Budget and Operations
The Seattle Public Library consists of the Central Library, 26 neighborhood branches and Mobile Library Services. It has a total collection size of 2.4 million books and other items.
We receive funding from a mix of public and private sources. Every year, the City Council approves an annual budget appropriation that covers many of our basic expenses. In 2019, Seattle voters approved a seven-year, $219.1 million Library levy to improve access to critical educational and literacy resources and increase economic opportunity for every city resident.
Every December, after the City Council approves the Library’s operating and capital budget appropriations, the Library Board adopts an operations plan.
The Library’s 2023 operating budget is $88.1 million, which includes $24.1 million in funding from the voter-approved Library levy. This is a 3% increase from the Library’s 2022 operating budget and reflects a 1% decrease in general fund support from the City of Seattle.
The Library's 2023 capital improvement budget, which is used for major building maintenance and asset preservation, is $10.85 million. This includes $8.9 million from the voter-approved 2019 Library Levy, $1 million in JumpStart Payroll Expense Tax proceeds for climate resilience projects, and $948,000 in Real Estate Excise Tax resources.
The Seattle Public Library produces an annual report and usage statistics.
Two organizations, The Seattle Public Library Foundation and The Friends of the Seattle Public Library, raise money to help fund activities, services and special projects not covered by our operating budget.