The Queen Anne Library—A Little Peace of Mind

The Queen Anne Branch—A Little Peace of Mind

Funded by Andrew Carnegie in 1911, this small three-room Tudor brick library has stood on top of Queen Anne Hill for over a century. As you enter the library and walk into the main circulation room, stained glass windows hurling hues of violet and cerulean blue are the first thing to catch your attention. Called "Quintet in D,” the stained glass is so stunningly translucent, it’s almost as if its artist Richard Spaulding wanted you to feel the presence of a blue sky even on Seattle’s most dismal gray day.

Although the building is small in stature, leaded glass windows nearly touch the ceiling in every room, bathing the rooms in the expansive feeling of natural light. Simply wonderful creaky old oak chairs, tables and church-like pews dot the rooms in a way that feels unhurried, as if time stands still here long enough for you to sample a few pages of a good book. Because the library is small, a large number of books are not housed here, but with online connectivity, you can simply order any book that’s in circulation from the entire Seattle Public Library collection and pick it up at this branch. 

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and named a landmark by Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board, this old Carnegie building was closed briefly for renovation and reopened August 25, 2007Seventeen public computers are available for catalog research (up to 90 minutes of internet time per day) and Wi-Fi is free. One of Seattle’s best kept secrets is the large meeting room located on the bottom floor that can accommodate up to 78 people and is free to use. (Restrictions apply. Please see their website for more information.)

This little library is always bustling because there is no shortage of book readership in Seattle. The Queen Anne neighborhood has lots of young families, so a generous supply of children’s books is on hand.  Library services offer pajama story time on Monday evenings at 6:45 and regular story time for tots every Thursday from 11am to 12pm.  Another large Queen Anne demographic resides with oldsters who might spend their afternoons browsing the daily newspapers and latest picks from the new books rack. An evening book group meets every Tuesday 6:30 to 7:30. Check the website to learn what the book group is currently reading. 

The Queen Anne library doesn’t take your breath away like the collegiate Gothic Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington, or the Grandaddy of all Libraries on 42ndand 5thin NYC that is guarded by a pair of literary lions named Patience and Fortitude.

Still, there is something grand and eternal about this little library because it makes me feel as though I’ve come home. I have to confess that I lived on Queen Anne Hill from 1986 to 2015, and while I now make other places my home, I never resist a chance to walk by this library. Every library reflects its community, but the Queen Anne library reflects a good chunk my past.When the going gets tough, the Queen Anne Library is where I stop to find a little peace of mind. I like to sit on the front steps close to the sweeping cedar trees, reading a book.

Seattle Public Library – Queen Anne Branch

400 W Garfield St, Seattle, WA 98119

(206) 386-4227

Branch Librarian: Kip Roberson


Library Hours

Monday         1pm – 8pm                                                                                                                                                                               Tuesday      1pm – 8pm 
Wednesday   11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday       11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday            closed
Saturday        11a.m. - 6p.m.                                                                                                                                                                           Sunday        1pm - 5pm


Patricia Vaccarino

Patricia Vaccarino is an accomplished writer who has written award-winning film scripts, press materials, articles, essays, speeches, web content, marketing collateral, and eight books.

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