Library Receives $30,000 Gift from Mukogawa Gakuin (University) in Nishinomiya, Japan
We're thrilled to report that in late December, the city received a $30,000 gift from Mukogawa Women's University in Nishinomiya, Japan to benefit the Spokane Public Library. The University intended the gift to be used by the library for educational purposes.
Spokane Public Library is extremely honored and grateful for this generous gift. It reminds us that our community need not be limited by our city boundaries. Rather, it is a global community, and our relationship with Nishinomiya has already broadened our reach and continues to do so regularly. Gifts like this enable the library to expand its offerings and make more materials available to more people.
Spokane was chosen to receive this donation because of its Sister City partnership. The Spokane-Nishinomiya partnership is one of the longest continuing city connections in both countries and in the program's history. This past year we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Spokane-Nishinomiya Sister City relationship!
Discussion is underway regarding the best use for the gift. We are reviewing recent feedback from customers about our collections, and librarians and administrators are considering customer requests and recent trends in libraries. One idea we are considering is the expansion of our selection of ebooks, which have recently become very popular and more accessible through libraries. In the past, funding and vendor platforms have limited our ebook offerings (see the Library's January newsletter for a good explanation of ebook issues), but prices have since come down, and new developments in the industry may make ebooks more affordable and accessible. We are considering this carefully so we can make the best use of this very thoughtful gift.
Changes in the Library Board
In January 2012, Jim Kershner joined the library's Board to fill the unexpired term of former Board member Cindy Weiser. Cindy served the library board briefly from April 2011 through October 2011, when she moved to Alaska for a new job and to be closer to grandchildren. Although her service was short, she brought a valuable perspective to the board and shared her knowledge enthusiastically. She was a book lover and visited her neighborhood library regularly. We'll miss seeing her at both the meetings and the Shadle Library, but we're very grateful for her service and wish her well in her new snowy home.
Jim Kershner is an author, historian and longtime columnist for The Spokesman-Review (recently retired). He continues to work as a freelance writer, journalist and staff historian for HistoryLink.org, The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. He reports (and we can confirm) that he frequently uses the library to research articles, historical essays and books, including his most recent book, Carl Maxey: A Fighting Life (University of Washington Press) which was a finalist for the 2009 Washington State Book Award. We like that he refers to himself as a "library nerd" and that he believes a great library is essential for anyone with a curious mind. Welcome, Jim, and thank you for joining the library's board!
We'll have another opening on the Board in April 2012. That's when Judge Rick White's second term expires. We strongly encourage interested citizens to apply. The Board of Trustees consists of five citizen volunteers, each appointed by the Mayor. The Board meets monthly and makes final decisions about major aspects of library business. Volunteers serve a five-year term and can apply for a second five-year term if they wish.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the library's Board, you can get an application at the Mayor's office or from the City's website. For more information, please contact Catherine Gallaher at 625-6250.
We're Looking for Storytime Volunteers—Interested?
Do you a) enjoy kids and b) have a bit of time to spare? If so, let us suggest using that time to introduce kids to books! The library is seeking new Storytime volunteers, and you're invited to apply. Thanks to the generous help of trained volunteers, we've maintained a year-round, continuous Storytime schedule at all library branches since 2007. We sometimes need new volunteers to help us maintain this schedule, and that's where you come in.
Our volunteers present storytimes to toddlers and preschoolers. It's a great way to foster early literacy in children, and volunteers get to see firsthand how the kids learn and grasp the concepts of the stories they hear. Plus, it's fun. One of the "complaints" we've heard from volunteers is that they wish they could do it more!
The library holds Storytime at 10 and 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays. Most volunteers are needed on Friday mornings. We provide training and assistance for our volunteers to make sure the experience is successful. Volunteers must be willing to commit to at least one year of service and must volunteer at least once a month. All volunteers are screened with a WA State Patrol background check.
If you're interested, call us. We'll tell you more about the program and set up an interview and training time. Contact Sally Chilson, Youth Services Coordinator at 444-5331.
"If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're lucky enough."
Are you Irish? Some people say it just takes a little bit. This welcoming clan says, "the more the merrier," especially as we near St. Patrick's Day! This March you can prep for St. Patty's Day with the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society's (EWGS) spring seminar on March 10 from 9:00 am - 4:30 pm (at the Downtown Library). It features an all-day seminar by the Ulster Historical Foundation with speakers Fintan Mullan (Executive Director) and Dr. Brian Trainor (Research Director). This ticketed event will be packed with great information of interest to seasoned genealogists as well as those just beginning their interest in researching family histories.
For more information and tickets go to the
EWGS website at www.ewgsi.org.
Tax assistance is available at the Downtown Library! Check here to see if you're eligible for this free assistance.
Join us for It's a Gift on February 8 at 5:30 at the Downtown Library. Free, of course!
South Hill's Heart of Spirituality book discussion group continues next month with a discussion of Robert Pirsig's Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on Feb. 21 at 6:30.
Our WorkSource lab is open for those needing assistance with job
searches, resume preparation and other employment-related work.
Are you as smart as your smartphone? You can be! Join us for a free workshop to get you up to speed on your phone, Feb. 4, 11:00 am at South Hill.
We like you; do you like us?