HUGE Book Sale Thanks

Thanks to all of you who came out to the Huge Book Sale this weekend. We were overwhelmed by your attention, especially on Saturday. Special thanks to all the volunteers for your hard work! Are you already thinking about next years’ sale? If not, consider what happens to lonely items that are left behind, and consider increasing your number of bags/boxes next year. They would love a good Seattle home.

Strike at book sale

Found Objects

Many of us develop strong connections with books and can have a hard time giving them up. Deborah Ritter left an adorable note in her donation last year. Don’t worry, Deborah. We completely understand. Thanks

Found Objects

We’re starting a new series on the blog! In addition to “Friends Recommend,” which shares what the Board Members of The Friends of The Seattle Public Library are reading, welcome to “Found Objects.” This will highlight some of the heartwarming, humorous, and unique items volunteers find in donated books.

This first one is so sweet. A young reader wants to pass her love of a favorite book along and encourage someone else to enjoy.


Can you believe this passed through The Friends?

I visited the Book Sorting facility last week, where our faithful volunteers furiously file through donations for the Huge Book Sale. I got to see this one-of-a-kind treasure: a book autographed to John Steinbeck (of “Grapes of Wrath” fame) from Isak Dinesen (of “Out of Africa” fame). Apparently they were at a party together in New York! Unfortunately for you Steinbeck and/or Dinesen lovers, the book has already sold.



Autographed Margaret Sanger Autobiography

The Friends of The Seattle Public Library often receive interesting and/or rare donations. Recently someone donated “My Fight for Birth Control” by Margaret Sanger – an autographed copy, complete with her secretary’s business card! Sanger was an early advocate for family planning.

In this 1931 autobiography she writes, “Early in the year 1912, I came to a realization that my work as a nurse and my activities in social service were useless to relieve the misery I saw all about me. Were it possible for me to depict the revolting conditions existing in the homes of some of the women I attended in that one year, one would find it hard to believe.”

“I resolved that American women should have knowledge of contraception. I would strike out — I would scream from the housetops. I would tell the world what was going on in the lives of these poor women. I would be heard. No matter what it should cost, I would be heard.” Her legacy certainly lives on today, albeit in uncertain times.

Keep an eye out on our website for sale information.



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

Presenting the ‘Friends of The Seattle Public Library Meeting Room’

Rainier Beach Check Handoff
The Friends are proud to present the ‘Friends of The Seattle Public Library Meeting Room’ at the Rainier Beach Branch!

Board President, Carmen Bendixen, celebrated with Library Associates, Beharzin Ahmed, Kevin Wong, and City Librarian Marcellus Turner.

Grants like this are how you’re supporting The Seattle Public Library each and every time you purchase an item from the Friends. Thank you!

(Photo taken by Michael McCullough, Assistant Manager, Rainier Beach Library.)