Seattle Public Library’s future: What do you want to see?

Tomorrow is the first of three regional public meetings about the future of the Seattle Public Library – from its programs to its funding, with a levy likely to go before voters later this year. Though none of the three meetings will be in West Seattle, library reps want to make sure you know about them and about other chances to have a say, as part of their planning process. For starters, the public meetings are at the Central Library downtown tomorrow, the Beacon Hill branch a week later, and in Ballard on January 18th. (That same night, a library presentation is planned at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, 7 pm January 18th at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, public welcome.) Besides the funding issue, SPL wants your thoughts on four aspects of library operations: Hours, books and materials, computers and online resources, and building maintenance. You can comment on any of them, and see the currently proposed options, via this webpage on the SPL site. (Photos, clockwise from top left, are SPL website images of the branches in this area – West Seattle, Delridge, Southwest, High Point)

5 Replies to "Seattle Public Library's future: What do you want to see?"

  • Gay Cynic January 6, 2012 (9:24 am)

    I’d like to see the SPL gradually handed off to 501(c)3 non-profits for operation, with the city paying an annual subsidy to each non-profit (I’m thinking “one branch=one non-profit group”)until the various non-profits can raise enough money to create an independent endowment.

    Our libraries are too important to trust to the whims and vagaries of government and (to the extent possible) the ups and downs of the economy.

    Our current system of tax-funded libraries and city/county operated libraries leaves us with this vital resource not only on the “first to cut” list, but on the “things to threaten to cut to persuade the voters to tolerate more taxes” list – neither list being a good place for this public resource.

    And, more realistically, sell the expensive to operate monstrosity of the Downtown Central Branch and use the money to buy books and resources for neighborhood libraries.

  • DW January 6, 2012 (10:33 am)

    Would they ever consider merging SPL with the King County Library system? KCLS seems to be much less financially strapped.

  • jiggers January 6, 2012 (10:40 am)

    I have my own laptop so I use the Central Library’s wi-fi system. In that regards, I’d like to see more ethernet conections available for your laptop to help expand connectivity strength on every floor and not just one outlet per table. More power sources to hook up your laptop. Later hours extended on the weekends, but that isn’t going to happen. Newer efficient public computers. Longer time allowed for use of public computers. Easier, less complexed way to print out documents directly from your laptop instead of having to log-in to their system and go through a gauntlet of procedures. I can go on and on.. How about better housekeeping and cleanliness in the restrooms and the library itself. It’s worse than visiting a sewage plant and there are viruses abound, especially on those public computers gross.

  • WS expat January 7, 2012 (11:44 am)

    The Seattle Public Library system is one of the city’s crown jewels, as is West Seattle’s Carnegie Library. Whatever we do, we mustn’t let that gem fall into private hands, to be hoked up and ruined, as happened with the Carnegie Library in Ballard. I agree the downtown building is a monstrosity and little improvement over the older, equally ugly building it replaced. It stands as a good argument for resisting the urge to throw buckets of money at the architect of the moment.
    Jiggers, you don’t want much, do you? I agree the library toilets could be cleaner, but little ol’ tolerant Seattle will never prevent drunks, addicts and assorted vagrants from using the Main Library as their personal pissoir. If you are that paranoid about “procedures,” viruses and germs, however, why not stay home? Is your real name Adrian Monk, by any chance? Don’t forget your wipes.

  • Admiral California January 11, 2012 (6:37 pm)

    Dumping the ugly, uncomfortable, user-unfriendly Central Library is a great idea.

    But Seattle should not, and will not, privatize the library system. The people of Seattle are too sensible to fall for that libertarian snake oil.

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