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Seattle Public Library asks members withhold returns while it recovers its online services

The Seattle Public Library is asking residents with checked out books and other items to keep them on-hand after suspending their systems due to a ransomware attack.

Seattle Public Library Shelves

The Seattle Public Library has 27 locations across various Seattle neighborhoods.

Photo by @skippeedoodles

Table of Contents

The Seattle Public Library (SPL) has been a little booked up since a ransomware attack left its technological systems in a less than ideal state — affecting several of its online resources, the checkout system, and library card applications.

Over the last month, SPL staff has slowly been able to reintroduce its various amenities, but there are still plenty of ways that its services are being affected as the library works to get everything back in tip-top shape.

Here’s what you need to know:

If you’ve checked out a book, keep it for right now.

The entire check-out system is being held together by a spreadsheet. With no way to actually check things back into its system, the library encourages you to use the time to finish those last few chapters in your book and spare them the manual paperwork nightmare.

Holds on physical check-outs are paused.

If you’ve still been waiting to get your hands on the most recent “Crescent City” novel, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. The library can’t check out books to you that it can’t check in — but don’t worry, your spot in the hold line remains in place in the meantime.

Audiobooks + e-books are working, but there may be some hiccups.

SPL has a scheduled effort to restore employee access to the library’s network on Tuesday, June 25, which might affect users’ access to these services. It’s not just you.

There is no definite timeline for when the rest of its services will return, but keep a close eye on SPL’s website or Instagram for updates as services return.

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