The King County Library System salutes local military Veterans, and has ramped up services and programming to support those who have served or who are serving our country.
KCLS libraries will be closed November 11 in honor of Veterans Day. Throughout the month of November and beyond, online programs and in-library events aim to help military Veterans and their families, and to acknowledge the sacrifice military service entails.
We have established a new Veterans webpage, kcls.org/veterans, designed to make it easier for Veterans to find programs and services. Many involve local partnerships.
A webinar series, called Operation Entrepreneur is being held November 1-4 during National Veterans Small Business Week. A virtual Veterans Resource Fair on November 9 features community organizations that offer Veterans assistance. In addition, on November 10, a Veterans Day Town Hall Virtual Lunch and Learn event offers an opportunity for the community to listen and learn from those who have served in combat zones. The goal for this event is to foster a better understanding between the civilian and Veteran communities–and to inspire civilian participation in caring for Veterans. On Fridays of each week, Federal Way Library is hosting an information table with Valley Cities Veteran Services, offering Veterans and their families assistance with medical benefits, housing, employment, counseling and more.
In other significant news, KCLS is adding new services in the year ahead, thanks to new partnerships and grants that significantly expand opportunities for the public.
The Library System recently received a $364,480 grant through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The grant will enhance KCLS’ digital content, resources and inclusion efforts to further support education, health and workforce development. In addition, the funding will be used to upgrade meeting and study-room technology to better facilitate programming and public participation, to install contactless lockers for hold pickups at two additional libraries, and to provide online LanguageLine translation service.
KCLS also has been awarded $154,000 from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) to purchase 200 Wi-Fi hotspots and 200 laptops. The ECF is a $7.17 billion program funded by ARPA to help schools and libraries support remote learning.
Continually mindful of COVID-19’s impacts on local communities, on October 13 KCLS launched a unique partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help improve community access to the technology and resources needed to register for FEMA Funeral Assistance. For patrons who may have incurred pandemic-related funeral, burial, or cremation expenses on or after January 20, 2020, FEMA may be able to help with some of those costs. Library staff can assist with the application process.
One final note: Please remember to vote on Election Day November 2. It is coming up fast, but ballot drop boxes at 23 KCLS libraries makes voting easy and convenient.
The Library System offers something for everyone, and hopes King County residents will take advantage of the growing number of ways libraries can make a difference in their lives. We hope to see you at the Library!