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Seattle Public Library cuts back schedule, including fewer days at three West Seattle branches

(Reader photo from High Point branch closure last Sunday)

You’ll soon see signs like that one more often at local libraries – at least for a while. One year after the Seattle Public Library expanded schedules, resulting in all four of the branches in West Seattle opening seven days a week, it’s cutting back. SPL has just announced a temporary cutback that will leave only one local branch open every day. SPL says staffing shortages, combined with the city hiring freeze, will lead to cutbacks for at least the next eight weeks. According to this SPL update, 22 of its 27 branches will be affected, including these three in our area:

High Point Branch
Closed Sundays through June 4

Southwest Branch
Closed Saturdays from April 20 through June 4

West Seattle Branch
Closed Fridays through June 4

SPL explains, “Several factors have impacted the Library’s staffing capacity, including changes to the Library’s minimum staffing levels and increased leave usage. Our impacted staffing capacity has led to unplanned closures, as the Library must redirect staff from one location to another if a branch doesn’t have the right number, or right mix, of staff to open and operate a building safely and with full library services.” The minimum staffing has increased, SPL says, to “help ensure staff are able to provide full library services and are supported and prepared to manage any challenging or disruptive situations in and around our libraries.” In addition to simply deploying more staffers, SPL spokesperson Laura Gentry explains, “We are looking for a certain mix of position types to be present as well. For example, we have staff identified as ‘building leads,’ and at several locations have identified that at least two lead staff need to be present to open.”

While they are affected by the city’s budget-related hiring freeze, “Chief Librarian Tom Fay has approved several exemptions, allowing the Library to hire temporary staff to help stabilize operations.” Will everything go back to seven days a week on June 4? Gentry tells WSB, “We’re hopeful that this will resolve most unplanned closures during this period of time, but we don’t yet know what our schedule will look like past the June 4 date. We’re working on it and will have more info on that in May.”

CLOSURE ALERT: High Point Library closed today because of ‘insufficient staffing’

Thanks for texting the tip and photo. The Seattle Public Library‘s High Point branch is normally open 10 am-6 pm on Sundays, but is closed today – its webpage blames “insufficient staffing.” Also noted online: “The book return will remain open and holds will be extended.” Checking around the SPL site, we see our area’s other branches all appear to be open, until 6 pm as usual.

Life-saving workshop Sunday in West Seattle: Overdose response/prevention

It happens on the streets, it happens inside homes and businesses, it happens at schools: Drug overdoses are taking lives that could have been saved. If you have two hours to spend learning what to do for someone who is overdosing, we just found out about a free workshop Sunday afternoon at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW). The Washington Recovery Alliance is presenting it, 1 pm-3 pm tomorrow: “Patrons will gain knowledge, practice, and resources on how to identify and respond to a drug overdose. The trainer will also discuss local overdose trends, harm reduction & recovery resources, and provide naloxone at no cost.” Registration is optional, but you can do that here.

FYI: Seattle Public Library branches’ upcoming one-day closure

March 20, 2024 7:52 pm
|    Comments Off on FYI: Seattle Public Library branches’ upcoming one-day closure
 |   West Seattle libraries | West Seattle news

If you use Seattle Public Library services, SPL wants you to know that all its branches (and the Central Library downtown) will be closed one week from today, on Wednesday, March 27, for a staff in-service day. Branch book drops will remain open; no materials will be due on that date.


(WSB photo)

When the Seattle Kraken hockey team’s mascot Buoy showed up for story time at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library this morning, children’s librarian Leslie Sumida had the perfect books: “I’m Cool,” featuring a Zamboni (the machine used to smooth the rink for hockey) and “The Three Silly Billies,” starring a troll tending a bridge. We counted about 50 people there (including a few little kids who found Buoy a bit scary!).

Local libraries have regular story times, sometimes with other guests – for example, this Tuesday (February 20th), it’ll be Firefighter Story Time, meant for preschoolers, at 3:30 pm at Delridge Library (5423 Delridge Way SW).

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Story Time Sunday with Kraken mascot Buoy at West Seattle Library

(WSB photo, December 2022)

When the Seattle Kraken mascot Buoy came to West Seattle a little over a year ago, a big crowd turned out. This weekend, Buoy’s back – for a Story Time at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library on Sunday morning (February 18). Here’s the announcement we received today:

Sunday, February 18
10:00 – 11:30 am
Doors open at 10:00 am, story time 10:30 – 11:00 am, meet Buoy 11:00 – 11:30 am
West Seattle Branch, Seattle Public Library
Address 2306 42nd Avenue SW

Story times with Seattle Public libraries are interactive learning opportunities. At story time, kids and their families can enjoy stories, songs, and fun learning activities. Registration is not required. Kids and families will also have the opportunity to meet Seattle Kraken Mascot Buoy! Buoy will be available for photo opportunities and fun.

Buoy is the Seattle sea-troll who inhabits the caverns of Climate Pledge Arena and for who nothing beats a day filled with Kraken hockey and the team’s fans. Folks are drawn to Buoy’s many talents, high-energy, and fun-loving spirit. Odds are you’ll see the troll roaming out and about around the Pacific Northwest as well as hanging with the Fremont Troll, who happens to be Buoy’s Uncle.

When you get to the library, check in with staff for your free tickets to this all-ages event.

FOLLOWUP: Southwest Library won’t reopen today as planned

(Southwest Branch, WSB file photo)

We’ve just learned that the Southwest Library HVAC work wasn’t finished in time to reopen the branch today as planned. We’re told that insulation work is a major component of what remains. They’re not sure yet if they’ll reopen before Thanksgiving. So if you need to visit a library this week, here’s a reminder that Seattle Public Library has four other area branches – High Point, Delridge, West Seattle (Admiral), and South Park; the King County Library System has the White Center branch, too. All libraries will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving.

Celebration of life Saturday for Kyle ‘Kemo’ Tovar, 1982-2023

Family and friends will gather Saturday to celebrate the life of Kyle “Kemo” Tovar. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing:

Kyle “Kemo” Tovar
Born November 21st, 1982
Died on October Friday the 13th 2023 at the age of 40

Those who knew Kyle “Kemo” knew how much of an impact he made on the people around him. He cared deeply about family and taking a stand against injustice or lending a helping hand. He was a creative person, often drawing or building things. He was also an ardent dog lover and patient teacher to his four-legged friends. He was loved and will be missed dearly by everyone.

A special thank you to the Native Communities that welcomed him in their homes and hearts as part of their own family. Charlie and Ben Sittingbull and their children were especially dear to him.

Kyle was preceded in death by his dear friend Ben.

He is survived by his mother Mary Stence, father Moses Tovar, sister Emily Stence, brother Ian Tovar, his three sons (from eldest to youngest): Kyle Jr, Ryden Sol and Joseph Tovar, and our dog Thor.

Kyle’s family would like to encourage those who are troubled to reach out and seek help!

Those who are able, please consider thoughtful support (financial or through power of the vote) programs that help with mental health and drug and alcohol addiction.

Information for Memorial Services are in the photo above.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to westseattleblog@gmail.com)

REMINDER: Southwest Library to close for two weeks starting Monday

(Southwest Branch, WSB file photo)

As announced a month ago, the Southwest Library closes for two weeks starting tomorrow, so Seattle Public Library can install a new electric HVAC system. Once that’s in place, the branch will be fully air-conditioned and more-efficiently heated, according to SPL. The branch is expected to reopen Monday, November 20th. Its book return will be closed until then, too. If you’ve put something on hold and haven’t arranged to get it rerouted, it’ll be held until the closure’s over. And a reminder that our area has four other SPL branches – High Point, Delridge, West Seattle (Admiral), and South Park; the King County Library System’s White Center branch isn’t far, either.

Looking for flu or COVID vaccination? Clinic this Saturday at Southwest Library

This Saturday at Southwest Library, free flu and COVID shots will be available – here’s the announcement:

Coming up on Saturday, October 21 from 2:00 – 5:30 pm, Seattle/King County Public Health and the Othello Station Pharmacy will provide free COVID and flu vaccines at the Southwest Library. No appointments needed, just walk on in! All vaccines are free for all; those without insurance are most welcome. Due to changes to vaccine funding, those with insurance are asked to bring their insurance information to the clinic (the shots will be free!).

The clinic includes boosters, according to the official flyer. The library is at 35th/Henderson.

FOLLOWUP: Southwest Library sets closure dates for air-conditioning installation

(Southwest Branch, WSB file photo)

The Southwest Library is one of the few Seattle Public Library branches without full A/C – but as noted before, that will change, And now we know when. Here’s today’s announcement from SPL:

The Seattle Public Library’s Northeast and Southwest branches will temporarily close in November for the installation of new electric HVAC systems that will provide air conditioning and more efficient heating to the branches, preventing unscheduled branch closures during heat waves and reducing the Library’s carbon footprint.

The closures are required for the safety of patrons and staff while the HVAC systems are installed on the roofs of the branches and because of the lack of temperature and air-filtration controls during the project.

HVAC installation at the Northeast and Southwest branches was made possible through funding provided by the Seattle City Council in 2021.

The Southwest Branch will close from Monday, Nov. 6, through Sunday, Nov. 19. The branch will reopen on Monday, Nov. 20. The branch book return will also be closed during this time. The branch meeting room will remain open until the branch closes on Nov. 6.

Because the closure of the Southwest Branch lasts less than a month, patron holds scheduled for delivery to the Southwest Branch will be held until the branch reopens rather than being rerouted to another location. Patron holds remaining at the Southwest Branch at the time of closure will be extended, and will not expire until Monday, Nov. 27. The Southwest Branch will also remain available for patrons to select as a preferred holds location.

Patrons are encouraged to contact staff at the Southwest Branch to make plans for accessing their holds during the branch closure. Staff are available to help in person or by phone at 206-684-7455.

When the Southwest Branch reopens, patrons may experience a short delay in the delivery of their holds to the branch while staff work through the backlog.

Southwest Artist Showcase time! Bring your art to the library starting Tuesday

September 29, 2023 9:30 am
|    Comments Off on Southwest Artist Showcase time! Bring your art to the library starting Tuesday
 |   West Seattle libraries | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(WSB file photo – an entry from 2018 showcase, on display at SW Library)

A fall tradition is returning, and the Southwest Library invites you to participate. Here’s the announcement:

In 2023, the Southwest Artist Showcase is back for its 31st year! This free, month-long event at the Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library features artists from all over Southwest Seattle. We welcome submissions from people of all ages and experience levels.

The showcase is a non-juried, non-profit art exhibit. All artists who identify as West and Southwest Seattle residents are invited to submit up to 2 pieces of art. Artwork will be accepted Tuesday, October 3 through Thursday, October 5 only and will be on display at the Southwest Branch from Saturday, October 7 through Saturday, November 4. Artwork will not be offered for sale at the Library. All works must be picked up by 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 11.

To view the Showcase, visit the Southwest Branch during open hours from Saturday, October 7 – Saturday, November 4 to view the art displayed throughout the branch.

Please note that some works may not be included if their size or construction prevents their effective display in the library. Library staff will determine the placement and display of each piece, and artwork will not be moved once it has been placed.

For more information about the Southwest Artist Showcase, please visit spl.org/southwestartistshowcase or call the Southwest Branch at 206-684-7455.

Branch hours, for dropping off and/or viewing art, can be found here.

RETURNING: Southwest Library back to ‘regular’ hours starting today

Thanks to Thomas for sending the tip and photo.

Southwest Library (9010 35th SW) returns to regular hours starting today. It was one of four Seattle Public Library branches around the city that had special summer hours these past three months “to reduce heat-related closures and provide more cooler morning open hours for patrons by opening and closing these branches two hours earlier two days a week.” The highlight of the reinstated regular hours: The branch is open until 8 pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

AT THE LIBRARY: Southwest Branch hosts three COVID vaccination clinics in the next week

If you’re looking for a COVID vaccination/booster, the Southwest Library (9010 35th SW) is partnering with Othello Station for three free clinics in the next week. All are 2 pm-5:30 pm; the dates are Tuesday, July 18th; Saturday, July 22nd; and Tuesday, July 25th. No health insurance or appointment required. If you have questions, you can call the branch at 206-684-7455 or go to the Public Health – Seattle & King County website.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s when three local Seattle Public Library branches will reopen, post-bedbug treatment

As reported here on Friday, bedbug sightings led the Seattle Public Library to close its Delridge, High Point, and Southwest branches all weekend. SPL explained that the branches would subsequently receive “chemical treatment” Monday morning and then reopen later Monday. They’ve sent word that the three branches are expected to reopen at noon tomorrow. Back when we reported on a High Point outbreak in May, SPL explained that it has an “integrated pest-management system” for this and other types of pests; Web searches suggest bedbugs have been a recurring problem for libraries nationwide for at least a decade. Meantime, thanks again to the reader who spotted the sign on one branch’s door Friday – that was our first word of the closures.

LIBRARIES: Three branches in West Seattle closed through weekend after bedbug sightings

3:58 PM: Thanks to Christy for the tip and photo. The High Point and Southwest libraries closed at 2 pm and will be closed all weekend because of what the door sign describes as “a pest issue requiring chemical treatment.” Book drops are closed too. We have an inquiry out to Seattle Public Library headquarters in hopes of finding out more. Back in May, another reader tip led to this report about a similar situation stemming from a bedbug problem at the HP branch.

5:04 PM: As a reader comments below, Delridge is now closed too, and that’s reflected in the reply we just received from SPL spokesperson Laura Gentry:

We have temporarily closed the Delridge, High Point and Southwest branches due to bedbug sightings by staff at these three locations in the last 24 hours.

We are taking aggressive steps to remediate the issue; and unfortunately, that means keeping the branches closed throughout the weekend. These branches are scheduled to receive treatment early Monday morning, so we are keeping them and their book drops closed until that has occurred and they are cleared for re-entry (about two hours following application).

We are very sorry for the inconvenience this causes our patrons in the Southwest Region of the city, but it is important we act quickly to limit the impacts of this issue by immediately closing these locations, applying treatment, and discarding impacted materials.

We thank our eagle-eyed staff who quickly alert us to anything that might negatively impact patrons, staff, or Library spaces!

They’re not sure yet what time the branches will reopen Monday – likely by early afternoon – we’ll update when we have word.

ADDED SUNDAY: SPL says all three will reopen Monday at noon.

LIBRARIES: Here’s why the Southwest Branch is closing earlier two days a week

Thanks to Thomas for the tip and photo. He went to the Southwest Branch Library (9010 35th SW) last night, expecting it to be open until 8 pm as it has been on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but discovered new “summer hours” that have this branch open 10 am-6 pm seven days a week. We checked with the Seattle Public Library, which says the early closures for this and three other branches (outside West Seattle) are because the branches are not fully air-conditioned. The “summer hours” were announced on the library website earlier this month. The Southwest Branch is in line for more A/C, though; we’re checking on the latest plan for when it’ll be installed. (Update: SPL spokesperson Elisa Murray says it’s supposed to be complete “by the end of this year.”)

P.S. SPL also pointed out to us that the Southwest Branch has something new (and temporary) – a short-story dispenser!

Closure ahead for West Seattle’s Log House Museum. Here’s where to see exhibits while it’s closed

(WSB file photo)

West Seattle’s landmark Log House Museum – home to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society – has a closure ahead. It’ll be closed to the public June 1-June 10 for interior renovations. SWSHS’s Elizabeth Rudrud explains, “These renovations will allow the museum to host more programs (with greater capacity), highlight the building’s original layout as a Carriage House for the Fir Lodge (Alki Homestead) while still interpreting the structure as a private residence, open the space for an upcoming interactive exhibit, and create new opportunities for private-event rentals, which will provide the museum with unrestricted income to support its mission.”

During the closure – and beyond – you can see three traveling exhibits at local libraries. Here are the three exhibits SWSHS is calling Community Explorers:

The exhibits are viewable during the branches’ regular hours; you can find those on the Seattle Public Library website.

You asked, so we asked: Local library battles bed bugs

Jana emailed us wondering if we knew anything about a “pest” problem that she said had closed the book drop at High Point Library for a while, and led to an early closure of the entire branch on Tuesday. So we asked Seattle Public Library for details. Here’s what we heard back from SPL spokesperson Laura Gentry:

Staff at the High Point Branch discovered a bed bug issue two weeks ago in the book drop and around the computer area, which they believe (but is hard to confirm) to be an isolated situation involving a single patron. Staff locked the book drops, quarantined computers, discarded or quarantined impacted materials as appropriate, sanitized book bins, cleaned the impacted computer area, and have been in conversation with the patron.

After containment and cleaning, staff have not seen additional bedbugs for over a week. The book drop has reopened.

The Library conducted a chemical treatment of the branch on Tuesday evening as a precautionary measure. It is considered safe to enter the treated space two hours after chemical treatment, but we let the branch sit overnight as another extra precaution. The pest control company we are working with will return at the end of the month to examine the branch and ensure the issue is fully resolved.

The Library has an integrated pest management program to prevent and contain bed bugs and other pests we might encounter in or around our facilities. Elements of the program include education, good housekeeping, regular inspections, professional custodial practices and immediate response to sightings. These efforts play a vital role in reducing the chance of a major infestation.

Thanks for the question from your reader.

Don’t know much about bed bugs? Read this.

NEW THIS WEEK: Seattle Public Library’s expanded branch schedules start Monday

As announced in February, Seattle Public Library branches are expanding their schedules, and that means – among other things – that all branches in our area will be open seven days a week. The new schedules start tomorrow. Here again is the list of what those schedules will be:

Delridge Branch, 5423 Delridge Way SW
o 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday

High Point Branch, 3411 SW Raymond St.
o 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

South Park Branch, 8604 8th Ave. S
o 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave. SW
o 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday

West Seattle Branch, 2306 42nd Ave. SW
o 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday

Tomorrow is also when Story Times start returning to SPL branches, as noted here last week – first one will be tomorrow at noon, Baby Story Time at the Southwest Branch.

WEST SEATTLE LIBRARIES: Story Times returning

Thanks to Lauren for the tip, via this photo – those with little ones will be able to take them to local Seattle Public Library branches for in-person Story Times starting next week:

This is so new, it’s not even on the SPL online calendar yet. But we’ll be adding the dates to the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar shortly.

Two citywide closures this week that you should know about

March 20, 2023 2:08 pm
|    Comments Off on Two citywide closures this week that you should know about
 |   West Seattle libraries | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Both of these closures later this week are for staff training:

SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY: Its facilities will be closed Wednesday (March 22nd), but branch book drops will be open. Details here.

SEATTLE PARKS AND RECREATION: Many of its facilities will be closed Thursday (March 23rd), including community centers and indoor pools. Details here.

New 7-day-a-week schedules ahead for local Seattle Public Library branches

The Seattle Public Library is adding more hours/days at many of its branches, using funding from the 2019 “Libraries for All” levy, and that means – among other changes – that once the additions take effect, all SPL branches in this area will be open seven days a week. (Currently, Delridge and West Seattle/Admiral are closed Fridays, while Southwest is closed Saturdays.) SPL’s announcement notes, “With this expansion, Library locations will be open a total of 223 more hours per week than currently and 133 more hours per week than in 2019 when the Levy was overwhelmingly passed by voters.” These are the schedules that will take effect the week of April 3rd.

Delridge Branch, 5423 Delridge Way SW
o 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday

High Point Branch, 3411 SW Raymond St.
o 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

South Park Branch, 8604 8th Ave. S
o 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave. SW
o 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday

West Seattle Branch, 2306 42nd Ave. SW
o 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday

To see the full announcement, including all the new schedules for branches citywide, go here.