Programs and Services for People in Need in 2019

Summary of Programs for People in Need

Wi-Fi hot spots

  • 675 Wi-Fi hot spots circulated nearly 8,000 times.
  • 250 additional Wi-Fi hot spots were checked to our neighbors most impacted by the digital divide, including 214 through community partners and 36 that were installed long-term in tiny house villages, ensuring uninterrupted  internet service and all its benefits for residents.
  • Almost 70 percent of community hot spot users who responded to a survey lived in low-income, Section 8 or other subsidized housing; and 35% indicated they are not able to regularly access the internet without a Library hot spot.
  • 92% identified as people of color.

Community resource specialists

  • Our community resource specialists, who connect patrons to shelter, food and utility assistance and other social services, made more than 909 social-service referrals for 775 people.

Help for veterans

  • Our veteran outreach specialists offered drop-in sessions for veterans struggling to get back on their feet, including sessions specifically for veterans of color and their families, reaching about 100 veterans. 
  • Services are available regardless of discharge status. We provide resources related to Veteran Administration’s pension and disability compensation, crisis counseling, vocational rehabilitation, mental health resources, employment, housing assistance and more. 

Tax Help

  • Nearly 7,000 patrons received Tax Help in preparing their tax returns through services at Library locations.
  • $3.1 million in tax refunds were filed at the Central Library alone.

Other key 2019 initiatives

  • “Read To Me!,” a pilot program at King County Correctional Facility, provided early literacy training to incarcerated parents, who recorded themselves reading stories for their young children.
  • 90,000 books and materials circulated to homebound and disabled patrons, senior centers and day cares that support low-income families.
  • We continued drop-in programs for youth experiencing homelessness.
  • The popular Kids’ Cafe after-school meals continued at select branches.