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. As of January 2019, we will be releasing targeted RFQs to select architects to determine the architect for this project.

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.

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 south for outdoor space and future expansion as well.

The current Winthrop Public Library is housed in 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.

feedback from our community so far

Over the past year and a half, we have held community conversations of small groups from Mazama to Twisp collecting feedback and ideas on the project. We conducted expert interviews with those involved in projects serving the neediest in our communities, as well as those leading efforts to serve specific demographic groups including our aging population and our students, as well as technology workers. We included questions in the Town of Winthrop parks survey, and had outstanding participation; we also collected data from the NCRL Strategic Planning survey, the Methow Valley Economic Assessment, and other recent studies concerning the Methow’s economic development and community needs. All of the data not only confirms but strengthens our work to build a public space meeting the needs of our growing and diverse community.


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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