History of the Burien Library
Burien's 1st library opened its doors in 1938 at SW 9th and 152nd SW, with its books coming from community donations. The fee was 25 cents per person per year and entitled the cardholder to take out two books and two magazines at a time. The librarian, paid by the WPA, varnished a desk, made draperies, and brought wood from her home each day to build and keep the fire going.
In 1943, the library moved into the caretaker's cottage at the Burien Playfield. The following year, Burien Library became a branch of the King County Library System. Margaret Lemon, for whom the multi-purpose room was named, became the head librarian in 1946 and remained in charge for over 20 years. Running out of room, the library moved to the corner of 4th Avenue SW and SW 153rd Street in May 1956 with 20,000 books, then to its current site (14700 6th SW) in Feb. 1970.
The Burien Library was enlarged and remodeled in 1992-93 and re-opened in May 1993 with an additional 5,000 square feet, for a total of 20,000 sq. ft. The library housed over 100,000 books plus video cassettes, compact discs, documents, and more.
Burien Library opened in its new location at 400 SW 152nd St. on Saturday June 13th, 2009.
In 2004 voters approved funding of the $18 million library as part of the $172 million library capital bond measure. The City of Burien and the King County Library System formed a partnership to plan and build the new three story library and city hall building. The library occupies 32,000 square feet on two floors. Burien City Hall is located on the third floor. Library features include expanded collections of books, music, movies, and computers as well as enhanced spaces for children and teens. A dedicated story time room for children is located on the first floor in the children’s area and a cyber-bar for computer connection can be found in the teen area on the second floor. Public meeting spaces, including a quiet study area, 4 small study rooms, and a conference room for smaller meetings are also located on the second floor. The large multipurpose room on the first floor is shared by the City of Burien and the Burien Library and is used for library programs and public meetings as well as City Council meetings. We offer a wide range of informational, educational and recreational resources for users of all ages. The State Legislature provided State funding for the public garage adjacent to the Library/City Hall. Tours of the Library are available upon request
Architects – Ruffcorn, Mott, Hinthorne, and Stine designed the building
Landscape Architects –GGLO
- 2010 Puget Sound Regional Council ‘s Vision 2040 Award
- 2010 Edwin F. Guth Award for interior lighting from the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD)
- 2010 Masonry Institute of Washington Excellence Awards in Masonry Design
- 2009 U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Gold certification
Last Updated: June 24, 2010