“In U.S., Library Visits Outpaced Trips to Movies in 2019” — when you work for a Library System as large as King County Library System (KCLS), a headline like that catches your eye.
It refers to a Gallup Poll, released in late January, showing that libraries across the country drew more visitors than sporting events, concerts, theater, museums and other entertainment venues.
The poll illustrates that libraries continue to be important community assets even in the digital age. Libraries are a place for exploration and discovery, offering a sense of possibility whatever your interests may be. And libraries connect people through a broad range of programs and services, where neighbors meet, families gather and children learn.
While the poll did not break down data by region, we already know library use is strong.
In 2019, KCLS drew 9.7 million visitors and circulated more than 21 million items, including 6.7 million digital items and streaming content. Meeting rooms are heavily used for studying, book clubs, tax-preparation assistance, and more, including programs ranging from Story Times to lectures on arts, history and culture. Access to computers, high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi are also factors that draw people in.
So, what does the library mean to you?
We asked that question of area residents last fall, inviting both youth and adults to give us their answer in a short, two-minute video as part of our first-ever film contest, KCLS Reel Fest.
In all, 115 patrons, including some who worked as teams, submitted 91 entertaining and inspiring short films. We look forward to unveiling the Top 10 finalists at the KCLS Reel Fest Film Premiere and Awards Show from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 20, at the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center. An expert panel of judges will announce winners in two categories – Youth (17 and younger) and Adult.
Plan to join us for this fun and festive event to celebrate libraries and the creative patrons KCLS serves.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And plan to visit your local library soon where you, too, will discover why KCLS is the place to go.
Lisa Rosenblum is executive director of the King County Library System.