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Bozeman Public Library planning $4.5 million expansion, invites community to weigh in

Posted at 6:31 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 13:21:11-04

BOZEMAN — It’s no secret that the city of Bozeman is growing, leading to a need of growth in our services, including the Bozeman Public Library.

For a long time, our local library has been looking towards an expansion to their building, Jen Shoemaker says, even though our beautiful space is often considered the new building, still.

Shoemaker is the communications and development manager for the Bozeman Public Library Foundation, with the goal of providing financial support to help the library provide more services and programs.

The Bozeman Public Library’s current building was built back in 2006, and since then the community around them has grown by roughly 20,000 residents, according to Shoemaker.

“The library is for everyone. We don’t turn people away, everyone is welcome and that’s the thing that is so beautiful about a library,” Shoemaker said. “We expect that we will be able to grow this library with this modest expansion to service us for the years to come.”

A $4.5 million expansion will entail a renovation to the community room, the entrance into the library itself, the central hub of the library, as well as some upstairs updates. The architects working on this project are from MSR Design, which specializes in library design.

The community room, as well as the upstairs Montana Room, will be expanded to double its capacity and provide room for larger events and programs to take place.

The entrance will remain a passageway, with the addition of two separate labs. These labs will play host to cooking demonstrations, maker events, art classes, and plenty of other activities.

The central hub of the library will have a "community forward" look. A coffee station, fit with the used bookstore and different arrangement of book selections will invite all to connect, Shoemaker said.

Finally, upstairs will host a variety of meeting rooms and quiet spaces for those wishing for a serene environment. Shoemaker says breath-taking views of the Bridgers, along with an open floor plan, will bring the Bozeman Public Library to the modern age.

Funded by private donors and grants, the Bozeman Public Library is not funded by tax dollars and will be planning a fundraising campaign for the future.

At the moment the library has raised $3.7 million dollars, with a little less than a million to go. This renovation has been in the works for a long time, and it is exciting to see it finally take shape, Shoemaker said.

A group of 1200 people were asked their thoughts, ideas, and opinions about the library expansion, and there is a chance for your voice to be heard.

“From 4 to 6 p.m., September 16, out in the front plaza of the library, the architects from MSR design will be coming out so they can hear from the public about what they want to see from these spaces,” Shoemaker said.

Bozeman Public Library planning $4.5 million expansion, invites community to weigh in