About Your Library

Get a Library Card
Get a Library Card

An application for a new library card may be made at the customer service desk.

If you own property, live, or work on Orcas Island, you are eligible for a library card. Renewals are made every 2 years to verify current information.

To save a step, print out an application or en español and bring it with you on your next visit to the Library.

If you're visiting the island and want to check out items from the Library there are two options. A nonresident card is available for an annual fee of $100.00 and carries the same user privileges as a resident card. A visitor's card is only $10 for 30 days and you may check out up to five items concurrently.

Holders of library card from the Lopez Island and San Juan Island libraries have reciprocal borrowing privileges with the Orcas Island Public Library; however, they must obtain a card for the Orcas Library. Items borrowed by these patrons must be returned to this library.

Borrowing Library Materials

Books — Books, including books on CDs and books on tapes, may be borrowed for 3 weeks.
Reference books are for in-library use only.

DVDs and videos — can be borrowed for 1 week. Limit of 10 DVDs checked out at a time.

Music CDs — can be borrowed for 3 weeks.

Periodicals — Current issues of magazines and newspapers are for in-library use only.
Back issues may be borrowed for 3 weeks.

Remote Book Returns
Book Drops Around the Island

In addition to the book drop in front of the library, we have two more book drops conveniently located around the island:

  • On the west side, in Deer Harbor: you can find the book drop in front of the Deer Harbor Community Club.
  • At the Orcas ferry landing: the book drop sits in front of the Cottage Gift Shop on Orcas Road.
The book drops are checked and emptied on a weekly basis.

Core Values
Orcas Island Library District Core Values

The Orcas Island Library District guides its actions according to the following core service values:

Equity of access and services for all members of the community with respect to:

  • Hours of operation that meet library users' schedules
  • Free services whenever possible
  • Accessible facilities, collections, and technologies
  • Assistance from staff
  • Outreach to people with varying language and physical needs
  • Appropriate services to all demographic groups
  • Adequate space for all library users

Intellectual freedom relating to:

  • Free and open access to all forms of information and self-expression
  • Protection for the right to read and explore without interference and monitoring
  • Meeting the need for an informed electorate
  • Diversity of representation in library collections and services

Learning support for:

  • The development of young readers
  • All community members seeking to strengthen their skills in reading and information seeking
  • Lifelong learning in all fields of exploration

Examples of existing services and actions that express OILD core values include:

  • Collections for all age groups, audiences, and in all formats meeting the needs and interests of the community; for example: books, DVDs, databases, CDs, Spanish-language materials, tapes, and ebooks & audio books
  • Service hours: 10am to 6pm Monday through Saturday; 12pm to 3pm Sunday
  • Checkout, information, and other customer services during all open hours provided by trained staff and volunteers
  • Public Internet, wireless, copy machine, and basic software programs
  • Outreach services to individuals and groups
  • Programs and events appropriate for all community members
  • Online access to the catalog, website, databases, and community resources
  • Public spaces available for meetings, programs, study, discussion, reading, play, and relaxation
  • Wheelchair access throughout the building
  • Maintenance of indoor and outdoor spaces conducive to use of the library
  • Communication about the library via publicity, meetings, and networking
  • Collaboration with other organizations and community groups
  • Interlibrary loans of materials not held in our collection
  • Online community calendar and a bulletin board in the Library's lobby and North wall

Approved by the Library Board on July 14, 2008, and reaffirmed on November 12, 2012.

Reviewed and reaffirmed on: January 24, 2018; March 16, 2021

Long Range Plan
Long-Range Strategic Directions

November, 2012

The Library's mission, goals, objectives, and actions are guided by its CORE SERVICE VALUES, as approved and updated by the Library Board: affirming equitable access, intellectual freedom, and lifelong learning.

Library Mission Summary:

The Orcas Island Public Library supports all learners on the island by maintaining strong collections, online resources, and services; serves as a welcoming place for reflection, exploration, discussion, and community networking; and reaches out effectively to all groups and individuals who will benefit from receiving services away from the Library.

Library Goals and Objectives:

GOAL 1: All community members will be able to find and use the resources and services they need to achieve their learning goals.
OBJECTIVES: The Library will

  1. Identify and offer educational services to all pre-school and school-age children, whether affiliated with a school or learning independently.
  2. Enable adult learners to learn about and explore the classes and other training they need, whether in the Library, at other community providers, or online and through other means.
  3. Maintain robust collections of books, other materials, and online resources to support self-directed learning.

GOAL 2: Residents and visitors will find what they need in order to learn about and engage with our community.
OBJECTIVES: The Library will

  1. Offer inviting spaces and facilitation to connect people and ideas, both as individuals and in groups.
  2. Establish itself as the central source for information about community programs and services.
  3. Train staff members to be skilled and proactive in referring people to the resources they need.

GOAL 3: All community members will benefit from resources and services delivered outside of the Library building.
OBJECTIVES: The Library will

  1. Identify and develop relationships with residents and groups who may not be familiar or comfortable with the Library.
  2. Ensure that anyone unable to visit the Library building consistently will learn about and take advantage of alternate means of using the Library's resources.
  3. Offer resources and services throughout the island, and by a variety of means.

Approved by the Board of the Orcas Island Library District on November 12, 2012.
Trustees: Alan Lichter [President], Thomas Fiscus, Rachel Newcombe, Margaret Payne, and Donna Riordan.

Needs Assessment Committee 2012:
Amber Paulsen (who shared input via email), Erin O'Dell, Holly King, Ian Lister, Jill Sherman, Judy Turksel, Margie Harrison (Facilitator), Michael Armenia, Pete Moe, Philomena Robinson, Pierrette Guimond, Susanne Mietzner, and Tom Tillman.

Printer-Friendly version [2012]
Printer-Friendly version [2010]
Printer-Friendly version [2005]

Computers & Internet
Computers & Internet

Public Computers

Printing is available:

  • Patrons may use the copy machine inside the library
  • Patrons may scan documents, which the staff will email to them
  • Patrons may send printing requests to print@orcaslibrary.org

We offer free computer, internet, and WiFi use to patrons and visitors. When we are closed, WiFi can be accessed on the Library grounds, all day every day. Please consult the Computer & Internet Use Policy below.

Public Computers

  • We offer nine public-access desktop computers
  • Public-access computers can be used for up to 1 hour each day
  • Access to all computers is on a first-come, first-served basis, and must be done in person at the Library
  • You will need your library card, or know your account number
  • Visitors can be given a guest pass at the front desk


  • We offer several laptops for your use within the Library
  • If you are interested in using the laptops you must sign a usage agreement and provide a valid library card and photo ID. Sign up at the front desk


  • All public-access desktop, express, and laptop computers are connected to the Library's printer network
  • Black & White printing through the main copy machine is available for 10¢ per sheet
  • Color printing is available for 50¢ per sheet at the front desk
  • Printing is not available from personal laptops using the WiFi network

24-hour WiFi Access

  • Our WiFi network can be accessed inside the Library during regular hours
  • Our WiFi network can be accessed on the Library grounds 24-hours a day, seven days a week
  • The network password is available inside the library, or by checking the display box outside the front doors.

Computer & Internet Use Policy

The Orcas Island Public Library, in ways that support its mission, offers access to computers and to the Internet as well as to other technologies as available and appropriate.

Each individual computer user takes responsibility for his or her own actions using Library equipment or the Internet. In the case of minors, responsibility lies with the parents or legal guardians.

Computer users are responsible for the security and integrity of their own communications and information. The Library's network is not a secure environment.

Users should be aware that government agencies and others may have the right to obtain user information.

Adopted 2/2000
Revised 5/2006

Operating Hours

  • Sunday 12 - 3pm
  • Monday 10am - 6pm
  • Tuesday 10am - 6pm
  • Wednesday 10am - 6pm
  • Thursday 10am - 6pm
  • Friday 10am - 6pm
  • Saturday 10am - 6pm

Library Closures 2023

  • New Year's Sunday, January 1st & Monday, January 2nd
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday, January 16th
  • Presidents Day Monday, February 20th
  • Memorial Day Monday, May 29th
  • Juneteenth Monday, June 19th
  • Independence Day Tuesday, July 4th
  • Labor Day Monday, September 4th
  • Veterans Day Saturday, November 11th
  • Thanksgiving Thursday, November 23rd
  • Christmas Monday, December 25th