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Legislation increasing representation on King County Library Board signed by Governor Inslee

Summary

The new law adds two members to the board, the first increase in board membership in seven decades

Story

Governor Inslee signed into law legislation sponsored by Washington State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon expanding the King County Library System (KCLS) board of trustees from five to seven members.

House Bill 1281 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.

“Libraries serve a vital role in our communities – they are places where people gather, discover new and exciting stories, and learn about local resources,” said McDermott. “I’m excited that this change to our library system will provide new opportunities for leadership among local residents, improve access, and better reflect the diversity of patrons.”

“The King County Library System is now in a better position to serve the ever changing needs of our growing region,” said Dunn. “I’d like to thank Representative Fitzgibbons and my colleague Council Chair Joe McDermott for joining me in advocating for this important piece of legislation.”

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. Since the creation of the KCLS Board in 1943, state law required that five members serve. With the Governor’s signature, the membership of the board reflects the growth of the population it serves, adjusting the number of members so they can better represent the people using the system.

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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