Wednesday, December 7, 2011

November 2011

Community Liaison Contact: Carol Van Baalen


Join us for a wealth of holiday happenings in our libraries this month, many of them sponsored by our Friends:

Sunday, December 4, 1pm, Kent Library                Erwilian Concert    Instrumental folk and acoustic music from around the world.  An audience of 120 people enjoyed this concert sponsored by the Kent Friends. 

Friday, December 16, 3pm, Des Moines Library
    After School Movie  about a businessman who inherits six penguins and transforms his apartment into a winter wonderland.  Sponsored by the Des Moines Friends.

Sunday, December 18, 2pm, Des Moines Library
Wednesday, December 21, 11am ,  Kent Library
  Journey through the Season of Rock by the Not-Its.
 Music, movement and skits for kids and families.

Tuesday, December 20, 7pm, Woodmont Library   A Season for Singing by well-known northwest singer Nancy Stewart.  Holiday music from around the world

Wednesday, December 28, Kent Library   Joyful Noise!  Charlie Williams, the Noiseguy presents a holiday sound adventure.  Sponsored by the Kent Friends

Thursday, December 29, 2pm, Des Moines Library     Cougars and Bears, Oh My!  Hands-on program with Nature Vision for ages 5-12  (please register).  Sponsored by the Des Moines Friends

For a complete list of December programs at your library, click here:  or open the attachments to this email.

eReader Demos
Is there an eReader on your holiday list?  Wondering which one to choose?  Come to an eReader Demo at your library and try out some of the most popular models that are available.  Drop in during any of the following times, no registration necessary.

Woodmont Library:         Thursday, December 8, 10am-12noon
                                                Saturday, December 10, 1-3pm
Des Moines Library:        Tuesday, December 13, 6-8pm
                                                Thursday, December 15, 10am-12noon and 3-5pm

December Meetings:

Kent Friends                      Friday, December 2, Christmas luncheon at the Kent Senior Center
Des Moines Friends        Wednesday, December 7, 7pm, at the Des Moines Library.  Discussion and approval of the 2012 budget
Woodmont Friends         Thursday, December 8, 6:30pm, at the Woodmont Library.  Discussion and approval of the 2012 budget and bylaw changes.

The InfoToGo topic for December is Tell Me A Story, which is a story time companion for parents and caregivers. Refresh your memory or learn a completely new rhyme to use with your child. Couldn't make it to story time? See what books were read or revisit a favorite story time session from the past.


FROM THE DIRECTOR’S REPORT (To view the complete November report, please look here.)

Last spring, KCLS staff, Foundation board members and community members attended KCLS’ Technology Summit to talk about long range technology planning. Those discussions provided the framework for the recent Technology Forums that have been held with cluster staff throughout the System. Five themes have emerged from the meetings: Using existing patron technology, leveraging the library catalog, supporting and building local communities, making KCLS services more accessible and extending and repurposing existing programs and services for the digital age.

Staff has been very energetic and engaged. Some ideas that have emerged from their discussions include establishing discovery centers for online services, incorporating social media into the catalog and webpage, creating a single portal that merges information, installing online services kiosks throughout the community and developing touch screen technology. Many of the discussions revolved around a larger social media presence for KCLS. Toward that end, librarians within KCLS will be recruited to implement a plan to highlight services and expand patron contact on Facebook, Twitter and in other social media interaction zones.

KCLS’ eBook collection continues to grow in response to growing demand. Digital downloads increased 191% in October due in large part to eBook circulation. The new Kindle Fire is out and will likely increase the number of patrons accessing the collection. In order to help educate patrons who are purchasing eReaders, Virtual Library Services has distributed kits that contain the most popular devices that cluster staff can use to demonstrate KCLS’ digital download process to patrons. Despite the eBook frenzy, there is a continued reluctance on the part of publishers to sell eBook content to libraries. KCLS is particularly concerned to learn that Penguin has joined Simon & Schuster and Macmillan Publishers in the decision to discontinue selling current books in eBook format to libraries. The three companies comprise a substantial segment of the publishing marketplace. With the increase in digital download circulation, total monthly circulation increased 2% over the same period last year but decreased 4% year‐to‐date. Holds account for 23% of total circulation and holds filled through October are running even with last year. Circulation at the Bellevue Library decreased 6% as patrons have begun using other libraries in anticipation of the parking garage construction project, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, November 28.

KCLS will be issuing a request for bids for four new outreach vehicles to supplement the current Library2Go fleet. The new vehicles should be in operation by May or June and will be outfitted with technologies geared towards students but flexible enough to include collections targeted for kids, teens and adults.

Thanks to the advocacy of KCLS Foundation board member Emily Rollins, KCLS received $70,000 in pro bono consultation from Deloitte to assist KCLS with the development of tools to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of librarians’ activities. After spending time with staff and reviewing the Future Services Strategy, Deloitte devised systems for tracking activities, made recommendations for using KCLS’ Intranet for collaborating and sharing best practices and developed methods to align activities with System priorities. KCLS’ Public Services Team is working on implementing the recommendations by the second quarter of 2012.

KCLS had more than 80 participants at the 2012 Preliminary Budget Public Hearings held at four community libraries in early November. The expansion of KCLS’ eBook collection and developing an expanded social media presence were topics that were well received at the meetings. Staff will share feedback from the hearings at the November Board meeting for the Board’s consideration prior to approval of the final budget in December.

KCLS continues to be in high demand since being named 2011 Library of the Year. At the end of October, Darien Library invited me to speak at their annual meeting in Darien, Connecticut and attendees were quite interested to hear about KCLS’ programs and services. In the meantime, Kent District Library (KDL) in Michigan has expressed interest in forming a relationship between
the administrative staffs of our respective libraries to share thoughts, ideas and best practices. KDL’s Information Technology Director visited KCLS earlier this month and not only toured KCLS’ facilities but also sat in on the Auburn cluster’s Technology Forum. Seven members of the St. Louis County Library System’s management team also spent two days touring library facilities and meeting with KCLS Administrative Planning Team counterparts. The following week, staff from Fraser Valley Library System in British Columbia was onsite to tour of KCLS’ Library2Go vehicles and to learn about KCLS’ efforts to expand outreach services.

Friends Day was held on October 22. This year’s theme, “World’s Greatest Friends: Setting a Course for the Future” tied in with the 50th anniversary of the Century 21 World’s Fair in Seattle. More than 100 Friends attended and learned more about technology, new library buildings, outreach efforts and shared best practices. As is customary at Friends Day, the KCLS Foundation honored outstanding members of the Friends of the Library organizations. Congratulations to all the recipients.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient
Ed Heineman and Jeanne Thorsen,
KCLS Foundation Executive Director at the
Friends of the Kent Library meeting.

The KCLS Foundation presented a Special Award to the Great Books Foundation Discussion Group on Vashon Island. The group originated 61 years ago in the home of Grace Crecelius (center), a long‐time member of the Vashon Friends. The group now meets at the Vashon Library. Grace and fellow members pose with Jeanne Thorsen, KCLS Foundation.


The Renton City Council of the Whole reacted favorably to the initial design concept for the new Renton Library, which was presented by the architects and KCLS staff. In general, the building will include a transparent facade to the public spaces surrounding the new Library. KCLS also had a chance to inform the Council that in addition to the 15,000 square foot downtown Library, a new Renton Highlands Library is taking shape, the Newcastle Library will open in May, the 5,000 square foot expansion of the Fairwood Library should begin next year and acquisition of property for a new Skyway Library is being finalized.

The City of Renton has placed a measure on the February 2012 ballot to annex the West Hill area. Given the State’s current budget crisis, the Governor has recommended that 10% of the sales tax incentive to annex unincorporated areas be withdrawn. The cut was not nearly as deep as some cities feared but it will be interesting to see if it affects the City of Renton’s decision to annex West Hill or the City of Burien’s decision to annex North Highline.

The City of Bothell had a measure on the November ballot to annex a portion of Snohomish County. The assessed value of the area is $3 billion and would have generated $1.5 million for KCLS, which would have helped balance the cross use between KCLS and Sno‐Isle Library System patrons. One of the fire districts in the area determined that annexation might have a negative impact on fire service so they campaigned vigorously against the measure, which failed by 55%. City of Bothell officials have indicated that they may try to clear up the issues with the fire district and try again in the not too distant future.

Although KCLS received a very positive report from the State Auditor’s office on its 2010 Financial Statement, Accountability and Federal Grant Compliance Audits, there have been some troubling reports that an auditor in another library district determined that a library’s Foundation must act within the same statutory limits as the public library. For example, the KCLS Foundation funds books and other incentives that are given away as prizes for the Summer Reading Program. Based on the above interpretation, Foundations would be banned from making gifts of public funds under the same prohibition that governs public libraries. The auditor also took a strict interpretation of allowable activities for library spending. For instance, gaming programs for teens were viewed as recreational and not within the scope of legitimate library activities, and also indicated that programs conducted outside of library facilities are not appropriate use of funds. The Washington Library Association’s Legislative Committee will be reviewing these opinions and developing a course of action against such limited restrictions being imposed on library Foundations and library activities.

Library Advisory Board Forums were held before each of the public budget hearings the week of November 7. Participants were charged with clarifying and expanding the role of Advisory Boards to encompass broader community engagement to correspond with KCLS’ services strategy. Board members had lively and productive conversations and KCLS will be using their feedback to revise Library Advisory Board job descriptions to better define roles moving forward. The input is especially timely as discussions are underway about establishing Library Advisory Boards for the cities of Newcastle, Federal Way and Black Diamond. The City of SeaTac is also examining the roles and mission of its Library Advisory Board.


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Upcoming Dates

The next Finance Committee Meeting takes place on Tuesday, December 13, 4pm at the Service Center.

The next KCLS Board of Trustees Meeting takes place on Tuesday, December 13, 5pm at the Service Center.