Seattle residents enjoy some of the best library services in the nation. For the 10th consecutive year, The Seattle Public Library was awarded the highest five-star rating by Library Journal’s 2019 Index of Public Library Service. We are the only library system in Washington state that has consistently achieved a five-star rating since the rating system was established.

"The people of Seattle clearly love their libraries and use them heavily,” said Executive Director and Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner. "We work hard to provide resources and services that meet the needs and expectations of the residents of our city. Our staff's commitment to providing exceptional service is what makes us a top library system."

Ratings for the Library Journal's Index of Public Library Service are determined by six key library service statistics: in-person library visits, electronic materials checked out, all materials checked out, program attendance, public internet computer use, and new this year: Wi-Fi sessions. The ratings for 2019 were based on 2017 data that libraries reported to the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Here are the Library's statistics for 2017:

  • 17 million people visited The Seattle Public Library online and at our 27 locations
  • Over 3.2 million digital items were checked out
  • Library patrons checked out 11.6 million physical and digital items
  • Almost 330,000 people attended over 10,000 educational classes, workshops and author programs
  • Our computers were used over 900,000 times
  • We provided Wi-Fi to 1.6 million people

Out of the 6,333 libraries rated, only 261 libraries nationwide received ratings of three, four or five stars. The Seattle Public Library was one of only five similarly-sized libraries in the nation that received a five-star rating. The other five-star libraries include the King County Library System and three libraries in Ohio.

Library Journal is the leading journal of the library profession. For more information, visit