Stock image

Stock image

King County Library System to slowly reopen after 3 month closure

Now in Phase 1.5, KCLS will gradually allow book returns with strict guidelines.

Starting today, the King County Library System (KCLS) is advancing to Phase 1.5 in its own multiphase plan to reopen libraries after a three-month closure to help curtail the spread of COVID-19, according to a news release.

Gov. Jay Inslee approved King County’s request to move into a modified Phase 1 of Washington state’s Safe Start plan last week. The county is currently in Phase 1.5 of the state’s four phases.

Serving communities in King County outside the City of Seattle, KCLS currently has 50 libraries and more than 700,000 cardholders.

Based on data-driven guidance for materials handling, cleaning and physical distancing, KCLS is taking a phased approach to allow staff and community members to return to libraries in a deliberate and planned way.

“We are delighted to move into the next phase, which brings us one step closer to offering Curbside To Go services in Phase 2,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “We know our patrons have missed having access to our full collection, and we look forward to the day we can offer physical materials again.”

Phase and sub-phase progressions are subject to change as they depend on current public health and safety guidelines, the release said. KCLS’ Path to Reopening is outlined as follows:

PHASE 1: All libraries are closed to the public; no book returns are allowed.

  • KCLS continues to provide online services, programs and resources, such as:
  • Digital collections.
  • Virtual programming.
  • Ask KCLS by phone, email and chat.

PHASE 1.5: All libraries remain closed to the public.

  • Some staff are allowed in buildings with physical distancing and health protocols in place.
  • Select book returns gradually open with strict guidelines.

PHASE 2: All libraries remain closed to the public.

  • Staff are allowed in buildings with physical distancing and health protocols in place.
  • Patrons may place and pick up holds and materials with Curbside To Go services at select locations, in a multiphase rollout. Modifications are likely.
  • KCLS offers limited mobile outreach delivery with Library2Go.

PHASE 3: Some or all libraries are open to the public with modified operations

  • Physical distancing and health protocols remain in place.
  • Libraries have limited hours.
  • Services and access to technology will be determined and may vary by location.
  • Curbside To Go and Library2Go mobile outreach delivery continues to rollout.
  • No large public gatherings or events are allowed inside libraries.
  • Meeting and study rooms remain closed.

PHASE 4: All libraries are open to the public; full-service operations resume

  • KCLS returns to standard business practices while continuing to offer services in new ways learned during the pandemic.
  • Meeting and study rooms are open pending Administration approval.
  • Large public gatherings are allowed inside libraries.

Online service and resources are available (and encouraged) while KCLS’ physical buildings remain closed. Residents in the KCLS service area (in King County, outside the city of Seattle) can sign up instantly for a digital eCard to access the library online.

For those who don’t have computer or Internet access, contact Ask KCLS by phone at 425.462.9600 or 800.462.9600. For more information, visit kcls.org.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Starting July 6, three road paving projects to prepare for

Two full road closures and night paving work is coming to Redmond Ridge at Novelty Hill Road, near Duvall, July 6 through August

Human remains in West Seattle identified

Bags of body parts were found in a suitcase along a West Seattle beach on June 19.

Governor Jay Inslee smiles and laughs Sept. 3, 2019, during a speech at the Lynnwood Link Extension groundbreaking in Lynnwood. A Thurston County judge ruled he exceeded his authority when he vetoed single sentences in the state transportation budget in 2019. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Judge invalidates Gov. Inslee’s veto in roads budget

Lawmakers said the governor crossed a constitutional line.

King County cases among younger adults drives increase in COVID-19 numbers

Over half of all new cases are among people ages 20-39

Kirkland man found guilty of promoting prostitution in Eastside sex trafficking ring

Authorities say suspect ran “successful enterprise” for greater half of a decade.

Public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and similar schools and programs may resume general instruction, including in-person classes and lectures, starting Aug. 1. Pictured: The University of Washington-Bothell campus. File photo
Universities and colleges may reopen in fall, governor says

His order requires masks and physical distancing, among other measures, to help prevent infections.

During a recent training, South King Fire and Rescue members at Station 62 wear personal protective gear, which includes face masks, eye protection, gloves and gowns. Courtesy photo
Governor orders statewide use of face coverings in public

Jay Inslee says that until there is a vaccine, it’s the best weapon to stop the spread of COVID-19.

File photo/pexels.com
Renton man pleads guilty to one of state’s largest workers’ comp scams

The delivery driver was still working under his own name while receiving L&I pension, and owes the state almost $340,000.

Most Read