Seattle Public Library Website offline Following Ransomware Attack

Seattle Public Library (SPL) experienced a ransomware attack that significantly disrupted its technology systems.

This incident occurred just one day before the Library had planned to take its systems offline for scheduled maintenance over the Memorial Day weekend.

Impact on Library Services

The ransomware attack has affected various services, including access to staff and public computers, the online catalog and loaning system, e-books and e-audiobooks, in-building Wi-Fi, and the Library’s website at

As a result, patrons are currently unable to access these services.

Upon discovering the ransomware event, the Library promptly engaged third-party forensic specialists and contacted law enforcement. The Library took its systems fully offline to interrupt the attack and assess its nature and impact.

The investigation is ongoing, and the Library is working diligently with external partners to determine the extent of the disruption and restore full functionality to its systems.

Ensuring the privacy and security of patron and employee information remains a top priority.

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The Library has not yet provided an estimated time for resolution but will continue to update patrons as progress is made.

The Library expressed regret for the inconvenience caused and emphasized its commitment to securing and restoring its systems.

Continued Access to Physical Materials

Despite the challenges posed by the ransomware attack, the Seattle Public Library remains open and continues to lend print books and other physical materials.

Patrons are encouraged to visit the Library to check out physical books, CDs, and DVDs using paper forms.

Although placing new holds is impossible, patrons can still pick up holds already on the shelves.

The Library advises visitors to bring their physical or library card number.

Due to the inability to check physical materials back into the catalog, the Library asks patrons to hold onto their borrowed items a bit longer.

The Library does not charge daily late fines for overdue materials; due dates will be updated once systems are back online.

Patrons should expect delays as the Library manages a backlog of returned and newly delivered items.

The Seattle Public Library will introduce a new summer hours schedule at several locations across the city beginning Thursday, June 20.

This schedule aims to better meet community needs during the summer months without significantly altering the Library’s total operating hours systemwide.

The library’s blog and the Hours and Locations page provide more information about the summer hours schedule.

The Green Lake Branch, a historically landmarked Carnegie building, is temporarily closed for a seismic retrofit and other major renovations.

The branch is expected to reopen in the summer of 2024.

The project, funded by the 2019 Library Levy, includes a comprehensive structural upgrade, accessibility improvements, a new HVAC system, and interior modernization.

These enhancements will make the Green Lake Branch safer and better equipped to serve the community while preserving its historical significance.

The Seattle Public Library works tirelessly to address the ransomware attack and restore its technology systems.

In the meantime, the Library remains committed to serving the community by providing access to physical materials and maintaining open hours.

Patrons are encouraged to stay informed through the Library’s updates and to continue utilizing the available services.

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