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Community Conversations : cc recap strategic direction 09262017

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Strategic Direction recap – Sept. 26, 2017

Tuesday, Sept. 26, noon to 1 p.m., Central Library, Microsoft Auditorium



Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner has invited Library patrons to join him at informal meetings at locations across the city to talk about how to improve Library services. This Community Conversation was focused on the Library’s Strategic Direction and was held at the Central Library from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. About 40 members of the public attended this noontime discussion.


Turner shared information about the Library’s new Strategic Direction, which is helping guide planning and decision-making for the Library. The Strategic Direction focuses on three things: what the Library is doing to promote individual growth and learning, how the Library is impacting the greater community and how efficiently the Library is performing as an institution. He also discussed increased Library services and resources made possible by the 2012 Library levy: increased Library hours, collections, technology and building maintenance. The levy expires in 2019.

He spent the rest of the hour taking questions and suggestions from patrons.

Questions from patrons


Can you buy more copies of popular materials to reduce wait times?


Seattle has a heavy reading population and we continue to look for ways to address the long wait times for popular materials. The challenge with purchasing more copies of popular books is that we end up with an excess of copies after interest wanes. Most of these extra copies are donated to the Friends of the Library for its book sales. The Library has started a new program called Peak Picks, which puts popular books on display in eight branches that are available to check out immediately with no hold time. We hope to extend this popular program to other locations.


Does the Library have a bookmobile program?


Yes. In fact, we just bought a new, modern bookmobile this last year. It goes out to many adult nursing homes, daycares, preschools and senior centers across the city. It also makes appearances at community festivals and events, such as Bumbershoot.


What will the Library need when the current levy expires in 2019?


We have not identified those needs yet, but we are continuing to gather public input on needs and expectations, including the suggestions we are hearing today.


Can you checkout a laptop to use at the Central Library?


We currently do not provide that service at the Central Library, but we do at many of our branch libraries.


What types of community partnerships does the Library have? Does it partner with tech companies?


The Library partners with many civic, nonprofit, business and government organizations. In fact, the Library offers more than 10,000 education programs and activities each year. Many involve partnerships. The Library partners with Google to provide increased public access to technology, including laptops and tablets, as well as digital literacy classes. Microsoft supports the Library by providing software. The Library partners with Seattle Public Schools on a variety of educational programs, including a reading program for all fourth- and fifth-graders. In addition, we partner with more than a dozen cultural organizations through our online Museum Pass Program. You can use your Library Card to get free passes to museums in our city.


Suggestions from patrons


  • Review restrictions on wheeled devices and bags, particularly for patrons who choose not to have cars (reducing their carbon footprint) and have multiple errands to complete while they are downtown
  • Increase technology equipment for children, such as laptops and computers, because it is critical for youth to have this type of technology access to succeed in life
  • Would like to see instruction for the digital media studio at the Rainier Beach Branch
  • More digital material
  • Almost all story times are held in the morning, which working parents cannot attend with their children. Please consider offering story times later in the day