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 47 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:

  • Play & Learn: facilitated play groups for young children and their family members with information on Early Literacy learning at home.
  • Stories2Go: multi-media kits focused on Early Literacy delivered to low-income daycare centers throughout King County.
  • Fiestas: peer-to-peer training on Early Literacy for parents and caregivers in the Spanish-speaking community.


  • Study Zones: tutoring program to help students with math, history, English, and science in libraries and through online sessions.
  • Summer Reading Programs:  designed for preschoolers, children, and teens to maintain and enhance their skills during the school break.
  • Global Reading Challenge: 250 teams of 4th and 5th graders from 18 school districts to participate in local, regional and grand challenge events.
  • SAT Prep Classes: classes and workbooks are offered free to teens in low-income areas.

Libraries and Reading

  • Take Time To READ: multi-year initiative designed to increase reading of all kinds, in all formats, all across the county.
  • A Place at the Table: special programming on food, nutrition, and health for adults.
  • Tukwila Library Capital Campaign: raising $1million to create a space to offer cultural programs and technology training, and to connect residents to information, resources, and to each other.

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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