Spokane County Library forums tour West Plains
Airway Heights residents give positive feedback on current library services
Community input is placed at a high value at a series of forums held by the Spokane County Library District.
Over the next month, a forum will be held at every library branch in the county system. Airway Heights and Medical Lake saw theirs take place Thursday, Oct. 11 and Monday, Oct. 15, respectively. The goal is to gauge what items are of high importance to a community and how the library can best serve those areas.
Cheney will have its turn to comment in a forum held Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m.
Jason Johnson, Moran Prairie branch supervisor, led the discussion in Airway Heights, where a handful of community members and area residents gave their input.
“This is to help understand what type of community you’d like to see in the future,” he said.
Information at the forums doesn’t necessarily need to reflect the services provided by the library itself, but takes into account the entire community.
Earlier this month, the library district announced that the Medical Lake and Airway Heights branches would be open for an additional day. The Airway Heights Library is now open Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Medical Lake Library is now open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Growing demand for materials and services in the West Plains were at the core for the expansion.
Area residents at the Airway Heights forum said they were grateful for the extra day of service, and added they hoped even greater expanded service would be coming in the future. Some said the library, if open six days a week, would be used regularly. Those in attendance said they have friends who use the Cheney library, which is open every day, to place and pick up items on order as it’s more convenient.
Residents also placed the library at the top of organizations that help make the community better, followed by community parks and the Air Force.
Many hoped to see more classes offered at the Airway Heights branch, as some held at other branches don’t always make it to the city, they said. Some suggestions of classes included computer courses and education opportunities for adults and kids. Others said using the meeting room as a study area for area high school and college students could increase the room’s usage. It would also provide a quiet area for those seeking a refuge from times when the main library area can become a bit loud.
Having a connection with Eastern Washington University was also emphasized. Residents hoped the university could help in setting up classes at the library including music lessons, a potential ongoing robotics class and others.
When asked about the future of the community, attendees hoped to retain the small town feel currently in Airway Heights.
Residents at the meeting praised the library workers for creating a welcoming atmosphere. The atmosphere at the library helps make it a strong community center for Airway Heights, they said, and would benefit from added service time throughout the week.
At the conclusion of each forum throughout the library district, a drawing will take place where one of the attendees will receive an e-reader.
James Eik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.