Tacoma Public Library announces two week-long closures in 2021 due to budget shortfall 


 TACOMA, WASH.— Today, Tacoma Public Library announces the dates of two weeks of budget closures in the 2021 calendar year in order to meet a budget shortfall. All libraries will be closed and all services will be unavailable.  

The 2021 budget closure dates are: Feb. 21–28 and Nov. 28–Dec. 5. The closure dates were selected during weeks when library usage is historically low, in order to minimize impact on the public. 

The City of Tacoma has experienced a significant shortfall in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Tacoma Public Library has worked with its union partners to find a way to meet its $1.2 million budget reduction. Rather than implement permanent staffing layoffs to meet the shortfallTacoma Public Library’s staff will take two weeks of unpaid furlough each year of the 20212022 biennium.   

“By working closely with our union partners, we were able to create a plan for cost savings of $1.2 million without any layoffs or loss of library positions,” said Director Kate Larsen. 

“We were also able to create a ‘sliding scale’ approach to the corresponding wage reduction, Larsen continued. “Pages, our lowest-paid, part-time employees, will not face a reduction in their wages; while our top-earning staff have agreed to take an extra week of unpaid furlough to make up the difference.” 

Tacoma Public Library patrons should plan to pick up holds and download eBooksaudiobooks, and magazines prior to Feb. 21–28 and Nov. 28–Dec. 5. During the budget closure, patrons will have access to all items already checked out. 

Specific service disruptions also include: 

  • TPL to Go materials pickup services will be unavailable during the budget closures. 
  • All library book drops will be locked and closed. No materials will be due during the closures. Patrons should keep books and materials at home until the library system reopens.  
  • The library website and online catalog will be unavailablePatrons will not be able to search the catalog or databases, use eResources, place holds on materials, or access their library account. 
  • Staffed services such as emailphone, or live chat for reference, research, or general help will be unavailable 
  • All TPL social media accounts will be inactive. 
  • No live virtual programs or events will take place; however, the library’s YouTube channel will be available for on-demand programs. 
  • No mail or deliveries will be received during the closure. 

For more information on the closures, visit tacomalibrary.org.  


About Tacoma Public Library:  

Tacoma Public Library's mission is to empower its community by bringing people together to discover, connect, create, learn, and thrive. Learn more at tacomalibrary.org 

Media Contact: 

Mariesa Bus, Public Information Officer | mbus@tacomalibrary.org | 253.280.2882