Frequently Asked Questions

Have a burning question? Maybe it's answered here! Get to know a little more about the KCLS Foundation with these Frequently Asked Questions.


What’s the difference between KCLS, the KCLS Foundation, and the Friends of the Library?

The KCLS Foundation is a separate non-profit organization that raises funds for the King County Library System. We are a 501(c)(3) with our own tax ID number, our own staff, and our own governing Board of Directors. We work together with the library system to identify pilot programs and initiatives in need of community funding, so that public tax dollars can be stretched as far as possible for library operations.

Many KCLS libraries have their own Friends of the Library group that raises funds to support special projects and activities at their home libraries, through donations and book sales. The KCLS Foundation provides funding for all 50 libraries and the system as a whole, while each Friends group focuses on their specific library.

All donations go to support library programs and services at the King County Library System. Guided by the KCLS Foundation Board of Directors, Impact Committee, and library leadership, we work to identify programs where our funding will have the most impact in the community. 

To see a list of programs we are funding this year, check out our Programs page.

Where will my donation go?

The Literary Lions Gala is the KCLS Foundation’s premier fundraising event and a favorite in the literary community. In its 27th year, the Gala features 20 renowned local and national authors and an audience of 750 guests in a lively setting, all to raise money for our libraries. Past authors have included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Amy Tan, Ann Patchett, Timothy Egan, Daniel James Brown, Kristin Hannah, and Tom Douglas.

The next Literary Lions Gala is set for March 7, 2020. Save the date!

What is the Literary Lions Gala?

What are the programs the KCLS Foundation is funding this year?

Read about our current programs on the Programs page or read about the success of last year's programs in our annual Gratitude Report.

How do you determine which programs to fund?

The Impact Committee is comprised of KCLSF Board members and community leaders. Each year the Impact Committee meets to review requests for support from KCLS library staff and leadership. They then make a recommendation to the KCLS Foundation Board of Directors on funding to be granted for the following year’s budget.

The committee reviews mid-year and final reports on each program or project to measure the impact of your donations on our library system and the community.

Do you offer any tours?

Yes, we'd love to have you on a tour of our library facilities. Occasionally we schedule tours of the KCLS book sorting facility in Preston, just east of Issaquah, for donors to the KCLS Foundation. We also offer tours of the Collection Management Department and Book Mendery at the KCLS Service Center in Issaquah. 

Contact Cindy Sharek at 425-369-3225 or for more information.

Can I volunteer?

Yes! Every year, hundreds of volunteers generously give their time to help the KCLS Foundation achieve its mission. From the Literary Lions Gala to the Board of Directors and Committees, there are many ways you can get involved with the KCLS Foundation.

Contact our office at 425-369-3448 or

To volunteer directly with the library, visit the KCLS volunteer website for more information.

Do you accept book donations?

The KCLS Foundation is happy to accept book donations, with some restrictions. Donated books will typically be sold through our book resale partner, Better World Books, and the funds will be used for library programs and services at KCLS. 

Contact Cindy Sharek at 425-369-3225 or for more information.

Can I make a gift of stock?

Yes! Securities may be the best asset for you to give to the KCLS Foundation. If you give appreciated securities that you have held for at least one year, you will receive a deduction for their full value and avoid tax on capital gains.

Contact Cindy Sharek at 425-369-3225 or for transfer instructions.

How can I include the KCLS Foundation, or a specific library, in my will?

The KCLS Foundation recognizes the generosity of individuals who, during their lifetimes, include the library in their estate plans or make another type of planned gift as members of the Literary Legends Society

Member benefits include invitations to exclusive gatherings, recognition in the KCLS Foundation’s annual report (unless anonymity is requested), and a personal contact at the KCLS Foundation to keep you up to date on the library's activities.

We can supply sample bequest language for you to share with your lawyer when adding the KCLS Foundation to your will. Gifts are always revocable, and there are a number of ways to include the library in your legacy.

Contact Cindy Sharek at 425-369-3225 or for more information and sample bequest language.

Can I restrict my donation to a certain program or library?

Donors can restrict a donation to a program or project that interests them from our current list of funded programs, and the KCLS Foundation will make every effort to adhere to the donor's wishes. You may also restrict your donation to a specific library.

Contact Cindy Sharek at 425-369-3225 or to learn more about restricted or library-specific giving.

I have a question not answered here. Who do I contact?

Contact our office at 425-369-3448 or