The People’s Library- Community Building at its Best

kids and booksThe Occupy movement flourishes again in Seattle with the opening of “The Peoples Library,” in the Central District. Due to city-wide budget cuts, the City of Seattle has closed all branches of Seattle Public Libraries, beginning August 27th – September 3rd.

In response, a “People’s Library” has sprouted. Situated on the steps of the gorgeous- but- closed Douglass-Truth Library at 23rd & Yesler, a group of individuals who share some common ground with the Occupy movement, have gathered together to pick up the slack while the City cannot.

Providing a space for education and community building, and at no cost, this people-built library provides the following:

  • A selection over 1000 donated books 
  • 4 internet workstations with free wi-fi 
  • A kids station with coloring and games 
  •  Lunch Well stocked with shelves, tables, and milk-crates full of books, residents of the Central District are noticing what has sprouted… and are participating. 

Neighbors bring donations of books and food; a mother and her 7 year old, walked away each with an armful of books.

“This is fantastic! It’s so healthy and nourishing for the community,” says Karen, a local resident and mother of two.

Families stop by, children play with puzzles, adults browse and share stories.

The People’s Library aims to stay open from 10am-8pm every day until Sept. 4th, at which time Seattle Public Libraries including Douglas-Truth will re-open for business.

The library has no check-out system, no limit on number of books you can take.

Only a promise to either return what you have taken when you can, or pass it on to someone else.

At a time when our communities are facing huge losses of public resources due to budget cuts, the People’s Library and its creators serve as an inspiration that we as people can still engage and educate, despite increasing austerity and dependence on the almighty Dollar.

For more info on the People’s Library, please check out the following contacts:


Twitter: @duetobudgetcuts email


By Aliana Bazara, 99% Media