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What Can I Do With A Seattle Public Library Card?

Nov 28th, 2022

If you live in or near our luxury Seattle apartments, then you’ve no doubt seen more than a few Seattle Public Library branches during your time in and around town — especially the impressive Central Library in the heart of Downtown! 

If you don’t have a Seattle Public Library card yet, then what are you waiting for? They are one-hundred percent free, and a library card grants you access to a massive amount of knowledge and entertainment, including local history artifacts, online streaming services, museum passes, more audiobooks than you have time to listen to, language learning programs and much, much more.

Here’s how you can get a Seattle Public Library card and, more importantly, what you can do with it!

Things you can do at the Seattle Public Library

How to get a Seattle library card

If you live, work or go to school in King County, then you can get a Seattle Public Library card at no cost at all. You don’t even have to go to a library branch to get one!

You can apply for a digital library card by filling out the form on this website. You’ll need to provide an address within the King County limits, but after that you’re good to go! 

You can use that digital library card to check out physical items, too, but if you’d like a physical card then you can always ask for one at your nearest Seattle Public Library library branch.

What can I use my library card for?

Book checkout

There are 27 branches of the Seattle Public Library, all of which offer a wealth of services and resources.

Including, of course, book checkout!

There are books, magazines, audiobooks, comics and more at every library. If your branch doesn’t have what you’re looking for, then there’s a good chance that one of the other 26 will! 

Interlibrary loan

If there’s a specific book or journal that you want to borrow and the Seattle Public Library doesn't have one in its system, then don’t panic! 

The interlibrary loan system allows participating libraries to borrow books and other physical items from each other, usually for a small fee to cover shipping costs. This is extremely helpful if you’re doing research on a specific industry or are looking for works by a specific author in a niche genre. 

Online databases & streaming services

In addition to the many physical resources and services available at Seattle Public Library branches, your library card can give you access to a host of online resources and databases. Read e-books, listen to podcasts, stream movies, learn languages, catch up on newspaper subscriptions from around the world or listen to music. 

There are so many databases with so much information on them that there’s no way you could get through it all. And it’s all for free!

Business resources

Whether you’re just starting out or are a few years into your small business, the Seattle Public Library has a wealth of great business resources available to attend and participate in. 

You can access online databases and collections specific to business, attend a business workshop or utilize the list of business tools and podcasts recommended by experts. Trained librarians also offer business appointments that will help you narrow down research, answer questions and refer you to helpful resources you may need. Finally, the Seattle Public Library also partners with local nonprofits that offer help to aspiring business owners, giving you the full range of assistance to help you cover all your bases. 

Consumer & DIY resources

The consumer & DIY resources are designed to help you research what consumer products are right for you and plan whether you can do it yourself!

The resources and databases here include reports, diagnostics, photos, instructions, diagrams, lab results and more for everything from vehicles to health products to toys to furniture and everything in between.  

Genealogy research

If your family has been in the area for generations, then there’s a good chance they’ve popped up local newspapers, telephone directories, postcards and more. Use the Seattle Public Library’s Genealogy resources to find out more about your ancestry using research librarians, maps, data and obituaries, to name a few. 

Local history

The Seattle Public Library keeps a collection of photos, documents, artifacts, menus and more from Seattle’s past and present, all of which you can browse through both online and in-person!

The collection includes things like:

  • Reviews for Ivar’s Acres of Clams back in 1977.
  • Artifacts from the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition back in 1909.
  • Photographs from the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 19th-century. 
  • A collection of videos, songs, artwork and more from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • City directories dating as far back as 1860. 
  • And much, much more!

Museum passes

Did you know you can check out library passes with a Seattle Public Library card?

Yes! Enjoy some of Seattle’s best museums and cultural institutions with the reservable museum passes available for checkout. 

Here are the participating museums and galleries you can request a pass for:

Writing workshops

If you’re looking to upgrade your own writing skills, then keep an eye out on the Seattle Public Library’s event calendar to find out when the next writers’ workshops and classes are taking place. 

The Seattle Writes program is a great program for poets, fiction writers, essayists or novelists looking for community, learning opportunities and resources. 

Kids & teens resources

The Seattle Public Library offers plenty of in-person and online resources for kids, teens and everything-in-betweens. Story times, reading development programs, learning aids and homework help sessions are great for younger kids, and older kids can really benefit from the virtual tutoring sessions, gaming events, craft workshops and technology classes. 

Make sure to check out the full list of services available for kids and teens!

If you live in or near our luxury Seattle apartments, then head over to your nearest Seattle Public Library branch and get yourself a card! It’s free to get, but what you can get out of it is priceless. 

Have fun!

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Featured photo courtesy Pixabay/Abhardphoto

Author of Article

Colleen Ford is a South African who now lives in Spokane, Washington. She loves to travel, camp (in warm weather) and bake.

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