Library buildings are closed. Curbside pickup remains available. Closed for Thanksgiving on Nov 26 & 27. Access our Digital Library 24/7.

Civic Lab Online

Civic Lab Online provides information on issues facing our community for you to explore. Take a look at thought-provoking materials for teens and adults that allow us to engage in open conversation and grow together as a community. For each online topic, you can discuss what you’ve learned and questions you still have in the comments section of the blog post for that topic.

Before the Civic Lab was online it was in the library. You may be familiar with the in-person, interactive Civic Lab at North Spokane Library that began in April 2019 and ran through March 2020. We’ve added those topics below and included links so you can download those hand-outs to explore those Civic Lab topics as well.

Current Civic Lab Topic

What we know about the COVID-19 Pandemic

November 2020

There are many things we don’t yet know about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the disease that has caused a worldwide pandemic. Scientists, researchers, and medical professionals continue to look for answers about how the virus will behave seasonally, how to create a working vaccine, and how long the virus remains intact in certain environments. Here we provide facts on what we do know about the virus so far, including how it spread across the world and what the science is behind keeping ourselves safe.

View the information on this topic in the blog post Civic Lab Online: What we know about the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Downloadable Documents

Past Civic Lab Topics

She Was There

March 2020

We celebrate Women’s History Month by showcasing accomplishments of women in history that have been mostly overshadowed or forgotten.

Downloadable Documents

Envisioning Our Future During Black History Month

February 2020

How can our region’s black history inform and help reform our future policies and attitudes? What should our city, state, and nation do to make sure everyone has equal opportunities?

Downloadable Documents

What is the Electoral College?

January 2020

How does the Electoral College work, and why was it created? Should it be improved or abandoned, or has it worked as intended since its creation over 100 years ago?

Downloadable Documents

Let’s Talk about Managing Stress, Fighting Depression, & Preventing Suicide

December 2019

The holidays can be a particularly difficult time to reduce stress and fight depression. We share strategies and resources that can help. Share your ideas to help others.

Downloadable Documents

Nuclear Waste & Power

November 2019

Washington state stores the largest amount of high-level nuclear waste of any state in the nation. What do we need to consider to responsibly house, contain, and dispose of nuclear waste?

Downloadable Documents

Voting Rights

October 2019

Who has the right to vote, and when do citizens forfeit that right? How long have different groups had the right to vote?

Downloadable Documents

What & How We Eat

September 2019

We all need to eat to survive. Beyond survival, what other considerations should we give to what and how we eat? Explore resources and share your thoughts about locally grown food and imported and packaged foods and their impact on us as individuals and on our community.

Downloadable Documents

Facts, Thoughts & Beliefs in Science

August 2019

We take a look at the scientific method versus others for determining scientific evidence. What are the differences in thought and belief when it comes to science? Explore resources and share your thoughts about science and where it is heading.

Downloadable Documents

Space Force

July 2019

What do we need to consider before having a military force in space? Explore resources and share your thoughts about militarization beyond our planet.

Downloadable Documents

The Final Frontier

June 2019

When we think about space travel, we often focus on the science. What about space laws and ownership of space? Explore resources and share your thoughts on who owns space as we venture farther into our universe.

Downloadable Documents

Poverty

May 2019

What are the different types of poverty we see in developing nations vs. our own neighborhoods? What does it look like in Spokane to live below the poverty line, and what can we do about it? We’ll discuss the different ways that poverty affects our world and our city.

Downloadable Documents

Who are Refugees?

April 2019

Immigration continues to be a topic often discussed and debated in our country, but how many people know the difference between a stateless person, an undocumented immigrant, a refugee, and an asylum seeker? We’ll add some clarity to who the different displaced groups in our world are, with a focus on where refugees come from and what the rules and processes are for refugees that enter the United States.

Downloadable Documents