Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 2012

Community Liaison Contact: Carol Van Baalen


Happy New Year!  With the beginning of a new year, our three libraries are busy with a wealth of special programs for library patrons.  Here is a sampling for the month of January:

eReader Demos
Woodmont:  Tuesday, January 3, 7-9pm, and Wednesday, January 4, 1-3pm.

Clear Your Clutter and Organize for the New Year
Kent:  Monday, January 9, 7pm
Sponsored by the Friends of the Kent Library

Bridge to Basics
Kent:  Monday, January 9, 2-4pm
Woodmont:  Monday, January 9, 3-5pm
Bridge to Basics connects people to public benefits and money saving services such as food stamps, health care, utility assistance and other community resources.  Presented by WithinReach.

How to Grow Good Roses
Kent:  Saturday, January 28, 1pm

Clifford Kicks Off Winter Story Times
Bring your children or grandchildren, and get back in the Story Time habit.  Clifford, the Big Red Dog, will make a guest appearance at the first story time of the new year.

Woodmont:  Tuesday, January 10, at 7pm
Kent:  Thursday, January 12, at 1:30pm
Des Moines:  Tuesday, January 17, at 10:15am

Join a Book Group in 2012
If you’re not already in a book group, consider joining one of the groups that meet monthly at our libraries.  Here’s the schedule for January:

Knit Lit Book Group at Woodmont:  Thursday, January 5, 6-8pm.  This month’s book:  Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.

After Lunch Book Bunch at Kent:  Wednesday, January 11, 1pm.  This month’s book:  I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg

Woodmont Book GroupThursday, January 19, 7pm.  This month’s book:  Ford County by John Grisham

Des Moines Book GroupWednesday, January 25, 7pm.  This month’s book:  Agent Zigzag:  a true story of Nazi Espionage, Love and Betrayal.

Copies of the books for discussion are available at the library front desk, and new members are always welcome!

For a complete list of library programs, click on this link and then click on your branch, or open the attachments sent with this newsletter.

Upcoming Meetings:

Des Moines Library Advisory Board will meet at the Des Moines Library on Wednesday, January 11, at 7pm. 

The Board’s membership will remain the same this year, as Tony Wilson and Janet Sorby will return for second terms.  Other board members are Virg Staiger, Robin Lamoureux, and Melissa Ponder.

The InfoToGo topic for January is Library Programs.  There’s something for everyone at the library, from Story Times for children to Game On programs for teens to author visits for adults.


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


KCLS continues to hear news about a possible annexation of the Enumclaw Library into the King County Library System. Last month, the City Council approved an ordinance to pay for 2012 library operating expenditures from a property acquisition and development fund.  The ordinance also included language that the City is considering a decision, if annexation passes, to transfer the Enumclaw Library to KCLS with a stipulation that the Library not be closed prior to the transfer.  The 2012 operations budget for the Enumclaw Library is only $350,000, which significantly reduces the Library’s staff, open hours and materials budget.

The Renton City Council responded favorably to the initial design plans for the Renton Library. KCLS will now meet with City staff and Renton Library Advisory Board members in December to present initial design plans for the Renton Highlands Library in preparation for a public meeting on January 11. KCLS and the City are still trying to sort out issues regarding long-term ownership of that Library.  KCLS will own the building but the City of Renton will own the property.  Because it is part of a mixed use development, it does not quite fit into the guidelines of the inter-local agreement between the City and KCLS. 

The Tukwila City Council will review the process, terms and conditions for the sale of the land for the Tukwila Village project later this month.  The focus is on an agreement with the developer, Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG) but the Council will also set forth its requirements for KCLS’ role in the project. KCLS continues to operate under the assumption that KCLS will negotiate directly with SHAG on the property acquisition and shared development costs. KCLS will meet with Tukwila’s new City Administrator, David Cline, to get further clarification on the process. 

It was noted earlier in the year that the City of SeaTac was having reservations about the continuation of their Library Advisory Board.  The City agreed that they would wait to resolve the issue until KCLS had a chance to create a job description for Library Advisory Board members.  Based on feedback gathered during last month’s Library Advisory Board forums, SeaTac Library Advisory Board members have a renewed energy about newly defined roles and expanded responsibilities. Board members will meet with the City Council in January to report on library issues in the community.

The Washington Library Association’s Legislative Committee reviewed developments regarding recent library districts audits that called into question the activities of their Foundations as well as a range of other activities that are deemed “inappropriate” for libraries.  One library district in which this issue has come up has not yet had its exit conference with the State Auditor and feels it is best to review concerns at that time before engaging in any statewide effort to challenge the narrow interpretations.  The Auditor also issued a finding against the Timberland Regional Library (TRL) in Olympia about the amount its Foundation raised versus the amount that the Library spent to support the Foundation.  TRL’s Director feels that the finding is more a local issue and does not translate into a larger interpretation by the State Auditor’s Office regarding the role of public library foundations.

Public Services and Outreach staff members are working hard to develop programs and services for the four new Library2Go vehicles that will be on the road next year providing materials and technology to students.  KCLS is working on a partnership with the University of Washington’s Center for Game Science, which is world famous for “Foldit,” a game that relies on people’s innate sense of space to solve complex problems related to microbiology. The Center is putting some of those same practices in place to help students learn math and science. KCLS thinks the new Library2Go vehicles could be the perfect laboratories to test some of the Center’s gaming creations.

Students from Grass Lake and Moorlands Elementary Schools visited the KCLS Service Center to participate in the “You Choose the Next Newbery Award at KCLS” contest.  Eight books were chosen by the “You Choose…” committee and the students eloquently debated the virtues of each book before voting.  A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt tied with 41 votes each.  In January, discussions and voting will take place at Star Lake Elementary School in Kent, Woodmont K-8 School in Des Moines and Southern Heights Elementary School in Boulevard Park. Students from Opstad Elementary School in North Bend will be bused to Ridgecrest Elementary in Shoreline and North Hill Elementary students in Burien will be bused to Bow Lake Elementary School in SeaTac for discussions and voting.  The KCLS Foundation is paying for the buses and for the eight selected books for each class to read, discuss and keep for their school. 

There are some positive stories behind the 9% increase in System-wide circulation for the month of November.  After Evergreen launched, staff suspected that Self-Check Out kiosks were not working properly and that some circulated items were not being counted.  Circulation staff is confident that the problem has been completely resolved.  In addition, the number of holds placed increased 13% for the month, which appears to indicate that patrons have returned to using the catalog.  The Kenmore Library continues to see significant activity since opening last summer. Circulation increased 134% for the month and 49% for the year.  The Newport Way Library had an even higher percentage increase, especially when it’s taken into consideration that the branch was closed part of the year for renovations.

Digital downloads, most of which were eBooks, increased 193% for the month and 142% for the year.  At last month’s Board meeting, staff reported that Penguin had suspended distribution of current titles to Overdrive until licensing issues with Amazon were resolved.  Penguin has now restored all of the titles that KCLS had previously purchased and plans to offer new titles in the near future.  KCLS has also been told by Baker & Taylor that Axis 360, a digital media circulation platform that allows libraries to order both physical and digital content, will be fully functional by the end of December.  The Axis 360 collection features Blio, an eReading platform that enhances color and animated eBooks.  KCLS has been selected to be an Axis 360 beta site.


The 2011 Library Journal Directors’ Summit was held in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s Summit focused on outcome measurements for public libraries.  KCLS was invited to present its method for measuring budget outcomes that KCLS initiated last year as part of the annual budget process.  Attendees also heard from representatives in the fields of healthcare and higher education who are also using outcome methodologies to quantify community impacts. 

The annual KCLS Service Awards Reception was held on December 7.  Thirty five staff members were honored for 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years of service.  Many of the honorees expressed appreciation for their co-workers and the pleasure of working for KCLS where they get to see the results of their efforts every day.  Jane Nelson, Lead Library Assistant at the Des Moines Library was KCLS’ 45-year honoree.  Jane is a remarkable, young-at-heart woman who still has a great many years ahead of her at KCLS.       


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The next Planning Committee Meeting takes place on Thursday, January 12, 12pm at the Mercer Island Library.

The next Finance Committee Meeting takes place on Tuesday, January 24, 4pm at the Service Center.

The next KCLS Board of Trustees Meeting takes place on Tuesday, January 24, 5pm at the Service Center.