Director’s Blog June 2023

Summer has arrived, and the King County Library System is rolling out an inspiring lineup of activities and events for everyone to enjoy.

June marks the start of our Summer Reading Program, as well as a time to celebrate and honor our mission of inclusion. In the month of June, we will celebrate diversity with Pride Month, World Refugee Day, and Juneteenth (June 19) events.

We are excited about Summer Reading this year, kicking off amid our recently expanded hours of operation. Our signature Summer Reading Program engages people of all ages and helps to bridge the academic gap between the end of the school year and students’ fall return to classrooms. It also addresses a nationwide concern about COVID’s impact on learning loss and lower test scores, especially in math and reading. Research shows that reading helps offset learning loss by building literacy and communication skills and prepares students for the coming academic year.

Summer Reading, which began June 1 and runs through August 31, invites everyone to read for pleasure and to track and to log the minutes read online or at one of our 50 libraries in King County. Participants are encouraged to read at least 20 minutes a day, whether individually, reading to others, listening to an audiobook or attending programs like Story Times. Check out for booklists, events, and instructions on how to win special prizes.

In June, we are celebrating diversity in multiple ways. Libraries will be closed June 19 in honor of the federal holiday Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of African Americans from slavery. KCLS is celebrating African American freedom and heritage with special events, including a SilverKite Community Arts celebration on June 21. The online program features speakers, storytelling, music, movement, and reflection on Juneteenth’s significance. On June 10, Federal Way Library hosts a Juneteenth celebration, including activities in its new Makerspace. The event also will feature exhibits from the American Traveling History Museum: The Unspoken Truths, including Mother Africa and Black inventors. Founder and curator Delbert Richardson will share information.

KCLS staff also has compiled an impressive Juneteenth booklist for perspective on the day’s importance.

KCLS celebrates Pride Month with events and programs, including a Pride Celebration June 30 at the Renton Library and a Rainbow Read-Out June 17 at the Bellevue Library. Libraries host year-round Rainbow Story Times. An LGBTQIA+ booklist also has been created by staff.

KCLS honors the many refugees and immigrants who now call King County home.

The theme for World Refugee Day (June 20) is compassion. The day aims to create more awareness of refugee and immigrant experiences and our common humanity. KCLS is partnering with the Refugee Congress and International Rescue Committee on June 24 for a World Refugee Day Global Village event at Foster High School in Tukwila from 12-5pm. Patrons can enjoy a marketplace with international food, kids’ activities, booths, and performances.

There is a lot going on this month at KCLS. Attend our programs, check out staff recommendations and the 10 to Try challenge, and engage with your local library!