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King County Library Director  Ptacek to leave

Long-time Director Bill Ptacek, (pronounced puh-TASS-ic) who has led KCLS since 1989 has been named CEO of the Calgary Public Library in Alberta, Canada effective February 1, 2014.

In 1990, KCLS operated 36 community libraries with an annual circulation above nine million items. During Ptacek’s leadership, KCLS experienced unprecedented growth and technology upgrades as King County’s population and economy expanded and local municipalities voted to join the Library System. Voter-approved capital improvement bond measures (passed in 1988 and 2004) funded new, replacement, and expanded libraries, adding nearly 515,000 square feet of library space, while annual circulation grew to more than 22 million items. Voters also passed a one-year levy increase during the 2009 economic crisis, demonstrating the community’s support of KCLS.

KCLS typically shares one of the top three spots for highest circulating public library in the United States and leads the US, Canada and Australia in eBook circulation. KCLS was named Busiest Library in 2010 and Library Journal’s 2011 Library of the Year.

Eastside Catholic fires educator for marrying partner

The firing of popular Eastside Catholic High School vice principal and swim coach Mark Zmuda for marrying his same-sex partner, Dana Jergens, last summer, had Eastside Catholic students upset. They expressed solidarity for Zmuda by conducting a sit-in at the school for several hours.

Sister Mary Tracy, president and CEO of the school, said Zmuda was in violation of the teachings of the Catholic Church, not something at Eastside Catholic.

“It’s a firm decision,” Tracy said. “If the teachings of the church change, I’d hire him back in a minute. He’s a wonderful educator.”

Zmuda received a Bachelor of Science in mathematics education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Virginia, and holds a Master of Arts in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Texas, with principal certification.

Zmuda’s last day at the school is Dec. 20.


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