From Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner

 Posted Dec. 23, 2019

Executive Director and Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner
Executive Director and Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner

Dear patrons,

This winter, I am excited to share with you all of the improvements we are launching at The Seattle Public Library in 2020. I hope you will feel an extra amount of #LibraryLove this year as we expand our open hours, launch new programs for all ages and eliminate our daily late fines!

These improvements are possible thanks to Seattle voters’ overwhelming support of a renewed 2019 Library Levy to maintain and grow our program of service over the next seven years. Our knowledgeable and caring staff members have been hard at work implementing these changes, and we are all looking forward to serving you in 2020!

Celebrating 2019 accomplishments

The passage of the Library levy, with 76% voter support, was one of many things we were able to accomplish and celebrate in 2019. We also:

  • Remodeled the Lake City and South Park branches.
  • Published our second book for Somali children, a board book that teaches counting.
  • Cleared nearly $60,000 in fines and fees for over 750 teen patrons through our Fresh Start program.
  • Helped over 11,000 students with Homework Help thanks to more than 300 community volunteers.

A preview of 2020

In 2020, we are looking forward to a number of improvements and milestones, including:

  • No more late fines: Starting Thursday, Jan. 2, The Seattle Public Library will no longer charge daily late fines for late materials, and your existing late fines will be cleared. Learn more at
  • Additional Sunday hours: Starting Sunday, Jan. 5, all Seattle libraries will open at noon on Sundays.
  • Extra morning and evening hours: Later in 2020, neighborhood branches across the system will be open longer. We will share more information about these extra hours in the coming months.
  • New programs for older adults and children: Beginning in January, older adult patrons will notice more programs designed to support them, including an author discussion about Successful Aging and a monthly Coffee Hour at the Central Library the third Thursday of each month. Later in 2020, we will expand our Kaleidoscope Play and Learn program for children ages 18 months to 5 years.
  • 25 years of Global Reading Challenge: Our annual reading and trivia competition program for all Seattle Public Schools fourth and fifth graders is 25 years old in 2020! We’re celebrating by making participation even easier for these students — several titles will be made available in e-book and e-audiobook formats with no wait.

These exciting improvements would not be possible without YOU! — our patrons, staff, volunteers and supporting organizations such as The Seattle Public Library Foundation and the Friends of The Seattle Public Library. Your #LibraryLove helps us keep Seattle’s Library system world-class and future-ready!

Executive Director and Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner Signature

Marcellus Turner, Executive Director and Chief Librarian

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