Despite COVID-19, KCLS still puts on a show

In March 2020, King County Library System was poised to present it’s first-ever KCLS Reel Fest Film Premiere and Awards Show at the IKEA Performing Arts Center in Renton.

Then came the pandemic. And like other large gatherings that were postponed or cancelled to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Reel Fest was put on hold, too.

But we have good news! After months of working through challenging logistics and technical hurdles, the show will go on! Reel Fest is now scheduled as a virtual event on Monday, September 28, 7pm.

The short-film contest asked the question, “What does the library mean to you?” and 115 patrons responded. In all, 91 creative and heartwarming videos were submitted. Winners will be announced in both youth and adult categories, and the top three will take home cash prizes made possible through an anonymous donation to the KCLS Foundation.

Visit to register and receive a link to the event, which will be broadcast on YouTube. It should be an inspiring show, so I hope you will join us!

KCLS also is very excited to announce that patrons will soon have 24/7 access to holds pickup through an innovative locker system for libraries. Plans are underway to install 90 individual locker compartments at both the Bothell and Covington Libraries at the end of September. Patrons will be able to designate either locker site as their “preferred location” when they place holds, and will receive a locker access code via text or email when their items are ready for pick up.

KCLS focused on installing locker systems at two locations – one north, one south – and identified Bothell and Covington as pilot sites based on circulation volume, adequate infrastructure for installation, shelter from rain, and parking-lot capacity. The lockers will be ready for use in October. As with Reel Fest, KCLS is grateful to the Foundation for providing the funding to make this service possible.

KCLS continues to find other ways to increase access to our collection while libraries are closed. A recent policy revision now enables patrons to renew books and other physical materials up to five times, as long as the items are not on hold for another borrower. Also, while due dates for physical items are still in effect, KCLS has extended no-fines until December 31. We do, however, encourage patrons to return their items as soon as possible so that other patrons who are waiting can enjoy them.

KCLS is always looking for creative, leading-edge ways to serve our patrons. And we continue to do so, now more than ever.