There have been four Public Libraries in Bozeman over the past century.
The Bozeman Public Library began as a young men’s library association in 1872. It was housed in a room above the Alwards Drug Store at 118 East Main Street. Women were restricted to using the library room on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 305:00. The men could use it only Tuesdays and Saturday evenings from 7-9:00. But this was not a Public Library.
The first Public Library, the Bozeman city library, opened in 1891 with rooms on the second floor of the new city hall and opera house.
Andrew Carnegie gave the city of Bozeman $15,000 to construct the new library at 35 North Bozeman Street. The Carnegie library served the community for over 75 years until the second Public Library was opened at 220 East Lamme Street in 1981. A book brigade of 1,200 volunteers moved some 14,000 books from the old building to the new building on July 4, 1981. In 1991 the library celebrated its centennial year!
In 2001 taxpayers approved a $4 million bond referendum for a new facility. The money was used to purchase the 14.3-acre former Milwaukee railroad property on East Main Street. After 5 years of fundraising planning, a new 35,000-square foot library opened at 626 East Main Street in November 2006. The new library achieved a leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) silver level certification, the first public building in the state to be certified LEED.
Our new library that we now have makes a big difference and it makes Bozeman city a better and more educated community by the books our library has now.