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Little Free Libraries: Hope for the Future

Posted on July 7, 2015 at 6:00 am

By Clarissa Fidler

Little Free Libraries: Hope for the Future by Clarissa Fidler | Spokane County Library District

Turn south onto Conklin Road from Sprague Ave and you’ll find a vacant field nestled between a credit union and a large apartment complex. A sign bearing the words “Future home of Conklin Road library” stands a couple hundred feet away from the property’s only other structure: a newly installed Little Free Library.

Painted a cheerful yellow with a weathered tin roof, the Little Free Library on Conklin Road represents hope for bigger things to come. When Spokane Valley Friends president Jason Blodgett introduced the idea of donating a Little Free Library for the property, his fellow Friends members enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity to extend this valuable, and rather adorable, resource to the community.

The structure was built by Keith Harger, son of longtime Spokane Valley Friends member Lois Harger. At a recent meeting of the Spokane Valley Friends group, Lois joked that Keith built the structure “under his mother’s direction”.

Visitors to the Conklin Road Little Free Library will find a welcoming note and a range of titles to choose from. Although it’s only been in place for a few months, residents in the area are taking the Little Free Library “Take a Book, Return a Book” adage to heart. Debbie Blodgett stops by a few times a week to restock the little yellow library. She enjoys her weekly trips and says she’s noticed the teen books are particularly popular.

The two Little Free Libraries the Spokane Valley Friends currently maintain are located on sites where new, full-service libraries are slated to be built, provided the 2015 Library Bond election passes next month. On the Conklin Road property, a 10,000 sq. ft. library with a collection of 30,000 to 40,000 items is planned to serve the growing southeastern portion of the County. Residents will find the Friends’ second Little Free Library on Sprague Ave at Herald Road, where the District intends to create a library/park combination and build a new 30,000 sq. ft. Spokane Valley Library. Community members have been using the Sprague & Herald Little Free Library frequently for the past two years.

The Friends of the Spokane Valley Library believe libraries—big and small—really do change lives. They are dedicated to supporting the Library District and local community. Each year they hold several book sales to raise money to help fund library programs and activities. Without support from the Friends, popular activities like Lego Build Days and the Prime Time Family Reading series may not be possible.

Right now, the Spokane Valley Friends are actively engaged in spreading the word about the upcoming Library Bond election. Find out the facts and get your questions answered about the bond at two informational open houses this week. The first open house will be held today, July 7, from 4–7pm at the Argonne Library. A second open house will take place tomorrow, July 8, at the Spokane Valley Library from 4–7pm.

Stop by either of the Spokane Valley Friends’ Little Free Libraries to share your books with others and find your next great read. And be sure to keep an eye out for your Library Bond election ballots, which will be mailed out on Friday, July 17!