“Good morning, I’m with Friends of The Seattle Public Library, would you be interested in signing a petition urging Seattle City Council to preserve Library funding?” That was the greeting that Friends vice president Jennifer Johnson-Fong gave to her fellow library patrons between 10 am and 12 noon on Saturday, April 11 on the sidewalk outside the Queen Anne Library.
“So many patrons reached for my clipboard without any hesitation,” said Johnson-Fong, “I’m so pleased that I collected that many signatures  in two hours. It really shows how busy the Queen Anne branch is, which reflects the huge increase in usage of all neighborhood branches of The Seattle Public Library since the economic downturn. I remember talking to one couple who said they are currently unemployed. But they were really interested in knowing more about what they could do beyond signing the petition. I directed them to our Friends blog where they could find out more about the effects of the economy on The Library’s usage and the potential of cuts to The Library budget. I encouraged them to e-mail their story to Seattle City Council members directly. I wished them both luck with their job searches and told them how much I appreciated their willingness to do more. Clearly, this couple considers The Library an essential service in their lives.”
“Another woman I spoke to said she hadn’t ever used her Library before she became unemployed. Happily, she found another job and is now a faithful library user and enthusiastically signed the petition.”
“I got to connect with people who really appreciated that I was there volunteering to help them raise their voice in support of The Seattle Public Library. I saw patrons of every age today, and really that’s what libraries are about — they are about all people enriching their lives. I’m really honored to have the chance to present these signatures from my fellow Queen Anne Library patrons to the Seattle City Council this coming Monday, April 13th at the Special Budget meeting. Hopefully, we’ll have even more signed petitions from other neighborhood branches for the Monday, April 20th meeting.”
The Friends are busy collecting signatures at as many branches as possible, but don’t have enough volunteers to petition the branches they reach more than once. If you didn’t get a chance to sign the petition but want to show your library support you can email your councilmembers tell them how you use The Library and ask them to support Library funding: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Seattle City Council is cutting 43 million dollars from the new 2009 City budget. It’s unknown as yet what services will be cut. The Queen Anne petition will be presented during public comment at the Special Budget meeting in City Council Chambers on 13 April at 10:30 am. If you’d like to attend or get more information on how you can help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org