The first place I went when I got my driver’s license was the library. Although that might surprise you, The King County Library System has a wide range of programs and community events happening every day for people of all ages many of which I had no idea about.
Here are a few of the programs the library system offers at the Woodinville Library:
Reading With Rover: This program takes place once a month on Wednesdays. “They actually bring five to seven dogs, and they are specially trained to sit with the kids while they read to them,” said Pamela Hunter, the teen services librarian. This program can help kids become more comfortable around dogs while encouraging them to read.
Talk Time: The library is trying to encourage more people to go to Talk Time. This program is recommended for people who are new to the United States or people who want to improve their English. “It’s a nonthreatening environment where people can come talk with each other,” said Hunter. Anyone who is looking to work on their English speaking or listening skills is welcome.
Crafternoon: Another recently started program that has been popular in Woodinville is Crafternoon. “People can just bring whatever project that they are working on. We have had knitters and crocheters,” said Hunter. “It’s a chance to get together and spend time together.”
Understanding Medicare: There are a wide range of adult programs as well, including Medicare classes twice a year. “They talk about the ins and outs of Medicare and help people know what they need to know to make a good decision because there are a lot of decisions involved,” said Kathleen O’Keeffe, the adult services librarian.
Storytime: This is the most popular program at the Woodinville Library. There have been as many as 60 people in attendance. There is also a similar program in Spanish.
Regi Sanchez, 16, has been going to Storytime at library for the past five years. “My love for reading started at a young age from Storytime,” said Sanchez.
Summer Reading Program: Starting June 1, and going till the end of August is the Summer Reading Program. Using the honor system, kids keep track of their minutes of reading. Reading could be time that they listen to a book or have their parents read to them. “If the parents are reading to them, they get to count that as their own reading as well as for their kids,” said Hunter.
This year, everyone will get the same prizes. In the past one winner would be chosen. “I think it will probably appeal to families because they will be able to do it together because they will all get the same prize,” said Hunter.
“Summer reading is a big thing for us,” O’Keeffe said. “We start booking programs way back in January. There will be special programs that will be for the teens and adults.”
According to the 2017 Annual Report, that is true: Children’s summer reading had a 31 percent increase over 2016, with 43,903 children registering, and a 21 percent increase in the number of kids who finished.
“I am getting my whole family involved,” said Sanchez. “We are all going to do the Summer Reading Program together.”
Other programs: Another cool feature is the library’s “ereader” system. If you have a Kindle, Nook or iPad, Hunter recommends taking advantage of this program. Using the library OverDrive app you can download ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, music and movies.
“I was just discussing with another librarian that we really are up there in the top one of two library systems in circulation of ebooks” said Hunter. “It’s a big thing in this area.”
“A lot of our patrons like to take them on vacation because then you don’t have to take all of those physical items that you would have to bring with you,” said Hunter. “You just take that one thing with you, and it’s really handy.”
If you are having trouble with any kind of technology, on Thursdays a tech tutor comes in for one-on-one help. “I was asked whether she could help someone with their new iPhone, and I said, ‘oh absolutely.’ Not just computer help -- it’s also technological,” said Hunter.
The library has three different streaming services: Hoopla, Kanopy, and Access Video. One focuses on documentaries and another on music, video, documentaries and feature films. Kanopy is for feature films and documentaries.
The best part. All these programs are free. All you need is a library card, and you are on your way.
Visit https://kcls.org/ for locations and program information.