Seattle's Child

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library update

Library services expanding: What’s new at SPL, KCLS

King County Library System to have all locations open on July 14.

Library update, July 8:

Seattle Public Library recently added the Green Lake, Northeast, Northgate and West Seattle branches to its list of open buildings, bringing it to 21 (out of 27) locations offering in-building services. All locations are operating at 100% capacity with no physical distancing but are adhering to a city of Seattle requirement for mask use in city buildings.

Here is an easy guide to what’s open and when.

The five branches not yet open in-person (Fremont, Madrona-Sally Goldmark, Montlake, NewHolly and Wallingford) have staffing shortages because of city budget cuts. The Capitol Hill Branch is offering only material returns and restroom access.

King County Library System, which has been phasing in in-building services, expects to have them in all locations by July 14. Specific services and operating hours may vary by location; details can be found here. Health and safety protocols will be in place, and as buildings reopen, contactless Curbside to Go services will be phased out.



Everett Public Library: Main library and Evergreen Branch both open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Details here.

Sno-Isle Libraries: All libraries offering both in-person and contact-free services. Details here.

Tacoma Public Library: All locations open; masks required. Details here.

Pierce County Library System: Some branches have in-building services, most branches have curbside services; masks required. Details here.



[ Related: Find out about summer reading programs for 2021 ]

Previous information

Seattle Public Library will begin opening branches for in-building services on Tuesday, April 27.

Three branches will be open (at 25% capacity) from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday: Lake City, 12501 28th Ave. N.E.; Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave. S.W.; and Beacon Hill, 2821 Beacon Ave. S. There will be periodic closures for cleaning. Details here.

Patrons will be able to pick up available holds and check them out; use computers, wifi and restrooms; speak to a library staff; charge devices or sit and read. Masks will be required of all patrons and staff. (Important note: Visitors will not be able to browse the collections.)

These are the first three branches to offer in-building services since the Library’s systemwide building closure in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More locations will open, and services will expand, as it is safe and feasible to do so. In the meantime, curbside pickup service is available at 15 library branches.

May 7: King County Library System continues to add to the list of libraries open for modified in-building services.  They will be up to 17 by the end of May.  Here’s the latest.

With modified in-building service, people can browse collections, use computers, Wi-Fi, copiers and printers, and get help from staff.

Masks are required, and people will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis; occupancy will be limited to 25-50% and — important detail — libraries will be open for limited time, followed by an hour of cleaning so be sure to check the schedule.

Find what’s available at your branch by checking the KCLS website.

The plan is to gradually increase the number of branches with in-building services and, in the meantime, KCLS continues to offer extensive Curbside to Go service.

Seattle Public Library is coming to you!

Bookmobile service will visit the Georgetown and Sand Point neighborhoods weekly. Details:

Georgetown: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, May 11, 18, 25. Just off of East Marginal Way, on the corner of Flora Avenue South & Myrtle Avenue South.

Sand Point: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, May 12, 19, 26. In front of the Magnuson Community Center, 7110 62nd Ave. N.E.

There will be books for all ages in English and Spanish, and free art activity kits for kids. All services are outdoors and contact-free, and no library card is required.

SPL also has launched a reciprocal agreement with Tacoma Public Library in which patrons of each system can access the other’s collections. Here’s the full list of SPL’s reciprocal agreements and how they work.

SPL also recently added curbside service at its South Park branch as of Saturday, March 6, and is accepting returns seven days a week (starting March 8) at the Capitol Hill branch, which also has restrooms available.

The Seattle Public Library offers curbside service at 15 locations and returns at 19 locations. Details here.

Library update: Our libraries take all sorts of creative steps to keep us in reading material as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Here’s a roundup of some of the new policies, procedures and offerings:

Library update Nov 2020: Seattle Public Library called. It would like its books back. Starting Nov. 1, staggered due dates are being applied to all checked-out materials. On the other hand, library users can have holds on 50 physical items, up from the previous limit of 25.

The library also offers free printing services (up to 10 black-and-white pages per day) with curbside pickup at nine locations. Here are details on that.

SPL has curbside pickup available at 13 locations and accepts returns in book drops at 18 library branches; they’re available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (or until they fill up!) Go here to find what branches have drop boxes and which are offering curbside pickup services.

Library update: King County Library System has curbside pickup at most of its 49 branches and just added a new option: electronic lockers located at the Bothell and Covington libraries are accessible 24/7. When placing a hold, patrons can choose this option, and they’ll be able to access the locker using their library card and PIN.


Originally published Nov. 9, 2020


Related: More book news in Seattle’s Child

About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 15-year-old girl.