Can we come back tomorrow?

A patron from the Columbia Branch shares a story from her recent visit:

Columbia City Branch“I was checking out books at the Columbia City branch a few months ago, shortly after I’d learned the branch had reduced its hours…as I checked out, a father with two boys came up to the counter to ask the librarian a question.”

The brothers were talking and one said to the other, ‘Let’s ask Dad if we can come back here tomorrow.’ The older brother said, ‘This place is SO much fun!’

The younger boy said ‘OK,’ and they started tugging on their dad’s shirt. ‘Dad, Dad, can we come back here tomorrow?’ Finally the dad responded, ‘Yes, sure.’

“My heart sank because I knew that the branch was now going to be closed on Sunday, the next day. The enthusiasm the boys had for being in the Library was contagious and impressive. I wished I had the power to open the doors for them the next day.”


Save neighborhood library hours in 2010. Here’s how you can help.

The City Council is now reviewing Mayor Greg Nickels’ proposed 2010 budget, which includes $2.8 million in cuts to the Library budget. Proposed cuts include a reduction in branch operating hours and a one-week closure of the entire Library system. The proposed hours reduction would mean that 21 Library locations  would be closed on Fridays and Sundays – all year. In addition, those branches would experience a significant reduction in their remaining open hours and would be open after six only two days per week. Overall, the Library would lose about 23 percent of its open hours compared with 2009.  Here’s the list of libraries that will be closed both Sunday and Friday and with reduced operating hours if the proposed budget is adopted by Seattle City Council in November:

Northgate, Broadview, Greenlake, Greenwood, University, Montlake, Northeast, Capitol Hill, Fremont, Wallingford, Magnolia, Queen Anne, Madrona Sally Goldmark, International District/Chinatown, West Seattle, Columbia, Delridge, Highpoint, Beacon Hill, New Holly, and South Park.

The proposed budget will impact all of our communities and neighbors who are relying on our libraries for computer access, job search resources, educational support, gathering spaces, and librarian assistance. In 2008, more than 13 million customers visited the Library and so far this year, visits are up another 8 percent.  Circulation of books and other items was up 20 percent in 2008; this year it is up an additional 11 percent.

How Can You Help?  Councilmembers can change the budget if they hear public concern. The most important thing you can do now is to attend public hearings and email councilmembers.

Public Hearings all start at 5:30. To speak sign up begins at 5:00:

Oct 7, Wednesday, Whitman Middle School Auditorium.  9201 15th Ave NW, Seattle.

Oct 14, Wednesday, Northwest African American Museum, Legacy Gallery, 2300 S Massachusetts St, Seattle

Oct 26, Monday, City Council Chambers, 600 4th Avenue

RSVP and we’ll send you preparatory information.

Your councilmember’s emails.

Subject line: restore library hours. Suggested text: My name is ________. I use the _______library. Please restore library hours.