Anyone who thinks libraries are just for books probably hasn’t been to one lately. Public libraries serve a much loftier purpose than merely offering books–they provide free, open, and equitable access to information. Art, music, and other forms of creativity also inform by communicating ideas, challenging assumptions, and helping us learn about ourselves and our culture.
The Bozeman Public Library displays dozens of works of art, from sculptures on the Library’s front plaza to oil paintings in the children’s room. Many have been donated or loaned by generous community members. The Bozeman Library Foundation and Friends of the Library have also purchased a few key pieces.
Some patron favorites:
- “The Trickster,” Joe Barrington’s steel and salvaged tire sculpture of a raven – or is it? – that contains clues about a species considered a harbinger of messengers from the cosmos.
- “Imagine,” a set of colorful fused glass panels by local artist Richard Parrish that soar over the main circulation desk.
- Marla Frazee’s “The Boss Baby” and other sketches and dedications from nationally renowned Children’s Festival of the Book illustrators.
Patrons don’t just get to view art, of course; they also get to create their own. The Library offers children’s creative workshops where kids receive professional instruction in art media such as watercolor and gelee painting. Take-and-make craft bags have introduced kids and adults to jewelry making and transformed old books into elaborate art pieces.
More art opportunities are on the way. With the upcoming Library renovation, one of the new learning labs will have sinks and scrubbable surfaces ready for all sorts of art classes.
And while many people think libraries expect pin-drop silence, your Bozeman Library has always welcomed conversation and live music. Saturday afternoons bring local acoustic musicians to the Library’s open second floor, where they perform music from a variety of genres to spark creativity and boost moods through the winter months. Special kid-friendly music events like an instrument “petting zoo” have helped children develop an interest in music. And regulars to the downtown music scene know that Music on the Green – our outdoor concert series which will feature two performances from popular bands this year– is one of Bozeman’s favorite summertime events. All the while, dedicated study and reading rooms serve those who prefer a quiet environment.