About the Library

SAN JUAN ISLANDS at dusk Wasp Islands, aerial view Sun setting ovr Vancouver Island Washington, USA
SAN JUAN ISLANDS at dusk Wasp Islands, aerial view Sun setting over Vancouver Island Washington, USA


The San Juan Island Library is a learning center for the community: a place for people to pursue independent educational and recreational interests, to use information resources, and to meet and interact in a public forum. It is located in one of the most beautiful settings in the Pacific Northwest. San Juan Island, on which the library resides, is just one of the 172 islands which comprise San Juan County, in Washington state. The library itself is within the town limits of Friday Harbor, the county seat of San Juan County as well as its only incorporated town.

We serve the island’s approximately 7000 residents offering a wide range of services and programs. The library’s collection is comprised of more than 57,000 individual items including 47,000 books, 2,100 audio books, 3300 videos, and 135 periodicals. This carefully managed collection is supplemented by subscriptions to 25 online databases and a generous Interlibrary Loan program which circulates over 2,000 additional items each year. Our collection is housed in an approximately 9,600 square foot building located in the town of Friday Harbor.

The library circulates over 10,000 items a month, for an annual circulation of over 125,000 items. The library regularly ranks among the top 5 libraries in the state for per capita circulation, showing San Juan Island to be a community of avid readers.

The library’s collection seeks to meet the educational and recreational interests of the community. Areas receiving particular focus include instructional/how-to publications in the areas of building, gardening, small business support, travel and handicrafts; cultural/educational publications in the fields of history, art, health and science; and high demand/high interest new fiction and non-fiction titles. The library’s periodical collection is unusually strong given the library’s size, due in part to specific titles being “sponsored” by local businesses or individuals.

The library is supported by property taxes, thus it is a junior taxing district in the State of Washington. It is governed by a board of five trustees. Trustees are appointed by the San Juan County Council for five year terms of office.