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2023 Annual Report

2023 FUNDING PRIORITIES

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION

  • King County’s large and diverse immigrant population contributes to the social and economic vibrancy of our community. According to a 2019 Seattle Times article, in a number of cities in South [and East King] County, the percentage of foreign born is around 40% or higher. These individuals also face significant and disproportionate barriers to access.

  • All Foundation-funded programs support diversity, equity, and inclusion through outreach to vulnerable and underserved populations. KCLS staff and community partners connect new arrivals, immigrants, and refugees to resources they need to find jobs, healthcare, childcare, access free adult education or immigration legal clinics, learn and practice English, and apply for citizenship. Programs also highlight diverse voices that mirror King County communities with free events for all ages that feature BIPOC and immigrant authors.

  • • The Welcoming Center

    • Writers of Color Author Series

    • Connect Wi-Fi Hotspots & Laptops


ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

  • BIPOC individuals, those at or below the federal poverty level, community members who have been experiencing mental health challenges, and those who have been exposed to domestic violence and/or trauma rely most heavily on library services to meet basic needs. They also experience significant barriers to library access.

  • The availability of hotspots and laptops help to address gaps in digital infrastructure including hardware and connectivity. This expanded digital inclusion and engagement help reduce barriers to learning, telemedicine, job training, and other key services. KCLS staff also work to connect BIPOC and immigrant-owned businesses to library services and other resources, fostering strong local networks, boosting small business growth and supporting community economic development.

  • • Invest in Yourself - Economic Resilience

    • Peers in Libraries

    • Expanding Services to People Experiencing Ƶlessness


LIBRARY INNOVATION

  • With the proliferation of online ordering, people have become accustomed to receiving requested items in a matter of days. The role of libraries in our communities has evolved and the way that we access library materials continues to change rapidly, just as the needs of our patrons, and the barriers to access have changed.

  • KCLS is committed to continual process improvement enabling higher levels of service and customer satisfaction. These initiatives enable KCLS to better leverage data and advanced technologies to serve our increasingly diverse communities.

  • • Lean Library Project

    • Patron Engagement Data, Measurement, and Experimentation Enablement

    • Data Engineer


LIFELONG LITERACY & LEARNING

  • Research has shown a positive correlation between reading engagement and academic success. For many kids, especially low income and kids of color, access to books is the main barrier to reading engagement. Adults who read feel reduced stress, greater empathy, and experience slower cognitive decline.

  • KCLS libraries engage the youngest readers with diverse, age-appropriate materials, while staff provides support to their families to help them develop lifelong reading habits essential for school and life success. Initiatives aim to increase access to library resources by bringing them to partner agencies, such as food banks. Each summer, the Summer Reading Program challenges and incentivizes readers of all ages to keep learning and discovering new stories.

  • • Raising a Reader

    • Community Creators

    • Expansion of Services to patrons Experiencing Food Insecurity

    • Supporting Grade Level Reading: OTTER & Sasquatch Awards

    • Pandemic Response for older Adults

    • All Ages Summer Reading Program

    • Ready, Set, Kindergarten

    • Youth-Led Participatory Action Research


AGILITY GRANTS

  • KCLS patrons’ needs are constantly evolving. The ability for KCLS to request funding outside of the annual application process provides the agility and flexibility required to respond to changing program needs.

  • Each year, the KCLS Foundation allocates funds for Agility Grants to support new projects addressing a more immediate need. These grants undergo the same rigorous review process as all Annual Grants but with added urgency. This allows KCLS to remain a dynamic library system capable of quickly implementing these programs.

  • • Adobe Creative Cloud

    • Book Group Kits

    • Career Online High School

    • Check Out WA Discovery Passes

    • Chess For Young Children

    • Death, An Online Educational Series

    • Driving Course For Refugee Women

    • Enhancing Ukrainian Collection

    • Language Line Grant

    • LGBTQIA+ Representation Programming

    • Library Operations Leadership Training

    • NEH Climate Action Plan Matching Funds

    • Phenomenal She On-Site Library

    • Renton Library Resource Days

    • Summer Meals Kingsgate Library