The new Billings Public Library has been open for 5 years now, and is always ready to welcome you! The 66,000 square foot Billings Public Library, designed by Will Bruder + Partners, opened on January 6, 2014.
Enjoy a visit to the Library, take advantage of this beautiful new community center and cutting edge resources.
We have 200,000 volumes, popular magazines and newspapers to browse, online music and movies, and our staff who is ready to help navigate services. We are delighted to be part of a brand new era of library services in our community.
The new library features include:
- Radiant atmosphere full of natural light
- Story time tower
- Easy-to-use checkout systems
- Public computing areas for children, teens and adults
- Free public wifi
- Comfortable seating throughout
- Community meeting rooms and study rooms
Architect Will Bruder often presents information about the process of designing this exceptional building for the Billings community. A local teen, Katelyn Bauer, interviewed Will in the Fall of 2015. She filmed and edited the interview for our YouTube channel. On January 9, 2015, Will presented a talk called "Defining Place: Celebrating Context and Community" at the TedX Billings event at the library.
Groundbreaking and Demolition
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new library took place on Thursday, June 28,2012.The old library building was demolished to make way for a 100-space parking garden. The parking garden opened in Summer 2015.
The Library was dedicated on February 1, 2014. On that day, over three thousand people celebrated the new addition to our community. The festivities were highlighted by musicians, civic leaders, children's choirs, historians and writers. We also welcomed the library's architectural design team who led tours of the new state-of-the art facility.
Funding for the new library was provided by a City voter-approved $16.3 million bond issue, with $3 million of those bonds to be retired by a successful capital campaign conducted by the Billings Public Library Foundation, which also secured a $2 million initial gift from an anonymous donor for the architectural and engineering services through construction.
Over Excavation- Beginning in early May, 14,000 cubic yards of clay were removed from the site of the new building and replaced with architectural gravel. The over excavation was completed in late June. Completed on schedule.
Utility Relocation- All utilities were re-routed from the alley west of the current Library building and buried so as to avoid the new building site. The relocation took 6-8 weeks and was completed by mid-May. Completed on schedule
Underriner Building Demolition- H.L.Ostermiller Construction of Billings completed demolition by April 27. Completed on schedule.
Library Design & Meeting Schedules
Will Bruder + Partners are the design architects for the Library project and have partnered with O2 Architects of Billings. The design team, in collaboration with students from the Community Design Center at the School of Architecture at Montana State University in Bozeman, held dozens of public meetings and focus groups involving hundreds of people during 2011 to ensure that the design was developed transparently and with extensive community input.
The Library Design Committee
The Library Design Committee consisted of Billings citizens appointed by the Library Board of Trustees to advise the Board on all matters related to the planning, design, and construction of a new downtown library building.
The Library's Strategic Plan and site study reports can be found on the Additional Resources page.
Billings Public Library Foundation
The Billings Public Library Foundation was instrumental in supporting the new library with a pledge of $5 million towards the cost of the project. Learn more about the Billings Public Library Foundation.
Design Committee Documents
- Building Design Committee 2012 Design Committee Members (PDF)
- Building Design Committee November 2012 (PDF)
- Building Design Committee Scope of Work (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee June 14 2011 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes April 3 2012 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes August 16 2011 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes December 13 2011 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes February 1 2011 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes February 21 2012 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes January 17 2012 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes June 27 2012 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes March 1 2011 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes May 3 2011 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes October 18 2011 (PDF)
- Library Building Design Committee Notes September 4 2012 (PDF)
- Site Evaluation Criteria Survey Report August 2010 (PDF)