NCW Libraries is investing more than $10 million in a multi-year project to redesign 29 of its community libraries.  

The F is meant to bring a fresh update to each space the libraries have in order to better serve the public. 

NCW Libraries Executive Assistant of Special Projects Tim Dillman says the physical changes will reflect the wishes of all parties involved with the libraries. 

“We’re working with cities and Friends of the Library partners to look at ways that we can upgrade the libraries, be it lighting, flooring, furniture,” said Dillman. “We really want to work with community members as well to hear what they want to see in the next iteration, or future of their libraries.”  

The Peshastin, Brewster and Curlew libraries will be the first to get the upgrades. 

Dillman says they’re using tax money they have in reserve to finance the $10 million project. 

“We figured this is the best way to put those dollars to use, is to work with community members to figure out what they’d like to see, how are their libraries serving them, and how would they benefit from future improvements,” Dillman said. 

NCW Libraries announced a projected 2023 budget in December of $16,014,593. 

Most of it - $15,203,378 - comes through property taxes and other taxes collected in the five counties the library serves, which are Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Grant and Ferry counties. 

Charges for services account for $421,115 of the budget, while $152,100 comes through miscellaneous revenue such as gifts from private sources and the sale of scrap/junk. About $18,000 comes from library fines. 

NCW Libraries has the largest footprint of any library system in Washington state, with a 14,497 square-mile service area, roughly the size of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. 

It operates 30 community libraries and provides service to most rural residents through its Mail Order Library and two bookmobiles. 

The upgrade project will take place over the next two years at all but two of the branches, Winthrop and the flagship Wenatchee locations, which have already received physical updates. 

A town hall on the topic is being held later this month in Peshastin. 

NCW branches libraries in Bridgeport, Chelan, Ephrata, Manson, Omak, Oroville and Soap Lake are next in line for upgrades after Peshastin, Brewster and Curlew. 

The library system and the Friends of the Peshastin Library will host a community town hall event on May 23rd at 6:00 pm at the Peshastin Memorial Building. The event is free and open to all community members and all ages. 

Additional opportunities for the community to provide input will be available May 23rd at a pop-up event outside the Peshastin Grocery from 3:00-4:30. 

“Our goal is to reach as many members of the community as possible, both current library users and non-users,” said Clare Morrison, Peshastin Librarian. “We want to hear from the community how they want to engage with the library and what will serve their needs.” 

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