Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Writers Room – a resource at the Seattle Main Library

Posted by shannonclark on August 14, 2007

If you live in Seattle, or plan on spending any time there, and are writing a book or article you should know about the Writers Room at the Main Libary. On the 9th floor of the beautiful building a room has been set aside for the use of serious writers.

Available for up to 6 months a writer can get access to this private space including the use of a private locker with proof of seriousness (book or article contract typically). The intention and assumption is of course that you would be using the resources and collections of the library while writing your book.

On Sunday after the MeshWalk I organized had mostly wound down, Brian Dorsey (of Noonhat) and I were walking in search of a cafe when he asked if I had seen the inside of the Seattle Public Library. Since I had not, we decided to take a detour and on learning there was a cafe on the 3rd floor work there for the afternoon.

We were on the 10th floor at the highest point the public is allowed when we looked down and saw that there was a really unusual space, a private room with a number of very nice desks, Aeron chairs, designer lounging chairs, lockers and photos on the wall. On closer inspection we noticed that the sign on the wall said it was the Writers Room.

At the reference desk on the 9th floor we asked about the room and learned that it was for the use of writers working on a book or article and that access could be given for a maximum of 6 months. The librarian behind the counter noted that we were the second people that day to ask about it and offered to show us the space herself (in part since she had not yet seen it). She is in the photos below.

As you can see, the Writers Room is an amazing space and resource. If you are a writer working in the Seattle area I encourage you to take advantage of this workspace.

I am living in San Francisco, however when I do finally finish my book proposal for my book on Networked Economics (or Flow Economics still need the right phrase) I’m certainly going to consider Seattle – or some similar space somewhere as a workspace while I complete the book.

Many public libraries and private research libraries have similar spaces and offers of resources to writers. Often these are not limited to academics. UPDATE – in NYC there is The Writers Room which has a large loft & reference library available for writers for $650/half-year and in Boston The Writers Room of Boston offers a similar work environment for Boston based writers. In Chicago there is the Uptown Writers Space offering hand-crafted wood cubicles and library tables. In San Francisco (where I live, though I haven’t yet checked these resources out yet) there is The Grotto as well as some spinouts of it. Search for similar projects and spaces in your town!

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