Update, 3/13/20, 2:45pm: King County Library System announced a systemwide closure, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, March 13. The closure will be in effect until at least April 13. All due dates on check-out materials will be automatically extended to April 30, and KCLS is waiving all late fees accrued in March and April. More information: kcls.org
Here are some of the latest updates from the Seattle book community as of Friday morning, in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak:
At the library
All branches of Seattle Public Library are closed as of 6 p.m. Friday, March 13. The closure will remain in effect until at least April 13. All loan periods will be automatically extended for materials currently checked out, and the library will still be available online for e-books and e-audiobooks, streaming movies, TV and music services, and the Ask Us reference-question platform. More information: spl.org
Most King County Library System branches, as of Friday morning, remain open, though a few have modified hours — check before you go. KCLS is enforcing social-distancing rules, which means meeting rooms and small study rooms are not available, computer stations and chairs are fewer and farther apart, and patrons are requested to keep a 4-to-6-foot distance from each other, among other measures. More information: kcls.org
The Friends of the Seattle Public Library have rescheduled the annual Huge Book Sale; originally scheduled for March 13-15, it will now take place May 8-10 at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.
If you had a favorite author scheduled to come to town this month, you’re likely to be disappointed: Town Hall, Seattle Arts and Lectures and Hugo House, along with most local bookstores, have canceled all book-related events at least through March. Many of these appearances will likely be rescheduled, and some may be presented digitally; check the venue’s website for the latest information.
Need a book?
Should you be in need of a book but don’t want to go out to get one — and if you want to support indie bookstores during this time — note that many local bookstores have e-commerce sites, and some (Island Books and Third Place Books, the latter through the end of March) offer free shipping. Others, including Phinney Books and West Seattle’s Paper Boat Booksellers, are trying out neighborhood delivery. Call up your local bookstore and ask if they can send the latest from your favorite author; reading surely will help make socially distant hours fly. (Note: As of Friday morning, the brick-and-mortar locations of all these bookstores remain open.)