Seattle’s libraries have changed since the Libraries For All bond in 1998 that provided for the expansion and renovation of the library system. The system has nearly doubled in size and, since 2004, circulation of materials has nearly doubled. The number of people visiting their libraries doubled and the number of people attending library programs more than doubled but funding hasn’t doubled along with all these usage increases. That’s why any cut in the library’s budget at this time would heavily impact services. The library has been running lean for most of the past seven years. Libraries work hard to meet the needs of each neighborhood though funding hasn’t been meeting all the needs of our libraries.
Programming has more than doubled in attendance since 2004. Programs address early child learning, literacy, and English as a second language. They support all ages and all stages of development. Programs promote cultural understanding and lifelong learning. Programs are largely paid for by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, but continued support for adequate hours, staffing, and books and materials is essential to their success. Programs bring together library resources, volunteers and audiences to create service excellence. Through programs, good staff, strong collections and a wide selection of hours libraries support, change, and enrich lives. Please join Friends of The Seattle Public Library in writing to your councilmembers and asking them to preserve library funding.