Support Seattle Public Libraries This Budget Season

The City Council is in the process of reviewing Mayor Mike McGinn’s proposed 2012 city budget. Despite financial challenges to the city, the Mayor has avoided directing additional funding cuts at libraries. Under the mayor’s proposed budget, The Seattle Public Library would be able to continue offering current levels of services and hours at all branch locations.

As the City Council reviews the Mayor’s budget, please show your support for funding libraries. You can do so in the following ways:

1) Email the City Council. You can contact the Council via this online form intended for 2012 budget feedback. Create your own message or use the sample letter at the bottom of this page.

2) Contact councilmembers individually. Make your support for libraries known to individual members of the City Councity. A list of phone numbers and email addresses for councilmembers can be found here.

3) Join the Friends at a public hearing. Show your support for libraries in person at a City Council Budget Committee Public Hearing. Hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, October 4th at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday, October 26th at 5:30 p.m. Meetings take place on the second floor of City Hall, located at 600 Fourth Avenue. If you would like to stand up with the Friends, email


Six-Year-Old Sends Her Allowance to Keep Libraries Open

The Friends of the Seattle Public Library recently received a letter from one of our supporters, Ani J.  The letter reads:

” Dear Library,

I want to share my allowance money so you can stay open.  I am 6 years old.  Here is $11.  (as dictated to mom, aka scribe)”

Thank you Ani!  Your contribution means so much to us.  We are happy that you use and love The Library.

If you are reading this and also want to help support The Seattle Public Library, an anonymous donor has pledged $500,000 to support The Seattle Public Library if the citizens of Seattle can raise a matching amount.  To donate, go to the Seattle Public Library Foundation website.  Let’s make a million dollars for The Library!

Another way you can help is to attend City Council budget hearings and voice your support for The Library.  Seattle is facing huge budget cuts again this year.  Come and let the Council know how valuable libraries are to our community.  For a schedule of budget hearings go the City Council’s website.

Come say hello to the Friends at a local Farmer’s Market!

This summer the Friends of the Seattle Public Library will be visiting Farmer’s Markets all over the city.  Come say hi, buy one of our bags, learn more about us and what you can do to support the Seattle Public Library, or sign a petition.  We can’t wait to meet you!  Here are the markets we will be visiting and the dates:


West Seattle

Sundays 10-2

August 1, August 29, October 10, November 14


University District

Saturdays 9-2

 August 14, September 18, October 9


Columbia City

Wednesdays 3-7

July 28, August 18, October 6



Sundays 11-3

September 12, October 10



Saturdays 10-2

July 24, August 28, September 11


Lake City

Thursdays 3-7

July 15, August 12, September 16


Phinney Ridge

Fridays 3-7

September 10

To learn more about the markets go to the Neighborhood Farmer’s Market alliance website.

Members Talk To City Council

Friends members spoke to City Council abount the important role libraries play in our local communities.
Board members including president Mimi Winslow spoke at the Ballard community meeting. Winslow emphasized that the Library is the most egalitarian choice Councilmembers can make in a tough budget year. The Library offers free and equal information access to every walk of life, every culture and all ethnicities.
Advocacy Chair Sarel Rowe stated that libraries anchor and strengthen our neighborhoods. Citing an economic benefits study on the Central library published in 2005, she concluded that libraries enhance our residential experience in dense mixed use neighborhoods. As Seattle grows and adds more dense and mixed use structures this value grows in importance.
Deborah Prince talked about a friend who relies on the library for audio books and Braille materials and emphasized how many others are dependent on the library for their information needs.
Ed Marquez noted that the library is a great resource to empower citizens and has the power to improve one’s lot in life.


West Seattle Friend of the Library, Julie Enevoldsen, said she worries that the progress the library made in expansion will be wasted if there isn’t an increase in hours to make the library more accessible.
Charlene Khan talked about her family’s frequent use of the library and asked that the bookmobile continue to be supported. She said she loves the downtown library’s architecture and hoped the Council would continue to support libraries because they civilize our community by providing open access to all peoples.
Toni Reineke is a teacher who has been a library patron for 56 years. She estimates the value of all she’s borrowed from the library at $36-42,000 and is grateful for this enriching institution.
Long time Friend of the Library Keo Capestany told council members the only reason he could imagine there wasn’t more library support at the Rainier community meeting was because everyone was home reading books.Note: 82% of Seattle residents have library cards.