After over a year and a half of gathering data through community conversations, expert interviews and surveys, as well as researching other relevant studies in the valley, late fall (2018) we completed our thorough needs assessment. The executive summary is LINKED HERE.


In January 2019, we released targeted RFQs to select architects. Three submissions were made and will be reviewed by the board before the end of February. This spring we will move into schematic design. We hope you will be part of the community meetings that will inform the process!


The location of the new library is planned for the parcel of land on White Avenue indicated above, meeting the criteria identified of being walkable, visible, central and accessible. The Winthrop Town Council approved its purchase unanimously. This central location on the Susie Stephens walking trail, across from Little Star School and Winthrop’s Title I housing, proximity to Jamie’s Place, as well as easily walkable from new affordable housing and the town trailhead, is truly the nexus of our community, and will serve to bring all of us together across every demographic boundary.


Design of the new Winthrop Library and learning center will be driven by the input of our community upon selection of the architect, and in keeping with the spirit of Westernization as required by town code. Key elements that will be incorporated can be anticipated by reviewing the summary of the needs assessment above.


We expect the library will be funded by a combination of state funds and private and foundation funds. We are currently talking to donors and potential donors, as well as planning for grant applications. We have applied for funds from the state budget, and expect to apply for RCO and LTAC funds for outdoor areas, parking lot and public bathrooms. Staffing, collection and programing, as well as basic maintenance, are provided through the North Central Regional Library System, which is funded by part of our property taxes.

Thanks to the generosity of many of you, and a couple of early donors, we are funded through schematic design.

This will be a place for all of us to come together who call Winthrop home.
— Winthrop Mayor Sally Ranzau

The gallery below shows planning images from a conceptual package presented by Johnston Architects. All work at this time is purely conceptual until an architect is retained for schematics. This conceptual drawing shows a building of 8,000 sq ft on the property. We hope to acquire the additional parcel of land to the west for outdoor space and future expansion as well.

The current Winthrop Public Library was moved ten years ago into what was intended as a temporary location. At just over 1000 square feet, it is 2000 square feet smaller than recommendations by the American Library Association for the immediate community; the Methow Valley library space is more than 6000 square feet smaller than ALA recommendations for our community (space allocations differ from .8 - over 2 square feet per capita in similar areas). This severely restricts opportunities for events, for collection, for gathering, and thus for community, for learning and for discovery.


How do you envision the ideal library for our community?

“It is increasingly clear that there is a need for a safe space, a third place. There are a lot of kids in the valley who don’t have even a safe place to study. It could be a real leveler.”
— -Methow Valley business owner and parent
The most important factors for maintaining health into old age are continuing to be engaged in community and ongoing learning.

We are challenged by a lack of public venues in this valley that support our aging population’s needs and desires to connect for meaningful conversation, for group lectures and other gatherings, and to learn and be supported as we adapt to using knew technologies.
— Founder, Methow-at-Home and elder caregiver
“At the library LEGO event several kids were asking if they could buy books. It was clear they had never been in a library. But there wasn’t enough space to hold the event.”
— -Methow Valley grandparent

“At the Ghost Bears event there were so many people many of us couldn’t see the screen and had to just listen to the presenter. There just wasn’t enough space.”
— -Methow Valley retiree
“I just order books off Amazon because the collection isn’t big enough to be worth my time to go into the library.”
— -Methow Valley business owner
“A lot of us in my age group are trying to work on our Masters degrees online and there is nowhere to go to study and use computers.”
— -Methow Valley seasonal employee, late 20s
Super readers at the Fourth of July Parade walked for the Winthrop Friends of the Public Library!

Super readers at the Fourth of July Parade walked for the Winthrop Friends of the Public Library!

Our December 2017 update to our advisory board, city officials and North Central Regional Library representatives


Work to make the Winthrop Public Library a place of community gathering and development. See the events we are planning throughout the year on the events page!

There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.
— Jacqueline Kennedy

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