Local Elections Impact The Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Channel covered a Mayoral Candidate Debate held at the Central Library on Oct 31. The decisions we Seattleites make in this election may impact such things as: what services The Library may be able to offer in the future, which branches are able to stay viable, how many days and hours a week the library is open. It’s important to know where the candidates stand.

Weren’t able to attend? Check out the video here.

If you like mysteries, this is the year to come to the Better Book Sale

We bid a fond farewell to our friends at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop. You may have seen that this unique independent book store in Pioneer Square had to close its doors at the end of September. It is a sad call to all of us to better support our small local businesses.

The Friends of The Seattle Public Library also owes our gratitude, as they donated many boxes of incredible books. This collection will be added to the rest of the stock for the one-day-only Better Book Sale on November 11.

Come out to support The Friends and join us in saying thank you to the Seattle Mystery Bookshop for its presence in our community. DSCN1244

Friends of the Year

At The Friends of The Seattle Public Library’s Annual Board meeting, two volunteers were honored as Friends of the Year. Thank you both, and congratulations! Here are their nominating statements:

Patricia Ann is a tireless worker for both the donation center and the Friendshop at the Central Library.  She works once a week at the donation center scanning and filing books and helping with all other duties as assigned.  She also voluntarily checks the stacks for books that are suitable for sale at the Friendshop and thus has helped to increase the sales of books at the shop because of her superb culling.

She is considered to be the “Book Lady” at the Friendshop and can answer any question about the books from customers.  She responds to inquiries ranging from: “where are the fiction/or nonfiction books?” to “what book would you recommend for my weekend reading?”  At the shop, she volunteers to work extra shifts at the Friendshop as needed, especially in a pinch.  She also drops in to the shop periodically to “make sure all the books are in order.”  She is an invaluable resource at both volunteer spots. IMG_1909

Jessica Torrez-Riley joined the FriendShop team September 2015 and has been an asset since she began.  From the beginning Jessica ran beyond her responsibilities as a volunteer who cashiers and assists customers.  She quickly became a representative and advocate for the Friends of The Seattle Public Library not only while in the FriendShop but on social media.  Jessica introduced our organization to Eventbrite and Facebook events which drew crowds to our sales both big and small.  She responded quickly to the crowds of the large book sale when the room hit capacity both in person and online by posting and responding on social media and by placing herself as the Friends’ representative alongside the officer who had to turn people away.  She acts quickly and responsibly and is a true Friend of the Year! IMG_1912


Annual Meeting

On the 1st of October, the Board of The Friends of The Seattle Public Library had a very meaningful meeting. We were fortunate to hear from Diane Gallegos, Executive Director of Wolf Haven International, and Annie Musselman, an award-winning wildlife photographer. Wolf Haven is between Olympia and Tenino, south of Seattle, and has at its mission sanctuary, education, and conservation.

IMG_1041 IMG_1038 IMG_1036 IMG_1033

Annie received a grant to take photos for a non-profit and spent quite some time at Wolf Haven capturing beautiful images. The sanctuary currently has 65 animals, including 10 wolf dogs and 2 coyotes.

Author Brenda Peterson has written a book called “Wolf Haven: Sanctuary and the Future of Wolves in North America” that features Annie’s photos. While this book is difficult to find for purchase, you can find it at the Seattle Public Library!

One of the other highlights of our meeting was saying thank you to outgoing Board President Carmen Bendixen.

Steve Griggs, incoming Board Vice President, presented Carmen with a token of our appreciation, and she humbly received them before closing the meeting.

IMG_1056 IMG_1057 IMG_1058


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.”

Friends’ Impact

Since 1941 The Friends of The Seattle Public Library has been instrumental in providing books to dozens of organizations throughout the city, providing more than 8,000 books last year. The Friends has partnered with the library to donate books to 36 underserved community groups in support of The Seattle Public Library.

Below are different community partners touched by The Friends last year, one book at a time.

Boys & Girls Club

Tent City 3

Denise Louie Head Start

Olympic Hills Kindergarten

Olympic Hills Jump Start Program

Olympic Hills Headstart

Olympic Hills Summer School

North Helpline

North Helpline Foodbank

Seattle Parks Department

YouthCare Youth Build Program

Family Works Service Center

Family Works Food Bank

Cascade Center

Jackson Park Village

Youth Tutoring Program

Mary’s Place

West Seattle Food Bank

Urban Rest Stop Clinic

University District Food Bank

Kline Galland

North Seattle Family Center/WIC

Seattle/King County Health Clinic

University Family YMCA


Neighborcare Health

John Rogers Jump Start Program

Lake City WIC

Little Brook Park lunch program

Low Income Housing Institute

Yesler Community Center

Hunger Intervention Program

Reach Out and Read program at UW Pediatric Care


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.