Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 18, The Seattle Public Library’s Central Library will stay open two hours later on Wednesday and Thursday nights, until 8 p.m. The Faye G. Allen Children’s Center located on Level 1 will continue to close at 6 p.m. each evening.

The Central Library’s nonfiction book spiral, located on Levels 6 through 9, is now open during all Central Library open hours.


  • Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Children’s Center closes at 6 p.m.)
  • Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

The Central Library’s book return at the Fourth Avenue Plaza will continue to be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.



There is so much to see and do at The Seattle Public Library’s Central Library. Learn more about what we have to offer by listening to a self-guided tour, downloading a kids’ tour for families to follow, or explore this blog post that captures floor-by-floor highlights. Here is a sampling:

  • Level 1, Fourth Avenue entrance: Learn about the building at the displays in the lobby; bring the children in your life to the spacious Faye G. Allen’s Children’s Center and cozy up with a book under the twinkling lights; peruse the Peak Picks display for the hottest new titles; admire artist Ann Hamilton’s floor artwork of raised text in 11 languages; and use the courtesy phone near the LEAP Lab. Or time your visit for one of the Microsoft Auditorium’s exceptional author events.
  • Level 3, Fifth Avenue entrance, Norcliffe Foundation Living Room: Stock up on book-themed gifts and gently used books at the FriendShop, near the entrance; find your next read at the Reader Services Desk and drop into a Living Room chair for a quick chapter; print a story or poem at the Short Story Dispenser; read the latest newspapers and magazines; and snap a selfie with the Hidden Octopus Mural.
  • Level 4, the Red Floor: Immerse yourself in color on the Red Floor, which houses the Library’s meeting spaces, and is one of the most photographed spaces in the building. See if you can identify all 13 shades of red used on the walls and stairs; and read “Robert’s Rules of Order,” which is printed along the continuous hallway.
  • Level 5, Charles Simonyi Mixing Chamber: Use one of the 100-plus public computers in the Mixing Chamber, which architect Rem Koolhaas envisioned as a trading floor for information; and use the free ScanEZ to scan, fax, scan to audio, or translate documents. Ask questions at the Quick Information Center desk, or submit your questions and comments at
  • Levels 6 through 9, nonfiction spiral: Do a walking or rolling meditation on the wheelchair-accessible ramp path that spirals around the nonfiction book collection on Levels 6 through 9, stopping to visit your favorite Dewey Decimal number. Make an appointment (two weeks in advance) to visit the ZAPP zine collection, located on Level 7 in the former Aviation Room, now open to the public by appointment during Central Library open hours. Browse the large cookbook collection on Level 8; visit the current exhibit at the gallery; make an appointment to practice your musical instrument in one of two practice rooms; and find the Instagram-friendly space mural. On Level 9, learn about the Library’s map collections at the Maritz Map Room; and browse the genealogy collection, a large public collection for family history and genealogical research in the Pacific Northwest (learn more at
  • Level 10: Read with a view in the Betty Jane Narver Reading Room; and peer out at the highest point in the Library, where you can see down to Level 3 and out to the city and the Sound. Make an appointment to research Northwest culture and history using a wealth of resource materials in the Seattle Room, now open by appointment on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


The Library believes that the power of knowledge improves people's lives. We promote literacy and a love of reading as we bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community. 

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.