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October 25, 2016

About the Library

Libraries for All : Libraries for All

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Libraries for All: Investing in Experiences

As part of the Library levy’s improvements to the collection, we are adding digitized material to our Special Collections online. Click on any image in the slideshow to view the Special Collections online.

Investing in the future

In 2012, Seattle voters improved access to critical educational, literacy and economic opportunity resources for every resident by passing a seven-year, $123 million Library levy, which will run through 2019.


The levy is helping restore core services cut during the prolonged recession. It also protects a bold vision that Seattle voters approved in 1998 called "Libraries for All," which resulted in the world-renowned Central Library and new and renovated branch libraries across the city.


The levy provides an average of $17 million annually to stabilize funding, support the Library's Service Priorities and address four areas identified by the community:



Key accomplishments in 2015 included:


  • Retained more than 6,000 new open hours systemwide 
    • Open 52 weeks a year
    • All locations open Sunday
    • 7-day service at Columbia and Northgate branches
  • Added nearly 33,000 new e-book and e-audiobook titles
  • Added 41,500+ new titles to the physical collection of print books, audiobooks, DVDs and CDs
  • Increased memory for all public Internet-enabled computers 
  • Performed important maintenance work at the Central Library and several branch libraries

Leveraging levy investments

The levy provides the Library with a solid foundation that allows it to restore core services and experiment with new programs and outreach to respond to the evolving needs and expectations of patrons.



Progress reports 



More information about the levy 


To stay informed, please sign up here.

Libraries for All : Investing in Experiences