Reciprocal Agreements with Nearby Library Systems

During our temporary closure, we can only offer new Library cards to Seattle residents. We will be happy to offer new reciprocal cards when we reopen.

If you live near Seattle, you may still be eligible for a free Seattle Public Library card through one of our reciprocal agreements with nearby library systems.

King County Library System (KCLS)

If you live, work, go to school or own property in King County (even outside the city of Seattle) you qualify for a free Seattle Public Library card through our reciprocal agreement with the King County Library System. (The only exceptions are the towns of Hunts Point and Yarrow Point, which are not part of the King County Library System.)

You also qualify for a free card if you live within the city limits of Bothell (which is in both King and Snohomish counties).

Seattle residents are also eligible for a free KCLS card.

If you qualify for a free Seattle Public Library card because you work, go to school or own property in our free service area, please bring proof of employment, student enrollment or taxpayer status. Visit our Valid Identification page for more information.

Other Nearby Libraries

You can also get a free Seattle Public Library card if you have a current Library card from:

Please bring your library card and valid ID with you in order to qualify for a free Seattle Public Library card.

Borrowing Privileges

If you get your Library card through a reciprocal agreement, you have the same in-person and remote checkout privileges that apply to SPL borrowers, which include:

  • Place up to 50 physical items on hold
  • Check out up to 50 physical items.
  • Place up to 25 holds on e-books and e-audiobooks
  • Check out up to 25 e-books and e-audiobooks

Reciprocal cardholders must pick up their holds at a Seattle Public Library location. Interlibrary loan requests are excluded from the reciprocal agreements with all library systems.

For more information about how to get a Seattle Public Library card, please visit Get Started With a Library Card.

Returns

You can return King County Library System and Timberland Regional Library materials to the Seattle Public Library, and Seattle Public Library materials to both King County Library System and Timberland Regional Library. (We do not have reciprocal return agreements with any of the other library systems).

We exchange materials with KCLS once a week, and they are checked in by the owning library system at that time.

Paid Library Cards for Non-Residents

If you do not qualify for a free card, there are two types of paid Library cards:

  • Visitor cards cost $25 for people living in Seattle for a short time. They are valid for three months, and cardholders can check out up to five items at a time.
  • Non-resident cards cost $85 for Washington state residents who live outside the Seattle area. They are valid for one year, and cardholders can check out up to 50 items at a time.

Link Your SPL and KCLS Catalog Accounts

If you have a King County Library System (KCLS) card, you can link your KCLS account to your Seattle Public Library (SPL) account in our catalog. This allows you to use a single username and password to create and access lists and shelves in the catalog.

Step 1: Set up a catalog account with your home Library.

  1. Go to My Account
  2. Enter your Library card barcode and PIN
  3. Create a username for logging into the catalog

Step 2: Connect to the other Library.

  1. You need a Library card barcode and PIN number from the other Library
  2. Choose My Settings from the account menu of your existing catalog account
  3. Select My Library Cards
  4. Select Link a Card
  5. Enter the Library card barcode and PIN from the other Library
  6. Once your accounts are connected you can switch between accounts by selecting Switch Library Account on your Library Dashboard.

If you already have both SPL and KCLS catalog accounts:

  • Library staff will need to remove one of your catalog accounts before you can link your accounts
  • You should have the account you use less removed. If you have created any of these, they will be deleted when your account is removed:
    • Lists
    • Shelves
    • Tags
    • Saved searches
    • Comments
    • Ratings
  • Contact the Library with the account you want to remove. You will need your username and barcode for that Library.

Your holds and checkouts are not affected when you remove a catalog login or link accounts.