King County Library System’s Innovative Programs

By Sian Roberts, AIA, LEED AP, Partner
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Saturday evening I attended the King County Library System Foundation’s annual fundraiser, the Literary Lions Gala. KCLS has been a client of ours for over a decade and I have lost track of the number of these events I have attended. Each year I come away with a renewed sense of the importance of shared values between designer and client. I am not only an architect designing buildings to support KCLS’s mission, I am also a patron and a supporter. I have been continually impressed and, as an architect, challenged by KCLS’s expectations of innovation in terms of building design and project delivery as well as library service.

Each year I share stories with KCLS about the impact their programs have had on our family. This year my ten year-old son’s class participated in the Foundation’s Global Reading Challenge, where class teams are formed to read a series of books, selected by KCLS, and then are tested on their knowledge of the books. I don’t know if it was the competitive nature of the challenge, my son’s deep respect for his teacher, or the quality of the books themselves, but he threw himself in to this challenge and competed hard to be on the team. This is a boy who reads no more than the required 20 minutes a day and is obsessed with baseball and sports. At one point he said to me “these are such good books—next year I think I’ll read them all even though I’ll be in fifth grade and we won’t be doing the Global Reading Challenge.” I read a few, too, and he’s right—they are great books.

Thank you KCLS for doing such a fine job fostering the joy of reading through outreach to our schools.

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