Policy approved by The Seattle Public Library board of trustees.
As of March 2018 The Seattle Public Library has four types of public restrooms to accommodate patron needs: multi-stall single-gender restrooms, all-gender single-occupant restrooms, multi-user family/accessible restrooms located in Children’s Areas and multi-stall single-gender children’s restrooms located solely in the Children’s Area of the Central Library. Due to varying sizes, ages and configurations, each Library facility accommodates public restrooms differently.
The Library seeks to ensure that patrons system wide can use the restroom of their choice without fear of discrimination based on their race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identities or expressions, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status or veteran status. Pursuant to this principle, hereafter the Library designates all multi-user family/accessible restrooms located in Children’s Areas as all-gender single-occupant restrooms with appropriate signage as noted in Chapter 14.07 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
The Seattle Public Library strives to provide safe and accessible restrooms in all of its buildings for all Library patrons, including patrons of all abilities, gender identities and expressions, and family configurations. It does so in accordance with applicable restroom ordinances and related Library policies.
All Library patrons are welcome to use the multi-stall single-gender restroom that matches their gender identities or expressions. The Library recognizes that some patrons may not feel safe or comfortable using multi-stall single-gender restrooms. In buildings where an all-gender single-occupant restroom is not available, a Library staff member will provide the most convenient public option for private restroom use. Patrons do not need to disclose their gender identities or expressions, disability status, or privacy needs to receive Library staff assistance in accessing a private restroom.
All patrons have the right to use the public Library restroom of their choosing and the Library does not tolerate verbal or physical harassment in any of its facilities including restrooms.
Multi-stall single-gender restroom: A restroom that has multiple stalls and is signed as serving a single gender. All patrons are empowered to choose for themselves which multi-stall restroom matches their gender identities or expressions.
All-gender single-occupant restroom: A single-occupant restroom that can be used by any single user regardless of gender identities or expressions, as well as caregivers with children, patrons who need privacy for lactation, and patrons with disabilities and their assistants.
Multi-user family/accessible restroom: A restroom located inside a Children’s Area specifically designed for use by more than one person at a time, regardless of the sex or gender identities of the users. The three permitted uses of a multi-user family/accessible restroom are for caregivers with children, lactating patrons, and patrons with disabilities and their assistants. These restrooms will be converted to all-gender single-occupant restrooms upon adoption of this policy.
Multi-stall single-gender children’s restroom: A restroom that has multiple stalls and is signed as serving a single gender for children and caregivers accompanying children. All patrons are empowered to choose for themselves which multi-stall restroom matches their gender identities or expressions. This type of restroom is only found in the Children’s Area of the Central Library and will remain unchanged upon adoption of this policy.
Patron: A person of any age who may be a library card holder, a guest, a visitor or a volunteer.
This policy applies to all patrons using any Library facility including restrooms. The Library’s Rules of Conduct apply when using all Library facilities.
Related Laws, Policies and Procedures
- Washington State Law Against Discrimination (Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 49.60).
- City of Seattle’s Unfair Public Accommodations Practices Ordinance (Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 14.06).
- City of Seattle’s All-Gender Single-Occupant Restrooms Requirements Ordinance (Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 14.07).
- The Seattle Public Library Public Use of Children’s Areas Policy.
- The Seattle Public Library Rules of Conduct.
Adopted by the Library Board on June 27, 2018