Special Events 

Library Book Groups

  • Turning Page: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, May 22, 7:00 pm
  • Litcentric:  The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Joukhader, May 28th, 7:00 pm
  • Graphics: Maus I: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman, June 5th, 7:00 pm
  • Please call 657-8290 for Information

Upcoming Special Events

universe of stories graphicSummer Reading Registration is Live NOW!

2019's theme is "A Universe of Stories", and we have some exciting events, prizes and activities planned for all ages. Our Block Party will be back on June 22nd, as is our Brunch of Champions for Adults who complete the program, along with music, movies, science talks and book groups. 

 Sign up now to take a look and get ready for logging to begin on June 3rd.

Summer Reading Events in June include: 

  • June 8th:  The Kilted Man, celtic music and storytelling
  • June 15th:  Sean Gaskell, Music of the West African Kora
  • June 22nd:  "A Universe of Stories" Block Party!
  • June 26th:  Starlab
  • June 29th:  "It Came from Outer Space!!" Movie Matinee:  Mars Attacks! (1996, PG-13)

Chinese in Montana: Our Forgotten Pioneers with Ellen Baumler, author and interpretive historian, Montana Historical Society

baumler_lrgThursday, May 30th, 6:00 pm, Community Room. Chinese pioneers have been neglected in Montana’s written record, even though in 1870 they comprised 10 percent of the population. By the 1950s, very few remained. Chinese homes and businesses fell victim to urban renewal programs. Time erased their remote mining and railroad camps. Traces of their culture disappeared, and their stories have become obscured in myth and legend. What happened to these pioneers and where did they go? Historian and award-winning author Baumler explores Montana’s urban and remote Chinese settlements through archaeological sites, artifacts, and rare remaining landmarks, recalling the contributions of Montana’s Chinese residents and the cultural footprints they left behind.*Cosponsored by Humanities Montana.

Meet Writer Joe Wilkins

joe wilkinsThe Writer’s Voice and Billings Public Library are pleased to present a reading by Joe Wilkins at 5:00 pm, Friday, June 7, in the Community Room.

Joe Wilkins was born and raised north of the Bull Mountains, out on the Big Dry of eastern Montana. His debut novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, speaks to the community, struggle, violence, and care Joe knew growing up in the rural West, and his memoir,fall back down when i die The Mountain and the Fathers, captures the lives of boys and men in that desolate country, a place that shapes the people who live there and rarely lets them go.

Joe Wilkins has won two High Plains Book Awards:  in 2016 for Short Stories – Far Enough: A Western in Fragments  and in 2013 for Poetry – Notes From the Journey Westward. Wilkins is also the author of three additional poetry collections. Books will be available for purchase.

Book trailer for Fall Back Down When I Die  

Matthew Gurnsey, The Kilted Man

Saturday, June 8th, at 1:00 pm, Community RoomKilted Man 2019

The Billings Public Library is pleased to welcome acclaimed musician Matthew Gurnsey, The Kilted Man, who will bring his Scottish swagger to audiences on Saturday, June 8th, at 1:00 pm in the Community Room.  This event is free and open to all ages.

Matthew Gurnsey has been performing since a very young age, and honed his Celtic skills while living in Scotland, the country of his heritage, and the inspiration for his music.  His program includes Irish and Scottish music performed on traditional instruments such as the concertina, bodhran, and mandolin.   Gurnsey marries wit and finesse, delivering rousing performances of traditional songs that spin tales of wayward voyages, unrequited love, and the colorful lives of everyday folk.*

*from The Kilted Man

Meet Writer John Taliaferro

john taliaferroThe Writer's Voice brings John Taliaferro, author of Grinnell: America's Environmental Pioneer and His Restless Drive to Save the West to the Library on Thursday, June 13 at 7:00 pm in the Community Room. 

Before Rachel Carson, there was George Bird Grinnell―the man whose prophetic vision did nothing less than launch American conservation. Grinnell, the son of a New York merchant, saw a different future for a nation in the thrall of the Industrial Age. With railroads scarring virgin lands and the formerly vast buffalo herds decimated, the country faced a crossroads:Grinnell Could it pursue Manifest Destiny without destroying its natural bounty and beauty? The alarm that Grinnell sounded would spark America’s conservation movement. Yet today his name has been forgotten―an omission that John Taliaferro’s commanding new biography now sets right with historical care and narrative flair. 

John Taliaferro is a former senior editor at Newsweek, and the author of four previous biographies. He lives in Montana in the Paradise Valley.

Sean Gaskell For Print (32) (2)

Music of the West African Kora with Sean Gaskell

Saturday, June 15, 1pm, Under the Skylight

Sean Gaskell will give a performance and educational demonstration on the kora, a 21 string harp that he learned to play over multiple trips to visit his teachers in the country of Gambia. Gaskell plays mainly traditional songs that were composed between 50-800 years ago in addition to some of his own songs. The kora is native to the Mandinka people living in the West African nations of Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Niger. Typically having 21-22 strings, the kora is played by oral historians known as Griots (pronounced GREE-OHS). While the kora may sound peaceful on the surface, many songs tell stories of war, hardship, empire expansion and also praise those who were in power during these times- especially political leaders. This concert is part of the library's Cultural Literacy Series and part of the Adult Summer Reading Program!

Classes and Crafts:

Tai Chi for Everyone presented by the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Billings

In the Taoist tradition, a person's health depends on the harmony of body, mind, and spirit. The Taoist Tai Chi arts exercise the entire physiology, including the tendons, joints, connective tissue and the internal organs. Attendees should wear comfortable clothing that allows movement, including grip-less, flat-soled shoes, and should be prepared to sign a waiver.Thursdays at Noon in the Community Room.

The Fellowship of the Fiber 

Thursday, May 23, 1pm, Large Conference Room
We are the library's fiber arts enthusiasts who knit, crochet, embroider, spin, felt, and generally love fiber arts.  We get together the second and fourth Thursdays of every month to talk about what we enjoy the most and share projects.  If you're a newbie at the fiber craft game, we can help you learn!  This is our Fellowship, we look forward to your company!

Library Book Groups!  

The Library sponsors book discussion groups which are sure to whet your appetite for something different:

Turning Page Book Discussion Group


uses the Library's collection of book club kits and usually meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. We gather in the 2nd floor Board Room at 7pm.  Our next meeting will be May 22nd, when we will discuss Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Call 657-8290 to register.

LitCentric Book Discussion Group

  meets the last Tuesday of every month between January and October at 7pm in the second floor Large Conference Room.  We use a combination of self-purchased copies and library book club kits. Bring your mug for coffee!  We are currently reading The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Joukhader and will meet on May 28th.

Email to sign up.

Graphics:  A Graphic Novel Book Group

A joint project with Adult and Teen Services, this intergenerational book group will feature selections from our new Graphic Novel Book Kits for bi-monthly discussions.  Our next selection will be Maus I: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman, and books will be available to check out at the 2nd floor Help Desk on April 3rd for our meeting on June 5th. Read the book and then join us to share your thoughts over a slice of pizza!

Looking for your Next Favorite Book or Movie? 

Visit our Readers' Corner to find out what members of our Library Staff are reading and watching.  You will see what we are excited about, and can join in the conversation!  To learn about the latest hot titles, check out Book Sizzle.  Then come back next week;  we update these pages regularly!