Is it October already? Hard to believe, and yet a new season is bringing new opportunities to King County Library System patrons.
In addition to our ongoing back-to-school support for students and teachers, residents can now enjoy a new Makerspace, inspiring and uplifting programs for older adults, and the convenience of our new auto-renewal policy for eligible materials.
We opened our second Makerspace at the Federal Way Library September 17. KCLS Board President Anne Repass and I joined State Senator Claire Wilson and Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell for the ribbon-cutting, along with hundreds of community members and the Decatur High School jazz band. It was great to see so many kids and families in the library engaging in hands-on science and technology activities.
Manual Contreras, who leads U.S. Senator Patty Murray’s education and STEM learning policy team, also toured the Makerspace before returning to his Washington D.C. office.
Patrons now can explore many different STEM hands-on activities in two places: Federal Way Library and the previously opened Makerspace at Bellevue Library. Having Makerspaces at north and south King County locations expands the geographical reach of this service.
KCLS is committed to serving all residents of King County, and in October, we will have some special programming for older adults. It may surprise some to know that more than 35% of our cardholders are age 50 and older, including grandparents and caregivers who visit libraries with their families. That’s a lot of interested, engaged patrons! That number is also a significant increase; in 2015, when 28% of cardholders were over 50.
Among the innovative programs are a Pioneers in Aging online author series, featuring discussions of how to age and retire healthfully, and a return of the popular (pre-COVID) Baby Boomer Bootcamp. KCLS will host two classes on Social Security, as well as continuing online and other classes featuring technology, arts, senior social hours and more. For more information, visit kcls.org/older-adults/.
We also want to make sure patrons know about our new auto-renewal policy designed to make checking out materials more convenient for patrons. Auto-renewals went live on patron accounts September 15; materials checked out on or after that date will be auto-renewed. If patrons have items with no holds, and which have not been renewed the maximum number of times, the items will be renewed automatically. Patrons can opt out of this service if they prefer. More information is available on our website.
Fall will continue to be a busy time for KCLS, as we strive to address the interests and needs of our communities through our extensive collection, resources, services and programs. Welcome to autumn – and to KCLS Libraries!