White Center Library to add ‘Curbside to Go’ service next week

July 29th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news 1 Comment »

Next week, White Center Library gets “Curbside to Go” service when KCLS dramatically expands where it’s available. Here’s the announcement:

On Wednesday, August 5, the King County Library System (KCLS) will begin offering Curbside to Go at 22 additional library locations across the region. KCLS launched Curbside to Go on July 1 with 19 locations to start. The contactless pickup service will now be available at 41 out of 49 KCLS libraries.

The full list of participating libraries can be found at kcls.org/curbside, or by calling 425.462.9600 or 800.462.9600. Aside from a few exceptions, patrons may pick up materials on Tuesday and Wednesday, from 1:00 to 7:30 pm and Thursday through Saturday, from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Schedule a pickup time on the MyLIBRO app, or call one of the select libraries’ Curbside to Go phone numbers to make an appointment. Walk-up appointments are also available.

“We have seen an incredible demand for library materials since we started offering Curbside to Go,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “While patrons have enjoyed KCLS’ digital offerings, it’s clear they still missed having access to physical items like books and DVDs. We look forward to expanding Curbside to Go, and getting our materials out into even more communities.”

Curbside to Go will be temporarily closed at all locations on Tuesday, August 4 for KCLS staff to prepare for the expansion on August 5.

KCLS encourages patrons to continue to take advantage of online services and resources while buildings remain closed to the public. Residents in the KCLS service area (in King County, outside the city of Seattle) can sign up instantly for a digital eCard to access the library online. For those who don’t have computer or internet access, contact Ask KCLS by phone at 425.462.9600 or 800.462.9600. Find out more about KCLS’ multiphase plan to expand services during the pandemic shutdown at kcls.org/reopening.

Boulevard Park is NOT on the list of locations where the curbside service is being added.

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LIBRARIES: How you can use KCLS online

April 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Libraries, White Center news 2 Comments »

Haven’t explored your King County Library System online? Here’s what they want you to know:

Following stay-at-home orders from Washington state Governor Jay Inslee, the King County Library System (KCLS) will extend its System-wide closure until further notice, to continue to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Our libraries may be closed, but KCLS is still open online,” states KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum.” We encourage residents to take advantage of our expanded digital collection and array of online programming, events and resources while closures are in effect.”

Residents in the KCLS service area (in King County, outside the city of Seattle) can sign up instantly for a digital eCard to access KCLS’ digital collection. For those who don’t have computer or Internet access, they may connect—live—with an Ask KCLS staff member by phone at 425.462.9600 or 800.462.9600. Staff are ready to answer questions, and direct residents to helpful resources and information.

Online Programming and Events

KCLS has made some of their most popular in-person programs accessible online—and added a few new ones! Explore daily activities for all ages, from virtual story times and book clubs, to online Cat Chats, art workshops and Junk Drawer Challenges.

Two notable events will also take place online this month:

Rhyme On Poetry Contest: April 1-30
During National Poetry Month in April, KCLS is hosting Rhyme On, an online poetry contest open to all King County residents. The winning poems will be published on the KCLS website and shared on social media channels. Contestants have until April 30 to submit a poem, and three winners will be announced in each age category: Kids (ages 5 to 12); Teens (ages 13 to 18) and Adults (ages 19 and older).

Celebrate Día Online: April 26-May 2
Celebrate 10 years of Día programming at KCLS with this weeklong series from April 26 to May 2. This nationally recognized initiative promotes literacy for children of all backgrounds, and celebrates multicultural literature and stories from around the world. This year, KCLS’ Día programming moves online to help connect children and their families to multicultural books, languages and cultures. Explore the recommended diversity materials, find resources in many languages, view Día booklists, and get more information about online events on the Bibliotecas King County Facebook page.

Expanded Online Resources

KCLS has expanded online resources for students, adults, children, teens and older adults, so patrons of all ages can continue to learn, build skills and stay entertained during this unprecedented time.

Audiobooks and eBooks

KCLS is investing more funds in their digital collection during the closure—over $350,000 each month. With more eBook and audiobook titles than ever, there’s something for everyone. The Libby app makes it especially easy to download digital titles, but patrons may contact Ask KCLS for assistance if they run into technical difficulties.

Streaming Movies and TV

KCLS’ range of streaming content is helping keep families entertained and engaged while libraries are closed. Watch HBO documentaries, BBC TV, how-to films, indie flicks and thousands more on Access Video. KCLS is also offering unlimited streaming on Kanopy, and expanded streaming credits on hoopla so patrons can enjoy even more movies and TV.

Resources for Students and Parents

KCLS’ revamped K-12 web page provides links to a wide variety of educational support resources, tips and activities, from homework help through Tutor.com, to STEM learning from Tumblemath.com.

Resources for Small Business Owners

KCLS’ Small Business Resources web page links the business community to information and resources like business.wa.gov, which includes COVID-19 information and resources for Washington state businesses. KCLS is also offering virtual counseling with SCORE mentors to help navigate COVID-19 impacts to small businesses. And, as always, residents can get help filing taxes.

Online Databases and More

KCLS offers access to databases and learning resources where residents can review Consumer Reports, learn a new language or skill, read bestselling magazines, and stay up-to-date on current affairs with free, unlimited access to online newspapers, such as The Seattle Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

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CLOSING: King County Library System, after today

March 13th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on CLOSING: King County Library System, after today

From the King County Library System:

Effective at 6pm today, Friday, March 13, the King County Library System (KCLS) will close all library locations to the public. These closures will remain in effect until at least April 13, or further notice, to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Like neighboring library systems in Seattle, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, this decision was made out of the utmost concern for the health, safety and well-being of library patrons, staff and the community. The scientific evidence that social distancing can help stop the spread of COVID-19 is a compelling factor in taking this precautionary step.

“Public libraries have always been about community, and the safety of our communities is paramount,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “We value your understanding of our decision during this challenging time.”

During the closure, library customers should keep items currently checked out until KCLS reopens or until further notice. All due dates have been automatically extended until April 30, and KCLS is waiving all late fees accrued between March 1 and April 30. Library staff will continue to work while buildings are closed.

During the closure, patrons are encouraged to use KCLS’ online resources and services. Residents in KCLS’ service area can sign up instantly for a digital eCard for access to:

eBooks
Audiobooks
Streaming TV and movies
Online databases and more
Tax filing resources
2020 Census

As the situation continues to evolve, KCLS will follow mandates from Washington state Governor Jay Inslee and Public Health—Seattle & King County in order to assess when it is safe to reopen our libraries. Stay connected to KCLS by:

Visiting our website
Following us on social media (Facebook and Twitter)
Contacting Ask KCLS with questions, or calling (425) 462-9600 or (800) 462-9600
Checking out KCLS blogs, podcasts, booklists and newsletters

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King County Library System has a few questions for you

August 22nd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on King County Library System has a few questions for you

What do you think of the King County Library System‘s services and facilities? An online survey is open right now seeking your answers to some questions. It closes in a week – August 30th – so if you have something to say about the libraries, go here!

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SATURDAY: White Center Library Guild Sidewalk Sale

July 16th, 2019 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: White Center Library Guild Sidewalk Sale

It’s almost time to start previewing Jubilee Days. But first – another event happening this weekend – the White Center Library Guild Sidewalk Sale on Saturday (July 20th)!

See you there!

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PHOTOS: Boulevard Park Library’s grand reopening

May 23rd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Boulevard Park, Libraries, White Center news 4 Comments »

Been to the renovated Boulevard Park Library yet? If you missed the grand reopening celebration Saturday – Gill Loring shares photos. He was impressed by its “abundance of light, a great children’s area, and computers for everyone.”

The ceremony was well-attended, in perfect weather:

KCLS noted in its announcement of Saturday’s celebration, “The Boulevard Park Library was the first to be incorporated into the System in 1943, and the $2.2 million interior renovation is the final project to be completed under the 2004 Capital Bond measure, making the Boulevard Park Library Grand Reopening a full-circle celebration.”

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SATURDAY: 2018 Holiday Bazaar & Book Sale @ White Center Library

November 12th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Holidays, Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: 2018 Holiday Bazaar & Book Sale @ White Center Library

(WCN photo from 2017 bazaar)

Saturday’s the day you can do holiday shopping at the library! It’s the Holiday Bazaar and Book Sale put on by the White Center Library Guild:

Books, white elephant, holiday, and gently used household treasures galore. All proceeds benefit the programs for the White Center Library.

Saturday, November 17th 10 am to 3 pm, WC Library, 1409 SW 107th

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FRIDAY: White Center Library Guild invites you to come buy plants!

April 24th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Gardening, Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on FRIDAY: White Center Library Guild invites you to come buy plants!

Gardening weather is here, and it’s perfect timing for this event coming up Friday (April 27):

The library is at 1409 SW 107th.

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Lots learned @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s first 2018 meeting

February 2nd, 2018 Tracy Posted in Libraries, North Highline UAC, White Center news 3 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Schools, trash, libraries, public safety – many services that touch most local lives were on the agenda Thursday night as the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council led its first community meeting of the year.

HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Aaron Garcia from the White Center Community Development Association and Duggan Harman from the school district‘s Finance Department spoke about the February 13 levy vote.

It’s a levy renewal, at a lower rate than the previous levy. They showed this video featuring a student explaining the levy:

That led to a general discussion of the state continuing to underfund public education. That’s not all directly in voters’ control – but this levy is. You’ll find more information about the levy and the voting process here. Get your ballot in by 8 pm on Election Day (February 13th) if you’re dropping it off at the White Center Library dropbox – or if you’re putting it in the mail, be certain it’ll be postmarked by that day.

KING COUNTY’S DRAFT COMPREHENSIVE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN: A guest from the county gave a presentation on this draft plan that’s in the middle of a two-month public-comment period. He had these stats:
-King County serves 37 cities (not Seattle and Milton)
-6 urban transfer stations (Bow Lake is the closest one)
-4 rural transfer facilities
-9 closed landfills
-1 open landfill (Cedar Hills)

He said the county is aiming for 70 percent recycling – but the current rate is only 52 percent. And that’s part of the problem leading to the impending maxing out of the Cedar Hills Landfill, which will be full by 2028 unless new capacity is developed. Three options are being addressed for that last challenge – “further develop” the landfill to extend its life to 2040, take waste by rail to another landfill outside the county, or “build a waste-to-energy facility in King County.” (Seattle already sends its trash out of the area – to an Oregon landfill.) The timeline for sorting this all out is due around year’s end, with final state approval next year. They’ve already had two public open houses about all this and there’s one more, February 7th at the King County Library Service Center in Issaquah.

An attendee asked what “waste to energy” might mean. Depends on where the plant would be built, was the reply – and the plant itself would cost more than a billion dollars to build. And even if trash were burned to generate electricity, that would leave ash that would have to be taken to a landfill somewhere. Asked how Governor Inslee’s carbon-tax proposal would affect that, the county rep said they weren’t sure yet.

You can read the draft plan (and find out more about it and the comment process) by going here.

Also – a “fix it” event is coming up in White Center, 9:30 am-12:30 pm March 24th – find out more about that here.

METRO TRANSIT POLICE: Resource Officer Deputy Michael Martinez says he’s “in White Center all the time” as part of the job. He came with several concerns – including the 15th/Roxbury bus stop’s ongoing troubles, and planning for the Route 120 conversion to the RapidRide H Line. The route’s “pretty much going to stay the same in White Center,” with four fewer stops, he said. 15th/107th, 100th/15th, Roxbury/15th, 20th/Roxbury are the stops that’ll be in White Center, and the others will be removed, he said. Construction will start toward year’s end and continue through next year, for the route to be launched in 2020. He said that Metro plans to do what it can to minimize impacts on parking – just a handful of spots will be affected. They’re hoping to put in a crosswalk at 15th/107th (to/from the library). The stairs near Greenbridge will be better-illuminated. He stressed that the county wants to hear any concerns at this stage of planning.

Asked about the 15th/Roxbury bus stop and its challenged, Deputy Martinez said there are plans for cameras and lightning at the shelters in the area.

He also reminded everyone that Transit Police has only about 76 officers for the entire county – no more than six on any given shift. Two of them cover “from Roxbury to Federal Way.” They check the trouble spots, like 15th/Roxbury, several times a shift – but “as is the nature of police work,” they’re not always in the right place at the right time. Things have been “a little better lately” (not counting the 16th SW double murder, which was not at/near a transit stop), he said. He promised monthly updates.

ALSO FROM THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE: Captain Rick Bridges, operations captain for Precinct 4 (which includes unincorporated North Highline), introduced himself. He’s been with KCSO for 19 years and says he’s on his “fourth tour” of this precinct. Lots of change as Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht gets her staff in place – former TV reporter Liz Rocca is her new chief of staff – he said. (william.bridges@kingcounty.gov)

LIBRARY UPDATES: NHUAC heard from King County Library System‘s regional manager Angie Benedetti (whose jurisdiction includes WC, Greenbridge, and Boulevard Park), community conduct coordinator Melissa Munn (whose responsibilities includes security and patron behavior issues), and facilities-design coordinator Adrianne Ralph.

First, they brought an update on the “jewel,” the almost-two-years-old White Center Library. It’s increased circulation and usage, she said. About the recent vandalism, she said the branch has had seven different incidents of window damage since the library opened – from a dog scratching on the window to the November 10th incident that led to six windows being damaged. Total repair costs for all incidents is $42,000. Insurance covered some of that, Benedetti said, but there’s about a $10,000 threshold. She said the number includes “about $12,000 in preventive maintenance that we’ve done,” including adding film on exteriors and interiors of the windows.

A bicycle-repair center that had been installed at the library had to be removed within the first few months because the tools kept getting stolen, she said. They also, after window problems started happening, “removed every single rock on the property.” But – “that didn’t help, whoever it was that was doing it was bringing their own rocks at that point.” And she said, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office, it wasn’t just the library getting targeted – other businesses were getting hit by vandals too. Meantime, they also have a trespass agreement with KCSO so if they “see anyone around the library during closed hours” they are empowered to “move them along.” This includes signage to warn people to stay off the site.

Asked if the glass usage could be reduced – the library team said basically, no. In fact, even the old library had significant window-breakage problems, they added. And overall, the library move did not lead to a major increase in trouble. In response to a question, Benedetti also said someone was reported to have been arrested for rock-throwing, and they haven’t had a problem since that arrest. And she and her collagues noted that other areas of the county were having problems too – this isn’t just a White Center thing and isn’t just a library thing. Nonetheless, at least one attendee said she thinks the community should get more information about these problems, more often.

The Boulevard Park Library‘s interior remodel was explained – including the restrooms being moved to an area with better visibility, to try to reduce the incidence of behavioral incidents. The meeting room is being expanded; “a few more computers” are being added; new finishes; spaces for kids, a dedicated teen area, and more. Ralph said they’re going out to bid soon and hope to have bids back by April, and that “about this time next year” if all goes well, the remodel will be done.

What’ll happen during the eight-or-so-month construction closure? asked NHUAC president Liz Giba. Benedetti said that for one, they’ll be “expanding our mobile services … with materials for all ages.” They might have some kids’ programs at North SeaTac Community Center. They haven’t worked out yet what they might be able to do regarding getting computers into the community for public use.

SEOLA POND FOLLOWUP: Scott Dolfay, who spent a year planning a restoration event at this “unofficial park,” presented a video showing some of what happened on the day that dozens of local students were there to help out from Westside School and Explorer West Middle School. (Added)

He also got private and public donations and grants to help pay for the plants to add to the area, and is working on more. (Here’s some coverage from our partner site West Seattle Blog.) “This is really a special place” that can become “even more special,” Dolfay told NHUAC. He’s also looking into the possibility of introducing native turtles. He expects to be working on the pond area for years.

WHITE CENTER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: A new effort to get it going again is under way, with the first meeting set for February 5th.

REDEVELOPMENT OF WHITE CENTER FOOD BANK/PUBLIC HEALTH SITE: Garcia said discussions are continuing on this, with the potential of affordable housing.

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets first Thursdays most months, 7 pm at North Highline Fire District HQ – watch northhighlineuac.org for updates between meetings. Guests invited for upcoming meetings include KCSO Gang Detective Joe Gagliardi and the library system’s new director.

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HOLIDAYS: King County libraries closed Sunday and Monday

December 19th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Holidays, Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on HOLIDAYS: King County libraries closed Sunday and Monday

Looking ahead to the holiday, we’re checking around for closure info, and thought you might want advance warning that King County Library System branches (including White Center and Boulevard Park) will be closed Sunday (Christmas Eve) as well as Monday (Christmas Day).

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New King County Library System director announced

November 30th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on New King County Library System director announced

Speaking of libraries (remember that the White Center branch is closed today and tomorrow), the King County Library System has just announced its new leader:

The King County Library System (KCLS) Board of Trustees has selected Lisa G. Rosenblum as the KCLS Library Director following a comprehensive nationwide search.

The Board made its decision at its regular monthly meeting on November 29 and extended an offer, which Ms. Rosenblum has accepted. Rosenblum will begin her leadership role at the King County Library System’s Service Center in Issaquah on January 16, 2018.

“Our search firm delivered a choice of several qualified candidates. During the interview process, Lisa Rosenblum rose to the top of the list as the person best suited to lead KCLS as we implement our new Strategic Focus,” said KCLS Board Trustee Robin McClelland who chaired the search committee.

“Lisa is undaunted by challenges, our geographic reach, and our mission to serve our diverse population of patrons. We believe she will strengthen relationships with communities and seek partnerships that share our commitment to innovation,” McClelland added.

A distinguished librarian, Rosenblum has spent her career in culturally diverse and metropolitan library settings on the East and West coasts. She joins KCLS from the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), the fifth-largest library system in the country, which includes the historic Central Library. There, Rosenblum served as Director and Chief Librarian, and oversaw the planning, developing and leading of BPL’s operations and its $120 million budget.

Prior to her position at BPL, Rosenblum served as Director of Library and Community Services for the City of Sunnyvale in California, where she implemented the use of innovative technology to enhance library services, increased the circulation of materials and augmented eBook collections. Prior to her role in Sunnyvale, Rosenblum served as Director of Library and Neighborhood Services for the City of Hayward in California, where she led the planning and modernization of library services and developed integrated neighborhood programs. Rosenblum began her library career as a librarian, and later training manager, then division manager, of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in the City of San Jose.

Since 2008, Rosenblum has shared her strategic leadership, organizational theory and management concept knowledge as a visiting professor and lecturer, respectively, at Pratt Institute School of Information and San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science.

“Lisa’s proven leadership abilities and extensive background in library programs, services, technology and innovation will be an immense asset to the King County Library System,” said Stephen A. Smith, KCLS Interim Library Director. “She has worked for years with people from all walks of life, which is a great match for our increasingly diverse county. We are very fortunate that she is joining us, and sincerely look forward to her arrival in the Pacific Northwest.”
A dynamic leader, Rosenblum will be responsible for advancing KCLS’ strategic focus initiatives, including collaborating with civic and business leaders, advancing the library’s literary and technology programs, continuing its excellence in customer service, building a diverse staff and supporting the KCLS Foundation’s fundraising efforts.

“The King County Library System is nationally known as a leader among public libraries. It is an honor to have been selected as the next director,” said Rosenblum. “Many of the innovative programs at KCLS are implemented similarly at BPL, so I already feel an alignment with the direction of KCLS and its strategic focus. I would like to continue the direction and help it grow as both an institution and a community asset,” she said.

Rosenblum earned her Master’s Degree in Library Science from San Jose State University and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. John’s College.

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White Center Library closing Thursday, Friday for window repair

November 29th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news 3 Comments »

If you’ve been to the White Center Library in recent weeks, you’ve probably noticed some damage to its distinctive glass facade. KCLS is about to fix the windows, but it needs to close the library to get that done, so it will be closed tomorrow and Friday (November 30th and December 1st), reopening Saturday, December 2nd.

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White Center Library Guild Bazaar and Book Sale 2017: Saturday too!

November 17th, 2017 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Libraries, White Center news 1 Comment »

Did you miss day 1 of the White Center Library Guild Holiday Bazaar and Book Sale? No problem – go tomorrow!

10 am-2 pm Saturday, the bazaar continues for its second and final day. You’ll find books, gifts, decorations, and more – once you walk into the library’s main door on the parking-lot side, turn left.

It’s a fundraiser for library programs, and you’ll meet some cool volunteers too.

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THURSDAY: Boulevard Park Library project meeting

November 12th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Boulevard Park, Libraries, White Center news 1 Comment »

Reminder, if you missed this mention in our coverage of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s November meeting: If you use the Boulevard Park Library (12015 Roseberg Ave. S.), you will want to be there this Thursday (November 16th), 6:30-8 pm, for an open house where you can find out the latest about the upcoming interior-remodeling project. KCLS says the team from BuildingWork Architecture will be there.

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WHITE CENTER HOLIDAYS: Library Guild Bazaar coming up November 17-18

November 9th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Holidays, Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER HOLIDAYS: Library Guild Bazaar coming up November 17-18

A little over a week until your chance to do holiday shopping and support a good cause – the White Center Library Guild‘s Holiday Bazaar and Book Sale is coming up Friday, November 17th, 10 am-3 pm, and Saturday, November 18th, 10 am-2 pm. The library is at 1409 SW 107th.

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White Center Library Guild sale continues Saturday

September 1st, 2017 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news 1 Comment »

Sorry we missed day 1 – but here’s word that the White Center Library Guild‘s Sidewalk Sale continues Saturday!

White Center Library Sidewalk Sale

1409 SW 107th Street

Continues Saturday, September 2, 10 am-2 pm

Raffle drawing for a gift basket including a gift card from McLendon’s Hardware. All proceeds benefit White Center Library programs, supplies, and books. Household donations gladly accepted – please no clothing or apparel items.

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FRIDAY: White Center Library Guild plant sale

April 26th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Gardening, How to Help, Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news Comments Off on FRIDAY: White Center Library Guild plant sale

Just two days away!

Friday afternoon, be at the White Center Library (1409 SW 107th) to support the guild and get your gardening season into gear!

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YOU CAN VOTE: White Center Library a finalist for DJC’s ‘Building of the Year’

February 16th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news 3 Comments »

(WCN file photo)

Found out today from the Daily Journal of Commerce that the beautiful new White Center Library, which opened last May, is a finalist in their “Building of the Year” competition. And you can vote – go here to find out more about the contest, and to vote before the end of the month. (Scroll down – the library’s at the bottom of the list.)

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First class of new citizens sworn in at new White Center Library

October 18th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Libraries, People, White Center Library, White Center news 4 Comments »

(WCN photos)

With the new White Center Library in its first year, it’s seeing a lot of firsts – and this afternoon brought another. It was swearing-in day for the latest quarterly citizenship class held at King County Library System facilities. 17 people were in the class, and 14 were at this afternoon’s ceremony.

Officials from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services presided, as did executives from KCLS, including, above, system director Gary Wasdin. He pointed out that libraries are a resource for finding out what’s happening in their communities, and that staffers will be able to help the new citizens find out how to register to vote.

Thanks to Gill for the tip about today’s ceremony. We unfortunately didn’t get there in time for the national anthem being sung by 4th graders from nearby Mount View Elementary. Also featured: A video with President Obama, also featuring Aretha Franklin singing “America the Beautiful.”

ADDED WEDNESDAY: We just got the list of countries represented by the new citizens:

Bangladesh
Burma
Denmark
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Pakistan
Philippines
Russia
Somalia
South Korea
United Kingdom

Congratulations to all!

ADDED: Two more photos, courtesy of Gill – the first one includes the aforementioned students who sang:

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VIDEO: White Center Library grand-opening celebration

May 21st, 2016 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center news 1 Comment »

The new White Center Library is open! If you want to be part of Opening Day, get there by 5 pm, if you haven’t been there already. A half-hour-long ceremony got things going this morning, starting with music by the Cascade Middle School Symphonic Band:

King County Library System director Gary Wasdin observed that the WC Library groundbreaking was one of the first big things he was involved with after starting the job last year:

libraryguy

He said this is the fourth library that KCLS has opened this year. Next, KCLS Board of Trustees president Rob Spitzer, who said they’d “learned a lot about the community” in the process of getting this library built:

trusteesguy

All the while, a steady rain continued, but the crowd wasn’t daunted – many brought umbrellas:

sidewalkpeople

It’s not a ribboncutting without an elected official, and this one featured 34th District State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, who noted that the library in Burien, where he lives, is a jewel, and this one too will be a “community gathering place” close to WC’s downtown.

fitz

Overall, Rep. Fitzgibbon proclaimed, those who planned and advocated for and built this library “nailed it.”

The new WC Library will have an even-closer relationship with Highline Public Schools, with Mount View Elementary next door, and the district’s superintendent Susan Enfield offered a few words at today’s ceremony too:

enfield

She also declared it a “wonderful community hub … not just a place to read and check out books.” It’s also a place to see art – including the red panels around the building, which architect Nick McDaniel from NBBJ explained are representations of White Center’s murals:

muralpanels

June McKivor, president of the White Center Library Guild, spoke next:

mckivor

While she has lived in WC since 1976, she said, the community’s library history goes back much further, and she mentioned a few milestones, which also were detailed in the event program, including the first library opening “below the Fieldhouse steps” in 1946, six years before the guild itself formed. (The Year McKivor moved to WC is the year the old library on 16th SW opened.) But the most important history she shared was that of the fight to make sure this branch actually got built: “A few years ago, this beautiful building was in danger of not being built.” A petition drive ensued, proving “strength in numbers,” she said.

McKivor and Wasdin joined next in honoring someone whose passionate advocacy made a big difference – she was often the face and voice of the Library Guild in so many venues – Rachael Levine:

triowithlevineandmckivor

A plaque with rock sculptures in the garden on the north side of the library now pays tribute to her:

rlplaque

“Community is not one person,” Levine said, “it’s all of us.”

And then, everyone was reminded that the best way to advocate for the library is to use it. Once the ribbon was cut and the doors opened, they did:

moreinside

insidewide

kidarea

Again, the library is open until 5 pm today – go celebrate!

(If you see this before 2 pm, that’s when you can enjoy Rimawaynina Cumbe, Traditional Cumbia Colombiana.)

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