King County Library System Foundation 


The KCLS Foundation raises private funds for pilot projects, special collections, and new resources that help the King County Library System develop innovative ways to increase literacy and learning, student achievement, and use of our 48 neighborhood libraries and Library2Go! library vans, especially to underserved communities.
Mission Statement
The KCLS Foundation promotes literacy, learning and libraries by funding initiatives and programs that enable the King County Library System to better serve the needs of our community.
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King County Library System Foundation
960 Newport Way NW 
(425) 369-3450 

Beth Castleberry 
Executive Director 


King County Library System Foundation Programs

Our three main program areas are Literacy, Learning, and Libraries. Below is a brief description of some of the most impactful programs KCLS Foundation helps support at your local library:

Let’s Read

Funding for story times, book talks, and educational programs at summer meal sites throughout King County.  KCLS provided outreach to over 4,600 children through 147 visits to 40 sites in the summer of 2014. Thousands of free books were handed out.

Global Reading Challenge
The Foundation purchases the 2,500 books for kids in all of the 250 participating teams; the participants keep the books. The program culminates with a grand challenge event in March, a special visit from an author and refreshments. 

Summer Learning Program
The Foundation provides funding in support of the mid-way and finisher prizes, funding for buses that bring summer school youth to the library for programs, and the grand prizes.  

You Choose the Next Newbery
A literature-based program that encourages school-age children to read, evaluate, blog, discuss and debate their favorite books of the year, and then vote for a KCLS winner.  

Creating a Community Mosaic at the New Tukwila Library
The Foundation is raising $1 million to add 2,000 square feet to the new Tukwila Library. This will create a ‘community living room’ and to accommodate group activities, cultural events, programs, etc. for this multicultural community.
A free online tutoring program that is incredible popular with students of all ages. Student quote: "I absolutely love  It’s the most amazing program ever made on the web in my opinion. I think that's one of the most important things when it comes to teaching, which is to actually care about the student's accuracy in their work instead of trying to just get things done. Thanks and Mr. W.!" 

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

One of our patrons' greatest needs is helping students succeed in school. With support from donors, we can expand programs and resources that match the demand and the need for library services in our libraries, in our schools, and in our neighborhoods. Current projects focus on reaching out to ethnically diverse and underserved parts of our service area.


The KCLS Foundation funds special programs in the libraries and through extended outreach activities with the goal of reaching all residents and encouraging use of libraries.

Proven Success
The area served by the Library System and the KCLS Foundation is growing in terms of population and diversity. This area includes 30 suburban cities and rural areas and 18 school districts. They are bringing Renton into the system in 2010. Seattle and Enumclaw are the only cities not part of the King County Library system.

The Library System is a strong partner with school districts, even more so as school districts cut funding for libraries and librarians. The KCLS supports Study Zones, pairing volunteer tutors with students in over 30 libraries, and they fund free SAT classes for students in South King County.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
The Library System and the KCLS Foundation continually respond to meet the diverse needs of the range of cities, suburbs and rural areas, number of languages spoken and children, youth and adults in the region.

New funding is being raised for four new Library2Go vans. This new service will reach low-income populations, licensed family childcare homes, adult family homes, low-income housing sites and community centers. The vans are smaller and can easily go out to sites.

Financial Health
The King County Library System receives the majority of its funding from a property tax levy. The levy passed on February 9, 2010, and will help maintain basic services. The Foundation raises private funds to enhance programming.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

6/10/2010 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.


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