Friends & Partnership Contact: Carol Van Baalen
Here are a few of the interesting programs being presented at our local libraries in February:
Saturday, February 1, 2pm at Des Moines Library. Presented by Dragon Arts Studio, for ages 3 and up.
Using Chinese rod puppets, this talented duo presents stories from folklore with elegance, humor and special effects.
The World in Washington; an Exploration of Literature and our Lives
Thursday, February 6, 7pm at Kent Library. UW Professor Anu Taranath will introduce us to stories and literature written by multicultural authors from around the state.
Feeding Your Immune System
Saturday, February 8, 1pm at Des Moines Library. Presented by Nick Rose from PCC Natural Markets; part of the Start to Fitness series.
Sunday, February 16, 2pm at Kent Library. Presented by Art Historian Susan Olds; an introduction to the upcoming exhibit at Seattle Art Museum.
For a complete list of library programs, click on this link: http://www.kcls.org/programs/
Des Moines Friends of the Library Wednesday, February 12, 7pm
Kent Friends of the Library Thursday, February 13, 12 noon
Woodmont Friends of the Library Thursday, February 13, 6:30pm
I too am saying farewell this month, as I will retire from KCLS at the end of January. I want to express my thanks and appreciation for all you do to support KCLS as Friends, Board Members, and volunteers. It has been a pleasure to work with you,
Carol Van Baalen
King County Library System
The current Legislative session will be a short one as it is the second year of the biennium. The Washington Library Association is hosting Library Legislative Day on Friday, January 24 and more than 30 advocates from KCLS have already registered. Although there isn’t much pending legislation that pertains to libraries, one bill that would increase funding for school libraries will be a primary talking point for library supporters. Another bill, House Bill 2522, would allow the King County Executive to participate in the selection of KCLS’ Library Director, but does not appear to have enough support to advance. It does, however, point to the need for library supporters to maintain a strong presence in Olympia to preserve the fabric and structure of independent public library districts.
KCLS and Seattle Public Library (SPL) are in the process of reviewing the current cross-use agreement which has been in place between the two Systems since 2006. KCLS and SPL are working together to identify a consultant to develop a measurement system that takes into account all factors that potentially affect cross-use. The process could ultimately lead to a new agreement that is predicated on the idea that any cross-use discrepancy will be reconciled financially and not through a differentiation in service. KCLS and SPL could have a new draft agreement ready for review by their respective Boards in late 2014.
KCLS was pleased to learn that Trustee Lucy Krakowiak was unanimously selected by her fellow council members to be the new Mayor of the City of Burien. While past KCLS Boards of Trustees have included city council members, judges, and mayors’ spouses, Lucy is the first sitting Mayor.
The eBook cost analysis project that KCLS is leading in conjunction with the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) received a strong show of support when 47 libraries across the United States and Canada agreed to participate in the project. eBook purchasing information from the respective libraries will be gathered and reported by the end of February, allowing for a broad analysis. In the meantime, several law firms have been contacted to determine whether there is interest in potentially representing public libraries in the United States and Canada on this issue.
Staff has identified a potential site in a former retail space for a new 5,000 square foot East Hill of Kent Library. Lease terms are still being refined, but staff plans to present a site analysis at the February 26 Board meeting. The East Hill of Kent Library is the last scheduled project in KCLS’ 2004 Capital Bond program.
In 2014, KCLS will partner with United Way of King County to engage in a new Convey project focused on the issue of hunger in King County. Launching in late February, the project will be a three-phase, ongoing project through 2014, engaging county residents in conversation around hunger and food insecurity and possibly including participation in a summer meal site program. Information forums will also be held at KCLS Libraries. Tying closely to this is KCLS’ food donation effort, which started in 2013 as part of A Place at the Table. Through that effort, KCLS collected more than 30,000 pounds of food that was distributed to local food banks. The food donation effort will continue in 2014 through KCLS’ Start to Fitness program.
Linda Glenicki, Julie Brand and I will conduct the first round of interviews for a new Finance Director the week of January 27. The top two candidates will advance to a second round of interviews with Administrative Planning Team members and Business Office staff. The final decision will be made by Interim Director Julie Brand in consultation with Linda Glenicki and Human Resources Director Charlene Richards.
A group from the Los Angeles Public Library Innovation Leadership Program (ILP) visited KCLS in mid-January to learn about innovative programming, service strategies and staff development initiatives at KCLS. The cohort met with Administrative Planning Team (APT) members, toured the Materials Distribution Services Center in Preston, and visited the Federal Way cluster to discuss implementation of KCLS’ new Services Strategy. The ILP is a mentoring program that pairs library managers with librarians-in-residence and is funded by the Los Angeles Public Library Foundation.
The Aven Foundation awarded a $15,000 grant to the King County Library System Foundation for its Tukwila Library Community Mosaic Capital Campaign.
Over the last few weeks, as I’ve begun to look ahead to my new job as CEO of the Calgary Public Library, many people have taken the time to let me know what a great library system KCLS has become over the years. I am honored by the comments, but I have one recurring thought. The success that KCLS has achieved during my 25 years with KCLS is a direct result of the hard work of a very talented and dedicated staff. In turn, their efforts have been bolstered by the Board of Trustees, KCLS Foundation, Library Advisory Boards and Friends of the Library who have volunteered countless hours to support KCLS’ mission.
KCLS has had the good fortune to serve patrons who value their public library. It is undoubtedly the strong support that KCLS has received from the entire community that has ultimately set the stage for the extraordinary work of the King County Library System.
As I come to the end of my 294th Director’s Report, I would like to thank everyone who has had a hand in our success. I will miss KCLS and this great community.