FriendShop is in peak season!

The FriendShop on Level 3 of The Seattle Public Library is bustling with customers and filled with new items this summer.  The hot items seem to be packable bags, glass bangle bracelets and the hip new Library water bottle.  Stop by and see us when you can or when you miss your bus as Tom did this morning.  If you can’t make it in we are loading new items to our website as fast as we can; visit .


Catching up with Theresa Mayer

Finally! Someone with interesting desk contents! I wonder what it means…thumb puppets from Peru…she must be creative, interested in far away places and much more – read on!


Theresa Mayer


Southwest/South Park

What word do you wish you had made up?   

“doppelganger” Who doesn’t enjoy saying this word?   

How did you become librarian of your branch? 

I transferred from the position of Spanish-language Librarian in our Literacy, ESL, and World Languages Department in the Central Library to try out branch life.  It’s been a fantastic learning experience.

What is on your desk right now?

Thumb puppets that my mother brought me from Peru, a 2008 Seattle Storm schedule, a set of magnets that was a present from my first Branch Manager Trainer/Mentor, Christy Tyson (previously Branch Manager of Southwest and High Point Branches), a mug of coffee, my favorite photograph of Frida Kahlo (dare I go on?) 

Tell us about your library: 

South Park is a new addition to a complex and changing neighborhood.  It honors the vibrant cultural diversity of the neighborhood and its history through several lovely architectural  and design elements, as does the collection. 


Southwest is a place that feels like home– it’s welcoming, relaxed, and warm.  I’ve had a great time meeting all of the patrons, and getting to know the neighborhood.  It’s wonderful to work with so many children in both locations.   

How long have you been at the branch? 

South Park: two years; Southwest:  about three months!

What is the biggest impact the capitol campaign has had on your branch? 

Putting technology in the hands of people who may not have been able to afford access; delighting and enriching people’s lives with rich collections and beautiful spaces that represent community centers. 

How does your relationship with the community affect your programming? 

Programming should be driven by the needs and interests of the community.  Therefore, you must engage in an ongoing conversation with various constituencies in the neighborhood to know what people are interested in, and what is relevant to their lives.  Sometimes we need to identify creative ways to pursue such a dialog!     



Impact Of Budget Cuts

Just in case you were wondering “does it really matter if I show up to support my library” – the answer is YES! In May, your fellow community members attended the City Council’s Budget Hearings. Check out their committee website for the summary of comments from the public meetings. There is an Instant Polling Result under the latest update box at the top of the page.

Some interesting data points:

Taken from Seattle Central Library Economics Benefit paper: understand how budget cuts affect your local branch…reduction of hours, circulation and support.

Budget Cuts have Reduced the Library’s Operating Hours in Recent Years

In response to annual budget cuts in effect since 2001, The Seattle Public Library has reduced operating hours at the Central Library and all branches in the system, in addition to making non-personnel cuts and reducing the amount spent on collections. With both the 2002 and 2003 budgets, the entire Library system was closed for two non-contiguous weeks.

Hours at branch libraries have been more significantly reduced, with most libraries now open from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10:00 am to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, and 10:00 am to 6:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Some branches are open 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, and others are closed.

The Central Library’s current operating hours, totaling 58 hours per week, are shown in Exhibit 3. Prior to the reduction in operating hours imposed in 2001, the Central Library was open 70 hours per week, from 9:00 am to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information check out the Tracking the General Fund: How the City Gets and Spends

Seattle Residents are Literate, Well-Educated and Love Books

Taken from Seattle Central Library Economics Benefit paper:

Seattle is the second most literate city in America, according to a 2004 University of Wisconsin study of cities with populations over 200,000. “Seattle would have been number one,” said researcher Jack Miller, “except for its aging and relatively under used libraries.” This deficiency is rapidly changing, with the Libraries for All program revitalizing libraries across the City. Miller also confirmed what Seattleites have been saying for years: the City supports more bookstores per capita than any other city in the country.

Seattle has been a launching pad for numerous literacy and reading encouragement programs. In 1996, “America’s Favorite Librarian,” Nancy Pearl, launched What If All of Seattle Read the Same Book, a community-wide book club that has been duplicated in more than 50 cities across the country and internationally . Nancy Pearl has since become a cult hero, with two books – Book Lust and More Book Lust – and her own action figure.

According to the Census Bureau, Seattle has one of the highest rates of college education among large U.S. cities, with 49% of the population holding at least a bachelors degree.

This passion for education and reading contributes to the community’s overall quality of life and translates into support for the arts. This support benefits the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Symphony, and the Seattle Opera, which has the highest per capita attendance of any opera company in the country (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 1, 2004).

So what are you waiting for! Get to your local branch today and hug your librarian! 🙂