The sugar rush of the holiday season has officially begun and, like many families around Kitsap, perhaps you find yourself with a sudden overabundance of candy on top of the refrigerator or tucked in a cupboard where you hope it will stay; out of sight, out of mind.  Let us embrace this delicious abundance of sweetness and celebrate all things candy.

What can you do with all the extra Halloween candy?

Share it
Donate it to the troops. Check with your child’s school to see if they are a collection site. Or mail it yourself through Operation Shoebox.

Some dentists offer a candy buy back program where kids can turn in candy for $1 a pound and the candy gets donated to Operation Gratitude and sent to active service men and women.  Local dentists Kitsap Kids Dentistry in Bremerton and Costa and Dageenakis in Port Orchard participate.  Call first. Some dentists have set hours and dates for their buy back programs.

Save it
Freeze it and use it through out the year in milkshakes, sundae toppings or baking experiments.

Make gingerbread houses:

Photo: Marit and Thoomas Hinnosaar/flickr
Photo: Marit and Thoomas Hinnosaar/flickr

Use them as craft supplies, because sometimes it is more fun to play with your food than eat it:

Candy Aisle Crafts bk Jacket candy construction jacket Candy Experiments

Read about it
Don’t forget the other sweet treat- reading. Here are a few book suggestions for your sweet tooth:

sweet tooth book jacket  LIttle Pea jacket  Chocolate Touch jacket

candy shop war jacket Whizz pop chocolate shop bk jacket  charlie and the chocolate factory bk jacket

Sweet story of candy jacket Candy Bomber bk jacket candymakers jacket



Anxious about Ebola?

If you’ve been keeping up with the news in the past few weeks, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about the West African Ebola outbreak and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, usually referred to as the “CDC”. The media has been pretty gloomy when reporting on Ebola, but the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have said that though Ebola is a serious disease that requires immediate attention, there is no serious risk of pandemic in the United States.

Facts about Ebola - CDC
Image courtesy of the CDC

What is Ebola?
According to the CDC, the Ebola Virus Disease (“Ebola” or “EVD” for short) is a virus that causes a hemorrhagic fever. Symptoms can begin to appear 2 to 21 days after exposure. Ebola can be difficult to diagnose initially because its early symptoms are similar to those of other diseases and ailments, like malaria, the flu, or even food poisoning. Ebola’s most notorious symptom – unexplained hemorrhaging (bleeding or bruising) – is much easier to identify.

CDC: Ebola Symptoms
Image courtesy of the CDC

Ebola is transmitted from person to person through direct, physical contact. This means that one person must touch or ingest infected bodily fluids or objects that have been in contact with infected bodily fluids, like bed sheets or needles.

CDC: West Africa Ebola Outbreak
Image courtesy of the CDC

What is the US doing?
Travelers from West African countries must fly into one of five US airports (JFK, Newark, Dulles, Atlanta, or Chicago O’Hare) where they will be screened for Ebola. New York and New Jersey have also implemented a mandatory 21-day quarantine for anyone travelling from Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone.  These precautions are intended to prevent the spread of Ebola in the United States.

How can I keep myself safe?
The CDC has published information on how to prevent Ebola if you plan on traveling to countries where the risk for exposure to Ebola is high.

Want to know more?
If you’d like to know more about Ebola and the controversy surrounding how the world should respond to the virus, check out the Ebola site from KRL’s Opposing Views in Context resource. To access it, either log on from a library computer or have your library card and password handy.

Coping with Tragedy

Our hearts are with the community and families affected by the recent shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. If you or someone you know is struggling with difficult emotions in the wake of this tragedy, you are not alone. Here are a few resources that can help.

Photo Credit:Scott Cooper
Photo Credit:Scott Cooper

Managing your Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting 

Helping your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers 

Parent Tips for Helping Adolescents after Disasters 


Do you or a loved one need to talk to someone?

For a listening ear any time of day or night, call the Crisis Clinic of the Peninsulas at (360) 479-3033 or 1-800-843-4793.

If you need a referral to a counselor, dial 2-1-1 or visit the Washington State 2-1-1- website for access to a broad array of social services.


Ready, Set, Go! 5210 Kitsap Challenge

As soon as October comes and the holidays start looming, it seems like every store you enter is overflowing with buckets of candy and chocolate-laden treats. My personal favorite is the amazing array of candy corn available…so easy to eat so much so fast! Sigh.

If you’re looking for strategies to avoid ingesting all that sugary goodness and build up better habits for you and your family this coming holiday season, join us and many other community organizations in the Ready, Set, Go! 5210 Kitsap Challenge!

take the challenge 8X11
Ready, Set, Go! 5210 Kitsap


It’s simple: grab a four-week tracker from any branch to help you keep track of all the good things you do for your body over a month’s time. Positive behaviors include eating fruits and veggies, being physically active, avoiding sugary drinks, and shunning screen time – all of which contribute to making your body healthier and stronger.

Turn in finished trackers by December 31st to any library branch, at branches of the Kitsap Credit Union,  or at the Silverdale or Bremerton YMCA. Your finished tracker can be redeemed at any of these locations for coupon for a free round of mini golf at Northwest Golf Range, or a free skate rental at Bremerton Ice Center. Better than these prizes, though, is building healthy habits for taking good care of your body during an especially tempting holiday season. So get moving!

Teens’ Top Ten

Whether you stridently agree with Stephen Colbert that “a young adult novel is just a regular novel that people want to read” or you just need a few great recommendations to share with a lucky teen in your life, YALSA (the Young Adult Library Service Association) and a few of our awesome local teen book groups have got you covered.

CC Image courtesy of Enokson on Flickr
CC Image courtesy of Enokson on Flickr

Each year, teen book groups throughout the country agree to read, review, and select their top picks from over 30 large and small publishing houses. In exchange, participants are able to receive free advanced reading copies of the books and the opportunity to share their thoughts directly with those in the book industry. The result? An annual list of 25 amazing titles, hand-picked by teen readers as well as an annual Teens’ Top Ten, voted on by librarians, educators, and readers.

Before I share this year’s highly anticipated selections, please join me in giving a huge thanks and shout-out to the teen book clubs of the Bainbridge Island and Port Orchard Branches of Kitsap Regional Library, who are completing a third year as one of sixteen groups in the country chosen to participate. Because of the hard-work of these teens, program coordinator Stefanie Graen, staff, and amazing volunteers, readers may enjoy witnessing first love among the chaos of family turmoil, a terrifying silent alien invasion, or an adrenaline filled mash-up of Inception and The Matrix through this year’s list. Interested in becoming a Teens Top Ten participant? Contact Stefanie Graen at the Bainbridge Island Branch or Bradley Post at the Port Orchard Branch for more information.

And without further ado, drumroll please:



3D Printing. What can you do?

The world of 3D printing has opened up a new way to think about how we design and build. With some computer software and a printer, we can customize just about everything we use in everyday life.

Makerbot Industries - Replicator 2 - 3D-printer 09/ Flickr
Makerbot Industries – Replicator 2 – 3D-printer 09/ Flickr

3D printers aren’t just some science fiction technology. They are real, and KRL has one.

The printer we work with prints using a material called PLA (Polylactic acid). This is a biodegradable plastic normally made from corn starch. We simply load digital files into the printer and watch as it turns our computer creations into real objects.

With a 3D printer you can print all sorts of amazing things.

Minecraft worlds.

Garden view/ Flickr
Garden view/ Flickr

Creative projects.

Hold Your Ideas in Your Hands with Shapeways 3D Printing : The Deer Cup/flickr
Hold Your Ideas in Your Hands with Shapeways 3D Printing : The Deer Cup/flickr

Or even a statue of yourself.

3D scan then 3D print of yours truly. Courtesy of Vert Design and a hacked Xbox Kinect./ Flickr
3D scan then 3D print of yours truly. Courtesy of Vert Design and a hacked Xbox Kinect./ Flickr

But 3D printers are not just limited to plastic. Other materials include:

Foods like chocolate….

#Chocnology-6/ Flickr
#Chocnology-6/ Flickr

…or sugar.

Delicious powdery 3d printed sugar thanks to @thesugarlab./ Flickr
Delicious powdery 3d printed sugar thanks to @thesugarlab./ Flickr

Even metals like gold, silver and brass.

Brass 3D Prints by Shapeways/ Flickr
Brass 3D Prints by Shapeways/ Flickr

And that just scratches the surface. People and organizations are printing buildings, cars and even human organs like kidneys.

3D printing is really whatever you want it to be. With a little creativity, some modeling software and time to explore and learn, the sky is the limit. This printing technology opens up a new way to rethink the objects around you. A way to design things by you and for you.

Interested in learning how to 3D model and print a design? Join us for a 2 hour workshop with BiblioTEC Librarian, Seth Ciotti. The workshop takes place on Friday, Nov. 7 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Sylvan Way branch of Kitsap Regional Library. Registration is required. To sign up, send your full name and email address to For ages 12-18. Space is limited to 10 participants.

BiblioTEC classes and labs take place at the Sylvan Way branch of Kitsap Regional Library every Friday. Please refer to the KRL calendar, located at, for future 3D printing events and more tech programming.

21 Again: the Library is a Place for Dreaming

If you are pondering any aspect of retirement and the freedoms it brings, you will relate to my musings today. My groups of friends are mostly 7-10 years away from retirement, but a few have taken the plunge early. We dream different dreams, but we all dream.

As I listen to the excited chatter of creating a whole new life, the possibilities of moves, of pursuing different careers, time for hobbies, traveling or relocating, I hear the longing for independence and self-determination or the longing for more connection in those eager voices, the anticipation of going in any direction one chooses.

This all reminds me so strongly of something…something I’ve been through before…something really exciting and really important…what is it? What is it?

Ah…21 again!! THAT’S what it is. It reminds me exactly of planning far ahead in my mind about going away to college, leaving home, finally being “myself” somewhere new, of dreaming and planning life after school, all full of infinite potential and most of all, freedom and self-determination.

What better place to explore your dreams than the library. Whether your own re-invention is happening right now or only in your dreams, learn more, do more and be more with us.

conscious living project renewment supercharged


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