Seattle, WA -- Seattle Public Library -- July 26, 2007

This library is amazing, worthy of wedding receptions and car commercials, it was rebuilt in May 2004.

From the mission statement on the library's home page:
Our mission is to become the best public library in the world by being so tuned in to the people we serve and so supportive of each other's efforts that we are able to provide highly responsive service.

What makes it so good? Software donated by microsofft, public spaces, internet services, programming, book groups, and fun things like LDS displays by George LeGrady, professor of interactive media at UC Santa Barbara, that show what books have been checked out so far that day, with a one-hour delay to protect people's privacy. The screen becomes busier and busier as the day wears on. See the picture below.

The decor is very trendy looking, which at first gave me a cold feeling--it wasn't the warm, cozy library at The Dalles, but, if you are trying to attract people to the library, maybe it's a good thing to be hip. The "living room" has carpeting that resembles closeups of grass blades and other plants. Then, there's the fourth floor, which houses meeting rooms, that elicited the response of a four-year old who just got off the elevator. “I can’t believe it...It’s so red I can’t tell where I’m going.” The entire floor gives a feeling of walking through a stream of wet red paint. One of the librarians described it as "vibrant."

In the kids department: Local author Erin Hunter (a pseudonym) is catching on. She has a series called Warrior and it’s about cats. Also popular: Junie B. Jones, The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne, Yu-Gi-Oh, Choose Your Own Adventure (which was just reprinted), Charlie Bone (because of Harry Potter), the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, and books by Anna West (an author who works in the building who writes mysteries.)

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