2017 Message from Chief Librarian and Board President
Read a message about our 2017 accomplishments.
Dear Library Friends and Supporters,
It gives us great pleasure to present The Seattle Public Library’s 2017 Impact Report. We are calling it an Impact Report, rather than the traditional Annual Report, to highlight the powerful impact we make on the educational, cultural and economic vitality of our city. As a trusted and welcoming public space for all, people often turn to us for help connecting to community resources, social services and social connections. Every day, we aim to improve the lives of residents in our community with the power of information. And here at The Seattle Public Library, we measure that impact by how well we meet your needs and expectations for Library services.
In this Impact Report, you will find key statistics, significant programs and patron comments that show how we impact the lives of our users in every way. It demonstrates how the Library is an essential service and resource in the Seattle community. From helping students perform better in school to providing critical internet service for the homeless, the Library is impacting lives and making our community better. We are honored to have received the highest five-star rating for an eighth consecutive year by Library Journal’s Index of Public Library Service for the high use and quality of our services.
We are truly grateful to be part of a community that believes in the value of a strong Library system. Thanks to your support of the seven-year, $123 million Library levy, we are achieving many of our goals, such as keeping our doors open, providing a robust print and digital collection, and maintaining our buildings. In 2017, we recorded more than 17 million visits to the Library and circulated more than 11.6 million items.
The Library’s continued success is made possible thanks to the leadership of our Library board of trustees, the dedication of our staff and volunteers, and support from our elected officials, The Seattle Public Library Foundation and the Friends of The Seattle Public Library. The Foundation contributed $4.4 million in grants to the Library in 2017, adding excellence to everything from our public programs and exhibits to technology – all of which are highlighted in this report. The Friends promoted the value and importance of Library services out in the community, in addition to awarding $52,000 in grants from its book sales and gift shop that supported enhancements to the Library’s collection.
The Seattle Public Library is the only institution in the city that offers everyone full access to information and ideas – your income, age, background, gender or gender identity, political or religious affiliation does not matter.
We are excited about the opportunities each year brings and believe 2017 was exceptional in how we advanced education and learning in our community. Thank you for your support and belief in us.
Marcellus Turner, Chief Librarian
Kristi England, Library Board president