Community

Stay tuned for changes in city’s libraries

Libraries often experience increased usage during economic downturns, and the two Federal Way branches of the King County Library System are no exception.

Current statistics show library usage is up 6 percent over last year county-wide. Students, families, job seekers and readers have been flocking to our libraries, recognizing the great value to be realized in sharing our books, computers, DVD, CDs and CD-ROMS.

As 2008 draws to a close, library staff members look forward to the coming year with high hopes and great anticipation of our addition/remodel at the Federal Way Regional Library.

In 2004, voters approved a capital bond to expand our library system (www.kcls.org/bond/). Federal Way voters will see the fruit of their support as we add nearly 10,000 square feet, including increased spaces for materials and people, additional meeting spaces and a much-requested Quiet Study Area. And while it wasn’t part of the original bond planning, Federal Way’s economy will also benefit from the construction project as it brings dollars and builders into our area to work, eat, buy materials for the project and fuel for their vehicles.

As of late November, the project had not received its permit from the City of Federal Way, but library staff have been making great use of the time by preparing our collection and workspaces for the construction closure.

The Commons at Federal Way has graciously provided space next to Torero’s Restaurant, in space B2, for a temporary library once the regional branch closes. Shelving has already been installed at the mall site; staff, equipment and collection materials will be available after the closure. The Commons branch will be open during mall hours, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Meanwhile, the 320th Street branch has been beefing up its equipment and collection in anticipation of increased usage with the regional library closing for remodel. Computers are being added, as well as laptops that patrons can borrow and use in the library. More shelving will be added to create space for materials that people request from other locations, and additional staff will be available once the remodel begins. The 320th branch, which currently is not open on Sundays, will also be open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the project.

Additionally, library users will be able to pick up requested materials in the library within Panther Lake Elementary School, 5 to 8 p.m., once the regional library has closed. Signage and announcements will be available directing borrowers to the Panther Lake site once it is up and running. Fliers and notices will announce the regional library closure date once it is known.

2008 has been a busy year at your libraries. We look forward to assisting you with your information needs from all of our locations in the coming year.

John Sheller, Federal Way Regional Library: (253) 838-3668 Ext. 121 or jsheller@kcls.org.

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