King County Councilmember Joe McDermott ‘Dismayed’ at Library Board


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EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a letter written by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott written to the Board of Trustees of the King County Library System, in response to KCLS’ apparent plans to close both the Boulevard Park and White Center libraries and consolidate them into a new, single branch:

To Board of Trustees, King County Library System:

I am dismayed that the King County Library System Board of Trustees would consider consolidation of the Boulevard Park and White Center Libraries at this time.

To the best of my knowledge, a formal proposal to have staff pursue plans for consolidation first became public on May 12. To think that the KCLS Board might take action on May 24, a mere 12 days later, at a meeting scheduled to be held far from North Highline – in North Bend – is extremely dismissive of my constituents. Further, it fails to recognize their hard work in advocating for their community’s needs.

While the timing issue itself is enough to delay the vote, there is also the issue of boundaries and service. For years KCLS has failed to replace and renovate these facilities despite their specific inclusion in the 2004 bond measure, citing uncertainty over annexation and proximity to what may become part of Seattle. With Seattle showing no initiative at this time and Burien having the potential to advance a vote as early as next spring, to take action based on potential annexation by Seattle is shortsighted at best.

I urge the King County Library System Board of Trustees to postpone any action that advances consolidation of the White Center and Boulevard Park Libraries. Further, I renew my call for KCLS to deliver on their 2004 promise to voters and take up replacement and expansion of the White Center Library.

-Joe

Joe McDermott
King County Councilmember, District 8

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Comments

6 Responses to “King County Councilmember Joe McDermott ‘Dismayed’ at Library Board”
  1. Diana says:

    And, they’re going to consolidate these libraries where? There goes my park. Boo.

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  2. Cyndi Upthegrove says:

    Thank you Joe! The Boulevard Park Library was the first library outside the city of Seattle when the KC Library System first expanded more than half a century ago. The original BP Library was founded by the citizens of Boulevard Park, who pooled their books and whose husbands built a small shack in the alley to hold the community’s books. …it grew from there and the rest is history. The place is busy, engaged, and everything a library should be. The current library needs to be updated. Its present site needs to be respected, and its many, many visitors should be listened to. How are they going to get over to some big library on first avenue? Pleases continue to pay attention to and support these passionate library users.

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  3. Greg Duff says:

    Great letter, Joe. I think every one of us needs to give the KC Library Board a piece of our mind. The consolidation of these libraries is a direct attact on the lower income residents of White Center and Boulevard Park. Consolidating these libraries would cause a hardship to the students who cannot afford to have a computer in their home and must walk to the library to do their school work, or the people whoapply for jobs. Reading is vital for an educated America. Shame on the KCLB for picking on the citizens of WC and BP.

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  4. Rob says:

    What gets me is the blatant let them eat cake attitude of the KCLS Board. Not only would the new library be far away from the communities of White Center and Boulevard Park, we would lose a park, currently serving the residents of the area. A new library is nice, but at what cost? And by the way… the meeting in North Bend? Seriously???

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  5. Butch Henderson says:

    Thank you, Joe for stepping up to the plate on this for us. I’m contacting my neighbors, here in Boulevard Park to email the Board with their displeasure about this attempt to just ride over us. We can’t let this happen !

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  6. Hotrodgal says:

    I also thank you Joe, for backing those of us in these two vulnerable areas.

    I wonder how we (IF we) will hear of a time and venue change on the
    North Bend meeting prior to the 24th (four days from now!!)?

    If we don’t hear anything, I plan on showing up, with as many of my BP
    neighbors as I can collect, to protest the underhanded actions of this
    arrogant, PUBLICALLY OWNED entity.

    This whole fiasco is so slanted and I’m getting so upset,
    I’d better quit writing for now.

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