Executive director of the King County Library System announces retirement

After five years with KCLS, Lisa Rosenblum’s retirement will be effective Nov. 30, 2023

KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum (courtesy of KCLS)

King County Library System (KCLS) Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum has announced her retirement, effective Nov. 30, 2023.

Rosenblum joined KCLS in January 2018. KCLS has won numerous awards for outstanding services and innovation during her tenure, including a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for three consecutive years. This year, KCLS was also named a National Medal finalist by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the first time.

“Rosenblum demonstrated an unwavering commitment to patrons throughout the coronavirus pandemic. She brought innovative services and a sense of connection to communities by implementing new online programming, expanding digital collections, boosting Wi-Fi hotspots in library parking lots, and creating safe and convenient access to print materials through curbside service and 24/7 library lockers,” KCLS said in a written statement regarding her retirement. “Furthermore, she established partnerships with Public Health—Seattle & King County to provide vaccine clinics, test kits and masks in libraries, and to help distribute personal protective equipment to nonprofits across the county.”

In 2019, she oversaw the completion of the 2004 Capitol Bond Building Program. The voter-approved $172 million Capital Bond funded the construction of 17 new libraries, 11 expanded libraries, 15 renovated libraries, a parking-lot expansion and a three-level garage. Rosenblum also created and opened Makerspaces at the Bellevue and Federal Way Libraries in 2018 and 2022, respectively. Makerspaces provide free hands-on learning opportunities for people of all ages to explore emerging technologies.

In 2020, Rosenblum established a new diversity, equity and inclusion department, which has strengthened KCLS’ commitment to provide equitable services to its communities. And this spring, she gained the KCLS Board of Trustees’ approval to remove late fines for overdue materials and to clear all late fine accruals from patron accounts. Removing late fines increases accessibility and encourages library use for all patrons.

A distinguished librarian, Rosenblum has spent the past 35 years working for public libraries, according to KCLS. Prior to joining KCLS, she served as the director and chief librarian of the Brooklyn Public Library, as well as the director of multiple library systems in Silicon Valley.

“While the decision to retire was not an easy one, I am thankful that my nearly 20-year run as a library director will end at KCLS,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “I have been honored to serve King County residents, and I am proud of the extraordinary work we continue to do to help our patrons grow, learn and thrive.”

The KCLS Board of Trustees is charged with hiring the new executive director. They will conduct a national search for the position with the support of an executive-level search firm.

“Lisa’s innovative and compassionate governance has advanced KCLS’ reputation as a nationally recognized leader in public library systems,” said KCLS Board of Trustees President Harish Kulkarni. “Her library legacy is admirable, and she has left a lasting and positive impact on King County communities. We congratulate Lisa on her achievements and wish her the best in her well-earned retirement.”

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentnews.us.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://kentnews.us/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Kent School District announces employees of the year for 2023-2024

Top teacher, principal, bus driver, coach, paraeducator, custodian and more

Medical examiner identifies second victim in fiery Kent car crash

Troy Thorp, 61, died in May 11 single-vehicle crash along South 272nd Street on West Hill

Kent man, 52, receives reduced sentence in Seattle fatal shooting

Pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter after video of 2020 shooting indicates self-defense

Kent Police use drone, K-9 unit to capture assault suspect

Man had fled after fight with security guard at apartment complex along SE Kent-Kangley Road

Jail bars. File photo
Renton man convicted in 2018 Des Moines homicide

Jurors found 28-year-old Yourhighness Jeramiah Bolar of Renton guilty of two felony charges.

One of two victims identified in fiery Kent crash

Kristen Anne Meyers, 53, died in May 11 crash on West Hill, according to medical examiner

City-owned ShoWare Center in Kent loses $742,675 in 2023

Losses lower than projected but expenses continue to exceed revenue at 6,200-seat arena

Kent firefighters extinguish two fires on the same morning | Photos

Friday, May 17 at apartment leasing office in the Valley and at a vacant East Hill house

Courtesy Photo, City of Kent
City of Kent population drops by 1,051 in 2023 compared to 2022

Decline similar to many cities of 50,000 or more across the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau

Kent Police Blotter: April 25 to May 8

Incidents include burglaries, robberies, shootings

Rape charges dismissed against former Kent school bus driver

Prosecutors decide they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt due to medical tests

Feds indict 9 South King County residents on drug trafficking charges

Those accused from Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Enumclaw