Recommended Reads of 2020

2020-cover

 

This year is/was, in short, a trip. One way to escape our own reality was to immerse ourselves in that of another via reading anything and everything. Straight from SPL staff to you, we present our Recommended Reads of 2020. The books in this list, published this year (or late 2019), grasped our attention through the trials and tribulations that became 2020. It certainly was a memorable one, wasn’t it? Enjoy these reads!

 

Watching From the Dark by Gytha Lodge

Book | eBook

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

“It’s a fast-moving, innovative urban fantasy with Lovecraftian undertones and cultural commentary. If you know and love New York City, you’ll have more insights into the characterizations (literally) of the city and its boroughs, but even those of us who have only visited or learned about New York City through media can appreciate Jemisin’s sly humor and sense of place. I also HIGHLY recommend the audiobook read by Robin Miles. She’s a wonderful narrator who gives each character a distinct personality,” Dana.

Book | eBook | Audiobook

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

“This book is escape reading at its best. Imagine a world filled with every story ever told from every period of history and time; all of these stories are collected in a magical world that exists under our feet. And if you’re very lucky, you can just open a door (the right door) and enter it….,” Tammy.

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Network Effect by Martha Wells

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

Book

Harleen by Stjepan Šejić

“Not only the best depiction of Harley Quinn, hands down the best art also,” Becky.

Book

Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

“This beautiful novel, written in verse, is a coming of age story about Michael who is mixed race and British. The novel starts with Michael as a young boy who desperately wants a Barbie but instead is given a Ninja Turtle. We follow him through his adolescent and teenage years all the way to college where, along the way, he begins to more fully understand his own identity and passions. It ends with a drag show where Michael fully embraces his new drag persona as the Black Flamingo- and this is when, as a reader, my heart was bursting,” Katie.

Book | eBook

Disability Visibility : First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century, edited by Alice Wong

“I highly recommend this book of essays and writings from folks in the disability community. Edited by Alice Wong who is a disabled Activist and creator who, among other things, started the Disability Visibility Project and is part of the #CripTheVote movement. For those of you still committed to diversifying your reading and want to include more marginalized voices, check it out. This is one book from 2020 I will be thinking about for years to come,” Katie.

Book

You Matter by Christian Robinson

Book 

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Book

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

Book | eBook | Audiobook

The End of the Day by Bill Clegg

Book

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

“This is the sequel to Tomi Adeyemi’s fantastic West-African inspired fantasy novel, Children of Blood and Bone. I recommend this book because it is some of the best and most unique fantasy fiction I have read recently. The characters in this book grow and change; some for better, some for worse,” Gina.

Book | eBook 

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

“I picked this book up because it had the word “Djinn” in the title and I am attracted to books with magical realism. The young characters in the story are also interested in the presence of djinn but what they find becomes much darker. This story is a peek into the utter poverty of many in India and how they fight to live and find some joy in their lives. Beautifully written and so important, I recommend this book to all,” Eva.

Book | eBook

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

“The main character in The Girl with the Louding Voice is a fighter. She does not give up and she is faced with incredible adversity! Her incredible, infectious spirit drives this novel and despite the very heavy subject (human trafficking), she lifts us up and we cheer her on,” Eva

Book | eBook | Audiobooks

The Cold Millions by Jess Walter

“Everyone you know is reading it, but it really is that good! This is a compelling, touching story about a fascinating period in Spokane history. Check out the acknowledgements for leads on other books about the time,” Vanessa.

Book | eBook | Audiobook

The Couch Potato by Jory John

Book

The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey

Book

Speak Up by Miranda Paul and Ebony Glenn

Book

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“I saw this book in numerous articles and decided to see what all the hype was about. Let me tell you, it was worth it. This gothic horror left me feeling spooked, charmed, and anxious for the lead character to succeed; and despite the conflicting emotions, I was on the edge of my seat through it all,” Skyler.

Book | eBook | Audiobook

The Blue House by Phoebe Wahl

Book

Chaos Reigning by Jessie Mihalik

“Each book is well-written. The world building is consistent. The storyline follows the youngest “von Hasenberg” sibling. As the youngest daughter, she is seen as spoiled, frivolous, and flighty. Her image allows her to follow her true abilities and work as a spy for her family,” Michele.

Book

Pharma: Greed, Lies and the Poisoning of America by Gerald Posner

“This book gives a clear picture of the opioid crisis and how the Sackler family gained influence and success in the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, it describes how those within the drug industry, government agencies, and scientists have exchanged their responsibility to public health for greed.” Catherine.

Book

We Have Been Harmonized by Kai Strittmatter

Book

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

Book | Audiobook

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

This haunting horror novel is brutal, bleak, and beautifully written. A wrenching story of four Native teenage boys and how a tragic event from their youth follows them into adulthood. Visceral and very scary,” Kathryn.

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Green On Green by Dianne White and Felicita Sala

This sweet and calming picture book celebrates the changing seasons and a growing family with dreamy, rhythmic verse and lush illustrations. A lovely and joyous read for people of all ages,” Kathryn.

Book



Winter & Holiday Picture Books 2020

2020-cover-1

 

Find a variety of children’s books to share celebrations of winter and a variety of winter holidays. Pick these up via curbside pickup!

Tree of Cranes by Allen Say

Book

Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis and Daniel Minter

 Book

Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney

Book

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner

Book

Is it Hanukkah Yet? by Chris Barash and Alessandra Psacharop

Book

Little Owl’s Snow by Divya Srinivasan

Book

Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington and Shane Evans

Book

Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel and Mike Wohnoutka

Book

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman

Book

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Book

Winter Candle by Jeron Ashford Frame and Stacey Schuett

Book 

The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket and Lisa Brown

Book

The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket and Brett Helquist

Book

Every Month is a New Year: celebrations around the world by Marilyn Singer and Susan Roth

Book

Chanukah Lights Everywhere by Michael Rosen and Melissa Iwai

Book

Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas by Pamela Ehrenberg and Anjan Sarkar

Book

Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller and Kathi Ember

Book

The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco

Book

Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon, Tanya Simon, and Mark Siegel

Book

‘Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Thong and Sara Palacios

Book

Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko

Book

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper and Carson Ellis

Book

N is for Navidad by Susan Middleton Elya, Merry Banks, and Joe Cepeda

Book

Freedom Soup by Tami Charles and Jacqueline Alcántara 

Book

A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King and Gary Clement 

Book

The Christmas Coat: memories of my Sioux childhood by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve and Ellen Beier

Book



Make an Embroidered Snowflake Card

cardsThis year might just be the perfect one for sending holiday cards. Since we can’t see our friends and extended family in person this year, a card that lets someone know you’re thinking of them can really brighten their day!

Normally, I host Crafternoon programs to let patrons make their own cards at the library; but this year, video will have to do! This video teaches you how to make embroidered snowflake cards. You’ll need this template – download and print or you can have us print it and request the print with your curbside pickup.

Not sure what to write once you’ve made your cards? Here are some ideas:

  1. Thank someone for being in your life. Think about how this person has been important to you and tell them. How does this person make your life better? How have they helped you? Have they inspired you? How are you grateful for them?
  2. Reminisce about holiday memories that you shared with the person;
  3. Acknowledge how difficult this year has been and offer hope for future get-togethers;
  4. Just tell them you’re thinking of them.

Need more inspiration for your holidays? Check our catalog here or look at the extensive online magazine collection through RBDigital.



Spot Misinformation When You See it | Media Literacy 101

There is a plethora of information – true or not – at our fingertips. The best way to stay informed is to fact check and remain impartial to the things you see because misinformation is everywhere. Before you share information with the world, it’s best to make sure it is accurate to stop the spread of misinformation!  

While our reference librarians are always prepared to answer any questions you may have, it’s often easier to find the answers yourself. We get it, you want the answers here and now! What we hope to do in this post is provide you with a means of fact checking information on your own and employing tricks to spot misinformation when you see it.  

Check the Source 

Where do you usually get your news from? It’s important to note that media bias exists, and some information may not be reliable depending on how the article is written. A great resource for learning which media outlets remain more neutral and reliable is the media bias chart from Ad Fontes Media. See how your most-referenced outlets pair up with others and which tend to be more biased. 

Read the Whole Article, Not Just the Headline 

Headlines don’t paint a full picture of what the article is about. It’s easy to make snap judgments based off what a headline is because we want quick information, but sometimes it’s not always true. Think you’re good at judging if an article is true based off the title? Play this game to see if you can quickly judge whether a story is true or not. Another thing to look at is who wrote the article and the date the article was written since the information could be out of date.

But I’m Not Biased!” Don’t Worry, Psychology Says We All Are 

Confirmation Bias is the “tendency to process information by looking for, or interpreting, information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs (Source: Britannica). We want to be right, it’s as simple as that! While it’s tempting to look at sites that confirm your beliefs, make sure you check a variety of sources to see the other sides of the story.  

Fact-Checking Takes Time. Are There Reliable Organizations Who Fact-Check Statements? 

Yes! FactCheck.org, Snopes.com, the Washington Post  Fact Checkermediabiasfactcheck.com, and PolitiFact.com. 

Want to Become Better at Navigating Media and Misinformation? Read More! 

Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News by Kevin Young
Book 

Unspun: Finding Facts in a World of Distortion by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson 
eBook

A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age by David J. Helfand
eBook

The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread Cailin O’Connor

Book | eBook

Fact vs Fiction by Jennifer LaGarde
Book

 A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age by Daniel Levitin
Book

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas G. Carr
Book

Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World by Carl T. Bergstrom

Books for Kids

Teaching kids about media literacy can start with early reading! Find books about forming a worldview, asking questions, and being curious so they can better understand facts and opinions.

Facts vs Opinions vs Robots by Michael Rex
eBook

Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor
Book

If You Give a Mouse an iPhone by Ann Droyd
Book

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
Book



Learn How to Prepare Elderberries to Boost Your Immune System

Learning to do something new can be frustrating. Over the fall, I harvested elderberries and froze them with the intention to do something with them later. That something came in the form of a medicinal elderberry tincture, courtesy of an instructional video from Spokane Tribal Member Jennifer LeBret in celebration of Native American Heritage Month.

Following her instructions were easy! The aroma of the simmering tincture, with added cinnamon and ginger to enhance the health benefits and flavor, was delightful! While de-stemming the berries is meticulous due to the toxic nature of the stems and leaves, the end result is well worth the effort! I have an immune-boosting tincture ready to use for the upcoming winter months.

Check out Jennifer LeBret’s video and other Native American Heritage Month videos! Find videos for making fry-bread, weaving baskets, learning basic Salish words and phrases, and many more cultural and historical videos.



Transgender Awareness Booklist

transgender-awareness-cover
November 13-19, 2020 is Transgender Awareness Week, a time to bring awareness to and support the transgender community by providing a platform, sharing stories, experiences, and reflections of identity, and acknowledging the prejudice and adversity the community faces often. Check out the booklist below or visit OdysseyPFLAG, and/or Spectrum Center to find more resources.

Picture Books

The Boy & The Bindi by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Rajni Perera

Book

BunnyBear by Andrea J. Loney, illustrated by Carmen Saldana

Book

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings, and illustrated Shelagh McNicholas

Book

It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn, illustrated by Noah Grigini

Book

Neither by Airlie Anderson

Book

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Book

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman Illustrated by Kristyna Litten

Book

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Book

Middle Grade

Ana on the Edge by A.J. Sass

Book

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Book |  eBook

Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker

Book

George by Alex Gino

Book | Audiobook

Rick by Alex Gino

BookeBook

The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith

Book

The Moon Within by Aida Salazar

Book

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke

BookeBook

Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker

Book

YA

Anger Is A Gift by Mark Oshiro

BookAudiobook

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman

Book

Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings

Book

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Book

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Book

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Book

Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve

BookeBook

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Book

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens Edited by Marieke Nijkamp

Book

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Book



RBDigital Audiobooks Moving to Libby/OverDrive on December 2, 2020

rb-digital-magazinesOn December 2, 2020, Spokane Public Library will be moving our digital ebooks and audiobooks from RBdigital to the Libby app as part of our OverDrive collection. You will continue to be able to browse, borrow, and enjoy all the same great ebooks and audiobooks you loved in the RBdigital app, now available in Libby. If you have already been enjoying the Libby app, there will be no change, other than you may notice even more great titles available for you to borrow.

Transition from RBdigital
If you currently have a book checked out in the RBdigital app, it will be available through the remainder of the lending period, so you can finish your title without disruption or risk of losing your place in the book. Holds will not be moved, but you may export your Transaction History from the Profiles section of the RBdigital app. You can place holds on those titles again in Libby. For the time being, you can continue to use the RBdigital app to access magazines.

Getting Started with Libby
Our library is proud to continue to offer you a wide selection of digital titles for you to access anytime, anywhere through Libby, the one-tap reading app. If you haven’t tried the Libby app yet, all you need to get started is your library card number and PIN number. The Libby app is easy to use and will guide you through the setup process and get you connected to our library in just a few minutes.

New to ebooks and audiobooks?
In just a few taps, you can start reading or listening instantly on your phone or tablet. The digital library is available 24/7 without leaving home and is free from our library. Choose from bestsellers, fiction, nonfiction, books for kids, and more. Download the Libby app today.



Spokane Digital Photo Collection

For the past ten years, we have been digitizing our photo collection to create a comprehensive digital resource for images of Spokane and the Inland Northwest. These images are freely available for anyone to search or browse through our Digital Collections page. Since the Northwest Room has been closed, we have been going through photo files and adding any images we may have missed in the first project. We are now finished going through the Spokane photos, so all of the Spokane photos are available. We have also hit a milestone of 3000 images and have created a video showing you how to find pictures on your own.

Here are a couple of recent additions.

Spokane_Spokane_House046.tif

Mouth of the Little Spokane River at the Spokane House site. Frank Palmer photo, ca. 1915.

 

Spokane_Views_F3_032.tif

 “Looking across the city from the north bank of the river from a point about directly north from the Carnegie Library. Jake Hill is seated on a tree stump in the foreground of the view, ca. 1910.”



Unveiling Designs for Children’s Areas in the Library of the Future

Designs have been unveiled for enhanced children’s spaces at the new and renovated Spokane Public Library locations. Each library play space will be an access point to a whimsical alternate reality that draws on familiar features of Spokane’s landscape and culture. This unified world will encourage visitors to continue their journey at other library locations. Around the bend, under the bridge, between those trees – find your way into Spokane’s hidden worlds.

“When the Library Bond passed in 2018, the number one requested improvement from our community was improved children’s spaces,” said Andrew Chanse, Executive Director, Spokane Public Library.

To make that request come to life, Spokane Public Library engaged Luci Creative, a Chicago-based children’s playscape design firm, to develop six whimsical children’s spaces for the Central Library (formerly Downtown), Shadle Park, Liberty Park, Hillyard, Indian Trail, and South Hill. The children’s play and learning areas will not exceed $1.8M for design services which includes fabrication and installation of the design work to be fully funded from interest earnings.

“Luci Creative was the perfect partner to help us design creative spaces that will provide a playful environment and generate a love of libraries, literacy, and learning in the future generations of Spokane,” said Chanse.

Large-scale, natural elements will add a fantasy vibe while artsy textures and patterns give the space a handmade feel that kids can relate to. The native flora and fauna of Spokane will mingle with a friendly cast of characters, and will be used throughout the play spaces in both environmental graphics and dimensional elements. All of the children’s spaces include integrated shelving for books (to augment traditional shelving) and seating for reading.

“These new children’s library play spaces will mean so much to our community and the future children of Spokane,” said Mayor Nadine Woodward. “It’s almost as if the Library has created a new network of indoor parks for our community.”

Learn more about all the library bond projects at future.spokanelibrary.org.

 downtown-hero

At a Glance: Central Library

  • Size: 2,380 square feet
  • Theme: River Rumpus
    • Dive into the river on a tour with Goat, and discover an unexpected world of sunken secrets. Slide down the waterfall or traverse the submerged logs. Take a turn at the wheel of the boat wreck, or climb into the gondola submarine for a spin. Little ones crawl into the belly of a fish to find play opportunities just for them.
  • Mascot: Goat
  • Opening: Spring 2022

 

shadle-hero

At a Glance: Shadle Park

  • Size: 1,500 square feet
  • Theme: Moose’s Market
    • Grab your overalls and spend a day with Farmer Moose, planting and harvesting crops, and manning the veggie stand for hungry critters. Tired after a hard day of work? Take some time off in the burrows beneath the garden, or climb to the carrot tops and slide back down in the tunnel. For the littlest ones, the flower garden is a safe spot to discover what might hide between the blooms.
  • Mascot: Moose
  • Opening: Summer 2021

spl-liberty-park-hero

At a Glance: Liberty Park

  • Size: 1,150 square feet
  • Theme: Sasquatch Shack
    • Pitch your tent and take a walk through the forest where the local Sasquatch families live peacefully. Climb up into the trees and slide down a branch, make yourself at home in a Sasquatch hut, or gather round the fire for a story. Whether you’re peeking through binoculars, or crawling into a giant log, this is sure to be a camping trip unlike any other.
  • Mascot: Sasquatch
  • Opening: Summer 2021

spl-shaw-hillyard-hero

At a Glance: Hillyard Library

  • Size: 1,020 square feet
  • Theme: Mt. Shaw
    • Float on up to this mystical mountain among the clouds where mama mountain lion is raising her cubs. Take in the view from the peak, leave your mark in chalk on the cave wall, or tunnel in and curl up with a book. Little ones find their own cozy space among the cumulus, with sensory play and plenty of room to crawl.
  • Mascot: Mountain Lion & Osprey
  • Opening: Fall 2021

 

spl-indian-trail-hero

 

At a Glance: Indian Trail

  • Size: 500 square feet
  • Theme: Basalt Burrow
    • Paddle, swim, or hop on over to the shores of Mr. Marmot’s island, where he’s dug out a cave for you to explore. Climb the boulder or burrow under with a book and discover what’s inside the cave. Bring the little ones along – there’s plenty of space to crawl in the boat.
  • Mascot: Marmot
  • Opening: Spring 2022

south-hill-hero-1

At a Glance: South Hill

  • Size: 650 square feet
  • Theme: Turkey Treetops
    • Step into the treetops and take a stroll around the block in this avian community. Climb through and crawl under the coop, or put on a show at the puppet theater. In the nest, little ones have space to explore their world safely.
  • Mascot: Turkey
  • Opening: Spring 2022

 


Tags: , ,

Native American Heritage Month 2020



Updated: Announcing Grab-N-Go Access by Appointment-Only Starting November 4th at Spokane Public Library

Updated 11/16/2020 

Effective 11/15, Spokane Public Library is suspending in-person browsing/Grab-N-Go access due to the surge in Covid-19 numbers. Customers may pick up materials by scheduling a Curbside Pickup. Computer Access is also available by 30-minute appointments. Read more about our COVID-19 response here.

———————-

Starting Wednesday, November 4, Spokane Public Library will allow holds pickup and brief browsing through a new Grab-N-Go appointment model. Appointments for Grab-N-Go can be made at spokanelibrary.org/grab-n-go. Customers who are notified by email that their holds are available will be able to choose between booking a Grab-N-Go appointment or a Curbside Pickup appointment to retrieve their holds. Customers who prefer to browse, without placing a hold, can also book a time for a Grab-N-Go appointment.

“With safety protocols in place and the support of the Spokane Regional Health District and the Governor’s office, we are confident that we can expand services on a limited basis while keeping both our staff and community healthy and safe,” said Library Executive Director, Andrew Chanse. ”We know Spokane loves it’s libraries and we are eager to welcome the public safely back to our facilities. We trust our customers to wear a mask and maintain social distance so that everyone can resume access to in-person library resources.”

Customers will be entering the building for the first time since March 13. “There will be some obvious visible changes to the library due to Covid-19,” said Chanse. “For instance, we have installed plexiglass around staff areas and removed all seating to discourage customers from lingering.”

Customers using the Grab-N-Go model will be able to pick up their holds, browse, and check out materials using the self-check kiosks or by downloading the Spokane Public Library app and using the Self-Service Checkout function to scan and checkout items on their smartphone. Grab-N-Go access should require little to no customer/staff interaction.

As with all public places, face masks and a minimum 6 feet of social distance are mandatory. Face masks are required for anyone 5 years of age or older and masks must be worn properly, covering both the nose and mouth. The library will provide a face mask for anyone who arrives without one. Customers who would prefer not to wear a face mask can utilize Curbside Pickup. Hand sanitizing stations are available at the main entrance and all exits.

Initially, only a few appointments per hour will be allowed and we will slowly add capacity over the next month, eventually reaching 25% of allotted capacity. Library staff will be stationed at the door and will monitor building occupancy and mask compliance. Returned materials should be placed in the external materials return box and not handed directly to staff. All returned items will be quarantined for a minimum of 3 days following return before being handled by staff.

Computer access is also available and is limited to one 30-minute session per person per day. Customers are required to have a reservation for computer access. Reservations can be made by calling the library at 509-444-5300 or booked online at spokanelibrary.org/computer-reservation.


Tags: ,