Director’s Blog April 2024

Greetings King County! My name is Heidi Daniel, King County Library System’s new Executive Director. I’d like to welcome everyone to an exciting month of literacy, learning and celebration at KCLS.

April is packed with events and programs to help King County residents grow, connect and honor others. Whether you are interested in poetry, a reading challenge, multicultural Story Times, volunteerism or environmental stewardship, there is something for everyone.

This is a month when we celebrate the importance of public libraries, workers and volunteers. KCLS is offering many ways for patrons to participate in National Library Week (April 7–13). Patrons can join our 1 Million Reads Challenge, recognize favorite staff members, volunteer with a Friends group or create a short video describing how libraries make a difference in your life. For more information, check out

On April 9, National Library Workers Day, the King County Council will present to me, on behalf of KCLS, a document proclaiming Washington State Library Week and honoring library staff who work so hard on behalf of patrons. National Volunteer Week, April 21-27, recognizes the thousands of people nationwide who give their time and talents to benefit library patrons, including KCLS’ more than 500 volunteers.  I personally want to say thank you for the way KCLS’ staff has shown appreciation and understanding of their communities as I have been visiting our community libraries.  Their passion for their neighborhoods and for the Library clearly shows.  I am also looking forward to getting to meet the volunteers and Friends of the Library groups who support their work!

Becoming more aware of our impact on the environment is another major theme this month. KCLS will celebrate Earth Day (April 22) and Earth Week (April 22-26) with Earth Week programs ranging from art and science exploration to recycling and repairs. Upon moving to the Pacific Northwest, I am constantly in awe of the natural beauty, and am so proud we are offering these education programs to support keeping our environment healthy!

The Library System takes environmental stewardship seriously. We recently became the only library system in the country to be awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to develop a Climate Action Plan. The $133,252 NEH grant, plus matching funds from the KCLS Foundation, will enable us to evaluate climate adaptation and mitigation strategies to reduce our carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency. The goal is to create a formal plan that can be shared with other libraries. Our consultants will present a plan update to the KCLS Board of Trustees April 24.

Multicultural literacy is at the forefront of library efforts as well. KCLS will hold its 28th annual Dia Celebration April 20-28, with a special event April 27 at Auburn Library featuring multilingual Story Times, author talks and music programs. Dia, also known as Children’s Day/Book Day (El Día del niño y del libro), emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. 

KCLS is also holding World Language Listening sessions to learn more about what various communities need and would like from their libraries.  

Also tied in with literacy is April’s National Poetry Month, which has become one of the largest literary celebrations in the world, with millions of readers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers and others marking the importance of poetry for all cultures. The Library System has a number of events celebrating poets and the written word, including an online poetry contest April 1-30. The winner in each of three age groups will receive a $25 gift card, generously donated by the KCLS Foundation. For more information, see

Your local library offers inspiration, knowledge and resources. Our staff can help you enjoy many of this month’s events, point you to tax or small business assistance, or find your next book, eBook or audiobook. Librarians have even curated a special reading list in honor of Autism Acceptance Month.

There’s a lot going on at King County Library System, and I’m honored to be part of the team.  I look forward to seeing you at your local KCLS library!