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!

Hispanic Heritage Month | Book List



Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by reading from an author of Latinx heritage! Reading from the perspective of another can help us to expand our worldview and see life in a new and different way. Check out some of these authors now or when the month is over.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
eBook | Book en Espanol | Book English

It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
Book | eBook

Tertulia by Vincent Toro

I Am Not your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L Sanchez
Book | eBook

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Book | eBook

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Marquez Garcia

Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
Book | eBook

Shadow of the Wind by Carols Ruiz Zafon
Book | eBook

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Book | eBook

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Book | eBook

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Book | eBook | Audiobook

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
Book | eBook | Audiobook

The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

Here in Berlin by Cristina Garcia

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Book | Audiobook

Dominicana by Angie Cruz

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
Book | eBook

Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez

Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz
Book | Audiobook | eBook

Dear America: notes of an undocumented citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
Book | eBook

Retablos: stories from a life lived along the border by Octavio Solis

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
Book | eBook

Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Where We Come From by Oscar Cásares

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Book | eBook

A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero



Hispanic Heritage Month | Book List for Kids



Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, Youth Services librarians put together this book list to highlight works from Latinx and Hispanic authors and illustratorsThe following books are considered #OwnVoices, a term used to describe books where the author writes from their own experiences and perspectives to create characters that share their marginalized identity. 

Picture Books 

Across the Bay written and illustrated by Carlos Aponte 

Salsa: un poema para cocinar by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh 

Planting Stories: the life of librarian and storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar

Gustavo The Shy Ghost written and illustrated by Flavia Z. Drago

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López

Tia Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina, illustrated by Claudio Muñoz

Dreamers written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Book | eBook

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña

¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raúl the Third

¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat by Raúl the Third 

Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War by Duncan Tonatiuh


Junior/Middle Grade  

Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo  


Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan  

Book | eBook | Audiobook  

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega  

Book | Audiobook 

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina  


Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya  


Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez 

 Book | eBook 

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya  


The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

Book | eBook 

The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz  

Book | Audiobook  

The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Balcárcel 

Book | eBook 


Young Adult 

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno  

Book | Audiobook 

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero  

Book | eBook  

I am not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez 

Book | eBook 

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera  

Book | eBook 

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova  


The Closet I’ve Come by Fred Aceves  

Book | Audiobook  

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera  


 The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Book | eBook | Audiobook  

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera 

Book | eBook | Audiobook

We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez 


We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia  

Book | eBook | Audiobook 

Hispanic Heritage Month 2020



















Celebrate Hispanic and Latinx culture with Spokane Public Library! View our selection of pre-recorded video programming below to learn more about Latinx cultures:

How to Cook: Tortillas! featuring Jocelyn Nunez.

Preparing Sopa (Soup) with Vanessa! featuring Vanessa Delgado

How to Make a Spanish Omelette featuring Dr. Andres Aragoneses

Latinas in Mariachi | ¡Yo También soy Mariachi! featuring Marcella Godina

What is a Mexican Quinceañera Celebration? 

  • Quinceañera is long for Quince and Quince means fifteen, which is why young women have the quinceañera when they turn fifteen years old.

Agricultural Labor in the Columbia Basin featuring Alexis Guizar-Diaz

Eastern Washington University Mariachi Las Aguilas*

Making To’äm (Guatemalan Maya Dish) featuring Ingrid Sub Cuc and Maria Cuc


Check out book lists and other resources to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:

Hispanic Heritage Month Book List

Hispanic Heritage Month | Book List for Kids


* EWU’s Mariachi Las Aguilas does not charge a fee for guests to attend their performances. The credits to the songs they cover are listed below in order of appearance:

  1. Yo no fui (composer Consuelo Velazquez, artist Pedro Fernandez)
  2. La Feria de Las Flores (composer Jesús Monge Ramírez, arranger John A. Vela)
  3. Rosa Maria (composer Lalo Montane, arranger Jeff Nevin)
  4. El Rey (composer José Alfredo Jiménez, arranger Jeff Nevin)
  5. Amor Eterno (composer & lyricist: Juan Gabriel, arranger Jaime M. Vela)
  6. Mujeres Divinas (composer Martín Urieta, arranger Rene Benavidez)
  7. La Mucura (composer Crescencio Salcedo, transcriber Jose. M Santiago)
  8. Si Nos Dejan (composer & arranger José Alfredo Jiménez)
  9. El Zopilote Mojado (composer & arranger Miguel F. Marcias)
  10. Por Mujeres Como Tu (composer & arranger Fato, artist Pepe Aguilar)
  11. Caminos de Michoacan (composer Bulmaro Bermúdez, adaptors M. Molina & A Romo)
  12. El Cofrecito (composer & arranger Juan Zaizar)
  13. Aires del Mayab (composers Pepe Domininguez & Carlos Duarte, arranger Jeff Nevin)
  14. Arboles de la Baranca (composer Apolinar Garcia Chavez, artist Juan Valentin)
  15. Volver, Volver (composer Fernando Z. Maldonado, Transcriber Y. Sital from Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano)
  16. Rosa Maria (composer Lalo Montane, arranger Jeff Nevin)



UNEEK Writer’s Workshop | Opening Act(ivity)

Hi, this is Lisa from Northtown Library. I usually host the Opening Act(ivity) program once a week at Northtown. Since we are closed, we are bringing the activity to you.

Today’s activity is a spin-off from one of my UNEEK Writer’s Workshops.

Since I can’t play compact discs for you, please visit SPL’s Freegal app or place some holds for curbside pickup. I like to use instrumental music. Choose a song or several songs to play. Try to write during the song and after it is finished set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes to continue writing. It is basically a musical prompt for writing.

Walking Tour: Geology in Downtown Spokane’s Historic Buildings

There’s Norwegian granite on a building in downtown Spokane? Yes! All too often, we walk through downtown with blinders on, intent on where we’re going but not seeing the amazing historic buildings and stone all around us. Going on a self-guided walking tour to see new things is a fun way to learn about our city. Whether you are interested in history, geology, or just pretty marble, we’ve got you covered!

davenportYou can begin the self-guided tour anywhere, but the Davenport Hotel is a good starting place if you are meeting a friend for a physically-distanced visit. You’ll see several examples of marble here and can use the map to either take the western loop or head out east. You can use mobile data on your phone to follow the Google map or simply open the PDF version on your phone and look at it as you go. If you would like to print it out, that works too! In fact, you can request a printed copy to pick up with your curbside pickup.

If you’re interested in learning more about geology, check out these books from the library. And Spokane’s office of Historic Preservation has some great information about the buildings and neighborhoods of our region.

This walking tour was first written in 1981 by a team of geologists who gave us permission to update it. Unfortunately, some of the buildings on the original tour are no longer standing. Who knows what another forty years will bring for these landmarks! Please abide by any building or street closures and keep safety in mind when walking downtown.

Adapted from Cornerstones of Spokane A guidebook to the building stones of downtown Spokane McKelvey, G. E.; Bunning, Bonnie B.; Burnet, F. William; Hamilton, Mike; Swanson, Byron, 1981, Cornerstones of Spokane—A guidebook to the building stones of downtown Spokane: Northwest Mining Association, 46 p. Used by permission. Updated by Eva Silverstone and Vanessa Strange

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Macrame | Opening Act(ivity)

Thanks for joining the Northtown team for Opening Act(ivity). Today, we will learn about Macrame.

You can use these for key chains, backpack pulls, zipper pulls, necklaces. A half knot (Spiral) and square knot are featured in the video.

When I was younger, we made Friendship Bracelets. It’s a great way to connect with family and friends. Here is a link to learn the history of Friendship Bracelets.

Click this link to view the video!



Fairytale Extravaganza Booklist

Take a Walk | Opening Act(ivity)

Hi, my name is Lisa. I host the Opening Act(ivity) on Wednesday mornings at our Northtown location. While we are social distancing, we are bringing the activities to you!

Today’s activity involves a field trip and a scavenger hunt.  Please visit one of Spokane’s local neighborhood districts. Take a walk through the district and find words/objects that begin with the letters A-Z.

Please consider supporting businesses in the area.

Coming Soon: RBDigital Audiobooks Moving to OverDrive/Libby App


Later this year, 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.

Books with Letters

Do you have a favorite word? I have several. I love the word viscosity (especially when it refers to chocolate milkshakes). I also love the word epistolary. It means “related to the writing of letters.” When paired with novels – “epistolary novels,” it means that the novel is written in letters. As an avid letter-writer myself these books appeal greatly to me. The definition of an epistolary novel can be stretched to include books where the “letters” are diary entries or text messages between friends or letters never sent. Check out my video on correspondence here for inspiration to write your own letters and check out some of my favorite epistolary novels here!

guernseyThe Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is probably one of the best-known epistolary novels and I resisted reading it for quite some time because it was so popular. I don’t know why because it was charming, and I LOVED it. The movie version is excellent as well!

ellaYou have to say the title of Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn out loud to get it and how it works in this sweet book about a community, the alphabet, and how their lives are affected by it. This would be a great read for teens, also.

A great way to introduce younger children to letter writing is through Alma Flor Ada’s sweet books where classic characters write to one another. Check out Yours Truly, Goldilocks to start.

I happened upon Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Eleanor Pruitt Steward while looking for books that could be read on KPBX’s Bookshelf program. This fascinating account of a woman’s time in Wyoming in 1909 opens a window to a world so different than today’s one of convenience and comfort! Check out a copy or listen to the reading on KPBX.

84I read 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff in one sitting not because it’s short but because I was so charmed by the characters in this actual correspondence between a writer in NY and the staff of a London bookshop over the course of 40 years.

What’s next for you? Writing some letters or reading some letters? Do you have any great epistolary novels to recommend?

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Coffee or Crafting | Opening Act(ivity)

Coffee or Crafting:  How about both?

Here is a way to enjoy your cup of joe with a splash of creativity. I’m a fan of using different items to create art. For today’s activity, we will be using watercolor paper, coffee, Qtips, plastic forks, and chopsticks. As your painting dries, there will be subtle changes.

Thanks Jordan and Tanya for joining me at the craft table!