For so many King County residents, December is a time of celebration with family and friends. Candles, tree-lightings and other holiday festivities brighten winter’s dark days and can inspire delight.
For others, the season can be a time of challenge.
The King County Library System acknowledges the various aspects of the holidays, and is here to help as well as celebrate the season.
December is also a time for us to reflect on the past year–with gratitude.
KCLS can look back at many accomplishments. Our patrons are now able to join us with more open library hours and expanded in-person and online programming. Staff continue to create opportunities for people of all backgrounds to read, learn, enjoy art and music, connect with others and to receive a wide range of assistance.
Addressing needs while ensuring there is something for everyone is a big part of our annual budget process, which will culminate December 14 when the Board of Trustees votes to approve the 2023 budget. Thanks to a grant providing hybrid meeting technology, all in-person Board of Trustees meetings are now streamed online. For more information, please see our website: https://kcls.org/library-board-members/
The proposed budget reflects KCLS’ intention to ensure the broadest possible access to library resources, providing high value while remaining strong stewards of public funding. Patrons will be pleased to know that the balanced budget we are delivering to the Board includes hiring more staff in order to further expand open-library hours in early 2023. It also incorporates funding for the programs and materials our patrons love and expect, while making sure we meaningfully respond to community needs.
As we look back at 2022, KCLS takes pride in knowing we’ve made a difference in people’s lives and that our budget will allow us to continue doing so. We partnered with students, teachers and parents to provide homework and other educational assistance. We ramped up our support for Veterans, older adults and adults, and offered programs to address mental health issues. Summer Reading and early literacy efforts gained new impetus through grant funding, and Mobile Services expanded digital access for many patrons, including people experiencing homelessness. We also took steps to reduce our carbon emissions through a partnership with Puget Sound Energy.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or simply gather with friends and family, KCLS hopes you will engage with others and take advantage of what your local library has to offer. Story Times, author visits and art programs abound. You can make your own holiday ornament or poinsettia; listen to The Dickens Carolers, attend Winterfest Stories and Crafts or join us for Holiday Sing-Alongs.
For those seeking help over the holidays, our in-person and online assistance programs include the weekly Community Resource Center at Redmond and Welcoming Centers. You can find more information at kcls.org.
Please note that KCLS Libraries will be closed on Christmas Eve, December 24, Christmas Day, December 25 and New Year’s Day, January 1, 2023.
We hope you can make the most of this time of year, including visiting your local library!