04-22-2024  12:29 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 15 February 2023

The Seattle Public Library will add open hours to most branches this March and April thanks to funding from the seven-year, $219.1 million 2019 Library Levy, which supplements city funding to support core Library services, including open hours, collections, technology services, children’s programming, building maintenance, and seismic retrofit projects at three Carnegie libraries. 

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.

Of the Library’s 27 locations, most will be open seven days a week, while six locations will be open six days a week. These six-day service locations will be closed on Mondays to align with community-stated preference in a 2021 Library survey.

Most branches will see an increase of open hours, though some branches will see minor reductions in order to maximize Library staffing levels and to make progress toward the following goals set forth in the 2019 Levy plan, including:

  • Opening all branches Sunday at noon
  • Adding an additional hour of service compared to 2019 hours Monday through Thursday
  • Opening the Delridge, Green Lake, NewHolly and Wallingford branches on Friday
  • Adding additional morning or evening hours at the High Point, International District/Chinatown and South Park branches

 The Library will expand hours in two phases with new schedules planned to take effect at some branches the week of Monday, March 20, and the rest to take efffect the week of Monday, April 3. Complete schedules of these new hours can be found here.

 In January 2020, the Library began implementing additional hours funded by the 2019 Library Levy by adding more Sunday hours at all locations. Due to the Library’s extended systemwide COVID-19 closure that began March 2020, and the financial and workforce impacts of the pandemic, 2023 is the first year the Library has been able to add the majority of the levy-funded hours.

The Library incrementally reopened all locations through 2021 and returned to near-pre-pandemic open hours in 2022 as staffing capacity allowed. The Library also increased community access to Library materials during this time by installing 24/7 holds Pickup Lockers at the High Point, Northeast and Rainier Beach branches and increasing access to e-books, e-audiobooks and other digital materials. Additional lockers are planned for two more locations in early 2023.

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