Jane Austen fans unite!

You may have seen or heard about the special event coming to the FriendShop this Sunday. As a way to honor the life of Jane Austen, we will be commemorating the 200th anniversary of her death. A long time Friend of The Seattle Public Library has a set of first edition novels of Jane Austen that will be on display! In addition to being able to purchase all manner of things Austen at the FriendShop, there will be bonnets and other period items to try on for your Austen-ified selfie. Many members of the Washington Regency Society make their own period costumes or have them commissioned. Rumor has it that tea and biscuits will also be served.


We caught up with Agnes Gawne, who helped coordinate this one-of-a kind event. Agnes has ties to both the Jane Austen Society and the Washington Regency Society.

How were you first introduced to Jane Austen and her work?
“I first read Pride and Prejudice in 1984. I was a classically trained singer and happened to specialize in composers who lived at roughly the same time as Jane Austen. Perhaps 1989 or so I became involved with the Bay Area English Regency Society after being asked to sing for them; one thing led to another and I became involved with the Jane Austen Society in San Francisco.”

Do you have a favorite Austen quote?

How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!” – Persuasion

What is the book you wish Austen had written/would be found somewhere perfectly preserved?
Actually, we know that Jane Austen’s sister Cassandra destroyed many pages of correspondence stating that it was too personal and that it should not be read by others. I just wish that those letters could be read today.”

What is the reason for this event?

“We would like to honor Jane Austen on the 200th Anniversary of her death by gathering and sharing our love of her work with the people in the library on that date.”

Who should attend the event on Sunday?
“Everyone! I am sure that there is something about Jane Austen, the time she lived, the things she wrote, the clothes she wore, the tea and biscuits she ate that will interest everyone.”

You know what February 14th is? #BookGivingDay!

The Friends of the Seattle Public Library Board is all stocked up for #BookGivingDay! At our meeting this morning, each Board Member got to choose a book to give away or leave at a favorite location in honor of International Book Giving Day, February 14th. Will you join us?



The FriendShop also has 50 free books to give to patrons who want to participate starting tomorrow! Stop by the Central Library to participate.

Friendshop breaks sales record

Broke the all time Friendshop sales record

On December 23rd, the Friendshop at the Central Library broke its all time yearly sales record – and still has a week to go in 2016. Be sure to check out the after holiday sales! You can also buy Friendshop bestsellers online.

Remember, all Friends members get a 15% discount at the shop. Interested in joining the Friends in 2017? Show your support for the Seattle Public Library and become a member today!