November will be another busy month for the King County Library System, as we focus on Elections, the annual budget, Veterans, and Native American Heritage Month with a range of activities and programs.
The General Election Day is Tuesday November 8, and KCLS is doing its part to provide factual, trustworthy information to voters and to make it easier to vote. Partnering with the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS), we are hosting Voter Hubs at a total of eight libraries through early November. These “hubs” educate people on voter eligibility, registration and other pertinent information. Residents also can take advantage of citizenship test preparation classes at the Federal Way Library in November and December.
As part of our ongoing Author Voices series, we recently hosted Brandy Colbert, whose talk about her book, The Voting Booth, drew an enthusiastic crowd to the Ikea Performing Arts Center in Renton.
KCLS also has partnered with King County Elections to provide secure ballot drop boxes at 23 of our 49 community libraries. These library sites broaden the county’s reach, helping to bring the total number of drop boxes to 73 to ensure voters have greater access and convenience. For more election information, please visit kcls.org/elections.
Closely following Election Day is Veterans Day, November 11. In honor of those in the military who have served their country, the Library System is offering a number of programs, but will close libraries for the federal holiday. Programs include a chance for kids ages nine to 12 to create poppies and special displays and to thank Veterans at the Vashon Library. In partnership with Everyone for Veterans and other local organizations, the Covington Library will host a Veterans Town Hall, featuring open-mic sessions amid an atmosphere of respect and support.
KCLS also is offering an online social security class aimed at Veterans and their families. And as part of our Author series, a mother and daughter, both U.S. Army Veterans, will give an online talk on their book, Lita & Jean: Memoirs of Two Generations of Military Women.
For more information on Veterans programs and events, please see kcls.org/veterans/.
Also in November, Native American Heritage Month features some inspiring talks by award-winning authors Darcie Little Badger and Kevin Noble Maillard. Badger’s A Snake Falls to Earth was long-listed for a National Book Award and received a Newbery Award Honor. She is a member of the Lipan Apache Tribe. Maillard, an enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, wrote Fry Bread: a Native American Family Story, which in 2020 received both the Sibert Medal and the American Indian Youth Literature Honor.
KCLS’ annual budget season is underway as well. On October 26, we presented our preliminary Budget Book to the KCLS Board of Trustees. We will hold a public hearing November 16.
Board President Anne Repass and I shared the KCLS budget process in our annual presentation to the King County Council October 17. We also discussed KCLS program highlights, the recent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Assessment findings, and informed the council about our plans to expand library open hours.
I’ll add to this full monthly agenda a public reminder to set clocks back for Daylight Savings Time November 6. We hope to see you at your local library, and do enjoy that extra hour of reading!