BIS – Biblioteca Italiana Seattle

The Biblioteca Italiana Seattle (BIS) is a library of books in Italian or about Italy, provided by Il Punto. We carry over 2,500 books spanning fiction, history, biography, art, cooking, travel, Italian language learning, and a sizable collection of children’s books. We have the largest collection of Italian books in the Pacific Northwest that is open to the public, including some historical and hard to find books and documents about Italians in the PNW. We also carry DVDs and CDs.

Our catalog: https://bis.libib.com

The catalog, which is always expanding, is accessible online at https://bis.libib.com. Users may borrow books free of charge and need not be members of Il Punto, although we strongly encourage you to become a member or at the very least donate.

Hours of operation

The BIS is open the second Sunday of the month, 2-4 pm when volunteers are avaialable. We can also schedule appointments. Check the calendar before visiting to make sure someone will be there. Stop by and a volunteer will help you find what you are looking for. Email bis@ilpuntoseattle.org for more information. We really need volunteers to staff the biblioteca: without your help this service will not continue.

Location

The BIS is co-located with the Italian Cultural Center – Il Punto, at 14300 Greenwood Ave N, Suite A1, Seattle 98133. 

Donations

We have limited space, but we accept donations of new and used books in good condition at the discretion of the BIS staff.

We are especially interested in:

  • 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 PNW, old photos portraing the Italian experience in Seattle and the PNW.
  • Old books of historical or documentary importance, as determined by the staff of the BIS.
  • Italian DVDs, music CDs and LPs
  • Other materials, at the discretion of the staff.

New books can be purchased at www.amazon.com, www.rizzoliusa.com, www.deastore.com or www.libreriapino.com and sent directly to the BIS if you’d like to donate new books.

We do not accept:

  • Children’s books (< 10 year old): we have a lot!
  • Magazines
  • Travel and tourist guides older than 1 year
  • Textbooks, teacher’s manuals, dictionaries: we have a lot! We might accept newer Italian language textbooks, at the discretion of the staff,

Volunteering

We would not be able to have a BIS without volunteers. If you can spare just one Sunday afternoon once in a while you can help us keep the BIS open, and meet new people!  It’s very easy and no special skills are necessary. Contact us at bis@ilpuntoseattle.org to learn more about volunteering, or through Facebook page.

Some BIS reviews:

Capitol Hill Seattle Blog – May 13, 2014

L’Italo-Americano – June 19, 2014

We The Italians – July 2, 2014

For additional Italian literature (both in Italian and English), Italian movies and Italian language learning tools we invite you to check also the local Public libraries: Seattle Public Library and King County.

BIMBI BIS

–> BIMBI BIS is discontinued until further notice <–

Story time in Italian for kids 1st-6th grade. A  volunteer, native Italian speaker, will meet parents and kids at 2.30PM every second Sunday of the month at Biblioteca Italiana Seattle for 20-30min reading time of favole italiane.

Everyone is welcome! Access to the Library is free, but we suggest you become a member of Il Punto! Italian Cultural Center to help support our activities.

We would also like to remind that BIS also has a section dedicated to kids and teens. It is very important that children born in the US from Italian and Italian-American couples are exposed to Italian language from an early age, so it is not forgotten over time. BIS offers a great variety of books, illustrated works and comics that parents and children can borrow and enjoy.

 BIMBI BIS AND EXPLANATION