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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 26 January 2012

The Seattle Public Library will hold is last citywide community meeting to discuss improving Library services from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Northeast Branch, 6801 35th Ave. N.E. (206-684-7539).

The meeting will focus on patron needs in the following key service areas: operating hours and building maintenance.

Strategies for stabilizing Library funding also will be reviewed. "Our libraries provide essential educational resources for the residents of Seattle," said Marcellus Turner, city librarian. "Every day we change lives – from building literacy skills at story times to providing in-depth resources and workshops for job seekers."

At the meeting, patrons will receive an overview of Library use and budget, as well as suggested options for providing better and more accessible resources and services. Patrons will have the opportunity to voice their priorities around collections, hours, technology and building maintenance.

The improvement areas grew out of a public outreach process to develop the Library's new Strategic Plan, where more than 33,000 residents provided input to the Library through a survey, open houses, citywide meetings and focus groups in 2010.

Patrons also will learn more about the Library budget and alternatives for helping stabilize funding to support Library services now and into the future. Budget reductions have resulted in resource and service cuts and a possible levy is being explored.

"With the 1998 Libraries for All building renewal program, we made sure our Library facilities were up-to-date and able to support Library programs and users," Library Board President Marie McCaffrey said. "Now we are entering the next phase of bringing the Libraries for All vision to life – extending our reach through improved operating hours, books and materials available in different formats and expanded digital access."

Turner and Library Board members will be present at the meetings to listen to the public. "The public drives everything we do and we want patrons to be involved in helping shape Library services, now and for the next generation," Turner said.

For more information or to share your thoughts online, visit http://www.spl.org and select "Libraries for All: A Plan for the Present, A Foundation for the Future," or call 206-386-4636.

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