Director’s Update: Libraries in Spokane Valley

Posted on November 16, 2017 at 6:00 am

By Patrick Roewe, Executive Director

Earlier this fall, news about Spokane Valley Libraries was a topic discussed by both candidates and citizens. There seemed to be a lot of confusion, so I’d like to provide an update on the status of potential changes to library services in Spokane Valley.

At their October meeting, the Spokane County Library District Board of Trustees—the Library District’s governing body—unanimously approved an amendment to an agreement with the City of Spokane Valley that essentially provides the Library District with a minimum five-year window in which to plan, prepare, and implement a new approach to building a future library on the District-owned land adjacent to Balfour Park and across Sprague Avenue from the new Spokane Valley City Hall.

On behalf of the Library District, I’d like to thank the Spokane Valley City Council and staff for their support, commitment, and contribution to this proposed project. It’s always great to work with a civic partner towards the common goal of potentially enhancing educational and economic opportunities for the citizens of Spokane Valley.

While we are excited about the opportunities this extended agreement presents, it is really the first phase of the new approach to new Spokane Valley libraries. And we do mean libraries. The Library District also owns property on Conklin Road in Greenacres that has the potential to become a new library as well.

The Library District conducted three feedback sessions in September and October, and the citizens we spoke to were strongly in favor of building new libraries on both the Balfour Park and Conklin Road sites. However, we did hear a lot of questions regarding the timing of potential building projects and the funding mechanisms for the projects.

This all tells us that we’ve got some more work to do. On our side, we will be taking some time to determine when and where future Spokane Valley libraries fit into our strategic vision for library services throughout the entire Spokane County Library District. And more importantly, we’ve got more work to do with the people we serve in Spokane Valley. Over the next year or so, we’ll be pursuing a community engagement effort focused on how new libraries fit into community priorities and on how new libraries should respond to community needs and aspirations.

Rest assured that we are hard at work on this new approach and will provide updates as plans become finalized. In the meantime, stop by and see us at either of our current Spokane Valley locations—the Spokane Valley Library or The BookEnd at the Spokane Valley Mall. Whether you’re a parent helping your little one get kindergarten ready, a lifelong learner gaining some new knowledge, a job seeker looking to hone your interview skills, a digital native looking for new downloadable content, or just someone wanting to read a good book, we are the place that can help.

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