A welcoming message from the new director

The new KCLS director Lisa Rosenblum took the reins Jan. 16.

As the new director of the King County Library System, I am excited to relocate to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as leader of one of the finest library systems in the country, one with such a rich history and promising future.

While I am sorry to have missed KCLS’ 75th Birthday celebrations last year, I am happy to be here to mark another important milestone: the completion of KCLS’ $172 million Capital Improvement Plan approved by voters in 2004. Our final two projects — a new Kent Panther Lake Library and the remodel of Boulevard Park Library — will fulfill a promise to patrons to build 17 new libraries, renovate 15 libraries, and expand 11 other libraries and two parking lots. The Capital Improvement Plan increased the footprint of the Library System by 30 percent; its culmination is definitely cause for celebration.

One of the many reasons that drew me here is KCLS’ new strategic focus: a renewed commitment to listening and responding to our patrons and communities, and to create opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with each other through an array of programs and services.

In my 30 years of experience working at various library systems throughout the country, it is not as common as you might think for libraries to have a clearly defined Strategic Focus. But it is a critically important leadership tool and one I whole-heartedly embrace. Libraries have the power to change people’s lives and having a specific goal to work towards gives purpose to that power. I am impressed that the undertaking to identify a new Strategic Focus was not only far- sighted, but incorporated broad public input through surveys, meetings and other community interactions.

I am confident that KCLS’ strategic focus reflects the values our patrons and staff told us were important to them. Those values — knowledge, diversity, equity and inclusion and intellectual freedom— provide the framework for continuing to build on community partnerships that KCLS has developed over the years. For example, we work with county government to provide library service to incarcerated youth at juvenile-detention facilities. We bring books and programs to summer camps through our partnership with the YMCA. Library staff work with local food banks to provide summer meals for children who qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches during the school year. And mobile services vehicles serve residents in assisted-living facilities, Tent Cities and other locations to connect those who do not have access to a library with the materials, programs and resources they need.

Whether you’re attending a story time with your child, participating in a library- sponsored book club, seeking assistance with income taxes or a job search, attending a program on technology, or simply spending an afternoon browsing the shelves, all of us at KCLS look forward to bringing communities together for a new year of growth, learning and enrichment.

Lisa Rosenblum is the Director of the King County Library System. She started with KCLS on January 16, 2018.

More in Opinion

Mum’s the word: incorporate this plant into your season displays

If your landscape is not a blaze of autumn glory this week,… Continue reading

Lawmakers to governor: How dare you mess with our budget!

They want Jay Inslee to halt his planned $175 million reallocation of state transportation dollars.

Letters to the editor

Renton Councilmember, Mayor Law support Armondo Pavone Dear editor, For over 20… Continue reading

Making sense out of the census

2020 Census Renton needs your participation

Still more gardening to do before winter

It’s the third week of September and there is still plenty to… Continue reading

Guest opinion: Gov. Inslee passes up a chance to confront corporate ‘blackmail’

Jay Inslee had a chance recently to face his muggers. He didn’t… Continue reading

‘Butterfly effect’ brings change, good or bad, in all our lives

“Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set a… Continue reading

We all benefit when we’re open to new ideas

When I drive in my car, I often listen to the PBS… Continue reading

Fall is for hydrangeas

Don’t miss Windmill Gardens “Smart Gardening Ideas for Fall” at 10 a.m.… Continue reading

Letters to the editor for the week of Sept. 13

Reader wishes more council members were responsive Dear editor, Our council members… Continue reading

x
Did Inslee’s 12-word veto cross the line?

OLYMPIA — When Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a 12-word sentence in the… Continue reading

Letters to the editor for the week of Sept. 6

Reader argues for Renton’s inclusivity Dear Editor, With all my respect, I… Continue reading