You’ll find plenty of Capitol Hill history digging through the more than 40 years of Seattle Gay News archives now online from the Washington State Library

41 years of the Seattle Gay News — including page after page telling the stories of the places and the people of Capitol Hill — have been digitized and are now available online from the Washington State Library.

“Historians, genealogists, students, and anyone who wants to learn more about local perspectives on world events now have greater access to their area’s rich history,” Shawn Schollmeyer, Washington Digital Newspapers coordinator at the Washington State Library, said in the announcement. “We are grateful for our many partnerships with museums, libraries, archives, and publishers statewide that share our commitment to preserving our communities’ cultural heritage.” Continue reading

Hours restored at Capitol Hill library after summer workforce crunch

The Capitol Hill branch of the Seattle Public Library is getting some of its hours back. SPL announced that Thursday morning hours are being restored at the Harvard Ave library starting October 20th.

The upgrade is part of restoring hours at the Ballard, Capitol Hill, Douglass-Truth, Madrona-Sally Goldmark, Montlake and Rainier Beach branches after SPL made cutbacks over the summer due to staffing issues as COVID-19 and changing lifestyles has continued to squeeze workforces. Continue reading

As COVID-19 continues to squeeze workforce, Seattle libraries reduce hours for summer

The children’s space in the Capitol Hill Library (Image: Seattle Public Library)

The branches of the Seattle Public Library system including Capitol Hill’s Harvard Ave location will operate under reduced hours due to ongoing staffing shortages related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new schedules began last week. SPL says the temporary changes were necessary as it responds “to ongoing staffing shortages related to COVID-19” and were planned “based on staffing availability and geographic spread to ensure Library access throughout the city of Seattle.”

Chief librarian Tom Fay hopes to return to full hours if staffing is available “in the fall when schools are back in session.”

The continued spread of COVID-19 has shifted many habits of society including how we work and how we deal with health and wellness in the workplace. SPL says it plans to add “additional staff to support open hours” and that “low staffing levels are primarily due to increased use of employee leave, including sick leave, COVID-19 leave, and Family Medical Leave.” Continue reading

After year-long restoration, Soul Pole sculpture makes its return to the Douglass-Truth library

(Image: SPL)

A symbol of “400 years of African American history and the struggle for justice in the United States” will rise again in the Central District.

Tuesday, the return of the “Soul Pole” to the lawn outside the Douglass-Truth Branch of the Seattle Public Library at 23rd and Yesler will be marked with a press conference featuring Mayor Bruce Harrell and Tom Fay, Chief Librarian of The Seattle Public Library.

A year ago, the pole was taken down from where it had stood for nearly 50 years for a much needed restoration of the 21-foot wooden sculpture.

The library contracted with Artech Fine Art Services to manage the project working with Corine Landrieu, “one of the Northwest’s top conservators.” Continue reading

Seattle Library has new — familiar — leader

(Image: SPL)

The Seattle Public Library has a new but familiar leader as the board of trustees for the city’s library system has selected interim chief librarian Tom Fay to continue in the role.

“Tom Fay is an experienced leader with deep knowledge of our city, our patrons, and our library system. He has shown over the past year that he has the experience and skills to succeed as our next Chief Librarian,” Carmen Bendixen, president of the Seattle Public Library’s board, said in a statement. “The Board is excited to continue collaborating with Mr. Fay as he and his team continue to build an inclusive, equitable and welcoming Library system for all.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | When do you want your library to be open? Take SPL’s survey

The Capitol Hill Branch on its reopening day (Image: The Seattle Public Library)

From the Seattle Public Library

In 2019, Seattle voters overwhelmingly passed a levy to expand The Seattle Public Library’s hours and services, as well as ending overdue fines. Now that all Library locations are reopened, it is planning ahead for how to use levy-supported funds to expand hours and wants to hear from you. When do you want your neighborhood library to be open? What Library services are important to your community?

Let the Library know what you want by taking the brief survey at If you visit a Library branch, you can also use a computer to take the survey or ask for a paper copy. The survey is available in eight languages and is open until Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. If you have questions, call 206-386-4636 or contact

Seattle Public Library says Capitol Hill branch to reopen Sunday after more than a year of COVID closure

Busier days at the Capitol Hill Library (Image: Seattle Public Library)

In the annals of pandemic history, some might trace the true reopening of Capitol Hill to July 11th.

The Capitol Hill Branch of the Seattle Public Library will reopen to visitors Sunday, according to the system’s latest “Road to Reopening” updates.

As its libraries return to in-person service, SPL requires everyone to remain masked and some resources like meeting rooms remain unavailable. Other vital resources like computers, wifi, and charging stations will be online and available along with the library’s vast collections. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | A New Little Free Library on Capitol Hill

From Sheila Hoffman [email protected]

We are fortunate on Capitol Hill to have more than 30 Little Free Libraries (LFL) scattered around our neighborhood. Each is a unique labor of love. I’ve lived on Capitol Hill since 1979. Over the years I’ve greatly enjoyed browsing these gems, mostly taking books and occasionally dropping off one or two.

There is now a new one to check out on 12th Avenue. Continue reading

City honors outgoing chief librarian after ten years of Seattle Public Library service

(Image: Seattle Public Library)

The City of Seattle is honoring a decade of service from the Seattle Public Library’s chief librarian and executive director Marcellus Turner as he is stepping down from the position.

The Seattle City Council honored Turner on Monday with a proclamation recognizing his contributions to the city’s literary culture.

“Turner led the Seattle Public Library during two successful levies in 2012 and 2019. He prioritized equality by eliminating overdue fines and allowing people without proof of residence access to library materials,” the announcement of the proclamation reads. “Additionally, Turner led pioneering programs such as adding wi-fi hotspots to circulation so more households have access to the internet, and installing a social worker at the Central Library to better serve Seattle’s homelessness communities.” Continue reading

Seattle rolls out instant digital library cards to help fill socially distant days with reading

(Image: SPL)

I just finished Netflix. Now what should I watch?

It’s a good line. How about you read something? The Seattle Public Library can help. It’s not a visit to Harvard Ave but residents can now sign up for new Instant Digital Library Cards:

Seattle residents who do not have a Library card from The Seattle Public Library can now sign up for an instant digital Library card, which gives immediate access to e-books and e-audiobooks through the Library’s OverDrive digital collection.

Launched Thursday, March 26, the service is available at

“We are working hard to find new ways to support Seattle residents during this unprecedented public health crisis,” library Circulation Services Manager Bo Kinney said. “Whether you’re a parent looking for a just-right chapter book, a telecommuter brushing up on skills or a senior who wants a light read after a heavy day of news, we have resources for you.” Continue reading