With Governor Jay Inslee extending Washington’s stay-at-home order through April, the King County Library System is following suit, keeping its libraries closed until further notice.
“Our libraries may be closed, but KCLS is still open online,” KCLS executive director Lisa Rosenblum said in a press release. We encourage residents to take advantage of our expanded digital collection and our range of online programs, events and resources while the closures are in effect.
Even as library buildings are empty of eager readers, researchers and families, KCLS is seeing an increase in online interactions, reporting in late March that it saw a 35% increase in digital downloads of books and movies, as well as a whopping 389% increase in demand for electronic library cards, or eCards.
Following this success, the library system pivoted to make its most popular spring programs available online, including virtual storytimes, book clubs, online chats, art workshops and Junk Drawer Challenges.
KCLS is also still ongoing with the annual Rhyme On Poetry competition, which runs through April, National Poetry Month.
There are three age categories: children (5 to 12 years old), teenagers (13 to 18 years old) and adults (19 years old and over).
Three winners will be chosen from each category, and their poetry will be published on the KCLS website and various social media platforms.
The contest only allows one entry per person and the contest is only available to residents of King County, although you do not need a KCLS library card to enter.
For more information, visit https://kcls.org/rhyme-on/.
At the end of April, KCLS also celebrates 10 years of Día, also known as Children’s Day/Book Day, a nationally recognized initiative to promote literacy for children of all backgrounds and languages.
The week-long event, from April 26 to May 2, will include a musical performance with Eli Rosenblatt about acceptance and the importance of cultural identity, a bilingual story hour with Univision Spanish news presenter Paula Lamas and local author and illustrator, Adriana Morales Marín, and multicultural activities with Amaranta Arte y Cultura.
The library system recommends viewing various diversity materials, finding resources in many languages, viewing Día book listings, and learning more about the event on the Bibliotecas King County Facebook page or at https ://kcls.org/blogs/post/celebrate-dia-avec-la-littérature-multiculturelle-et-les-jeux-du-monde/.
KCLS libraries closed due to COVID-19 issues on March 13 and were originally scheduled to reopen on April 13.