Focusing on knowledge, equity and inclusion

As a public institution, the King County Library System serves people of all ages, abilities, genders, ethnicities, cultures and economic backgrounds. The values that guide our work —knowledge, diversity, equity and inclusion, and intellectual freedom — ensure that patrons have equal access to our libraries and that all feel welcome.

Demonstrating our values means addressing the needs and interests of our diverse communities. It is also an opportunity to build understanding and connection among community members who have different life experiences.

Throughout the year, KCLS shines a light on diversity by offering programs tied to monthly observances that celebrate, commemorate or raise awareness of issues, groups or events. From Autism Awareness Month (April) to LGBT Pride Month (June) to Native American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November), multi-cultural programs provide opportunities for library patrons to acknowledge the experiences that define us as individuals and recognize the characteristics that bond us as human beings.

KCLS plays an important role as convener, bringing people together in a welcoming environment to learn from experts and from each other. For example, in Tukwila, where more than 80 world languages are spoken in school, the Tukwila Library participated in Welcoming Week, a national movement to bring immigrants, refugees and native-born residents together to highlight the benefits of a welcoming society. Throughout the week, library visitors could feel part of a larger community whether they gathered to discuss topics of interest, enjoy a documentary screening or simply read a book.

We enjoy tremendous freedoms and liberties as citizens of the United States. But for others who have fled war-torn countries or oppressive regimes, it may be difficult to understand the concept of a public library founded on the principles of Intellectual Freedom. At KCLS, it is our mission to provide free and open access to ideas and information. Every day, our staff has the privilege to introduce newcomers to their public library, a trusted institution where one can seek knowledge from all points of view without restriction.

And where everyone is welcome.


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

Jayendrina Singha Ray is a PhD (ABD) in English, with a research focus on the works of the South African Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee. She teaches English Composition and Research Writing at Highline College, WA, and has previously taught English at colleges in India.
Asian women and racial violence in the aftermath of Atlanta | Guest column

In her famous essay “The Laugh of the Medusa,” Hélène Cixous resurrects… Continue reading

Stock photo
Access to cash is a prescription for better health | Guest column

By Danny Low, For the Reporter As I see pictures of my… Continue reading

Talking points for next year’s legislative agenda | COMMENTARY

“Overall several million dollars are getting funneled into roughly two dozen new task forces, work groups and studies.”

Gun rights advocates won the battle, but may lose the war | COMMENTARY

“NRA leaders will need to decide if it’s worth putting resources into a fight in a Left Coast.”

Focusing on knowledge, equity and inclusion

As a public institution, the King County Library System serves people of… Continue reading

Fueling educational opportunity in Washington

By Allison Morrell How can public school students care for a sick… Continue reading

Children need more mental health services | GUEST COMMENTARY

By Rep. Tana Senn, guest commentator Every day I hear stories about… Continue reading

How to stress less in the face of uncertainty | GUEST COMMENTARY

“If you find yourself struggling with intense anxiety, hopefully you will find the Three Step Plan for Worry helpful.”

Stock photo
The right to vote helps rehumanize incarcerated people | Guest column

By Kim Bogucki, For The Reporter In 2008, I began asking incarcerated… Continue reading

Tim Eyman. File photo
Editorial: Judge’s rebuke of Eyman protects initiative process

Along with a $2.6 million fine, the ruling places restrictions on Eyman’s future initiative campaigns.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Regional homeless agency behind schedule, but there’s hope | Roegner

It is the middle of winter and it’s too cold for anyone… Continue reading