This is Thalia’s story. What’s yours?

In preliminary early results from our survey about library value, 28% of respondents say children or kids are the reason libraries are important or remain relevant to our communities.  That’s in the opinion of adults who filled out the survey. In this story we hear from the source. Libraries are a favorite destination for  children, as Thalia tells us in this story.
The Lake City Library
by Thalia Neufeld ( age 8 )
My favorite place in my community is the Lake City Library. I like to go there with Saige. I like it because my mom can read books that I don’t usually get to read. Like The Princesses and the Pizza and Queen of Style. It is fun to look for movies because I like some of the movies that are there. I also like it because there is a play structure behind it. I like to sit on the hmmmmm, maybe I should explain it first. So I guess it is like a bed that you can sit on and it is all cushiony with a lot of cushions on it. So I like to sit on it and look at books. I hope to take you there some day to play in the park and read a book and sit on the cushiony couch. So let’s get outside and we will go to the Lake City Library!
Do you have a favorite story about your library? Is there an especially comfy chair there? Do you play at a nearby park? Do you stop for ice cream or hot chocolate on the way? Why is the library such a great place for kids?  Send your story to and we’ll talk about posting it.

Holiday Book Sale!

This Saturday, November 21 from 9-5, we are hosting a mini sale featuring gift books and items, a large selection of cookbooks and children’s books, and general non-fiction and fiction. Most books $1.00. 



Magnuson Park

Hangar in Building #30

7400 Sand Point Way NE

Seattle, 98115

Thank You From the Friends of The Seattle Public Library

The Friends of The Seattle Public Library wishes to express true appreciation for all the individual and neighborhood support given to the Advocacy committee’s fall budget campaign.  Emails, letters, blogs, phone calls, over 2,000 petition signatures from Facebook and neighborhood branches, public testimony, and a successful “500 emails” campaign all raised City Council’s awareness to a new level.

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to restore $860,000 to The Seattle Public Library’s operating budget. In Mayor Nickels’ proposed 2010 budget just 5 neighborhood branches were slated to operate at 60 hours a week and the other 21 at 35 hours a week.  The restoration of $860,000 placed an additional 6 neighborhood branch libraries onto the 60 hour a week schedule – 11 branches will now be open 60 hours a week and 15 will be open 35 hours a week.  The Library’s 2010 operations budget will still be reduced by $1.77 million dollars.  All neighborhood branches will feel the effects of another one week closure of the entire system.  The impact of the revised 2010 budget on The Seattle Public Library is available on The Library website HERE.

The efforts of all those who participated in the Friends fall budget campaign served to illustrate the importance of The Seattle Public Library to the Seattle City Council.  The education of our public officials about the importance of neighborhood branch libraries couldn’t be done without your voice and the collective voices of neighborhood library supporters.

Please consider thanking council members for the bold step of partial funding restoration.  Their email addresses are:;;;;;;;;  

As Seattle residents you now have a unique educational opportunity to continue to share the importance of your neighborhood library by participating in Mayor Elect Mike McGinn’s Transition Input Survey.  The deadline to participate is Sunday, November 23rd at 6 pm.  You can fill out the survey HERE. Or share your views on the Mayor-elect’s Ideas for Seattle HERE.

You might also consider emailing incoming Seattle City Council members Mike O’Brien and Sally Bagshaw so they begin their terms understanding how important The Seattle Public Library is in Seattle’s neighborhoods.

To help further the Friends’ understanding of the diverse and dynamic ways people use their neighborhood library branches in Seattle, please take five minutes to answer our Library value survey and encourage friends and family to do the same.  Click HERE for the survey.

The Friends of The Seattle Public Library thanks you again for your involvement. While this year’s budget victory is bittersweet for many, the Friends commends you.  The Friends will look for your support to get back to the reality of Libraries for All as soon as possible.

“Naturally, I came here to learn to play”

library 015

Friends of The Seattle Public Library recently joined clarinetist Ashley Komoda for a lunchtime rehearsal to discuss the importance of the Library’s music practice rooms to the local musicians who use them.

“These practice rooms are one of the few downtown spots that allow fellow musicians to get together and make as much noise as they want. It is also simple. At any given time, I can call and say, ‘hey, I need a room,’ and reserve one of the two rooms with a piano. The piano is especially useful because of its built-in metronome”, she explained as she set the tempo for an adagio piece she plays with the Cadence Chamber Orchestra.

Ashley first discovered the music rooms this summer while seeking rehearsal space with a fellow clarinetist. They were looking to schedule weekly practice sessions for a company downtown that was sponsoring a summer arts internship program. After being turned down (or chased away) by building managers in downtown offices, they resorted to schools, only to find that such practice rooms were restricted by to current students or by very limited operating hours.  They needed somewhere close and cheap. An online search led them to the library practice rooms, where they could toot their horns to their hearts’ content during regular library hours.

During these weekly sessions, it was not uncommon to have by-standers from the elevator peering through the window or visitors that sat in on the Mozart duet they were working on.  A symphony clarinetist from Vancouver, B.C. once joined in and provided some tips on technique and instrument gear. Five months later Ashley— along with a number of Seattle residents of all ages— still schedule routine practice sessions at the Library.

“A lot of people come here. I enjoy practicing here because there’s really nothing around to distract me.” Ashley first picked up the clarinet in middle school and recently started lessons on the alto saxophone. “Naturally, I came here to learn to play,” she said with a smile. “You have to have someplace to practice, to get experience, learn the basics. You can’t just jump into it!”

The Cadence Chamber Orchestra (CCO) is an all-ages group of volunteer musicians committed to putting on free performances of new and traditional chamber music repertoires in the Seattle area.  Don’t miss your chance to see them perform Beethoven – Symphony No. 1 and Stravinsky – Pulcinella Suite at Cafe Metropolitain [1701 E Olive Way] on Thursday, December 17th at 8pm or at the PONCHO Concert Hall at Cornish College of the Arts [710 E Roy St] on Friday, December 18th at 8:00pm.

Seattle City Council Passes Option C Funding for The Seattle Public Library

council_header08Today, November 12, 2009, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to increase the General Subfund (GSF) support for library services by $860,000 in 2010.  As described in the Seattle City Council’s green sheet Tab 94, Action 1, Option C, Version 1, “[$860,000] would restore 140 of the library operating hours that would be eliminated per the 2010 Proposed Budget.  Increasing GSF support for library services by $860,000 would also allow the Library Board to reinstate some of the 27 staff positions (18.8 FTE [Full Time]) that would be eliminated under the 2010 Proposed Budget.”

The new operating hours for The Seattle Public Library will look like this with Option C as per the Seattle City Council’s green sheet Tab 94, Action 1, Option C, Version 1


  • Hours remain at the current seven day, 62 hour weekly schedule

Ballard, Beacon Hill, Broadview, Capitol Hill, Douglass-Truth, Greenwood, Lake City, Northeast, Rainier Beach, Southwest and West Seattle:

  • Open 7 Days per week (60 hours per week): 
  • Monday – Thursday, 10 am – 8 pm;
  • Friday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm;
  • Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm

Columbia, Delridge, Fremont, Green Lake, High Point, International District/Chinatown, Madrona-Sally Goldmark, Magnolia, Montlake, NewHolly, Northgate, Queen Anne, South Park, University and Wallingford:

  • Open 5 Days per week (35 hours per week, closed Friday and Sunday): 
  • Monday – Tuesday, 1 pm – 8 pm;
  • Wednesday – Thursday, 11 am – 6 pm;
  • Friday:  CLOSED;
  • Saturday 10 am – 6 pm;
  • Sunday:  CLOSED

Free Online Access to Through the Library!

consumer reports

Before you make your next big (or little) purchase, why not check out the product reviews and ratings on Now you can do that online for free through the Library’s web site at

 To find, go to and click on “Databases & Web Sites.”  Next, click on “Consumer Reports & Information” and then click on “Consumer Reports.”

If you are trying to access from a computer outside the Library, you will need to enter your Library card numbers and personal identification number (PIN) when prompted, and then press the Login button.

This is just one more way that the Seattle Public Library is helping its patrons during tough economic times. Be sure to take a look at the many other consumer resources available on the Consumer Reports and Information database.

Art, Family, Playgrounds and Greenlake Library

“On a typical Sunday outing we’ll take our bikes and scooters down to the lake, have breakfast, play at the playground, go to the library and go home,” Greenlake patron Rebecca Albiani told us over morning coffee.  The library serves an important role in both her family and professional life. Her eldest son, 8, “is an avid reader; it would bankrupt us to keep him in books by purchasing them,” she said. His current reading list: Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians, Septimus Heap books,  and 39 Clues. The youngest son, 6, “memorizes books so he needs a constant flow of simple stories as he learns to read.”

Titian exhibit[1]In professional life, Rebecca “gives talks for general audiences at the Frye Art Museum.” For the past ten years she’s lectured on everything from ancient Egypt to Pop Art. “I couldn’t do that without the library. Every month I have a new topic. 95 percent of my research materials come from the public library,” she said. Wouldn’t the UW Art Library be a stronger resource, we wondered, but Rebecca said the public library’s catalogue is usually ample. “The public library has THE book on the Index of American Design, for instance, which is the New Deal program I’ll be lecturing on in December. I could get a UW library card but it’s so much more convenient to walk to my public library [Greenlake Walkscore: 89] where I know people who work there and I don’t have to worry about parking.”

“The library is a crucial leveling factor. Plus it is simply a wonderful community gathering place” she told us. “When I think about the proposed library budget I worry about Saturday hours and Sunday closures in particular. On Sunday I see people on computers or sitting in the magazine section—that’s where my husband goes. There are always a lot of families reading to kids or kids coloring. At the playground I often hear moms saying, “Shall we go to the library now?”


Please support Library hours in the 2010 budget.