Primary Election Resources


Be sure to vote in the August 4th primary election; it’s easy to drop off your ballots at any public library branch in the city or county. Not sure you are registered to vote? Check out the My Vote page to check your status, your districts, and your elected officials. Get educated on the propositions and local candidates on the ballot by reading the Online Voters Guide and articles from the Spokesman Review’s coverage of the 2015 elections. You can even see how much money candidates and political committees have raised by searching the Public Disclosure Commission‘s database.

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A Comic-Con to Remember

Improbable Theory of Ana and ZakAna is an A student frantic to stay at the top and have lots of activities on her college applications.  She also has to keep an eye on her thirteen year old genius brother, Clayton, who is in the same grade at Tacoma High School   Zac is a gamer who lives for WashingCon, the annual Sci Fi Comic Book Convention in Seattle. Unfortunately he lifted most of his last Health report from Wikipedia and his teacher is threatening to flunk him unless he joins the quiz team for their tournament in Seattle. The tournament and Washingcon are on the same weekend!  When Clayton sneaks out of the hotel to go to Washingcon, Zac and Ana have to join forces to find him before curfew.  This mad romp of an adventure and unexpected romance will keep you on the edge of your seats.  I recommend the Improbable Theory of Ana and Zac by Brian Katcher to readers in grades seven on up.

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With a cluck cluck here and a cluck cluck there

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry FarmerI think Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones is a totally charming and captivating read.  I may be biased.  I do like chickens. (See some of mine below)  Sophie Brown has never had chickens (in fact, she has never had a pet) Sophie and her parents have inherited Blackbird Farm from Great Uncle Jim. Sophie finds a little white hen hiding in the cluttered farmyard. A little white hen with superpowers! Way out in the country, with no internet, Sophie has to write letters to the Redwood Farm Supply for chicken information (in addition to going to the library, of course).  Sophie also writes to her deceased grandmother as well as Great Uncle Jim.  (They don’t write back)  I loved the illustrations in this book.  I highly recommend this fun summer read to kids in grades five and up.chicken1

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poppiespicmonkeyIn July we’re exhibiting photographs by Jenny Lange-Poon in the Downtown Library’s Art Gallery. Her beautiful photography is bold and artistic and definitely worth a visit downtown!


Mid-Summer Musings About Summer Reading

summer_programsMid-July!? How did that happen so quickly? Well, it did and we’re in the middle of a Summer Reading extravaganza here at the library. You can escape the ordinary with programs; great books, movies, and music; and AC to escape the summer heat! If you haven’t signed up for Summer Reading there’s still plenty of time. Read for 15 hours and we’ll either give you a free book to keep (kids and teens) or enter you into a drawing for a prize (adults). The real win is the actual reading; what better way to get away than by diving into a new place with a book! Need a recommendation? Check our blog or stop by and talk to a librarian; they’re experts at finding great books.

P.S. Special thanks to the Friends of the Library for providing the giveaway books to kids and teens and thanks to the Spokane Public Library Foundation for providing prizes for the adult summer reading program.

Five Songs from You and Me and Him by local author, Kris Dinnison

you-and-me-and-him-by-kris-dinnisonLocal author Kris Dinnison’s debut novel, You and Me and Him is a great read! It is billed as “young adult” but its appeal stretches way beyond. And for those of us who can easily be transported back to high school with a song or memory it’s a perfect summer escape book. Maggie, the main character and narrator, works in a record store and music plays a big part in her life and in the course of the story. She turns to music to help embrace her emotions and that music transports readers more deeply into the story. Here are some of the songs featured in the book which you can download (and keep) from Freegal with your library card.

Freegal’s not the only game in town for music at the library. Some of the music from Dinnison’s book can be found on library CDs and our newest addition, hoopla.


Digital Public Library of America

dpla-logoIf you do any sort of research online, you probably know that many libraries, museums, and organizations have scanned books, photos, and other items and made them available to the public. Our Northwest Room collections of photos and yearbooks are an example of these types of collections. But with thousands of websites like this, how can you find something specific? The Digital Public Library of America is a good place to start. DPLA does not collect or scan items by itself, but it takes the information describing an item from various official hubs from across the country and makes that information searchable in one place. If you search on the main page for Spokane, for instance, you’ll retrieve links to over a 1000 images, full text files, and even a couple of videos, most of them historic. DPLA also has some fun “exhibitions” that gather similar documents together on topics like the transcontinental railroad or women pilots. DPLA is a fascinating website to explore, especially if you are researching history.

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Conserve Water!

slow_the_flowMayor David Condon and Spokane’s City Council have asked citizens to take steps to reduce water usage this summer. The hot weather and a statewide drought make this important. The city’s water stewardship website has tips and instructions on how you can save water and reduce your water bill. Click the Slow the Flow logo above to get started.