Need more time to finish that stack of Library books you ambitiously checked out this summer? The Seattle Public Library now automatically renews checkouts for physical Library items, which means that if you have borrowed a book, DVD or CD that is due to be returned, the system will renew the item up to three times if it does not have a hold on it.

“We wanted to make it easier for patrons to keep their checkouts longer if no one else is waiting,” said Andrew Harbison, interim director of Library Programs & Services. “Instead of having to manually renew a book or DVD before it is due, the system will do it for you. It’s a small change that should have a big impact.”

For physical items, such as books, DVDs and CDs, auto-renewal is now enabled by default. Regular Library renewal rules still apply: There is a maximum of three renewals and Peak Picks books or items checked out through Inter-Library Loan cannot be renewed. Auto-renewal does not apply to digital items; patrons will still have to manually renew e-books and e-audiobooks.

Patrons who do not wish to have auto-renewal enabled on their account can request to opt out by calling the Library at 206-386-4636 or by contacting the Library through our Ask Us platform at


Visit the Library’s “Using the Library” section at to manage your account or find out more about Library policies. Visit our Notifications page to choose how you receive notifications about your holds and loans from the Library, including text notifications.

If you do not have a Library card, you can apply in minutes at The application is available in English, Amharic, Chinese, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese; and there is a children’s application as well.

As a reminder, the Library does not charge daily late fines for overdue items, thanks to the 2019 Library Levy. 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.


As of Aug. 4, when the Fremont Branch reopened, 23 out of 27 Library locations have reopened for in-building services. Check for a complete list of hours and services at each branch. The Library’s Road to Reopening page shares the latest updates on our reopening process.

Contact the Library’s Ask Us service by phone at 206-386-4636 or by email or chat at Staff are ready to answer questions and direct you to helpful resources and information.