City Council Seeks Community Input on Former East Central Library Space

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 8:08 a.m.

As part of a comprehensive public engagement effort, Spokane City Council is looking for community input on the future use of the former Spokane Public Library at East Central via ThoughtExchange.  On November 8th, Council unanimously passed a resolution establishing a community-directed process for determining the future use of the space.

“Community conversation is the first step in our multi-phase community engagement process and ThoughtExchange is the perfect tool to start this very important conversation,” says Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson. “We want to hear from impacted community members on the best ways to occupy that space in East Central.  Expanding on the East 5th Initiative, it’s imperative that we look at community vibrancy by ensuring that we secure an occupant who has a vision of growing East Central.”

In October, Spokane Public Library relocated to its new Liberty Park branch a few blocks away, leaving the 6,000 square foot city-owned former East Central Library vacant.  A few proposals have been submitted to City Council for use of the space, however, Councilmembers want to ensure a thorough community engagement process as to what the community believes is the best use for the building.

“This is a rich opportunity for an occupant to provide a unique and impactful investment for this community,” says Councilmember Michael Cathcart.  “We are excited to engage with community members in this effort to find out what they want for the space and how it will best serve the residents of East Central and the surrounding area.”

ThoughtExchange is an online tool where an open-ended question on any subject is asked in what is called an “exchange.”  Participants confidentially share their thoughts and objectively rate each other’s responses and ideas. City Council will use ThoughtExchange throughout the public engagement process to survey and collect feedback with the anticipation of receiving diverse responses and broad perspectives that can help inform their decision-making.

To participate in the first exchange, visit