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Library News Release

Release Date: 05/13/2016

The Seattle Public Library Restores Friday Hours to Four Neighborhood Branches July 1

Kids lined up in front of a bookcase with underlying text that reads "Thank You!"

Thanks to funds from the seven-year, 2012 voter-approved Library levy, The Seattle Public Library will restore Friday operating hours to four neighborhood branch libraries whose hours were reduced during recession-related budget cuts.


The High Point, International District/Chinatown, South Park and University branches will all have restored Friday hours as of July 1.


"We are so glad to be able to restore hours at these four branches," City Librarian Marcellus Turner said. "Expanding Library hours in neighborhoods that currently have limited access continues to be a priority."


When the levy passed in August 2012, 15 of the Library's 27 locations were closed on Fridays and Sundays. In 2013 the levy funded the restoration of Sunday hours at all locations and the expansion of the Columbia and Northgate branches into branches operating seven days a week, but patrons often tell the Library they wish more branches were open on Fridays.


Last year, the Library Board prioritized adding open hours at several branches when a limited amount of funds became available from inflation savings from the levy. The $378,000 in levy funds to restore Friday hours at the four branches were approved as part of the Library's 2016 Operations Plan.


The branches were selected after an administrative review of traditional Library statistics, community demographics, income distribution, transportation links, key partnerships, internet and Wi-Fi sessions, and review by a Library staff team involved in the city's Race and Social Justice Initiative and more.


Highlights of the review process for each branch are outlined below.


High Point Branch


  • Many young people in the neighborhood (two elementary schools, one K-8 school, one middle school, one high school)


  • Located adjacent to a Seattle Housing Authority mixed-income development


  • Strong relationships with community service groups and developing relationships with members of the Somali community


International District/Chinatown Branch


  • An area of changing demographics, including increased shelter beds and tent living clusters


  • Groundbreaking on two large mixed-income residential complexes


  • Unmet neighborhood need for free daytime activities, including Internet access


  • Light rail comes within walking distance of the branch


South Park Branch


  • Growing population of young people and increased housing density


  • Visitors increasing to neighborhood businesses since reopening of South Park Bridge


  • Recent transportation changes at Seattle Public Schools may affect the student population at Concord Elementary School


  • Strong partnerships within the community


University Branch


  • An area of changing demographics, including a strong surge in the homeless


  • Insecurely-housed and transitionally-housed populations, specifically LGBTQ teens and families transitioning into permanent housing


  • Housing for formerly homeless young adults and a neighborhood food bank are under construction next door to branch.


In addition, the High Point, International District/Chinatown and University branches are participants in Mobile Experiences for Patrons, a pilot project to lend laptops and tablets to patrons to use while they are inside the branches.


The new open hours at the four branches will be: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.


For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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