King County Library System Moves Closer to Re-opening All Libraries

As of May 24, King County Library System has reopened 17 libraries for modified in-building service, with Algona-Pacific and Kirkland scheduled for early June. Governor Jay Inslee’s recent announcement to reopen Washington State by June 30 paves the way for KCLS to reopen all remaining libraries in July.

Staff currently is abiding by Phase 3 guidelines and will continue to require patrons to wear masks and practice social distancing at all locations. With the requirement to quarantine materials now lifted, patrons also can expect shorter wait times for their items. Details of our Phase 4 plan will be announced in June. Until then, learn more about what’s available near you.

Throughout the pandemic, KCLS has focused on new ways to serve the public. Recent efforts include increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines. Shoreline Library partnered with International Community Health Services to provide a pop-up, drive-through vaccination clinic in the library’s parking lot. Mobile Outreach partnered with the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) in Renton to deliver laptops to DESC staff who used them in their vaccination clinic serving residents experiencing homelessness. Funding for the laptops was provided by a Washington State CARES grant obtained by the KCLS Foundation.

KCLS will launch its annual Summer Reading Program on June 1, and all programs, performances and activities will be online. Patrons of all ages can participate and the goal is to read 1,000 minutes or complete 50 early learning activities. Time spent reading can include reading to others, or listening to an audiobook. Visit to sign up, track time, and register for online events. The program runs through August 31.

Libraries will be closed on Monday, May 31, in observance of Memorial Day. In honor of those who have served our country, KCLS offers its list of Memorial Day Reads, books that recount the lives and sacrifices of American soldiers. KCLS also is hosting an online event that features author Eileen Bjorkman, who will discuss her book Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin: A Story of the U.S. Military's Commitment to Leave No One Behind.

The State of America’s Libraries Report was recently released by the American Library Association. This year’s special report is a comprehensive look at how libraries across the country – including King County Library System – have been and continue to be essential to the recovery of communities impacted by COVID-19.

On May 21, King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay visited the Skyway Library and got a firsthand look at scores of enthusiastic patrons returning to their community library. KCLS looks forward to seeing you, too, as our libraries re-open in July.