KCLS to remain closed, but offers online poetry contest, Día celebration

Despite library buildings being off-limits, the library system has many virtual programs planned for the spring. Image courtesy King County Library System

With Gov. Jay Inslee’s 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 array of online programming, events and resources while closures are in effect.”

Even though library buildings are empty of avid readers, researchers, and families, KCLS is experiencing a surge of online interactions, reporting late March that it’s seen a 35 percent increase in digital downloads for books and movies, and well as a whopping 389 percent increase in request for electronic library cards, or eCards.

Following that success, the library system has pivoted to make its more popular spring programs accessable online, including virtual story times, book clubs, online Cat Chats, art workshops, and Junk Drawer Challenges.

KCLS is also still going through with the annual Rhyme On Poetry Contest, which is hosted through April, National Poetry Month.

There are three age categories: kids (ages 5 to 12), teens (ages 13-18) and adults (ages 19 and up).

Three winners will be chosen from each category, and their poetry will be posted on the KCLS website and on various social media platforms.

The contest allows only one entry per person, and the contest is only available to King County residents, though you do not need a KCLS library card to enter.

For more information, head to https://kcls.org/rhyme-on/.

At the end of April, KCLS is also celebrating 10 years of Día, also known as Children’s Day/Book Day, a nationally-recognized initiative for promoting child literacy for all backgrounds and languages.

The week-long event, from April 26 to May 2, will include a musical show with Eli Rosenblatt about acceptance and the importance of cultural identity, bilingual story time with Spanish news Univision anchor Paula Lamas and local author and illustrator, Adriana Morales Marín, and multicurtural activities with Amaranta Arte y Cultura.

The library system recommends checking out various diversity materials, find resources in many languages, view Día booklists, and learn more about the event on the Bibliotecas King County Facebook page, or at https://kcls.org/blogs/post/celebrate-dia-with-multicultural-literature-and-games-from-around-the-world/.

KCLS libraries closed due to COVID-19 concerns on March 13, and initially planned to re-open April 13.


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