Equity Work at the Library
The Seattle Public Library actively commits its programs and resources to eliminate institutional racism by ensuring that barriers to access by staff and the public are eliminated, by supporting broader public access to Library programs and services, and by providing the public and staff equitable opportunities for growth through employment and education.
The Seattle Public Library stands in solidarity with the members of our community who are advocating for anti-racist practices in government and protesting against the continued oppression of Black people in America. As an institution 130 years in the making, the Library understands that we are also rooted in an oppressive history and have our own listening, learning and unlearning to do. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Manuel Ellis, Tony McDade, Charleena Lyles – and too many others – are devastating and point to a much larger systemic problem that must be addressed. Our community's response to this injustice, though, re-energizes our continued efforts to end systemic racism in our city. We have many steps left to take on our journey.
Racial Equity Goals
Reducing barriers to access for low-income children of color
According to Seattle Public Schools and the City of Seattle, Seattle has one of the largest gaps in achievement between black and white students in the nation.Learn more about reducing barriers for children
Striving for equity in internet access and online services
According to a recent City of Seattle Digital Equity Report, nearly 30% of Seattle parents who only have internet access via smartphone or tablet report hitting data limits that limited their access; more than 20% had their phones cut off for nonpayment.Learn more about equity in internet access and online services
Representing and investing in people of color
According to the American Community Survey, more than a third of Seattle residents – 34% – are people of color, and 22% of the population speaks a language other than English at home.Learn more about representing and investing in people of color