About the Library

Mission Statement : Community Engagement

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Community Engagement


Offer Library programs, services and collections that reflect community needs and interests, feature community voices and create meaningful experiences.

Guiding Principles


Listen and learn

The Library connects with communities intentionally and respectfully by prioritizing a practice of listening, using what we learn, and reporting back to the community. Over the next two years we are piloting an effort to engage more intentionally with residents, organizations and community leaders in each region of the city.

Build relationships

The Library will continue to build and sustain relationships with individuals and institutions. We will work with people and groups in our neighborhoods to identify what Library programs or services are needed, what is working well and where opportunities exist for strengthening bonds and growing a sense of community.

Prioritize equity

The Library can and should serve everyone in Seattle. Many communities in our city have inequitable access to resources and opportunities, both at the Library and in the larger world. The Library will seek ways of bridging and ultimately eliminating barriers to Library service. Equity and inclusion are essential to the success of our community. We are approaching this work in several ways: providing services that tackle the opportunity gap head-on; removing barriers that limit access to our programs; and creating opportunities to dialogue about equity issues in the community.

Reach people where they are

The Library’s engagement efforts must mirror the real life experiences of Seattleites, including active and regular users of our buildings, our digital users, and nonusers. We will connect with people where they are by getting outside the buildings, enhancing our social media presence and reach, and creating programming models that address barriers to access. The Library launched a Spanish Facebook page in response to a recent city of Seattle report that highlighted the active use of social media among Latinos in Seattle.

Bring people together

The Library is uniquely situated to bring together richly diverse communities that normally do not cross paths in one physical or virtual space to share experiences and ideas, break down barriers and improve understanding. This summer’s Pop Up on the Plaza series was designed to do just that, and those events are happening outside of our normal programming spaces to promote serendipity and demonstrate that all are welcome.

Showcase community voices

We will further create a Library that Seattle residents see as their own. This can be achieved in many ways, from providing and promoting space for conversations relevant to our patrons to showcasing local talent and voices in programs and collections. Toward these ends we recently launched a new self-publishing platform for local writers, and have begun a practice of co-curating programs with community partners.

Programs, Activities and Resources


Questions about Community Engagement? Contact Valerie Wonder, Community Engagement manager.

My Library - The next generation
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