Insights is an email newsletter designed to keep you informed with local and System wide news and information. I will be sending them to you once per month.
Community Liaison Contact: Carol Van Baalen
Proposition 1 Presentation – January 6, 2010, 7:00pm
All Friends groups from our cluster (Des Moines, Kent, and Woodmont) and members of the Des Moines Library Advisory Board are urged to attend a presentation by Bill Ptacek, KCLS Director, and Julie Brand, Director of Community Relations, about Proposition 1 which will appear on the February 9 ballot. Location: Des Moines Library Meeting Room.
Proposition 1 would restore the library system’s property tax levy rate to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for collection in 2011. It provides voters the opportunity to modify KCLS property tax levy limits for one year. The result will determine whether KCLS will maintain the current level of library service or make cuts. Come and find out the background and facts about this important tax issue, and how Friends and Board members can support the proposal.
The Des Moines Friends Annual Meeting will follow the presentation on January 6. The budget for 2010 will be presented for approval at the meeting. The Friends Board recently amended their bylaws to change their fiscal year from May-April to January-December, so this is a change from their regular annual meeting date. There will not be an annual meeting in May.
KCLS staff has continued work on the disposition of the Tukwila Library, which has continued to experience extremely low usage. Earlier this year, staff developed a plan to use the resources of the current Tukwila Library to expand services at the Foster Library and to provide more outreach activities in the community. The Tukwila Library Advisory Board has been integral to supporting this change in service. The Advisory Board reviewed the proposal, made recommendations for the expanded services and communicated the change to the Mayor. KCLS has agreed to join representatives of the Advisory Board and make a presentation at a January meeting of the Tukwila City Council. KCLS is preparing to implement this change on March 1, 2010. All residents of the area will be notified well in advance both in the area libraries and through a mailing.
KCLS received word that the lease for the new location of the Kenmore Post Office has been approved at all levels of the U.S. Post Office. The contractor believes that it will take six to eight weeks to make the tenant improvements in the new location. This means that the new Kenmore Library construction will likely start in February 2010. The contractor for the new Library, Sierra, is willing to use that time to prepare for the project.
On December 14, the Bellevue City Council will be recognizing KCLS for its work to accommodate a statue of Gandhi at the Bellevue Library. The City has been working on developing stronger ties to the Indian government and the location of the statue is an important step in that relationship. KCLS has also had good cooperation from the City to develop access to the underground parking at the Bellevue Library during the parking expansion project.
KCLS continues to receive an overwhelmingly positive reaction from Friends and Advisory Boards across the County for the February 9 levy lift election. For example, the Redmond Library Advisory Board made a factual presentation to the Redmond City Council and in the ten minute discussion that followed, Board members felt the Council was very supportive and may even pass a resolution to support Proposition 1. Many of Friends and Advisory Board groups suggested that it will be important for people to vote in this election as mail-in elections do not necessarily guarantee a high turnout. Therefore, KCLS will be reminding library patrons to vote on February 9 through a series of banners and other items that tie into InfoVote, the System’s long-standing program of voter education.
KCLS was pleased to have more than 350 people attend the opening of the expanded Kirkland Library. Mayor James Lauinger and KCLS Trustees Richard Eadie and Jim Wigfall spoke at the opening. Board Chair Jessica Bonebright was also in attendance. This was the first library opening that included a youth member of the City’s Advisory Board, Harry Paterra, who spoke very eloquently about why the opening of this Library was so important to people of his age. While the speeches were great and Lolo the Clown was almost as popular as the Kettle Korn, the real star of the show was the building. The glass enclosed quiet study area at the back of the Library is spectacular and there is even some talk that it may be prime real estate during the baseball season. The room feels like private box seating as it provides an ideal vantage point for the ball fields in Peter Kirk Park.
Once again in November, circulation was up; 6% higher than November 2008. Year-to-date circulation is 5% above 2008. More impressive is the fact that by the end of November, KCLS patrons have already checked out 19.6 million items. It is very possible that the 2009 circulation may exceed 21 million. Patron use of Self Check-In is now up to 70% in all ten libraries that currently have the automated systems.
On December 9, KCLS honored 32 staff members who have been with KCLS for a minimum of two decades at the annual Service Awards Reception. There were eleven 20-year honorees, six 25-year honorees, four 30-year honorees and two 35-year honorees. Former Board members Wai-Fong Lee and Kari Glover joined current KCLS Board Chair Jessica Bonebright and Foundation Board Chair Dean Smith to help present the awards. It was a terrific celebration of careers and a library staff that have made KCLS the gold standard of public libraries in the United States.
Upcoming Dates Events and Projects
· The next Finance Committee Meeting takes place on Tuesday, January 26, 4pm at Service Center.
· The next KCLS Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for 5pm, Tuesday, January 26, at Service Center.
At the end of 2009, I would like to thank all of you, Friends and Board members, for your work in support of our libraries during the past year.
Best Wishes for a Happy and Prosperous 2010,