Seattle Public Libraries: A Great Resource!



Au pairs:  As you get to know your host city, take some time to get familiar with the Seattle Public Library system.  The library offers many events and resources that you will find fun and helpful.

Begin by getting a library card, which you can use to check out books, music, and DVDs.  Click here to apply online. Once you’ve submitted the application, you must visit your local branch of the library to pick up your card.  You will need to bring your Washington State ID Card or Driver’s License.  If you don’t have one yet, show your passport and a copy of yourLetter of Program Participation (print this out from your online account at

Find fun things to do with your host kids.  Most library branches host story times for toddlers and preschoolers a few times a week.  They also offer author visits, puppet shows, and other fun activities for kids.  Start by looking on this page for ideas.  Click here for a complete calendar of upcoming child-friendly events.

Practice your English. The library offers the popular “Talk Time” English conversation practice as well as ESL classes.  These do not count towards your educational requirement but are a great way to meet friends and work on your English speaking skills.

Get information in your native language. Visit the library’s Spanish page or Chinese pageif you would prefer to learn about the library in either of these languages.

Use your library card to visit local museums for free! Check out the Experience Music Project (at Seattle Center) or the Seattle Art Museum. Take your host kids to the Children’s Museum.  Even take a row boat out on to Lake Union at the Center for Wooden Boats!   You can enjoy all of these and more at no charge with your library card!  You can reserve your ticket up to a month ahead of time, and spots fill up quickly so plan ahead.    Click here to reserve and print museum passes.

Get to know your neighborhood branch. (Click on “Events at this Branch” to see a schedule of storytimes, book groups, and other events)

Central (Downtown)


Queen Anne

Capitol Hill

International District

West Seattle


And (of course), check out books, music, and movies! With your library card, you can reserve books online to pick up at your neighborhood branch.  You can also download e-books and mp3s.  Search the entire library catalog here.

Don’t forget to visit our beautiful downtown library!  It is one of Seattle’s most famous buildings and is a lot of fun to explore.  The children’s section is huge and is a great place to spend a rainy day with your host kids!

(text care of Seattle LCC Kathleen Lonergan)


Thursday, 20 December 2012 6:01 PM


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