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November 2010 eNews

Written By: Library Communications

Library Board Hears from Public Regarding Closure of East Side Branch

Susie Burnes, Sheridan Elementary LibrarianOn Wednesday, October 27 the Library Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting at the East Central Community Center (next door to the East Side Library). As part of their agenda they continued a discussion of the library’s 2011 budget, which has a shortfall of $200,000. One proposal they have discussed is to close the East Side Library. That closure would bring the Board $150,000 closer to balancing the budget. The very emotional meeting included many pleas from the public to find another way to close the budget gap. Over 100 people attended the meeting. Library Director Pat Partovi started by outlining the various proposals to balance the budget as well as the reasons why the East Side closure is being considered. The Board wanted to find a budget reduction that was sustainable into the future, since the city does not expect finances to improve next year either. No action was taken at the meeting because the Library does not yet have a final budget allocation from the City Council. Once the Council approves the Mayor’s budget, the library board will take action to balance the budget.

Sug VillellaMany people asked what they could do to help. Library Board members encouraged people to contact their City Council representatives  to express their concern. If you’re not sure who your City Council representative is, stop by (or call) the library and we can look that up for you. Please copy the Library Board on any messages (; your comments are helpful to them as well.

Pat Partovi’s presentation from the meeting is available on our website if you would like to read it. It helps give the big picture of the situation and answers a lot of questions. You can find it on the Library Administration page of our website . This page also lists the entire board and includes contact information for them.

How Did Women Get the Vote? They Made a “Big Noise”

That Woman and Big NoiseDid you know women in Washington won the right to vote in 1910—10 years before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?  We’re celebrating that centennial with That Woman & Big Noise, an interactive play by a trio of local talent. That Woman & Big Noise portrays Spokane’s May Arkwright Hutton and Tacoma’s Emma Smith DeVoe, two dynamic women who led Washington’s suffrage movement.

In its years before statehood, the Washington Territory almost became the first state to grant women the right to vote. In 1854, Washington defeated a proposal for women’s suffrage by a single vote. In 1883, and again in 1888, Washington gave women full voting rights, but both times it quickly overturned them—the second time because of the liquor lobby’s concern that women’s votes hurt its business. Finally, on November 8, 1910, male voters in Washington—by nearly a 2-to-1 margin—approved a constitutional amendment permanently granting women the right to vote. That made Washington only the fifth state to do so.

Hutton and Smith’s leadership figured prominently in the 1910 victory, but their personalities and methods differed sharply. Smith, known as a ladylike, cheerful person, favored public demonstrations like organizing women’s days and blanketing neighborhoods with posters. Hutton, with a reputation as gaudy and even vulgar, preferred one-on-one lobbying. Despite their differences, their combined efforts led the movement to success.

Saturday, November 13, 2 pmThree local women combined their talents to create That Woman & Big Noise, which pays tribute to Hutton and Smith. Claire Rudolf Murphy, a Spokane-based children’s author of more than 15 books, plays May Arkwright Hutton. Veteran actress Penny Lucas, whose grandmother gave speeches in the fight for women’s right to vote in Oregon, plays Emma Smith DeVoe. The play also showcases the writing talents of Sandra Hosking, a Spokane-based journalist, teacher, and Playwright-in-Residence at Spokane Civic Theatre. These talented women will present That Woman & Big Noise at the Shadle Library at 2 p.m. on November 13. The play is free and appropriate for all ages. 

Our celebration doesn’t end there. The Northwest Room’s current exhibit, which runs through January, highlights the history of women’s clubs in Spokane. Plus, there are plenty of suffrage-related books to read—ask a librarian for a recommendation or try our reader's advisory tool: Novelist Plus . Visit us soon—you’ll find plenty of ways to mark this historic centennial.

Spokane Is Reading a Big Success

Timothy Egan signing booksWith a little help from his two pleased audiences, author Timothy Egan made the 2010 edition of Spokane Is Reading a terrific event. In total, over 700 people turned out to hear Mr. Egan speak on October 7, and he delivered, giving two excellent presentations and earning a strong reception from both crowds. Audience members did their part, too, chiming in with family stories about the Great Fire of 1910, which Egan chronicles in his featured book, The Big Burn.


For the last nine years we have partnered with Spokane County Library District and Auntie’s Bookstore to bring a noted author to town for Spokane is Reading. The main reason we’re able to put on these programs is because of the funding assistance we get from the many Friends of the Library groups. We also thank the community for its continued support of Spokane Is Reading. The enthusiastic crowds that greet us year after year keep us striving to bring you a high-quality program. We’ll see you again in 2011—preparations are already underway for next year’s event!


EWGS Offers Free Program - The Internment of Japanese Americans: 1942-1945

Japanese Internment programOn Saturday, November 6 the Eastern WA Genealogical Society (EWGS) is offering a free program at the Downtown Library, Room 1A.  On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the military to relocate Japanese-Americans from their homes to internment centers. Guest lecturer Rod Tamura will be talking about this time and will share his family's perspective along with his research on this tragic time in American history.  The program starts at 1:00 but coffee and cookies will be served at 12:30.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Library Budget Note

The majority of the Library’s budget comes from an allocation from the City’s general fund. There are, however, a few other sources of funding that contribute to the library’s overall budget. In 2009, 4.6% of total revenues came from sources other than the general fund, including fines, fees, and contributions. The contributions included money from the Friends of the Library, the Library Foundation and individuals. Gifts from individuals should go to one of the library’s supporting groups rather than to the library directly.


This past year has been a great one for both the Friends and the Foundation. The Library Foundation is still fairly young, having begun fundraising in 2005. It is now working to build an endowment that will help fund the libraries well into the future. As of September 2010 the endowment had grown to over $100,000. It’s important to keep building on that endowment so that library services are enhanced into the future. If you’d like information about contributing to the Foundation or information about planned giving, please contact Foundation Director Sandra Kernerman at 444-5318.


Many thanks to all who have supported the library financially or through your active use of our services!


See Hepburn in The Lion in Winter on November 10 at 5:30 at the Downtown Library, Free, of course! 


This month's Heart of Spirituality book discussion will be about Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking  - November 16, 6:30.


A new exhibit in the Downtown Library's Northwest Room details the work of women's clubs in Spokane.


Coming in December! Our annual celebration of that great American icon – the Teddy Bear! Join us for a tribute to Teddy, and bring your favorite bear along for the fun. Check our kid's programs page for dates and times.


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