Expanded Hours and Services

Starting May 2: Library meeting rooms and events

Beginning Monday, May 2, Library meeting rooms and study rooms are available for booking by the public. The Library offers many virtual and in-person Library programs and services. Visit our event calendar at www.spl.org/Calendar to see a complete list of events. Please note that in-person author events at the Central Library are currently limited to 50% capacity and are also available to watch virtually. 

Reserve a Room

Starting May 3: Central Library Book Spiral open on Tuesdays

On Tuesday, May 3, we will expand access to the Central Library Book Spiral located on Levels 6 through 9, and the Betty Jane Narver Reading Room located on Level 10. The Book Spiral and Reading Room will be open to the public Tuesdays and Wednesdays during open hours.

Starting May 11: Added hours at four branches

Four branches of The Seattle Public Library will expand open hours beginning Wednesday, May 11. The Northgate Branch will once again be open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the University Branch will once again be open on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Additional morning or evening hours will also be added to the Lake City, Northeast and Northgate branches on most weekdays. A full branch schedule can be found at www.spl.org/Today.

Starting May 23: Changes to hold times and account suspensions

Hold times and account suspension timelines were extended during the Library's Covid-19 systemwide reopening. Starting Monday, May 23, the Library will reduce the maximum hold time for items from 14 days to 7 days.  Scheduled Library closures do not count toward the 7 day hold limit.

The Library will also return to suspending accounts for items that remain overdue after 14 days. The Seattle Public Library offers fine-free borrowing. Suspended accounts are reactivated once items are returned.

Masks in Libraries

Mask graphic

As of Saturday, March 12, Library visitors are strongly encouraged but no longer required to wear masks while inside Library buildings, in accordance with new state and county public health guidelines. To protect our most vulnerable patrons and staff, Library staff will continue to wear masks and we will still offer free masks to patrons at dispensers in each Library location.
We will also continue to use safety protocols such as plexi-glass barriers, increased ventilation, improved air filtration in buildings, and practices such as handwashing; and we will continue to provide higher-quality masks to staff.


Central Library Services

Please note that at the Central Library, public access to Levels 1, 3, and 5 is available during all open hours. The Book Spiral located on levels 6 through 9 and the Level 10 Betty Jane Narver Reading Room will also be open on Wednesdays.

Access to the Seattle Room on Level 10 is available by appointment on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The Children’s Center at the Central Library closes at 6 p.m., even on those days when the Central Library remains open till 8 p.m.

For assistance with research or item retrieval please, Ask Us or call 206-386-4636

The Central Library’s LEAP Lab is currently open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am-6pm. Assistive technology continues to be available on Level 5, where there is a refreshable braille display and a CCTV magnifier. JAWS and ZoomText software are available on all Library PCs and all Library branches have Accessibility Toolkits. Patrons who need more information about assistive technology at the Library can email leap@spl.org or leave a voicemail at 206-615-1380 to get information and assistance.


Holds graphic

We will notify you when your holds are ready to be picked up. Visit our Notifications page to learn how to choose email, phone or text notifications. You can choose any Library location for holds pickup. Holds will be available inside the building, unless you request that we bring them out to you. Self-checkout stations are available for you to check out your items.

If you have holds available and you’d like to pick them up at a different branch, please use this form to request a new pickup location.

Computers & Wi-Fi

Computer lab at the Central Library

Computers with internet access are available for you to use for up to two hours per day. You can reserve a computer in advance and available computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free Wi-Fi is available to use with your own device at all Library locations.

Charging Stations

Charging graphic

Charge your devices quickly and safely. Charging stations are limited, and available on a first-come, first served basis.

Common questions about services in 2022

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.

If you have an active account with The Seattle Public Library but are having trouble accessing your account, you can ask for assistance by contacting the Library’s help and reference service at Ask Us

How can I stay up to date on Library operations and what’s available?

We post updates to this page and our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. You can sign up for account notifications and more via text, email or phone by following instructions at www.spl.org/Notifications or subscribe to our enewsletters.

Can I contact the Library through chat, email or phone?

Yes, our Ask Us service is available through all of those channels. Click here to chat during our open hours, or send an email at any time. You can also call us during our open hours at 206-386-4636.

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.

Which digital resources are available for me to use with my Library card?

We have expanded our digital collections to give you access to more e-books and other online resources. Read e-books, take online classes, use research databases or read current or historical newspaper articles online. Explore Digital Resources and Digital Resources for Kids.

Can I use a meeting or study room?

Yes! Visit Branch Meeting Rooms to book a meeting room or study room at a neighborhood branch. Visit Central Library Meeting Rooms to book a meeting room or event space at the Central Library.