2019 Library Levy Renewal

The 2019 “Libraries for All” Library Levy Renewal is a renewal of the 2012 Library Levy, which restored funding for core Library services that experienced budget cuts during the Great Recession. The 2019 renewal would maintain that restored funding, invest in critical systems needs, and add support for the changing needs and interests of the communities we serve.

The $219.1 million measure - which includes approximately $46 million for inflation adjustments - would cost the average household just over $7 per month, an increase of approximately $3 per month from the 2012 Library Levy.

The measure will be placed on the August 6, 2019 primary ballot and includes funding for the following areas:

Open Hours

  • Preserve open hours and staffing from the 2012 Library Levy
  • Add morning and evening hours at the High Point, International District/Chinatown and South Park branches
  • Add Friday hours at the Delridge, Green Lake, NewHolly and Wallingford branches.
  • Add one additional Sunday hour at all branches
  • Add one additional evening hour at all branches Monday through Thursday
  • Sustain funding for two security officers, originally added using one-time general fund resources in 2019
  • Add a youth services support person and a part-time case worker through an existing contract with the Downtown Emergency Service Center


  • Maintain and expand collection of physical and digital materials
  • Provide more e-materials, including e-books, e-audiobooks, and streaming services
  • Eliminate the practice of charging fines on overdue materials ( View the fact sheet)
  • Maintain and improve “no holds, no wait” Peak Picks collection
  • Preserve support for collection and digitization of local history items, first established by the 2012 Library Levy


  • Replace infrastructure for public internet access
  • Replace the Library’s operations management system, which enables the Library to procure items, reduce hold times, and provide a discovery layer of our materials for patrons to access
  • Fund digital equity offerings such as Wi-Fi HotSpots and Digital Literacy classes
  • Maintain and upgrade public technologies on a timely basis
  • Maintain and enhance spl.org website


  • Carry out preventative maintenance work in our buildings
  • Preserve budget to carry out major maintenance work, such as roof replacements, accessibility improvements, re-carpeting, etc.
  • Carry out seismic retrofit work at the historic Columbia, Green Lake and University branches

Helping Children

  • Expand English and bilingual Play & Learn programs at the Lake City and Columbia branches, and add the program to the Delridge, High Point and Northgate branches

The City Council's Select Committee on the Library Levy amended the measure and voted it out of committee for consideration of the full City Council.

City Council voted for this measure to be placed on the Aug. 6, 2019 primary ballot.