Director’s Blog March 2023

Spring is around the corner–we hope–and the King County Library System is ready to deliver some wonderful events and programs.

On Saturday March 4, the KCLS Foundation is holding its annual Literary Lions Gala.  The Foundation provides critical funding to innovative library programs and services. The lively fundraiser event will feature award-winning journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson as keynote speaker. She will be joined by other remarkable authors and “literary lions.”

Come join us for a great dinner and stimulating conversation with fellow book lovers and library supporters. The registration deadline for the event, being held at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, is March 3.

While we look to the Foundation for valued financial support, KCLS in turn supports patrons through economic empowerment programs, helping entrepreneurs, small businesses and others thrive creatively and financially.

For the first time, the Renton Library has teamed with the Renton Downtown Partnership to launch a workshop series called the Main Street Entrepreneur and Small Business Pitch Competition. The series kicked off February 21, drawing nearly 70 people interested in learning more about how to transform their ideas into small-business reality.

Over the coming weeks, participants will learn from experts about business plans, financing, marketing and how to persuade others to invest in their idea. The workshops also provide mentors who share their own success stories.

Those who have not registered can still attend the free workshops by checking the KCLS website and contacting the partnership. Everyone is invited to attend the live pitch competition finale on April 18 at Renton Civic Theater at 6pm. The winning pitch will earn $5,000 and resources for a brick-and-mortar business in downtown Renton.

Throughout the year, KCLS offers economic inspiration and resources. A program series called Entrepreneur’s Roadmap, for example, helps people with financing and other business strategies. Check our website for the next available class.  

Many KCLS patrons have taken advantage of Invest in Yourself. This website is one-stop shopping for resources, including financial and employment assistance, small-business and entrepreneur classes, and rental and other help.

I probably do not have to remind people that it is tax season. Patrons needing help filing their taxes can head to 15 of our libraries to receive free in-person assistance, thanks to KCLS partnerships with the AARP Foundation and United Way of King County. These events began last month and will run until Tuesday, April 18. Visit for resources plus dates, times and library locations. 1040 forms and instruction booklets also are available at any library.

Enjoy visiting your nearby library for these programs and much more. The Library System is a source of trustworthy information, and is here to provide answers, guidance and support to all King County residents.