Tag Archives: SPL

SPL’s Summer of Learning Program Wants to Know, ‘What’s Your Story?’

by Mark Van Streefkerk


What is your favorite family recipe? Can you remember one of the kindest things someone ever did for you? Can you tell a family story through rap lyrics? What are some things that make you, you? These are some examples of prompts from this year’s Summer of Learning program from the Seattle Public Library (SPL). The SPL’s flagship summer program for kids is now an impressive 102 years old, and this year’s program has been carefully crafted in partnership with the African American Writers’ Alliance and the Bureau of Fearless Ideas. To participate, swing by any of the SPL branches currently open for in-person or curbside service to grab your own poster-sized Summer of Learning flyer, available in eight languages. The posters are filled with creative prompts, coloring and drawing activities, and plenty of opportunities to explore, create, and share the stories that make up your world. 

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Where Did the Soul Go?

by Rayna Mathis


Seattle’s Central District (CD) has gone through drastic changes over the last 20 years. Many communities have called this historic neighborhood home: Jewish people, Japanese Americans, and African Americans. Long-time residents and displaced families whose histories go back generations will lament this sentiment. 

If you’ve been to the CD in the last month, you might have noticed an important piece of 23rd and Yesler missing — the Soul Pole. In the summer of 1969, as part of President Johnson’s Model Cities Program (which ended in 1974), the Soul Pole was carved in a month by five teen artists, aged 14–16: Brenda Davis, Larry Gordon, Gregory Jackson, Cindy Jones, and Gaylord Young and was led by Seattle Rotary Boys Club Art Director, Gregory X. The sculpture honors 400 years of African American history by using four figures to represent significant moments of the Black man’s experience from primitive, to slavery, to liberation.

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Douglass-Truth and Rainier Beach Libraries Reopen

by Emerald Staff


As COVID-19 cases continue to plateau in the region, Seattle Public Library (SPL)  announced the reopening of two more branch libraries in the South End. The Douglass-Truth library in the Central District and the Rainier Beach branch library will both reopen on Tuesday, June 8. This brings the total number of open libraries in the SPL system to seven. SPL has been slowly reopening, and two South End branches — Southwest and Beacon Hill — opened their doors in April

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Seattle Public Library Reopening Three Branches for In-Building Service

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


It’s been more than a (very long) year since we could visit any branches of the Seattle Public Library (SPL), but the wait is over for three branch locations restarting select in-building services next week. SPL announced that starting Tuesday, April 27, Lake City, Southwest, and Beacon Hill branches will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 

Each branch location will offer 90-minute public use sessions at 25% capacity, with cleaning breaks between sessions. Masked and socially-distanced visitors may enter the library for multiple sessions in a day. Patrons can check out materials on hold, use a computer, print, copy and scan, use the restroom, get help from SPL staff, charge devices, and sit and read. Although browsing the library catalogue and using study rooms and meeting rooms will be unavailable at this stage, the restarting of select in-building services is a major step on the road to expanding in-person service. 

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StoryWalk Trails Begin Wednesday at Seattle Parks for Earth Week

by Ronnie Estoque


On Wednesday, April 21, Seattle Public Library (SPL) and Seattle Parks & Recreation (SPR) launched StoryWalk in the Parks for Earth Week at four different local parks. The collaboration intends to encourage an outdoor reading experience, where families can read picture books that are posted alongside walking routes at Genesee Park (Upper Field parking lot) and Herring’s House Park (Tualtwx), as well as Magnuson Park and Northacres Park. The event will last until Saturday, April 24.

The various StoryWalk trails intend to showcase a diverse group of picture books that are relevant to nature and its preservation. Each chosen park is in a different geographical region of the city that was an intentional choice to make the program more accessible to all Seattle residents. Louisa Storer, a Children’s Librarian at the Broadview Branch, selected most of the books that were chosen for Earth Week, which include We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade, Harlem Grown by Tony Hillery and Jessie Hartland, The Storm Whale by Benji Davies, and The Tin Forest by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson.

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Departing SPL Executive Director Marcellus Turner Leaves Legacy of ‘Quiet and Thoughtful’ Leadership

by Lisa Edge


In some areas, libraries are simply brick and mortar structures providing a crucial service to the community. They may even go unnoticed by those who don’t need to use them, and they rarely take center stage. Enter the Seattle Public Library (SPL) system, a beloved institution representative of Seattleites’ adoration for reading. When Executive Director and Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner arrived here in 2011, he didn’t know just how much of a library town he’d relocated to.

“It was amazing how many people recognized me the first couple of years I was here,” said Turner. “While walking down the street, I would often get asked the question was I the chief librarian.”

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Patrons Plan Around Temporary Closure of Beacon Hill Branch

by Alex Garland 

On Monday, January 9th the Beacon Hill Branch of the Seattle Public Library will temporarily close its doors for renovations.

 The Beacon Hill Branch first opened in July of 2004, and after 12 years is in need of new carpeting and other refurbishments. Continue reading Patrons Plan Around Temporary Closure of Beacon Hill Branch