Seattle Neighborhood Blogs Take Up the Final Call to Action to Save Neighborhood Branch Library Hours

Neighborhood blogs across Seattle are supporting the Friends of The Seattle Public Library!  Thanks to the Laurelhurst BlogRainier Valley PostWallyhoodMiller Park, Beacon Hill Blog, My Green Lake and Wedgewood Blog for getting your communities involved in this final email campaign and thanks to Blogging Georgetown, Capitol Hill Seattle, Fremont Universe, Greenwood, Magnolia Voice, PhinneyWood, Queen Anne View and West Seattle Blog for their earlier support.

West Seattle BranchWallingford BranchUniversity BranchSouth Park BranchBeacon Hill Branch

Your past emails have made a difference!  Councilmembers Burgess, Harrell, and Licata are committed to preserving the current hours of operations at all neighborhood branches of The Seattle Public Library.  We have launched this final e-mail campaign targeted at Councilmembers Clark, Conlin, Drago, Godden, McIver, and Rasmussen to urge them to join Councilmembers Burgess, Harrell, and Licata in preserving our present neighborhood Library hours.  Please send the email outlined below today:



SUBJECT:  $1.2 Million Restoration of Library Funds

TEXT: Dear Councilmembers Clark, Conlin, Drago, Godden, McIver, and Rasmussen,

Please join fellow Councilmembers Burgess, Harrell and Licata and vote for Option A to restore the 330 weekly service hours to keep our libraries open normal hours in 2010.

OPTIONAL:  I use the XYZ neighborhood branch for XYZ. OR Share a more personal message about why your neighborhood branch is important to you.

On Nov. 2, Seattle City Councilmembers began discussing four options to partially restore the 5% reduction in the endorsed Library budget. None of the options will prevent another one week furlough in 2010, but the best choice, Option A, does preserve Library hours in your neighborhood branch at their current level and prevents the loss of 27 Library staff positions.

The proposed hours reduction would mean that Beacon Hill, Broadview, Capitol Hill, Columbia, Delridge, Fremont, Green Lake, Greenwood, High Point, International District / Chinatown, Madrona-Sally Goldmark, Magnolia, Montlake, NewHolly, Northeast, Northgate, Queen Anne, South Park, University, Wallingford and West Seattle would be closed on Fridays and Sundays, plus operate at reduced hours – all year.

Thank you Seattle Neighborhood Blogs and their readers for all your support and dedication to your neighborhood library branches.  Please ask your Seattle friends and family to join you in this final email campaign to save neighborhood branch library hours.

Columbia BranchMadronna Sally Goldmark Branch

MontlakeQueen Anne BranchNortheast BranchInternational District Chinatown Branch

Capitol Hill BranchNorthgate BranchNewHolly BranchMagnolia BranchHigh Point BranchBeacon Hill BranchDelridge BranchGreen Lake BranchGreenwood BranchFremont Branch


The Seattle Public Library: A World Class Site — in More Ways Than One!

Thanks to a grant from the Friends, the Seattle Public Library expanded its web site earlier this year to include more information for its patrons who speak Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, and to add information in Somali and Amharic.  To reach these new web pages, go the Library web site and see the Audiences column on the right hand side of the page.  The Library staff compared the number of Web pages that these audiences used from March 2008 – October 2008 versus March 2009 – October 2009, and were delighted to see significant increases in usage as follows:

Spanish:  2,003 to 9,761 web pages used

Chinese:  3,041 to 10,114 web pages used

Vietnamese:  1,038 to 8,168 web pages used

Russian:  1,364 to 8,632 web pages used

The Friends are able to make grants like these from donations, revenues from the FriendShop, and proceeds from the Book Sale, so we’d like to share these thanks with all of you who support the Friends and the Seattle Public Library:

Gracias a los Amigos de la Biblioteca Pública de Seattle por proporcionar los fondos para el sitio Web de la biblioteca en idioma español (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for the Library’s Spanish language Web site).

衷心感谢Friends of The Seattle Public Library为扩建图书馆中文网页提供经费。 (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for the Library’s Chinese language Web site).

 Xin cám ơn Thân Hữu của Thư Viện Công Cộng Seattle đã cung cấp ngân quỹ cho trang Web tiếng Việt của Thư Viện (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for the Library’s Vietnamese language Web site).

Благодарим Общество друзей Публичной Библиотеки Сиэтла за предоставление финансовых средств для веб-сайта Библиотеки на русском языке (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for the Library’s Russian language Web site).

Mahadsanid Saaxiibta Maktabada Dadweynaha ee Seattle bixinta kharashka lagu soo saaray horudhacan Maktabada (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for this introduction to the Library in the Somali language).

ለሲያትል የህዝብ ቤተ መጻፍት ጓደኞች ለዚህ የቤተ መጻህፍት ማስታወቂያ እርዳታ ገንዘብ ስላቀረቡ ምስጋናችንን እናቀርባለን። (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for this introduction to the Library in the Amharic language).

The Newest Superheroes: Your Neighborhood Librarians

 If there was any doubt that your neighborhood librarians should be given superhero status, take a look at this New York Times article about how the economic downturn is putting new stresses on libraries and librarians. Librarians are facing increased demands as “first responders” to patrons who are seeking help in filling out job applications and unemployment forms, using the library’s computers and free wi-fi access, looking for language and citizenship training, borrowing books and DVDs for free entertainment, and dealing with the emotional strains of making do with much less. Even Nancy Pearl’s beloved Librarian Action Figure might find it difficult to deal with all of these demands.

So how can you help? First of all, take the time to thank your neighborhood librarians – a kind word goes a long way. Second, consider volunteering at the Library – there are many different ways you can get involved. Third, email City Councilmembers and ask them to preserve funding for the Library:,,,,,,,,

If you’re looking for books that feature fictional librarians, here’s a list from the Library’s Shelf Talk blog. And although the following books don’t feature librarians, consider the book recommendations below from the Friends’ Board meeting in April. You can just click on the links below to get to the SPL site to reserve a copy of these books. Quoted book review excerpts are reprinted with permission from Booklist.

Bone [Vol. I], Out from Boneville, by Jeff Smith. “One of the most acclaimed new comics of recent years, Bone is a Tolkien-meets-Pogo fantasy about the Bone cousins, who leave their home, Boneville, for adventures in the outside world. . . . Smith, with his clean draftsmanship and flawless comic timing, has been compared to comics masters Walt Kelly (Pogo and Carl Barks (creator of Uncle Scrooge McDuck). Like Pogo Bone has a whimsy best appreciated by adults, yet kids can enjoy it, too . . .” — Gordon Flagg   This review was written in 1995, and there are many other volumes available.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism, by Muhammad Yunus with Karl Weber. Nobel Peace Prize winner Yunus is the founder of Grameen Bank, which lends small amounts of money to poorer individuals to help them start small businesses. This is an inspiring tale about the possibilities of “micro-lending”, and businesses that are helping people while still being profitable.

Why I Wake Early : New Poems, by Mary Oliver. This is a lovely collection of poems about nature and contemplative ideas, and encourages us to slow down and appreciate nature.

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese. This is Verghese’s first book of fiction, and starts in a charity hospital in Ethiopia while spanning three continents and several generations. This garnered a starred review in Publishers Weekly.

A Hand to Guide Me, Denzel Washington with Daniel Paisner. Actor Denzel Washington, a national spokesman for the Boys and Girls Club of America, has collected stories from over 70 celebrities (including himself) of how mentors made a difference in their lives. Contributors include Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Gloria Steinhem, Whoopie Goldberg, Bonnie Raitt, Cal Ripken, and more.

Readers, who are your favorite neighborhood superhero librarians?

Let it be known: The Seattle Public Library Staff ROCKS!


The Seattle Public Library staff IS The Library.  These are the people who make Seattle‘s beautiful Libraries for All buildings expansive, personal and meaningful on a daily basis for the neighborhoods they serve and for the entire city of Seattle.


Please join the Friends board members in written tribute to the inspirational service The SPL staff brings to Seattle neighborhoods and the entire city.  Thank You to The Seattle Public Library’s rocking staff!

A Special Thank You To Our Volunteers

Thanks to the best volunteers in Seattle, the Friends had a banner year in 2007. Our fundraising activities, through the Book Sales at Magnuson Park and the FriendShop at the Central Library, were the best ever.  We were able to grant the Library more than $116,000 in four areas including immigrant and refugee outreach and the new adult summer reading program.  And our fundraisers added a warm human face to the Friends, giving people the chance to buy great books at great prices at the Book Sale, and to enjoy the Gift Shop of the Year ( at our FriendShop.  For those who couldn’t attend, we added e-commerce options.We worked creatively to engage the city council in support of an increased materials budget for the Library. 

Our testimony at public hearings, signs, collaboration with community groups, letters, emails and telephone calls helped the council reach consensus on adding $2 million to the Library’s materials budget.We found new ways to tell our story to the public and our members.  The Bookmark; the website, was updated, and we started an e-newsletter, Among Friends. We also helped staff the Libraries for All celebrations reopening branches in 2007.       

No wonder the mayor proclaimed October 23-28 as Friends of the Seattle Public Library Week!