Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jaime’s KCLS Jaunt #17: Redmond Ridge

Go East! As befitting the express concept of the “library” at Redmond Ridge, this will probably be my shortest jaunt and blog entry! It may seem that I’m slowing down a bit – April and May is filled with other travel and weekend commitments that put a bit of a dent in my pace.  But, with a third of the libraries already visited, I’m still in good shape for the year.

Library: This Way!As I saw this sign and turned into the parking lot, I watched a horse and its rider sauntered down the sidewalk.  I love the area’s mix of urban and rural characteristics! I think after this visit the other library board members are going to forbid my solo jaunts. . .


Wheelie Reads Jaime The Hours! 

I fail on all levels!  While my trip today was planned to be a brief stop to return a book and snap a few pictures inside the Express, I neglected to consider that it actually closes! At 5 p.m.!  Of course, I arrived at 5:10 p.m. 



Inside View Fortunately, at 300 square feet, I could take pictures through the door windows and you can get the idea. I’m still counting it as a jaunt (I’m a busy girl!). . .as I’ve been in the building previously for its grand opening.

Officially referred to as Library Express @ Redmond Ridge, this innovative partnership with the Redmond Ridge Residential Owners Association (ROA), provides drop-off and hold pick-up services to the neighboring area.  There’s also a limited selection of choice reads available in the un-staffed space.  Patrons enter by using their library Key Pad card number and a red phone (okay, maybe I really will re-visit it, I wanted to take a picture of Wheelie using the phone!) connects patrons to the Redmond branch. For security purposes, a webcam allows Redmond librarians to keep an eye on the inside and outside of the building.

Nestled near the entrance to the Redmond Ridge community, this extension, if you will, of the services provided by the full-service Redmond branch answered a community need with limited funding and a lot of imagination!


Libary Map

Monday, April 12, 2010

KCLS 2009 Year in Review: A Record-Setting Year of Service

KCLS has just released its 2009 Year in Review. Here’s a summary from KCLS Director, Bill Ptacek:

“In 2009, King County Library System (KCLS) rose to a new challenge: helping patrons find essential information during tough Click to view the KCLS 2009 Year in Revieweconomic times. In addition to maintaining regular standards of service and continuing construction projects, KCLS developed an innovative approach in response to the economic crisis to guide patrons to reliable information when they needed it most. As a result, KCLS not only remained relevant to the lives of everyday people, but drew record crowds. This was the busiest year in the history of KCLS.”

Look to Your Library
To help people facing unemployment, mortgage defaults, business failures and disappearing investments, the "Look to Your Library" program guided people to free library and community resources, including unemployment assistance, job search tools and small business aid. KCLS 2009 Year in Review quote A full week of extended library hours offered in-person coaching on how to find and use library resources. Partnerships across King County with public and nonprofit agencies were established to offer skills classes and other support.

The results were so successful that the Department of Social and Health Services and WorkSource employment resources are expanding our partnership to assist job-seekers. KCLS received widespread recognition for these efforts, garnering three national awards and becoming a role model for the Gates Foundation.

Redmond Library Circulation
Redmond Cluster circulation totals The four libraries in the cluster that Redmond belongs to continue to post impressive circulation numbers. The cluster total for 2009 is almost 2 million! The Redmond Library regularly has the second highest circulation totals (trailing only Bellevue) throughout KCLS.

As Redmond residents, we are indeed fortunate to have such a great community resource.

Redmond Library Board

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jaime’s KCLS Jaunt #15 and #16: North Bend and Snoqualmie

Go East! Trip number 8 was a study in contrasts from my other trips.  As this was my first “long-distance” jaunt by myself I chose to spend a quiet afternoon reading in the North Bend and Snoqualmie libraries – reading. . .in the library. . . what a “novel” idea!

I headed out to North Bend first.  By distance it’s towards the top of the list of the places far away from Redmond.  As I made the drive past Issaquah and hit the 70 mph stretch on I-90, the hustle and bustle of the continuously developed areas began to fade.  The mountains are temporarily hidden by the tree-lined freeway and its direction and elevation, until one is at about the Snoqualmie Ridge exit and the snow-capped peaks of the Cascades become regularly visible once again.  I love that feeling of “breaking free” on the open road!

Wheelie at the North Bend Sign The North Bend branch has the neatest sign I’ve seen so far – a large rock affair with the letters etched in (granite, maybe?).  As I climbed out of my car, I also heard music!  A beautiful strain of classical piped into speakers over the door. Neat! I headed inside, took in the high ceilings and headed to the left to a line of windows and seating to settle in for a bit. 

North Bend Entrance My friend and I run a book club (in conjunction with Hopelink) and we are reading Mari Strachan’s “The Earth Hums in B Flat”. I needed to read about 60 pages to be prepared for the following day’s discussion.  While I did really originally intend to read, I also thought that I might look around a little from my perch and observe. . .but I was quickly absorbed in my reading and everything else just faded away. . .

When I finished my selection, I did poke around the stacks a bit before I headed out to Snoqualmie.  Since eating is my second favorite thing to do after reading, and it was a beautiful day, my plan was to stop in downtown Snoqualmie Train Station and grab an afternoon pick-me-up.  There was quite a crowd of people strolling on the sidewalks and through the trains. In a nod to Snoqualmie’s railroad past and present, I stopped into the Chew Chew Cafe and Candy.  While a malt or scoop of ice cream was very tempting in the sunny afternoon, I ended up choosing a handmade peanut butter truffle and small chunk of coconut fudge to bring home.  On my way back to the car, I also stopped into the Hardware and Variety store to pick up a bag of potting soil – one less errand to run later!  The hardware store was of the small-town-all-around-awesome type – unique gift items along with your standard hardware and garden items. 

After my pit stop in downtown, I headed up to Snoqualmie Ridge to visit the library.  Sitting atop the ridge, the Snoqualmie branch has wonderful large glass walls facingSnoqualmie Chair the mountains.  As I parked and headed in, I admired the high ceilings and found a quiet corner with a comfy chair with my second book – Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Lacuna”. I was promptly lost in another story, though I did try to make more of an effort to look up at the scenery between chapters! 

As I finished the section I wanted to read, I picked up a couple of classics to keep going on my Top 100 List and slipped quietly out of the library into the rest of my afternoon. . .


Dynamic Map Here (I’m still failing on getting the pushpins to show up embedded. . .)