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The Seattle Public Library Foundation | Winter 2019

© Lisa Bontje Photography © Lisa Bontje Photography

We passed the Levy! Now what?

T
he Library Levy renewal passed with 76 percent After that, the Library will roll out a different combination
voter approval in August, with the promise of of new hours at each branch, depending on their needs.
extended operating hours, seismic retrofits on All branch locations will add an hour Monday through
Carnegie buildings, and the elimination of late fines, among Thursday, and Friday hours will come to Delridge, Green
several other benefits. Lake, NewHolly, and Wallingford. Those changes are likely to
come later in 2020.
So what happens next?
High Point, International District/Chinatown, and South
The Seattle Public Library is working on the details involved
Park will also open earlier and close later. The result will be
to implement the new levy, but here are the basics that we
10,000 new branch hours per year across 27 locations.
know now – check for more information at spl.org in mid-
December. MAKING BRANCHES SAFER FOR YOU

OPERATING HOURS Of The Seattle Public Library’s 27 locations, seven are


masonry buildings built before current seismic standards that
One of the first changes patrons will see will occur Jan. 5,
are not structurally reinforced to minimize damage in the
2020, when the Library’s 26 branch locations will open an
event of an earthquake. Continued inside
hour earlier every Sunday at noon.
We invite you to champion our Library
at the 2020 Luncheon

W
ill you be the next Library supporter to join the
Discover Your Library team?

Inspirational speakers and interactive exhibits


will dazzle you and other Library lovers at our Discover
Your Library Luncheon on March 17, 2020. You’ll
learn how Library programs reach across all of Seattle’s
communities to enrich the lives of our neighbors and Franklin Egboh,
keynote speaker at the
promote knowledge, equity, and opportunity. 2019 Discover Your
Library Luncheon

What can you do?


We’d love for you to become a table captain and recruit
your friends to support the Library. We provide everything
you need to generate enthusiasm among potential guests TUESDAY MARCH 17, 2020
and help you to collectively ensure the long-term vitality of A Benefit for The Seattle Public Library
The Seattle Public Library.
Find more information about serving as a table captain
and register at supportspl.org/luncheon. For more on
You can also volunteer! Volunteers will help with
volunteering your time, contact Events and Development
décor or guest check-in the day of the event. All the
support and instruction you need will be provided. Manager Kerri Martinez at kerri@supportspl.org.

We can’t wait to see you there!

Your help can start us off strong in 2020

Y
ou’re someone who values Your gifts give everyone the
The Seattle Public Library and opportunity to learn and excel, while
understands how important leveling the playing field for those
its programs and services are to the who face the greatest barriers to
people of Seattle. accessing education and information.

This fall, you can help strengthen the


Library’s collections, programs, and Watch your email and mail
services – above and beyond what box for special opportunities
public support provides – with a to double your gift. We hope
tax-deductible end-of-year gift. you’ll keep The Seattle Public
Special dollar-for-dollar matches will Library strong in 2020!
be offered by generous donors throughout the season,
including on #GivingTuesday, Dec. 3. Donate any time at supportspl.org.

The Next Chapter | W inter 2019


IRA 101:
Giving through your retirement savings fund

D
o you have an IRA account for your retirement
savings? You can use it to give to your favorite
charitable institutions, such as The Seattle Public
Library Foundation.

The Basics

An IRA is a tax-deferred investment account for which you


only pay income tax upon withdrawal. It’s commonly used
for people who don’t have retirement accounts through their
employer or who wish to consolidate retirement accounts from
previous jobs.
Janeine and Bob Green, supporters of The Seattle Public Library Foundation.
The IRA differs from a Roth IRA because the Roth IRA requires
the holder to pay taxes on contributions, and then earnings are ‘It’s really easy’
tax-free under certain conditions. Janeine and Bob Green, donors to The Seattle Public Library
Foundation, began giving qualified charitable distributions
The year the IRA holder turns 70 ½ years old, the IRS then
to the Foundation last year and recently made their second
requires that person to withdraw a certain percentage each
contribution through their IRA.
year, known as the required minimum distribution (RMD). That
RMD is a percentage of the account that varies year to year “It’s really easy,” Janeine Green said, adding that she only
based on life expectancy. had to give the charity’s name and address to make her
contribution happen. Everything she needed to know she
Roth IRAs don’t impose required minimum distributions.
found on Charity Navigator.
Giving with the IRA
Janeine and Bob frequent the Green Lake Branch to find large-
An IRA also allows one to issue what’s known as a qualified print books and regular books alike, and also make heavy use
charitable distribution (QCD). This, too, can only happen out of ebooks for the book club at their condominium.
starting the calendar year the IRA holder turns 70 ½ years old.
“We love our Green Lake Library,” Janeine says.
The QCD can make up a portion or the entirety of one’s
required minimum distribution. Just tell your financial institution She also appreciated The Seattle Public Library’s wide array
where to give your money and how much – you never of programs, and librarians’ ability to connect patrons with
take possession of it or pay taxes on any part of it, and the resources such as housing aid and employment help.
contribution is 100 percent tax deductible. “It just has a lot to offer,” Janeine adds.
An additional bonus: You don’t have to itemize your giving She loves the Foundation’s personal touch in corresponding
through an IRA because the portion you give to charity is not with donors and she finds the IRA contribution especially
taxable income to you. And, unlike with a donor-advised fund, convenient because she doesn’t have to itemize it or report the
no fees are levied. withdrawal as income.
Just make sure the charities to which you give are 501(c)(3) – “When you do your income tax, there’s no special form you fill
The Seattle Public Library Foundation fits that bill! And specify out,” she says.
with your financial institution whether you want your name
attached to your gift. “To me, it’s the most effective use of the money.”

This article is informational only and not intended to provide financial advice. Contact your financial institution for advice and its own requirements on qualified charitable distributions.

The Next Chapter | W inter 2019


We passed the Levy! Now what?
Cover story, continued from front

Before the levy renewal, no budget existed to outfit these


branches with seismic protections – but the levy provided a
vehicle for securing the money to do so.

The levy renewal package includes seismic work for three of


the Library’s most vulnerable buildings: Green Lake, University,
and Columbia. These Carnegie-era branches, each more than
100 years old, bear landmark status and the Library hopes to
The Columbia Branch will be one of three libraries undergoing a seismic retrofit.
maintain them for generations to come.

The work will include largely invisible changes such as PROGRAMS, TECHNOLOGY, AND MORE
reinforcements to the ceiling and walls, but will also feature Donors like you have already supported the staffing of an adult
some aesthetic improvements. The Library aims to make the social worker and part-time case worker to help adults in need
branches more accessible for people with disabilities. who come through the Library’s doors. The Foundation’s willing-
Construction will begin first at Green Lake and is expected to ness to pilot this effort led to the city of Seattle funding these
begin in the spring of 2021. While the branch is closed, the positions from its general budget. Due to the success of these
Library hopes to provide an alternate location for library services positions, the levy renewal will now allow the Library to add a
in the neighborhood. The University Branch will be updated social worker and part-time case worker dedicated to youth.
next, followed by Columbia.
Library officials hope to add those new positions next summer.
NO MORE OVERDUE FINES These new staffers are expected to offer both drop-in hours and
Patrons can expect new borrowing rules early in 2020. scheduled appointments, and visit several branches located in
communities with the most need.
A few other adjustments will also be made to improve service
and help ensure materials are available for everyone – after all, The Library will also roll out technological improvements
the Library is more interested in materials being returned than starting next year, including upgraded WiFi and hardware. The
in collecting fines. levy renewal allows the Library to keep up with advancements
and maintain service and connectivity for patrons.
Library staff have conducted extensive research, consulting with
patrons and other libraries that have nixed fines, and expect to Furthermore, the Library’s popular early learning program,
continuously improve and refine the system. Kaleidoscope Play and Learn, will expand to new locations. The
The Library’s research shows that most materials are returned program, which incorporates toys, music, and art to help young
on time or early, and that most patrons care deeply about children’s learning development, currently is offered in five
returning their materials so others can access them. Surveys branches, but could add up to six more locations. We’ll update
indicate fines are not a primary motivation for patrons to return you as developments occur.
their materials. And the experience of other libraries that have
For more information, visit the Library’s website
eliminated fines has been overwhelmingly positive.
at spl.org/levy
Based on this research, the Library doesn’t expect to see a
difference in return rates. It does anticipate increased use and
engagement as formerly disenfranchised patrons face lower We thank our fantastic Library supporters who voted to
approve the levy renewal, and especially to those who
barriers to using the Library.
volunteered their time to aid the campaign. Because of
you, the Library will continue to serve as the community
cornerstone that thousands depend on.
Books By Mail brings joy to patrons’ doorsteps

A
few years ago, Ballard resident Roberta Wells injured
herself twice, prompting extended nursing home stays
and affecting her mobility.

“My whole life was altered,” she says. Once a fixture at the
Ballard Branch of the Library, Roberta turned to another service
to keep her Library books coming: Books By Mail.

The Seattle Public Library – as part of its Foundation-supported Books By Mail serves 75 people and sends 90 packages to patrons each month.

Mobile Services that include the Bookmobile and home book


delivery – serves about 75 people through Books By Mail, which Are you or a loved one unable
allows patrons unable to leave their homes to check out up to to visit the Library and want to
15 items per month with an easy system that’s free to users.
sign up for Books by Mail?
They can even check out Wi-Fi Hotspots to gain internet access. Contact the Library at 206-386-4636 or
email bookmobile@spl.org.
Roberta maxes out her monthly
allotment with books, CDs, and
movies on DVD, she says: “I push address label and let the Postal Service take the bag back to
them to their limits.” the Library.

She enjoys checking out historical Roberta says her neighbors at her senior apartment complex
romances, Christian books, and know when she’s received her green bag: “They usually see me
Ken Burns documentaries. smiling.” And several of her neighbors use Books By Mail, too.

Roberta Wells receives Books By Mail. “It works really well for me,” she Bosma says patrons can request specific items, or explain what
says of the service. they’re interested in and allow librarians to pick for them. One
patron, for example, requests four large-print mysteries per
Tyler Bosma, who processes the Books By Mail materials, says
month and allows librarians to select the titles.
its popularity has soared since the Library increased patrons’
monthly limit of items a few years ago from five to 15. They Roberta, a former fifth-grade and Sunday school teacher, says
circulate about 250 items – or 90 packages – every month. she’s grateful to continue reading with the help of the Library;
books are her “drugs of choice,” she says.
Any Seattle resident who is unable to travel to the Library due to
disability or illness for six months or longer can call or email the Books By Mail keeps her from venturing out into dangerous
Library to discuss whether this service would meet their needs. terrain during the winter and minimizes her risk for more injury.

“It’s so easy to add them to our service,” he adds. “I really want to spread the news because I am delighted with
this,” she says.
Patrons receive a green pouch full of Library treasures and,
when it’s time to return items, they simply flip the attached Learn more at spl.org/MobileServices.

Leave a meaningful legacy that can be enjoyed


for generations to come.
The Foundation regularly hosts planned giving seminars and offers
resources, such as a list of attorneys who can guide you.
Please contact us at foundation@supportspl.org or 206-386-4130.

The Next Chapter | W inter 2019


Get started on 2020 Seattle Reads pick Winter events at the Library
Health care and ORCA Lift enrollment
The Seattle Reads selection committee has
3 - 7 p.m. Dec. 4, Ballard Branch
announced its “One Book, One City” pick for 2020:
3 - 6 p.m. Dec. 5, Northeast Branch
“There There” by Tommy Orange.
“We’re Still Here”: An art showcase
The bestselling and award-winning novel weaves
from members of Chief Seattle Club
tales of urban Indigenous communities and
5:30 - 8 p.m. Dec. 5
individual struggles with Native identity.
Central Library, Books Spiral 8 Gallery
“It was a unanimous decision,” said Stesha
Terry Tempest Williams discusses
Brandon, Literature & Humanities Program Manager
“Erosion: Essays of Undoing”
for The Seattle Public Library. “The committee felt
7 - 8:15 p.m., Dec. 10
that Orange’s novel was one of the most powerful
Central Library, Microsoft Auditorium
books we’ve read in years, and the writing is heartbreakingly beautiful.”
Seattle Writes: Writing Circle
This is both Orange’s first novel and Seattle Reads’ first selection written by an
with Hugo House
Indigenous author. The book is available now in several formats at The Seattle
6 - 7:30 p.m.
Public Library. For more information, visit spl.org/seattlereads.
Dec. 11 at West Seattle Branch
Orange will visit Seattle May 16-17, 2020, and will speak at four Dec. 16 at Columbia Branch
public events throughout the city. Stay tuned for more details! Dec. 17 at Fremont Branch

supportspl.org | 206-386-4130 |