The library is using technology to serve the community in a variety of ways. The following are among the more notable applications.
- The library provides free public access to the Internet and to a variety of online information resources through terminals in its facilities across the city, by dial-in and telnet. In 1993, the Seattle Public Library was the first public library in the nation to offer universal access to the Internet at all library locations.
- The library is a leader in providing public information in electronic form. In recognition of its initiatives to disseminate state, federal, and local information online, the library received the James Madison Award from the Coalition on Government Information.
- Making electronic information not only available but also usable is a priority. The library offers free training in how to use electronic information resources at community learning labs, which were constructed in 1996 at the central library and two branches.
- The library installed a fourth learning laboratory in 1996 in West Seattle High School to test service to a neighborhood through a school/library partnership.
- The library has made a commitment to research and development through the programs of its Center for Technology in the Public Library.