When you think of the word “library”, what comes to mind? The answers I typically get are: books, “SHHHHH”, and images of dimly-lit, dull spaces with dusty shelves packed with classic literature and ancient tomes (likely perpetuated by media and antiquated views of a 19th century library). If you visit a library today, you will see this isn’t true of your modern library.
Today, libraries are bustling spaces constantly adapting to fit the needs of a community. Spokane Public Library passed a bond in 2018 and built new and renovated spaces around what the Spokane community wanted: children’s playspaces, more public meeting spaces, BOOKS (of course), and the capacity for new resources in our ever-changing society. In fact, ALL the libraries in our region have amazing, FREE resources to better help, entertain, educate, and (insert verb of your choice here) to fit YOUR needs.
Spokane county is lucky to have THREE different library systems to accommodate the Inland Northwest: Spokane Public Library, Spokane County Library District, and Liberty Lake Municipal Library. Spokane Public Library operates under the City of Spokane Municipal Government, whereas Spokane County Library District (SCLD) operates for county residents and Liberty Lake Municipal Library for the City of Liberty Lake. Between SCLD and Spokane Public Library, city residents can get a county library card for free and vice versa with a few exceptions. Even if you don’t live in the county, you can buy a library card by year or by month – almost like a library subscription service!
And yes, libraries love and celebrate books and access to information, and did you know they are so much more than that? Spokane Public Library also has these innovative and free resources for you to access now:
- eBooks and eAudiobooks
- 24/7 Library Kiosks (They’re like a book vending machine!)
- Children’s Playspaces
- One-on-one help in writing, music, local history, video, current affairs, tech, and business
- Free WiFi
- Library of Things
- Garden tools
- Book Club Kits
- Plant seeds
- Musical instruments
- Sports equipment
- Social service resources & Community Court
- Media Studios (Video, Podcast Production, Recording Studios)
- Events for all ages (like late-night talk shows, storytimes, lectures, dance, gardening, art, cooking, sustainability, and more!)
- Computers & printing
- Rooms to borrow for events, studying, and creating
- Music lessons
- Inland Northwest Special Collections
- Genealogical help
- Business Lab
- Friends of the Library Bookstore (Books for sale as low as $1, and all proceeds benefit the library!)
Last year alone (2022), 1,172,466 items were checked out, 25,165 people became new cardholders, and patrons reserved our meeting rooms for over 60,000 hours. Libraries aren’t going anywhere, and they shouldn’t. They offer you something many other organizations can’t – the ability to learn, play, and be accepted for who you are. All for free, no questions asked.