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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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BNI endorses $5M library levy

Balance North Idaho today announces their endorsement for the Community Library Network Physical Plant Levy to upgrade their seven library facilities.  The facilities are in: Athol, Harrison, Hayden, Pinehurst, Post Falls, Rathdrum and Spirit Lake.  They also have a Bookmobile.  The interior upgrades they plan to implement came from focus groups that included 400 district residents. Following are some facts that were defining and led the voting members of the BNI board, Eden Irgens abstained, to a unanimous conclusion to endorse the levy: 

  • 74,000 library cards exist within the district.
  • These are community driven improvements; district residents led the charge on identifying what was needed/desired within the facilities via focus groups.
  • There will not be building construction; current library footprints will be used.  
  • The libraries will be updated technically, including adding under floor electrical squares for device power throughout the buildings.
  • Interiors will be modified: furnishings will be more comfortable with separate quiet areas within each library.
  • Shelving heights will be lowered and interior shelving will be placed on casters, assisting with a strong need for more flexible interiors to accommodate meetings, etc.  
  • Children’s areas will be improved and expanded, where possible, for ages 0-12 and their parents/caregivers.
  • Laptops and tablets will become available for checkout.

"After interviewing the Library Network leadership, our board was impressed with the modifications that will be integrated into each of the Community Library Network facilities.  Libraries are an integral part of communities as a component of continuing education and connection for our population.  The libraries must have the ability to keep up with quickly advancing technology and the needs of the community,” said Mic Armon, Board Member.  The levy will be $4,979,940 spread over 3 years with an estimated cost to taxpayers of $16.65/$100k of taxable home value/Eden Irgens, Balance North Idaho news release.

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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