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 2022 budget for operations is $86.9 million, which includes $23.2 million from a voter-approved Library levy. This budget reflects a 12% increase in general fund support from the City of Seattle. In 2021, the City of Seattle reduced general fund Library support by $5.8 million due to the economic impacts of the pandemic. This year, the City restored $5.1 million of that funding and, as a one-time temporary measure, authorized the use of $700,000 in salary savings from the Library’s 2021 budget to restore the remaining funds for 2022.
The Library's 2022 capital improvement budget, which is used for major building maintenance and asset preservation, is $11.2 million. This includes $8.2 million from the voter-approved 2019 Library Levy. The capital improvement budget reflects a $1.7 million increase in the City’s general fund support and a $887,000 increase 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.