KCLS forges partnerships for broader public benefit

The King County Library System strives to create meaningful partnerships with other public agencies, private businesses, and nonprofits organizations to better serve our shared communities.

Partnerships expand KCLS’ reach by making it possible for the Library System to serve a broader range of people, while stretching tax dollars. We team with social service organizations for Summer Meals and to assist those experiencing homelessness. We collaborate with AARP and other agencies for senior programs and services. We also work with the U.S. Census Bureau to promote education in anticipation of the upcoming 2020 census.

One of my favorite examples of strong partnership is Community Court, a collaboration with the city of Redmond and King County District Court. Community Court identifies and addresses the underlying challenges faced by those who appear in a traditional court by providing alternatives to sentencing and jail time, such as community service or paying restitution. Community Court is held at Redmond Library, offering social services and workforce resources to help non-violent offenders turn around their lives. The program helps build stronger and safer neighborhoods by reducing recidivism and reduces the burden on taxpayers by lowering jail costs. Since its debut last April, there have been 120 Community Court participants and a total 61 graduates.

In anticipation of upcoming elections, King County Elections has voter accessibility sites throughout the county, including locations at KCLS libraries. Working in partnership with King County Elections, KCLS also offers programs like “How to Run for Office” and “Elections 101,” and voters will find ballot drop boxes at 18 of our libraries. During the November 2018 election, King County Elections reported that 23.11 percent of all ballots were dropped in a box at a KCLS library.

Local food banks and other health and human service organizations, such as United Way and AmeriCorps, support KCLS’ annual Summer Meals program. Last year, 10,321 nutritious meals were served, meeting a critical need for students while they are out of school.

In partnership with the Washington State Department of Social and Human Services (DSHS), KCLS delivers educational outreach programs to youth at Echo Glen Children’s Center for Juvenile Rehabilitation. Recently, middle and high school students from Echo Glen explored new worlds in virtual reality during workshops facilitated by faculty and students from the University of Washington Information School. Inspired by the workshops, KCLS worked with the iSchool to host an impressive exhibit of the students’ work at the Snoqualmie Library, which showcased their newly-honed digital media and storytelling skills.

As a patron, we hope you experience the impact of these partnerships with each library visit, and by checking out the events and programs on our website at kcls.org.

Lisa Rosenblum is executive director of the King County Library System.

More in Opinion

Sen. Mona Das. COURESY PHOTO
After a senator’s claim is debunked, a call for an apology

The GOP wants a Democratic senator held to account for accusations which an investigation found to be false

Mitsubishi launching into regional jet space

Traditionally, media coverage of the Paris Air Show focuses on the battle… Continue reading

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease this Grandparents Day

Pacific Medical Centers doctor shares top signs of the disease, as well as tips to maintain cognitive health

Gov. Jay Inslee. REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Inslee passes up a chance to confront corporate ‘blackmail’

Governor skipped a meeting about tax breaks, he said, Boeing squeezed out of the state.

Parents and adult fans: biggest challenge facing high school sports today

By Karissa Niehoff and Mick Hoffman, for the Reporter Inappropriate adult behavior… Continue reading

Libraries are welcoming spaces for everyone

King County Library System is committed to inclusion – the idea that… Continue reading

It is time to talk about our national debt

Our nation is on an unsustainable borrowing trajectory and it could get… Continue reading

Tribes outraged by EPA move to roll back improved water quality standards

Treaty Indian tribes in Western Washington are outraged that the Environmental Protection… Continue reading

Publisher’s decision to limit e-book access is bad news for library patrons

A recent decision by a book publisher to limit public libraries’ access… Continue reading

State’s new voting system passes key test

Whew. Tuesday’s primary marked the electoral debut of VoteWa, and the sparkling… Continue reading

Careful not to follow Sweden’s haste | Brunell

Sweden and Washington state are very similar. Both have strong “green” movements… Continue reading

Got your grill on? Hot Coals – great for Burgers, bad for garbage

Summer has finally arrived in Auburn. The sun is shining, gardens are… Continue reading