Tacoma Public Library will open two libraries at limited capacity on Tuesday, March 16 

Fern Hill and Swasey Libraries will welcome patrons for 45 minute visits by appointment or walk-up  


TACOMA, WASH.— Following the Puget Sound Region’s Phase 2 designation by Gov. Inslee as part of the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan, Tacoma Public Library will open two of its locations to the public on Tuesday, March 16. Fern Hill Library and Swasey Library wilopen for successive 45-minute sessions Tuesday through Saturday in which patrons can browse the collection, pick up their holds, and access computers and printing.  

Patrons are encouraged to make appointments for their session at least 24 hours in advance; limited walk-up entry to the libraries is also available on a first-come, first-served basis. In accordance with the state mandate, the number of patrons and staff in the libraries will not exceed 25 percent of total capacity. All staff and visiting patrons are required to observe the state-mandated safety precautions including appropriate mask-wearing and social distancing. Time is allotted between sessions so that staff can clean surfaces  

“The health of our staff and patrons is of utmost importance as we open our doors for these needed library services such as computer access, printing, and browsing the collection,” stated Director Kate Larsen. “We appreciate the community’s patience, as in our case, our recent Budget Closure set back our progress towards reopening. The lessons we learn from opening these two locations will set us up for success as we prepare to reopen more libraries in our system. 

Fern Hill Library, in south Tacoma, is located at 765 South 84th StreetSwasey Library, in west central Tacoma, is located at 7001 Sixth Avenue. These libraries will offer four, 45-minute sessions each day on a Tuesday to Saturday schedule, with the first segment of each day for high-risk patrons: 

Tuesdays and Wednesdays 

  • Session 1 – 12:00 - 12:45 p.m. for High-Risk Patrons     
  • Session 2 – 1:00 - 1:45  p.m. 
  • Session 3 – 5:00 - 5:45 p.m.   
  • Session 4 – 6:00 - 6:45 p.m.   

Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays   

  • Session 1 – 10:00 - 10:45 a.m. for High-Risk Patrons 
  • Session 2 – 11:00 - 11:45 a.m. 
  • Session 3 – 3:00 - 3:45 p.m. 
  • Session 4 - 4:00 - 4:45 p.m. 

 “It has been a year since COVID-19 caused us to close our doors and pivot our focus to virtual and walk-up services,” stated Larsen. “We’ve seen our online resource usage skyrocket, and have enjoyed serving patrons through TPL To Go curbside services and our wide-ranging  online program offerings. We are thrilled to welcome patrons back for in-building visits.”  

TPL To Go holds pick-up services remain available at all locations, including the Eastside Microlibrary. Tacoma Public Library also offers 24/7 access to its virtual collections and eResourcesas well as reference help by phone during normal business hours and a host of other virtual programs and features.  

For more information, 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