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Oh, The Places You’ll Go at King County Libraries


Many of us remember Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) from our own childhood or our children’s and grandchildren’s. Remember that sense of wonder?

seussRetirement is a new beginning, and a time ripe for reassessing and retooling in this new season. Wherever you land, the library is there—the perfect place to connect in a new community or re-invest in your hometown, discover the treasures of your local library, the community’s living room!

Here are some of the resources you’ll find at the King County Library System, all available at no cost, with your free King County Library System library card:

  • Books—Of course! Perhaps you finally have time to read, reflect, and refresh. Or, if you’re still in the assessment stage and considering what’s next, the library has resources on choosing a place to retire, downsizing, discovering a second career or new hobby, health issues, inspiring biographies and more.
  • Lifelong learning—Keep your brain active—keep learning! Libraries have many classes and opportunities for socializing and learning something new. In fact, the King County Library System featured the brain all last year with its Mind Matters program series, including programs on the future such as “Humanity’s Future in Space,” “The Psychology of Happiness,” and “Before Ultron: Artificial Intelligence in Movies.” Come join us!
  • Magazines and newspapers—Clutter seems determined to take over our lives! Fight back by cutting down on your magazine subscriptions—get them from the library instead. Or, if you’ve made the move to an e-reader, try out the Zinio and PressDisplay databases, which allow you to read magazines and newspapers for free on your device via the library’s website.
  • Movies and music—Ready to own less, but enjoy more? The library has movies and music to check out and even “stream” to your home computer if you prefer. For more information, click here.
  • Travel entertainment—On the go? Download free books and audiobooks from the library along with streaming movies and music! Struggling with your e-reader? Call Ask KCLS at 1-800-462-9600 for help, attend a drop-in class, or make an appointment for free one-on-one assistance available at your local library. We also have books to check out to help plan your route.
  • Meeting room space—Libraries are free and open to the public. If you’ve downsized, you may find it hard to have your quilting group over—reserve a room at the library instead. From homeowner groups to tutoring to hobby groups to book discussions, there’s a space for you.
  • Community information—New in town? Have more time to explore your current one? Check out the library’s information racks for local news and resources—lectures, concerts, events, social opportunities, along with information about services such as Meals on Wheels and volunteering!
  • Volunteer opportunities—Do you have spare time and are seeking a way to give back? Most libraries have Friends of the Library groups that organize book sales to support the library. Other volunteer opportunities include tutoring students and engaging in “Talk Time” sessions, helping English language learners practice conversation. See for more ideas.

Wherever your new phase takes you, enjoy some good company along the way. Revisiting children’s books is a delight no matter one’s age. Remember, Geisel’s first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was published in 1937 after 27 publishers rejected it. You’re never too old to pursue a dream, and the library will be there to help you all along the way. Never give up!

Contributor Wendy Pender is the Older Adults Project Specialist for the King County Library System. Read more about Wendy in UW Certificate Program Leads to Success Working with Older Adults (AgeWise King County, September 2015) and more about her program at Mind Matters at King County Libraries in the same issue. Wendy’s mom, Mary Duvel, turns 100 next year and has not one but two librarian daughters among her seven children. Wendy can be reached at or 425-369-3285.