The Rainier Beach branch of Seattle Public Library reopens for limited hours on June 8. Photo by Andrew Engelson.

Douglass-Truth and Rainier Beach Libraries Reopen

by Emerald Staff

As COVID-19 cases continue to plateau in the region, Seattle Public Library (SPL)  announced the reopening of two more branch libraries in the South End. The Douglass-Truth library in the Central District and the Rainier Beach branch library will both reopen on Tuesday, June 8. This brings the total number of open libraries in the SPL system to seven. SPL has been slowly reopening, and two South End branches — Southwest and Beacon Hill — opened their doors in April

All reopened branches are operating according to Gov. Jay Inslee’s Phase 3 guidance for libraries and will remain in that status until at least June 30, SPL said in a press release. All of the branches are open for two public sessions: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a break for cleaning and disinfecting between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. All branches except Rainier Beach are open Tuesday through Saturday. The Rainier Beach branch will open Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Patrons can pick up holds during the cleaning closure times.

Mask-wearing will be required by all visitors regardless of vaccination status. “As vaccination rates increase and pandemic restrictions ease in our community,” SPL said in the press release, “the Library urges visitors to remember that we serve people from every age, demographic and background, including young children, medically-vulnerable individuals and others who are not yet vaccinated. The mask requirement helps us protect those who may still be at risk from COVID-19.”

Each reopened library is making accommodations to encourage social distancing, and patrons can use library computers, connect to Wi-Fi, consult librarians, and pick up holds. Browsing of the shelves is still limited, but after June 1, many branches will ease restrictions. 

In addition to the open branches, nine branch libraries currently offer curbside pickup service. Consult the SPL hours and locations page to find out more about branch openings and a full range of services available at the library as Seattle emerges from pandemic restrictions.

In South King County, the Skyway branch of the King County Library System (KCLS) reopened in early May,  and many KCLS branches have now reopened for limited hours, including Federal Way, Kent, Tukwila, and Woodmont (Des Moines). More information on opening hours of KCLS branches can be found here

📸 Featured Image: The Rainier Beach branch of Seattle Public Library reopens for limited hours on June 8. (Photo: Andrew Engelson)

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