The Seattle Public Library said Thursday that three more branches will soon open to in-building patrons. The Ballard Branch will reopen to visitors June 1, followed by the Douglass-Truth and Rainier Beach branches on June 8. These join the Beacon Hill, Broadview, Lake City and Southwest branches, which reopened earlier this spring.
Starting June 1, all reopened branches will operate at 50% capacity, rather than 25%, and patrons will again be allowed to browse collections as well as use computers, consult with library staff, or simply sit and read, according to SPL. (The first four reopened locations initially did not allow books to be removed from shelves, due to concerns about sanitation.)
All of the reopened libraries will be open 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 2:30-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, with the exception of Rainier Beach (which will be open Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays). The midafternoon closure will be used for cleaning. Patrons may still pick up holds during that hour.
Along with the seven reopened libraries, nine branches remain open for curbside pickup. Masks remain a requirement for all patrons and staff, vaccinated or not.
“As vaccination rates increase and pandemic restrictions ease in our community, 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,” an SPL news release said. “The mask requirement helps us protect those who may still be at risk from COVID-19.”
King County Library System also continues to reopen its branches, with four newly reopened libraries added earlier this month for a total of 17. Buildings are limited to 50% capacity.
In the Sno-Isle Libraries system, the majority of branches (20 out of 23) have opened for in-building services. Visits are limited to 30 minutes and there are occupancy limits, according to Sno-Isle Libraries’ website.
Like Seattle’s libraries, the King County and Sno-Isle systems both require face coverings when inside a library building.