Monday, August 31, 2020

Readers of All Ages, Turn in Your Summer Reading to WIN Prizes

All Ages, Turn in Your Summer Reading for Great Prizes by Aug. 31!

Read books, win prizes! Stop by your library branch today to turn in your Summer Reading Challenges and "Imagine Your Story." Remember, you can always place your challenges in our book drops if we aren't open when you stop by.

Find children, teen, and adult summer reading forms at your library or by clicking here.



Thursday, August 27, 2020

Mobius Owl Pellet Dissection Kit



Each owl STEM kit includes an activity guide, owl pellet, and toothpicks. You will also need glue and a magnifying glass (optional). Available starting Sept. 1, first come first serve, supplies are limited. Thank you to the Friends of the Library for making this possible!

Kits are also available in Albion, Endicott, Garfield, Malden, Oakesdale, Palouse, Rosalia, St. John, and Tekoa, please limit one per family.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Libey Gallery in Downtown Colfax is Open for Viewing

Covered Bridge, a photograph by artist, Dan Codd

Art enthusiasts can once again enjoy the photography, painting and sculptural exhibits at Libey Gallery in downtown Colfax.

Located in the Bettie Steiger Community Center, adjacent the Colfax Library, the gallery is now open to the public Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday and Friday 2-6 p.m. and Saturdays 1-5 p.m. Just enter through the library's front door and staff can direct you to the art gallery. 

Artists currently showing and selling their works in the gallery are Gabriella Ball, Vicki Broeckel, Ken Carper, Dan Codd, Bob Krikac, Sharon Lindsay, Tom Mohr, Molly Rice, Marla Robbins, Russ Robbins, Nancy Rothwell and Carrie Vielle.           

Due to Coronavirus and related mandates, a number of safety measures are in place in the gallery. Guests are required to wear face masks, browsing time is limited to 15 minutes when busy and social distancing is being enforced. A maximum of 10 people are allowed in the Gallery at any one time while classes, community programs and facility rental are not permitted at this time.

Welcome Back to the Colfax Library

We missed you!

It has been so wonderful seeing our patrons again. Stop by today, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to browse (please limit your stay to 15 minutes), use our computers (30 minutes), turn in your Summer Reading for a prize, or just say hi.

Remember to wear a mask and practice social distancing

Whitman County Library has opened all 14 branches with adjusted services and hours in continuing efforts to reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19.


Occupancy: Library 20 patrons | The Center 10 patrons

Computers available - 6 public stations

Mon-Wed | 10am-2pm | curbside service 10am-5pm Thurs & Fri | 2-6pm | curbside service 10am-6pm

Sat| 1-5pm | curbside service 1-5pm

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Finish Adult Summer Reading with One Bag!


One of our adult Summer Reading "bags to borrow," containing one award winning book, a movie set 500+ years ago, an adult coloring page, a reading challenge, and a bookmark.

Adults, Finish your Summer Reading with One Bag! 

Checkout a "bag to borrow" at Colfax Library with our new limited hours or request one curbside, now through Aug. 31.

Each bag includes a Summer Reading form, a
 book and a movie geared towards the challenges, a coloring page, and a historical bookmark.

Remember, one book can count for multiple challenges! (The form in your bag will indicate which tasks can be checked off by the items inside).

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Imagine Your Story, Imagine You're a Winner!

Support local businesses by doing Summer Reading!
For our adult grand prizes this year, WCL is purchasing five $25 gift cards from Whitman County businesses, *winners get their choice of business

Each summer reading completer wins a prize, for adults it's a notebook, journal, or magnetic shopping list pictured above, a FREE item from our book sale, as well as entry into our grand prize drawing.

Summer Reading Prizes, Projects, and Reading Challenges are Waiting for You!

Colton Library kids show off their fairy tale Summer Reading projects

Readers of all ages, turn in your reading logs to win great prizes! Contact your library branch to see what scavenger hunts, grab-n-go bags, browsing services, and other summer activities they are offering right now. Click here to access your summer reading!

Children & Teen Summer Reading Prizes

Monday, August 17, 2020

We're Opening Back Up this Week!

Whitman County Library is Reopening to the Public, Starting on Thursday, Aug. 20 from 2 to 6 p.m.

The Whitman County Library Rural District announces the reopening of all 14 branch locations on Thursday, August 20 with adjusted services and hours in continuing efforts to reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19.

Services include socially distanced browsing and computer availability with revised patron usage for safety measures. As for hours, the Colfax Branch will operate on new hours Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday-Friday 2 to 6 p.m., and Saturday 1 to 5 p.m. Library branches will operate on normal hours (except for Albion Library, which is temporary closed for renovations).

To keep staff and patrons as safe as possible, we are following guidelines outlined by the Washington State Health Department and the Governor’s Safe Start Washington. 

Library patrons and staff required to wear face masks, maintain a six-foot social distance from staff and others, and allowed a 15 minute browsing period. Additionally, patrons are asked to place touched, unwanted items in designated bins for further handling and sanitation by library staff. All returned items are quarantined for 72 hours before being recirculated.
What to expect when visiting the library:

· Each location has occupancy rules, contact us for specifics

· Properly worn face masks and social distancing required with alternative services available for those not able adhere. Free face masks provided at every library location!

· Revised computer stations and availability; patrons are allowed 15 minute session per day at branches and 30 minutes session at Colfax

· Patrons may browse up to 15 minutes per location

· Sanitized and strict cleaning procedures throughout the day

· Curbside service remains available; call your local library in advance to discuss pickup options

· Children ages 9 and under must be accompanied by an adult

Other library services are on hold or altered until further notice such as public meeting rooms, person-to person assistance, and programming. For more information, contact Whitman County Library at (509) 397-4366; visit the library’s website at or like us Facebook.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Miss working out at the library?

Get ready to move!

Did you know...exercises classes that used to be held at the library are now online?


Whitman Hospital & Medical Clinic, physical therapist, Erin, and physical therapist assistant, Kasey, are bringing you another online fitness class. Grab your sneakers and water and get ready to work out.


Whitman Hospital & Medical Clinics share a senior yoga class. Enjoy this exercise video to stretch, improve flexibility, and relax. 

SAIL (Stay Active and Independent for Life)

Pullman Regional Hospital offers this class to improve strength, balance, and fitness, which is the single most important activity older adults can do to stay active and reduce their chances of falling.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Thank You Dave & Candy Lisenbee!

Dave and Candy Lisenbee were recognized by Whitman County Library for their dedication to the Farmington Library and literacy through sponsorship of library summer reading program.


The Board of Trustees sponsors this award as a way of thanking community members for their time and generosity, see all of our past Library Supporters of the Month.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Free STEM Activity Bags & New Books

We are Giving Away 400 FREE Books and STEM Activities with a Fairy Tale Twist

Each color-your-own bag contains hands-on learning fun with a fairy tale book to read and supplies to complete engineering challenges for kids’ preschool to sixth grade.

WCL is also giving away 125 Teen Art bags. Each art bag contains three colorful, fun recycled art projects and the supplies to complete them.  Pick up bags using WCL curbside service at all 14 branch locations August 17-21 during branch hours.  All bags first come first serve, practice social distancing, and take the one you touch please!

Kids and Teens once you complete your projects, email a photo of them to, include your name, age, and town by September 4 to be entered into a random prize drawing and have photo posted to WCL social media.

Fairy tale STEM bags and books provided by the federal CARES Act from Washington State Library through the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Pioneer Title Co. provided the funding for the Teen Art bags. Visit or call 877-733-3375 for more information.

Monday, August 10, 2020

What are You Doing Now that the Library is Closed?

Library Column for Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Aug. 8, 2020 by Kristie Kirkpatrick

Read the full article here or in your local newspaper

I’ve heard this question more times than you can imagine since Coronavirus forced the shutdown of Washington’s libraries, along with many aspects of our daily lives. If you’re like most of the people I’ve talked with, you’d be surprised to know that library staff have continued working and, we are crazy busy!

Our newest service is called “Browse for you.” Do you need movies to pass the time, nonfiction adventure books, or a pile of books for your grade schooler to read? Has your teen read the Hunger Games series so often, it is time they “move on"?

Just call or email us, describing what you’re looking for: genres you like, specific authors or titles you've enjoyed; you can also include the reader’s age, interests, or anything else that will assist us in making good selections.

Our staff is here to help

If you only need a few items, WCL can mail them directly to your home. For those looking for a higher volume of materials, or books for your entire family, we encourage the use of our contactless curbside service. 

During the shutdown, library staff has continued purchasing and lending bestsellers and a variety of new items. We’re lending Discovery Passes, Fishing Backpacks, STEM Learning Kits, and giving away free face masks. Contact us with your needs and we’ll do our best to meet them.

With Coronavirus providing many residents with more free time, there’s never been a better time to participate in Summer Reading. This year, we are providing curbside crafts, fun town scavenger hunts, and chalk obstacle courses. Prizes will be awarded to all Summer Reading completers, ages 0 to 100+.

One of the biggest challenges for WCL staff has been online programming. Families have enjoyed professional children’s programs including The Traveling Lantern Theater Company and Charles the Clown thanks to support from Pioneer Title Co.

Visit the library’s website to learn about or access the following and more:

Kanopy Film Streaming
Downloadable eBooks & eAudiobooks
Weekly Trivia Contests
Book Clubs
YouTube Channel
Mango Language Learning

...this is a small taste of what we’ve been doing since our buildings closed.

We are your public library staff and we are here to serve you

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Whitman County Library Awarded CARES Grants

Whitman County Rural Library District was selected to receive three grants totaling $6,500 to advance digital equity, provide outreach opportunities, and supply personal protective equipment.

Provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the funding will be used to:
  • Provide 400 Youth Activity Bags & New Books
  • Purchase Washer/Dryer & Cleaning Materials for Sanitizing
  • Offer Wireless Hotspots for WCL Locations
"The communities we serve will benefit immensely from this funding, and we look forward to implementing new programs and expanding resources to support digital equity, supplies and services for all our patrons," said Miller, WCL Associate Director and Youth Manager.

One of the hundreds of youth activity bags that library staff has been busy assembling

Summer Reading Prizes are Waiting for You!

Brock Badger recently finished his Summer Reading & won a prize
by having his parents read 10 books to him

Children Summer Reading (ages 0-12)

Children read (or be read to) 10 books or 10 hours to earn a free book or other prizes recognizing their reading achievement. Get your KID challenge here or request one curbside.

Joshua Appel, past winner, shows off his teen prize 

Teen Summer Reading (ages 12-18)

Teens read 3 books and complete 3 Imagination Quests, like learn to juggle, create your own fractured fairy tale, or check out a cookbook: “read” a recipe and make it. WIN a free book, notebook, or other fun prize + be entered into the grand prize drawing. Get your TEEN challenge here or request one curbside.

Adult Summer Reading (ages 18+)

Finish at least three tasks to receive a fun notebook and be entered into the grand prize drawing, including challenges like read for one hour outside, read a book or watch a movie set over 500 years ago, or read any fantasy/fairy tale book. Get your ADULT challenge here or request one curbside.

When you’ve completed your challenge, drop it in the book drop, email to, or mail it to your branch and we will arrange a prize pickup for you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Community Input Needed for New Library Website

Javad Reneau, the library's technology specialist is leading the project

Whitman County Library is asking for the community's input on the redesign of our website

Problems with the current site have become more apparent and frustrating in the wake of increased online usage as a result of Coronavirus. The aging site is over 10 years old and doesn't meet current standards for accessibility or mobile device usage.

Javad's hope is that community members will reach out to him with ideas and suggestions.

"We know people use the site to request materials, download eBooks or sign up for our weekly newsletter, but I wonder how many people know you can stream movies, access resume templates or find the Lexile points for the books your children are reading?"

Community members are encouraged to contact Javad with their ideas and suggestions. "I'd like to know the services and resources that are most important for you to find online, or how the site can be improved to better serve you."

Javad Reneau is available at or by calling toll-free at 877-733-3375.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Finding Peace within the Pages

article by Sarah-Phelan Blamires, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, July 18 

When times are hard, books can provide peace, comfort, inspiration and escape. 2020 seems like the perfect time to lose yourself in literature, dig into a fascinating nonfiction or soak up the summer sun with a fabulous beach read.

I asked a few staffers at Whitman County Library what they are reading to deal with these stressful times. As you’ll see, their selections are very personal and reflect the different ways we all cope. Perhaps their suggestions will resonate for you as well.

Rosalia Branch Manager Marcy Campbell shared with me, I am rereading several old favorites. I find comfort in these familiar books because I know what is going to happen. No uncertainty here! Each of these authors has a way with words which make their worlds come alive to me. I am rereading the ‘Anne of Green Gables’ series by L.M. Montgomery, the Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.”

Shelly Ausmus, branch manager for Tekoa and Oakesdale, is reading “Beneath the Tamarind Tree” by Isha Sesay, a book recommended to her by a library patron. Shelly explained, “The story recounts the kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorists. It has broadened my perspective by better understanding the hardships of others and of situations much more challenging than my own.”

Kathy Buchholtz selects adult fiction for the library system. She suggested the audiobook “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” by Beth Hoffman, which she describes as a sweet, comforting read.  “This book takes you from tears to laughter and back again. I absolutely loved it,” she said. Kathy listened to the downloadable audio book available on the library’s website and highly recommends that format. “I was under the spell of the narrator Jenna Lamia’s Southern accent right from the start,” she said. “The draw of the South, a different time, a different place and a wonderfully unique family all came together to create the perfect escape.”

Rita Ackerman, Farmington branch manager, invites you to grab an iced drink and plop your toes in the sand to savor the perfect summertime read, “The Identicals” by Elin Hilderbrand. This novel tells of twin sisters who couldn’t look more alike, or be more different. Travel with them as they island-hop through New England sharing secrets, lies and gossip.

Amy Ferguson works in Colfax and is the Albion branch manager.
She encourages you to read “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë. She says, “I freaking love this book and have read it multiple times over the years. It is such a great example of early feminist literature, a love story and creepy Gothic novel all in one! What more do you need?!” Amy reminds you that there is never a wait time on classic eBooks available from the “Downloadable Books” link on the library’s website.

I personally recommend the memoir “Educated” by Tara Westover. It is a completely captivating, unforgettable true story of a survivalist family in rural Idaho and a daughter’s quest for knowledge and the freedom that comes with it. You will find yourself indignant and inspired at the same time.

We hope our staff suggestions connect with you and I’d love to hear what you think after reading them.

If you are interested in these or other library materials, visit the library catalog, or contact me, Sarah Phelan-Blamires at (509) 397-4366 or Because Washington’s libraries are still closed, materials can be picked up curbside from any branch, by download from the library’s website or direct mailing to your home.