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City News / Press Releases

Posted on: March 13, 2020

KCLS institutes System-wide Closure in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Forwarded on behalf of King County Library System

Effective at 6 p.m. today, Friday, March 13, the King County Library System (KCLS) will close all library locations to the public. These closures will remain in effect until at least April 13, or further notice, to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Like neighboring library systems in Seattle, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, this decision was made out of the utmost concern for the health, safety and well-being of library patrons, staff and the community. The scientific evidence that social distancing can help stop the spread of COVID-19 is a compelling factor in taking this precautionary step.

“Public libraries have always been about community, and the safety of our communities is paramount,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “We value your understanding of our decision during this challenging time.”

During the closure, library customers should keep items currently checked out until KCLS reopens or until further notice. All due dates have been automatically extended until April 30, and KCLS is waiving all late fees accrued between March 1 and April 30. Library staff will continue to work while buildings are closed.

During the closure, patrons are encouraged to use KCLS’ online resources and services. Residents in KCLS’ service area can sign up instantly for a digital eCard for access to:

As the situation continues to evolve, KCLS will follow mandates from Washington state Governor Jay Inslee and Public Health—Seattle & King County in order to assess when it is safe to reopen our libraries. Stay connected to KCLS by:

King County Library System Media Contact: Sarah Thomas, 425.369.3277, sjthomas@kcls.org


About the King County Library System: 
Founded in 1942, the King County Library System (KCLS) is one of the busiest public library systems in the country. Serving the communities of King County (outside the City of Seattle), KCLS currently has 50 libraries and more than 700,000 cardholders. In 2019, residents checked out more than 5.6 million digital eBooks and audiobooks through Rakuten OverDrive, making KCLS the No. 3 digital circulating library in the world. In 2011, KCLS was named Library of the Year by Gale/Library Journal.

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