Spokane Central Library features kids area, computer labs, recording studios | News

SPOKANE, Wash. – Alongside all the community and social spaces in the building, visitors of the Spokane Public Library’s (SPL) freshly renovated central branch will have two fantastic features: the Friends of the Library storefront and a delightful new children’s play space.

If you’ve ever been to a book sale at the library and walked away with a massive haul for a criminally low price, then you’re already familiar with the Friends of the Library! Sales are organized annually, usually in the spring and fall, and usually end with a deal to buy a whole sack of books for only $3. During the rest of the year, however, you can head to their store.

Books and other materials removed from circulation are sent to their shop, where they sell for a buck a pop, sometimes less. The Friends of the Library store can be an exciting place for any book lover—and a dangerous place for their wallet. In the Central Library, you’ll find it next to the New Leaf Café, set up along the shelves.

While you might be familiar with the sales or even their store, you may not know what Friends of the Library is, nor what they aim to accomplish.

An all-volunteer group, Friends of the Library raises $40,000 a year for the library. These funds contribute to reading programs, purchase special equipment, training for support staff and more!

Marketing and Communications manager for SPL, Alina Murcar, explains, “[You can] buy inexpensive used books from the Friends of the Library and know that all of the funds support Library programs and supplies.”

Anyone can become a Friend of the Library! Sign up online today. Friends of the Spokane Public Library Membership Application. The annual price for an individual membership is less than a dollar a month, costing only $10, while a family membership for the year is $15. The contribution is tax deductible!

In addition to helping the library, members benefit from early access to those book sales, getting in to snatch up the best books on offer a full day before non-members.

Perhaps while you’re perusing the shop, you’ve got an energetic kiddo eager to burn off that youthful energy. You’re in luck! The River Rumpus play area is just up the stairs in the children’s are!

A collaboration between Luci Creative and Ravenswood Studio, the theme of the area is ‘Under the River,’ with designs that encourage kids to imagine what life would be like on the underside of the waves.

A sunken gondola that acts as a submarine with a periscope, a fishing boat overtaken by algae, even a yawning fish smaller children can curl up or play in the mouth of. The watery play space has plenty of whimsical sights to enjoy. If children look up, the underside of a canoe and some of the dangling feet of the library mascots in an innertube fully submerge them in the fantasy.

That’s right, mascots! All Spokane Public Libraries have a mascot, and the Central Branch proudly claims the goat, chosen to honor the city’s beloved Garbage Goat in Riverfront Park. Other branches have the mountain lion, marmot, moose, marmot, turkey and, of course, Sasquatch. You know, all the regional wildlife in Spokane that really makes the city unique.

Your kids are sure to have a blast “swimming” under the river!