Responding to requests from patrons, The Seattle Public Library has added the first books in Ukrainian to its collection, approximately 120 physical books for adults and children that comprise 95 titles. The Library will add more titles in Ukrainian this summer.

The Ukrainian books include picture books and chapter books for children and a mix of fiction, nonfiction and poetry books for adults.

“We are delighted to add books that will serve our Ukrainian patrons,” said Rachel Martin, acquisition manager for Collection Services at The Seattle Public Library. “By providing titles in the languages our community speaks, we hope that Library users see themselves reflected in books in the Library and have support maintaining their home language skills.”

Alina Kalian, a Library patron who moved to Seattle from Ukraine in 2018, said her family was very happy to hear about the Ukrainian books. “My son said ‘Let’s order all of them!’” she said. “We want our kids to know, read and learn our melodic, beautiful language, and the Library’s kind help and support is so important.”

Kalian had corresponded with the Library about the need for physical Ukrainian books, especially for seniors and children who might not be used to reading on electronic devices. She said that because of travel restrictions due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is more difficult to access books in Ukrainian, yet very important to her community.

The Ukrainian books for adults are shelved at the Central Library in downtown Seattle on Level 1 in the Literacy, ESL and World Languages department. Children and their caregivers can find titles in the Faye G. Allen Children's Center. Ukrainian language patrons can also browse and place holds in the Library’s online catalog.

The Library has also added a small selection of children’s picture books that are bilingual in Dari/English, and Pashto/English, responding to requests from Afghan patrons. The picture books are shelved in the children’s areas at the Central Library and the Beacon Hill Branch, and can be found in the online catalog.

“The collection of Dari and Pashto picture books is small, but will grow as we source and acquire more books,” said Martin.

The Library actively collects books in 17 languages as part of its World Language Collections. Books in Chinese, Japanese and Spanish are the highest circulating of the Library’s World Languages collections.  



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