Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history
From our archives, 100 years ago
Spokane’s public library experienced a 45 percent surge in demand in 1910, and head librarian Alta Stansbury said it was a sign that Spokane needed more books and a bigger library.
The library was located in the Carnegie Library building, which still stands on the west end of downtown on Cedar Street. It was built only six years previously. The library had 41,000 volumes, each of which had been loaned out an average of five times over the year.
“We are doing a big work with a very small stock of books,” said Miss Stansbury. “We ought to have 100,000 books in the library, and if we had that many, the circulation would grow beyond any comparison with past years.”
A story in the Spokane Daily Chronicle noted disapprovingly that “fiction has a wider circulation” than the “more solid reading” (nonfiction). But the writer took solace in the fact that “the better class of books” (nonfiction) showed signs of catching up.
Within 15 years, Spokane would add three more branch libraries. The Carnegie building housed the main library until 1963.
Also on this date
(From the Associated Press)
1521: Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X. 1959: Alaska became the 49th state as President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation.