Year in Review: Our Libraries in 2022

Posted on December 28, 2022 at 6:00 am

Ground Breaking Ceremony for the New Spokane Valley Library, March 2022. Photo by Sam McNamara

By Jane Baker

It will come as no surprise that the library has books. Fiction and nonfiction, picture books and weighty tomes, fantasy adventures and practical how-to guides, our shelves are filled with so many reading options.

What may be a surprise is all the ways in which our libraries are more than books. Here are just a few examples of how this was true in 2022.

Seed Libraries

Gardening is a favorite activity of many in our area and at the library. SCLD features five seed library locations along with how-to programs throughout the year: Cheney Library, Fairfield Library, Otis Orchards Library, North Spokane Library, and Spokane Valley Library.

The idea of a seed lending library is simple: gardeners borrow and plant from a selection of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds and watch them grow. At harvest, they let a plant or two go to seed and bring some seeds back to the library for other gardeners to enjoy. The practice of saving seeds has been around for many centuries and helps to preserve genetic diversity.

Summer Programs

Summer Programs are essential for kids to keep their skills on track while on school break. The 2022 summer theme was Read Beyond the Beaten Path. Kids and families were treated to performances by Guinness World Record holder Alex Zerbe, also known as The Zaniac, the musical creativity of Eric Herman, and other activities in libraries and in area parks.

Readers of all ages were challenged to track and read at least 600 minutes over the summer to earn badges, and each badge earned a ticket toward the outdoor adventure kit prize drawing. There were prizes for readers at each of our libraries. Countywide readers totaled up 907,305 minutes of reading across 13,435 books. Prizes were sponsored by the Library Foundation of Spokane County.

Spokane Is Reading*

*This one does involve a book but is centered around the community of readers.

Spokane Is Reading, the annual event that encourages the community to read the same book, filled the meeting room at the North Spokane Library in October. Author Kate Lebo read from her creative nonfiction title The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly and talked with readers about her writing process and inspiration.

Also in October, SCLD celebrated its sixth year of the Spokane Writers Conference with 16 different in-person and online sessions. More than 350 attendees gathered to learn and improve their writing processes.

Small Business Saturday

SCLD was the Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion for four communities again this year and extended the program to a weeklong event. SCLD launched our Small Business Saturday support program several years ago. Along with offering business and career resources, the library spotlights and supports the locally owned and operated shops that are the backbones of our communities. The 2022 Small Business Saturday event saw participation of 64 businesses in Cheney, Deer Park, Medical Lake, and Millwood.

Museum & Cultural Passes

The Museum & Cultural Pass program provides family admission to museums, cultural events, and natural habitats by borrowing passes from the library. The program includes the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Mobius Discovery Center, Washington Discover Pass, and the Spokane Symphony.


LINC, mobile library for SCLD

LINC, the new mobile service library vehicle, got its name from the acronym “Libraries In Neighborhoods & Communities,” and it is literally a library on wheels.

LINC delivers a full library experience that includes:

  • Materials you can browse and check out
  • Wi-Fi access for mobile devices
  • Computers
  • Printing—both mobile and from LINC’s computers
  • Library programs—such as storytimes and activities for all ages.

LINC frequents community events throughout Spokane County and at regular location stops.

New Spokane Valley Library Construction

Spokane County Library District broke ground in early 2022 for a new Spokane Valley Library at the intersection of E Sprague Ave and N Herald Rd. The library will open in early summer 2023.  

The new Spokane Valley Library will feature contemporary technology, a large community room, a fully equipped audio-visual studio for public use, conference rooms, and a children’s area. The single story project has an open, multiple-use floor plan to meet current and future needs, along with efficient building systems and layout.

But Wait, There’s More

Above are just a few examples of how the library goes beyond books. A few more include our 3D printers, the Library of Things, blacksmithing programs, test proctoring, and a community art show.

Above all, the library is a place where all are welcome to come in, flip through the latest magazines, see what’s new in the community displays, put a puzzle together, and connect with others.

Of course, if you’re looking for a book, we have those too. SCLD offers over 1.5 million items in both our physical and digital collections.

We look forward to seeing you in 2023.

Jane Baker is the Communication & Development Director for Spokane County Library District, managing library marketing, public relations, and fundraising. In her free time, she enjoys photography, hiking, paddle boarding, gardening, and being outdoors in the Northwest.

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