City Council releases final budget


On November 17, 2008 Seattle City Council released their final budget. It included 600,000 additional dollars (300,000 for 2009 and 300,000 in 2010) for library collections. In the Council’s news release Council President Richard Conlin said, “This (2009-2010) budget demonstrates that Seattle has made sound fiscal choices over the years and that we are in relatively good shape despite the drop in revenue. Seattle will maintain core services: public safety, food and shelter, transportation, and public libraries, without dipping into reserves.”

Thank you to all patrons and library supporters that wrote councilmembers about your concern for library collections. Without your support we couldn’t have realized this gain in such a tough economic climate. Please continue to visit our blog for updated library budget news as well as the latest on Friends of The Seattle Public Library activities.


Holiday Book Sale: Saturday, November 22nd

Friends of The Seattle Public Library is pleased to invite you to a special holiday mini book sale!

Avoid those last-minute holiday shopping woes. Come to the Friends holiday sale and find the ideal gift! More than 10,000 gently read items will be available for sale, including holiday-themed books, CDs, gift books and other items.  There will also be a general selection of fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks, and many children’s books.

Most items are only $1.

All proceeds benefit The Seattle Public Library.

When: Saturday, November 22, 2008, from 9 AM – 5 PM

Where: Magnuson Park (7400 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle) in the hangar in Building 30.

Support your library and find excellent holiday gifts at great deals!

If you would like more information about the holiday book sale, please email

See you there!

Strong Libraries Rely On Strong Support

Mayor Nickels at Central
Mayor Nickels at Central

We’re lucky we live in a city with strong Council and Mayoral support for libraries. Our newly expanded library system is healthy and vibrant this year.  Library use is up 158% since the expansion. In neighborhoods across the city people are accessing a variety of resources: jobseeking info, computers and wi-fi, ESL classes, storytime, books, dvds, academic support. In hard economic times our libraries are needed more than ever to provide resources that families and individuals can no longer afford. 

Other cities are facing less support and worse economic circumstances. On November 7 the Philadelphia Enquirer reported the proposed closure of 11 of 54 branch libraries. In August, the mayor of Long Beach, California proposed closing the downtown library. Author Ray Bradbury, among others, is leading the outcry

The proposed Seattle City Budget  continues to experience new shortfalls. Wed, Thurs, and Friday of this week Councilmembers will discuss the rebalanced proposed City budget. Councilmembers Nick Licata, Richard Conlin, and Tim Burgess filed a “Green Sheet” requesting the addition of $800,000 to the library’s proposed collections budget in 2009 and 2010.  Friends of The Seattle Public Library support this increase. The increase brings the library’s collections budget nearer the library’s projected need for 2009. Please join us in emailing support this week. Your email can be very short and simple. For example:
Dear Councilmember,
I support Councilmember Licata’s proposed increase to the Library collections budget.
Thank you.

Councilmember E-mails:,,,,,,,,

Have a question or want to help advocacy in other ways?



Budget Round 1

Councilmember Licata

Seattle City Council discussed Councilmember Nick Licata’s proposed increase of 800,000 to both 2009 and 2010 proposed library collections budgets on Monday, November 3, 2008. According to the Councilmember’s legislative aide, Frank Video, there seemed to be broad based Council support for this proposal. A final vote is pending. Your continued emails in support of Councilmember Licata’s proposal are still needed and will be needed until Council votes. Your email can be very short and simple. For example:
Dear Councilmember,
I support Councilmember Licata’s proposed increase to the Library collections budget.
Thank you.

Councilmember E-mails:,,,,,,,,

Friends of The Seattle Public Library asked Councilmember Licata why he felt that libraries are so important to support this year. He said, “In the rough waters of our economy, The Seattle Public Library is a life raft for those needing free internet access to submit resumes for employment. This vital service is provided by no other institution.” Free Wi-Fi access and more than 1,000 computers are available in Seattle’s libraries.