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.

Young Readers

You may know that the Friends support early literacy in a few different ways. We recently heard from Mary Mak, a Library Associate at the Northeast Branch, who shared that youngsters getting their first library card are excited to see that that’s not all they receive! “I have seen many kids eyes light up when I hand them the owl library tote bag and they proudly put their library materials in it to carry home.”

Thanks for the feedback, Mary! Check out the totes here.

Thank you volunteers for an amazing 2016!

2016 is quickly coming to a close, and since the Friends started in 1941, the organization has endeavored to promote The Seattle Public Library as an essential institution of society by supporting its mission and vision. For the past 75 years, volunteers have advocated for, educated about, and raised funds for the Library.


75 years of work, from countless volunteers, is an amazing accomplishment, and we appreciate having so much support. Volunteers have done so many things over the years, it would be hard to list everything here. We give a huge THANK YOU to all past and current volunteers who have put in so many hours of work for the love of The Seattle Public Library. You’re an incredible group of people, and we’re grateful for everything you do.

This year alone, our amazing volunteers made the following grants to the Library possible:

  • $18,000 iPad purchases for the Library’s Children’s Departments
  • $20,000 Jobs skills classes
  • $6,550 Youth & Early Learning/Raising A Reader Program
  • $8,000 Re-imagined Spaces Project at the Rainier Beach Library

Coming in 2017, indefatigable volunteers have made these grants possible:

  • $30,000 Sheet Music Binding Project
  • $20,000 Jobs skills classes
  • $12,000 to complete Re-imagined Spaces Project at the Rainier Beach Library

The Friends support Sheet Music Binding Project with $30,000 grant!

Friends President Carmen Bendixen presents $30,000 grant to The Seattle Public Library’s Music Librarian Bob Tangney and Librarian Marcellus Turner for the Sheet Music Binding Project.

The Central Library houses an extensive sheet music collection, but the contents have been minimally cataloged making much of the fragile collection difficult to locate and maintain. With a $30,000 grant The Friends of The Seattle Public Library is supporting the Library’s Sheet Music Binding Project, which aims to make this collection more durable and attractive to users with pamphlet binds, appropriate shelving and cataloging.

By enabling discovery through online search and onsite browse, and improving the access and user experiences, we believe this hidden collection will increase in use by the City’s musicians and music enthusiasts of many backgrounds. The longer term goal will ensure improved and sustained access to this unique collection by its repair, preservation, and organization.

The Friends of the Seattle Public Library is a non-profit, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting our Library as an essential institution of society and supporting its mission and vision. Our volunteer members advocate for, educate about, and raise funds on behalf of The Library. Learn more