Director’s Blog March 2024

The King County Library System is ready for a busy month in March.

Our new Executive Director, Heidi Daniel, arrives at KCLS March 11, and we are eager to start a new chapter under her highly capable leadership. Heidi led the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland for over six years and was selected after a nationwide search. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, and we are so pleased she agreed to move across the country to take the KCLS reins.

Heidi comes at a time when KCLS is launching its 1 Million Reads challenge, celebrating Women’s History Month, hosting a popular competition for entrepreneurs, offering a number of inspiring author events­--and much more.

The 1 Million Reads challenge, which kicked off March 1, is an initiative by the Library’s Intellectual Freedom Committee as part of a year-long Celebrate the Freedom to Read campaign. People of all ages are invited to read or listen to books of their choice, tracking their own minutes toward a county-wide goal of 1 million minutes. The challenge encourages exploration of different perspectives. It runs from now until December 31, and offers a drawing for prizes, including customized bundles of books.

For some reading inspiration, check out KCLS’ author events. One very special author event, A Conversation with Ilyasah Shabazz, is being held March 7 at Renton Performing Arts Center. Shabazz, the daughter of civil rights icon Malcolm X, also known as Malik el-Shabazz, will discuss her personal insights and the enduring power of her father’s social justice message. The event also ties in with Seattle Opera’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which runs through March 9. Shabazz’s appearance is made possible through a KCLS partnership with the Seattle Opera and the Northwest African American Museum, and is funded in part by the King County Library System Foundation.

March is also Women’s History Month. Woodinville Library is holding a special author event March 16, Her Story, Her Words to celebrate women’s contributions to literature and the importance of empowering the next generation of female writers and readers. Library staff has also compiled a Women’s History Month book list.

For many years, KCLS has partnered with various organizations to help small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed, offering classes and providing a range of resources. On March 26, Renton Library will host the kickoff of the second annual Main Street Pitch Competition, as well as a series of educational workshops  supporting entrepreneurs. A live grand finale will be held June 11. Last year’s inaugural event, also sponsored by the Downtown Renton Partnership, drew nearly 70 people, with finalists pitching their business ideas in front of 220 people. Three winners each won $5,000. If you are looking for other small business support, check out our website.

Finally, as we head into tax season, don’t forget you can get free tax help at various libraries through a KCLS partnership with AARP and United Way of King County. Experts advise not waiting until the last minute; April 15 is the federal tax deadline.


Come join us this month, online or in person, and take advantage of all that KCLS has to offer!