mission of Whitman County Library is to be our community's #1
resource for education, recreation and discovery. To
fulfill our mission, WCL is committed to serving people in the
towns where they live. In an age where many agencies and
businesses have pulled out of small towns, Whitman County
Library is determined to stay put!
To that end, WCL provides
service from fourteen countywide locations, covering 2159 square
miles and 16,000 residents. People are often surprised to
learn that our district has fourteen towns, let alone fourteen
libraries. I thought it would be fun to tell you a little
bit about each one.
Albion has contracted with
the library since1946, annexing to the district in 1983.
The size of most living rooms, Albion offers a full service
library with materials and children's programs. Free
Internet is the most popular service in this library with users
being limited to fifteen minutes insuring that everyone gets a
The Colfax branch has served
as the headquarters of operation for Whitman County Library
District since our inception in 1946. The Colfax Library
building was built in the late fifties and suffers from serious
safety and ADA problems. Thanks to generous donations from
the community and a variety of funding sources, plans are in
place to renovate the building by 2010. In addition,
memorial donations honoring young Hayden Klaveano will afford an
exciting remodel of the children's area.
The town of Colton contracts
with WCL for library service and has done so since 1946 when
Mayor Druffel signed the very first contract. Today,
children's programs are very popular in Colton, with Summer
Reading and a visit from the Palouse Discovery Science Center
being a highlight.
Business is booming in our
Endicott Branch where circulation rose by 10% last year.
The city has been working hard to make repairs and replace the
roof. Because each town is responsible for the maintenance
of its library building, costs like these can be staggering to
these small communities.
Farmington is the smallest
town served by Whitman County Library with a population of just
153 people. The library is open just eight hours per week
and shares a space with the town hall. We are especially
excited to announce that First Step Internet is bringing
wireless Internet to the library and the community, helping ease
the isolation of this small town.
Garfield began contracting
with WCL in 1958. Just this fall, voters approved
annexation into the library district helping to ease city
finances and insuring quality library service for years to
come. Besides great programs for children, the Garfield
librarian regularly visits the LaDow Retirement Facility
delivering materials and services.
The Lacrosse library boasts
the highest per capita readership of adult literature in Whitman
County while circulation in this tiny town of 340 also grew by
10% last year. Just last week, the Library Book Bear
tossed candy to eager children in the Lacrosse parade.
Our newest branch, Malden
began operating in 2004. Although there are already 100
people using library cards, this isolated town of 215 is
struggling to make its yearly payment for service. The
Malden Booster Club is seeking grants and donations to fund
library services for the coming year.
Oakesdale began contracting
for library service in 1958. Today the library is housed
in a site formerly operated as a bank. Summer Reading
children love to visit the giant metal safe that doubles as a
The Palouse Library started
in 1920 with Xenodican Club members soliciting donations, a
permanent location and volunteer staff. Today the
Xenodicans are still the heart of the Palouse Library,
supporting its programs through fundraisers and work
parties. A full history of the Palouse Library can be
found on our
The Rosalia Library is dear
to my heart as this is where my library career began 20 years
ago. Thanks to donations, volunteers and community
support, the library has moved to a bigger, main street location
with an adjoining park area ideal for summer children's
St. John recently unveiled a
brand new library/city hall building with the tight-knit
community working hard to raise funds for its completion.
The building's architect Robert Zimmer says his design was
inspired by his childhood in Colfax and the countless hours he
spent in that library. Visit the library's
website to view photos of library moving day and the
beautiful new library.
The Tekoa Library annexed to
Whitman County Library with an 80% approval in 2005. One
of our busiest locations, the Tekoa Library shares a space with
the town's museum. In a cooperative effort, WCL has
recently digitized more than 400 items from their collection.
These are now found on the Secretary
of State’s website .
WCL has been in partnership
with Uniontown since 1946, providing library service to this
community of 345 people. I look forward to attending their town
council next week in an effort to find the best location, hours
and services for their library. As you can see, it is
through community partnerships that Whitman County Library
achieves its mission.
Contact Whitman County Library
toll free at 1-877-733-3375 or
visit us online.