Reflecting on the old and ringing in the New Year | KCLS

  • Thursday, December 28, 2017 2:04pm
  • Opinion

What a busy and eventful year this has been. As I write my last column as interim director, it is a great time to reflect on 2017, and eagerly anticipate the years ahead under the leadership of our new King County Library System director, Lisa Rosenblum.

Looking back, I am grateful for the eight months I have spent at KCLS. It has been an honor to serve one of North America’s busiest library systems. I’ve had many memorable experiences, including working with absolutely stellar staff and meeting hundreds of dedicated and enthusiastic library patrons and volunteers.

My first official duty as interim director was the opening of the beautiful, new 10,000-square-foot Tukwila Library on April 29, where I read a proclamation on behalf of Gov. Jay Inslee, declaring it King County Library System Week to mark the occasion. Throughout the year, I visited every one of our 49 community libraries, some of which I saw three or more times. During this 75th birthday year for the library system, every visit was like opening a present. I observed interesting programs, helpful staff, marvelous art and architecture, and a welcoming environment for kids, students, adults and seniors.

Having been a member of the KCLS Foundation Board of Directors, I knew the library system was on the leading edge of innovative approaches to services and technology. As interim director, I have seen how the organization’s vision and values are put into action every day to address the needs and interests of all King County residents, regardless of circumstance.

Each month, I give a report to the KCLS Board of Trustees at their regular meeting. Our trustees are community leaders who volunteer their time and energy to set policies, oversee the budget and uphold the mission of the Library System. During my tenure, I have been impressed by their commitment to making our libraries exceptional.

As KCLS looks to the future, staff will continue to seek opportunities to create meaningful connections with patrons. Our doors – and our vast collection – are always open to those on a quest for ideas, information and interaction. As I leave KCLS in Lisa Rosenblum’s capable hands, I am proud to have played a small part in supporting the mission of the King County Library System. It has truly been an honor to have worked with a group of professionals who are dedicated to improving the lives of those they serve.

Stephen A. Smith is interim director of the King County Library System.

More in Opinion

From early indications, Gov. Jay Inslee may be making a run at the presidency in 2020. REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Is Inslee about to prep for presidential run?

Can a little known Thoroughbred from the Pacific Northwest capture the 2020… Continue reading

Cost, availability of health care poses a primary concern | Brunell

When Congress convenes next year, lawmakers must focus on the cost and… Continue reading

Vote ‘yes’ for small business and #ShopSmall on Saturday

Your spending dollars count for local merchants

‘Logical fallacies’ help each of us defend our arguments

What are logical fallacies? Ross Weisman’s article, “Is Your Reasoning Sound? A… Continue reading

Plenty at stake in the Palouse

Huskies, Cougars play for Pac-12 title game spot, major bowl and state bragging rights

Tribes release habitat recovery strategy

“As the salmon disappear, so do our cultures and treaty rights. We… Continue reading

Costs matter in hiring | Brunell

While both sides argue the merits of Seattle’s escalating minimum wage, there… Continue reading

Trump helped erase voter complacency

Young voters turned out in massive numbers

Veterans bring safety to our country and the Auburn community

By Hannah Scholes/For the Auburn Reporter In honor of Veterans Day, we… Continue reading

Military also adjusting to worker shortages | Brunell

When our military is viewed as an employer, it has the same… Continue reading

From guns to climate, declaring election’s winners and losers

A surge in voter interest, a swelling in the ranks of Democratic… Continue reading

Cam-pains: Enough is enough

Don’t forget to vote by Tuesday, Nov. 6