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February 24, 2018

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Library News Release

Release Date: 05/19/2006

The Seattle Public Library board of trustees accepts King County Library's proposed reciprocal agreement

Updated: 04/24/2008


Update to reciprocal use agreement between King County Library System and The Seattle Public Library


The boards of trustees for the King County Library System and The Seattle Public Library have agreed to extend the current reciprocal library services agreement for another two years, with one change.

Patrons of KCLS and The Seattle Public Library will continue to have access to both systems, and Seattle patrons will continue to be limited from placing holds on KCLS materials.

The Seattle Public Library, however, will no longer need to pay KCLS $104,000 a year, because the number of Seattle residents using library services in King County has dropped. If that trend continues, an eventual goal would be to eliminate the restriction on placing holds.

The original agreement took effect Oct. 1, 2006. The two systems will review the agreement and usage patterns in another two years.

 

 


 

Original News Release: 

 

The Seattle Public Library board of trustees accepts King County Library's proposed reciprocal agreement

 

The Seattle Public Library board of trustees voted unanimously to accept a proposed reciprocal library service agreement with the King County Library System at a special meeting May 10.

Library cardholders from The Seattle Public Library and King County Library System currently have unlimited access to all resources from either system.

 

The new agreement was needed because a joint 2005 study showed 6.1 percent of King County Library System users were from The Seattle Public Library. This imbalance is valued at approximately $1 million.

 

The Seattle Public Library board of trustees said it did not have the resources to pay the King County Library System $1 million. Taking $1 million from The Seattle Public Library budget would be the equivalent of closing the entire system one day each week, or cutting the book budget by 30 percent. This would not be acceptable or feasible for Seattle patrons, Seattle board members said.

 

In order to forestall an outright end to the reciprocal borrowing agreement, the King County Library System recently proposed the following terms:

 

  • The Seattle Public Library will continue to pay King County Library System $104,000 annually, even though this amount has now been show to represent only a portion of the actual imbalance.

  • King County and Seattle residents will continue to have access to both systems. Henceforth, however, Seattle patrons will no longer be permitted to place holds on King County's materials (an activity that contributes significantly to the cross-use imbalance).

 

This proposal was accepted by The Seattle Public Library board of trustees with the amendment that:


  • The agreement extend until 2010, at which time The Seattle Public Library and King County Library System will have developed a permanent solution that might include a modification of this new agreement or an end to joint reciprocity altogether.

 

The King County Library board of trustees still must approve this new agreement, as modified and they will meet Tuesday, May 30, 2006.

 

The Seattle Public Library board of trustees acknowledged that cross-use of the King County Library System for Seattle cardholders will be less convenient, but that the current agreement unfairly burdens the taxpayers of King County Library's system's taxing district. Seattle residents are not taxed through this district.

 

Funding for The Seattle Public Library is allocated out of the city of Seattle's general fund and determined through the city budget process. The library budget is set each year amidst many other competing city priorities, such as police and fire services.


For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director
206-386-4103


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