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November 2011 eNews

Written By: Library Communications

Fred Meyer Fund Awards Library $30,000 for Science-Based Programming!

When an organization calls and asks you to apply for their invitation-only grant program, that alone is a vote of confidence in the work you do! This recently happened here at the library. Our youth services coordinator teamed up with the Spokane Public Library Foundation (who does our grant applications) to apply for $30,000 from the Fred Meyer Fund, a funding organization of the Kroger Corporation. The application was due lickety-split and then we waited...
Well, there was dancing in the library for the second time this year (the first being the Library Foundation's increasingly popular You Can't Do That in the Library! event which happens every spring) when we got the fax saying the grant had been approved. You could hear the whoops of joy all the way out in the library. We risked getting shushed by the 3rd floor staff!

The grant will provide a number of things:

Participants in the Library's summer reading program at WCCC   • Family programming in 2012 that supports education in science.

  • Summer Reading programming for children at the West Central Community Center (pictured at right).

  • Programming at the library branches at times that are accessible to working families.

  • Family Science Kits that you can check out from the library and use to do at-home science projects.

  • Science-based "books for little investigators" in the daycare centers serviced by our library's youth outreach program.

You can look forward to expanded summer reading programming at the libraries next year because of this grant, and the programming won’t stop when summer's over. We plan to offer our free programming as much as possible because we know how important science is in early education and that finding affordable things to do with your family is a priority in today's economy.

Why is this funding so valuable to the library and to Spokane?
This vote of confidence by the Fred Meyer Fund underscores the importance of library services in our community. As noted in the award letter, "The Fund chooses organizations that strengthen and enhance communities. The grants support programs and organizations that help youth build character, increase self esteem, develop leadership and social skills, and participate in constructive life experiences." The library strives to do these things every day. This kind of investment in childhood education pays for itself over and over.

Fred Meyer FundMany thanks!
We are so grateful to the Fred Meyer Fund for this extraordinary support. We are also grateful for the strong partnerships we already have in Spokane with the West Central Community Center and the many local preschools and daycares. And of course, the Library Foundation was instrumental in making this grant a reality. All this support allows us to continue the important work of serving the youth of our community.

Economic Development Starting at the Library: An Interview With Mark Pond, Business Librarian

Business Librarian, Mark Pond SPL: What is a business librarian? How does your role contribute to economic development in Spokane?

MP: I like to tell businesses to think of me as their most valuable unpaid employee. I'll say, "If you, as a business owner, find yourself throwing failed search after failed search at Google, here's a tip: stop. Turn the searching task over to the library and focus your time and energy on some other aspect of your business that is more profitable, and less frustrating." By turning to a partner in the community (the library) the business gets to focus their energies on their business and that makes them, and our community, a more successful, vibrant place.

SPL: Do you think the work you do has made a difference for some local businesses?

MP: From the emails and phone calls we get from local business people I'd have to say YES. One customer recounted how she was paying over $3,000 a year for business directories, and after seeing what the library had to offer she canceled her subscriptions and now uses free resources from the library. She actually hugged me when she learned how much money she could save. The hugs are nice but not required.

SPL: So she has $3000 more per year to spend at her business which makes it more likely that her business will survive the recent economic downturn.

MP: Yes, and hopefully I'm creating some library evangelists along the way. I think I might be because I recently got a call from a business person who had been talking to a colleague about some struggles they were having and I guess my name came up in conversation.

SPL: And exactly what does the library have to offer businesses? Besides DVDs to watch after a long day at the office of course.

MP: Well, DVDs to watch after a long day certainly do contribute to the health of any busy person, but the library really is the go-to place for answers. And you don't have to GO TO the library to take advantage. Many resources are digital so, with a library card, a person doesn't need to leave the comfort of her office to access this information. Easy. We subscribe to these resources and make them available to residents for free. When many people use them, the cost per use goes way down.

SPL: What are the most popular resources?

MP: Just right off the top, ReferenceUSA and DemographicsNow are two fabulous business databases that blow away anything you can find freely available online. These two databases lay out incredible detail about what businesses and consumer types are in our community and across the nation. Great market research tools.

SPL: Is your whole job devoted to being the business librarian?

MP: Heck, no! I am also the audio-visual acquisitions librarian which means I buy all the music, movies and audiobooks for the library's adult collections. While both jobs could easily take full time, I enjoy the variety having both of them affords. When I'm ordering materials I'm sequestered in my cubicle and it's very quiet. When I attend business events and talk to local business people it's not quiet. I like the idea of taking the library outside the library because, unfortunately, many people are just too busy to come in!

SPL: Do you give presentations to groups about library resources?

MP: YES! I love it when I'm invited to be a guest speaker at a staff meeting or professional association. I really think people will be pleasantly surprised by what they can find at the library for free!

You can reach Mark Pond at 444-5312 or

What Do You Get From a Great Group of Friends?

A successful book sale and a terrific Spokane Is Reading program, to name two! These events made for a busy October at the library, and both succeeded thanks largely to the Friends of Spokane Public Library.

First, an all-volunteer crew of Friends emptied 470 boxes of donated and discarded books to put on their four-day book sale in early October. The Friends put on a sale like this each year (sometimes more than once!) As always, they did a fabulous job collecting, sorting, and selling many thousands of used books. It's a massive effort, but somehow they manage it, drawing large crowds of interested buyers in the process. This year's sale raised almost $6,000 for the Friends, who use all of the money for the library's benefit.

Mary Roach Second, money from Friends groups countywide helped bring best-selling author Mary Roach (pictured) to town for the 10th annual Spokane Is Reading event on October 20. Ms. Roach charmed two crowds totaling nearly 500 people with funny and engaging talks about her latest book, Packing for Mars. In this case, many groups of Friends—the Friends of Spokane Public Library and the various Friends groups from the individual Spokane County Library District locations—contributed funds to the program, which both library systems and Auntie's Bookstore joined forces to coordinate. The result was a wonderful program and hundreds of satisfied attendees.

The Friends of Spokane Public Library have supported us in many ways for many years. This October featured two of the more visible examples of how the library—and the citizens of Spokane—benefit from their commitment. We're very grateful to them. They help us serve you better.

Art Exhibits Downtown

photo by Barbara Smith This November, the Downtown Library will host a special photographic exhibit. "Eye on the World" features images by documentary photographers from all over the country and celebrates photography's role in shaping our understanding of the world. The Society for Photographic Education (SPE), a national nonprofit, will sponsor the display, which will run in conjunction with SPE's 2011 Northwest Region Conference, held at Spokane Falls Community College November 3-6. The exhibit at the library will run through the end of November. In December, the library will replace the exhibit with a display of paintings by local artist Victor Prado.
(photo above by Barbara Smith, 2nd year photography student at SFCC)


Nov. 24

All branches will be CLOSED on November 24 for Thanksgiving. We are OPEN the day after Thanksgiving!


Join us for Alice's Restaurant on November 9 at 5:30 at the Downtown Library. Free, of course!


The votes are in for YALSA's teen top ten list. Find out the rest of the list and you'll have your reading set for the rest of autumn. 

Job Hunt

Our WorkSource lab is open for those needing assistance with job searches, resume preparation and other employment-related work.


South Hill's Heart of Spirituality book discussion group continues this month with a discussion of Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood on Nov. 15 at 6:30. 


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.


Did you know that a portion of Spokane Public Library's funding comes from local, City of Spokane sales tax revenue?! When you shop inside the city limits you are supporting your library!


F stands for "Friend." Be our "Friend" or "like" us or whatever - it's a good way to hear the latest about the library. "Share" us with your "friends" so they'll "like" us too. :)

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