GRATITUDE: White Center Library Guild’s spring-sale success

May 9th, 2024 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news Comments Off on GRATITUDE: White Center Library Guild’s spring-sale success

The White Center Library Guild is sharing words of thanks to those who made their spring sale a success:

The White Center Library Guild held their Spring Rummage and Plant Sale on April 26th and 27th at the White Center Library. The sale featured books, plants – both seedlings for the garden and houseplants – as well as an assortment of other items, from jewelry to quilting supplies to coffee mugs.

The sale was well attended, and the money raised goes to support programs at the White Center Library, mostly programs for children. We are grateful for the support from the community and hope to see everybody at our Summer Sidewalk Sale on Aug. 2nd and 3rd, 2024.

Annemarie Lorenzen
President, White Center Library Guild

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SALE! White Center Library Guild’s spring rummage sale coming up

April 11th, 2024 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news Comments Off on SALE! White Center Library Guild’s spring rummage sale coming up

Set your calendar!

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Here’s what happened at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s first 2024 meeting

February 1st, 2024 Tracy Posted in King County, Libraries, North Highline UAC, White Center news 5 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Moments ago, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council wrapped up its first meeting of 2024, facilitated by NHUAC’s Liz Giba.

KING COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM: For the third consecutive meeting, NHUAC had guests from KCLS. This time, trustee Verna Seal, who just joined the KCLS board last year, was first up. (She spent more than a decade and a half on the Tukwila City Council, until 2021.) “I love libraries .. so when this opportunity came up, I saw it as a way to give back,” she said, explaining that the board deals with policy, not operations. She’s one of just two people on the board who are from South King County. She invited questions; Giba asked, “How much money is the board in control of and how is it determined how much goes to each area?” Seal didn’t have specifics but said the system’s budget is $100 million-plus. They get a proposed budget and then review it, ask questions, etc., before eventually voting to approve a final budget (she noted you can see it online). Regional manager Mary Sue Houser added that the board meets at 5 pm on the last Wednesday of each month and anyone can attend online or in person (in Issaquah).

NHUAC’s Pat Price, who’s on the White Center Library Guild, said they’d love to see the board out here. Houser said that once the schedule and locations are finalized – maybe not until the new executive director Heidi Daniel is on board (she starts March 11) – they’ll make sure everyone knows.

Houser talked about programming for kids – including 10:30 am Thursday story times – and a LEGO Block Party at 3 pm February 16. (Check the library website for event listings.) Tax season just started – only 10 returns done so far but Houser said they’ve already found $15,000 in refunds for patrons.

Seal said that while she’s just one board member and can’t directly order changes – like “more hours, everybody wants more hours” – she can advocate, and ensure that issues are discussed. You can contact her and the rest of the board by email (find the address here).

ANNOUNCEMENTS: NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin announced that King County Parks has volunteer opportunities – including work this Saturday at Dick Thurnau Park and other upcoming events at Glendale Forest and North Shorewood Park, all 9 am-noon work parties. (Find out more about the events, and how to volunteer, by going here.)

KING COUNTY CODE ENFORCEMENT: Tom Campbell, code-enforcement officer with the county Department of Local Services’ Permitting Division, was invited to talk about a couple White Center-area cases. First one, a residential property on 19th SW, where an “inoperable vehicle filled with garbage … had been there for a long time.” The occupants had “bagged the garbage and moved it to their driveway,” he said, but they decided what more they could do via the abatement process. They found the owner, he said, and “she agreed to remove the garbage within one week.” They gave her vouchers so she could take it to the transfer station. As for the inoperable vehicle, the owners plan to have it taken to a scrapyard and will move a vehicle that still works into its place on a gravel pad. “So that should get it cleaned up,” he said, noting that the trash had become an issue for neighbors because it was attracting rats. He explained that they have authority to do “abatement” on this kind of situation and to place a lien on the property to recover costs – but that requires court action, and can “take a fairly lengthy period of time,” so they tried instead to locate the owner first, and were successful via an online search. If she doesn’t keep her commitment, then they can pursue court action, Campbell explained.

He said NHUAC also had asked about the outdoor music from Tim’s Tavern, a frequent topic at meetings last year, with nearby residents hearing it inside their homes. “An outdoor performance center is not allowed in (this kind of) business zone,” he said, so they’ve pursued a code violation there, and also the fact the outdoor seating was constructed without a building permit. “There may also be an occupant load issue,” he said. “We do have an active enforcement case there,” just opened last week, and they’ll be following up. Today they sent a violation letter to Tim’s, he said, and the only way to resolve it is to “stop the activity, stop the use as an outdoor performance center.” If they don’t comply, but appeal it, there’ll be a hearing, and if the violation stands, there would be a compounding daily fine for however long the violation continues. Beyond that, Campbell said, eventually the county could seek “injunctive relief.”

Campbell was also asked about the stripped vehicles and trash at 2831 SW Roxbury, the former Roxbury Auto Parts (which has a sale pending, according to its online listing); he promised to look into it.

With situations like 19th SW, he was asked, what can be done about repeat violations? Campbell said they’re working with the King County Council to review policies that tend to drag these things out. He said people should be aware that code enforcement is funded by the county General Fund and that’s facing a budget crunch, so money woes may affect this kind of work. “We’ve had a position taken away, so we’re down some staff in code enforcement … one of the things we’re going to have to prioritize is the types of violations” that they pursue. Some smaller-level problems may not get immediate action, he warned – they may have to prioritize even more than they do now. They already have a large backlog of ‘very substantive code violations,” he said, that they’re working on.

The 19th SW situation might not have been prioritized if not for everything from the rats to the various people who contacted Permitting about it, Campbell said, including the County Executive’s Office.

Dobkin asked if other downtown White Center businesses also are supposed to not be allowed to have outdoor music; Campbell said he’s not certain about the boundaries of the “community business” district but anyone within it is prohibited from that use. Dobkin said there are rumors that other venues are planning it, with encouragement; Campbell said he’ll look into that too. Dobkin said, “I’m not trying to close a business …. but when it interferes with our life, that’s when it’s a problem.” The King County Sheriff’s Office had been dealing with the Tim’s situation previously, and storefront Det. Glen Brannon said he had lots of background to share with the Permitting Division.

Campbell then was told the Blu Grouse on 17th SW also is a concern, with outdoor music during good weather. Campbell said he’ll check into it, including whether the venue is in the district where this use would be banned.

How can businesses be educated that this is not an allowed use? King County’s Bong Santo Domingo, who’s also with Local Services, was asked, since he’s working with a new alliance involving local businesses. Campbell suggested that assembling and distributing a flyer with what’s not allowed and what is allowed in the business district might be a good idea.

Discussion then turned to concerns that special-event music also was running too loud and too long; longtime residents said they had never had a problem before the past year or so.

KING COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE: Then it was Det. Brannon’s turn. He elaborated on the ex-Roxbury Auto Parts building situation. He said the building was sold a year ago but it fell through (a plumbing company was going to move there); now another sale is pending, as we mentioned above, and he says his understanding that it’s going to be “some kind of car wash facility.” The owner doesn’t have the resources to tow the abandoned car(s) but they have been working to keep squatters out. Regarding the ex-Bartell Drugs building, which is owned by a California woman, it’s up for sale, he said, and it’s been burglarized and vandalized, so they’re trying to get it fenced. The “encampment on 13th” is still an issue, he said, and it’s being reviewed by King County higher-ups, though right now he says it’s only home to two full-time residents, with others coming and going. It might take two months “to get through all the bureaucracy it has to go through,” he cautioned. He talked about other sites he’s tracking, including one behind Little Caesar’s.

Brannon was asked about the much-reported regional enforcement inspections by Liquor Control Board agents and other law enforcers, which drew outcry because several venues were LGBTQ+. White Center’s Lumber Yard Bar was among them. Brannon wasn’t aware of the situation and the usual LCB rep wasn’t present. It was noted that reports also said Roxbury Lanes and Southgate Roller Rink had been visited as well. The regional reports mentioned Seattle Police and LCB involvement; why not KCSO? Brannon said LCB “has its own authority” and doesn’t require other law-enforcement approval or involvement, but he’ll look into it.

He received compliments for the department’s huge drug bust in Burien, and was asked about the most-recent freeway shooting; he said that largely was a State Patrol investigation, but said in general it’s related to gang activity – “young kids shooting each other.”

COUNTY COUNCILMEMBER’S ASSISTANT: Chris Lampkin from new King County Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda‘s office introduced himself and invited everyone to let their office know about issues of concern.

NEXT MEETING: NHUAC usually meets the first Thursday of the month, 7 pm, online – watch for updates.

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King County Library System announces new executive director

December 19th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center news 2 Comments »

The King County Library System has been a major topic at the past two North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meetings, including the impending leadership change. Today KCLS announced it has chosen a new executive director to succeed Lisa Rosenblum:

The King County Library System (KCLS) Board of Trustees has selected Heidi Daniel to become KCLS’ new executive director. Following a nationwide search after Lisa Rosenblum’s announcement to retire, the Board of Trustees voted to extend an offer of employment to Daniel at the board meeting on December 13. Daniel accepted the offer, and she will begin her leadership role on March 11, 2024.

“Our search firm and committee conducted a rigorous interview process, with input from a diverse panel of staff, trustee and community stakeholders, to find KCLS’ next executive director,” stated KCLS Board of Trustees President Harish Kulkarni. “Daniel emerged as the most qualified and competitive candidate. She will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and an impressive track record of innovation and community service to KCLS.”

Daniel joins KCLS from the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has served as president and CEO since July 2017. Under Daniel’s leadership, the Pratt became one of the first fines-free public libraries on the East Coast. Daniel also oversaw the completion of the Central Library renovation, and helped spearhead plans for a new Park Heights Library, the Pratt’s first new building in more than 15 years. She helped launch the library’s Office of Equity and Fair Practices, steered the organization through the start of the unionization process, led new and innovative public service strategies through the historic COVID-19 pandemic, and kickstarted a new Master Facilities Plan to help ensure the Pratt’s ability to serve generations to come.

Prior to working at the Pratt, Daniel served as executive director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County in Youngstown, Ohio for nearly five years. Daniel, the 2015 recipient of the Ohio Librarian of the Year award, oversaw 15 library branches throughout Mahoning County, worked on several major building projects and spearheaded innovative new services, including a Pop-Up Library and the circulation of mobile Wi-Fi hot spots.

“We are excited to welcome Heidi to KCLS and Washington state,” stated KCLS Interim Executive Director Angie Miraflor. “Her broad leadership experience, and outstanding ability to build internal and external relationships, will serve our patrons well. We can’t wait to work with her.”

“I am deeply honored to take the helm of the King County Library System,” said Daniel. “I’ve been impressed with KCLS, its staff and the Pacific Northwest. KCLS is nationally known for its excellence, commitment to community and welcoming atmosphere, and I am thrilled to build upon its foundation while moving KCLS into the future.”

The daughter of a factory worker, Daniel’s parents did not go to college, but used the library in her Michigan hometown to impress upon her the importance of education. Daniel earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies at DePaul University and her master’s degree in library sciences at Texas Woman’s University. She began her career in children’s and teen programming in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Houston, Texas before moving into library administration.

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New fire chief, crime/safety issues, more discussed at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s 2023 finale

December 13th, 2023 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Libraries, North Highline UAC, White Center news 2 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The last North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting of 2023 was held online Thursday night (December 7). Here’s what happened:

LIBRARY UPDATES: Mary Sue Houser, a divisional manager for King County Library System – overseeing six branches including White Center, Greenbridge, and Boulevard Park – was the first guest. She reminded everyone that KCLS is now “fine-free” – if you have an overdue item, just take it in! (They will charge if you lose something, though.) Some hours have expanded, too (as reported here). She recapped the Freedom to Read celebration that was discussed at the last meeting, and mentioned the Welcoming Centers, “a place for people who are new to the country … anyone who has just gotten here and needs help.” Language-speakers are available to offer resources and answer questions. These are at six libraries (none in North Highline). NHUAC’s Liz Giba asked if a Welcoming Center could be added at WC Library; Houser said she’ll be sure it’s “on the radar.”

FIRE CHIEFS: After more than 31 years of service, Chief Mike Marrs is leaving. He’s been District 2 chief since 1999. He thanked everyone for their support, particularly the renewals of the Medic One levy every six years. He talked about how previously one in five people woule survive a heart attack in Seattle/King County – even at that, better than other cities, but a goal was set for three in five to survive, and that goal’s been met and surpassed. Ongoing training and policies help. 85 percent of calls are medical, a lot of them are heart attacks, and so, many lives are being saved, He also expressed gratitude for voters approving the Benefit Charge. It’s not based on property value but rather on the size of structure that needs to be protected, Marrs explained. And since it’s a fee, for example, the Housing Authority has to pay it too, rather than getting an exemption. “I think we’ve put that money to good use.” He noted that his role running Fire District 2 expanded to include North Highline around 2010, part-time as a stopgap measure, and “we just slowly migrated to where we came together.” After years of sharing personnel and equipment, and increasing efficiencies and cost savings, they originally realized it was time to “fully integrate” everything. In 2019, it all melded into a four-station fire department. They’ve been able to purchase new fire engines, a new aid car, and “with the funding we’re saving in other areas,” next year they’ll be able to return a full-time aid car to Station 18 in White Center. He also said he’s proud of “the workforce we have right now.” He said his “one litmus test” for hiring has been “who do I want to show up at my house at 2 o’clock in the morning when my house is on fire?” Marrs said he feels his legacy includes those people – who go out on calls 12,000 times a year.

In Q/A/comments, the chief was thanked for his advocacy for the North Highline fireworks ban. He didn’t have any stats about its effectiveness, though.

New Chief Jason Gay then introduced himself – 49 years old, father of two (20-year-old Marine and 16-year-old high school sophomore). He is a Marine Corps veteran, focusing on avionics, and went into aerospace after getting out, got a mechanical engineering degree, staying in that industry for a long time. Then he moved on to firefighting – “best choice I ever made” – and Marrs hired him in 2005. He went to school again for a Fire Administration degree and has been working his way up, becoming a lieutenant, then captain, for 10 years, then acting battalion chief for 6 years, and eventually went into the logistics office. More studies ensued; he pursued an online masters in Public Administration, and in October he became Fire Chief.

Chief Gay says his vision for the department is: financially responsible, well-funded, deep ties with service community, values its employees – helping them via education, professional development – he wants the department to be known for leadership and stewardship, among other things, Marrs, he said, has shown “you can be conservative and provide a fantastic service to the vommunity.” He “wants to be a good steward of tax dollars for the community.” He also noted the health risks firefighters face – like cancer risk – and wants to protect them as best he can. “There’s a lot of work we can do in continuing to ratchet our service to the community.” Stations 18 and 19 are undergoing remodeling to serve a diverse workforce – he notes that about 9 percent of the workforce is women, including two “line firefighters.” He said the department’s staff is relatively new – less than five years firefighting for almost half of them.

NHUAC’s Pat Price wondered about a timeline for the Station 18 remodel (that’s where NHUAC long met in person) being complete. Chief Gay said crews will be mobilizing right after Christmas and the 18 and 19 remodels should be complete by early May. “At that point we’ll have a wonderful meeting room to go back to,” he said.

NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin wondered how the increased density affects the department. “Obviously our call volume is rising,” said Gay. They’re mapping things now and the upcoming added aid car at Station 18 will be part of addressing that. What about higher buildings? They have a ladder truck, which can get them up to seven stories, he noted. They also were asked about alternative responses, which have been explored by multiple jurisdictions around the region.

KING COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE: White Center Storefront Detective Glen Brannon began by saying “things are looking good in our neck of the woods.” He was asked about the disappearance of the Burien encampment in a triangle along Ambaum Boulevard; they had to disperse because of Burien’s camping ban, and many are now at a church in Burien that has an official camping/shelter program. Some have probably headed into White Center, Brannon believes. He mentioned working with The More We Love group, which has a contract with Burien to address encampments. He also mentioned that they’re working with Community Passageways and so they’ve got a lot of new resources to work with people on the street.

An attendee who recorded video of illegal dumping asked if Brannon had any interest. Send him the video, Det. Brannon said. ( He also asked about mail thieves. To charge somebody with mail theft, they have to have at least seven pieces of mail from different people, Brannon said.

He was asked about a crash in White Center, on 16th SW near Saar’s, the previous evening. It was a pedestrian hit by a driver; not life-threatening injuries.

A Block Watch captain gave props to Det. Brannon for handling some things his neighbors in Top Hat were worried about.

Det. Brannon said he wants to hear from Block Watches – and from people interested in starting one.

Then a WC resident said he’s concerned about dangerous driving and wondered about speed enforcement. Det. Brannon offered to come hang out in his neighborhood (a cut-through section of 17th) and try to be a deterrent/enforcer.

What about the former Bartell building, and trash/graffiti problems? He said he’ll look into that, and also noted that a new tenant is being actively sought.

Regarding the ongoing outdoor-music-venue noise concerns, Det. Brannon said he got the monitoring equipment he talked about at the last NHUAC meeting and has already tested it. He promised that enforcement is planned. “We’re done letting these guys get away with that.” He explained how the equipment records readings and times.

Also briefly discussed – the ongoing search for businesses to move into the storefronts that suffered fire damage. A variety of other issues came up too. Regarding gunfire heard from neighborhoods, Det. Brannon said that factors include a “gang war starting up,” and that they know who’s doing it – people driving around shooting into the air – “we just have to catch them.” He said someone high-ranking in a gang was killed recently, with a funeral coming up in less than a week, and a lot of retaliatory gunfire seems to be happening.

NEXT MEETING: NHUAC will skip January and be back the first Thursday in February.

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HOLIDAYS: Thankful for volunteers! White Center Library Guild’s successful sale

November 22nd, 2023 Tracy Posted in Holidays, Libraries, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Photos by Gill Loring)

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for so much … like the community volunteers who work so hard to support local institutions and organizations – for example, the White Center Library Guild, which held its annual Holiday Bazaar and Book Sale this past weekend.

The Guild’s fundraising supports programs at the library – which in turn support the entire community.

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Angie Miraflor to serve as interim leader of King County Library System

November 16th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center news 2 Comments »

Earlier this month, the King County Library System was in the spotlight at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s November meeting, with guests including about-to-retire KCLS executive director Lisa Rosenblum. Today, KCLS has announced an interim successor for her, while they continue searching for a new permanent leader. Here’s the announcement we received:

The King County Library System (KCLS) Board of Trustees has appointed KCLS Deputy Director of Public Services Angie Miraflor as interim director of the library system, effective December 19, following the retirement of current KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum.

Miraflor joined KCLS in November 2021. She brings over 20 years of experience working in diverse communities throughout the country. Before coming to KCLS, she served as the director of central services at the St. Louis Public Library. Miraflor has also served as the director of customer experience at the Brooklyn Public Library, associate director of the West Bronx Library Network at the New York Public Library, and division manager for literacy and learning at the San Jose Public Library. Angie holds a master’s degree in library and information science and a bachelor’s degree in public relations from San Jose State University.

“I’m proud to say KCLS has been my library home for the last two years,” stated KCLS Deputy Director of Public Services Angie Miraflor. “I’m excited and honored to lead such an innovative and community focused organization during this time of transition. KCLS’ devoted staff will continue to provide excellent programs and robust collections.”

The KCLS Board of Trustees is charged with hiring the new executive director. They are conducting a national search for the position, and they expect the effort to take several more months.

“The Board of Trustees is happy that Angie Miraflor has graciously agreed to fill the role of the interim director,” stated KCLS Board of Trustees President Harish Kulkarni. “We are confident that the library and its patrons will be in able and experienced hands until a new director can start their duties.”

Rosenblum announced her retirement in July. A distinguished librarian, she has spent the past 35 years working for public libraries. Since Rosenblum joined KCLS in January 2018, the library system has received numerous awards and accolades for outstanding services and innovation, including being named a National Medal finalist by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) this year — a first for KCLS.

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THURSDAY: Library, public-safety updates @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

October 29th, 2023 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Libraries, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on THURSDAY: Library, public-safety updates @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, November 2, 2023, at 7 pm

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 823 9563 4169
Passcode: NHUAC2023 (Case Sensitive)

Unable to join via Zoom? Please call: 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 823 9563 4169
Passcode: 696893428

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It’s November and time to exercise the right and responsibility to support our democracy by voting. Last month’s Candidate Forum featured candidates Sofia Aragon and Teresa Mosqueda, who are competing to represent our area on the King County Council. If you couldn’t attend, you can read the White Center Now post here.

This month’s meeting will focus on other important ways we support our democracy – reading and libraries. Our guests will include King County Library System’s (KCLS) Executive Director, Lisa Rosenblum; Mary Sue Houser, Olympic Regional Manager; Brenna Shanks, a Selection Librarian for the Teen Collection; and Melissa Mather, a Public Services Librarian from the Skyway branch.

Before Director Rosenblum joined KCLS in January of 2018, its relationship with our area had been quite tumultuous. She has been a positive leader for KCLS. When she visited NHUAC about three months in, the long-waited renovation of the Boulevard Park branch was settled. It reopened in May of 2019. A true success for our community, democracy, and Lisa Rosenblum!

KCLS understands that the freedom to read is fundamental to any democracy and protected by our First Amendment right. Last month, KCLS started a year-long campaign to create awareness and encourage conversations on the topic. Brenna Shanks and Melissa Mather will share Celebrate the Freedom to Read with us and Mary Sue Houser will answer questions specific to our library region.

Last, but surely not least – White Center’s Storefront Deputy Glen Brannon will update us!

Knowledge Is Power

Learn, share, and help make North Highline a healthier community.

Thursday, November 2 at 7 pm – Invite Your Neighbors!

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NEXT WEEKEND: White Center Library Guild’s sidewalk sale

July 8th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news Comments Off on NEXT WEEKEND: White Center Library Guild’s sidewalk sale

Midway through the weekend, it’s not too soon to start planning your next one! Now that the White Center Library is open Saturdays, the Library Guild’s upcoming sale can happen on two consecutive days:

The library is at 1409 SW 107th. (The ballot dropbox will be open by next weekend too, so if you’re ready to vote, bring your ballot, which should arrive next Thursday or Friday!)

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White Center, Boulevard Park, Greenbridge libraries’ hours to expand starting July 9th

June 15th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Boulevard Park, Burien, Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on White Center, Boulevard Park, Greenbridge libraries’ hours to expand starting July 9th

Just announced by the King County Library System:

Open hours will increase at more libraries in July. Most of our other locations expanded hours in May and June. Learn how, when, and where hours will change next.

How are open hours changing?
Most libraries will be open 6 to 7 days per week. After all new hours go into effect, 18 of our 49 libraries across the system will be open 7 days a week.

The days of the week that libraries are open and closed will change at some locations.

Some libraries will open earlier or stay open later.

When and where are open hours changing?
Click on a library name to visit the location page and preview new hours. Locations marked with an asterisk will be open 7 days a week. (Editor’s note: We’re just including local and nearby libraries – the actual list is longer)

July 9
Boulevard Park (adding 12 hours per week)
Burien* (adding 12 hours per week)
Greenbridge (adding 4 hours per week)
White Center (adding 5 hours per week)

Share your comments, questions, and suggestions. Fill out a comment form in libraries or online.

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FOLLOWUP: White Center Library Guild’s successful sale

April 30th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: White Center Library Guild’s successful sale

White Center Library Guild volunteers shared photos from last week’s rummage sale at the library. Proceeds were for the group’s work supporting library programs.

The verdict: The sale was a success.

The library guild usually has a Holiday Bazaar, too, so watch for that later this year.

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White Center Library Guild’s spring rummage sale next Friday and Sunday

April 16th, 2023 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news Comments Off on White Center Library Guild’s spring rummage sale next Friday and Sunday

Sale season is starting – and you can help support programs at the White Center Library by shopping at this one next Friday and Sunday:

The library’s at 1409 SW 107th.

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RSVP ASAP for White Center Pride’s bilingual story time

March 14th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on RSVP ASAP for White Center Pride’s bilingual story time

You’re invited!

White Center Pride invites you and the whole family to an enchanting bilingual story time at the White Center Library on Sunday, March 26. For this story time our reader, Mel Mercado-Garibay, a WCP board member, will be reading the classic Spanish songbook “De Colores” and Stonewall Book Award winner “Families.” There will be singing, paper flower making, and more surprises.

Seating is limited to approximately 50 people so please reserve your free spots today.

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LIBRARIES: Got something overdue? Fresh Start for All will clear late fees as of May 4 and suspend new ones temporarily

April 29th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on LIBRARIES: Got something overdue? Fresh Start for All will clear late fees as of May 4 and suspend new ones temporarily

Local libraries are offering a break starting next Wednesday to people who owe fines for overdue materials – or who are about to incur them. Here’s the announcement:

On May 4, the King County Library System will clear late fines for all patrons with a new initiative called A Fresh Start for All. This one-time waiver gives patrons a fresh start on their account and enables access to all KCLS materials. A Fresh Start for All was approved by the KCLS Board of Trustees on April 27, 2022.

The coronavirus pandemic placed many hardships on King County communities. To help patrons, KCLS temporarily stopped assessing late fines in March 2020. The System also lifted electronic access on blocked accounts during this time so patrons could still download digital materials.

KCLS will return to pre-pandemic circulation practices on September 15, and will start assessing late fines again at that time. After their accounts have been cleared on May 4, patrons will have until September 15 to return items before late fines resume.

KCLS is also introducing a new automatic renewal service on September 15. KCLS will automatically renew holds for patrons if their items are eligible for renewal. This will allow patrons to keep their materials longer without accruing late fines. Patrons may opt out of this service if they choose to.

Late fines add up when a patron does not return library materials by the due date. Late fines over $25 lead to a blocked account. A blocked account limits access to library services, books and other materials.

Lost fees are different from late fines. If library materials are more than 30 days overdue, they are considered lost. A Fresh Start for All will not apply to these fees; under state law, KCLS cannot waive lost fees. On May 4, the System will begin processing lost fees again. KCLS will mail billing notices to accounts with over $25 in fees. Patrons will have until September 15 to return items or pay fees before accounts are blocked.

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LIBRARIES: More hours starting soon

February 18th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on LIBRARIES: More hours starting soon

Announced today by the King County Library System:

Starting Sunday, February 27, the King County Library System (KCLS) will increase hours of operation by 18% System-wide. Hours of operation will vary by location. Find updated hours on library location pages with KCLS’ location finder map.

Nearly all libraries will add a day of service to their schedules, including Sundays and Mondays. This will ensure that patrons have access to a community library seven days a week in each region. In addition, all KCLS libraries will be open later into the evenings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and earlier on other days of the week to serve as many King County residents as possible.

“KCLS is excited to expand in-building services and hours again as we work to get back to pre-pandemic levels,” stated KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “We will continue to address our patrons’ evolving needs and increase in-building access when and where it is needed most.”

Following state and public health mandates and guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, KCLS has been operating on modified hours. KCLS has continued to serve King County communities in a variety of ways throughout the pandemic. The System acted swiftly to add new contactless services such as external library lockers, Curbside to Go pickup and virtual programming in the early stages of the pandemic, while steadily expanding in-building services. All 50 libraries opened to the public again in July 2021.

For the White Center Library, KCLS says, this means two added days a week – it will be open Sundays through Fridays (hours TBA). For the Boulevard Park Library, one day will be added – it’ll be open Tuesdays through Saturdays.

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WEDNESDAY: King County Law Library invites you to learn about estate planning

November 16th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Libraries, Online, White Center news Comments Off on WEDNESDAY: King County Law Library invites you to learn about estate planning

The King County Law Library invites you to this online event tomorrow:

November 17 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm\

Our “Research the Law” series takes a deep dive into legal research resources on a topic-by-topic basis. In this installment, we partner with attorney Evelyn Emanuel to explore resources that you can use when planning for your estate.

If you have financial assets or obligations and care about what happens to them when you’re gone, it’s a good idea to have a plan in the event that you die or become incapacitated unexpectedly. In this hour-long session, KCLL librarians and attorney Evelyn Emanuel will guide you through a number of helpful resources. This session is especially geared for those looking to start estate planning for the first time.

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Libraries to reopen by mid-July

June 14th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center news Comments Off on Libraries to reopen by mid-July

This announcement last Friday got lost amid the breaking news. So in case you missed it:

Beginning on June 30, the King County Library System (KCLS) will advance to Phase 4 in its multiphase reopening plan, following Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement to reopen Washington state. KCLS will reopen all remaining library buildings by July 13. Contactless Curbside to Go services will be phased out as KCLS increases in-building access.

KCLS’ reopening plan adheres to Gov. Inslee’s Healthy Washington—Roadmap to Recovery and Safe Start guidelines. State officials are currently working on updating industry-specific guidance for businesses and organizations to reflect the upcoming changes. KCLS’ in-building services will be modified at first and expand over time. KCLS will continue to assess and implement health and safety protocols as needed.

“We look forward to welcoming patrons back into all of our library buildings,” stated KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “We know this is the moment many of you have been waiting for, and we are happy it is nearly here.”

KCLS’ libraries will open on a gradual schedule. Service changes and hours of operation will vary by location during the Phase 4 transition. Library hours will be posted on the library location page as the rollout progresses. Residents may learn more about what to expect during their visit at as KCLS moves closer to reopening. Contact Ask KCLS for assistance at, or call (425) 462-9600 or (800) 462-9600.

KCLS has continued to serve King County communities in a variety of ways throughout the pandemic. The System currently offers modified in-building services at 19 libraries, several contactless services at most locations, and online access to digital collections, programs and resources.

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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, 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

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, to STEM learning from

Resources for Small Business Owners

KCLS’ Small Business Resources web page links the business community to information and resources like, 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:

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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