LIBRARIES: 2 in West Seattle will start accepting returns Tuesday

After a trial run, some Seattle Public Library branches – including two in West Seattle – are about to start accepting returns. Here’s the announcement:

The Seattle Public Library announced today that it will accept book returns three days a week at nine locations starting Tuesday, July 21. The Library’s 27 locations have been closed since March 14, 2020, and continue to remain closed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Five Library locations have been offering limited public restroom access during the systemwide closure.

“Although the Library has added digital services while our buildings are closed, we know our patrons are very eager to access physical books and materials,” said Andrew Harbison, assistant director of collections and access at The Seattle Public Library. “Processing returns safely is the first step toward checking out books again.” Harbison added that when the Library closed its buildings in mid-March, more than 400,000 items were checked out.


The following locations will allow returns at outside book drops on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m., or until book drops are full. Materials will not be accepted by staff.

· Ballard Branch, 5614 22nd Ave. NW

· Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.

· Douglass-Truth Branch, 2300 E. Yesler Way

· Green Lake Branch, 7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N.

· High Point Branch, 3411 SW Raymond St.

· Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. NE

· Northeast Branch, 6801 35th Ave. NE

· Rainier Beach Branch, 9125 Rainier Ave. S.

· Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave. SW

In accordance with the Library’s new COVID-19 protocols, returned materials will be quarantined for at least 72 hours before being checked in. Materials will remain checked out on your account while being quarantined.

Signage at each location will remind patrons where to return materials, and to maintain social distancing.

Please don’t rush to return materials, especially if these branches are not your home branch. Due dates for all checked-out materials have been extended until Aug. 15, and the Library does not charge overdue fines.

Patrons can help with the reopening process by checking your account for holds placed on physical items and deleting those that are no longer needed. Please note that the Library is not accepting book donations until it has had a chance to process returned materials first. Please hold on to your donations until further notice.

SPL’s announcement also says they hope to start no-contact curbside pickup in early August.

20 Replies to "LIBRARIES: 2 in West Seattle will start accepting returns Tuesday"

  • NW July 20, 2020 (6:43 pm)

    Public WiFi seems to be hit and miss in our Seattle Parks here in West Seattle Dakota Place Park for example had WiFi now seems none available.

  • chemist July 20, 2020 (8:43 pm)

    I’m still kind of upset that SPL wouldn’t just mail me the library card I signed up for the evening they closed physical locations and then took a whole month to create some entirely an new sign-up process based on phone number, which requires a text message every time you use it.  I’ve been voting from the address I registered for years SPL.  I just want a regular card.

    • Jon Wright July 20, 2020 (10:26 pm)

      “An out-of-control worldwide pandemic forced all the libraries to close abruptly with just one day’s notice but I felt the need to publicly whinge that the brand-new process the library had to create on the fly for accessing materials during the closure wasn’t convenient enough for me.”

      • Chemist July 21, 2020 (7:58 am)

        More like many locations still had some functions open like bathrooms and nobody in charge said to drop the card into an envelope for mailing during the month they instead created an entirely new system that still isn’t as convenient as a library card.

        • savoirfaire July 21, 2020 (5:15 pm)

          I mean, if you signed up for it the evening of the last day they were allowed to be physically at work, isn’t it possible that the physical card itself never got issued, and so there was nothing that could have been mailed to you? And even if there was, the folks who are there to staff the restrooms may not be the same ones who work with the cards.  And while I definitely understand your frustration – an involuntarily library-less month would be a nightmare for me –  a month seems like a pretty quick turnaround to create a phone-based lending system that interacts with their catalog/circulation software and has the robust security needed to safeguard people’s information. Thank goodness there are so many Little Free Libraries in West Seattle!

          • Chemist July 21, 2020 (9:04 pm)

            Yes, a one month turnaround for the phone number based system isn’t bad.  But it wouldn’t have been my choice to have that system, plenty of other library systems not SPL mail library cards, nobody at SPL emailed about my pending card application when the new system was launched, and afaik there are lots of people still being paid by the library that could get asked to be doing card issuence rather than sitting at home.

  • Diane July 21, 2020 (1:00 am)

    KCLS is already allowing us to put books on hold and do curbside pick up at some locations; sure wish SPL would do the same

    • High Point July 21, 2020 (8:37 am)

      That’s controlled by the mayor not the library.

  • anonyme July 21, 2020 (7:12 am)

    I no longer have any way to access the library as all daytime and weekend bus service has been eliminated in my neighborhood.  This also means that I have no way to return the bag of library materials I had on hand when the library closed.  In order to return them, I would have to schedule an Access van (which is not working well at all) several days in advance, and then just hope that the repository was not full on that day at that time, else the entire trip would be a waste.  Not having transportation options sucks, and has a domino effect.  It’s also ridiculous that Access paratransit, a hugely expensive service that currently can carry only one passenger at a time, is the ONLY option for those of us who are carless and trapped in the Arbor Heights gulag.

    • ACG July 21, 2020 (8:32 am)

      I live in Arbor Heights and would be happy to return your books for you. I’m sorry that the lack of services in our neighborhood have essentially left you trapped. 

    • High Point July 21, 2020 (8:39 am)

      That sounds frustrating. Is there a neighbor who can drop them off for you?

    • heartless July 21, 2020 (9:10 am)

      I can also help, if you still need.  I’d be able to swing by, pick up the books and return them for you.  Maybe post here if you’d be willing to accept one of the offers?  Then we (or ACG) can figure out the logistics via email or phone.

      • Sunflower July 21, 2020 (8:10 pm)

        Kind of you ACG and Heartless to have offered to help, nice to see this :) I feel for you Anonome. I hope those impacted by the bus route closures consider writing to Metro and city/neighborhood leaders about this. Maybe if enough speak up, these routes can be restored?

  • Richard A Cole July 21, 2020 (7:18 am)

    Disappointed the library system could not figure out a way to get books to people.Redbox tripled business, Amazon skyrocketed, but the library did nothing.

    • KM July 21, 2020 (9:20 am)

      The library doesn’t have contactless POS rentals (RedBox) or a large network of underpaid “essential” workers with a well-oiled logistics and delivery system in place (Amazon). I think it would be great if the library was able to launch a large-scale USPS-based lending system, but expecting them to develop it during a global pandemic is unfair.

    • Areyoukidding July 21, 2020 (9:20 am)

      I was going to respond to this comment but then realized the sheer lunacy of it made it no longer worth my time. Get real. 

  • anonyme July 21, 2020 (10:56 am)

    I truly appreciate the offers of help, but can’t figure out a way to arrange this without divulging personal information on a public forum.  Sorry, don’t mean to offend anyone or to question your motives, I’m just concerned about security and privacy.  I’m also seriously frustrated, having been out only twice in the last six months, so please forgive the multiple rants!  Part of the frustration has to do not just with the one-time inconvenience of not being able to return books, but the future of not being able to use the library at all.  With virtually no police, no transit, and now no library, I’m seriously wondering what I pay taxes for.   And @KM, at one time it was possible to drop books in the mailbox and USPS would return them to the library.  I don’t know if the procedure itself was canceled, but as public mailboxes are a thing of the past it’s kind of a moot point.

    • heartless July 21, 2020 (4:53 pm)

      If you change your mind and want to take me up on the offer you can send me a note at this email I just set up (I also had a hard time figuring out how to arrange it without personal details):

      It’s obviously not my normal email but I’ll try to remember to check it.  (And I totally understand if it feels too weird or risky to take up an internet stranger on an offer like this, no worries)

    • chemist July 22, 2020 (9:24 am)

      If you meet criteria for Access Van service,  you might also meet criteria for the SPL books by USPS mail service.  It’s once a month and won’t substitute browsing, but my grandmother enjoyed using it when her mobility dropped enough for a handicap placard.  It’s also possible they’re not operating books by mail at the moment.

  • anonyme July 22, 2020 (7:08 am)

    Heartless, I’m touched by your perseverance.  Sent you an email this morning.  Thank you.

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