The Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. N.E., 206-684-7518, is tentatively set to temporarily close beginning Monday, May 7, 2018, for improvements to make the branch a more enjoyable space to read, study and collaborate. The closure date will be confirmed after construction bids are received in mid-April. We expect the renovated branch will reopen by the end of the year.

During the closure, the Library plans to hold several programs at alternate locations and is investigating a location for a temporary book drop. Alternate services will be confirmed before the branch closes.

The changes, which were originally discussed with patrons at an open house in October 2017, are part of Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner's vision for The Seattle Public Library. One of his five service priorities is "re-imagined spaces" – adapting and energizing Library spaces for new uses in keeping with changing services, programs, interests and needs of Library users and the changing ways that they use Library spaces.

 Originally built in 1965, the Lake City Branch was expanded as part of the 1998 voter-approved "Libraries for All" bond measure that renewed and revitalized libraries across the city. The larger building opened in October 2005.

While the expanded building served the community well, there is now a strong demand for collaborative space, basic computer instruction and staff help with technology in general. The branch also has the busiest Homework Help program in the system.

Improvements include adding about 1,600 square feet of public space by opening up the entrance and corridor, reconfiguring the interior layout to create flexible spaces for children, teens and adults, adding soft seating and more outlets to charge devices, relocating the public computers, adding movable walls to increase the flexibility of meeting space, and combining service desks.

“Our priority is to make sure our libraries meet the needs of the community,” Turner said. “This renovation will allow the branch to more effectively serve a growing, diverse community and support a wide variety of patron uses, services, and partnerships with local social and human service organizations.”  

The improvements are designed to make it easier for people to interact with one another, create flexible, open, welcoming spaces and improve access to technology.

During the closure, patrons may choose any other Library location as a pickup location for items placed on hold and may return materials to any branch.

If patrons don’t select an alternate branch by Friday, April 27, new and outstanding holds will be sent to the Northgate Branch, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E., 206-386-1980.

The $3.2 million budget includes funds from the 2012 voter-approved Library levy, the real estate excise tax, a Library gift fund, and a targeted fundraising campaign by The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

The Library is where the community comes together to share experiences, learn new skills, become entrepreneurs and successful students, take part in civic life and interact with one another. The Library promised to protect the public’s investment in its buildings as part of the levy. The branch improvements are part of the Library’s commitment to ensuring its buildings are well-maintained, clean and comfortable for patrons.