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King County Library Board to better represent diversity of region

Summary

The adopted bill adds two members increasing the membership to 7, the first increase in board membership in seven decades.

Story

State legislation expanding the King County Library System (KCLS) board of trustees from five to seven members is awaiting Governor Inslee’s signature.

House Bill 1281, sponsored by Washington State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon, updates the board to better represent the growing and diverse population of those served by the library system. Metropolitan King County Council Chair Joe McDermott and Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn worked together with Representative Fitzgibbon to get the bill through the State Legislature.

“I enjoyed working closely with Councilmembers McDermott and Dunn to get this important and common sense update passed this year,” said Fitzgibbon. “A robust King County Library system benefits everyone, and this increase allows for the system to account for the diverse growth throughout the region.”

“King County libraries are an integral part of every community,” said McDermott. “I’m excited that we can enhance the system’s administration to match the exponential growth in our region to ensure robust and equitable access for every resident in our county.”

“This is a ‘good government’ bill that seeks to improve how the King County Library System serves the ever changing needs of our growing region,” said Dunn. “I am hopeful that Governor Inslee recognizes the merits of this legislation and signs it into law.”

When the King County Library System (KCLS) Board of Trustees was established in 1943, state law required that five members serve on the Board. The adopted bill adds two members increasing the membership to 7, the first increase in board membership in seven decades.

KCLS has 49 libraries that serve 1.4 million residents in nearly every part of King County outside of Seattle including the city of Bellevue, suburban residents in Shoreline, and rural residents in the Snoqualmie Valley. The legislation would adjust the board to better represent the growing population.

According to state law board members shall be residents of either those cities or towns that, through annexation, have become part of the rural county library district or unincorporated areas of the county, and that represent the geographic diversity of the library district. Members are appointed by the county executive and confirmed by the county legislative authority.
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