Readers, rejoice: Vashon Library boosts hours of operation

The new hours are part of a system-wide expansion by the King County Library System that will continue until June 18.

The Vashon Library has significantly expanded its hours of operations, effective this week.

The new hours include a full extra day of service, on Monday, and at least one to two extra additional hours of operation on the other five days of the week the library is open.

In all, the library has gone from being open 35 hours a week, as of last week, to its current 47 hours.

The new hours are part of a system-wide expansion by the King County Library System (KCLS) that started on May 14 and will continue until June 18 across the county.

Vashon was near the top of the list in the rollout of libraries to expand hours.

The expansion of hours isn’t the only good news shared by KCLS. It also recently announced that as of May 9, late fines for overdue books and other library materials have been eliminated altogether from the library system.

The change came after an analysis of data showed that late fines generated little revenue, worsened inequality, and discouraged library use — most adversely impacting patrons with low incomes and limited access to transportation and technology.

The library systems will still charge replacement fees, however, for materials that are more than 60 days overdue, because state law requires such fees for lost or damaged library materials.

Local staff excited to expand

Librarian Steven Bailey, who oversees programs, collections, and community engagement at the Vashon Library, described KCLS’s decision to expand hours in light of the library system’s long COVID-era journey.

In March of 2020, libraries system-wide were closed to the public — beginning more than a year of a long crawl back to welcoming patrons that began first with curbside service and later, in 2021, with limited hours of operation at all 50 libraries, with strict protocols in place. The Vashon Library 35-hour-a-week schedule was adopted in March of 2022.

But now, said Bailey, the Vashon staff was excited, at last, to increase library access once again — including being open until 6 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The new hours, he said, will be especially beneficial for Vashon residents catching an afternoon ferry back to the island, and will also allow more time for kids and teens to use the library after school.

“Opening on Mondays is a benefit for our families with school-age kids, including homeschoolers, who can better prepare for the week ahead, and additional hours will allow for more library programs throughout the week,” Bailey said.

According to Bailey, library staff is well prepared for the expansion hours of operations.

He also said he was thrilled to announce that the Vashon Library had hired an additional teen and adult services librarian, with a start date of June 20.

“We’ve been making sure our library collections are in good condition with a balanced mix of new and older titles, and we’ve been creating eye-catching displays to highlight certain genres,” he said. “And we’ve been researching community needs and interests, and scheduling library programs in response.”

One of those programs will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, when the library hosts a geology program, “Antiques Rockshow: Uncovering and Understanding Vashon’s Rocks,” in partnership with the Vashon Union of Geologists. At the free event, islanders can learn more about Vashon’s rocks, and bring their own prized rocks for assessment by experts.

More free events, made possible with the assistance of Vashon Friends of the Library, will roll out through the summer months.

Starting June 1, the library’s summer reading program will encourage reading for all ages, providing reading logs to track time spent, and prizes for meeting reading goals. Bailey urged islanders to visit the library to pick up a Reading Challenge log or create an account in the Beanstack app.

In addition, the library’s Thursday morning story times will continue through the summer with Amelia Lincoln Ecevedo, Vashon’s children’s services librarian. Infant and toddler story time is at 10 a.m., followed by preschool story time at 11 a.m.

The Vashon Library also allows community members to reserve its meeting room and study rooms free of charge (visit, in addition to providing free WiFi throughout the library, access to computers, printers, copiers and fax services, and individual assistance from its staff.

New Hours for Vashon Library

Monday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday: 12 to 8 p.m.

Wednesday: 12 to 8 p.m.

Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday: closed

Visit to find out more.