Tuesday, January 28, 2014

February 2014

Friends & Partnership Contact: Carol Van Baalen


Program Highlights

Here are a few of the interesting programs being presented at our local libraries in February:

  Images of China Puppet Show

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.

  The World of Miro

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/

Upcoming Meetings:

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
Director’s Report
January 2014
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.



Friday, December 27, 2013

January 2014

Friends & Partnership Contact: Carol Van Baalen

Last night the Board of Trustees accepted my resignation from the King County Library System effective February 1, 2014, as I have accepted the position of CEO of the Calgary Public Library in Alberta, Canada. Simultaneously, the Board announced the appointment of Julie Brand, Community Relations and Marketing Director, as Interim Library Director while the search for a new Director is underway.
I have very mixed feelings about this transition. The Calgary Public Library is located in a vibrant and growing community and the Library is poised to be an integral part of the city’s future development. I am honored to have the opportunity to play a role in that. On the other hand, I am leaving the King County Library System after 25 years of exciting growth and will miss all the relationships that have developed over those years.
By every account, KCLS is an amazingly successful organization. Even before being recognized as Library of the Year, our patrons strongly endorsed KCLS through their unparalleled use of our libraries and financial support of our capital and operating budgets. Our community partners confirmed that success by aligning many of their programs and services with KCLS.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at KCLS for letting me be a part of this great Library System. I’d also like to recognize our current and past Board members, KCLS Foundation Board members, Library Advisory Board members, Friends of the Library, and all the volunteers who have helped make KCLS what it is today.
I am lucky to have had a chance to be a part of this special organization and am confident that KCLS will continue to be the talk of the town in Library world. I will miss that, and all of you.
It has been the ride of a lifetime.
Bill Ptacek, Director
In early November, the City of Tukwila’s Board of Architectural Review (BAR) enthusiastically approved the design for the new Tukwila Library, in December they approved the plans for the related Tukwila Village project operated by the Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG). KCLS and SHAG are now negotiating the final sales price and apportionment of infrastructure costs. Construction will likely begin in summer 2014.
King County Library System was a Literacy*AmeriCorps partner site from 1994 until the program was discontinued in 2012 due to lack of funding. Earlier this month, KCLS learned that federal funding guidelines have changed and the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council (formerly the lead agency of the program) is planning to apply for a grant to renew the program. KCLS was contacted by the Director of the Council and has expressed its interest in participating as a partner site once again. The program, if refunded, would not begin until fall 2014.
The KCLS Answer Line has been transformed into “Ask KCLS.” Staff members moved from the Bellevue Library to the Service Center in Issaquah on December 10 without interruption in service. Hours of operation have been modified to reflect lower demand for telephone assistance in the evenings and increasing demand from online traffic during the day. New hours are Monday through Saturday 10am-6pm and Noon-5pm on Sundays
Renovation of Library Connection @ Crossroads is almost finished. The project is a complete refurbishment of the facility and includes showcasing the operation of the Automated Materials Handling equipment to the public. The front and back entrances have also been upgraded to conform to new Mall standards. The Library has been closed since the Bellevue Library garage opened in September and is scheduled to re-open on December 30.
Circulation remains flat compared to2012. This still positions KCLS to circulate more than 22 million items in 2013. Downloads increased 41% year-to-date and accounted for more than 1.7 million uses. The most notable upward trend was at the Bellevue Library, which had an 18% increase in circulation over last year now that the new parking garage has opened. Circulation at the Enumclaw Library more than doubled in November compared to the same month last year.
As was noted at last month’s Board meeting, Director of Finance Linda Glenicki will be leaving KCLS early next year. Linda joined KCLS twelve years ago after a very successful career at Microsoft and other private and non-profit organizations. KCLS was fortunate to have her talent and expertise during this important period in the history of the System. KCLS has hired CFO Selections to help KCLS identify qualified candidates for this key position and the recruitment process is well underway.

On December 5, a crowd of more than 700 packed Town Hall in Seattle to hear Ree Drummond, New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks and The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier. Ree’s website —thepioneerwoman.com — receives over 30 million views each month and showcases her cooking and photography, and provides anecdotes about country life. She also hosts a cooking show on the Food Network.
This Meet the Author event was part of KCLS’ adult program series, A Place at the Table and was hosted in partnership with University Books. KCLS’ Public Programming Coordinator Deborah Schneider, who introduced the event, received enthusiastic applause when she mentioned the food donation component of A Place at the Table (APATT). Patron gifts of food  now total over 28,000 lbs. which has been shared with KCLS partner agencies Food Lifeline and Hopelink. Many who attended remained for nearly three hours to get their books signed and have a photo taken with the well-known author and Food Network celebrity. It was an exciting conclusion to a year of programs, promotions and events around APATT.
If you’re resolved to begin the New Year with a more active, healthy lifestyle, it’s easy to get started at your library.  Throughout 2014, find ideas, inspiration and tips on simple ways to add more movement and healthy options to your life through the new adult program series, Start to Fitness.  Here’s what’s happening locally during January and early February:
Evaluating Diets:  what science says about trendy diets like Paleo, Wheat Belly and Gluten Free, presented by Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Sunday, January 19, 1pm at the Kent Library.
Walking in Balance, presented by foot expert Erich Sach.  Thursday, January 23, 7pm at the Woodmont Library.
Healthy Knees, presented by Astrid Pujari MD, author of The Healthy Knees Book.  Wednesday, January 29, 7pm at the Woodmont Library.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Woodmont Library.
Feeding Your Immune System, presented by Nick Rose, MS Nutrition Expert for PCC Natural Markets.  Saturday, February 8, 1pm at the Des Moines Library.

For a complete list of programs in the series, pick up a brochure at your library, or check online at:  www.kcls.org/fitness