In 2014, we partnered with StoryCorps to ask Library patrons and staff, “What does The Seattle Public Library mean to you?” Listen to recordings of participants telling their personal Library stories.
Lynn Mowe and Dana Pigott
Lynn Mowe talks with her sister Dana Pigott, both Emeritus board members and supporters of The Seattle Public Library and Library Foundation, about how inclusive the library has become.
"It is an amazing community space. It is there of course, for learning and accessing information. But it is also... the heart and soul of the city... free and open to everyone."
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 7.51 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 3:17 min]
Jonathan Bridge and Herb Bridge
Herb Bridge talks with his son, Jonathan Bridge, about the importance of books and The Seattle Public Library, dating back to when Herb was a young boy. The Bridge family is a long-time supporter of the library.
"[Seattle is] a place of innovation. And where better to germinate that innovation, to plant the seeds of new ideas and inventions but in a library situation... our library has always been central to Seattle."
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 5.86 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 2:33 min]
Deborah Jacobs and Gilbert Anderson
Gilbert Anderson, Emeritus board member and supporter, talks with former Seattle City Librarian Deborah Jacobs about his relationship with the library (dating back to the 1930s) and their work to raise funds for and design the Central Library and the rebuilding and renovation of all 26 branches.
"I think the process we used was true to the democratic spirit of truly listening and making it be the people's library."
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 9.59 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 4:11 min]
Mike Halperin and Jodi Green
The Seattle Public Library supporter Jodi Green talks to her husband, Mike Halperin, about her love of libraries and library books.
"Libraries are places where no one checks your credentials at the door and [where] everyone mixes regardless of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their socioeconomic class... they're mixing places."
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 9.52 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 3:51 min]
Sharon Griggins and Suzanne Hittman
Suzanne Hittman, Emeritus board member and long-standing supporter of The Seattle Public Library, talks with Sharon Griggins, former Director of Development for the Library Foundation, about the importance of libraries.
"This is where democracy happens... Everyone can go to the library... I don't care how sophisticated technology becomes. We need one another."
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 7.77 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 3:23 min]
Carlo and Eulalie Scandiuzzi
Eulalie and Carlo Scandiuzzi talk about arriving in Seattle from Geneva, Switzerland, in 1978 and discovering the public library.
“We felt at home because the library had books in our language.”
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 7.97 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 3:28 min]
Casey Schneider and Jonathan Koroshec
Casey Schneider talks with her fiancé Jonathan Koroshec, a librarian at the Ballard branch of The Seattle Public Library. The two met at the Ballard branch through a Seattle Reads event.
"This is a leading question: What's the best day that you ever had in the library?"
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 8.30 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 3:37 min]
Anne Cisney and Eric Cisney
Eric Cisney, a former Central Library librarian and union president, talks with his daughter, Anne Cisney, a Central Library librarian and current union president whose grandmother was also a librarian at the Central Library.
"In the world of Google, some people say the library isn't as needed. I feel it's needed more than ever and what we need to do is really make people understand that in the library they have a partner in whatever quest they're following."
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 8.61 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 3:45 min]
Assaye Abunie and Valerie Wonder
Valerie Wonder, Community Engagement Services Manager with The Seattle Public Library, talks with patron Assaye Abunie, who immigrated to Seattle from Ethiopia in 1984. Assaye talks about the importance of the library to the sizable Ethiopian community in Seattle, including bringing Ethiopian-American writer, Dinaw Mengestu, to the Central Library.
“Having an organization like Seattle Public Library and others gives us an option to do more."
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 6.23 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 2:43 min]
Jodee Fenton and Paula Becker
Seattle author and historian Paula Becker talks with former librarian Jodee Fenton about the importance of the treasures in special collections, such as items in The Seattle Room at the Central Library.
"A perfect metaphor for what finding information is like in the library: it is like unwrapping a present... if it's something that you've been looking for, it is a gift."
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 8.70 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 3:47 min]
Joshua Prince-Ramus, one of the architects of Central Library of The Seattle Public Library, talks about some of the design challenges the team faced and some of the most satisfying experiences of the project.
"One of the most exciting moments... was going through the building with someone in a wheelchair and their delight by the fact that they had immediate access to the entire collection."
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 7.74 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 3:22 min]