New Hillyard Library opens September 2

On Wednesday, August 25 the (old) Hillyard Library will close in preparation for the move across the street to 4110 N. Cook Street. The new Hillyard Library will open on September 2, 2021.


The new Hillyard Library features an amazing new children’s playspace called Mt. Shaw, as well as all the things you love about the Hillyard Library like the friendly staff, comfortable seating, computer access, and the seed library.

The new library also has five times the meeting space as the old Hillyard library! The meeting spaces are available free of charge and can host civic and professional groups, private employee training or even a knitting club. The spaces offer flexible scheduling, and each are equipped with a tablet outside the door for reservations and access. You can also reserve a meeting room in advance here. 

The partnership between Spokane Public Schools and Spokane Public Library began in 2018, when a series of land swaps and other agreements led to the landmark capital bond approved by voters in 2018. While the library built The HiveTM, the school district constructed a shared-space library at the new Shaw Middle School in Hillyard. Building the Hillyard Library on the Shaw Middle School campus consolidates neighborhood resources in one central location and uses tax payer funds effectively by sharing those resources. The new building was designed by Integrus Architecture of Spokane and built by Lydig Construction.

We can’t wait for you to see it!


Imaginative and Whimsical Children’s Playspaces

Six of our new and renovated libraries opening in 2021 and 2022 will include fun and whimsical children’s playspaces designed by Luci Creative. Improved children’s spaces were the number one facility improvement requested by the public when the Library conducted community outreach prior to the bond measure passing.

Studies (like this one) have shown that the use of the Play-and-Learn spaces in libraries are associated with increases in caregiver and child conversation and interaction known to support language, literacy, and STEM skills. Spokane Public Library is fostering a new learning culture that will impact Spokane residents in the places they naturally go.

Our first new and renovated libraries will open later this fall and we can’t wait for you to see them. Here’s what to expect.

Mt. Shaw at Hillyard Library | Opening Fall 2021
Mt. Shaw will be the ultimate hangout for kids at Hillyard Library. Visitors will be greeted by a friendly Mountain Lion and an Osprey and the ceiling is dotted by whimsical hot air balloons. There are plenty of spaces for quiet reading and reflection in addition to imaginative play, as well as a play-and-learn space for our youngest visitors.


Sasquatch Shack at Liberty Park | Opening Fall 2021
A music-loving mystery lives at Liberty Park and can even ride a kid-powered zipline across the top of the library. 


Moose’s Market at Shadle Park | Opening Fall 2021
Stop by Moose’s Market for all your garden essentials and explore the carrot climber, raised garden beds, a farm stand and a flower garden for the wee sprouts.


River Rumpus at Central Library | Opening 2022
Take a dive under the Spokane River with Goat at the River Rumpus, featuring a slide, a submarine inspired by a Riverfront Park gondola, and a special toddler playspace in the belly of a fish!


Turkey Treetops at South Hill | Opening 2022
A rafter of turkeys will live in the rafters at South Hill Library, complete with a turkey coop climber and a nest for our littlest library visitors. The walls will be lined with a wheat graphic as a nod to the South Hill’s proximity to the Palouse. Just don’t get stuck in a turkey traffic jam!


Basalt Burrow at Indian Trail | Opening 2022
A family of marmots will live at the Indian Trail library and our littlest readers can float on their imagination in a leaf-powered sailboat. Look for clues from other libraries like a tunnel leading to the Shadle Park Library and a Sasquatch in a tree…


The Hive™ Artists-in-Residence and Grand Opening

img_4745Built in partnership with Spokane Public Schools, The Hive is a cutting-edge facility on the corner of E. Sprague and S. Haven across from Libby Center in the Sprague Union District. Affectionately called The Hive™ for the variety of learning activities that will take place there, this building provides not only a new teacher training facility and offices for Spokane Virtual Learning but also a location for 21st century public library services like maker spaces, events, and artist residencies. 

The Hive™ includes large event spaces that can be combined into one large room to accommodate 183 people, as well as one maker studio that can be reserved by the public with a library card. The meeting spaces are available free of charge. Citizens can host civic and professional groups, private employee training, or even a knitting club.

Customers wishing to use The Hive for their next event may use their library card number to book an appointment on this calendar M-Th 9-7, F-Sa 10-5, Su 12-4. At this time, access is by reservation only or during pre-scheduled programs.

In addition to public meeting space, four of the studio spaces at The Hive™ are reserved for an application-based artist residency program. These spaces will allow artists to take their art to the next level, foster connection, and provide free arts education for the public.  

The artists selected for the first residency are: 

  • Shawn Brigman, PhD, an enrolled member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians and descendant of northern Plateau bands (snʕáyckst – sinixtsənpʕʷilx – san poil, and tk’emlúps te secwepemc – shuswap), will explore skinning materials for application to sturgeon-nosed canoe interpretations from the Plateau culture region, as well as the recovery of handheld scale implements like basketry and salmon nets. 
  • Miguel Gonzales is a Chicano artist interested in building a Lotería of BIPOC leaders in Spokane as part of his goal of the development of gente in the region who have experienced, or are experiencing, language, culture, and indigenous heritage loss. 
  • Shantell Jackson and Stefani Rossi are sharing a studio. They find that they are inspired by one another, and their art benefits from this interaction. Shantell works with painted, textured surfaces and is eager to scale her work up with the space the studio provides. Stefani wants to explore a greater scale in her clay sculptures and her paintings that feature careful circles and lines.  
  • Gwendolyn Zierdt Muzzy is a fiber artist who works on a draw loom, incorporating QR codes and source code from the internet into the designs of her handwoven textiles. 

20 Years of Spokane Is Reading summer, Spokane Is Reading (a collaborative one-book, one-community read program put on by Spokane Public Library, SCLD and Auntie’s Books) announces the community read for that year. This was not possible last year because of the pandemic, so they chose instead to focus on a curated book list of Diverse Voices for 2020. This year is the 20th year of this program and while that is a reason for celebration it was unclear if Spokane would be ready for a large in-person event this fall.

To honor the past and look to the future they decided to again create a book list, this time created by many of the past Spokane Is Reading authors. They were asked to share a book that brought them hope, joy or laughter during this past year. The result is varied and wonderful with suggestions for all sorts of readers!

Find the list on the Spokane Is Reading website along with the author’s reasons for picking each book. Discover recommendations from Madeline Miller, Maria Semple, and more! Read one, two, or all the suggested reads! Find copies of the books at your local library or at your favorite bookstore. We are grateful for the support from the Friends of the Library for this program.

Backpacking | The Great Outdoors

tristan-pineda-lfggcsj41bc-unsplashBackpacking is a great way to get into the back country wilderness. Both Washington and Idaho have magnificent destinations, however, being days away from civilization brings a host of issues to do it safely, comfortably, and responsibly. Here are library and other resources to do just that. Don’t forget to have those ten essentials in your pack!

Library Books and DVDs 

The Complete Guide to Backpacking: Field-Tested Gear, Advice, and Know-How for the Trail 


The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Techniques to Hit the Trail by Andrew Skurka


Backpacking Washington: Overnight and Multi-Day Routes by Craig Romano


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Backpacking and Hiking by Jason Stevenson


Backpacker Long Trails: Mastering the Art of the Thru-Hike by Liz Thomas


Hiking & Backpacking: A Complete Illustrated Guide by Buck Tilton


Hiking and Backpacking: Outdoor Adventures by Marni Goldenberg


The Backpacker’s Field Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Backcountry Skills by Rick Curtis


Backpacking & Hiking by Karen Berger 


Backpacking: Essential Skills to Advanced Techniques by Victoria Logue



Magazine Resources  

Explore magazines from OverDrive or through their Libby app! Here you can read the complete electronic version of titles such as Backpacker, Outside, and The Great Outdoors 


Stream videos on Kanopy  

Go to Kanopy and watch the series Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe. 24 insightful videos will give you the practical skills you need to set off for the water or the woods. Topics such as canoeing and kayaking skills, backpacking, navigation, and first aid are covered.  

Other Resources 

Washington Trails Association: Overnight Backpacking Destinations — Washington Trails Association ( 

Washington Trails Association: 3-5 Day Backpacking Trips for Summer — Washington Trails Association ( 

Spokane Public Library selects art for permanent collection

The Library commissioned three sculptures and purchased portable artwork for new libraries in accordance with the City of Spokane’s public art policy, requiring one percent of the construction budget be dedicated to public art. The artwork is one component of a much larger project, a $77 million, voter-approved bond to remodel four existing libraries and build three new ones. In commissioning artwork, Spokane Public Library aims to create a friendly, engaging atmosphere for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Each sculpture is site-specific, meaning it was designed specifically for the Library location where it will be installed, using input from the Library staff and board members, building architects, construction team, city arts commissioners, and more. Details of each piece are featured below!

“Hoop” at Liberty Park Library
The sculpture entitled “Hoop” is a colorful, large-scale embroidery hoop, created by Shawn Parks, with a stitch pattern on the surface that pays homage to the Spokane river. Parks drew on his own experiences with libraries to create a playful piece of art inspired by the library’s mission. “Growing up as a queer, nonbinary kid, libraries were a safe place for me. I would escape to the library, losing myself in books and National Geographic magazines, where I was exposed to countless worlds beyond my rough neighborhood,” Parks says. “Libraries are incredible community assets, and providing free access to learning and technology is a form of caretaking; it is nurturing and loving at its core. We often devalue the importance of caretaking in our culture, so I wanted to create a work that is grounded in that, and at the end of the day, I want to add joy and thread humor (pun intended) with serious ideas. My hope is that ‘Hoop’ makes people smile.”

Installation was completed on this piece at the Liberty Park Library, currently under construction in the East Central neighborhood. Washington State artist Shawn Parks was commissioned by Spokane Public Library and Spokane Arts to create the piece. Parks was selected through a juried process that began with an open call for artists in October 2020. The artist and fabricator team worked on-site in June to install the sculpture. Liberty Park Library construction is anticipated to be complete in fall 2021.


“Shimmer” at Central Library
Artist John Rogers, of Portland, OR, is creating a stunning piece for the Central Library, called “Shimmer”. The sculpture is “S” shaped, which creates a moire effect when viewed from certain angles. The wave configuration is inspired by the Falls and boulders in the surrounding area. The sculpture highlights that inspiration with over three hundred individual dichroic glass shapes forming a wave that shimmers like water cascading in sunlight. This piece will be installed in early 2022.

“Untitled” at Shadle Park Library
Artist Jasmine Iona Brown of Tacoma, WA, is creating a multifaceted sculpture of diverse people sitting in the grass reading. These figures will be located in the grass outside the Shadle Park Library. Installation of this piece will be completed in fall 2021.

Portable Artwork
As part of the public art budget, portable works were also selected. Portable works are paintings or sculptures that are not permanently installed in any location and may change locations periodically. The call for portable works was limited to Spokane residents, and women and BIPOC artists were encouraged to apply. In total, 55 Spokane artists applied to the call and the selection panel selected artwork by 19 different artists. More than 30 percent of pieces approved for purchase were by artists of color or Indigenous artists, and represent a range of ages. Here are a few of the pieces selected:

Helen Parsons, Urban Landmark: Ice Machine
Ric Gendron, Home
Tracy Poindexter-Canton, To Shalimar
Neicy Frey, Sunny Side Up


Many volunteers assisted with the art selection process, including Library representatives, city arts commissioners, and community members with arts expertise. Selection panelists included Andrew Chanse, Remelisa Cullitan, Mark Dailey, Amanda Donovan, Mary Starkey, Carl Richardson, Eva Silverstone, and Andrew Whitver. The art selection process was facilitated by Spokane Arts, who is managing all three public art projects along with the purchase, framing, and installation of portable art at multiple branches.


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Library Re-Opening at Full Capacity July 6

On Tuesday, July 6, the Library will make the following operational changes based on the official re-opening of Washington:

  • We will return to 100% capacity.
  • We will reopen public meeting room access for personal/business use. Capacity is limited to 10. Reserve a room here.
  • Computer access will return to pre-pandemic levels, meaning number of terminals and access times.
  • We will maintain current operating hours 
  • We will hold off on in-person library events until at least September.
  • Masks will be required for unvaccinated individuals until CDC/state guidance changes. (Except at STA Plaza where masks are still required for all, regardless of vaccination status.)


Library to Operate as Cooling Center During Heat Wave

All Spokane Public Library locations are available as cooling centers for the upcoming heat wave. The Library will also open special hours on Sunday (6/27) & Monday (6/28) to provide more access. The hours will be as follows:

  • Sunday 6/27: Hillyard, Indian Trail, South Hill, & East Side 11-6
  • Monday 6/28: Hillyard, Indian Trail, & East Side 11-6; South Hill 10-8

STA Plaza and Northtown Mall will remain closed on Sunday/Monday. The Governor’s office has also lifted all COVID-related limitations for cooling centers across the state, so visitors may stay longer than 30 minutes.

Hours of Operation

STA PLAZA Tue-Sat: 10 am – 6 pm

EAST SIDE Tue: 12 pm – 8 pm; Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat: 10 am – 6 pm

HILLYARD Tue: 12 pm – 8 pm; Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat: 10 am – 6 pm

INDIAN TRAIL Tue: 12 pm – 8 pm; Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat: 10 am – 6 pm

NORTHTOWN MALL Tue-Sat: 10 am – 6 pm

SOUTH HILL Mon & Tue: 10 am – 8 pm; Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat: 10 am – 6 pm

Navigation | The Great Outdoors

Knowing where you are and getting where you want to go, safely and efficiently, are important skills for spending time in the great outdoors. The traditional use of map and compass is a reliable beginning, but newer technologies are now available. These resources from the Library can help you get to your destination and back out again!  

Wilderness Navigation: Finding Your Way Using Map, Compass, Altimeter & GPS by Bob Burns



The Natural Navigator: The Rediscovered Art of Letting Nature Be Your Guide by Tristan Gooley


Garmin eTrex Vista HCx: Personal Navigator 

Library of Things

Outdoor Navigation with GPS 

Library of Things


Library of Things

Using a Map and Compass by Don Geary


Be Expert with Map & Compass: The Complete “Orienteering” Handbook by Bjorn Kjellstrom 


NOLS Wilderness Navigation by Darran Wells


GPS Outdoors: A Practical Guide for Outdoor Enthusiasts by Russell Helms


Using GPS Bruce Grubbs



Magazine Resources  

Explore our digital magazine collection with OverDrive! Here you can read the complete electronic version of titles such as Backpacker, Outside, and The Great Outdoors  

Stream Videos on Kanopy  

Go to Kanopy and watch the series Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe. 24 insightful videos will give you the practical skills you need to set off for the water or the woods. Topics such as canoeing and kayaking skills, backpacking, navigation, and first aid are covered.  

Other Resources

Eastern Washington Orienteering Club

Statement of Support for Indigenous Communities Grieving Discovery at Residential Schools in Canada

The discovery of the 215 Indigenous children buried at the Kamloops Residential School, the 104 found at the Brandon Residential School, and the 751 found at the Marieval Indian Residential School are a tragic reality of colonization. Spokane Public Library would like to acknowledge the pain and loss these tribal communities are experiencing. There are no words that could possibly soothe the wounds that this discovery and the impacts of residential schools and other colonial policies has had on the First people of the Americas.

While this discovery occurred in Canada, we want to acknowledge that the United States also had similar policies and impacts on Indigenous communities here in the United States called boarding schools. We know there were 357 similar boarding schools in the United States, 14 of which were in Washington State. Additionally, many tribal members in the Spokane region have personal connections to the Kamloops Residential School.

We know that words are not enough but we also know that we must make visible the impacts of how colonial violence has caused so much damage to our Indigenous community members. We encourage our customers to check out this list of books to learn more about how the boarding school system was used as a form of genocide:



Canoeing and Kayaking in the Inland Northwest

filip-mroz-zk049ofp4ui-unsplashSpokane is a wonderful place to get out on the water in a canoe or kayak. They are affordable, quiet, provide some exercise, and are a link to the paddling past. With dozens of lakes and rivers in the region, there are wonderful opportunities for a beautiful day in the great outdoors. Just remember to bring all the essential gear like a Personal Floatation Device – PFD – and whistle, a hat and sunscreen, a headlamp, a dry bag for personal items and spare clothes, and a first aid kit. Check the weather before heading out, don’t go alone to a remote location, and at the launch site lash down everything you don’t want to lose in a capsize

Paddling Washington: Flatwater and Whitewater Routes in Washington State and the Inland Northwest by Rich Landers


Paddling the Columbia: A Guide to All 1200 Miles of Our Scenic & Historical River by John Roskelley


The Art of Kayaking : Everything You Need to Know About Paddling by Nigel Foster


The Only Kayak: A Journey into the Heart of Alaska by Kim Heacox


Sea Kayaking Illustrated: A Visual Guide to Better Paddling by John Robison


Building your Kevlar Canoe: A Foolproof Method and Three Foolproof Designs by James Moran


Adventure North by Sean Bloomfield


Kayak Routes of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Peter McGee


Kayak Fitness: The Fusion of Sport and Exercise 


The Strip-Built Sea Kayak: Three Rugged, Beautiful Boats You Can Build by Nick Schade


Practical Kayaking 



Local Clubs 

Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club | Spokane, WA  

Magazine Resources  

Explore our eMagazines and read the complete electronic version of titles such as Paddle World Magazine, Kayak Session Magazine, Stand Up Paddle World, and Outside.  


Stream Videos on Kanopy  

Go to Kanopy and watch the series Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe. 24 insightful videos that will give you the practical skills you need to set off for the water or the woods. Topics such as canoeing and kayaking skills, backpacking, navigation, and first aid are covered.  

Summer Reading 2021



Welcome to Summer Reading 2021! Pick up a copy of Spokane Somersault, a Summer Reading magazine for kids, or the Summer Boredom Buster, a teen zine. Try science experiments, stargazing, reading activities, recipes, and even growing your own food!

Challenge yourself to read 15 hours this summer. Track your reading and earn badges online at

And don’t forget to stop by your favorite library after you’ve read 15 hours for a free prize book. Have a great summer!

Download a copy of our Summer Reading magazines for kids and teens below:

Spokane Somersault (Kids) | Summer Boredom Buster (Teens)

Or download a copy of our diverse reading challenge and Summer Reading tracker:

Diverse Reads | Summer Reading Tracker