Buy The Book

Sure, the Spokane Public Library lends out thousands of books, but did you know it’s also a book store?

 Sales on-line and at the main branch downtown generate more than $50,000 in revenues that are split between general library programs and support for student and summer reading programs.

The books on sale are donated, or culled from the libraries’ collection as their circulation slows. 

Some donations are unusual.

“I swear one guy bought every book in creation,” says Brenda Kochis, who manages the sales with the support of volunteers who donate more than 2,500 hours of time.

 Volunteers sort donated books by quality, with the best offered first on-line. Others are shelved in the lobby, some for as little as three for $1. Recordings are available, too.

Finally, the library holds a twice-a-year sale for all leftovers. Remainders are sold off in bulk.

It’s a great effort, but the libraries rely far more on the support from Spokane voters who can renew their commitment by voting for Measure 1 on the April 25 ballot. Measure 1 will renew a levy of seven cents per $1,000 property valuation first approved in 2013 by an almost two-to-one margin.

Please vote for Measure 1, and come buy a book or two as well!


Book-a-Librarian Service

Did you know you can retain _ at no cost _ a Spokane public libraries librarian?

The service is one of the benefits of self-checkout, which frees library staff to provide more customized assistance.

You can get help with a research project, or an introduction to services _ email, audio and visual equipment, or genealogy _ that you may not know were available, or how to access them.

Help can be booked on the libraries’ web site _ _ by briefly explaining what assistance you want, at which branch, and suggesting a few times to assure someone will be available to meet with you.

This and many other library services and materials are available thanks in part to a voter-approved levy of $7 per $100,000 in property valuation that has been in place three years. Measure No. 1, which will be on the April 25 ballot, will renew the levy for seven years and fund extended hours at several branches, and the purchase of more materials.   

Please vote for Measure 1 and keep Spokane public libraries a resource for all.

Thank you.

Meet Clara, Shadle Youth Librarian

For more than 20 years, Clara Strom has worked her way through and up the Spokane county and city library systems, with the Hillyard branch her most recent home. Now, she’ll be checking out a new role as youth services librarian for the Shadle library. Experiences like reading to 50 kids hanging on her every word will make the transition a welcome one. 

“I just wanted to do what I love,” she says, adding that her new duties will take her out to many more community and neighborhood organizations.

The Hillyard branch has become a community anchor under her leadership, offering crafts on Saturday, hosting scout groups, and services like free resume printing. WorkSource employment counseling is available once a week. 

The meeting room is in constant use, as are the computers. And there’s the vegetable and flower seed catalog available to everyone. 

Need a camera? They’ve got some.

All city library libraries have a wealth of resources thanks to the support of citizens who voted for a library levy in 2013. It’s time to renew the levy, so lease support Measure 1 on ballots due April 25.


Prime Time Family Reading

In the fall of 2016, Humanities Washington hosted the Prime Time Family Reading program at East Side library for six weeks. Library staff partnered with Sheridan Elementary school, aGonzaga University scholar, and a local story teller to inspire active thought and conversation between children and families through reading and discussing topics such as fairness, greed, courage, and compassion. The Prime Time Family Reading curriculum was developed by Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and program outcomes for participants show both increases in long-term academic achievement, as well as lasting connections with libraries. 

Passage of Measure 1 will ensure continuing partnerships line this one. Please vote yes. Thank you. 

Outreach at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital

Sometimes, the library has to come to you. Like when you are a young cancer patient in the Sacred Heart Medical Center pediatric oncology unit, and you may not be able to leave your room, let alone the hospital.

Here, South Hill branch Customer Service Manager Susan Rudder reads to Lily(no last name) while she was undergoing treatment. Several staff members from the South Hill and Downtown branches visit the hospital each week to read and do crafts with the young patients. The program helps lift patient spirits and shift attention from the stress of therapy.

Spokane Public Libraries are focusing more of their energies on outreach to all kinds of community organizations.

Thanks for your ongoing support.

Great Events Are Happening at Your Library

Let’s assume it’s April 12. You. Have your April 25 ballot, and you are wondering why you should support Measure 1, renewal of the library levy first approved in 2013.
Well, let’s take a look at the events scheduled at the six branches, including Downtown, up through the 25th. Here’s sample _ and it’s just a sample _ of what’s going on in that less than two-week period:

Today at Indian Trail, there’s Peep Science featuring, you guessed it, those favorite Easter marshmallow treats.

Shadle holds an egg-decorating class on the 13th.

More seriously, on the 18th the East Side branch will be holding a class on how to create a child protection plan.

There’s a class on container vegetable gardening the same day at the Hillyard branch.

And on the 25th, the Elder Planning Series continues with a class on insurance issues at the South Hill branch.

Meanwhile, the Downtown branch is hosting an exhibit, “The World Between,” by artist Daniel Kytoran, and another, “Grand Coulee to Grunge,” highlighting eight game-changing contributions Washington has made global culture.

Spokane’s libraries are an extraordinary resource, and Measure 1 helps fund these activities, and many more, so please vote “Yes.”

Meet South Hill Branch Manager Ellen Peters

If Spokane voters approve Measure 1, a library levy renewal, Ellen Peters may be putting in a few more hours at the South Hill branch, which will be open Sundays, as Shadle has been for three years. Peters, a former computer programmer, also heads up the East Side branch, where hours were expanded thanks to initiation of the library levy four years ago.

The South Hill branch hosts Prime Time Family Reading, in which families read books on topics like fairness, then discuss how the readings might have changed their ways of thinking.

The branch also works closely with the nearby Touchmark retirement community, sponsoring events like a recent calligraphy class, and a wine and chocolate reception on Valentine’s Day.

Libraries, Peters says, are bridges that connect patrons with the resources they want and need.

“This is a community that loves its libraries,” she says.

Spokane voters will have a chance to show that affection by supporting Measure 1 on the April 25 ballot. They first approved the levy in 2013, when hours were extended at several branches.

please vote “yes”. Thanks. 

Introducing Jason Johnson, Downtown Branch Manager

At some 120,000 square feet, the Downtown branch is about as big as the five neighborhood branches of the Spokane Public Libraries system combined, and Jason Johnson is looking for new ways to make the most of that footprint.

His most successful innovation since taking over the branch in. February 2016 after 12 years with Spokane County libraries may be the library’s embrace of First Friday, downtown Spokane’s monthly arts and music celebration. The installation of local art and creating space on the Third Floor for a music venue attracted a modest turnout of around 40 last June, but attendance has climbed to more than 200 some nights and Johnson is looking for ways to build on the relationships with artists and their audience.

The ways people use their libraries are changing. The library’s 36 computers are in use almost constantly, and many more patrons use the wi-if connection. 

With meeting rooms in high demand, the library may move all its books to one level to create more space for big and small groups, Johnson says.

But he wants to preserve special services like genealogical research and the Northwest Room’s historical collections.

Johnson says the branch’s staff are being trained to be knowledgable about all resources so they can assist patrons with their questions without having to hand them off to someone elsie.

Spokane voter support of Measure 1 will enable Johnson and other branch leaders to continue innovating so libraries can keep up with the community’s needs. Please approve renewal of the library levy that is on the April 25 ballot.


Meet Your Branch Managers

We would like to take a moment to introduce you to our branch managers, the first being Pat Bonner. 

Pat has been in charge of the Shadle and Indian Trail branches of Spokane Public Library for 12 years, and she has worked in every other branch, including Downtown, since starting work with the libraries in March 1986. Shadle was the branch that opened on Sundays thanks to voter approval of Proposition 1 in 2013. She says it has been a great success with families who share their love of books. Circulation has increased, and her literary parishioners usually have all the computer terminals in use. 

If Spokane voters approve Measure 1, the South Hill branch will also be open Sundays.

As part of the Spokane Libraries effort to become a “library of things,” Shadle has a telescope donated by the Spokane Astronomy Society to lend out. After all, she says, libraries are “places of exploration,” aren’t they?

Bonner will be taking on new responsibilities soon as head of outreach for the North Side branches; spreading the word about the resources available and asking organizations how the libraries be of greater service to them. 

Spokane’s libraries are a tremendous resource, and they want to do more. Please vote for Measure 1 to assure they remain the neighborhood centers that all can rely on.


Read Books In Your Native Language

Image-1 (1)Students speaking more than 100 languages are enrolled in Spokane public schools, so it makes sense that Spokane libraries offer foreign language materials. The Hillyard branch has an extensive collection of fiction and non-fiction books, like the Russian language edition of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” shown here. The library system also offers materials in Spanish and Vietnamese.

Spokane libraries can provide a wide variety of materials and services thanks to the support of Spokane voters. On April 25, they can continue library efforts to maintain and expand services by renewing a levy lift of 7 cents per $1,000 property valuation. Voters first endorsed the levy by a 2-1 vote in 2013, and Measure 1 would keep the levy in place for another seven years.

Please vote for Measure 1 April 25 and keep the magic alive.