Holiday Greetings from the Friends

As we move through the holiday season from the lighting of the first Chanukah candles though Christmas and the New Year, I wanted to take an opportunity to wish all of our members, volunteers, and other supporters a happy holiday season and a healthy and joyful 2013.

The Friends has much to be joyful for, and we look forward to an exciting year ahead. We are looking forward to a full schedule of three “mini” book sales and one “big” book sale, similar to those we held this past year. We are pleased to have many new and returning volunteers for our sorting operations and our sales, and we look forward to adding more throughout next year.

We will continue our exciting children’s book give-away program. The books are provided by our partner Discover Books, and are in wonderful condition. This year, to date, we’ve given over 12,000 books to children in K-5 Title I schools. We anticipate a far greater volume in the coming year.

The Friends received its Teacher Voucher grant for 2013 from the Fisher Foundation. We will be providing 120 vouchers to teachers from Title I schools. Each teacher will be able to “purchase” 100 books for his or her classroom library.

Our FriendShop continues to offer both fun and useful items to Library patrons, tourists, and other visitors to the Central Branch. This year, we were pleased to offer used books, provided by Discover Books, which have been a big hit with our public and library visitors.

The Friends looks forward to our second annual New Year’s Eve Party for Literacy. We are also planning a new and exciting fund-raising event to be held in the fall.

Our website is being updated more frequently, and we look forward to providing current information and year-end financial summaries in the near future. And postings of Friends activities can also be found on Facebook and Twitter!

We are extremely grateful to our members for their continued support, generosity, and time. We look forward to providing you with new member benefits, increasing our membership in the New Year.

Happy holidays and thanks to all.

Maggie Taylor
President, Board of Trustees


News and Updates

Dear Friends:

As you may know, the Magnuson hangar and space in which the Friends formerly sorted and stored books is being renovated. That renovation forced all tenants to relocate by the end of September of this year. The Parks Department did not have another facility to offer the Friends during the renovation and so a special committee of the Friends  spent the past year and more trying to find an alternative space for the Friends’ office and operations. They were successful and the Friends recently moved to a 10,000+ square foot facility on the second floor of the Washington Talking Books & Braille Library located downtown at 9th and Lenora. This is the new, permanent home of the Friends’ office and sorting facilities.
There were many pieces to the move. For example, the Friends received a grant from the Fisher Foundation last year to help get quality books into Title One Schools. The Friends utilized that grant to provide teachers in Title One Schools vouchers that can be used to purchase books at any of the Friends’ sales. Just a few weeks prior to the move, the Friends held a “Teachers Book Sale” at which teachers of Title One Schools could use their remaining vouchers to buy young adult and children’s books for their classrooms. Over 1,000 books were sold at the sale and I am happy to report that the Fisher Foundation has just awarded the Friends with a grant of $12,500 for the remainder of 2012 through 2013.
The Friends moved into its new space the first week of October and since then has been busy hooking up computers, configuring the space for sorting needs, determining the most space efficient ways to store books, training new volunteers and basically settling in. During the move, library cast-offs were picked up directly from the library by B-Logistics and sold online. These sales yielded a continuous revenue stream for the Friends during the move and money for the Library in the form of consignment fees. Now that we are moved into our new space the library cast-offs are beginning to be routed to our new facility, volunteer sorting schedules are being set and soon regular donation drop-off times will be set as well. In the interim, if you have a donation to drop-off, the date and time can be arranged directly with the book sale office (206-682-7567), which is open Tuesday through Saturday.
While engaged in the move, our interim book sale director, Alice Springer and her assistant, Katy, were also avidly scouting locations for a Holiday Sale. They successfully negotiated a space at the Seattle Center and with the dust not yet settled at the Friends’ new space, commenced sorting operations, publicity and all the other work that goes into a “Better Books” and audio/visual media Holiday Sale. The Holiday Sale will be held on Saturday, December 8th in the Lopez Room at the Seattle Center. In addition to the Better Books and DVDs, CDs, and Audio Books offered for sale, gift items from the FriendShop will also be available.
To round out 2012, our Vice President, Neil Bergquist, is spearheading a New Year’s Eve Party for Literacy. Neil launched the event last year, independent of the Friends, and the event raised more than $3,000 for the Library’s Homework Help program. We are hoping for even more success this year. Information regarding the event is at
Alice’s plans for the book sale in 2013 are already well in motion and three sales are planned in February, April and early June of 2013. As Magnuson will still be unavailable during those months, locations are currently being scouted for those sales. Once locations are found, those sales will be announced to members and the public, via email and the website and closer to the sale date, through flyers, social media and traditional media outlets.
In September 2013, we will return to the newly renovated Magnuson hangar for a “mega-sale” the 20th-22nd.
There are a lot of exciting changes happening in the organization right now. Please check your email and our website regularly for updated information.

Very truly yours,

The Board of the Friends of the Seattle Public Library