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The original item was published from 7/20/2020 10:18:09 AM to 8/21/2020 12:00:06 AM.

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Library Press Releases

Posted on: July 20, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Lewis & Clark Library Director’s Update

For Immediate Release:

Contact Patricia Spencer, Public Information Officer or 406.459.0614

Director’s Update from Lewis & Clark Library

July 18, 20202 (Helena, MT)—Greetings to all who are missing full library services and collections at the branches of Lewis & Clark Library. I know it has been a difficult time without the ability to check out books to read and movies to watch and enjoy activities and programs that keep you informed and entertained. We miss our regular Library lives too. Some day, we hope to be able to get back to business as usual.

Until then, please make sure to visit our webpage at to find out about the services we have available to you on your computer or devices. Please note that we have increased our downloadable book, media, and online services budgets during this pandemic. Book and media services like MtLibrary2Go, Hoopla, Axis360, RB Digital (magazines), CreativeBug (Crafts ideas), and Beanstack (reading challenges). Our Library staff is happy to help you find something new to read and enjoy either in our physical library collections or digitally. Please call our Public Services Librarians at 447-1690 if you need assistance finding items online or in our catalog.

While you’re visiting the Library website, please check out the Library Blog. Staff maintains the blog as a way to promote collections, services, and Library information. On the blog you may read a list of staff picks one day, and then learn how to access magazines online another day. It is a fun new way to interact with the Library and Library staff during this unusual time.

We want everyone to know that we have reopened our Branch libraries for limited browsing and for holds pick-up. Branches in East Helena and Lincoln are currently offering limited computer use and browsing. The Augusta branch will reopen soon. In Helena, you can browse collections, return books, and pickup holds at the temporary Capitol Branch. The Bookmobile has a limited summer schedule, making stops throughout the County. For a complete list of Branch hours and the Bookmobile schedule, visit our website at

The Capitol Branch, located at 1609 11th Avenue, was opened in June for temporary browsing and services while the Main Branch remains closed due to the ongoing remodel. The speedy creation of the Helena Capitol Branch was a feat of coordination the likes of which libraries rarely experience. There are currently more than 22,000 items available for browsing, including most of the library’s AV collections and all of our New collections. Items not currently on the shelf at the branches are available to be placed on hold for pick-up at the branches.

When we do get back to business as usual, Helena residents will do that in a completely redesigned Library building in downtown Helena. We are all very excited about the progress happening here at the Main Library. Though we miss you all, construction has moved at warp speed with no patrons in the building. Construction is a bit ahead of schedule and the project is on track to be completed just in time for the delivery of new book shelving and furniture. We anticipate a mid to late September completion of all work. This would include the movement of the Capitol collections back to the Main Library. The Main Library will return to full capacity of almost 110,000 print materials, DVDs, CD’s, and video games. Helena will be very proud of the new building.

Library staff continues to make adjustments to our services and safety protocols. Library staff had already implemented a mask policy for all staff and patrons before the Governor announced his mandate. Library staff is committed to maintaining a safe environment for patrons and staff. If you visit any of our Branch libraries or a Bookmobile stop, masks are required and we ask that you adhere to social distancing protocols.

If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.


John Finn, Director

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