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Mission Statement : Technology and Access

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Technology and Access


Serve as Seattle’s primary point of access to information, lifelong learning, economic development and creative expression through innovative use of technology and digital resources.

Focus Areas


Digital discovery and access

The Library will improve our online tools, use those tools more effectively, and take a leadership role in improving discoverability of Library resources.

Lifelong learning

The Library will provide easy methods for patrons to discover and access educational resources that help them meet their lifelong learning goals. The Library will become the community’s curator of learning opportunities as it is now the curator of the community’s reading and research resources. This builds on current resources in the Library’s collection such as the Microsoft IT Academy and Lynda.com.

Entrepreneurship and workforce development

The Library will help patrons participate in economic growth and development by expanding our collection and building our capacity to provide reference and research services to startups, innovators, and small business owners, and to help job seekers get employment.

Creativity and expression

Library patrons will have more access to resources and services that enable them to design and produce digital media to fulfill their creative and self-expression goals.

Digital equity and literacy

Library patrons will have increased access to the Internet and will develop fluency in the skills and knowledge to use information technology more effectively, safely and productively. In 2015, the Library began lending Wi-Fi hotspots, which expands access to digital resources. The Library also participates in the city of Seattle’s Digital Equity initiative.

Patron engagement and interaction

The Library will focus on creating engaged patrons. We will use technology to create meaningful and impactful ways to enable patron engagement that helps us move from “completing transactions” such as checking out a book to “creating experiences” such as opportunities for user-generated content ranging from book ratings and recommendations to opportunities for self-publishing through SELF-e.

Emerging technologies

The Library will provide access to new technology devices and ways for the community to engage in social and cultural issues related to emerging technologies. We will develop our capacity and expertise to rapidly identify, evaluate and integrate new technology into public service.

Public open data

The Library will play an important role in municipal and other open data projects, such as data.seattle.gov where residents can currently access a wide range of data about our community. As information scientists, librarians are a natural fit to help members of the public use and understand the large amounts of data now freely available from local, state and federal governments.

Programs, Activities and Resources

  • Your Next Skill: a personalized service to help patrons find resources that can help them learn a new skill
  • Library to Business (L2B): Tools and resources for entrepreneurs
  • Digital creativity classes on topics such as Adobe Creative Suite, digital photography and 3-D printing
  • Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Exam program, which provides free exams and access to the Microsoft IT Academy
  • Computers at the Central Library with flatbed scanners and image editing software, including Acrobat Professional, Adobe Photoshop CS4, HP Photosmart Essentials, Microsoft Office Suite, limited web browsing, and the ability to burn data to CDs and DVDs
  • Wi-Fi hotspot lending program
  • Added “Checkouts by Title” to the city’s open data project. We expect this to be the first set of interesting data sets that will offer insights into the Library and our community.
  • Continued implementation of Library catalog improvements to increase ease of use


Questions about Technology and Access? Contact Gage Andrews, Library Technology Officer.

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