History Of Your King County Library System
A year of new service milestones: 10.1 million visitors; 22 million items circulated; now 48 KCLS community libraries, including Enumclaw annexation; new facility in Duvall, and entirely new library for the new town of Newcastle. KCLS led the U.S., Canada and Australia in eBook circulation.
KCLS circulation tops 21.8 million items, and eBook use increased by 355%. 10.3 million patron visits to 46 libraries, and web traffic reaches more than 40.3 million. New Kenmore and Newport Way libraries opened. KCLS named Library of the Year, holds the record for eBook use, and continues to be one of the busiest libraries in the USA.
KCLS surpasses the busiest library in the U.S. (Queens NY) with 22.4 million items checked out. In collaboration with other libraries across the U.S., KCLS transitions from a proprietary Integrated Library System to an open source system called Evergreen. The catalog records 84.5 million visits and www.kcls.org receives 31 million hits. The new Federal Way, Sammamish and Lake Hills Libraries open to record crowds.
Patrons make 10 million visits to KCLS libraries and check out a record 21.3 million items. KCLS catalog has 88.6 million visits and www.kcls.org receives 26.8 million hits. Award-winning Look to Your Library (LTYL) outreach effort guides users to free library and community resources including job listings, job search tools and small business assistance. Library Express @ Redmond Ridge opens, as does newly expanded Kirkland Library.
KCLS remains the second busiest library in the U.S., circulating more than 20 million items. New library card registration increases 10%, and 9.6 million people visit KCLS libraries. Library openings include Covington and Woodmont expansions, and new libraries in Black Diamond, Fall City, Muckleshoot and Greenbridge.
Circulation tops 19.3 million and maintains KCLS as second busiest Library System in U.S. Launched the African American Achievement collection, and expanded diversity outreach to new employees, vendors and contractors. Tutor.com named KCLS “Innovator of the Month” for a tutorial on Live Homework Help. Capital Bond Project sees groundbreakings for Fall City, Black Diamond, Muckleshoot and Greenbridge libraries, and celebrates openings for Snoqualmie and Shoreline parking expansion.
Circulation hits 19.1 million, maintaining KCLS’ position as one of the busiest libraries in the nation. Self-Check out reaches 73%. Summer Reading Program closes with 14,000 finishers. Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement with SPL modified due to $1 million cross-use imbalance; Seattle patrons can no longer place holds. KCLS breaks ground for new Snoqualmie Library.
Initiated the Patron Experience Transformation Project, a comprehensive research project to survey patron habits, preferences and perceptions in order to define and deliver the “gold standard” for patron experiences. Organization restructured to gain staffing and management efficiencies and address service issues. KCLS receives the PRSA Silver Anvil Award for Excellence for the 2004 Capital Replacement Bond Information Campaign. Record participation takes place in Summer Reading Program with over 13,000 finishers. About 18.3 million items circulate and 98 million transactions occur on kcls.org.
ABC Express opens, a mobile library serving child care facilities throughout King County. Library Connection @ Southcenter (funded by the KCLS Foundation) opens in June. Vote in favor of $172 million bond to fund KCLS libraries for the next decade passes at 63.57%.
More than 22 million hits to KCLS’ Web site. Over 15 million items circulate. Self-Check out begins at several libraries.
Levy lid lift measure on February ballot passes at 64%. Nearly 15 million items circulate, and holds continue to increase monthly by 20%. Over 22 million connections to the KCLS Web site.
New Richmond Beach and Issaquah Libraries open in June. Library Connection @ Crossroads opens in December. More than 14 million items circulate. Over 19 million connections to KCLS Web site.
Woodmont, Auburn and Maple Valley Libraries open. KCLS headquarters (Service Center) relocated to new facility in Issaquah. Nearly 13 million items circulate. Over 11 million connections to the KCLS Web site. Library card campaign increases number of residents with a KCLS library card to 90%.
Redmond Library opens in November. Kenmore votes to annex to the district (92%). 12.8 million items circulate. 5.2 million connections to the KCLS Web site.
Sammamish Library opens in December. Lake Forest Park votes to annex to the district (85%). 13.1 million items circulate. 1 million connections to the KCLS Web site.
Auburn votes to annex to the district (70%). Two new cities vote to annex to the district: Covington (92%) and Maple Valley (93%).
Foster Library opens in March. Lake Forest Park Library opens new location in the mall (June). Measures pass to establish Library Capital Facility Areas in Redmond (September, 68%) and Issaquah (November, 71%). Bonds to pay for new buildings also approved (Redmond, 64%; Issaquah, 65%).1995
Kirkland Library opens in January. Bothell Library opens in September. Shoreline votes to annex to the library district (91%).
North Bend Library opens in April. Algona-Pacific Library opens in July. Des Moines votes to annex to the district (87%), as does Newport Hills/ Newcastle (93%). KCLS celebrates 50th anniversary of service. Internet gateway added to online service options. Over 12 million items circulate.
Woodinville Library opens in February, Covington Library in April, Burien Library in May, Bellevue Library in July, Shoreline Library in September, Skykomish Library in October. Mercer Island votes to annex to the district (78%), as does Duvall (73%) and Kent (71%). Two new cities vote to annex to the district: Burien (91%) and Woodinville (96%). InfoNet, an online service featuring the KCLS catalog and other information services, is implemented.
Four cities vote to annex to the library district: Tukwila (82%), Normandy Park (75%), Carnation (67%) and Clyde Hill (61%). More than 10 million items circulate.
KCLS introduces Answer Line, expands services, enhances reference resources and completes renovation of 15 libraries. King County Library System Foundation is established to provide support beyond public funding. Two cities vote to annex to the library district: Beaux Arts Village (58%) and Medina (56%). Kent Library opens in October. Federal Way Library opens in December. Online catalog is made available in libraries.
Ten cities vote to annex to the library district: Federal Way (90%), SeaTac (87%), Black Diamond (83%), Algona (75%), Issaquah (75%), Kirkland (79%), Pacific (75%), Redmond (85%), Skykomish (88%) and Snoqualmie (80%). The Library System selects Dynix to provide an online catalog.
Mercer Island votes to approve a city bond issue for a new library with a 66% “Yes” vote.
$67 million bond issue for capital improvements passes in September (63.9%). North Bend votes to annex to the library district (84%). More than 9 million items circulate.
The Library District works on the capital plan, “Looking to the Year 2000.” Capital improvement bonds from 1966 are paid in full. The System’s circulation is 8.4 million—double that of 10 years earlier.
Requests for more library service are county-wide, with many communities seeking new or expanded facilities. Bothell votes to annex to the library district (84%) and Des Moines voters pass a city bond issue for a new library (72%). About 7.86 million items circulate.
Bellevue votes to annex to the library district (83%).
ULISYS automated circulation system implemented.
A second measure to raise the library district tax lid is placed before the voters and passes by 67%. With these funds, libraries serving Valley View (1982), Vashon (1983) and Fairwood (1986) are built, as is a library in Issaquah (1983), funded in part by matching funds from the city; books and other materials are purchased for the new buildings; and a computerized circulation system is installed. Circulation reaches 4.15 million items.
A measure to raise the library district tax lid, which had dropped below $.50 per $1,000 of assessed value due to increasing property values, is approved by 67.8% of voters.
A bond issue for $6 million passes, with a 63% “Yes” vote. With federal funds from the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) grant and matching funds from some cities, during the next 10 years new libraries are built to serve Bellevue, Bothell, Boulevard Park, Burien, Carnation, Fall City, Federal Way, Foster, Kingsgate, Lake Hills, Maple Valley, Newport Way, Redmond, Shoreline, Skyway, Snoqualmie, Vista and White Center. A former United Parcel Services building in Seattle is remodeled to become the Service Center. Four potential library sites also are purchased.
Full or partial library service is offered at 39 libraries in quarters frequently rented and none more than 5,000-square-feet. Use of the collection grows. The need for new and expanded buildings, and more books and other materials becomes apparent.
Tax revenues begin accruing. Library System starts to grow.
Voters in King County establish the King County Rural Library District in order to provide library services to people in “rural” areas with no easy access to city libraries. Funding for the Library System is provided from the property tax base of unincorporated areas ($.50 per $1,000 assessed valuation) and from contracts with cities and towns for the provision of library services. Small community libraries run by volunteers, including the Richmond Beach and Boulevard Park Libraries, are the first libraries to join the System.