Latinx Heritage Month Book List | 2021


Afterlife by Julia Alvarez


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Book | eBookAudiobook

Book of Lost Saints by Daniel José Older


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

Book | eBook

Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester


House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea


The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú

Book | eBookSound Recording

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

Book | eBookAudiobook

Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey through a Country’s Descent into the Darkness by Alfredo Corchado


Ordinary Girls: A Memoir by Jaquira Díaz


The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

Book | eBook

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Book | eBookAudiobook

Where We Come From by Oscar Cásares


Latinx Heritage Month Book List for Kids | 2021


Picture Books

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago


Isabel and her Colores Go to School by Alexandra Alessandri


Mi Papi Tiene una Moto by Isabel Quintero

Book (in Spanish) | Book (in English) 

Octopus Stew by Eric Velasquez


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



Middle Grade

Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo


Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega


The First Rule of Punk Celia C. Pérez

Book | eBook

Merci Suárez Can’t Dance by Meg Medina


The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas



Young Adult

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Book | eBook

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jenifer De Leon


Fat Chance, Carlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

Book | eBook

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera


Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Book | eBook | Audiobook

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland


Latinx Heritage Month 2021









Celebrate Latinx heritage and culture with us! Check out our selection of books and videos to start the celebration and keep it going all year long. Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated nationally between September 15 and October 15.

Events (Register for this event by clicking the link)

September 29 @ 6:30pm: Who’s Who in the Latinx Ethnic Community?


How to Make a Spanish Omelette

Traditional Cooking | Making To’äm

Latinas in Mariachi | ¡Yo También soy Mariachi!

Agricultural Labor in the Columbia Basin

Book Recommendations

Book List for Adults 2021

Book List for Kids 2021

Book List for Adults 2020

Book List for Kids 2020

New Hillyard Library Now Open!

In November 2018, voters approved a $77 million bond to renovate 4 libraries and build 3 new libraries. Hillyard Library is the second library to be completed as part of this multi-year project. On September 2, we opened the brand new Hillyard Library at 4110 N. Cook Street.

The new Hillyard Library includes:

  • Five meeting rooms, including a maker studio
  • A children’s playspace called Mt. Shaw
  • New technology and a custom collection
  • All the friendly staff, computer access, and Seed Library you loved at the old Hillyard Library

All of this is located conveniently on the Shaw Middle School campus. We can’t wait for you to see it.

The Hillyard Library is currently open temporary hours, Monday-Friday from 10-4. Later this fall, we’ll introduce expanded hours so you can have even more access to the Library.


Meeting Space
The new Hillyard Library features five free meeting rooms.
• 1 event space that seats 61
• 1 maker studio that seats 44
• 3 group study rooms, two of the rooms seat 9, one seats 6

You may reserve the meeting room online using your library card number and PIN.


Mt. Shaw Children’s Playspace
The new Hillyard Library features an innovative and whimsical children’s playspace! Curl up to read a good book and let your imagination soar at Mt. Shaw. The climbing structure is suitable for little ones aged 5-12, and there is a small space for our youngest visitors aged 3 months to 3 years, as well.

mtshaw mtshaw2

How to Find Us 
Cook Street and the library parking lot are still under construction. To access the Library, we recommend parking in the Northeast Community Center parking lot and walking to the entrance to the Hillyard Library on the north side of the building.


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Spokane Public Library’s Bloomberg Terminal temporarily moved to sp3nw offices in U-District’s Ignite Building

The Spokane Public Library and sp3nw, WSU Health Sciences Spokane’s early-stage life science business incubator, are pleased to announce that sp3nw will host the Spokane Public Library’s Bloomberg Terminal in the Ignite Building at 120 N. Pine St. until the reopening of the Spokane Public Library’s Central Library (reopening date anticipated to occur in spring, 2022).

Additionally, sp3nw will host regular office hours for the Spokane Public Library’s Business Research Librarian, Mark Pond.

sp3nw logo

Aligned with the award-winning and expansive set of business research tools available on, the Bloomberg Terminal is a unique tool allowing local businesses to glean market intelligence that is difficult to source elsewhere. Bloomberg provides access to an enormous wealth of real-time financial and business information and Spokane Public Library is one of two public libraries in the nation to offer this service. Through a recently awarded EDA grant for building a Flexible Infrastructure for Resilient Entrepreneurship (FIRE)sp3nw is supporting the subscription cost of both the Bloomberg Terminal as well as the Spokane Public Library’s PitchBook subscription.

To book a time to meet with Mark for a business research consultation, click the “Business Consultation with Mark” box here.


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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.)