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Library News Release

Release Date: 02/19/2010

What do you want from your library? Attend a 'Citywide Conversation' in March and help plan future library services

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What's one thing you wish the Library could provide, or change? What's the role of the Library in our community? What should the Library be doing in five to 10 years? How should the Library be using new technology?

You'll have an opportunity to talk about these and other issues with Seattle City Librarian Susan Hildreth and members of the Library board of trustees at Citywide Conversations scheduled in March.

The Citywide Conversations are part of a year-long process to develop a strategic plan to guide its growth and services through 2015.

"The community was actively involved in helping develop the 10-year "Libraries for All" program to rebuild our facilities," said City Librarian Hildreth. "Now it's time to make sure the services and resources we provide meet the community's needs." Last year, more than 14 million people visited The Seattle Public Library.

Library use is at an all-time high, with its popular services for job seekers, programs with national authors, online services (chat or text a librarian), premium databases, expert librarian assistance, more than 2 million books and materials (including popular DVDs) and over 1,000 Internet computers and free Wi-Fi.

"Particularly during this challenging economic time, and knowing that technology has changed the ways people access information, it's important that we be intentional and strategic in how we move forward and determine the services that are most relevant to the community," Hildreth added.

The dates and locations of the five Citywide Conversations are as follows:


  • Noon to 2 p.m. Monday, March 1, Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 3, Living Room (206-386-4636)
  • 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, Northgate Branch, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E. (206-386-1980)
  • 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, High Point Branch, 3411 S.W. Raymond St. (206-684-7454)
  • 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 6, Ballard Branch, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W. (206-684-4089)
  • 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, Beacon Hill Branch, 2821 Beacon Ave. S. (206-684-4711).


In an effort to be accessible to the most number of people, the Citywide Conversations are designed as open houses. People can drop in at any time during the two-hour period. Participants will be encouraged to "think big" about the future of the Library. The format will include several stations for patrons to comment on Library services today, what they might be in the future and the role of the Library in the community.

The Citywide Conversations are just the start of the Library's process to engage the community in developing a strategic plan. The project, using the theme, "My Library: The Next Generation," is made possible by a grant from The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

Visit www.spl.org and select "Strategic Planning" from the Quick Links section for more information. You can also email: strategicplan@spl.org or contact Eve Sternberg, project lead, 206-386-1119.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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