Thursday, December 31, 2009

KCLS Insights

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.

From the Director’s Report  (To view the complete November report, please look here.)

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,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

KCLS Insights

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
Des Moines and Woodmont continue to be very busy libraries while Kent is closed for remodeling.  Circulation statistics for the month of October:  26,703 items checked out at Des Moines, a 17% increase over October 2008; 25,321 items checked out at Woodmont, a 25% increase over October 2008.  Traffic counts for October:  19,090 people walked through the doors at Des Moines and 19,433 at Woodmont.
The Kent temporary location has been busy also:  23,338 items were checked out there.  Pretty impressive, considering that these are holds, dvds, and children’s books only.
Update on the Kent construction:  Construction is ahead of schedule!  It is anticipated that the library will reopen late February or early March.
Library Advisory Board News:
Check out the new blog of the Des Moines / Woodmont Library Advisory Board:  http://woodmontdesmoineslibraries.blogspot.comThanks to Tony Wilson, Board Member, for setting up our blog.  You can view many photos from the sculpture installation and unveiling on the blog, as well as take a virtual tour of our libraries.
A Big Thank You to outgoing board members Barbara McMichael and Dana Ketcham.  Barbara has served two terms, including one year as board president; Dana has served one term.  The search is underway for two new board members to fill their shoes.
Upcoming Dates:
Wednesday, December 9:  Kent Friends Holiday Luncheon at the Kent Senior Center.  Call Margie Krist for luncheon time and details.
Thursday, December 10, 6pm:  Woodmont Friends Holiday Potluck.  Des Moines Friends will also be joining the party!  Bring an appetizer to share.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010, 7pm:  Des Moines Friends Annual Meeting.  Guest speakers will be Bill Ptacek, KCLS Director, and Julie Brand from Community Relations, with information about the KCLS Levy Lid Lift which will be on the ballot in February.  The Library Advisory Board will also be attending this meeting, instead of their regular January meeting date.

Robert Sperry, #1084Lots of visitors in your house? It’s a great time to visit local museums using free passes provided through We open the door to Bellevue Arts Museum, KidsQuest Children’s Museum and the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.

The number of admissions per pass varies by museum. Click on the KCLS Programs page and scroll down to Free Museum Passes. Choose the museum you would like to visit and click on the calendar dates for more information.

Text Box: Robert Sperry #1084 Bellevue Arts Museum

bestbooks2009.jpgEnjoy the Best Books of 2009, as chosen by the Materials Selection Team at the King County Library System. Each section is presented in alphabetical order by author.

From the Director’s Report  (To view the complete November report, please look here.)

The Vashon Park District Board has formally approved a lease with KCLS that will allow for the expansion of the Vashon Library. As mentioned in October, all of the points of agreement were incorporated into a new lease that was presented in October and approved at the Park District Board meeting on November 11. The lease will be presented for approval at the November KCLS Board meeting. Based on the Board’s response to the request from the Vashon Community Council for a Library Committee, Donna McMillen, the area’s Cluster Manager, has made contact with a Community Council representative to initiate ongoing contact with the Library Committee.

The City of Duvall was very pleased that KCLS was able to finalize the agreement with the Duvall Church for the new Duvall Library in the historic downtown area. KCLS updated the City Council on the agreement and asked that they help move the project forward quickly so that KCLS can take
advantage of the good bidding climate. The City’s staff responded very well in the first meeting with KCLS Facilities staff and the architect regarding the general plan for the Library. While KCLS would love to have the Library above the street level, the plan calls for the building to be located at the street level, meaning that patrons who drive to the Library will have access it via a staircase or elevator. The City Council is also considering a resolution to support Proposition 1, KCLS’ levy lid lift measure.

KCLS is excited about a joint project with the Seattle Public Library and KCLS that will result in Citizenship Fairs to be held at two Seattle Libraries and the Greenbridge Library on December 12. The program will include information about becoming a U.S. citizen, legal advice, sample test questions from the citizenship test, naturalization study materials and naturalization application forms. Jo Anderson Cavinta, KCLS’ Diversity Coordinator, helped to develop this program.

Each year, the American Library Association announces the winner of the Newberry and Caldecott awards for Children’s books and illustrations. This year, before the awards are announced, KCLS is asking young patrons what they think should be the next Newberry award book, and giving them the chance to vote. KCLS staff has been reviewing and gathering comments since September and have chosen eight finalists. The books are: All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg, Also Known as Harper by Ann Haywood Leal, The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine, Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and
Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me by Nan Marino, Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez, The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead and Wild Things by Clay Carmichael. Posters and bookmarks of the selected titles were produced by KCLS’ Graphics department and sent out to all of the libraries, along with paper ballots. The paper ballots will be available on Friday, December 18, when voting will also go live on the “You Choose” blog.

Library Express @ Redmond Ridge The Library Express @ Redmond Ridge opened on Saturday, November 7. The 300-square-foot facility is so small that groups of visitors had to be escorted into the facility in small, pre-arranged groups. There was a steady stream of visitors the entire day despite the rainy and windy conditions. Since Library Express opened, checkouts have averaged 30 per day but are growing each week as more people become aware of the service. The Library Express is KCLS’ 45th library facility.

Circulation for the month increased by 3% across the entire System. KCLS is still operating without three of its largest libraries, which are closed due to expansion or renovation. Year-to-date circulation is 5% higher than 2008. Items placed on hold continue to increase at an even faster rate of 12% more than 2008. The 33% increase in circulation at Issaquah is consistent with the rapid rise in circulation at that Library over the entire year. It will be interesting to see if use of the Issaquah Library changes much when the new Sammamish Library opens in early 2010.

Upcoming Dates Events and Projects
·         The next Finance Committee Meeting takes place on Tuesday, December 15,  4pm at Service Center.
·         The next KCLS Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for 5pm, Tuesday, December 15, at Service Center.