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!

  • 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. 
  • Library branches closest to the Hilltop, which is about 27% Black, were closed in 2011. Tacoma has since overall disinvested in library services for less affluent and more diverse communities. 
  • 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).