The Seattle Public Library is preparing to expand the number of locations accepting book returns. The Library will accept book returns three days a week at Central Library’s Fourth Avenue Plaza book drop beginning on Saturday, July 25. In addition, the Columbia and Beacon Hill branches will accept book returns at their external book drops three days a week beginning Tuesday, July 28. The Library is already accepting material returns at nine locations; these additions will bring the total of Library locations accepting returns to 12.

“Our patrons, who have been eagerly returning thousands of items, understand that processing returns is the first step toward opening curbside checkout,” said Andrew Harbison, assistant director of collections and access. “Our new COVID-19 protocols for receiving, quarantining and processing physical materials are going well.”

The Library’s 27 locations have been closed since March 14, 2020, and continue to remain closed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Five Library locations have been offering limited public restroom access during the systemwide closure.


The following locations will allow returns at outside book drops on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m., or until book drops are full. Materials will not be accepted by staff.

  • Central Library, 1000 4th Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 (starting on Saturday, July 25; note that only the Fourth Avenue book drop will be open)
  • Ballard Branch, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W., Seattle, WA 98107
  • Beacon Hill Branch, 2821 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144 (starting on Tuesday, July 28)
  • Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133
  • Columbia Branch, 4721 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118 (starting on Tuesday, July 28)
  • Douglass-Truth Branch, 2300 E. Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98122
  • Green Lake Branch, 7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N., Seattle, WA 98115
  • High Point Branch, 3411 S.W. Raymond St., Seattle, WA 98126
  • Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98125
  • Northeast Branch, 6801 35th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98115
  • Rainier Beach Branch, 9125 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
  • Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave. S.W., Seattle, WA 98126

In accordance with the Library’s new COVID-19 protocols, returned materials are quarantined for at least 72 hours before being checked in. Materials will remain checked out on your account while being quarantined.

Signage at each location will remind patrons where to return materials, and to maintain social distancing.

Please don’t rush to return materials. Due dates for all checked-out materials have been extended until Sept. 15, and the Library does not charge overdue fines.

Patrons can help with the reopening process by checking their accounts for holds placed on physical items and deleting those that are no longer needed. Please note that the Library is not accepting book donations until it has had a chance to process returned materials first. Please hold on to your donations until further notice.


The Library tentatively plans to begin no-contact curbside pickup of materials at limited locations by early August. Check the status of all Library services on the Library’s Road to Reopening page, which is regularly updated.


While all physical locations of The Seattle Public Library have been closed since mid-March in accordance with public health guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Library has transformed many programs into online services and added virtual programs to meet the changing needs of our community during this time, from Summer of Learning to Your Next Job. Find out more about The Seattle Public Library’s digital resources and services at, and visit for status updates on Library services. For more information, call 206-386-4636 or Ask Us.