Photos by Zachariah Bryan
Tracy Lawrence, a Magnolia mother, speaks while her 2 and 1/2 year-old daughter listens in the audience. (SLIDESHOW: to view more pictures, click on the main picture above or look at the thumbnails below)

SLIDESHOW: Mayor, City Librarian say thank you for passing levy at Ballard Branch Library

Mayor Mike McGinn, City Librarian Marcellus Turner and others dropped by the Ballard Branch Library on Monday, Nov. 26, to thank voters for passing the Library Levy and to tell them what that levy does.

For libraries, the levy helps reverse a trend of cuts that have been happening because of the economy.

"We've had a bunch of tough years in a row (because of the economy) ... and that means everyone has been squeezing a bit tighter," McGinn said.

He said that the squeeze has been particularly noticeable at the library, where reduced hours and furlough days have limited for many people how much they can use the facilities.

Levy funds will be mostly directed at buying more books and increasing access to materials online.

With the levy, the library will purchase in 2013 an additional 26,000 books and other media for the children's collections. The combination of general funds and Levy funds will mean approximately 75,000 new books, materials and online resources for children in 2013.

At the press conference, speakers stressed the importance of early learning.

CiKeithia Pugh, Early Literacy Program Manager for Seattle libraries, said talking, reading, writing, playing and singing were all very important elements of a child's development. She said it was important for parents (with the library's help) to take part in their children's development.

"Clap out a beat, make up a silly song, maybe have your children remember a nursery rhyme," she said.

Tracy Lawrence, a Magnolia mother of a 2 and 1/2 year old, told the audience that the library and the early learning services it provided were essential to her daughter's development.

She said it had been 15 years since she had been to a library, but that taking her to story-time and entering a community of parents and children was a great thing that happened to her. She said it allowed her daughter not only to learn how to read, but interact and socialize with others her own age.

McGinn also briefly reflected on his time at the library.

"In the McGinn family we had six children so it was a big deal when our parents took us to the library."

The levy will also enable the library to:

  • Buy more copies of popular materials to shorten wait times;
  • Increase e-content by as many as 12,000 new files annually;
  • Buy more subscriptions to give people free online access to resources such as homework help, business data, investment research, car maintenance manuals, language programs, consumer research, test preparation, health information and encyclopedias;
  • Preserve current core services;
  • Increase the number of items a person may place on hold to 50;
  • Put more Seattle Room special collections online so people can access the information from a computer anywhere.

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