The Seattle Public Library is a treasured community resource because it receives strong support from public funding and private philanthropy secured through The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

Though the Foundation has raised more than $228 million in private gifts for the Library in its 40 years of existence, its advocacy work has helped secure $568 million in public dollars during the past 20 years alone.

The Foundation accomplishes this through:

  • Levy support: In 2019, the Foundation’s Board of Directors endorsed a $219 million levy renewal that supports collections, technology upgrades, late fine elimination, and seismic upgrades for three Carnegie-era branches. This measure passed with 76 percent voter approval.
  • Capital campaigns: The Foundation advocated for the 1998 Libraries for All campaign, a $196.4 million bond measure that led to the construction of the current Central Library, as well as 26 new or updated branches across the city.
  • Advocacy for annual City-allocated funds: The Foundation strives each year to secure city funding that will ensure the Library meets the needs of our neighbors. We, along with our supporters, educate city officials on the Library’s benefits to the city and its role as a public service to all its residents.

Your support helps us leverage our resources to maximize the public-private partnership that makes The Seattle Public Library work.

If you’re interested in becoming an advocate for your Library, please contact us at or 206-386-4130.