Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jaime’s KCLS Jaunt #11 and #12: Burien and TechLab

compass11After several very rainy (and snowy!?) days in the run-up to the weekend, Saturday shined sunny, if a bit chilly.  (You guessed it, Lorin was with us!) Trip number 6 was definitely an anticipated destination – all but one of the Library Board members plus Chris, Redmond’s Managing Librarian, were able join me on the trip to the new Burien library branch.

Wheelie in front of the Burien Library!

Meeting Room Etched Glass
Burien has one of the most unique building arrangements in the King County Library System.  Through an innovative partnership with the City of Burien, the library and City Hall share the same building. The building is also awaiting its sliver LEED certification.  The library is on the first two floors and the City Hall is on the third.  A large shared meeting room is also on the first floor.  The building is full of art – windows, doors, floors, it’s everywhere you look and step! With Chris as an escort we were able to “sneak” into the staff entrance about 15 minutes before opening.  Doris and I were pleasantly surprised to see Judith again – she was the first librarian we met on our first jaunt to Auburn! The library was already humming with the staff and volunteers because. . .

Wheelie & TechConnect As luck would have it, TechConnect was scheduled to be at Burien on the day of our visit.  TechConnect is a library open house that educates patrons on the technology available to them through their local KCLS library.  It also showcases technology that the library uses to better serve patrons – like Automated Self Check-In. 

Just after the first rush of patrons at opening, we met our docent for our tour, Mary.  A lifelong resident of Burien, Mary volunteers at both Burien and Des Moines libraries.  I was quite impressed with the amount of information Mary had to answer all of our questions about the library and community!  During our stop in the teen area on the second floor, we could easily see planes landing at nearby SeaTac. The quiet area also spectacular views. . .though it was a little too cloudy for us to view Mt. Rainier.  Both floors have plenty of glass outside walls, an amazing amount of natural light is available throughout all of the spaces. The Burien branch also houses KCLS’ largest collection on the Northwest.

Jet Landing; Burien Library 2nd Floor

Wheelie does his best Ken Griffey, Jr. impression!

After we parted from Mary and chatted up the Burien Library Guild, we headed out to the parking lot to visit the TechLab.  A cozy space, TechLab takes the library computers to populations that aren’t otherwise able to access library branches.  The focus for TechConnect for the TechLab was the availability of audiobooks. Since it’s one of the mobile library “branches” I’m counting it as a separate visit!

Wheelie & TechLab

The second floor view from the library, the brewhouse is kitty-corner. And of course, a trip to a new community isn’t complete without. . .food!  We ate an early lunch at Elliot Bay Brewhouse & Pub – and since it was 5 o’clock somewhere, I enjoyed a (small, really) organic beer.  It was wonderful to get to know everyone outside of the specific library business that we usually discuss.

Plus, Doris and I were sure to honor the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day with a photo opp inside the brewhouse!
Doris and Jaime


p.s. My map is now outdated!  Renton has voted to join KCLS, so I’ll need to update. And I have a bit of a quandary as Tukwila is now closed, so the new official map shows Renton branches, but not Tukwila.  I’ll debut the new version at the next post!

Library Map

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