New Initiatives and Offerings Highlight a “Year of Rebuilding” for KCLS

At the King County Library System, a new year always ushers in exciting new opportunities and offerings for our patrons. We believe King County residents have a lot to look forward to in 2023!

KCLS is eyeing 2023 as a year of rebuilding, a chance to move well beyond former pandemic restrictions with greater access to library buildings, robust social and educational supports and hybrid access to programs and Board meetings. New and enhanced services and initiatives, ranging from environmental and fiscal stewardship to equity and technology, aim to nurture engagement, boost community spirit, and help residents flourish.

For starters, it will be a great year for reading. One thing patrons look forward to every year is our Best Books list. The 2022 Best Books list, recently released with KCLS’ top 100 books of the year, was selected from 212 nominations. The annual list includes 25 titles in each of the following categories: fiction, nonfiction, children and teen. Best Books are nominated by KCLS librarians and staff members who, collectively, read thousands of books each year. A selection committee then reviews the submissions and determines the final list, which for 2022 spanned a range of genres, from history to fantasy and science fiction.

January also brings a new list of categories for KCLS’ annual reading challenge, 10 to Try. Check out our website or pick up a 10 to Try bookmark at your local library.

You will be glad to know that in 2023 the Library System will be hiring more staff to further increase open-library hours. New less restrictive health guidelines also have allowed us to welcome back our highly valued program volunteers, as of January 2­.

Among other notable undertakings this year will be the implementation of numerous initiatives which were created based on results from a comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Assessment conducted in 2021-2022. Our Collections Management System (CMS) will conduct a Lean Library Project to reduce turnaround time of materials and to provide even more responsive service. Finally, we will offer patrons a chance to provide feedback through a System-wide patron satisfaction survey. These and other initiatives can be found in KCLS’ 2023 budget, adopted by the Board of Trustees last year.

On January 25, KCLS will present to the Board a new Materials Evaluation Policy, so stay tuned for information on how we select books to ensure intellectual freedom, while being respectful of both differing opinions and legal parameters

During the pandemic, KCLS continued to serve patrons with innovative services, online programming and a broad spectrum of support. In 2023, we invite you to discover all your local library has to offer.