That stack of books and DVDs you've had since March? We're ready for them to come back! Starting Nov. 1, staggered due dates will be applied to all physical materials currently checked out from The Seattle Public Library. Due dates were suspended when Library buildings were closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Now that Curbside Pickup and book return services are in full swing, it’s important we get books and other materials back to ensure a well-stocked collection for patrons who are ready to check out new items,” said Bo Kinney, managing librarian for the Library’s Circulation Services.

Loan periods will remain the same as they were prior to the Library’s COVID-19 closure: three weeks for most materials and two weeks for DVDs and Peak Picks titles. Patrons will be contacted individually about specific due dates and return options.


The Library is now accepting returns at 13 Library locations. No appointment is necessary to return materials. Book drops are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or until they are full.

Two weeks before a patron's due date, a one-time email notice will be sent asking for materials to be returned and providing information about return options. We will also be sending regular due date reminders and other notices, available by email, phone, and text message. See for more detail. To pick up new holds while returning books, visit the Library's Curbside Service page for locations, hours and appointment options.


The Library no longer charges daily late fines for overdue items, thanks to the 2019 Library Levy, and, if no one else is waiting, an item may be renewed up to three times. However, patrons are still responsible for returning items on time. If an item is kept 31 days past the due date, a patron's Library account will be temporarily suspended and some digital media services will not be accessible until all overdue items are returned. (Normally, a patron’s account would be suspended if an item is kept 14 days past its due date, but that rule has been relaxed during this time.)


The Library brings people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.

On Oct. 6, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that public libraries may allow some indoor service at 25 percent capacity in Phase 2 of his Safe Start reopening plan. The Seattle Public Library is assessing the new reopening requirements with current planning efforts to expand services. The safety of our patrons and staff is our top priority. More details will be announced soon at the Library’s Road to Reopening page.

The Seattle Public Library also has many free online services, resources and programs available while its physical buildings remain closed. You can find out more here or by contacting the Library by phone at 206-386-4636. Staff are ready to answer questions and direct you to helpful resources and information during this challenging time.