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Capitol Hill Community Post | Our libraries need us, and we need them: Vote Yes on Prop 1

From Gabrielle Bates

Seattle’s libraries play a crucial role in our community. They provide important resources and safe spaces for residents of all ages, including some of our city’s most vulnerable populations. They offer access to job and housing resources, multi-language materials, adult learning programs, and of course, a ton of incredible books. Last year alone Seattle libraries had 17 million visits, nearly 400,000 borrowers, hosted over 11,000 free educational and cultural events, and facilitated over 1,100 homework help sessions for kids.

This August 6th, we need to vote YES on Proposition 1 to renew Seattle’s library levy so that our library system can continue to serve a healthy, vibrant and diverse Seattle. To be clear, this levy is not a new tax; it simply replaces an already expiring levy. Voting YES ensures that our libraries are able to continue offering the crucial resources, learning centers, and after-school programs they do.

During the recession, Seattle voters stepped up to restore hours and services to the libraries. Now, as our city continues to grow and change, we need our libraries’ services and spaces more than ever. As someone who lives near the Capitol Hill branch and visits regularly, I see firsthand the positive impact these spaces have. Whether I’m going to check out a book, print a document, or find a quiet place to work on my laptop without having to buy a $7 latte, I always see people of all ages and walks of life reading and working side by side.

If this levy fails to pass, the result would be to erase 25% of the Seattle Library budget. That means fewer hours and fewer resources. Our community, made as it is of children and adults who rely on the library for a huge range of resources, would suffer. As an UNESCO-ordained “City of Literature” that cares about fostering education and healthy, vibrant lives, this is, obviously, not what we want. We love our libraries. And on August 6th, we have the opportunity to prove it.

Let’s do our part to keep Seattle an equitable, livable city.

Vote YES on Prop 1.

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