BIS – Biblioteca Italiana Seattle

Biblioteca Italiana Seattle (BIS) is a collective of volunteers formed in early 2014 with the hope of providing a wide selection of Italian literature to promote Italian language and culture in the Northwest. For this reason, BIS can be of interest not only to Italians and Italian-Americans, but also to all people who are intrigued by the Italian culture and want to be exposed to the language of “Bel Paese”.

Thanks to numerous book donations from the community, BIS rapidly grew. Over 900 books found initially a shelf at our new location in North Seattle. (14300 Greenwood Ave N)

Membership for BIS is free and users can borrow books at no charge. Library books can be picked up by visiting BIS at 14300 Greenwood Ave N on Sundays between 2 and 4pm, with the help of a volunteer.

BIS has an incredible collection of important classic and modern Italian authors, as well as numerous contemporary international novels translated into Italian. While some books by Italian authors can be found at the Seattle and King county public libraries, these do not provide an extensive selection of Italian literature like BIS does. Institutions like the University of Washington, on the other hand, are not readily accessible to the general public. Moreover, many works by great Italian authors are not even translated into English – but BIS makes them available to any user who may want to read them in Italian.

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 get exposed to Italian language since early age, so it does not get lost with time. (BIS offers a great variety of books, illustrated works and comics that parents and children can borrow and enjoy.)

The library also has some DVDs of movies in original language. Watching movies is a great way to learn a language, familiarize oneself with a culture and even see some places before visiting them in person.

A complete list of BIS books is available on Goodreads.

We are hoping to increase the number of books in Italian and by Italian authors translated into English. To do so we also need your help. Donations of new and used books are highly appreciated. Donations of new books can be made by choosing either the Italian or English version of the books you prefer or by selecting one or more books from our BIS-Ilpunto Wish List. Donated books are accepted when the library is open on Sundays between 2 and 4 pm. Contact us by email if you want to arrange a different time.  New books can be bought through either,, or Feel free to choose the most convenient source.

If you area book lover and you would like to spare some of your time volunteering at the library, you can sign up here

For more information feel free to contact BIS directly via e-mail ( or via its Facebook page.


Some BIS reviews:

Capitol Hill Seattle Blog – May 13, 2014

L’Italo-Americano – June 19, 2014

We The Italians – July 2, 2014


Newspaper, Magazines and Blogs

For a list of newspapers, magazines and blogs of interest and other information material, click here.


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.