This month marks the one-year anniversary of the re-opening of the Lake City Branch, which, thanks to donors, was “reimagined” to better support community needs.
The Lake City Branch now sports new furniture, more study rooms, flexible walls, and mobile shelving units that allow for adaptation to community events.
Every year, The Seattle Public Library Foundation supports the Library to help provide new furniture and select improvements, but the Lake City effort was a big project, and you came together to make it happen!
So, how has the community responded to these updates? The reports are positive! Because of your gifts, Lake City sees:
-Higher attendance at programs: Story Times attract three to five more people per session, and cultural celebrations welcome up to 20 more attendees per event than before! Now that staff can open up community room walls, they can provide additional seating or tables so they no longer have to turn people away from popular programs.
-Greater use of study rooms: Study room use has jumped from 60 uses per month pre-remodel to 335 monthly uses today. That’s because Lake City now offers five study rooms instead of one. The conference and study rooms allow staff to combine the two largest rooms to host Homework Help.
-Expanded community partnerships: The Hunger Intervention Program uses the new community/café space to provide snacks for students during Homework Help sessions four days a week and additional meals to kids on early release school days. The branch also has more room for organizations such as SeaMar and Sound Transit to table at the Library and inform the public on their services. Library staff are now working to bring in organizations such as WorkSource and REACH to use these rooms for occasional drop-in times for clients.
-Greater safety: The new shelving configurations allow Library staff clear sight lines so they can ensure the branch remains open and safe to all.
-Jump in children’s collection circulation: Mobile shelving units allowed staff to bring the children’s nonfiction collection from the adult area to the children’s section. They credit this move with the boost in children’s materials circulation.
-More rooms, better accommodations: More rooms with flexible walls offer space for neurodiverse children who need more quiet and less stimulation during Library visits.
Your support has made a difference to the Lake City community, and we are grateful to all who brought this change to life. For every smile on a child’s face at Homework Help, and seat offered to a parent at a popular free program, we have you to thank.