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.

Friends Recommend


At each Board meeting of the Friends, members discuss what they are reading at the moment. We may not be as well-known as Nancy Pearl, but you may just want to add our picks to your list!

Cindy read “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman. She stayed up all night and read it in one sitting! She suggests you read this funny and heartwarming book before you see the movie.

Lori added that the book “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry,” by the same author, is also worth checking out (literally!) Follow the links to find them at SPL or visit your local branch.

Stay tuned for more recommendations from the Friends!

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!

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

2016 Annual Meeting will be Sunday, October 9

Join us at the Friends of The Seattle Public Library’s Annual Membership Meeting featuring guests saxophonist Steven Griggs and guitarist Milo Petersen. The duo will perform during the Friends of The Seattle Public Library annual meeting Sunday Oct. 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Rainier Beach library branch, 9125 Rainier Ave. S.

This year the Friends is celebrating its 75th anniversary and has been giving out 75 free tote bags at all library branches, about 1,100 totes to date.  At its annual meeting, the Friends will elect new officers, introduce new board members and offer a financial review of the Friends budget.

Griggs, who is a member of the Friends board, is a New York native who earned his bachelor of music degree in saxophone performance.  He has performed around the country with his jazz ensemble.  He also coauthored a report on collaboration between business and arts organizations for Allied Arts.  He is a lifetime member of earshot jazz and has performed at the 103 year old Panama Hotel in Seattle’s International District.

Petersen has performed with Griggs for 20 years and together they have recorded 4 CDs.  Petersen studied music at Western Washington University and performed with Eartha Kitt and Mose Allison.