Library Visit: Private Community Library, Seattle

It’s been a while since I’ve done a library visit post. Living in a new state with new libraries to explore you’d think I’d be all over them! Imagine I’ll get into a routine soon enough.

Last week we went to visit a family member who lives in a progressive care retirement community in Seattle. Among other great amenities, the place has its own library.

When you walk into the library this circular table full of periodicals is the first thing you see, along with beautiful flowers and a ‘no food in the library’ sign.
Looking to the right when you walk in.


The view to the left when you walk in.
Cozy chairs next to the fireplace.


There’s always a puzzle in the works at this table.
The shelving behind the solid brown chair is the biography section. For the most part, the library is organized by the Dewey Decimal System, but there are some collections set off here and there, such as the classics collection pictured below and Charles Dickens.


Another view from the fireplace and puzzle table.
Tools of the library rat.


Apparently, people don’t obey this sign because I overheard two residents lamenting that they were too late to get the paper (it was 6:30 am) and they hoped it/they would be returned.


Advertisement for a book by resident Jared Curtis. Walking from the Center: Seattle Neighborhood Walks.
I like this step ladder.


Notice the shelf talker? Popular author’s books are shelved outside of the library, on various residential floors near the elevators where there’s a small common area. Great idea. I’m not sure why, but I imagine it helps conserve space and in the library and gets people to explore the building a bit. Example picture below.
An example of a popular author area on a residential floor. The elevators are just behind me. These shelves contain Tom Clancy, Patrick O’Brien, and Bernhard Cornwell novels.


The first part of the DVD section.


Detail of a large collection of flashy classics that are shelved next to the fireplace, where they look mighty handsome.


Charles Dickens, anyone?


Of course I tracked down Willa Cather.
The library works on the honor system, so there’s no check-out/check-in procedure. The salmon binder is a catalog of holdings (a spreadsheet print out by author, title, section).

Overall, this is a pretty great communal library. Comfortable, well-organized, good selection, with a nice balance between fiction and non-fiction. It is also directly across the hall from the cafe where Seattle’s Best Coffee is available throughout the day. Coffee and books. Life is good.


  1. Me, too! I'd certainly hang out there. They're also on the Seattle bookmobile's route and residents can reserve books online that'll be delivered.

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