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Libraries for All: Investing in Experiences

View a short video highlighting what patrons have to say about the Library!

Investing in the future

In 2012, Seattle voters improved access to critical educational, literacy and economic opportunity resources for every resident by passing a seven-year, $123 million Library levy, which will run through 2019.


The levy is helping restore core services cut during the prolonged recession. It also protects a bold vision that Seattle voters approved in 1998 called "Libraries for All," which resulted in the world-renowned Central Library and new and renovated branch libraries across the city.


The levy provides an average of $17 million annually to stabilize funding, support the Library's Service Priorities and address four areas identified by the community:



Key accomplishments in 2017 included:


  • Retained more than 6,000 new open hours systemwide 
    • Open 52 weeks a year
    • All locations open Sunday
    • 7-day service at Columbia and Northgate branches
    • Added Friday hours at High Point, International District/Chinatown, University and South Park branches
  • Added 25,000+ titles to our digital collection
  • Added 41,000+ new titles to the physical collection of print books, audiobooks, DVDs and CDs
  • Replaced 353 public computers with new models 
  • Performed important maintenance work at the Central Library and branch libraries, and refurbished the Beacon Hill, Greenwood and High Point branches

Leveraging levy investments

The levy provides the Library with a solid foundation that allows it to restore core services and experiment with new programs and outreach. The levy allows us to access and leverage investments from other sources to respond to the evolving needs and expectations of patrons.



Progress reports



More information about the levy 

Libraries for All : Investing in Experiences