Tourists stop by all the time, but when was the last time you visited The Seattle Public Library’s internationally acclaimed downtown location?
If it’s been a while, we have good news: Starting Wednesday, Jan. 18, the Central Library will be open two nights a week until 8 p.m. (with the exception of the Faye G. Allen Children’s Center on Level 1, which will continue to close at 6 p.m. each evening). The Central Library’s nonfiction book spiral, located on Levels 6 through 9, also recently expanded its hours. It’s now open seven days a week, during all Central Library open hours.
If you need a refresher on what to explore at the Central Library, you can follow one of our self-guided tours, including this kids’ tour for families, chock full of fun facts. And below are floor-by-floor highlights.
Level 1, Fourth Avenue entrance
After you enter from Fourth Avenue, you can learn about the Rem Koolhaas-designed building at the displays in the lobby, then peruse the Peak Picks display (near the circulation desk) for the hottest new titles. Make sure to admire Ann Hamilton’s floor artwork of raised text in 11 languages.
Bring the children in your life to the spacious Faye G. Allen’s Children’s Center and cozy up with a book under the twinkling lights. Kids can browse books, play on filtered computers, and look for colorful artwork such as Mandy Greer’s Babe the Blue Ox. Or check out a Read-Aloud book, which comes with a built-in MP3 player.
The Central Library’s iconic Level 4 – the “Red Floor” – has reopened to the public for the first time in over two years.
With its walls, ceiling, floors and stairs completely covered in 13 shades of red, Level 4 is a favorite of patrons and staff alike, and one of the most celebrated and photographed areas within the Central Library. The reopening of the Red Floor, the final level to reopen, is a milestone for the Central Library. Tuesday, July 19 will be the first day since March 2020 that all floors of the Central Library will be open and available for patrons and the community to explore and enjoy.
The Central Library schedule can be found on our Hours and Location Page. Levels 1, 3, 4 and 5 of the Central Library are open daily. The Book Spiral on Levels 6-9 and the Level 10 Betty Jane Narver Reading Room are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Materials found within the Book Spiral can be requested at info desks whenever the Library is open.
About the Red Floor
The Central Library is designed to accommodate both the traditional and evolving functions of a modern public library. It includes dedicated floors for books and other collections materials (Levels 6-9 Book Spiral), space for the work of Library staff (Level 2) and administration (Level 11), and reservable rooms for people to meet (Level 4). Around and between these floors are flexible spaces like the Level 3 Reading Room, Level 5 Mixing Chamber and Level 10 Reading Room, that can be redesigned to reflect the interests of the community. Continue reading “The Central Library’s Iconic Red Floor Reopens To The Public”
Romance readers and writers are passionate people. They are passionate about the power of love to transform people’s lives and to transform the world. They are passionate about an HEA (Happily-Ever-After) or a HFN (Happy-for-Now). And it’s safe to say they are tired of hearing ill-informed and dismissive opinions about the genre they love. If you haven’t read a romance or attended a romance event, now is the time!
A zine is a self-published work of original or appropriated and remixed materials, including photographs, drawings, poetry, and prose. Typically limited in print number, zines are most often stapled-together paper reproduced on a photocopier, and distributed locally.
While zines are closely associated with music scenes such as punk or riot grrrl, they have existed in their modern form as a part of a variety of artistic movements since the early 20th century, including Dadaist leaflets and early science fiction fan magazines (aka fanzines aka zines).
The Central Library’s Teen Center zine collection, launched with the goal of promoting the voices and creative expression of teens and young adults, especially those living in the Pacific Northwest, includes over a hundred zines and mini-comics, with topics ranging from self-perception to parrotfish to paper airplanes. All zines in this collection are uncatalogued, but may be borrowed and returned to the library when finished. Continue reading “The Seattle Public Library Zine Collections”