Road to Reopening
Status of Library services at a glance: Bookmark this page for the latest information. Updated June 8, 2021.
We are reopening more libraries, expanding hours, and increasing capacity and services in June under current Phase 3 guidance for Washington state libraries. With Gov. Inslee’s announcement of a June 30 reopening for Washington state, we look forward to reopening libraries in more Seattle neighborhoods this summer. Bookmark this page, sign up for emails or texts or follow our social media channels for regular updates.
Masks Required in Libraries
To protect those who are not yet vaccinated, including young children and medically vulnerable individuals, we still require patrons and staff to wear masks in Library spaces. The mask requirement continues to be a statewide mandate for Washington state libraries. Masks are required regardless of vaccination status. Read our FAQs below for more details.
We offer limited services inside several Library buildings. You can pick up your holds, use a computer or Wi-Fi, print pages, use a restroom, or simply sit and read.
You can place holds on items in our catalog to pick up at branches offering Curbside Services. Stop by to browse Peak Picks or take home Grab & Go books in your favorite genre.
Use Digital Resources
We have expanded our digital collections to give you access to more e-books and other online resources while access to buildings is restricted. Read e-books, take online classes, use research databases or read current or historical newspaper articles online.
Attend Virtual Events
Join us online for fun story times for kids, creative activities for older adults or virtual author talks. Many of our events are recorded and posted to our YouTube channels.
Get a New Library Card
You can sign up for a new Library card online and get instant access to e-books and other online resources. In order to provide instant access, we will automatically verify your Seattle address. If we are unable to verify your address, we will ask you to provide additional information.
Find COVID-19 Resources
Explore resources gathered by our staff to support communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. We are continuing to update this page as needs and resources emerge.
Restroom Facilities During Library Closure
The Seattle Public Library is providing restroom access at some Library buildings to support insecurely housed and homeless patrons lacking restroom options during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Common questions about services in 2021
Does the Library still require masks?
Yes. We require all patrons and staff to wear a mask in Library spaces until further notice.
Didn't the CDC say masks are no longer required?
No. The CDC said: “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."
Why is the Library still requiring masks?
We serve people from every age, demographic and background, including young children, medically vulnerable individuals and others who are not yet vaccinated. The mask requirement helps us protect those who may still be at risk from COVID-19.
The mask requirement continues to be mandated for all Washington state libraries, including The Seattle Public Library. Masks are also required in all City of Seattle buildings; and Public Health –Seattle & King County has issued an updated directive encouraging masks in indoor spaces.
If I'm fully vaccinated, am I required to wear a mask in Library buildings?
Yes. Masks are required for patrons and staff, regardless of vaccination status, until further notice.
I don’t have a Library card. Can I apply for one online?
Yes! You can sign up for a Library card online. In order to provide instant access, we will automatically verify your Seattle address. If we are unable to verify your address, we will ask you to provide additional information. People who successfully sign up will get instant access to Library materials and resources.
Parents and guardians of children under 13 can also apply for a child's card online. Also, through our Library Link program, if you are a Seattle Public School student in grades K-12, or a Seattle Public School teacher in grades K-12, you can access the Library’s digital books and online resources. Find out more about our Library Link.
I have a Library card, but can’t figure out how to sign into my account online.
How can I stay up to date on Library operations and what’s available?
Can I contact the Library through chat, email or phone?
Can I suggest titles for new materials you don’t have in your catalog?
Currently, we are only accepting title suggestions for e-books and e-audiobooks. We are still working through a backlog for the ordering and processing of new materials, so we do not yet have the capacity to take on additional title suggestions at this time.
Are library parking garages open?
Most library parking garages are currently closed. The Central Library parking garage is open during its regular hours: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 8:45 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Are the Bookmobile and Books by Mail services available?
The Library’s Mobile Services, including Bookmobile and Books by Mail, are available. The Books by Mail service is signing up new patrons who are unable to visit their neighborhood branch due to age or disability.