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Libraries for All: Investing in Experiences

Investing in the future

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


The levy is helping restore core services drastically 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 Strategic Plan and Service Priorities and address four areas identified by the community:



In January 2013, the Library added Sunday hours to the 15 branches that had been operating only five days a week, which meant that for the first time in over 100 years, all Library locations were open on Sundays.


In the first half of 2013, the Library held celebrations at each of the 15 branches with new Sunday hours. In the second half of 2013 and in early 2014, City Librarian Marcellus Turner held "Community Conversations" at the 12 locations that already were open on Sundays.


Key accomplishments in 2013 included:


  • Opened all Library locations on Sundays
  • Expanded service at Columbia and Northgate branches from five days to seven days. Visits in 2013 were up 43% over 2012
  • Increased number of items a patron can put on hold from 25 to 50
  • Eliminated week-long closure of entire Library system
  • Added nearly 50,000 new e-book and e-audio files
  • Added more than 42,000 new titles to the print collection
  • Replaced all 800+ Internet computers for the public
  • Performed important maintenance work at the Central Library and several branch libraries


For a detailed account of progress to date, please view:



More information about the levy 


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Libraries for All : Investing in Experiences

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