Montana: Take a Video Tour of the New $20 Million Billings Public Library That Opens on Monday
More From the Billings Gazette:
The new Billings Public Library, which will throw open its doors for the first time Monday, probably wouldn’t have been built without the jump-start of a $2 million donation.
An anonymous benefactor, still known only as Mr. Smith, offered the donation in the fall of 2010, specifying that it be spent on hiring an architect to design a new library. His only stipulation was that the library was to be “architecturally significant.”
The two-story, 66,000-square-foot, block-long library at the corner of North Broadway and Sixth Avenue North is striking enough from the outside, with its sheath of steel scrim on the north and south sides, and its huge bank of glass on the east end of the building.
But inside it is more striking still.
The old library, whatever its charms, was a renovated warehouse. The new library was designed by Will Bruder, an architect from Phoenix who had previously won awards for libraries he designed in Arizona and California.
The total cost of the new library will come to just about $20 million. Voters approved a $16 million bond issue to build it, and the library foundation raised $5 million, including Mr. Smith’s $2 million donation.
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Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.