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.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Points of contention on police inquests in King County

Inquests frequently unfold against a backdrop of sadness and drama: Family members’… Continue reading

Armondo Pavone is the Mayor of Renton.
Renton needs a defined timetable for homeless shelter | Guest editorial

By Armondo Pavone and Ruth Pérez, Special to the Renton Reporter The… Continue reading

Doreen Davis, left in mask, waves at parade participants on May 2. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Wear your face-hugging, ever-loving mask | Editorial

“Don’t make me come down there.” — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo,… Continue reading

Valley police chiefs of King County release unified message in response to death of George Floyd

Police chiefs of Des Moines, Tukwila, Renton, Federal Way, Kent, Auburn, Algona, Pacific, Black Diamond and the Port of Seattle pledge to stand with communities.

Back to the wild — a whole new outdoor recreation world | Guest editorial

When enjoying the great outdoors, continue to socially distance and be aware of how else COVID-19 has changed our world.

KCLS is stepping up its commitment to patrons

KCLS has expanding its online resources so patrons can continue to learn, build skills, stay entertained and remain mentally and physically active amid the pandemic.

Ardra Arwin.
‘Let’s not go out and play!’

A poem by Renton resident Ardra Arwin, age 8

How using a face mask to cover my Asian face could put me in danger

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Asians and Asian Americans have been targeted.

Opinion: Public deserves honest information on sex education

The Washington comprehensive sex education bill passed in the Senate on March 7.

Grocery store staff are working hard to keep the shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo
Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

Catch each other during this fall

How we can use the quarantine to reflect on necessary social changes

To our elected officials: Be bold, be consistent, be honest, be helpful

By Patrick Grubb, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Governor Jay Inslee has been… Continue reading