November is a great month to participate

November is the month when the public and media focus attention on the general election.

And King County Library System is doing its part to keep voters informed by providing fact-based, nonpartisan information at kcls.org/elections. Residents can find links to information on candidate forums, ballot measures, and locations of ballot drop boxes at 18 libraries. It’s all part of our effort to make it easy to participate in the electoral process on Nov. 5.

November is also the month when King County Library System holds public hearings to present its annual operating budget. The budget serves as the framework for funding library programs and services, facilities, outreach, technology, and collections; the hearings provide an opportunity for our patrons to participate and express what they value most about libraries.

A patron satisfaction survey conducted in August gathered feedback from more than 11,000 residents who gave KCLS “intensely positive ratings” for libraries as welcoming to visit (97 percent); convenient and accessible locations (94 percent); and excellent job done by staff (97 percent). The survey also showed that printed materials, digital materials and Wi-Fi access are priorities for patrons.

The preliminary budget includes funding to support these and other initiatives guided by KCLS’ strategic focus, including programs and services that address socioeconomic disparities among the various communities we serve.

Public hearings will be held on Monday, Nov. 4 at the Bellevue Library and Wednesday Nov. 6 at Kent Panther Lake Library. Both hearings start at 6 p.m. For more information, go to kcls.org/budget.

Whether accessing election information or taking part in budget hearings, I encourage you to participate in the process.

Lisa Rosenblum is the executive director of the King County Library System.

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