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Downtown Library to Temporarily Relocate to STA Plaza During Renovation

Last November, voters overwhelmingly approved the Spokane Public Library (SPL) bond measure to remodel four existing libraries and build three new libraries. In early spring 2020, the Downtown Library will close for two years while it undergoes significant renovations.

To continue offering essential library services in the downtown core, SPL partnered with Spokane Transit Authority (STA) and entered into a lease agreement to temporarily relocate some of its Downtown Library services and staff to the second floor of the STA Plaza while renovations are made to the Downtown Library. SPL plans to begin tenant improvements in the temporary space in December to be ready for its public opening on March 2, 2020.

“Spokane Public Library is grateful this community resource was available,” says Andrew Chanse, Executive Director, Spokane Public Library. “When we began our search for a temporary location, we had specific criteria in mind—size and cost of the space, maintaining access to services within the downtown core and proximity to other resources the public uses. The STA Plaza met all of these and will allow us to maintain the availability of the library’s important resources downtown.”

“We are excited to welcome the Spokane Public Library to the second floor of the Plaza during the downtown library's renovation,” says Candace Mumm, Spokane City Council Member and STA Board Chair. “This collaboration is a model opportunity to maximize taxpayer resources by partnering with other agencies and organizations to serve community needs. The temporary use by the library is expected to activate the public space, introduce the Plaza to new users, and expand the vibrant community hub while providing essential services to our riders.”

Co-locating services with STA and leveraging existing public space enables the Downtown Library to maximize its resources. Both agencies already address public needs such as safety, security and access at their respective locations, and will collaborate on these services in the library’s new temporary space.

“The Spokane Public Library Board of Trustees is delighted to lease space with STA while the Downtown Library undergoes renovation,” says Mary Starkey, SPL Board Chair. “This collaboration is a beautiful example of what can be achieved when like-minded organizations collaborate for the good of the communities we serve.  It’s a win-win for the community, the Downtown core, and taxpayers.”

Despite downsizing from more than 100,000 square feet of space to 9,800 square feet, SPL will continue to offer the following services at the STA Plaza:

  • Library Marketplace featuring a curated collection of high-circulating books, DVDs and CDs
  • Early-literacy resources for children
  • Express computer access & Library Wi-Fi
  • Public art exhibits and small community events
  • Free conference meeting space for neighborhood organizations, local non-profits, small businesses and more
  • Self-service checkout kiosks

“This is a great temporary use of the second floor of the Plaza until its future use is determined,” says E. Susan Meyer, STA’s Chief Executive Officer. “There are multiple options for the future of that space, and the library’s need for a short-term location fits well within STA’s timeline to consider what will work best as a part of downtown’s transit center.”

The Downtown Library will continue operating out of its current location until February 29, 2020 when it closes for the planned renovation.

Have More Questions? Click here to view/download the Frequently Asked Questions pdf about the Downtown Library's temporary move to the STA Plaza.

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