Budget and Operations
The Seattle Public Library consists of the Central Library, 26 neighborhood branches and Mobile Library Services. It has a total collection size of 2.4 million books and other items.
We receive funding from a mix of public and private sources. Every year, the City Council approves an annual budget appropriation that covers many of our basic expenses. In 2019, Seattle voters approved a seven-year, $219.1 million Library levy to improve access to critical educational and literacy resources and increase economic opportunity for every city resident.
The Library Board adopts an annual operation plan in December after the City Council approves the Library’s operating and capital budget appropriations. The Library’s 2021 budget for operations is $77.7 million, which includes $22.5 million from a voter-approved Library levy. This budget reflects a $5.8 million cut, or a 10% reduction in city general fund support. The Library's 2021 $9.2 million capital improvement budget, which is used for major building maintenance and asset preservation, includes $8.8 million from the voter-approved Library levy. The capital improvement budget reflects a $360,000 reduction in Real Estate Excise Tax resources. Reductions to the 2021 budget are due to the impact of COVID-19 on city revenues.
The Seattle Public Library produces an annual report and usage statistics.
Two organizations, The Seattle Public Library Foundation and The Friends of the Seattle Public Library, raise money to help fund activities, services and special projects not covered by our operating budget.