Note: Stephen A. Smith was Interim Director in 2017
Thirteen years ago, the King County Library System embarked on an ambitious, long-term Capital Improvement
Plan that has made KCLS one of the busiest and most beautiful library systems in the country.
When King County voters approved a $172 million Capital Bond in 2004, it was a resounding endorsement of
libraries and their importance to the residents they serve. This strong show of support resulted in 16 new
libraries, 11 expanded libraries, 14 renovated libraries and two parking lot expansions. In all, the footprint of our
libraries has grown dramatically – almost 30% — providing more space for collections, programs and services,
and creating gathering places that are focal points in their communities.
Although two libraries in Renton (not funded by the bond) account for some of the additional square footage, the
capital bond funded three new libraries in communities that had never had one before: Greenbridge Library
completed in 2008; Newcastle Library completed in 2012; and Kent Panther Lake Library, which will be completed
Voters can take pride in state-of-the-art facilities that reflect the unique characteristics of their communities. The
bond measure also made possible the installation of new art work by notable, predominantly northwest artists.
The King County Library System’s public art collection is highly regarded, offering visual and intellectual
stimulation, and adding a rich dimension to both the interior and exterior of our libraries.
The long-awaited opening of the Tukwila Library on April 29 marked a significant milestone for KCLS in 2017.
Replacing the nearby Foster Library, the new 10,000 square-foot building anchors the City of Tukwila’s
long-range plan for the area, which includes a central plaza, mixed-use development, and other amenities.
The nearly 1,000 people who turned out for the library’s opening day celebration reflected a vibrant
community that is one of the most diverse in the nation.
KCLS is in the final phase of its Capital Improvement Plan with only two projects remaining: an interior update
of the Boulevard Park Library, and the new Kent Panther Lake Library, which will be the 50th library in
Residents have supported King County Library System for 75 years. Thank you for building a vital community
asset that has served generations of library patrons. With your continued support, KCLS will proudly
serve many more to come.
To learn more, please visit www.kcls.org/bond.