Proposed 2010 budget impact: One week furlough and 21 branch libraries closed two days a week

The downward adjustments to the 2010 City Budget were announced today.  Library collections will be kept at the support level of 2009.  However, The Seattle Public Library was asked to identify approximately 5 percent in cuts — about $2.8 million.

This is a significantly larger impact than what Seattle experienced with the downward adjustment of the 2009 budget. What does this mean to you and your neighborhood? A one week closure of the entire system and 21 branch libraries that will close Friday and Sunday all year. In addition, according to the library’s website, the proposed 2010 capital budget is down 37 percent from the 2009 adopted budget which means delays in the maintenance and upkeep of our very busy, well used buildings.

Please help us preserve our library access. City Council can change this budget. This budget includes some new spending and there is room for adjustment, but without your voice and presence at upcoming hearings City Council may not re-evaluate. Can you help? Contact

12 million people turned to our libraries last year. Many are accessing critical services: job search resources, free computers, wi-fi efficiency, community meeting space, literacy support and so forth. Our blog stories portray these everyday uses and the impact on individuals and families. Closed libraries and abbreviated access creates hardships.  In the recession of 2002 and 2003 our library system was closed for two weeks each year and library hours were cut.   The Library hasn’t regained the operating hours lost almost 7 years ago.

  • The Friends of The Seattle Public Library believes any further reduction in hours of operations isn’t a rational choice given the substantial increase in patrons using The Seattle Public Library and with the difficulties facing the citizens of Seattle who are turning to The Seattle Public Library for support and information in the current economic crisis.
  • The Friends of The Seattle Public Library believes furloughs are not a sustainable solution for the operations of The Seattle Public Library and that furloughs eliminate the critical services provided daily by The Seattle Public Library staff and collections.

The citizens of Seattle have increased their usage of The Central Library and the 26 branches by astounding numbers.  Door counts have continued to rise across the system. With all this usage there is wear and tear that requires timely maintenance to prevent deterioration of the interior and exterior of Central and the 26 branches.  The Library’s capital budget for 2009 was reduced from $1.646 million to $694,000.

  • The Friends of The Seattle Public Library believes there must be an ongoing baseline of support for The Seattle Public Library to protect the investment the citizens of Seattle have made in the building and renovation of The Seattle Public Library System.

Please stand up for the library and for our neighbors who need everyday access. You can help :


4 thoughts on “Proposed 2010 budget impact: One week furlough and 21 branch libraries closed two days a week

  1. I’m going to do my bit here. My plan is to e-mail the mayor and the City Council about this, and go around with the petition for the neighbors in my neighborhood to sign,. We don’t need another furlough, and we don’t need reductions in hours. And I’m going to tell them that.
    Anne G

  2. Lisa, I care, too. And that’s why I’m going to try to collect some more signatures at the Green Lake branch tomorrow. Also, I’m going to write the City Council and the mayor about this, just to let him know. I haven’t gotten around to this yet, because I haven’t had time.
    Anne G

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