Westlake Center – Friday, October 1 @ Noon - Join the Friends of the Seattle Public Library at Westlake Center for a spontaneous group read flash mob! The idea is for Seattleites to demonstrate their love for our books and our libraries. At exactly 12:00 PM, we’ll be pulling out our books and sitting down on the spot to read. The more people who show up and read, the greater the impact. Bring your friends and your favorite book, and show your support!
Due to budget cuts, operating hours at many Library branches will be reduced starting on February 3. Click here to see how your neighborhood branch will be affected.
What can you do to help prevent further reductions in Library services? Our elected officials are setting 2011 (yes, that’s right, 2011) budget priorities now, so here are 3 things you can do now:
Why: The Mayor, City Council members and City agency representatives will be there, and you can ask them questions and tell them why it is important to maintain funding for Library hours and collections.
How: Click here for more info. There are two key times for speaking in support of The Seattle Public Library
- 2 to 2:55 pm when The Seattle Public Library gives a presentation
- 4 to 5 pm for a special meeting of the Seattle City Council Budget Committee to discuss the budget and take public comment
If you plan to attend, please email the Friends’ Advocacy Committee at email@example.com so we can keep an eye out for you.
Why: Mayor McGinn acts on community voices. Please tell him why The Library is important to you and our community.
How: Click here for a link to the Mayor’s website, where you can give him your comments and suggestions. Feel free to send him your own message, but here’s a sample you can use or adapt:
Topic/Subject Line: No More Budget Reductions for The Seattle Public Library in 2011
Message: I use [FILL IN YOUR BRANCH ] neighborhood library. On February 3rd my branch hours are changing. I want you to support The Seattle Public Library in the 2011 budget. [PLEASE ADD A PERSONAL MESSAGE ABOUT WHAT THE SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY MEANS TO YOU AND HOW YOU USE IT]
Why: Councilmember Conlin now chairs the council’s Library committee, and needs to know how important continued funding is for the Library.
How: Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. See the sample message above, or come up with your own message.
Thanks for your support; your voices made a difference last year, and can make a difference again this year!
Seattle Mayoral and City Council Candidates Respond to Question about Library Issues October 15, 2009
In election years, The Friends of The Seattle Public Library and The Seattle Public Library Foundation ask Mayoral and City Council candidates to answer questions of interest to those who use and value The Seattle Public Library. This election year, all general election candidates were asked to respond to the same question concerning library hours, collections and the capital budget.
Given a shortfall in city revenues and additional budget cuts necessary for 2010, how important is it to a) maintain hours at current levels, b) improve funding levels for collections, which includes public computers and c) to restore the capital budget for building maintenance?
Click HERE to read all unedited responses received by the publication deadline of the Friends newsletter The BookMark. Please note, “No Response” indicates either a late response or no response received.
And for Seattle City Council:
King County Election Ballots will be mailed October 14th and must be postmarked by November 3rd. Don’t forget to vote!
“We know that we have succeeded as teachers when students take their education beyond the boundaries of the classroom. In large part, this next step is just being familiar with the public library, knowing how to get there by foot, being comfortable using its resources, feeling that it is a welcoming place. We want our students to see their public library as a home away from home, a school away from school—a place to go after school hours to extend their learning—a place that will welcome them on weekends and vacations. It is so important that students have this public library access. Because many of our students do not have books or computer access at home the public library plays an important role in equalizing opportunity for learning resources.
“Already this year, students at Roxhill have taken three field trips (by Metro Bus) to the Downtown Branch of the Public Library. Two of these field trips were for performances, the third was to participate in the Global Reading Challenge. These students are well on their way to claiming the Public Library as their own.
“The Global Reading Challenge is a striking example of breaking down the boundaries between school and the larger community. In a close partnership between the school librarians and public librarians, students are organized into teams, supplied with books and they read, read, read. With the distractions of television and video games competing with reading for student leisure time, this program is truly a heaven-sent alternative. Students love the camaraderie and competition of the programs. Many read books they otherwise would not have read and their experience in this program turns some from indifferent to avid readers. For those students who already love to read, this program pats them on the back, says “You are cool, because you are a reader.” The Global Reading Challenge has become an important part of the literacy program for 4th and 5th graders, an incredibly powerful reading motivational tool for our upper-grade students.
“All this is by way of saying that there is a strong connection between a successful school and the libraries that serve it. The school library and the public library co-exist as partners in the future of our children and each must be well staffed and well funded to fulfill its purpose.”
These comments are excerpts from thoughtful testimony written by the Roxhill Elementary School Librarian Teacher. Please support funding for The Seattle Public Library. How can you help? Email Councilmembers and ask them to preserve library funding. Can you offer more help? email@example.com
Renewed Relevance April 7, 2009
These words from a single mother in Ballard mirror the stories of many people rediscovering their neighborhood library: I have not had internet at my house since August 2007, I got laid off in July 2007. I get to the library 4 or 5 times a week for the purpose of using computers related to my job search. I check email for potential communications from employers, check online job postings, and research potential employers. We don’t have money for video rental either and my son reads voraciously so the library is great!
What does the nation’s most literate city do in a recession? We go to the library. Between 2007 and 2008 Seattle Public Library materials circulation increased 20%. That was nearly twice the State average. January ’09 stats indicate a 17% increase over January ’08 suggesting another year of heavy demand.
Seattle showed vision in passing the Libraries For All bond issue that expanded and rennovated the library system. Now we’re relying on access to that investment to ease our personal budgets and improve our lives.
Friends of The Seattle Public Library is calling on you to write to councilmembers asking them to preserve library funding now. As you know the City needs to cut 40 million dollars from the new City Budget. We’ve had communication from at least one councilmember who says “my expectation is that libraries and parks/community centers will be forced to shoulder a painful share of the necessary cuts.” Cuts effect every neighborhood and may impact the hours our libraries can open or the resources that are available for our needs.
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Stay tuned to this website for frequent updates during budget deliberations.
Ianne’s testimony to City Council April 1, 2009
My branch is Capitol Hill. Thank you for your terrific support of our library.
Support the Library! March 26, 2009
The Seattle City Council will hold a public hearing on Thursday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers to listen to citizens talk about their priorities for city government, including programs and services that they would like to see preserved in this hard economic climate. City Council is looking at potential deep cuts to the new 2009/2010 budget.
Libraries are busier than ever serving the growing number of families and individuals looking for critical resources, computer access, and budget relief. Strong libraries need strong community support. Please join us at a public hearing.
If you can’t join us in Council Chambers on March 26, consider coming to one of three April meetings scheduled for additional citizen input: April 6, 13, and 20 at approx 10:30 a.m. RSVP to: email@example.com
If it’s impossible to come to Council Chambers in support of the library, please email your councilmembers with library support.
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Stay tuned to this blog for up to the minute library budget information. We’ll be blogging live from council chambers on March 26.
Don’t let libraries get cut this year. Vote now! June 6, 2008
Councilman Tim Burgess has a poll on his website www.timburgess.com it’s on the left hand column toward the bottom. Please vote now for libraries. The Stranger’s slog today reported libraries are getting the least support so far but that’s because most library supporters are unaware of the survey. Erica Barnett writes on her slog post: tim_burgess_asks_what_shouldnt_we_cut,
The city’s library system is reportedly one of the most vulnerable city departments going into this year’s round of budget cuts.
Please, Don’t let this happen! Send a clear message to Councilmember Burgess by voting for libraries as this year’s budget priority.
Libraries For All – What’s The Impact? June 2, 2008
Just thought I would share a little piece about the central library, explaining further the capitol campaign. Every time I mention I work with the Friends, I see people’s eyes light up and they literally gush about the architecture of the Central Library. On Nov. 3, 1998, Seattle voters overwhelmingly approved the $196.4 million “Libraries for All” bond measure to upgrade The Seattle Public Library with new facilities, technology, and books. The bond money, which can be used only for construction of libraries, is funding a new central library and new and improved branches. The “Libraries for All” Web site includes detailed information about the entire building program. For information about individual branch projects, see Neighborhood Branches.
(photos taken from flickr)
- Each month we feature a local branch and feature the great librarians that work there