I love the Seattle Public Library!

My Instagram account (@quiltingqueerly) features four recurring themes which frequently make appearances:

  1. The Seattle Public Library
  2. Iggy the dog
  3. My quilts as works-in-progress
  4. King County Metro buses (while utilizing the hashtag #buslife)

Here are a few photos I’ve posted of the Central Library, which is hands down my favorite building:

Haven’t been there before? The Central Library is located at 1000 4th Ave in Downtown Seattle in between Spring St. and Madison St. One fun fact about the Central Library is that co-architect Joshua Prince-Ramus was only 29 years old when he started working on the project!

There are so many reasons I absolutely love the Seattle Public Library. One is because it’s so easy to request that the library purchase something to add to its collection.

Screen shot 2015-12-01 at 2.32.09 PM
Photo credit: @hollybroadland on Instagram

When I first met Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild Founder Holly Broadland at the Pacific Northwest Modern Quilt Guild Meet-Up in Portland, Oregon a few years ago, we instantly bonded over our love of libraries. She made a brilliant blog post back in 2013 about requesting items for the library to purchase entitled “I love the Vancouver Public Library!” The title of this post and its contents is a nod to you, Holly! It’s no surprise (and wonderful for children) that Holly is going back to school to gain a degree in library education.

Are you curious how to request that the Seattle Public Library purchase something they don’t already have on their shelves? I’ll walk you through the simple steps.

First things first, get yourself a library card. If you don’t already have one, the link provided gives instructions on how to do so. Then you have access to all that the Seattle Public Library’s 27 physical locations and mobile book mobiles have to offer!

Once you have a library card, log onto the Seattle Public Library website and search for what you’d like to check out.

I’d heard good things about Krista Fleckenstein‘s new book Beyond Cotton, so I decided to see if the library had it by typing the title and author into the search bar.

Screen shot 2015-12-01 at 3.14.23 PM.png

Unfortunately, the message below popped up stating that the book wasn’t in the library collection yet.
Screen shot 2015-11-16 at 12.50.46 PMI clicked on the link “Suggest an item for purchase.” to begin making a request that the library buy the book.

The library explains their purchase suggestion policies and prompts you to select which category the suggestion falls under. I selected “For books and music scores”.Screen shot 2015-11-16 at 12.52.44 PMNext pops up a window asking for your information, some information about the book, and why you think the library should purchase it.

Screen shot 2015-11-16 at 12.53.18 PMScreen shot 2015-11-16 at 1.02.06 PMScreen shot 2015-12-01 at 3.55.06 PM

Some of the tougher information to find (like publication date, publisher, ISBN number, and price) can all easily be found by looking up the book on Amazon.com. All of that information is found in two simple spots.

At the top of the page:

Screen shot 2015-11-16 at 12.54.05 PM

And after scrolling down a little bit to the section labeled “Product Details”:

Screen shot 2015-11-16 at 12.54.30 PM

I simply copy and paste the information found on the Amazon.com listing into the library purchase suggestion form.

Once you hit submit, you get a message from the library confirming that your purchase suggestion went through. They also email you a copy of your request.

Screen shot 2015-11-16 at 1.02.30 PMAfter a few days or weeks, check the “Holds” section of your account on the Seattle Public Library website. If the library decides to purchase your request, you’ll be first in line to receive the book once it comes in.

8 copies on hold

Luckily for me, the library decided to purchase 8 copies of Krista’s new book! I’m really looking forward to reading more about her construction of zipper pouches and use of leather.

Until next time, happy reading and sewing…


8 responses to I love the Seattle Public Library!

  1. Holly says:

    This post makes me so happy! I’m sure you’ll inspire many to suggest purchases for their local libraries. Thanks for supporting my goal of being a teacher librarian, friend!

    • Oh it brings me great joy to hear you like this post! I absolutely love the one you wrote about how to request books from the Vancouver Public Library. I look forward to the next time we can catch up in person about two of our favorite topics – books and quilts! I can’t wait to hear more about your educational journey. Thanks for being such a great and inspiring friend! Anna B.

  2. gildstudio says:

    I super love this post! The library is such a fantastic treasure trove and I am always so appreciative of what SPL offers.

    • Jessica! You are always such a supportive person – thank you! I’m so happy to hear you’re also a lover of the library. Go SPL! Anna B.

  3. Great post. I love the Seattle Public Library, both the architecture and the collection! How fortunate that they acquired your suggestion. Enjoy!

    • Yes! You’re right – the architecture of the Central Library is stunning and the SPL collection is so massive and unique. Such a treasure for the city! Thanks for continuing to follow the blog :) Anna B.

  4. amy says:

    Hello, Anna. Just came across your website and oh man, do I love this post! I am an avid SPL user — it’s been a long time since I submitted a purchase request but I actually thought about doing it for Krista Fleckenstein’s Beyond Cotton! This was some months back when I first searched for it and found that it was not in the catalog, but laziness ensued and I did not submit a request. The book kept coming across my radar and finally yesterday I went back to spl.org to search for it, all the while saying to myself “if it’s not there, I’ll really put in a purchase request today” …lo and behold it was there for me to put on hold! And why was it there? Because YOU were NOT lazy like I was, you made it HAPPEN! This was yesterday, and now today I stumble on your website + this very blog post, wow! So thank you, you’ve re-sparked inspiration in me to put those purchase requests in… I can’t be the only one who wants to consume such media (and you can’t either), so we should all be active about it. SPL is such a great resource, it takes all of us to keep it great.

    I am seriously considering leaving my day job to pursue a quilty crafty career as well. I look forward to devouring more of your website content, I’m sure your experience will be very enlightening for me. Keep up the great work!

    • What a fantastic comment to read! Thank you so much for taking the time to explain your connection to library requests and the book Beyond Cotton. I’m consistently amazed with moments of interconnectedness like this. Happy quilting and I wish you well if you go the route of quilting for your career. It’s a fascinating ride! Thanks again for reaching out and sharing. Anna B.

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