Downtown Library Will Temporarily Relocate to STA Plaza
Downtown Library’s Temporary Location to Open at STA Plaza in March 2020
In November 2018, voters overwhelmingly approved the Spokane Public Library (SPL) bond measure to remodel four existing libraries and build three new libraries. In early spring 2020, the Downtown Library will close for two years while it undergoes significant renovations.
To continue to offer essential library services to the community, SPL partnered with Spokane Transit Authority (STA) to find a solution that would keep library services accessible in the downtown core. SPL has entered into a lease agreement with STA to temporarily relocate some of its Downtown Library services and staff to the second floor of the STA Plaza while renovations are made to the Downtown Library.
While preparation for renovation and relocation will begin this fall, the Library space at the STA Plaza will open to the public on March 2, 2020 following the February 29, 2020 closure of the Downtown Library.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will library services be available downtown during the remodel?
The Spokane Public Library (SPL) will continue to offer essential library services downtown during the remodel. SPL has entered into a lease agreement with Spokane Transit (STA) to temporarily relocate some of its Downtown Library services and staff to the second floor of the STA Plaza while renovations are made to the Downtown Library.
Why does the library have to close for renovations?
Due to the substantial nature of the renovations, it will be much more efficient and cost-effective to fully close the building for renovation, rather than conduct a phased-construction approach.
What was SPL’s criteria in selecting a temporary library space downtown?
SPL led a search effort in 2019 to find a temporary space to operate Downtown Library services for a two-year period while the existing location is renovated. Criteria & considerations of the temporary space included:
- Size and cost of the space: The bond measure does not provide additional funding for the temporary relocation of services during renovation and construction. SPL needed to find a space that enabled the Downtown Library to continue offering essential services to its customers within the existing operating budget.
- Location within the downtown core: The temporary location will serve nearby neighborhoods, employees, communities and visitors of the downtown core.
- Accessibility of the space: SPL is committed to providing equal access to library collections, services and facilities for all library users. It is a priority for SPL to ensure its facilities— while temporary— are ADA-accessible and equipped to serve all members of its communities.
- Proximity to other resources SPL’s customers use: Locating library services in the downtown core helps ensure access to other important services and resources—shopping, work, transit and other services.
Why did SPL choose to temporarily relocate the Downtown Library at the STA Plaza?
In 2019, SPL began vetting possible locations for the relocation of the Downtown Library. SPL approached STA in spring 2019 about the possibility of relocating some library services to the STA Plaza during the library’s remodel. SPL found that the STA Plaza met all of the criteria for an alternate downtown library space (as listed above) which will allow SPL to maintain the availability of the library’s important resources downtown.
When is the SPL location at the STA Plaza scheduled to open?
While preparation for renovation and relocation will begin in fall 2019, the space will open to the public on March 2, 2020 following the February 29, 2020 closure of the Downtown Library.
What services will be available at the new library space?
Despite downsizing from more than 100,000 square feet of space to 9,800 square feet, SPL will continue to offer the following services on the 2nd floor of the STA Plaza:
- Library Marketplace featuring a curated collection of high-circulating books, DVDs and CDs
- Early-literacy resources for children
- Express computer access & Library Wi-Fi
- Public art exhibits and small community events
- Free conference meeting spaces for neighborhood organizations, local non-profits, small businesses and others
- Self-service checkout kiosks
How will the public access the new library space?
The library will be located on the 2nd floor of the STA Plaza, at 701 W. Riverside Ave. The public will be able to access the library from connecting skywalks or the STA Plaza’s 1st level doors. The Plaza offers accessible entrances (including the skywalk doors), as well as accessible elevators, restrooms and meeting spaces.
Library customers can use their library card to access library services. In order to protect library assets, RFID features will be installed on the library entrance doors same as in all Library spaces.
What are the hours of operation of the new library space?
The hours of operation are to be determined.
What staffing changes might take place as the Downtown Library transitions to the smaller alternate location?
All SPL staff are maintaining their employment through the renovation of the Downtown Library. Some of SPL’s Downtown Library employees will share a back office space within the Plaza during the lease agreement. Other staff may temporarily relocate to other SPL branches.
Who will ensure the security of the Plaza?
Through the lease agreement period, STA will increase security personnel to provide additional coverage on the Plaza’s second floor. The library will adopt STA’s safety and security policies, outlined in the Rules of Conduct, to ensure order in the high-volume vehicle/pedestrian transit facility.
How long will SPL be operating at the STA Plaza?
The length of the lease agreement between STA and SPL will end in March 2022, unless the length of the lease agreement is otherwise altered.
When will the main Downtown Library reopen after renovation?
SPL’s Downtown Library location at 906 W. Main Ave. is expected to reopen in Q1 2022.
Where can I find more information?
See plans for the new and renovated libraries at future.spokanelibrary.org.
Learn more about Spokane Transit at SpokaneTransit.com.