King County Library System
Inspiration for Children
The King County Library System believes that learning should begin at birth. Through the creation of our Early Literacy program, we encourage parents to start their children reading at an early age. Parents learn techniques to prepare their children for life-long learning through our partnerships with literacy focused organizations. KCLS Story Times are also an excellent way for parents to introduce their children to the library.
In 2004, over 95 thousand families enjoyed Story Times in English and other world languages (Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Hindi, Tamil, Russian and Vietnamese).
The Summer Reading Program made reading a wonderful experience for 20,309 children, helping them retain their reading skills during the summer.
The ABC Express “On the Road to Reading” van circulated more than 10,000 books, videos and music CDs to low-income, federally funded daycares throughout King County.
Ready-Set-Read distributed more than 9,000 prize books to kids that read at least 20 minutes a day for a month.
“Your Homework Help links are terrific. They are fun, easy to use and have saved me several times with my homework assignments. I go to them quite a bit for my History class and my grades have really improved!”
Motivation for Learning
Community libraries are full of collections that encourage students to read, help enhance their learning skills and support their academic success. KCLS’ numerous partnerships with public and private schools grades K-12 and several thousand home-schooling families demonstrates the commitment the Library System has to educating children and preparing them for a successful future.
Study Zones in 24 libraries provided tutoring assistance to 1,869 students in need of extra help for school and 4,868 students also utilized the online Live Homework Help service.
This year’s Global Reading Challenge met its goal of encouraging students of all ages to learn about teamwork and increase their reading skills. A total of 32 schools, 125 teams and 825 students participated in the Challenge.
40 participants entered the Page Fellowship program which enables those interested in a career in the library profession to receive training and the opportunity to work with library professionals.
More than 3,600 students took advantage of 300 reading enhancement classes offered at the Youth Service Center.
“I am eight-thousand miles from home serving in Kuwait and miss home quite a bit. Using eBooks helps me stay connected and feel like I have a piece of home right here with me. Being in a foreign country, I’m also able to learn a lot from using KCLS’ Web site. I appreciate all of you that make it possible.”
Denise, Camp Udairi, Kuwait
Learning Enrichment for Adults
Our community libraries continue to provide tools and resources for adults to further their knowledge, research jobs, surf the Web or just read a good book. As featured in The New York Times and locally in The Seattle Times, KCLS reached new heights by becoming the first U.S. public library to offer OverDrive audio books in Microsoft Windows Media Audio Format. Other services such as the Traveling Library Center (TLC) and the KCLS Techlab continued its outreach to residents that could not otherwise get to a library.
TLC continued to provide access to materials for elderly and disabled patrons who checked out more than 145,000 library materials (a 12% increase over 2003).
Launched in late 2004, the unique eBooks service was an instant success with 22,043 checkouts in just three short months.
Free career and employment resources such as wireless Web access, computer workstations and on-site job applications allowed job seekers to research new career opportunities.
KCLS implemented “Centered on Citizenship,” a $49,000 LSTA grant to develop a program at three community libraries, which paired teen tutors with adult learners preparing for the U.S. Citizenship exam.
“I very much value KCLS and the benefits it has to offer us. Being new to this country, it was hard for me not being able to speak English. Thanks to the Literacy and Citizenship classes, I have learned English as a second language.”
At the Heart of Our Communities
Our libraries continue to be the heart of the community, offering a wide variety of programs and classes that benefit the diverse populations we serve. Talk Time conversation classes, U.S. Citizenship classes, ESL and GED classes enable non-English speaking patrons to broaden their skills and enhance their everyday life.
In 2004 these programs were offered in 29 libraries and a total of 2,000 literacy events aided more than 20,000 participants. In addition, volunteers contributed more than 2,000 hours of teaching through GED, Citizenship and Talk Time classes.
As part of United Way’s “Day of Caring” program, TLC delivered donated gift packages to more than 360 homebound patrons throughout King County.
Underprivileged children and families received much needed services thanks to the annual KCLS Workplace Giving Campaign. The campaign which is a joint effort between the King County Library System Foundation and United Way of King County raised over $57,000 dollars from staff donations.
“I absolutely love the wireless capability at the libraries. It allows me to do some work from the library, rather than drive 30 minutes each way to my office!”
Henry, Maple Valley
Linked by Technology, Efficient Operations
KCLS strives to provide unlimited access to materials and information in welcoming environments and convenient locations. Individuals who may not have had time to visit KCLS libraries found what they needed through extensive online resources. The Web site offers catalog, live reference and homework help services, downloadable audio books and over 70 online databases. Services such as New Reads, Good Reads and New Music listings kept library users up to date on the latest in literature and pop culture.
KCLS experienced an 8% increase in circulation and 11% increase in the number of items placed on hold. As a result, the new Automated Materials Handling (AMH) system was installed to streamline the workload in all community libraries.
140 Self-Checkout stations were installed, allowing library staff to give patrons more one-on-one attention.
Due to the tremendous demand for computer work stations, more than 500 additional stations were upgraded and installed throughout the System.
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