Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Friends of The Seattle Public Library

John Smith, the Chair of the PNA's board of directors has asked that this open letter from the Friends of The Seattle Public Library be posted here:

October 15, 2008
Dear Phinney Neighborhood Association members,

The Seattle Public Library’s 27 new and expanded facilities are overflowing with children, teens and adults checking out books and materials, using computers for research and homework, attending programs with award-winning authors, and much more. Particularly in the down economy, people are using Library resources even more to find out about social services, look for job opportunities, improve English skills and get expert assistance from librarians. 11.6 million people visited Library facilities last year with more than 9.3 million items circulated and 1 million questions answered.

These statistics will be surpassed in 2008 because our libraries are busier than they’ve ever been. Libraries must continue to offer strong and relevant collections to meet the growing information needs of this city’s diverse community.

Last year, thanks to community input, the members of the Seattle City Council approved a 2 million dollar add to the Mayor’s budget for The Seattle Public Library collections for a total of $7.1 million. The Library reported to the City Council on Monday, October 6th that the 2 million dollar increase had been well spent. Based on priorities identified in the 2006 Patrons Needs and Satisfaction Survey, The Library “increased supply of popular titles, number of titles with more than 5 holds cut in half, expanded ESL materials and world language collections, expanded children’s picture book collection, added 6,350 new downloadable items to the virtual library, added five premium databases to virtual library and replaced over 500 public computers.”

You can view the proposed budget for The Library for 2009 and 2010 here [pdf]; Watch The Library's presentation and view The Library's power point presented to the Budget Committee on The City Council's "Departmental Presentations" page by scrolling down to the Monday, 10/6/08 here to learn even more.

Now is the time to let council members know how you have benefited from The Seattle Public Library and the important role it plays in enhancing the educational, cultural and economic vitality of our city. Act now.

Here’s how:

1) E-mail council members: Tim Burgess, Sally Clark, Richard Conlin, Jan Drago, Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, Nick Licata, Richard McIver, and Tom Rasmussen. Tell them your name, the branch you use, how you use the library and how it is important. Thank them for their past support and ask them to support library collections and services.

2) Join us at a public hearing on the budget at City Hall at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27 at City hall. R.S.V.P. to

We have a blog:, or visit our Web site: to find out more on how you can support the excellent services and programs of The Seattle Public Library.

Thank you,
Friends of The Seattle Public Library
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