Sunday, July 13, 2014

260. Kalispell, Montana

This was the second stop in an afternoon when I slipped away from my Road Scholar group; while they floated down a river, I went library collecting. (What's Road Scholar? Find out here:

Kalispell once had a Carnegie library, as you will see in the picture below. It still exists, but no longer serves as a library. The current library was the Federal Building and became the library in 1969. Montanans are clearly into recycling!

The first thing I noticed was a "do it yourself" science activity right inside the door. It involved a solar yard light, a Mason jar, and a circle of white paper. A boy was busily following the directions when I was there, with some guidance from an adult, perhaps his mother. Science is big in summer reading programs this year, and this was one of the most interesting projects I have seen.

There was a very nice display of photographs of Syria, taken by Margaret Davis in March and April of 2011.

Federal Buildings tend to be large, so the library is very spacious. The picture book area is partly enclosed in a red wall with natural wood highlights. There is seating for adults, a nice collection of construction toys, and a "store" for dramatic play. Six computers are available for school-age kids. Parents and kids were lined up, waiting for a chance to collect summer reading program prizes from the children's librarian.

The prize for teens in the summer reading program is an electric Navigator SM24 bike, displayed in the lobby. How cool is that?!

Upstairs there is an adult lounging and browsing area by the tops of the big windows. It's very spacious and light. And there is another floor above this, which I believe is not used by the library. Someone will leave a comment and correct me, if I have that wrong.

For more about this library, go to the home page of the county library system at or

7/10/2014, car

If you look closely, you will see CARNEGIE above the door of the former library.

The current building is the former Federal Buildding.


  1. I admire your dedication as I would have a hard time giving up the river rafting. But I just love going down rivers. It would be nice if there were a river accessible library. If you've been to one of those and I missed it let me know. I'm thinking maybe something outside of Ely would work, with canoe parking only.

    That old Carnegie building sure looks charming, but you make it sound as if their move was worth it.

  2. The new library was definitely worth the move.
    How about a library system with branches located along a river? No, I don't know of one, but I bet one exists. You could work your way down the river, working a shift, canoeing or floating to the next branch, camping overnight (or perhaps they could have a staff overnight room), work a shift the next day, float again...when you get to the end, or from any point along the war, you catch a ride back with the library van. Would that work for you?


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