Black History Month 2020








In recognition of Black History Month, Spokane Public Library is hosting a variety of events throughout the month of February. A range of topics will be discussed from the cultures of Nigeria and Malawi, to movies, art, food demonstrations, and more.

View the calendar for Black History Month at the library here.


SPL’s Recommended Reads of 2019

Can you believe it’s the end of the year? And an end to a decade? 2020 is right around the corner, but we want to share our recommended reads of 2019 before we move on.

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami 

“Beautifully written from the perspective of a number of different characters, it tells the modern story of the immigrant experience,” Riva D.

“I loved the format of it with each chapter from a different character’s point of view. Also, many of the characters were not native to America and seeing their perceptions of being ‘American’ was really interesting and put a spotlight on the feelings of immigrants and how they are treated. It was a well-written, character driven book. HIGHLY RECOMMEND,” Eva S.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett 

“Another beautifully written book by Ann Patchett. It tells the story of a dysfunctional family and the role of their house over generations,” Riva D.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

“This is a phenomenally written book that covers a variety of women’s topics from sexism and ageism to finding where you belong in your own community, and it somehow still manages to throw in a mystery to be solved. Exciting and endearing,” Amanda M.

The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater by Alanna Okun

“An incredibly relatable series of memoir essays from a modern young woman who crafts. Some of it made me laugh out loud, and some of it was just a little too true to be comfortable. I enjoyed every part,” Amanda M.

Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

“This series starts with All Systems Red and is five books long. It is also wonderful. Read them all,” Becky M.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

“I listened to this book and, first of all, the reader was great. This really makes a difference with audiobooks and she did a super job. Also, I love reading books about places I’m not familiar with and this book is set in Nigeria. I loved the relationship between the sisters and the crazy things that happen. Also, there’s a sort of joy in the revenge of the beautiful woman in this book that, while crazy, makes me smile,” Eva S.

“This is a darkly hilarious, satirical little piranha of a book. A neat vivisection of sisterly love and protection, of vanity and expectations, told with spare, stark prose,” Kathryn I.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

“This is the story of a cotton plantation slave, Cora, and her incredibly painful attempt to run with Caesar, another slave, to escape their bondage. This is an important and necessary read on the historic treatment of Africans and our shared history. The lyrical writing is at once mesmerizing and terrifying,” Sarah B.

Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari

“Amazing portrait of the failing drug war, the roots behind it and the people it affects,” Rae-Lynn B.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

“A beautiful, unique, adventure story. If you enjoy books like The Name of the Wind by Patrick Ruthfuss, you will like Strange the Dreamer,” Gina F.

The Broken Earth Trilogy by NK Jemisin

“NK Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone Sky) features fantastic world-building, a fascinating protagonist, and a narrative twist that will make you want to re-read the series. It’s no wonder all three volumes won the Hugo Award three years in a row,” Dana D.

Past Speakers | Women Helping Women Fund Annual Luncheon

1993: Alene Moris

1994: Linda Ellerbee

1995: Anna Quindlen

1996: Cicely Tyson

1997: Carrie Fisher

1998: Judge Glenda Hatchett

1999: Gloria Steinem

2000: Cokie Roberts

2001: Kerry Kennedy Cuomo

2002: Madame Sadat

2003: Ellen Goodman

2004: Deloris Jordan

2005: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

2006: Lisa Ling

2007: Soledad O’Brien

2008: Jeannette Walls

2009: Jean Chatzky

2010: Liz Murrary

2011: Naomi Judd

2012: Elizabeth Smart

2013: Bonnie St. John

2014: Christopher Gardner

2015: Amanda Lindhout

2016: Sheryl WuDunn

2017: Glennon Doyle Melton

2018: Dr. Tererai Trent

2019: Victor Rivas Rivers

Special Announcement


We are honored to share that Spokane Public Library was named a finalist for the 2019 National Medal award.

The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in recognition of exceptional service to the community and for making a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities.
This year’s finalists include public libraries and library systems; a statewide digital library; art, science, and children’s museums; and many other types of institutions that exemplify the great diversity of libraries and museums across the country.

This honor recognizes how our programs Library Cards for Spokane Public Schools, Books for Babies, Lilac City Live, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital Outreach Program and more impact Spokane and everyone who lives here.

We are grateful for your continued support and are honored to be recognized as a 2019 finalist. National Medal winners will be announced this spring.

Help us celebrate!
We invite you to share your own story about how Spokane Public Library has impacted your life.

Share your Story→

Our Favorite Books from 2018

City of Spokane Bond Proposition 1 Update

As of November 9, with only 18,000 city ballots left to count, City of Spokane Bond Proposition 1 is passing with 63% approval from Spokane voters, approving $77M for library construction and renovation projects citywide. This approval will enable Spokane Public Library to serve more customers, modernize our aging buildings and make much needed upgrades to technology.

Spokane Public Schools Bond Proposition 1 is also passing with 67% approval. We look forward to deepening our partnership in our planned projects with Spokane Public Schools at Hillyard/Shaw, Libby Center and with Spokane Virtual Learning.

This is an historic moment for us and the community. We are encouraged and enthusiastic about the future of the library in Spokane and look forward to continuing to serve you in the years to come as we inspire a city of lifelong learners.

Thank you for your support.


Celebrate Banned Books Week

What are banned or challenged books and why do we celebrate Banned Books Week every September? According to American Library Association, a challenged book is “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group,” while banned books are removed altogether. This is an issue commonly noticed in public libraries, schools and other facets of communities. Celebrating Banned Books Week means we celebrate the freedom to read and the freedom to share ideas without the threat of censorship. Below is a list of the Top 10 Banned Books of 2017, all available at the library.

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  3. Drama
  4. The Kite Runner
  5. George
  6. Sex is a Funny Word
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird
  8. The Hate U Give
  9. And Tango Makes Three
  10. I Am Jazz

Books for Hispanic Heritage Month

While Hispanic Heritage Month only lasts four weeks, it’s always a good time to read from authors you may not have before. We have a variety of books written by Hispanic authors at the library. Go beyond your favorite genre and read something new. Below is a short list of books with a diverse range of perspectives. Check them out!

Hispanic Heritage Month for Kids!

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and reflect on how Hispanic culture shapes our country. This is especially expressed in the form of children’s books. Below is a list of powerful stories to read to kids about Hispanic culture and the impact it has in our communities.

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Islandborn by Junot Diaz

Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina 

The Poet Upstairs by Judith Ortiz Cofer

Too many Tamales by Gary Soto

Day of the Dead by Linda Lowery

Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice by Sylvia Rosa-Casanova

Lilac City Live – September

Join us for the next Lilac City Live! on September 20th. A “late night” talk show featuring local Spokane talent at the Downtown Library — Drinks! Music! Authors! Artists! Comedians! It’s guaranteed to be a fun time. And it’s a great opportunity to see some awesome Spokane talent for free.

September 20th
7 PM, no-host bar featuring Little Spokane Brewing Company (all proceeds benefit Spokane Public Library Foundation)
8 PM, late night talk show-style show

Hosted by Ryan Dean Tucker


Ginger Ewing and Luke Baumgarten 
Ginger and Luke are the co-founders of Terrain. The annual Terrain show will be held October 4 (preview night) and 5 at Terrain. Learn more about the show and how Terrain supports emerging Spokane artists.

Alaska band, Lavoy, will take the stage as the musical guest.

Power 2 the Poetry
Power 2 the Poetry specializes in the art of spoken word. They host a poetry slam at the Downtown Library each month.

Hannah Tilley
Hannah is the featured comedian.



Lilac City Live @ Pig Out in the Park

Join us for the next Lilac City Live! at Pig out in the Park on August 30. A “late night” talk show featuring local Spokane talent, this time at the Ribbon Stage — Music! Authors! Artists! Comedians! It’s guaranteed to be a fun time. And it’s a great opportunity to see some awesome Spokane talent for free.

August 30, 2018
Bring your favorite Pig Out treats and pig out at the show!
8 PM, late night talk show-style show hosted by Ryan Dean Tucker


Bill Burke

Burke is the organizer of Pig Out in the Park. For the past 39 years, he has overseen all the bands and vendors, and watched as the festival grew. It is now one of the largest food festivals in Spokane (if not the largest).

Atari Ferrari 

Musical guest Atari Ferrari features Matthew Hughes (vocals, guitar, songwriter), Robert Shugert (drums), Eric Woodard (guitar, vocals, songwriter), Scott Schultz (bass, vocals). (Source: Facebook &

Nathan Weinbender

Weinbender is The Inlander’s Film and Music Editor and is often a Film Critic for Spokane Public Radio.

Midnight Goats

Spokane-based The Midnight Goats are a musical-comedy duo. They’ve performed at major music festivals such as Seattle’s Bumbershoot and the Seattle Festival of Improvised Theater. (Source: Facebook)