King County libraries have friends in good places

People like Wendy Manseau are “indispensable” to King County Library System.

Manseau, from Federal Way, was among 15 volunteers who were named recently to KCLS’ Friends of the Library Hall of Fame in recognition of their time and efforts as ambassadors and fund-raisers for the libraries.

All of the award recipients are members of their local branches’ Friends of the Library. Countywide, the groups contribute to the financial support and programs of libraries by spending thousands of hours in volunteer service each year, including raising approximately $300,000 combined to augment the library system’s public funding.

The “tireless support” of the groups’ members “is indispensable to us,” said Beth Castleberry, executive director of the KCLS Foundation, the fund-raising arm of the libraries.

Manseau, a member of Federal Way Friends of the Library, was one of four Hall of Fame inductees from branches in south King County. The others were Lora Bolding of Friends of the Des Moines Library and Barbara Braun and Charlotte Johnson of Friends of the Enumclaw Library. Joining them were Sally Anderson (Bothell), Rubina Arrants (White Center), Liz Davis and Dottie Kelly (North Bend), Martha Pinsky (Issaquah), Mary Rabe (Newport Way), Pat Reimer (Woodinville), and Naomi Schafer (Bellevue).

In addition, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ling Tan (Friends of the Kirkland Library), and Dorothy Matsui (Redmond) and Julie Vaughn (Richmond Beach) were named Friend of the Year.

KCLS, one of the largest library systems in the country, has 49 branches and 700,000-plus cardholders. In 2016, King County residents checked out about 21 million items, including 3.5 million e-books and audiobooks, the highest number of online downloads from libraries in the United States.