Tuesday, May 4, 2010

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

New Technologies @ Our Libraries
A backroom view of Automated Self-Check In at the newly remodeled Kent Library. Library materials are scanned and checked in immediately by the automatic “eyes” at the check in station, and then sorted into bins or carts, ready to shelve in the library. This system, affectionately known as AMH, helps library staff keep up with an ever-increasing workload.

DiscXpress checks out and dispenses DVDs at the Woodmont Library. The system, which is a pilot project for KCLS, was installed in December 2009. Discs are loaded into the towers by staff, and then automatically dispensed when patrons check them out.
Upcoming Dates and Meetings:
May 5 at 7:00 pm: Friends of the Des Moines Library will meet at the Des Moines Library
May 12 at 12:00 noon: Friends of the Kent Library will meet at the Kent Library
May 12 at 7:00 pm: Des Moines – Woodmont Library Advisory Board will meet at Parkside Elementary School
For a complete list of programs and events at your library, click on these links:


A Video Nonfiction Book Review Competition for Grown-Ups
Get organized! Get fit! Plant a garden! Decorate on a dime!
Win a prize for your efforts!
Looking to learn something new? The library has thousands of books to help you learn new skills and reach your goals. Pick a skill, a DIY project or a personal goal, borrow a nonfiction book from KCLS, and get started at the library!
Then unleash your inner film star and post a video book review. Show us your project and tell how the library book helped–or didn’t. Post your review on YouTube and enter the KCLS RIY Video Competition for Grown-Ups! More information.

You may have noticed the new InfoToGo displays at your library, complete with pocket-size cards to take with you. Each month, KCLS features a service or product to feature. The cards are designed to heighten patron awareness of the service or product, and to make it easy to start using them right away.
The InfoToGo topic for May is byki. byki [pronounced bike-y] is a free online language learning tool that you can access from the library’s website. Benefits to you are: You can take lessons when it fits your schedule, you can learn at your own pace and it’s compatible with busy lifestyles. More information.

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

Circulation was up 8% in the month of March and year-to-date circulation increased 5% over the same period in 2009. The Renton libraries circulated about 52,000 items last month which likely accounts for some of the increase. Renton actually experienced a 3-4% decrease from in circulation compared to the same period last year but there was not a full complement of KCLS items in the two libraries until April. A strong contributor to the increase in circulation is the Library Express @ Redmond Ridge which opened in November. Circulation there increased from 2,500 items in December to 3,700 in March. At the same time, returns increased from 3,200 per month to 6,400 last month. The Redmond Library staff has done an excellent job supporting the facility and report an average of nine calls per month from patrons seeking assistance. KCLS has been contacted by several libraries around the country that want to hear more about Library Express @ Redmond Ridge after the branch was the subject of a recent article in Library Journal.

KCLS volunteers in the Study Zone, NetMasters, Talk Time, Citizenship and Words on Wheels programs were recognized at an event held at the Burien Library on Saturday, April 24. Volunteers were presented with their new KCLS program badges and lanyards and received anniversary pins recognizing their years of service. They were treated to a sneak preview of the new KCLS Volunteer Web pages, which will go live in the first week of May, enjoyed Spanish-inspired food and were entertained with music and dance by Flamenco Gitana.

Collectively, KCLS volunteers have contributed thousands of hours expanding KCLS services into their communities. They tutor students, teach computer skills, visit homebound patrons, and help immigrants and English language learners improve their English skills to prepare for taking the U.S. Citizenship test. During the 2008-2009 school year, 7,522 students were tutored by Study Zone volunteers. In 2009, NetMaster volunteers taught 6,354 class participants and 69 Words on Wheels volunteers regularly delivered library materials to 105 patrons. Talk Time volunteers held 22 sessions throughout the System and conversed with 1,112 patrons. Most recently, Citizenship volunteers achieved a record 120 class attendees per month. Below are some photos from the event.

KCLS Capital Improvement Plan Projects

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The Lake Hills Library will be ready to move to the new building later this summer. The current Library sits on property that was donated to KCLS and held for a time by the City of Bellevue. The property is now for sale and a public informational meeting was held for interested buyers. The meeting was well attended and several parties expressed interest in purchasing the property.

The long saga of the United States Postal Service office in Kenmore is about to come to an end. The Post Office opened in newly remodeled facilities on Monday, April 26 after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30am. This clears the way for KCLS to take possession of the vacated building and begin construction of the new Kenmore Library. After the building undergoes asbestos abatement, KCLS has agreed to allow the Northshore Fire Department to use the building for training exercises prior to demolition. An official groundbreaking will be scheduled in late May or June.

KCLS was pleased to learn that the Burien Library and City Hall received a first place Honor Award in the Commercial Government category at the Masonry Institute of Washington’s 2010 Excellence Awards in Masonry Design banquet on March 18. The award recognizes outstanding work in masonry building design and construction. Projects were submitted by architects and mason contractors from around the state.

April has been “Public Meetings Month.” On April 1, an overflow crowd was on hand at the Lake Forest Park City Hall Council Chambers to hear plans for the expansion of the Lake Forest Park Library. A lively discussion ensued about the size of the collection, with some participants in favor of more space for materials while others wanted more space for patrons. Other issues influenced the tone of the meeting including the availability of space adjacent to the Library that would allow KCLS to add another 600 square feet to the Library.

Another overflow crowd attended the public meeting for the Newcastle Library on April 7. KCLS is now moving ahead on a standalone library design so there was not much discussion about the mixed use concept. Traffic circulation issues have been addressed and KCLS heard many positive comments about the site and design. The Mayor and City Council members were present and pledged continued support to move the project through the permitting process as quickly as possible.

Facilities staff and project architects met with the Vashon Park Board on Tuesday, April 13 to discuss how the Vashon Library expansion will impact Les Gove Park. KCLS and its consultant team presented three alternative plans for the Library expansion at a public open house on Thursday, April 15 and the audience was able to ask questions, discuss concerns and submit comments on each design. Participation was good and KCLS received useful feedback.

KCLS met with interim King County Councilmember Jan Drago who represents the residents of Vashon Island. She was updated on the history of the project and the process KCLS uses to solicit input from the public. She complimented KCLS on its efforts to keep the community informed. The conversation also included a discussion on the potential annexation of the remaining unincorporated area of North Highline and how the White Center, Boulevard Park and Greenbridge libraries could be affected. Councilmember Drago was on the Seattle City Council for many years and knows the background on the annexation issue and promised to keep KCLS informed of any new developments.

The Bellevue parking garage expansion was the primary topic of discussion at a Bellevue Library Advisory Board meeting on April 20. The City of Bellevue has ultimate approval of both the garage design and whether KCLS can pave a road across Ashwood Park to provide temporary access to the underground parking area during construction. The City has been very helpful on both counts. KCLS recently learned that the City withdrew its requirement to roof the parking structure. In lieu of that, KCLS has agreed to build taller walls on the top level of the parking garage to mitigate the effect of headlight glare on surrounding residential buildings.

Upcoming Dates Events and Projects
The next Planning Committee Meeting takes place on Thursday, May 13, 12pm at Burien Library.
The next Finance Committee Meeting takes place on Tuesday, May 25, 4pm at KCLS Service Center.
The next KCLS Board of Trustees Meeting takes place on, Tuesday, May 25, 5pm at KCLS Service Center.