Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 2012


Community Liaison Contact: Carol Van Baalen


Dream Big:  READ!

The summer reading program is in full swing at all KCLS libraries.  Children’s librarians have been out in the schools promoting the program with students during recent weeks.  Sign-up began on June 1, and the program continues until August 31.  Don’t forget to sign up your favorite child, grandchild, or neighbor!  For a complete list of June programs at your library, click here http://www.kcls.org/programs/library_programs.cfm or download the attachment with this newsletter.

Libraries Out in the Community

The Des Moines Friends are at the Farmers Market this summer, beginning on June 9 and continuing on the second Saturday of every month throughout the market season.  The Des Moines Farmers Market is located at the north end of the Des Moines marina, and hours are from 10am-2pm.  Staff from the Des Moines and Woodmont libraries will join the Friends at their booth for some of those dates.  The Friends will be passing out information about their organization and the library, and selling book bags and used books.

The Woodmont Friends also plan to be at the Des Moines market this summer.  They will have a booth on July 7, with information about the Woodmont Library and Friends.

Kent staff, along with the staff of the Covington Library, will be participating with an information booth and the Library2Go van at the Kent International Festival on June 16.  The festival will be at the Kent Town Square Plaza from 10am-6pm.

Let’s Read!

Children’s librarians from Kent, Des Moines and Woodmont will be participating in the Let’s Read program this summer.  KCLS is partnering with the Community Center for Education Results, the city of Kent, and several other south King County communities.  Let’s Read is focused on helping children meet the goal of reading at grade level by 3rd grade.  Our children’s librarians will bring library services, including story times, library cards, and summer reading program, to Kent and Des Moines Parks playground sites and several elementary schools. 

Upcoming Meetings:

Friends of the Des Moines Library            Wednesday, June 13, 7pm
Friends of the Kent Library                     Thursday, June 14, 12 noon
Friends of the Woodmont Library             Thursday, June 14, 7pm

The InfoToGo topic for June is Paying Library Fines Online. You may need to step foot inside a library to pick up your materials, but not to pay a fine. It’s now easier than ever to pay library fines online.



Director of Public Services Holly Koelling and staff met with members of a group called “KCLS Parents for Porn-Free Computers.” The group’s representative addressed the Board of Trustees a few months ago regarding concerns over Internet access at KCLS libraries, including what appears to them to be the inconsistent manner in which staff resolves inadvertent viewing conflicts, availability of privacy screens and civility of patrons’ interaction with staff. The group offered thoughtful insights and shared meaningful concerns and staff was able to address many of their issues. Other topics, including the use of imbedded monitors, guidelines for calling police and additional signage regarding parental responsibilities warrant further discussion. Staff will follow up at a later date.

KCLS honored its outstanding volunteers at several events during National Volunteer Week. More than 100 volunteers from around the System were recognized at Volunteer Appreciation Day at the KCLS Service Center on April 28 for helping with Netmaster, Study Zone, Citizenship, Talk Time and Outreach programs. During a question and answer session, many expressed interest in a letter-writing campaign to encourage publishers to sell eBooks to libraries. KCLS is providing publishers’ contact information and suggested that letter-writers send copies to Washington State legislators. In Federal Way, the Korean American Parents Association was honored for volunteering over 2,000 hours as Study Zone tutors. Volunteer recognition events were also held at the Lake Forest Park, Newport Way and Fairwood Libraries. KCLS extends sincere thanks to the more than 900 people who volunteer throughout the System each month.

System-wide circulation for the month of April was almost exactly the same as the prior year even though Bellevue Library’s circulation is down 25% during construction of the new parking garage. On the other hand, eBook circulation increased 127%. In related news, New York Public Library prevailed over KCLS in the second annual “Great Sort-Off” competition held on May 16. NYPL reported 12,258 sorts in a one-hour period compared to 11,308 sorts during KCLS’ highest hour. The trophy will be shipped to New York along with a gift of smoked salmon from the staff at Preston. Despite the loss, KCLS is proud of Shipping Manager Tony Miranda and the entire Materials Distribution Services staff, who were rewarded with Top Pot donuts at the end of their arduous day.

Web Services is in the process of updating the KCLS website and has contracted with several virtual users to conduct usability testing on a number of new features that will be included in the upgrade. In a side-by-side comparison, most participants preferred the new website design over the current site. While there were no issues that prevented users from successfully searching for information, some tweaks were suggested to improve certain aspects of the revision.

The second year of Take Time to READ launches in July and runs through September. Quick Reads Shelves, rocking chairs and walking tour posters will be placed throughout King County, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Over 10,000 books and magazines have been donated for Quick Reads Shelves and staff from nearby libraries, officially known as “brand ambassadors”, will be responsible for restocking them.

KCLS kicked off a week-long celebration of El día de los niños/El día de los libros from April 28 to May 4. The Day of Children/Day of Books is a traditional celebration in the Hispanic community. KCLS hosted a variety of Dia! programs at almost all branches throughout the System and participated in an event at the Southcenter Mall that attracted over
500 people and the praise of Tukwila Mayor Haggerton. A similar event at Crossroads Mall drew another great crowd and several officials, including Bellevue Mayor Conrad Lee.

Lorig Associates has accepted a Right of First Offer for the remaining property behind the Newcastle Library. KCLS provided an appraisal and offer price on the property and a draft term sheet from Lorig is expected before the end of the month.

The City of Renton approved a ballot measure to allow citizens to vote on the location of the downtown Renton Library. KCLS will conduct an independent cost and feasibility analysis for renovating the current building located over the Cedar River. Cost estimates to construct a new library on the former Big 5 site will be completed by Miller-Hull Architects by the end of May, but are already showing signs of surpassing the budget which calls into question how much it will cost to renovate a larger building over a river. KCLS has typically encountered higher costs per square foot for renovation than for new construction.
A public meeting on May 3 for the new Renton Highlands Library was well-attended and the design plans presented at last month’s meeting to the Board of Trustees received favorable reviews. An issue remains whether the Renton Housing Authority’s developer will provide the underground parking for the apartment units and the Library. For a variety of reasons, the developer now proposes to bifurcate the project and provide only a shared driveway to the under-building parking. KCLS is considering this latest proposal. While allowing library construction to happen faster, KCLS would incur all of the infrastructure costs. This would add to the total project costs for the City of Renton.

City of Enumclaw voters passed a measure to annex to the King County Library System by a total of 44 votes. KCLS will officially take over operation of the Enumclaw Library on June 1. As with the Renton Libraries two years ago, the transition will take place gradually over the next few months and will consist of building and services upgrades, including technology, collections, furniture, staffing and hours of operation. KCLS staff met with current Enumclaw Library staff shortly after the election was certified to discuss transition plans.

The KCLS Foundation is applying for a grant from the Allen Foundation to secure additional funds for the Tukwila Library project. KCLS has been working with City of Tukwila officials to resolve outstanding issues over the purchase price of the land where the Library will be located. KCLS initially intended to lease space and budgeted for tenant improvements only. After the Tukwila Village development stalled, KCLS offered to purchase a portion of the property and construct a stand-alone library. In order for the project to move forward, KCLS requests that the City agree to the budget targets that now include property acquisition and shared infrastructure costs, or alternatively lease the land to KCLS for a nominal fee and retain the property rights if the Library ceases to operate or relocates. The Tukwila City Council meets on May 21 and staff hopes to report some news by the next Board meeting.


Facilities Development Director Kay Johnson will retire at the end of May after an illustrious 30-year career with the King County Library System. Prior to KCLS, Kay worked in libraries in Wisconsin and as a regional administrator for the Seattle Public Library. At KCLS, Kay served as a Director of Public Services for Children’s, Teens and Outreach Services. She moved to Facilities in 1989 and is likely responsible for the construction of more public libraries than anyone since Andrew Carnegie. A party in her honor will be held at the KCLS Service Center on Wednesday, May 23 at 2pm.


View all at http://www.kcls.org/bond/or sign up here to receive automatic updates on the KCLS Capital Improvement Projects!

Upcoming Dates

The next Planning Committee Meeting takes place on Thursday, June 7, 12pm at the Mercer Island Library.

The next Finance Committee Meeting takes place on Tuesday, June 19, 4pm at the Burien Library.

The next KCLS Board of Trustees Meeting takes place on Tuesday, June 19, 5pm at the Burien Library.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

May 2012

Community Liaison Contact: Carol Van Baalen  


Library Garden Progress
Woodmont’s Library Garden Planting was a huge success!  The sun shone on Planting Day, April 21, and about 75 children and parents participated in the planting.  Now the tiny plants—radishes, lettuce, and peas-- are popping up in the 4 x 10 foot garden plot on the north end of the library property. 
The next program in the season of events is a Library Garden Craft Night, scheduled for May 29, at 7pm.  The next planting party will be on Saturday, June 2.  Come take a look at the garden!  A special thanks to the Woodmont Friends, who are sponsoring the garden programs.

May Program Highlights

Travel as a Volunteer, a Rick Steves travel program, Saturday, May 5, 1pm, at the Kent Library. For adults.

Cycling the Americas Project, in celebration of Bike Month, Sunday, May 6, at 2pm at the Des Moines Library.  A brother/sister duo share their experiences biking from California to Uruguay.  For adults.

Developing the Author Within with writer/poet Janet Wong, Saturday, May 12, 2pm, at the Kent Library.  For teens.

Caspar Babypants Concert, Friday, May 18, 10:30am at the Kent Library.  For children and parents.

Rick Steves Italy, from Milan to Rome, Sunday, May 20, 2pm at the Des Moines Library.  For adults.

Charlie Hope Music Concert, Tuesday, May 22, 7pm at the Woodmont Library.  For children and parents.

Introduction to Genealogy with Claudia Breland, Thursday, May 31, 6:30pm at the Woodmont Library.  For adults.

For a complete list of programs at the Des Moines, Kent and Woodmont libraries, please open the attachments with this newsletter, or click on this link:  http://www.kcls.org/programs/library_programs.cfm

The Des Moines/Woodmont Library Advisory Board met Thursday, May 3, 1:30pm at the Des Moines Library.  The meeting included a meet-and-greet time with the library staff.  Carmen Scott, member of the Des Moines City Council, also attended the meeting and provided the board with an update on council news.

Tony Wilson, library board president, attended the Washington Library Association annual conference in Tulalip on April 19 and 20. 

The InfoToGo topic for May is Library Elf which can be accessed at www.kcls.org/elf.



Each night, there are up to 1,000 young people in the Seattle area who have no place to sleep. Many have fled abusive homes, been kicked out, or cannot be kept by their families. Two years ago, Councilmember Kathy Lambert asked if KCLS would be interested in participating in a national program called “Safe Place” which helps connect young people in crisis with emergency shelter and counseling. Participating organizations display Safe Place window clings indicating the facility is a safe haven where youth can go to seek assistance and wait for help to arrive. Youth find out about the program through school and community outreach. Safe Place is run by Youth Care in partnership with King County Metro, Auburn Youth Resources and Friends of Youth and is currently offered in 40 states. KCLS will be joining other community partners as a Safe Place to help ensure youth in crisis are connected with the people and resources they need.
KCLS is gaining recognition as an important agency in its efforts to improve school readiness and early literacy. Library2Go is now visiting over 40 percent of all registered home day care centers in its service area. Starting in May, staff will offer more activities geared toward improving preschoolers’ reading readiness. This effort is in addition to the “Let’s Read” project that KCLS is launching in partnership with the Community Center for Education Results (CCER) to encourage summer reading among low income families.
Workflow analysis of KCLS’ collections management operations will be completed in time for KCLS’ new Evergreen developer, Catalyst, to begin work on key software improvements in the areas of selection and order, and cataloging and processing. Catalyst will spend the next ten weeks using an agile software development process, involving sprints of rapid development and user feedback. During this initial engagement, KCLS will assess whether Catalyst’s development process is efficient and effective, and if so, retain the firm to develop further software enhancements of KCLS’ catalog.

Circulation increased 2% System-wide in March and increased 3% year-to-date compared to the prior year. Circulation of eBooks increased 124% for the month. Holds placed increased a healthy 5%, indicating that both print and eBooks collections are in high demand.
As reported at last month’s Board meeting, KCLS’ news Social Media team has already generated significant social networking traffic. In the first half of April, Twitter re-tweets increased from 80 to 95 and Facebook ‘Likes’ were more than four times higher than the entire month of March. Social media analytics will be captured and reported in the monthly Dashboard soon.

The Civil War book discussions and related programs including Fiddle Tunes of the Civil War, Civil War Quilts, The Civil War in Cinema, and The Civil War in Washington Territory held at libraries throughout the System have been very well received.  Each discussion was led by Dr. Lorraine McConaghy from the Museum of History and Industry. More Civil War programs are scheduled for the remainder of April and May.


Last month, the Renton City Council voted to relocate the Renton Library, but has since decided to put a measure on the August 7 ballot to allow citizens to weigh in on the issue. The City has already issued construction bonds, purchased a site and incurred several hundred thousand dollars of design costs. At the April City Council meeting, KCLS expressed a number of concerns with the current site, including reservations about the City’s ability to get necessary permits to renovate the building over the Cedar River.  KCLS also questioned the City’s estimated costs to renovate the existing building, which are not in line with costs KCLS has incurred for its own recently renovated libraries. KCLS has anticipated that the new Renton and Renton Highlands Libraries will be substantially completed by 2014 and will continue to move forward with the design process.
Initial election returns as of April 19 show that the measure to annex the City of Enumclaw to KCLS is ahead by only 14 votes with 36% of the votes counted. If the measure passes, KCLS will assume responsibility for library operations in June.

The ballot measure by the City of Bothell to annex a portion of unincorporated Snohomish County is failing by 63%. The City was making a second attempt at annexation after the first measure failed in November. The annexation would have generated up to $1.5 million additional revenue to KCLS.
As anticipated, the Burien City Council voted in favor of placing annexation of unincorporated North Highline on the November ballot.  The KCLS Board of Trustees voted to postpone capital improvements in the North Highline service area until the annexation issue is resolved. In the meantime, KCLS is focused on negotiations with the City of Tukwila for the Tukwila Library project.
KCLS was named 2012 Organization of the Year at the Municipal League Civic Awards dinner on April 5. More than 200 people gathered to acknowledge award recipients, including King County Executive Dow Constantine (James R. Ellis Leadership Award), Bellevue City Councilmember Grant Degginger (Public Official of the Year) and Senators Steve Litzow and Ed Murray (Warren G. Magnuson Memorial Award.) Bill Ptacek and KCLS Board of Trustees President Jim Wigfall accepted the award for KCLS.

As mentioned last month, KCLS’ Take time to READ presentation was well received by those in attendance at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia. The Independence Public Library in Kansas, named 2012 Best Small Library in the United States, will launch its own book cover walking tour and KCLS expects to hear that more libraries will be adopting elements of the program as well. As the saying goes, imitation is the highest form of flattery.


View all at http://www.kcls.org/bond/or sign up here to receive automatic updates on the KCLS Capital Improvement Projects!

Upcoming Dates

There next Planning Committee Meeting takes place on Thursday, May 10, Noon at the Burien Library.

The next Finance Committee Meeting takes place on Tuesday, May 22, 4pm at the Service Center.

The next KCLS Board of Trustees Meeting takes place on Tuesday, May 22, 5pm at the Service Center.