Nearly a year after its doors closed at the start of the pandemic, King County Library System has announced that it is reopening some of its branches to walk-in patrons. Starting March 3, six locations will open at limited capacity: the Fall City, Kent, Muckleshoot, Skykomish, Tukwila and Woodmont branches.

All of the newly reopened branches will offer browsing, computer/Wi-Fi use, and staff assistance, though hours and services will vary by location. Patrons will be welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis, and staff will ensure that buildings stay at 25% capacity or lower, following current guidance from the state. Masks will be required, and locations will open and close multiple times throughout the day — after each hour open, the branch will close for an hour of cleaning. For specific hours for each branch, see starting March 3.

The majority of KCLS’s other branches will continue to offer curbside service and book return at this time. Additional branches will be opened on a gradual basis.

Though Seattle Public Library’s chief librarian Marcellus Turner had indicated in November that SPL hoped to open a few branches by the end of the year, SPL interim communications director Laura Gentry said Thursday that timeline had been paused due to the yearend spike in coronavirus cases. In an email, she said, “We are working toward a new timeline for rollout of in-building services and will be able to share that soon.”