About the Library

Library News Releases

Header Image

Library News Release

Release Date: 08/20/2012

Stock up on books and pick up outstanding holds: The Seattle Public Library budget closure is Aug. 27 - Sept. 3

The Seattle Public Library

Users of The Seattle Public Library take note: a weeklong systemwide budget closure begins Monday, Aug. 27. Regular Library operations of the Central Library, 26 branches and Mobile Services will resume Tuesday, Sept. 4, after the Sept. 3 Labor Day holiday.


Now is the time to stock up on Library books, music CDs and movie DVDs and pick up any items on hold. No Library materials will accrue fines or will be due during the one-week closure.


City departments have made significant cuts to address a continuing budget shortfall. The Library is funded from the city general fund.


The systemwide closure will produce approximately $613,000 in savings. The Library closure will mean salary reductions for nearly 620 employees who will not be paid during that week. The closure week was selected because general Library use is not as high as other weeks of the year, school is not in session and there are fewer Library programs scheduled.


"While there were no good options, closing for a week will keep us from having to make further cuts in operating hours or the book budget," said City Librarian Marcellus Turner.


The Library's $50 million operating budget is mainly allocated for personnel who run the libraries and provide direct public service, books and materials, and fixed costs, such as telecommunication and Internet services and utilities.


Library service impacts


Most Library services will be unavailable during the one-week closure and will have the following impacts:


  • No materials will be due and no fines will be charged.
  • The last day to check out Library items before the closure is either Saturday, Aug. 25, or Sunday, Aug. 26, depending on which library you use. Visit www.spl.org or call 206-386-4636 for more information on Library locations and hours.
  • No book drops will be open. Do not leave books and items outside Library locations during the closure. You will be responsible for theft, loss or damage to Library items left outside buildings. There is no need to return items during the closure because no items will be due and no fines charged.
  • Limited access to the online catalog. Patrons will be able to search the catalog and check their Library record, but will not be able to place holds on items.
  • Limited access to the website (www.spl.org). The online calendar, databases, downloadable books and media, digital special collections, podcasts, SPL Mobile app and blogs will be available, but other online information and features will not be available. No staff members will be working to maintain the site or troubleshoot problems.
  • No Library computers will be available. You will not be able to reserve a computer for the week the Library system is closed.
  • No access to Wi-Fi.  
  • No programs or events in Library meeting rooms.
  • No TeleCirc, the Library's telephone circulation service that provides patrons with information on their Library account.
  • Quick Information telephone service will not be available.
  • No mail will be received during the closure. The Library will have the U.S. Post Office hold all mail until the Library reopens. Staff won't be able to accept deliveries.
  • Email a librarian or chat with a librarian will not be available.
  • Mobile Services deliveries will not be made.
  • No parking in Library garages. The Central Library, Capitol Hill Branch, Montlake Branch, Greenwood Branch and Ballard Branch garages will be closed.


Some electronic services available


Some electronic resources will be available for patrons to access remotely during the closure. Patrons should understand that staff will not be available to help them use these online services. The online services available by going to www.spl.org will include:

  • Calendar of Events. Patrons will be able to see information about upcoming Library programs.
  • SPL Mobile page. Patrons will be able to view information about using the Library's app for Web-enabled phones, called SPL Mobile.
  • Online databases.  Patrons will have access to more than 95 premium databases, including Britannica Online, ChiltonLibrary.com, Mango Languages, Consumer Reports and Morningstar Investment Research Center.
  • Downloadable media. Patrons will have access to more than 34,000 items in the digital collection, including e-books and audiobooks, song titles and downloadable movie titles. There will be links to instructional videos on how to download digital media.
  • Digital collections.  Patrons will have access to special collections that have been digitized, including: photos from the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Collection; the Northwest Art Collection and The Seattle Historical Photograph Collection; the Seattle City Directory Collection; and the Century 21 Exposition Digital Collection.
  • Adult blog Shelf Talk and teen blog Push to Talk.
  • Library podcasts.
  • Online payment of fines/fees.


Neighborhood Service Centers


The Lake City Neighborhood Service Center and parking garage will remain open.  It is co-located with the Lake City Branch, but has a separate entrance. The Ballard Neighborhood Service Center, which is co-located with the Ballard Branch, will stay open as well.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

< Back To Index