2019 Accomplishments

Marcellus Turner, Chief Librarian
Marcellus Turner, Chief Librarian

Dear Library Friends and Supporters,

Remember 2019? With all that’s happened in 2020, last year seems like it occurred centuries ago, but I invite you to reflect on and celebrate a year in which The Seattle Public Library, with your help, launched a new chapter in our ability to have a positive impact on our community.

We couldn’t have done it without you. Last August, Seattle voters overwhelmingly approved a seven-year, $219.1 million levy package chock full of initiatives to level the playing field for under-served communities and expand equitable access. Because of the levy, we are now able to make overdue fines history, increase services for at-risk youth and much more.

During the year, always in partnership with our communities, our impact was felt in many other ways across the city and beyond. Here are a few examples:

  • We continued outreach to insecurely housed people, from loaning Wi-Fi hotspots on a long-term basis to tiny home villages to offering drop-in help with social services at the Central Library and two branches.
  • A new program offered at the King County Correctional Facility, called “Read To Me!,” helps incarcerated parents record stories for their children, strengthening both literacy skills and family bonds.
  • Our Library to Business program served 1,700 entrepreneurs through workshops, events and one-on-one meetings.
  • Our drop-in Homework Help had an attendance of more than 11,000 at 11 neighborhood branches.
  • We re-opened two redesigned branches, South Park and Lake City, with improvements including improved shelving, more flexible meeting spaces and more outlets for technology. 
  • For the 10th consecutive year, we received a five-star rating by Library Journal’s Index of Public Library Service, the library field’s leading publication.
Jay Reich, Library Board President
Jay Reich, Library Board President

Our community partners and patrons help guide this work, which we do with a key focus on equity – together, we lift our neighbors above barriers that hold them back, give them a voice in our work and strengthen our community.

At more than 125 years old, The Seattle Public Library is recognized as an essential thread of the cultural and social fabric of the city. It is an honor and a joy to help residents from all ages and walks of life discover stories, learn skills, find opportunities, connect to services and realize their dreams.

Thank you for your continued support.


Executive Director and Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner Signature

Marcellus Turner, Chief Librarian

Library board president Jay Reich Signature

Jay Reich, Library Board President