Did you know that every resident in Jefferson County has access to hundreds of thousands of books and ebooks, DVDs, WiFi, educational programs, streaming media, one-on-one tech help, computers, research and homework help resources, reservable meeting rooms, and friendly professionals to help you find what you need – for free? That’s right – your libraries are a shining example of “your tax dollars at work” and we take our commitment to fiscal responsibility seriously. Many years ago, public, school, and special libraries in East Jefferson County came together to form a consortium that would allow us to maximize our buying power, better meet patron needs across the county, and stretch every dime of taxpayer funding. This library consortium, managed by the Jefferson County Library District, is the Cooperative Libraries of the Eastern Olympics (CLEO).

CLEO is comprised of the Jefferson County Library District, City of Port Townsend Public Library, Port Townsend School Libraries, Chimacum School Libraries, Quilcene School Library, Brinnon School Library, and the H.W. McCurdy Maritime Center Library. CLEO libraries share one library catalog of resources, and materials are couriered around the county daily or weekly, depending on the location. A patron in Brinnon can place a hold on an item in the H.W. McCurdy Library collection and pick it up several days later – in Brinnon – when the Bookmobile visits. Likewise, a student at Blue Heron Middle School doing a report on Washington history can request additional books from Chimacum or Quilcene School Libraries – and have them delivered to their school. This collaborative sharing of resources across our rural county means that our residents see a very high return-on-investment for every dollar invested in our local libraries, and our patrons get top-notch library service no matter where they live.

So perhaps you’re a believer in public libraries but don’t find yourself needing to use your local library’s resources. Maybe you have high-speed internet at home and don’t need to use our WiFi; you use your Kindle, purchase books you want to read, and stream movies through a personal Netflix account; or, you travel frequently and don’t want to have to remember to return books before you leave again… Why should YOU have and use a library card? Here are just a few reasons:

Two elementary school student and male teacher smiling at camera with laptop on the table in library
  • When we have more cardholders, we learn more about our community’s interests and needs – which means we’re better able to anticipate and support them. We can see trends in the data, like increased requests for particular resources, or spaces to meet or study. This helps us plan for the future!

  • As a library cardholder, you can have a positive impact in your community by sharing what you know about library resources with those who may not know anything about them. Many residents – recent arrivals as well as long-timers – don’t realize that our libraries aren’t “just books.” Our cardholders are our greatest advocates and often help us connect to other community members who could benefit from what we offer.

  • We have it on very good authority that having and using a library card adds at least 50 “cool” points to your persona. (Okay, that one may not be fully verified…but we’re working to make it true!)

If you don’t yet have a library card (or if you think yours may have lapsed), stop by and pick one up – or, start the process by registering online at: https://tinyurl.com/getacardnow. We hope to see many new names and faces during our cardholder drive in September!