Beat the Summer Slump

NoveList_K-8_Plus_logoIf you are a parent or guardian and concerned about learning losses while your child is out of school, the library can help. Our online Summer Reading Program starts at the beginning of June, encouraging kids to read throughout the summer to earn points and badges. Looking for book ideas? Novelist K-8 Plus has suggestions for titles or authors that are similar to kids’ favorites. How about something more academic? Learning Express School Center has tutorials in math, English, and other topics for older elementary, middle, and high school students. Encourage kids to learn a foreign language with Pronunciator, which includes many kid-friendly courses specifically for early learners (3-6) and young learners (7-12).

As a parent, maybe you want to discover how to best support your child’s learning. Six-week instructor-led Gale Courses start soon which will give you background on child development and suggestions for encouraging literacy and reading. Check out “Ready, Set, Read!” and “Enhancing Language Development in Childhood,” for example. Just use your library card to sign up and start learning.


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Washington Legal Forms


You can find many legal forms online, especially official court forms from the city, county, and state, but what if you need personal or business forms such as a will, power of attorney, or rental lease? Our Washington State Legal Forms databases includes samples of these plus many others. You can download a rich text or Microsoft Word version that can be filled out online and printed. Each form has a description of what it is and how it works. There are also completed examples to give you an idea of how the forms should be filled out. This database is a great place to find legally-acceptable landlord/tenant, corporation, and other generic forms that are sometimes hard to locate for free online.


of Bears and Boys, Of Ravens and Brothers

skeleton treeIn The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence, twelve year old Chris and Frank, an older boy he doesn’t know, are taken for sailing on the coast of Alaska by Chris’ Uncle Jack.  On the second day the boat sinks and Chris and Frank alone survive.  They reach land and find an abandoned cabin.  They have no phone or radio.  Chris makes friends with a curious raven, but Frank seems to hate Chris.  The boys must work together to get food and figure out how to survive in the Alaskan wilderness.  Chris tells this story, alternating between today as he sits waiting for rescue, and remembering how it all began and got to this point. I recommend this riveting adventure is for readers in grades five through eight.

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Online Travel Resources

pronunciator-120x90The summer travel season kicks off soon, but did you know the library has many useful resources that will make your traveling easier or more interesting? Of course we have lots of travel guides for places around the world, but did you know we also have some ebook versions, which you can download on your device to take with you?

Our subscription databases can be helpful, as well. Check out Culturegrams before you head off to another country, state, or Canadian province. You’ll learn about history, climate, the people and their culture, lifestyle, and society. If you are traveling to a foreign-speaking country and want to learn the basics of the language, Pronunciator has handy 8-week interactive travel prep courses for many languages. All you need is your library card to get started.

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Online Testing Help

PrintTaking a vocational test soon? How about a college entrance exam or getting your GED? LearningExpress Library offers a wealth of ebooks, tutorials, practice tests, and videos on a wide variety of subjects for students at many levels. Different “centers” focus on elementary and middle school tutorials, high school equivalency tests, college prep tests, college student tutorials and grad school tests, adult learning, and career and vocational tests. For example, if you are studying to become a nurse, you can review the material on the professional exam and then take three practice tests where you get detailed answers and instant scores that show your strengths and weaknesses. Even adults who are not in school can improve their language and math skills through tutorials that include before and after tests.

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What is a Wrinkled Crown?

Wrinkled CrownIn Anne Nesbet’s the Wrinkled Crown, the world is half magical and half technological. Linny lives in the wrinkled hills where magic exists. Linny was born humming and singing.  Her parents feared for her safety, because the Voices will take away any girl, under twelve, who touches a lourka, the musical instrument the hill men play. To keep Linny safe, she has been tethered to her best friend, Sayra, since they were small. But Sayra lets Linny off the tether when they play in the forest.  Linny has actually make a lourka of her own and, yes, plays it on the eve of her twelfth birthday.  But the Voices take Sayra by mistake.  Linny’s mother is from the Plain and sends Linny on a quest to that flat land to save Sayra and maybe the world.  Add in an annoying lump of a boy and a half magical/half technologically enhanced cat and you have a page turning fantasy adventure.  I recommend for readers in grades four to seven.

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Car Repair Online

chiltonlibrary_lgWith the nicer weather, many people start thinking of road trips. If your car needs a little work, Spokane Public Library’s Chilton database is a good way to save money by helping you repair your own car. Just look up your car or truck by year, make, and model to find repair instructions, wiring diagrams, maintenance schedules, bulletins, and recall notices. There are thousands of automobiles and trucks going back for decades, including many classic vehicles. Images, photos, and step-by-step instructions are included for many models. As a bonus, if you are studying to become a Automotive Service Excellence technician, Chilton offers test prep quizzes.

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How to Quit Smoking

The Spokane Public Library can guide you to the many online resources to help you stop smoking. The Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS) offers different options for you at their page Tobacco Cessation Program. To see the list of all Community Wellness courses and to register, go to

The Spokane County Regional Health District has a page of resources about how to give up smoking. Take a look at Ready to Quit for a description of their programs.


ready to quit


Reading Recommendations by Newsletter

NextReads Logo Looking for thoughtful reviews of the latest books and audiobooks? An easy way to get reading recommendations is to sign up for our NextReads Email Newsletters. Once every month or two you’ll get an email newsletter with descriptions of fiction or nonfiction books or audiobooks that are available through the library. There are a wide range of fiction genres – such as romance, historical fiction, or sci fi – and categories of nonfiction – history, business, or biography. There are newsletters for all ages of readers. You can even sign up for the New York Times bestseller lists to see what’s popular nationwide. Just click on the list name to see a sample of the latest one, and enter your name and email address to subscribe.

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Leaping Leprechauns – Are you lucky?

Fortune FallsMaybe I should ask – do you believe in luck? You hear stuff at school, right?  Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.  Find a lucky penny. Black cats are bad luck. Nobody really believes in those superstitions.  What if there was a town where luck really existed.  In Fortune Falls, when kids turn twelve they are tested and sorted into Luckys and Unluckys.  The Luckys go on to Flourish Academy while the Unluckys have to go to Bane School for their own safety.   Sadie knows she is going to be an Unlucky.  Her birthday is coming up and she has to come up with a way to change her luck.  But then her dog goes missing in a graveyard, she breaks a mirror, and there is a black cat following her! Can Sadie discover that you make your own luck and being smart is better than being lucky in time? I recommend Fortune Falls by Jenny Goebel to readers (lucky or not) in grades four to six.

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Overdrive and Apple products

OverdriveomcIconIf you are a regular user of our Overdrive ebook service, you’ve probably noticed the new site design and app update, which makes finding available copies easier. However, if you use Apple products (the iOS operating system), you may have had more problems using the service since the change. Overdrive is aware of the problems and has created a troubleshooting article in their Help section. Issues addressed include app crashes, inability to download checked out ebooks, and various error messages. Remember if you have any other problems, you can also search the Help section in Overdrive to see if there are any solutions recommended.

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