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.


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



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


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


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




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


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


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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.

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YALSA Teens’ Top Ten List

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) shares a list of the top 10 favorite titles voted by teens each year! View the rest of the 2020 nominees here and lists from 2019, 2018, and past years.

 1. Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2) by Rainbow Rowell

Book | eBook

2. Pumpkinheadsby Rainbow Rowell and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks 

Book | eBook

3. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Book | eBook | Audiobook

4. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 

Book | eBook

5. Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection by Victoria Aveyard 

Book | eBookAudiobook

6. #MurderFunding (#MurderTrending #2) by Gretchen McNeil


7. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya) by Hafsah Faizal 

Book | eBook

8. Lovely War by Julie Berry 

Book | eBook

9. Wilder Girls by Rory Power 

Book | eBook

10. The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy  

eBook | Audiobook


Celebrate Dia de los Muertos with the Hispanic Business/Professionals Association

ofrendaDia de los Muertos with the Hispanic Business/Professionals Association: Two great events: a drive-through ofrenda (altar) and a live streamed video event. Please join the community as we remember our loved ones and share the cultural celebration that is the Day of the Dead.  


Sunday, November 1st12:00pm – 5:00pm | Drive-Through Ofrenda and Giveaway at Hazen and Jaeger Funeral Home (1306 N. Pines Rd., Spokane Valley, WA) 

Safely drive through a covered display of Día de los Muertos altars built by community members. You may bring offerings to be placed on the altar. While supplies last, there will be giveaways including gift bags for kids, health kits, and pan de muerto  


Sunday, November 1: 1:00pm | Live online event streaming on YouTube

Watch it live or watch the recording on YouTube later. This bilingual program will feature Mariachi music, Baile Folklorico, Danza Mexica, craft tutorials, stories, memories, educational presentations, art, Latinx films, restaurant promotions, and more!  

In partnership with the Hispanic Business/Professionals Association, Spokane Public Library created a tissue paper flower craft video for the online event and craft supplies for the drive through giveaway. Special thanks to the Friends of Spokane Public Library and Friends of Spokane Valley Library for providing children’s books for the gift bags.  

Walking Tour: Spooky and Haunted Locations in Browne’s Addition

brownes_labelQuick! Get outside and go for a walk before the cold sticks around. The Library has created several walking tours to inspire you and due to spooktacular demand, we created a second haunted walking tour, this time in Browne’s Addition. This tour features some of our city’s oldest homes (and the ghosts that inhabit them). From lost cemeteries to feuding sisters, there are some great stories in Browne’s Addition!

You can do the tour from the custom Google Map we created or download a pdf version. You can even request a copy of the tour with your curbside pickups at the libraries!

The legends are based on local stories, historic newspaper articles, and stories from Chet Caskey’s books (which you can find at the library or Auntie’s bookstore). Remember to please stay on the sidewalks and observe all laws and regulations while touring.

If this tour whets your appetite for more, check out the Downtown Spooky Walking Tour and the Geological Walking Tour of Downtown. If you need more safe (and fun) Halloween suggestions, we’ve captured them all into one post here.

-created by Vanessa Strange and Eva Silverstone, 2020.

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Bullet Journaling | Opening Act(ivity)

Hello! My name is Lisa and I usually host the Opening Act(ivity) program on Wednesday mornings at Northtown.

Now that it is getting darker, it is getting more and more difficult to get motivated in the morning. I recently learned about Bullet Journaling and decided to start small. Every night before bed, I write down three tasks that I would like to accomplish in the next day. When doing these tasks, I sometimes expand it by accomplishing something else that was in the vicinity. I add the extra tasks to my list and mark as complete. Even completing one more task makes you feel good about your day.

If you would like to learn more about Bullet Journaling, click this link.

Check out this Lynda/LinkedIn Learning course: OneNote: Creating a Bullet Journal-Style Notebook

We also have several items available through our catalog that you can request:

Journal Me Organized: The Complete Guide to Practical and Creative Planning by Rebecca Spooner

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll: Book | eBook

Dot Journaling – A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Spooky Season Recommendation Roundup!

halloween-blog-imageWe are all looking for the most fun ways to celebrate Halloween safely. Here’s a roundup of recommended ideas and links from public health experts:

  • Decorate both the inside and outside your house, apartment, or living space and share photos with friends and family
  • Walk or drive around and look at spooky decorations all over town! Here’s some recommendations from the Spokesman
  • Take our haunted walking tour of downtown
  • Take a stroll on the walking paths in Spokane’s cemeteries during open hours
  • If you’d rather just look at cemetery records at home, try the Washington State Digital Archives
  • Try your hand at Halloween crafting: use construction paper to make a Halloween scene like a black cat and the moon for your windows, draw funny pumpkin faces, or make a magic wand to create some Halloween magic!
  • Hide candy or mini pumpkins in your house for your kids to find instead of trick or treating
  • Trick or treat at every door inside your house
  • Plan elaborate costumes and makeup and spend time as a family getting ready. Use old clothes to create a costume or sew new pieces. FaceTime or send pictures to relatives.
  • Turn down the lights, make some snacks and have a spooky movie night – check out the horror selections on Kanopy
  • Curl up with some spooky stories – check out these recommended reading lists: digital and physical books (kids) and grown-ups
  • Warm up the house with some spooky baking- pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, spooky shaped sugar cookies.
  • Bring back some old-fashioned treats like popcorn balls, caramel apples, and snack mix

For public health recommendations and risk levels for activities, check out the following:

  • Washington State Department of Health tips here and here;
  • CDC guidelines for celebrations here and here

Stay safe and have fun!

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Announcing Limited Computer Access at All Locations & Walk-Up Holds Pickup at STA Plaza | Starting October 20

Starting Tuesday, October 20, Spokane Public Library will allow Limited Computer Access by reservation-only at all locations. There will be no browsing, inside holds pickup, or materials checkout at this time. Customers can still use Curbside service for access to physical materials.

Customers will be required to have a reservation for computer access. Reservations can be booked online at spokanelibrary.org/computer-reservation or by calling the library at 509-444-5300.

To ensure the safety of staff and customers:

  • Customers are allowed one 30-minute session per day. Reservations are for one person only.
  • Customers must arrive on time for the reservation. If a customer is more than 5 minutes late, they will forfeit their reservation.
  • Customers must wear a mask that covers nose and mouth at all times. The Library will provide a mask if needed.
  • Computer stations will be sanitized for 30 minutes between sessions.

We are also pleased to announce that walk-up holds pickup will be available at STA Plaza starting on October 20. Customers can now place holds to be picked up at the entrance door to the STA Plaza Library (on the 2nd floor of the STA Plaza). Customers may make an appointment for Curbside Pickup at spokanelibrary.org/curbside.


Indigenous Literature Booklist


This list, written with #OwnVoices, includes stories of everyday life, of special occasions, and of boarding schools and their long-lasting effects, all representing a variety of experiences of Indigenous people and tribal nations.


Nipêhon = I Wait by Caitlin Dale Nicholson 


At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorrell 


Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie 


Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard


First Laugh Welcome, Baby! by Rose Ann Tahe and Nancy Bo Flood 


Birdsong by Julie Flett


We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom 

Book | eBook

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith


Stolen Words by Melanie Florence


Bowwow Powwow = bagosenjige-niimi’idim by Brenda J. Child 


Wild Berries by Julie Flett 


When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson 


Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk 


We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorrell (also available with CD) 

Book | CD

Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle 


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


When I Was Eight by Christy Jordan-Fenton 


Not My Girl by Christy Jordan-Fenton 


Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson 

eBookAudiobook | CD

The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson 


Shi-shietko by Nicola Campbell 


Grandpa’s Girls by Nicola Campbell 


Fall in Line, Holden! By Daniel W. Vandever 


Saltypie: a Choctaw journey from darkness into light by Tim Tingle 


In My Anaana’s Amautik by Nadia Sammurtok 



Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky: poetry and prose by Lakota youth at Red Cloud Indian School edited by Timothy McLaughlin 


Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton

Book on order  

I Can Make this Promise by Christine Day 


Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis, Traci Sorell 


Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse 


I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis 


The Birchbark House by Lousie Erdrich 

Book on order 

The Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall  


How I became a Ghost by Tim Tingle  


Stone River Crossing by Tim Tingle  

Book | Audiobook



The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Book | eBook

Killer of Enemies trilogy by Joseph Bruchac


Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today edited by Lori Marie Carlson


The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline


My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson

Book | eBook

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Book | eBook | Audiobook

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth


Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth

Book | Audiobook

Fire Song by Adam Garnet Jones


Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley


Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith


The Night Wanderer: a Native Gothic Novel by Drew Hayden Taylor


A Name Earned by Tim Tingle


Spirits Dark and Light: Supernatural Tales From the Five Civilized Tribes by Tim Tingle



Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale


#NotYourPrincess edited by Mary Beth Leatherdale


Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s by Tiffany Midge

Book | eBook

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz


An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese


Comics available in print and on Hoopla

Trickster Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection edited by Matt Dembicki

Book | eBook

Debwe: A Blanket of Butterflies by Richard Van Camp

Book | eBook

This Place: 150 Years Retold by Various

Book | eBook

Surviving the City Vol 1 by Tasha Spillett

Book | eBook

A Girl Called Echo trilogy by Katherena Vermette

Book | eBook

Debwe: The Three Feathers by Richard Van Camp


Will I See? by David Alexander Robertson


7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga by D. A. Robertson


Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story by David Alexander Robertson


Debwe: Fire Starters by Jen Storm


Tales From Big Spirit series by David A. Robertson


Red: A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas


Walking Tour: Spooky and Haunted Locations in Downtown Spokane

spooky-walking-tour-templateJust in time for the spooky season, we created a walking tour based on a volume haunting our shelves! This walking tour gives you a taste of some Spokane ghost storiesSome are well-known legends, some are speculation based on historic newspaper articles, and some are based on stories from Chet Caskey’s books (which you can find at the library or Auntie’s bookstore). You might remember Chet from when he was on Lilac City Live in October 2019 (back when we had live programming – insert mournful sigh here!). 

We created a custom Google Map you can use on the tour or you can use the pdf version. Please remember to be safe (do not anger the ghosts!) and obey signs and traffic signals while perusing Spokane’s past that lingers in the buildings of present.

You Have to Start Somewhere, How About Here | Opening Act(ivity)


Hi, my name is Lisa.  I usually host the Opening Act(ivity) program at Northtown once a week. Since we cannot meet at the library, we are bringing the activity to you!

Sometimes it is hard to start a project. Please take a moment to copy the attached document.

I have randomly placed a dot on a piece of paper. You can draw, write, build, paint anything you want.

The project starts at the dot. Happy creating!