The Seattle Public Library board of trustees has proposed redesignating multiuser family/ADA restrooms located children’s areas as single-occupant restrooms open to all.

The board will hear public comments on the proposed change at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 15 at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 4, Room 1. Library patrons are also welcome to email comments to:

Currently, the multiuser family/ADA restrooms are for use by caregivers with children, disabled patrons with their assistants, and breastfeeding mothers. This is because the family/ADA restrooms are located inside children’s areas, which by policy is reserved for children, their caregivers, and those accessing the children’s collection.

Under the proposed new restroom policy, which will also require a change to the Public Use of Children’s Areas Policy, all patrons will be allowed in children’s areas to use the multiuser family/ADA restroom.

The proposed new restroom policy was developed to ensure a safer restroom environment for transgender and gender-nonconforming patrons, as well as provide easier restroom access for all patrons.

While Library patrons have always been able to choose the restroom based on the gender they identify with, not all patrons feel safe or are comfortable doing so. It is why the Library recently installed a new single-occupant restroom on Level 3 of the Central Library.

Currently, the Library has multiuser family/ADA restrooms located in children’s areas  at the Central Library and Capitol Hill, Lake City and Ballard branches. If the policy is approved, these restrooms would be available to all Library patrons.