Friends of Seattle Public Library Blog

The goings on of the Seattle Public Library.

Sunday Openings June 9, 2013

Filed under: Newsletter — friendsofspl @ 10:02 pm
Tags: , ,

All Seattle Public libraries are now open on Sundays, the first time in a century.

The Sunday hours were made possible by voters who approved a $122 million levy last August to enhance the 1998 Libraries for All bond measure and open all branches on Sundays.  Because of recent budget cuts by the City Council, 15 of 26 branches were closed two days a week, the entire system shut down for a week each fall, and the book budget was reduced by more than 13 percent.

Two branches, Northgate and Columbia, are now seven days a week.  Both were closed on Fridays and Sundays.

The branches held special Sunday celebrations and patrons were issued a free Check-Out Challenge card where they could visit any Sunday Opening event and get their card stamped.  Special limited edition tote bags for each of the branches are available from the FriendShop.

 

Seattle Votes “YES” on Libraries! August 9, 2012

Filed under: Library Levy — friendsofspl @ 6:57 pm
Tags:

The votes are in — Seattle Proposition 1 has passed! 62% of voters approved the seven-year, $123 million property-tax levy, sending a clear message about the importance of our libraries. Here are some of the benefits for the Library:

·         Service hours will be restored
·         Collections will be rebuilt
·         Computers will be upgraded
·         Buildings neglected after four years of city budget cuts will receive maintainance
·         In 2013, library branches that are now closed on Sundays will reopen
·         Staff will no longer have to take a week-long, unpaid furlough
Thanks to voters and volunteers for your support! Visit your local branch to find out more about how levy funds will make a difference.
 

Erica Bauermeister – I Am a Writer Because of Libraries August 3, 2012

Filed under: Library Levy,Stories — friendsofspl @ 7:38 am
Tags: , ,

I am a writer because of libraries, because of their cool, dark recesses during hot and smoggy Pasadena summers, when I would hole up between the stacks and read and read and read until I had punched every hole in my summer-challenge library card and gone onto the next.  I am a writer because of the refuge of the library during my awkward adolescence, because of the way the books I found by accident taught me about times and places I had never thought of.  I am a writer because of wood floors, and twelve-foot-tall windows that let the light fall down onto books that are sweetly musty and eager to be read.  I am a writer because of inter-library loan, which sent hundreds of books to my tiny Wallingford branch while I was researching 500 Great Books by Women.  I am a writer because of the quick-information line, which answered all my questions in a way far more satisfying than Google will ever be, because the answers were framed in conversations, and sometimes included questions inside themselves.  Which, of course, would lead me back to the library itself.  Because in the end, libraries remind us that reading is a communal activity, a conversation between writer and reader, reader and reader, page and eyes.

 

Nassim Assefi – The library is one of our most functional, important, beloved public places August 1, 2012

Filed under: Library Levy,Stories — friendsofspl @ 7:57 am
Tags: , ,

I’ve traveled to over 50 countries and have lived in several of them. What I miss most about the US while abroad (aside from friends and family) is our breathtaking national parks and our vastly accessible public library system. I love the downtown Seattle public library, not just because of its distinctive architecture, but because it is one of the most diverse places in the city. Homeless men are reading their email and applying for jobs, veiled Somali women are checking out books on computer literacy and English as a second language, children of all colors are mesmerized by the puppet stage and making up their own story hour, writers are congregating in their special rooms, introverts are finding solace, and a business man is sipping a latte on his lunch break, nose stuck in a novel. Each of the neighborhood libraries in Seattle has its own personality, reflective of the community it serves, much like the local farmers’ markets. A society can be judged not only by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens, but also by the quality, quantity, and accessibility of its public institutions. The library is one of our most functional, important, beloved public places. It is democracy in action and a stepping stone to a better world. Please vote yes on Proposition 1.

 

Vote Yes! on Proposition 1 May 29, 2012

Online sites in support of Proposition 1, the August 8 Library Levy, have launched on Facebook and the web. Please “like” the Facebook page and share your support for the library with your friends.  Volunteers are organizing the campaign for the Library Levy and endorsements are mounting. Consider personal or organizational endorsement for Prop 1 or express your support by joining volunteers in the campaign for stronger and more accessible libraries.

Proposition 1, the Library Levy, will  raise 122.6 million dollars for the library over seven years if it passes in August. It will counter the impact of  budget cuts, ongoing since 2009, by providing for daily maintenance, greater security and much needed major repairs to the library system. It will  preserve core services, restore more open hours and raise money for collections and technology.

Have you gone to your library to find the doors closed? 22% of the levy is allocated to restoring thousands of open hours lost in budget cuts. All neighborhoods will then once again enjoy open libraries on Sundays and the entire system will avoid the one week closures that have inconvenienced patrons and alarmed library supporters the past several years.  Columbia and Northgate neighborhood libraries will also return to their seven day schedules if the levy passes. This will be welcome news to families who have found it increasingly hard to visit their neighborhood libraries. The shortened hours and library closures have been especially hard on children, older generations, working families, the unemployed, and low-income individuals and families who rely on library resources.

Have you been frustrated by long wait times for popular titles or wondered why you couldn’t find a title in the library’s collections? 14% of the levy provides funding to rebuild and expand the library’s collections.  Budget cuts have hampered efforts to meet the demand for books and other 21st century formats: digital books, podcasts, online databases, DVD and CDs. A 13% reduction in the library’s collections budget since 2009, has caused shortages of titles in digital and print collections, long wait times for popular books, and smaller hold limits. Passage of the levy would be welcome news to both print and digital readers and will increase holds to 50 per person.

Seattle voters have an opportunity to make our libraries strong and accessible once more. Please talk with your neighbors and friends about the need for this levy and consider volunteering on the YES! campaign.  The library needs your help lifting awareness about this important levy.  Most importantly, vote on August 8th and say yes for libraries.

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.