I live about halfway between Green Lake and Northgate. And when I say that, I mean the Green Lake Library and the Northgate Library. I claim them both as “my” libraries, but here’s the thing: I could live anywhere in Seattle (and believe me, I’ve lived all over) and I would happily find “my library” right there in my neighborhood when I need it.
I am so proud to live in a city like Seattle that has 26 (!) new and remodeled branches, each with its own distinct feel. I’m lucky that I work for the Library, too. But the pride I’ve felt over the past nine years (starting when the NewHolly Library opened) is the pride of a reader and a community member.
This weekend all 27 (that includes the stellar Central Library downtown) libraries are celebrating the end of the 10-year Libraries for All program that began with Seattle voters passing a $196.4 million bond. Generous donations through the Seattle Public Library Foundation brought in another $83 million. These are staggering numbers, and particularly notable because, as an article in The Seattle Times points out, we are a “city that debates public-works projects to oblivion and tends to resist investing lavishly in itself.” What a glorious thing to see how that investment paid off — and to dream of how the success will keep growing for years to come. This weekend I’m going to my libraries to get the first stamps on my Library Passport. But once I get started, I know I’m going to want to get stamps at all of our libraries, so maybe I’ll see you at your library, too.