Libraries are transformational spaces that our communities depend on for the tools and resources needed to improve lives, regardless of income or circumstances. Libraries are not simply a place to b; they are a place to do.
The week of April 9‐15 marks the 59th year of National Library Week, a time to celebrate the amazing work of libraries, librarians and library staff. No longer just a place for quiet study, public libraries are creative and engaging community centers where people can come together for a book club discussion on the latest great read, discover new technologies or explore job possibilities for a new career.
Libraries have evolved — and continue to evolve — to meet the needs of the communities they serve. By providing resources such as eBooks, technology classes, materials for English‐language learners, meeting
spaces, programs for job seekers, or a safe haven in times of crisis, King County Library System transforms the lives of students, small business owners, families, seniors, and the public at large every day, and in a variety of ways:
• Story Time programs target our youngest citizens, engaging them in fun activities centered around books and reading to start them on a path towards lifelong literacy;
• Citizenship classes, conversation groups and ESL workshops serve our growing immigrant population;
• Job skills programs and online training opportunities help individuals find employment and explore new career options;
• After school homework hotspots and online tutoring help K‐12 students stay on top of their academic performance;
• Wisdom Cafés and hands‐on programs provide opportunities for older adults to learn and explore new ideas, and share their experiences with others.
Libraries also offer something intrinsically valuable to their communities: the expertise of library staff.
Each day, staff assists patrons in using increasingly complex technology, and sorting through the overwhelming volume of information bombarding today’s digital society. Their unique skills are especially crucial when access to reliable and trustworthy data is more important than ever.
Although libraries have changed over the years, one thing remains the same. There is truly something for everyone at King County Library System. Whether you are looking for a copy of Asimov’s classic, “I, Robot,” or you want to take a class on robotics to build your own, we’ve got you covered.
To learn more about ways KCLS can transform your life, visit www.kcls.org or stop by your local library and check us out.
Celebrate National Library Week by borrowing or downloading one of these great books from our 2017 Literary Lions authors:
• “The Butcher and the Vegetarian” by Tara Austen Weaver
Food blogger Weaver reveals her journey from strict vegetarian to carnivore.
• “Pure Food” by Kurt Dammeier
The latest cookbook from the man who brought us Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and more.
• “The Immortal Irishman” by Timothy Egan
Fascinating biography of Irish revolutionary Thomas Francis Meagher.
• “Before the Wind” by Jim Lynch
A novel that tells the story of a family of sailors and shipbuilders.
• “How to Survive a Robot Uprising” by Daniel H. Wilson
A humorous guide to battling mutinous robots, because it’s only a matter of time.
• “Heartless” by Marissa Meyer
A prequel to “Alice in Wonderland” that tells the story behind the Queen of Hearts.
Gary Wasdin is the director of the King County Library System.