“Libraries create a space where groups can meet to do community building without having to pay anything,” Jessica Dally told us when we met up with her in a Belltown coffeehouse. She reads a lot and regularly uses Greenwood library to check out books, but her role as the founder of Seattle Free School makes libraries even more important in her life. “Seattle Free School wouldn’t have been able to start or at least wouldn’t have started so strong without the library’s free meeting rooms. We now have alternate meeting spaces but those opportunities came along because we were able to gain credibility over time,” she said.
Seattle Free school is completely free. The school doesn’t take donations and is run by volunteers. “We’re unique among free schools. Most have a political affiliation or they take donations.” The library’s philosophy of providing free resources fit well with the model of Seattle Free School. “It’s easy for us to use the library system and it helps us spread our classes out across the city. For us it’s about getting people in lots of neighborhoods involved and offering convenient class locations. We’ve had classes in the meeting rooms at many public libraries: Ballard, Montlake, Greenlake, Greenwood, Highpoint, West Seattle… ” Most of Seattle’s new and renovated libraries now have public meeting spaces which host a wide variety of uses and are always busy.
Have you attended a Seattle Free School class at your neighborhood library? Have you been to a meeting held in the library? Let’s talk about it. firstname.lastname@example.org