Using Branches FAQs

What rooms and meeting spaces are available?

  • Meeting rooms at branches can seat 25 to 100 people. You can book up to 10 hours per month in these rooms for free, provided your event is free and open to everyone, and you do not plan to sell items or collect donations. To book a meeting room, join our Spaces online system.
     
  • Meeting rooms at the Central Library can seat 25 to 200 people. There are additional spaces at the Central Library for special events outside of Library hours. We charge a fee for using most of the spaces at the Central Library, but we have two rooms available up to once per month for non-profit groups to use at no charge. To book a room, fill out and submit a request form.
     
  • Two Skype rooms you can use to make phone or video calls on the Internet are available at the Central Library.
     
  • Study rooms that seat two to six people are located in most branches. Depending on the branch, reservations may be necessary. Check your branch page to find out if there is a study room you can use.

What equipment can I use at Library branches?

  • Computers: We have computers for you to use at every branch. Use Library computers for unlimited catalog research. You can also use a computer with internet access for up to 90 minutes per day with your Library card. These computers include programs like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Some have Adobe Creative Cloud applications (Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Audition, Acrobat and more). We also have laptops and tablets available for you to use in some branches.
     
  • Wi-Fi: We offer free unlimited Wi-Fi internet access in all branches during open hours.
     
  • Printers and photocopiers: Print catalog research results for free, or pay a small fee to print or photocopy other materials.
     
  • Fax machines: You can send a fax for a small fee at some Library locations; check with your branch for more details. We can also help you send an internet fax if you do not have a printed document. (http://www.spl.org/using-the-library/visit-the-library/hours-and-locations)
     
  • Adaptive technologies: Library branches offer adaptive technologies like screen enlarging programs to assist users with low vision. The Central Library also offers adaptive technologies for the hearing-impaired, and those with mobility challenges.

Find out more about computers and equipment at your Library.

What does it cost to use Library equipment?

  • Printing: $0.15 per page for black and white 8.5” x 11” prints; $.50 per page for color 8.5” x 11” prints
     
  • Photocopying: $0.15 per side for 8.5” x 11” or 8.5” x 14” prints; $0.50 per side for color 8.5” x 11” or 8.5” x 14” prints
     
  • Large-format photocopying:  You can print 8.5” x 17” prints at seven branches, for $0.30 per page for black and white copies and $1 per page for color copies.
     
  • Faxing: You can send faxes at some branches for $1 for the first page and $0.50 for additional pages.

What events and classes does the Library offer?

How much do Library events and classes cost?

All Library events and classes are free! Sometimes we ask that you register in advance. Explore our event calendar.

Do I need to register in advance for Library events and classes?

Sometimes. Most of our events do not require registration.  When we think that an event will be popular, we may ask that you register in advance. You can check our event calendar to see if you need to register.

Do I need a Library card to attend events or classes?

No. All our events are free and open to the publiceven if you do not have a Library card.

How can I find out about upcoming Library events and classes?

You can view our calendar by event type, location or date. You can also search using the search button at the top of each page. From the event page, you can email or text event details to yourself and to others. Subscribe to our email newsletter to get information on upcoming events. You can also subscribe to the library calendar via RSS feed, or using most popular calendar tools.

Do events and classes fill up?

Sometimes. We recommend you register in advance when possible, and arrive early to get a seat. 

Is the Library a safe space for me and my family?

We work hard to make sure your Library is a safe and welcoming space for everyone. You may see our friendly security staff when you visit your branch. All of our branches are Safe Places for teens who need help. We ask that you help us keep your Library safe, clean and quiet by following our Rules of Conduct.

What does the Library offer for people who cannot get to a Library Branch?

If you are not able to visit one of our branches you may still be eligible for Library services. We send our mobile services team to facilities serving children, adults and seniors. You can also get monthly deliveries or Books by Mail at home if you have a long-term illness or disability. We also offer online resources and digital books and media you can access on the internet with your Library card.

Are there resources in my language at Library branches?

Start here if you speak:

We have many resources in languages other than English, including newspapers in more than 60 languages. The Central Library also has a large collection of materials in other languages. You can find books and media in dozens of languages at the Central Library.

Many neighborhood branches also offer books and media in the following languages:

What do I need to know if I’m new to Seattle?

As soon as you have an address in Seattle you can get your Library card. Go to our hours and locations page to find the branch nearest to you. If you came from another country, explore our resources for immigrants and refugees. We also offer resources for those whose first language is not English.

Looking for a job? The Central Library and some branches partner with Worksource Seattle-King County to offer a Job Resource Center, where job searchers can use computers for up to two hours per day in addition to their 90 minutes of free Internet time. Other job search resources and job listing databases are also available. We offer free classes and one-on-one help for adults who want to learn English, computer basics or who need help setting up a free email account. 

If you have a question or need help, Ask Us or call 206-386-4636.