Road to Reopening
Status of Library services at a glance: Bookmark this page for the latest information. Updated Jan. 19, 2021.
Library Programs & Services Available Now
While public access to our buildings is restricted to help slow the spread of COVID-19, you can still use the Library. Pick up your holds with our contactless curbside service at select branches, print up to 10 black and white pages per day to pick up at curbside, or use our free online resources.
Borrow Library Materials
The Library is providing safe access to books, DVDs and other materials for patrons, and all circulating materials are quarantined for 72 hours after they are returned. You can place holds on items in our catalog to pick up through our curbside service at select branches. Stop by curbside service branches 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 get instant access, you will need a mobile phone and a verified address in Seattle.
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.
Common questions about our COVID-19 closure
What Library services are available during this COVID-19 closure?
We continue to provide the many digital services you have come to love, such as our Ask Us reference service (available by phone, chat and email); e-books and e-audiobooks; streaming TV, movie and music services; digital subscriptions to newspapers and magazines; and more. We are also hosting a number of virtual programs, such as story times on Facebook Live, virtual Play and Learn groups, programs for people ages 50 and older, business trainings and more. See spl.org/calendar for a full list.
You can also see a list of our digital services at spl.org/StayingHome.
I don’t have a Library card. Can I apply for one online?
Yes! If you don’t have an active account with The Seattle Public Library, you can sign up for a digital Library card. To be eligible, you must be 13 years or older, live in Seattle and have a mobile phone to verify your account. People who successfully sign up will get immediate access to the OverDrive collection of 200,000 e-books and e-audiobooks, and to the rest of the Library’s resources (including placing holds on physical materials) within two or three days.
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 program.
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 during the closure and what’s available?
We will post updates to this page and our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. When there are major updates, such as anticipated reopenings or extended closures, we will reach out to patrons via email as well.
Can I contact the Library through chat, email or phone during the closure?
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.
What is happening in Library buildings while they are closed?
Library staff are conducting the following in-building work while Library buildings remain closed to the public:
- maintaining the systems and security of our Library buildings;
- providing safe public restroom access at four locations;
- processing and shelving returned materials;
- cleaning and disinfecting buildings;
- setting up health and safety protocols for staff;
- and providing limited curbside pickup service for physical materials and other curbside services such as remote printing.
Other Library staff have been working remotely to:
- develop a Road to Reopening plan;
- answer patron questions seven days a week via telephone, chat and email;
- transition in-person programs – such as job help and support for small businesses – to virtual programs;
- collaborate with Seattle Public Schools and other community partners in supporting the learning needs of students, parents and teachers;
- and more
Will library parking garages remain open during this closure?
Most library parking garages are closed for the duration of the Library’s closure. The Central Library parking garage, however, 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.
Will the Bookmobile or Books by Mail be available during the closure?
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.