Use these talking points to get the conversation started with Hilltop family, friends, and co-workers. Put them in your own words and take them to City Council meetings, post them online, and share as widely as you can. Let’s get Tacoma committed to putting a library on the Hilltop!

Please continue contacting city council, the library board, and the mayor until we see concrete results. We cannot let this issue fall to the wayside. Take 2 minutes to send our community action letter. Be sure to add your own spin to the subject and/or body of the email so it gets more attention. You can also send it as many times as you like!


  • Despite recommendations from the Tacoma Public Library Eastside and Hilltop Feasibility Study and the Tacoma Facility Advisory Committee, there will be no attempt to fund library branch restoration to the historically underserved and long-neglected Hilltop or Eastside neighborhoods.
  • Since library branches nearest Tacoma’s Hilltop and Eastside neighborhoods were closed in 2011, Tacoma has overall disinvested in library services for less-affluent and more-diverse communities like Hilltop—where 20% of households live in poverty, compared to Tacoma’s overall average of 14% and Pierce County’s 10%. Continuing to ignore this issue will only increase the educational, socio-economic, and informational resource divide between Tacoma communities.
  • I’m holding you accountable to right this historical wrong. How do you plan to increase library outreach and resource availability—something all Tacoma residents are entitled to—to the Hilltop and Eastside neighborhoods?


  • Access to libraries, and the services and materials they provide, is a basic human right.
  • A public library is the beating heart of its community, where people of all ages, socioeconomic statuses, schooling, and languages have equal access to unfettered information, entertainment, and education. 
  • Since library branches nearest Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood were closed in 2011, Tacoma has overall disinvested in library services for less-affluent and more-diverse communities like Hilltop—where 20% of households live in poverty, compared to Tacoma’s overall average of 14% and Pierce County’s 10%.
  • Tacoma’s library system is operating at a lower level of service than its peers.
  • Tacoma’s main library, the closest library to Hilltop, is relatively inaccessible without a car, down a steep slope, with the perception of unsafe street conditions. Kids can’t get there alone.
  • Tacoma library system agrees the main library is an underutilized, dated building poorly suited to contemporary library services. It’s expensive to operate with a significant deferred maintenance backlog. It is not an inviting community hub.
  • Hilltop, seen as the center of Tacoma’s Black community, is expanding and has transit infrastructure already in place—sidewalks, public transport, etc.—to serve as a safe library hub for the Hilltop and other underserved communities in the area.
  • Public surveys show majority support to keep the main library open while opening a medium-sized, full-service library that celebrates and serves the Black community in the core of the Hilltop Neighborhood Business District.
  • A Hilltop community center’s property owners are already interested in a co-location setup with the library, which would decrease costs. Potential for other co-locations and business partners is also rising.
  • Costs for a Hilltop Library Branch could come from bond financing through property tax increases (voter approved, 77% polled show support) and an operating levy (voter approved, 74% polled show support).
  • We need long-range financial planning with a vision of a state-of-the-art libraries in Tacoma’s two most distressed neighborhoods. With funds available from the bond issue for facilities upgrades, and the Tacoma Library System’s recommendations to put resources towards opening libraries in both the Hilltop and Eastside communities, the time to act is NOW. These decisions will be made at the end of 2023/beginning of 2024, so don’t leave libraries out!
  • We’re not asking the city to choose between Hilltop and the Eastside or other communities. Everyone deserves access to a public library.
  • Property prices on the Hilltop are rising and material costs are astronomical right now, so it’s important to move quickly.
  • Share personal stories of your experience with a library and/or your hope for what a Hilltop library could mean for you and your family. (You can share this with us here.)