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February 24, 2018

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Library News Release

Release Date: 09/17/2007

Newly renovated University Branch to reopen Oct. 13

The newly renovated University Branch of The Seattle Public Library will reopen to the public with a festive community celebration beginning at noon Saturday, Oct. 13.

The 8,140-square-foot branch at 5009 Roosevelt Way N.E. is the 24th project completed under the 1998 "Libraries for All" voter-approved building program.

The architect was Hoshide Williams Architects. Biwell Construction Inc. was the contractor. Dennis Evans designed artwork for the building. Evans, a Seattle-based artist, created two painted, mixed-media works for the branch that are part of a series of artwork for five of the Library's Carnegie branches. All of the pieces reflect classical liberal arts themes.

The dedication ceremony will begin at noon with City Librarian Deborah L. Jacobs, Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis, Library Board President Gilbert W. Anderson, City Councilman David Della, the Library book fairy "Lulu" and Cajun band La Bande Pastiche.

The rest of the schedule is as follows:

  • 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - Seattle improvisational comedy group Jet City Improv will perform in the lower-level meeting room.
  • 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. - Capitol Hill-area author David Mabberley will discuss his latest work, "The Story of the Apple," in the lower-level meeting room. Mabberley is a professor at the University of Washington (UW) and director of the UW Botanic Gardens.
  • 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. - Bainbridge Island author Alice Shorett will discuss her latest work, "Soul of the City: The Pike Place Public Market," in the lower level meeting room.


As part of the opening day celebration, Seattle comedy group JetCity Improv will perform and a children's craft project will be happening all afternoon inside the branch. Starbucks Coffee Company will provide free coffee and snacks. The branch will remain open until 6 p.m.

The University Branch reopening celebration is made possible by premier sponsor Starbucks Coffee Company, signature sponsor Safeco Insurance and The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

About the building
The $996,210 renovation project included new seating and shelving, more efficient circulation desk and work areas, new computer work stations and study areas, more electrical, communications and computer connections, upgraded technology services and equipment, improved ventilation, and an updated book collection.

The Carnegie-funded University Branch, which was designed by W. Marbury Somervell and Joseph Cote, opened in 1910 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Libraries for All
In 1998, Seattle voters approved a $196.4 million bond measure to fund improvements to all 22 existing branches, build new branches in underserved areas and construct a new Central Library. For more information about the building program or branch opening, visit the University Branch home page at, or call 206-386-4636.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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