, each kit is designed to spur learning and allow users to explore diverse topics, including astronomy, manga, drawing, baby sign language, and more. 

Late last year, 16 new kits were introduced to our collection. Patron Errika Schneider and her six grandkids were the first to check out the Farm Animal Sounds kit. 

This first concepts kit for babies and toddlers introduces babies to animals and animal sounds. It provides an accessible experience with braille board books, tactile soft animal puppets, and a baby-friendly tactile animal sounds toy. 

As a person who is blind, Errika, who babysits her grandkids throughout the week, was thrilled to share the multi-sensory learning and reading experience with her loved ones. 

"My grandkids loved the interaction. It was fun because we could all read and play together. The Farm Animal Sounds kit will be borrowed multiple times. My youngest grandkid didn't want to see the kit go back to the library!" says Errika.

"It's more common to find material for blind children with sighted parents than for sighted children with blind parents," she adds. "So, finding something at our local library that meets all our needs is unique and fun!" 

Working alongside Errika to ensure she has the materials she wants and needs is Mobile and Adult Services Librarian Liz Ochoa. 

The Mobile Services team delivers library materials to healthcare facilities, group homes, and individual residences, supplying personalized services to those who cannot visit the branches. Errika shares, "Liz is always so helpful and is a voice for me and my needs. I really appreciate it." 

Liz says, "Errika is an amazing human and it's been wonderful working with her. I've learned so much about accessibility issues through listening to her and doing my best to find library materials and resources that work for her and her family. 

I've also learned a lot about resources available for people with visual impairments and am so grateful to be able to share those resources with others. Those connections are what being a librarian is about!"

Youth Selector Librarian Rosie Bromberg, who cultivates the new kits, explains, "With these new learning kits, we're hoping to offer meaningful interactive learning experiences for patrons of all ages, allowing them to explore a variety of topics and interests. 

Incorporating accessibility into these kits allows us not only to share this learning experience with more people in our community, but also to help create connections." 

Open to all, fostering a sense of welcoming and belonging is essential to the Library's work.

Check out a learning kit at, opens a new window.