News Gleams: New Bike Lockers at Rainier Beach Station, KVRU Hires New Station Manager, Library Patrons Given Clean Slate

collected by Emerald Staff

Installation of on-demand bike lockers at Rainier Beach and other Link Stations

In recognition of the increased number of Sound Transit riders using bicycles as part of their trip, the agency is installing shared, on-demand bike lockers started this week at Link stations. The lockers are a first at the University of Washington Station, while new lockers at the SODO and Rainier Beach Stations will replace older ones and more than double the number of available spaces.

UW Station was built with 286 rack spaces. The installation will result in 60 bike locker spaces and a total of 234 rack spaces. The number of locker spaces at SODO Station will increase from 13 to 32, and at Rainier Beach Station from 16 to 34.

The new bike lockers will be available by the hour on a first-come, first-served basis in contrast to Sound Transit’s existing bike lockers, which are leased annually. Sound Transit has contracted with BikeLink to install and operate the lockers. The lockers will cost five cents per hour.

In order to use the lockers, riders will have to first purchase a BikeLink card. The card costs $20 and comes with $20 in credit. The card can be purchased online at the BikeLink website or by calling BikeLink at 1-888-540-0546.

Because it can take up to five days for the card to arrive by mail, riders who are interested in using the lockers are encouraged to contact BikeLink to ensure that they can use the lockers as soon as they open. The BikeLink card also provides access to and payment for lockers at more than 350 locations nationwide. Sound Transit’s partners at King County Metro Transit have BikeLink lockers at 12 transit stations and plans to install more.

An FAQ about the new lockers is available on the Sound Transit website.

KVRU Welcomes Luzviminda Uzuri “Lulu” Carpenter as New Station Manager

KVRU 105.7 FM recently announced that Luzviminda Uzuri “Lulu” Carpenter, also known as #LuluNation, has joined their staff as Station Manager. Carpenter is an educator, arts producer, grassroots and policy change organizer, and media justice advocate.

As an educator, she teaches performance and media arts at Seattle Girls’ School and works with organizations such as YouthCare, YouthSource, and Franklin High School. Her grassroots and policy organizing work includes founding and directing the Alphabet Alliance of Color and serving as Co-Chair of the City of Seattle LGBTQ Commission. In the arts, she has collaborated with On the Boards as a cultural ambassador, worked as an Operations Manager for Washington Hall, and directed the Ladies First monthly arts and music show, a project of Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA), to bring national and international artists to Seattle.

Carpenter is also known for her live broadcast and podcast show #LuluNation + Crew with Mr. B at Hollow Earth Radio, where she talks to community members working to change the world through art, music, and activism. She says, “I am thrilled to further advocate for community radio as the new KVRU manager. My heart is dedicated to providing access to radio, media, and technology to communities whose voices need to be heard. I love being at the intersections of all my communities and building pathways to knowledge.”

Carpenter’s work has been recognized in the following places, among others: PechaKucha Seattle: #BlackLivesMatter “Examining Identity in the 21st Century”, New FM Hyperlocal Radio, and Women Who Rock.  Her work has also been highlighted in Seattle Weekly cartoons by E.T. Russian.

Seattle Public Library Eliminates Fines in the New Year

The Seattle Public Library will join scores of library systems across the country in eliminating overdue fines for books and materials beginning Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. The Library Board unanimously approved the new policy Dec. 12.

To give everyone a fresh start in the new year, patrons with outstanding fines will have them cleared. Patrons who have overdue materials that haven’t been returned can also receive fine forgiveness if they bring them back.

“We want everyone to have easy and equitable access to Library resources,” said Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner. “Fines can be a very real and significant burden for some of the most vulnerable residents in our community. We know this kind of financial barrier can deter people who need us most from using the Library, which means they stop using resources needed for school work, to search for jobs, improve literacy skills and more. By removing this obstacle we are giving every resident in Seattle greater access to education and opportunity.”

Turner said libraries across the country that have eliminated overdue fines have reported increased library use and little change in return rates for materials. He noted that patrons who only use the Library’s electronic resources have already been enjoying fine-free Library use. “E-books, e-audiobooks and other e-material do not accrue overdue fines,” he said. The Seattle Public Library has one of the highest e-book circulation rates of any public library in the nation. The loss of revenue from fines, which continue to decline due to soaring e-material use, will come from the 2019 Library levy.

Turner emphasized that the Library still wants all materials back and patrons will receive notices to remind them when materials are due, as well as when they are past due.

Text-message reminders are also an option for patrons who sign up for this new service. “Patrons will also be able to renew items a third time if no one else is waiting for them,” Turner added. Previous to the policy, patrons could only renew items twice.

Patrons who do not return materials 14 days after they are due will have their Library accounts suspended until they are returned.

The Library will still charge fees for lost or damaged materials. The Library will consider an item lost if it is not returned after 31 days and a replacement fee is added to the account. A Library account with a balance of $25 or more that is 30 days past due will be referred to a collection agency, which adds a non-refundable $10 processing fee.

Turner said he hopes the new policy of not charging daily fines for overdue materials will encourage prior users to come back to the Library, as well as attract new patrons to explore the Library’s many resources and services.