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Bellevue Regional Library
|Location||King County, Washington, US|
|Size||3.4 million items|
|Access and use|
|Access requirements||Residence in King County except the city of Seattle and the towns of Hunts Point and Yarrow Point|
|Population served||1.4 million|
|Budget||$120 million (2017)|
|Director||Lisa G. Rosenblum|
|References: Washington Public Library Statistical Report, 2016|
The King County Library System (KCLS) is a library system serving the residents of King County, Washington, United States. Headquartered in Issaquah, Washington, KCLS is currently the busiest library in the United States, circulating 22.4 million items in 2010. It consists of 50 libraries, a Traveling Library Center, a mobile TechLab, and the ABC Express children’s library van. KCLS offers a collection of more than 4.1 million items, including books, periodicals, newspapers, audio and videotapes, films, CDs, DVDs and extensive online resources. All KCLS libraries offer free Wi-Fi connections. People can check out 100 items and hold up to 50 items.
The library system began in 1942 when voters in King County established the King County Rural Library District in order to provide library services to people in "rural" areas with no easy access to city libraries. Funding for the library system was (and still is) provided from the property tax bases of unincorporated areas, and from contracts with cities and towns for the provision of library services. Funding measures for the system passed in 1966, 1977, 1980, 1988, 2002, 2004, and 2010. Property taxes account for 94% of revenue today. The KCLS budget for 2017 was $120 million. The name of the organization was changed from the King County Rural Library District to the present-day King County Library System in 1978, although the old words "Rural Library District" is still part of the organization's legal name.
KCLS extends access privileges to residents of its service area, which includes all unincorporated areas of King County as well as residents of every city in the county except Hunts Point, and Yarrow Point. Residents of Seattle – which maintains its own library system – are allowed access to KCLS collections under reciprocal borrowing agreements between KCLS and Seattle's libraries. KCLS also extends reciprocal borrowing privileges to residents of many other library systems in Western and North Central Washington. The cities of Hunts Point and Yarrow Point do not have library service at all.
Under a $172 million capital bond passed in 2004, the King County Library system is rebuilding, renovating, and expanding most of its existing libraries, as well as building new libraries.
KCLS has annexed the city of Renton's public library system, the result of a vote by the city's residents in February 2010. This library system includes a 22,500-square-foot (2,090 m2) library branch built completely over the Cedar River.
In 2011, KCLS won the Gale/Library Journal "Library of the Year" award.
KCLS consists of 50 branches, Traveling Library Center, ABC Express Vans, mobile TechLab, and a service center located in Issaquah that houses the library's administrative offices. A program to build 17 new libraries and renovate or expand 26 other libraries was completed in 2019 with the opening of the Panther Lake Library in Kent.
Among the benchmarks was circulating 22.4 million items—more than any other library system in the United States—to the 1,318,745 people who live in King County.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)