From the Director…

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

by Nancy Ledeboer, Director
Spokane County Library District

There’s an old riddle that asks, what building has the most stories? It’s the library, of course! The library is filled with books and stories that take you to new lands, back in time, or prepare you for the future. However, when it comes to the actual building, having more stories is not always a good thing. The Spokane Valley Library opened in 1955 as a 5,652 sq. ft. one-story building. In 1986, it was expanded to create a lower level and an upper mezzanine floor. Last year, these three floors held the traffic of 308,968 library members checking out over 687,853 items.

In April of this year, voters living within the service area of the Spokane Valley Library will be asked whether they favor a bond issue to replace the current library with a one-story, 30,000 sq. ft. building. The proposed library will be located about a mile to the west of the current library on Sprague Avenue at the intersection of Herald Street. During several community meetings held in 2013, we asked your opinion about placing the new library on this site surrounded by a park, and incorporated many of your ideas into the plan.

The building itself has not yet been designed. If voters approve funding we will hire architects to design the building with more community input. The one-story building would have an open, flexible plan that is easy to access. With over 14,000 people attending programs at Spokane Valley last year, the new library would be designed to include a large meeting room for library programs and community meetings, and a separate meeting room for children’s story times and educational programming. In addition, it would have small conference rooms and study spaces, as well as providing public computers and seating to comfortably connect with others face-to-face or online.

Even with our increasing amount of web-based and digital resources, there will be lots of room for books; books for children, teens, and adults of all ages. Books filled with ideas, stories, and facts about the world. Some people wonder whether books will disappear as more and more content becomes available on the Internet or as eBooks. I hope that books will always be available, and regardless of format, the library will always be a place to find the information you need.

The current Spokane Valley Library has served the community for almost 60 years. It is a place where young children hear stories and begin to love learning, where young minds are encouraged to ask questions and explore the world beyond what they can see, and where people of all ages find information to enrich their lives and make informed decisions.

If you would like to learn more, visit the Project 1 Spokane Valley webpage.

Voters will be asked to make a decision on funding for a new library building to serve future generations. If you have questions about what the bond issue proposes please visit our website or call Jane Baker, Communication & Development Officer at 509.893.8205

Next month: A library on Conklin Road in the Valley


  • Dave Noble

    With expectation of moving Valley library, I’m surprised that remodel was done last year. Is there a problem with the current building, parking? Next door to Planned Parenthood office? Why not build/open a another branch? I live in Greenacres, about equidistant between the current Valley branch and Otis Orchards branch. I also use the Liberty Lake City library.

    • Hi Dave. Thanks for your comments. The remodel you’re referring to was actually a reconfiguration of the service desk, which addressed inefficiencies and outdated processes related to work flow at the Spokane Valley Library. This reconfiguration was limited, as it was required to addresses safety issues with the worn carpeting in the high traffic area of the library.

      The bond proposal includes funding for a new library on Conklin Road in Greenacres. Next month, we will be sharing information on that library. You can read more about our bond proposal by going to

  • Tyler Olson

    Hello, I’ve seen the drawings for the proposed park expansion and they are very impressive. I was unable to attend the Q&A sessions last year, but I’m curious about how/if the plans incorporate progressive ideas related to sustainability (water and electricity conservation), light pollution (park lighting that focuses the light downward instead of up), and green materials and energy conservation concepts for the library building itself?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Tyler, During the public meetings we heard concerns about light pollution, safety and energy conservation. It is our intention to provide lighting that will provide safe use of the walkways and the park while protecting the night sky. When we begin the design of the building we will incorporate best practices for a sustainable, energy-efficient building. This includes using local materials when possible and following current design standards for sustainable buildings.

  • Alison bell

    I haven’t been able to attend any of the meetings about the new library on Sprague, but do have a couple comments: 1) has SCLD explored utilizing an existing building such as something at u city , isn’t that supposed to be the ” city center” for Spokane Valley? Seems like a perfect location with ample parking and good access, 2) what about the building at Sprague & Argonne as US bank will soon be relocating. Thanks.

    • Hi Alison,
      Cost to renovate a vacant building is about 80% of the cost to build new space, and U-City may only allow a lease, not a permanent home for the library. The location of Sprague and Herald is across the street from U-City, only a mile from Spokane Valley Library, so the library would stay in a central location in the Valley. Spokane County Library District already has a library along the Argonne/Mullan corridor. The Library District would like to keep library services as evenly distributed throughout the community as possible. Check out our complete info on the bond projects here.

  • Nichole

    May i Please the physical address of ” Dr. Seuss’ 110th Birthday”

    • Hello Nichole,
      Dr. Seuss’ 110th Birthday Celebration will be held at Spokane Valley Library at 12004 E. Main Ave. on Sunday, March 2 from 1-5pm.