The Seattle Public Library Foundation 


Donating to The Seattle Public Library Foundation is a way for people who believe in the power of public libraries to change lives and to help keep our Library strong. The Library serves everyone who lives, works, or goes to school in the city of Seattle.

By making a donation today, your gift will help purchase books, online resources, CDs, DVDs, and picture books for children. Last year, the Foundation provided more than $1.5 million dollars to support the Library’s collection—that’s one out of every four books on the shelf! The Foundation also funds free public programs, technolgy, and outreach programs that help everyone in our community improve their lives.

Mission Statement
The Seattle Public Library's mission is to bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community. The Seattle Public Library Foundation helps the Library build its collection and resources, offer programs for patrons of all ages, and better serve the needs of our community. We do this by securing and managing donations from individuals, businesses and foundations to support the Library above and beyond what public funding provides.
Donate Now
The Seattle Public Library Foundation
1000 4th Ave 
(206) 386-4130 

Jonna Ward 
Executive Director 


The Seattle Public Library Foundation Programs

Donations to the Foundation help the Library build its collection, raise a new generation of readers, maintain Library facilities, and reach out to those that need access to information. 

Here’s how donations to the Foundation in 2013 were used:  

Purchase more Library resources. In 2013, the Foundation provided $1.5 million to purchase Library resources including books, e-books, periodicals, CDs, DVDs, public computers and online databases. Last year 15% of the Library’s collection—about one of every six books on the shelf—was purchased with Foundation funding.  

Sponsor programs for children, teens, adults and those with special needs. Last year, the Foundation supplied $2 million to support free public programs at the Central Library and in the branches. These programs include early literacy activities for pre-school children, the Summer Reading Program, homework help for students and public presentations by leading authors, scholars and artists. Last year, more than 250,000 people attended 8,221 free public programs offered at the Library.  

Support capital and technology improvements. In 2013 the Foundation contributed $1,300,000 to the Library for capital, and technology improvements throughout the system.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

The Seattle Public Library Foundation works hard to protect and enhance the Library's collections and resources. During the 2013 GiveBIG campaign, the Library Foundation asked the community to "GiveBIG for Books" to help increase the Library's collection budget. That day more than 1,000 people gave to the Library Foundation, which made us the nonprofit that finished the day with the second most donors of any organization in King County.


The Seattle Public Library Foundation provides funding for programs that better serve the needs of the community—providing programs that reach out to and provide services for those most in need of library resources.

Best Practices
The Seattle Public Library recognizes the need to support job seekers during the current economic environment. Many turn to the library for help in finding a job as well as exploring new careers and educational opportunities.

In July 2009, the Library established a Job Resource Center at the Central Library, which contains a bank of computers dedicated for use by job seekers with a longer log-on time limit. It purchased more books and resources (on line and on the shelf) for job seekers, and offers free job prep classes and special staff assistance at the dedicated computer terminals.

The Library has added resources such as Resume Builder to its suite of online databases for job seekers and will be expanding online resources with the help of a Washington State Library grant in 2010.

The Seattle Public Library is partnering with WorkSource and South Seattle Community College to offer resume and job search workshops at the Central Library.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

6/10/2012 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2010 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/15/2005 $20,000.00support construction of a new library branch in South Park.


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