The Seattle Public Library

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December 21, 2014

Using the Library

Using the Catalog : Place a Hold

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Library closed Dec. 24 and 25

All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at the Central Library will be closed on Christmas Eve, Wednesday, Dec. 24 and Christmas Day Thursday, Dec. 25.


Service interruption in the Library's Online Catalog - Jan. 1

Between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1,  the Library will be upgrading its electrical power system. During the upgrade, you will be able to search the catalog, but won't be able to log in, place holds, renew items or use other catalog features. The former Library catalog (Horizon Information Portal) will not be available at all. SPL Mobile, access to e-books, free music downloads and many databases and applications also will be unavailable.

Place a Hold

With a Library card, you can place a hold on any item that is:

  • Available at your local branch - It will be held one week for pickup
  • Available at another branch - An available copy will be sent to your branch for free
  • Currently checked out to someone else - You will be placed on a waiting list to receive the item when it is returned


Microfilm or microfiche items and all items in Special Collections cannot be placed on hold or sent to your branch.


How many items may I reserve?

You can have up to 50 holds on books and materials. (This includes unfilled active and suspended holds, as well as holds available for pickup).


How do I place a hold?

  1. Search for the item in the Library catalog
  2. Click the Place Hold button
  3. Choose a pickup location
  4. Click Confirm to complete the hold
  5. Log in to your Library account (if you're not logged in already)


This puts you on the waiting list for the item. You also can call Borrower Services at 206-386-4190 or Ask a Librarian.


Learn more about placing a hold.


Can I change the pickup location for my existing holds?

Yes. To change the pickup location of holds you can email or chat with us on Ask a Librarian, call us at 206-386-4636 during open hours, or visit any Library location.


How will I know when an item is ready for me to pick up?

  • Email - If we have your email address, you will get an email notice when items are ready. You can add your email to your account by logging in to MY SPL and going to Account Settings at the top of the page.
  • Online - You can always log in to MY SPL to see the status of items you are waiting for.
  • Phone - You can always call us at 206-386-4190 during open hours to find the status of your holds.


How can I manage when my holds arrive or cancel a hold?

You can suspend holds to better control how many items become ready for pickup at the same time. You can also cancel holds that you no longer wish to have. Learn more about managing holds.

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