As formal children’s programming winds down, harvest kicks into full gear and families hit the road for vacation fun, Whitman County Libraries often see a drop in foot traffic.

For this reason, our libraries schedule the first full week of August to perform building maintenance and special projects. Closing doors completely allows the cleaning of carpets or other improvements that are difficult to accomplish when libraries are open.

This year, all 14 branches will close Aug. 5-11 for work on projects big and small, so now is a great time to swing into your local branch to stock up on books, movies and music to get you through the library’s weeklong closure.

Most of our smaller branches will be cleaned and organized. LaCrosse is scheduled for the installation of high-speed fiber Internet. In Colfax, carpets will be cleaned, our aging phone system gets a much-needed upgrade and preparations will be made for a “garage sale.”

Because of the phone repairs, we anticipate service being down Aug. 5. If you call, the phone will likely ring and ring at your end. After Aug. 5, you should again receive the standard recorded message.

That standard message reminds folks that during the weeklong closure, access is still available to a wide variety of resources through our website at These resources include ebooks, audio books, Washington State newspapers through NewsBank, foreign language instructional courses and our catalog of materials that can be requested or renewed.

During the weeklong closure, due dates on materials have been extended and no late fines will be charged. Bookdrops will remain open in all locations for customer convenience.

When we reopen Aug. 12, the Center in Colfax will have a garage sale during regular library hours that runs through Aug. 30.

The Center also will provide expanded sale hours to coincide with Colfax’s community-wide yard sales happening Aug. 16-18. The Center will open at 8 a.m. both Friday and Saturday of that event. For more information about Colfax’s yard sale, contact the Colfax Chamber at (509) 553-9173 or check the Garage Sale by Map ( online app.

For the Center’s sale, library staff and members of our Friends of the Library group will sell items with a portion of all proceeds being donated back to the Center. Fine artwork and photography also is on exhibit with a portion of those sales benefitting the Center operational costs.

Libraries affected by the closure are Albion, Colfax, Colton, Endicott, Farmington, Garfield, LaCrosse, Malden, Oakesdale, Palouse, Rosalia, St. John, Tekoa and Uniontown. Please call us directly at (509) 397-4366 or toll-free at (877) 733-3375 for more information or assistance.

Kristie Kirkpatrick is the director of the Whitman County Library.

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