Libraries We Love – Biblioteca Italiana Seattle (BIS)

Franco Tesorieri and Patricia Vaccarino

Libraries We Love – Biblioteca Italiana Seattle (BIS)

The key to understanding people and the world around us begins with education. One way to learn about the world is by developing a love of books. Each month, we profile a library. Large, small, urban, rural, post-modern, quaint or neo-classic; do you have a library that you love? Tell us about it. This month, Patricia Vaccarino writes about the Biblioteca Italiana Seattle (BIS), a library of books, film and music in the Italian language that is hosted by the Il Punto! Italian Cultural Center in Seattle.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to read classics written by William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, or Anais Nin in Italian? How about reading page-turners by John Grisham or Dan Brown? Reading in Italian is a true test of your mastery over the language. Not widely known in Seattle, Biblioteca Italiana Seattle (BIS) is a library of books, film and music in the Italian language.  Located at the Il Punto! Italian Cultural Center, this very young library has a collection of approximately 4,000 books in the Italian language. To view the library’s current circulation, check out this online catalog

BIS offers a collection for teens and young children, including a variety of classic books, picture books and comics. It’s an excellent way for Italian-speaking parents to help their children to stay fluent in Italian and to take pride in their Italian heritage. 

Since BIS is fledgling among libraries, donations of books, periodicals, and digital materials are most welcome. However, it is important to note that any donations must be in good condition.

Biblioteca Italiana Seattle (BIS) BIS is seeking:

  • Modern Italian fiction and poetry, post-World War II.
  • American literature and international classics translated into Italian.
  • Bilingual Italian/English editions of Italian works.
  • Originals or copies of documents of historical value relevant to the Italian experience in Seattle, such as old passports, immigration papers, correspondence, member registries of historical Italian clubs in the Pacific Northwest, and old photos portraying the Italian experience in early Seattle.
  • Old books of historical importance.
  • Italian DVDs, music CDs, LPs, 78s.
  • Other materials at the discretion of the staff.

Please, no Italian travel and tourist guides!!! Travel and tour books tend to become quickly outdated and are of no use to the patrons of this library!

With the exception of limited hours on Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4, a visit to this library is by appointment only. Use the online form Contact Us to make an appointment.

14300 Greenwood Ave N, Suite A1, Seattle 98133. 

Biblioteca Italiana Seattle (BIS) Website


Patricia Vaccarino

Patricia Vaccarino is an accomplished writer who has written award-winning film scripts, press materials, articles, essays, speeches, web content, marketing collateral, and eight books.

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