Spokane voters approve four-year library levy

Spokane public libraries are turning to a new page in their book after, by a two-to-one margin, voters approved of a new four-year library levy.

The libraries were facing a $500,000 deficit next year, but now, instead of scaling back and possibly closing some branches, they're now adding additional hours to half the libraries in town.

That's great news for Cora King, someone you could call a loyal library patron, who was picking up more than a dozen books from the library Wednesday.

Spokane library levy

"I'm grateful they are still open," she said.

Now, the hours at three libraries in Spokane will nearly double, thanks to voters like Cora.

"Oh I love that; that means I can bring books back more often and take back more books," she said.

Library director Pat Partovi says she's grateful and relieved with the vote.

"You know, wow, they love us, they really love us, it was just really great to see the margin of victory," she said. "What this means is we will be able to expand in 2014 instead of contract"

In 2014, smaller branches like Hillyard and Indian Trail will be open 40 hours a week instead of just 22 and a half. Partovi said the four-year levy will raise about $1 million each year and also help them maintain all their library equipment.

Starting in 2014, homeowners will pay between $7 and $14 more a year to fund these libraries.