“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” 

― Leo Tolstoy
, Anna Karenina
What's hatching!

It's spring, and Tolstoy was right-- FoWL has many plans and projects underway! 

Two big things to begin:

1. We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded a grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington to move our efforts forward this year! We are so grateful for their continued support and belief in this important project.

2. CAN YOU HELP-- TODAY? Representative Steele has earmarked a large contribution toward the Winthrop Library in the state budget this year, which has to be approved by the Senate. Senator Hawkins has agreed to support the work-- would you please give Sen. Hawkins a call and or email ? Here is his email and phone number: ‭(360) 786-7622. THANK YOU!

     Pulling together the needs assessment data from 18 months of study, research and gathering YOUR thoughts, dreams and ideas, several compelling things have come up.
  • The valley is changing and growing at an accelerated pace (the upper valley alone has 5700 full and part time residents, growing at 3% a year!)
  • Without this critical public space, the urban and rural divide at crisis levels in our valley will worsen.
  • More than ever before we need a public space to bring ALL parts of our community together to connect, to learn and to discover.
  • More than ever before, we have the opportunity to provide a place for learning, inspiration and training through access to technology platforms, programming and collection fueling economic development and community.
     We're gathering groups for library updates up and down the valley, and celebrating huge leaps forward with the land acquisition and architect assessments. Stay tuned for an April spring fling! And thank you, thank you for your continued support!

       In literacy,
       Shannon, Bruce, Dan, Rachel and Nancy, your FoWL board


 In January the Town of Winthrop closed on the property for the future library. It's the perfect location--on the Susie Stephens Trail near Little Star Montessori School and Jamie's Place; on three school bus routes and the TranGo county bus line; and easily walkable from downtown. All of this will make the new library a central, vibrant public space.

More Updates 
  • FoWL has gathered and organized the feedback we received from 18 months of community conversations about our visions for the future library, and recently presented the findings to the Town Council, the Kiwanis and to NCRL. We will be talking with the Chamber in April. Check out the website for a posting of this presentation soon!
  • We’ve also heard presentations from architects who are applying to design the library. Three statements of qualifications were submitted and we couldn't be more thrilled to be considering them.
  • Tom Venable, superintendent of the Methow Valley School District, has agreed to join FoWL's advisory board. We look forward to working with Tom to meet the needs of school-aged children along the length of the valley and partner wherever we can with the MVSD.


     About 20 children attended each of the recent Friday afternoon events held at the library (above, left)--so many that patrons had to step over them to get inside. The number of students enrolled in the Methow Valley School District has leaped more than 12 percent, to more than 700 students, in just the last two years. That’s huge! It's yet another reason why we need room to grow. And of course, book clubs (top, right) are always popular.


     In December, more than 60 people showed up at the Barn to share their "hopes and dreams" for a new library.
     Architect Margo Peterson-Aspholm
 reports: "We set up a table with modeling supplies, intended to allow everyone in attendance to creatively express their ideas with conceptual models. These were not to be literal designs for a library but rather three dimensional 'sketches' of hopes and dreams.
     "As usual, kids led the way, with unfettered creativity on full display and a lot of thought given to the children's section of the library. Only one adult—shout out to Ann Naney!—was brave enough to make a model visualizing what the outdoor space associated with the library might be."
     It was a tremendous success, with hundreds of comments on tables around ideas of programming, seniors, kids, teens and technology, and dozens of comments on post-it notes with feedback on photos of other libraries. All of this goes into the program to be developed later in the spring by the selected architect!

NEW & NEXT (starting this weekend!)
Here’s what Librarian Sally Portman has lined up:

  • Every Tuesday: Storytime! Gifted storyteller Kate Brien tells stories with songs, musical instruments, crafts and movement. 11 a.m.
  • Friday, Mar. 29: White Clay Sculptures. Make a sculpture with white clay and other fun items we provide which you can add to your work of art. Later you can paint your sculpture. 3:45 p.m.
  • Friday, April 12: April 12: Water colors. Water-color painting using tape to create white areas. 3:45 p.m.
  • April 18: Local history. Historian Richard Hart will show some slides and talk about his book, Lost Homeland, about Native Americans of the Methow Valley and surrounding area. 7 p.m.
  • Friday, April 19:  STEM: Ozobots. 3:45 p.m.
  • Friday, April 26: Totem Pole crafts. With Esker Ellis. 3:45 p.m.
YOU go to the library?? 
Marcia Ives, of Methow at Home, on why libraries aren't just kids' stuff, but belong to folks of all ages.

Get in Here!

     Volunteering is the best way to give back to your community, and to meet the neighbors, and feel like you're really part of things. Have libraries meant something to you? Got a little time and want to give back? 
     To sign up, go to Volunteer Methow (or click here!)
     Or email:


Keep up with library happenings.
Follow FoWL on Instagram!

Volunteer Spotlight: Emily Sisson
     The caliber of volunteers in the Methow is always startling. Consider Emily Sisson, who has pitched in at the library each week since soon after she moving to the valley with her husband, Paul (both above), in 2012. Sisson has a Master’s degree in “librarianship” (that’s what they called it before library science) from the UW. You’ll find Sisson there on Fridays for a few hours, where she shelves books. She’s also the one who contacts you with good news: that book you had on hold is ready for you.
     But Sisson says she gets something ouf of those Fridays, too. “It’s a social thing,” she says. “We yak and have a good time,” she says, adding that she knew librarian Sally Portman from years of visiting the valley, and skiing. “One of the reasons I chose the library is that libraries are pleasant places to be.” 

"There is a hunger in this digital age to hear authors together, to participate in programs, to just be in a place, a community space." 

—Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress


     The movement for our new library is building by the week! You can be part of the excitement. Donate to Friends of Winthrop Library 
     Does your company match gifts? We are registered with Benevity for matching contributions! 


    Thank you for considering us in your charitable giving. Join us today.

Friends of the Winthrop Library is a registered 501c3.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 592 
303 Riverside Ave.
Winthrop, WA 98862

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