The Pierce County Library System’s buildings are closed starting Saturday, March 14, to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic 2019 (COVID-19).
Starting, Friday, March 13, the Library System will stop charging fines on overdue books and materials, to give people grace during this disruptive time.
At this time, the Library is not setting a time period for this temporary closure, or a date when the libraries will reopen to the public. Library leaders will evaluate regularly and make decisions based on the current situation, recommendations from public health and government leaders, and the Library System’s principles and commitment to communities.
Staff is assessing how to best serve residents while its 20 libraries are closed to the public. Specific, limited services will be available to the public as they become ready.
Safety to the people the Library serves is a top priority. The Library is balancing its desire and commitment to serve the community, while ensuring it is doing its part to protect the health of the public and staff during this emerging health crisis.
The Library is changing how it delivers service in libraries:
Effective Saturday, March 14, 2020, PCLS buildings will not be accessible to the public.
Get Help for COVID-19 in Pierce County and Fun Things to Do from Home
For social service needs including housing, physical and mental health, food and more please call 211 for assistance.
Greater Tacoma Community Foundation is updating their community page with a variety information for of audiences including children, immigrants and refugees.
Local and reliable information about the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
Multicare is offering this through their MultiCare Virtual Care
Financial Information and Assistance
Resources from the Employment Security Department, Washington State for workers and business owners affected by Covid-19 on topics such as unemployment, temporary layoffs, and more.
Resources from the Department of Financial Institutions for Washington Residents affected by Covid-19. Topics include credit cards, rent/mortgage, and student loans.
Comcast is offering 60 days of free home internet to families participating in programs such as school lunch program, Medicaid, SNAP, or SSI who also meet Comcast eligibility criteria.
Disaster loans for Businesses, non-profits, homeowners and renters.
Washington State is officially experiencing a Disaster related to COVID-19.Disaster Loan Assistance Portal. Apply for a Disaster Loan.
Health care coverage information.
All uninsured Washington residents can apply for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder until April 8.
Customers of local utility companies may be eligible for credits toward their utility bills, extended payment plans, waived late fees, or payment assistance programs. Call your utility company to learn more.
Connect to information, payment options and financial assistance program.
Connect to information, payment options and financial assistance program
Emergency Food Network is providing up-to-date information about open food pantries, food banks in Pierce County. Call ahead to food banks to check for any updates to hours.
While schools are closed, find free meals for kids at a school or bus stop near you using this interactive map of student meal sites across Pierce County. Most meals are for ages 0-18 and kids must be present.
Resources for Children and Parents
Free day- by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing. Opportunities for Pre-K through pre-teen.
Science, technology, engineering and math activities from NASA for grades K – 12.
Learn all about geography and fascinating animals.
Free online, educational interactive content for grades pre-K through 8.
Daily activities and tips to help kids play and learn at home.
Watch, listen and play games to learn about animals.
Interactive games that practice reading strategies.
Practice phonics skills with read-a-long stories.
Practice math and reading skills while playing fun, interactive games.
Read, play games and hang out with Dr. Seuss and his friends.
Read, play games and conduct cool science experiments.
For Stories & Enjoyment
Presented for free by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, each video presents a different children’s story read by actors. Includes pictures and text of each book.
List of story time resources online, including streaming story times, finger-plays, podcasts and more.
Well-known children's stories translated into Spanish and spoken by a native Spanish speaker. Great for kids. Read along in Spanish or English.
Provides links to authors and illustrators hosting readings and interactive sessions.
Kennedy Center Education artist-in-residence Mo Williams invites you to draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing. Mo Williams is the author of popular children’s books featuring Pigeon, Piggie and Elephant.
Recommendations for families with pre-schoolers from NYTimes Parenting
Recommendations for families with tweens and teens from NYTimes
Ways to stay busy - Teens and Adults
Hosted by Mermaid Masterpieces, free paint parties for kids and adults through March 20th.
Seattle Symphony shares performances that bring strength, comfort and joy for free.
A list of National and International art museums offering free virtual tours.
Coursera partners with universities and organizations around the world, providing free classes online in a wide range of topics and perspectives.
Discover world history, culture and ideas with today’s leading experts.
Watch and participate in free courses from the YMCA.
Watch full-length plays and musicals for free.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When are my books, movies and other materials due?
A: May 1, 2020. Pierce County Library has extended the due date for all books and materials to May 1, 2020. Please hold onto the books you’ve checked out. Along with the library buildings, the book drops and DVD return bins are also closed. Watch the Library’s website for updates.
Q: How do I return my books and materials while the Library is closed?
A: You don’t! Please hold onto your books and items until the Library reopens. Watch the Library’s website for updates. The Library System extended all due dates on all materials to May 1, 2020, and encourages you to keep reading, watching and viewing these items.
Q: When will the Library reopen?
A: At this time, the Library is not setting a date when the libraries will reopen. Library leaders will evaluate regularly and make decisions based on the current situation, recommendations from public health and government leaders, and the Library System’s principles and commitment to communities. For now, please enjoy and learn from the Library’s online services with e-books, audiobooks and magazines and rich digital resources.
Q: What do I do if I can't remember my PIN?
A: The default PIN is the last four digits of your telephone number. If you can't remember the phone number you used when setting up your account, click here to have your PIN sent to the email address on file at the Library.
Q: What do I do if I lost my library card and don’t have my library number?
A: Please contact the library at 253-548-3300 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and a statement that you lost your library card and don’t have your library number. A librarian will return your call Monday-Saturday, between 3-6 p.m., and help you.
Q: Can I pick up items I have reserved or placed on hold at a library?
A: While the Library System is temporarily closed, you may not pick up books or other materials on hold. If you have items on hold, the Library will keep them for you for two weeks once the Library reopens. No new holds will become available for you while the Library System is closed, because staff is not in the buildings to process requests. Please watch the Library’s website for updates.
Q: When will I be notified of books and items that are on hold on my card/account?
A: When the Library System reopens, staff will check in books and other items returned as well as process items that have been requested through the hold requests. If you have hold requests that haven’t come in yet and you're not in a rush to receive them, the Library recommends inactivating or suspending the requests to a future date. Please watch the Library’s website for updates about when it will reopen.
You may suspend an item on hold by logging into your library account. Suspending a hold means you are letting the Library System know you don’t want to receive the item before the date you select (it may arrive sometime after that date, but not before). To suspend an item:
If you need help suspending your holds, please contact the Library at 253-548-3300 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and a statement that you would like help to suspend a hold. A librarian will return your call Monday-Saturday, between 3-6 p.m., and help you.
Q: How can I meet with my book club while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Try a group video chat on Facebook or Google Hangouts. For Facebook, all of the members of your book club will need a Facebook account and the messenger app on their phone, tablet or on computer. For Facebook video chat follow the instructions at: https://www.facebook.com/help/240197935990595. For Google Hangouts follow the instructions at: https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/3111943?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
It's important to remember COVID-19 isn't connected to race, ethnicity or nationality. Stigma will not help fight the illness. Sharing accurate information from trusted sources is critical to reduce misinformation. Find reliable and current information about the outbreak from local, state and national agencies below.
For general questions about COVID-19 or Washington state's response:
Tel: 253-548-3300 Fax: 253-537-4600 Washington Relay TTY: 711
© 2012 Pierce County Library System All rights reserved.