“It’s the best place to be” Spokane Public Library working as a cooling center

SPOKANE, Wash. — Extreme heat can be uncomfortable and deadly, as people are heading to libraries, pools and splash pads to stay cool.

Organizations and places across Spokane are setting up cooling centers where you can go beat the heat. Libraries are extending their hours so families who don’t have air conditioning can go and stay cool.

Cooling stations are the best place to sit down and relax. The Spokane Public Library is one of the many cooling stations open to the public.

“It’s cool,” Leslie Christensen said. “It’s beautiful and it’s quiet, and I have about an hour and a half until my move. It’s the best place to be.”

Christensen is in town from Chewelah, and she spent a lot of time at the library in downtown Spokane last summer.

“My air conditioning consists of opening my windows at night and closing them in the morning,” Christensen said. “If it gets down to at least 60 degrees at night, I’m fine. But last summer, phew.”

Evan Wenning and Saleena Kelly just picked up their friend from Montana, and they went to the library to escape the heat.

“It’s just super hot outside so we decided to chill inside the library for a while,” Wenning said.

The library extended its hours at four of its locations. On Tuesday, it was the first time when libraries were open for an extra hour, and all branches are seeing a 3.7 percent increase in gate count at all of its locations.

The Central, Shadle Park, Liberty Park and Library locations are open through 8 p.m.

“I think it’s important that everyone knows the library is always here for them to find a place to find, to access our resources, access the cool air and get out of the heat,” Spokane Public Libraries Communications Director Amanda Donovan said.

There are a lot of things to do at these cooling centers with your family. You can use play areas, check out books and use wifi and computers for free.

Lobby doors are also open at Salvation Army in Spokane. Hours run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Salvation Army also has water bottles available for you to use.

“Heat exhaustion, heat strokes — we want to avoid anything like that, we want to make sure that they stay hydrated,”  Cassandra Cram, social services director of Salvation Army Spokane said. “Water, as you know, is really hard to come by apparently. On the shelves, people are preparing for that heat to stay hydrated.”

If you’re having trouble getting to one of the cooling areas in the city, you can ride the bus for free.

READ: ‘We want to keep people safe’ Local organizations setting up cooling centers

RELATED: City of Spokane expected to announce cooling center plans Monday

READ: Here are some places where you can cool off this week in Spokane