Spokane Public Library sees huge increase in cardholders

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Public Library has seen a 37 percent increase in its cardholders since the same time last year. The spike brings their total to nearly 55,000. 

"So far this year we have checked out more than half a million materials," said Amanda Donovan, Marketing and Online Services Manager with the library. "We have had more than quarter million people come through our doors."

She attributes the spike in cardholders to an aggressive outreach and recruitment blitz by the library, which in particular focused on educating the public about the resources the library has available, which extends beyond books.

The library has digital options for visitors which include being able download and read popular magazines, e-books and audio books. There are a number of databases and programs for learning and downloading free music.

"We are digital resources, we are educational events, we have an entire business resource center, where you can connect to business databases," said Donovan. 

The digital resources of the library have seen a 10 percent jump in checkouts. 

For long-time library goers, the increase in usage is a positive. 

"I think people need to read, reading is good," said James Stripes. "No surprise here, I read in a book that people are only capable of complex thought if they read, and we live in a world where complex thought is desperately needed."

Library cards are free and you can sign-up for one in person at any Spokane Public Library branch with a photo ID, or you can do it online.