February Happenings at the Library

City of Great Falls Montana





Date: January 11, 2014                   

Contact: Jude Smith, 406 453-0349

Great Falls Library


February at the Library



The Great Falls Public Library will be closed Monday, February 17 in honor of Presidents’ Day.

Art @ the Library

In February the Great Falls Public Library will host The Wild and Wooly West, an exhibit by the Arts Association of Montana.  A diverse array of works will be featured, including paintings, pottery and more.  Also, the exhibit will feature works from the Global Art Project.  This is a global art exchange for peace around the world.  A unique facet of the Global Art Project featured in this exhibit will be the Hands Project.  This is a project where participants trace their hands and decorate the tracings.  These are then used to create a unique piece of art.  The pieces in this project will be a used to create a mobile, which will be hung at the library for the month.  After this exhibit, the piece will be submitted to the Global Art Project for exhibition.  A reception for the artists will be held on Thursday, February 20, from 5 – 7 pm.  This reception is free and open to the public.

I Love to Read Month

The Great Falls Public Library is celebrating I Love to Read Month throughout February in the Kids’ Place. Family Reading Activity charts will be available at the library at the end of January.  These charts have 28 suggested activities families can do as a group for the month.  Participants can use the suggested activities or substitute their own.  Families are encouraged to participate in activities to help develop and strengthen daily reading habits.

Families who have completed 15 or more activities can return the charts to library for a chance to win one of five prizes provided by Candy Masterpiece.  Completed charts must be turned in by 6:00 pm, Feb. 28.

For more information contact the Kids’ Place at 453-0349.

Montana Territory and the Civil War

The Great Falls Public Library is hosting a book reading/talk by Ken Robison on Saturday, February 1, 2:00 pm. when he will read from and discuss his latest book, Montana Territory and the Civil War.

By 1864, the Federal government had carved the Montana Territory out of the existing Idaho and Dakota Territories. Gold from Montana Territory fueled the Union war effort, yet loyalties were mixed among the miners. In this compelling collection of stories, Ken Robison illustrates how Southern sympathizers and Union loyalists, deserters and veterans, freed slaves and former slaveholders living side by side made a volatile and vibrant mix that molded Montana. Discover how fiery personalities fought to keep order in the newly formed frontier, while brave Confederate and Union veterans and their hardy families created an enduring legacy that helped shape modern Montana.

Ken Robison is an author and historian who lives in Great Falls, Montana.  A native Montanan, he is historian at the Overholser Historical Research Center in Fort Benton. Ken serves as historian for the Great Falls/Cascade County Historic Preservation Commission and is active in historic preservation throughout Montana. Ken writes monthly columns on Montana’s Civil War veterans for two newspapers. His books include Life and Death on the Upper Missouri: The Frontier Sketches of Johnny Healy; Cascade County and Great Falls; and Fort Benton. He writes historical articles for Montana the Magazine of Western History and other regional journals. The Montana Historical Society honored Ken as “Montana Heritage Keeper” in 2010.

Foreign and Independent Film Series

The Great Falls Public Library’s Foreign and Independent Film Series continues its seventh season on Wednesday, February 5 at 7:00 pm. and Saturday, February 8, at 2:00 pm. This series is free and open to the public.

February’s selection is the Israeli film Off White Lies.  This award-winning film tells the story of teenager Libby, who when sent to live with her father, Shaul, discovers he is a homeless scammer.  The coincidence of her arrival with the 2nd Lebanon war allows Shaul to come up with a plan: they pose as refugees from the war torn North enabling them to be taken in by a family in Jerusalem.  Here father and daughter try to rebuild their relationship.  Will the impermanence of their false identities coupled with Libby’s fury at all the lies in her life conspire to undo them or bring them closer?  This film contains adult situations (AS).

The featured short is Catherine the Great.

Films will be shown each month on the first Wednesday and the following Saturday.  The series, which runs September through May, is free and open to the public.  Be forewarned, some films may contain strong language or adult situations.  They are not rated by MPAA but in our brochures we have tried to indicate content.  Brochures are available at the library.

OpenBooks Discussion

The OpenBooks Discussion Series, which runs October – May, continues on Thursday, February 6, at 7:00 pm, in the Montana Room of the library.  These discussions, sponsored by Humanities Montana and the Great Falls Public Library Foundation, are free and open to the public.  You may attend any and all of the discussions.  Books are available at the library three weeks prior to each meeting. You will need a library card to check a book out whether you attend the discussion or just read the book.  Discussions are facilitated by Penny Hughes-Briant, a teacher at UGF. For more information on this series call 453-0349.

February’s selection is A Thousand Splendid Suns, a novel by Khaled Hosseini.  The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny in Afghanistan seen from the perspectives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age fifteen into marrying Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal when she fails to produce a child. Eighteen years later, Rasheed takes another wife, fourteen year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose parents are killed by rocket fire. Mariam and Laila become allies in a battle with Rasheed, whose violent abuse is endorsed by custom and law. The author gives a forceful portrait of despotism where women are dependent on fathers, husbands and especially sons, the bearing of male children being their only path to an accepted social status.

Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the U.S. in 1980.  His first novel, The Kite Runner, is an international bestseller.  This, his second novel, was published in 2007.

Cooking Matters

The Great Falls Public Library’s five-part series on helpful strategies for healthy living and eating on a budget concludes on Thursday, February 6, 7:00 pm.  Sandee Cardinel, a nutrition educator with MSU Extension and a personal chef and owner of Earth to Table Chef Services is presenting this program.  These classes are free and open to the public.  Sandee will end her series with a discussion on the importance of calcium and protein in the diet and how to get the needed amounts while staying within a budget.

Gadgets Galore

The Great Falls Public Library is hosting free drop-in sessions on Thursday, February 6 and February 20, from Noon to 1 pm.  These sessions will offer training for using electronic gadgets to access and utilize various library materials, including MontanaLibrary2Go.  From MontanaLibrary2Go, patrons may download audio and e-books for check-out.  The sessions are not meant as general training or tech support for electronic gadgets, but rather as stated above geared towards using electronic gadgets in relation to various library resources.

Devices include, but are not limited to, e-readers, Smart phones, iPads, iPods, mp3 players and other comparable devices.  If applicable, attendees are reminded to bring passwords and usernames.  Reference librarian Sean Anderson will lead these sessions.  For more information on these ongoing trainings call the Information Services department at 453-0349.

Page Forward

The new book discussion groups introduced by the Great Falls Public Library last month continue in February.  Page Forward Saturdays continues on Saturday, February 8, 10 a.m., and continues on the second Saturday of each month.  This discussion group is unique in as much as each month’s discussion will be a celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Montana and will focus on books written by and about Montana women.

February’s selection is Black Cherries by Grace Stone Coates, originally published in 1931.  In this series of linked stories the child narrator, Veve, cannot fathom all the mysteries of her family’s life together, but by watching and listening she pieces together a painful past.

Grace Stone Coates (1881–1976) spent most of her life in the tiny ranching community of Martinsdale in southwestern Montana. During a seven-year period, twenty of Coates’s short stories were cited in the annual Best American Short Stories as Distinctive or Honor Roll stories, and John Updike chose Coates’s “Wild Plums” for inclusion in Best American Short Stories of the Century. Coates also published two collections of poetry.

Page Forward Wednesdays continues on Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 pm, and continues on the second Wednesday of each month.    If you like to read and are interested in a fun, stimulating discussion group, check this out.

February’s selection is The Thirteenth Tale by British author Diane Setterfield.  Published in 2006, The Thirteenth Tale is a novel in the tradition of the Bronte sisters. The main character, Margaret Lea, is invited to write the life story of bestselling author, Vida Winter, who has spent her entire career making up her past. Margaret is hesitant, convinced that the master storyteller will lie to her just like she lied to all the others. However, lured by Miss Winter's Victorian style of writing, Margaret takes the contract and quickly realizes that by learning Miss Winter's secret she will be forced to confront a secret of her own. The Thirteenth Tale is a story that has all the elements of classic English literature and all the mystery of a modern day blockbuster.

 Participation is free and open to the public.  The group meets in the Small Meeting Room in the basement of the library.  A limited number of books will be available for checkout at the front desk of the library three weeks prior to each discussion.

Black Heritage Evening: Celebrating Black American Culture, History & Cuisine

The Great Falls Public Library is hosting an annual event celebrating Black History Month and the Heritage of Great Falls’ African American community on Thursday, February 13th, 6:00 pm.  The program features African American culture, history, and cuisine.  This program, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Alma Smith Jacobs Foundation, a non-profit promoting education and historic preservation.  The event honors the life of Great Falls Librarian and Community Leader Alma Smith Jacobs.

A variety of speakers and performers participating include Kathy Reed, Mayor Michael Winters, the Alexander Temple Choir and Hip Hop Dance, Inter-Faith Gospel Choir, Rev. Anna Clark, and a sampling of soul food.

Explore, Discover, Connect: An evening of TED Talks and Lively Discussion

TEDx GreatFallsLibrary continues on Thursday, February 20th, 7:00 PM.    This program is free and open to the public.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx.  TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.  TEDxGreatFallsLibrary is an independently organized event licensed by TED.  This event will continue on the third Thursday of each month.

Each month we will show three TED Talks videos featuring experts in their fields sharing cutting edge ideas, innovation, and progressive ways of applying expertise for the betterment of society.  A lively discussion will follow.

February’s selections are:

  • Suzana Herculano Houzel:  What’s so special about the human brain?
  •  Jill Bolte Taylor:  My Stroke of Insight
  •  Brene Brown:  The Power of Vulnerability

According to event organizer Jude Smith, “TED Talks” will open up your mind, regardless of the topic.  I’ve found myself listening to various talks on subjects for which I thought I had no interest only to discover myself completely absorbed and inspired.  We are excited to have the opportunity to share these talks with the community in an effort to spark discussion and community in the most positive of ways.”

For more information of this new event check our website at www.greatfallslibrary.org or by calling 453-0349.  Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/greatfallspubliclibrary and twit us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GreatFallsLib.

About TEDx, x= independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.  At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.  These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = an independently organized TED event.  The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.  (These events are subject to certain rules and regulations developed by TED.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.  Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives.  The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes on a diverse mixture of topics.  Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com.  TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende, and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.  The TED2014 Conference will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast in neighboring Whistler.  TEDGlobal 2014 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posed daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas.  TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDNews, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED.

For more information about TED’s upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration

Donations Days for Friends Book Sale

Great Falls, Montana – The Friends of the Great Falls Public Library announced that they will be holding special book donation days in preparation for their annual used book sale held in May.  The dates of this year’s sale are May 14, 15, 17, & 18.

If you have items you’d like to donate for this sale, you can bring in those donations on one of the scheduled donation days.  The advantage of the donation days is especially noticeable for those with more than a small donation.  On these scheduled donation days, you bring your items to the library’s garage, in the alley behind the building.  Volunteers will be available to assist, especially with transferring donations from your car to the building.

Dates for the donation days are as follows:

  • Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 am – 2 pm
  • Saturday, March 22, 10 am – 2 pm
  • Saturday, April 26 10 am – 2 pm

All donations are appreciated, but the Friends will not accept the following:

  • Items in poor condition
  • Magazines
  • Encyclopedias
  • Condensed Reader’s Digests
  • Textbooks

You can bring your donations into the library anytime during operating hours, but assistance cannot be guaranteed except on scheduled donation days.

Proceeds from the book sale are used to sponsor special library programs and projects that the library’s budget cannot cover.

Anyone interested in more details, volunteering for the book sale or donating books can contact Jude Smith at 453-0349 or jusmith [at] greatfallslibrary [dot] org.

Listening Is an Act of Love:  A StoryCorps Special

The Great Falls Public Library is hosting a unique film screening of Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special on Thursday, Feb. 27, 7:00 pm, in conjunction with P.O.V., the award-winning documentary series.

This first-ever animated television special from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening. Directed by the award-winning animation team the Rauch Brothers, Listening Is an Act of Love features six stories drawn from StoryCorps' 10 years of asking everyday people to share their conversations with family and friends. These oral histories are a never-ending testament to how much can be revealed in the closest of relationships and how readily, as StoryCorps founder Dave Isay says, "you find wisdom and poetry" in the words of regular folks.

Kids’ Place Activities

Schedule subject to change

What: Books & Babies

Dates: 7, 14, 21, 28

Who: Birth - 2 year olds with accompanying adult

Time: 10:15 to 11:00 & 11:15 to noon

Location: Basement


What: Preschool Busy Fingers (walk-in craft time, no stories)

Dates: 5 & 6

Who: 2-5 year olds with accompanying adult

Theme: Anansi the Spider

Time: 10:30 to noon

Location: Kids' Place


What: Preschool Story Time

Dates: 12 & 13

Who: 2-5 year olds with accompanying adult

Theme: Are You a Spider?

Time: 10:30 to11:00 & 11:30 to 12:00

Location: Kids' Place


What: Preschool Story Time

Dates: 19 & 20

Who: 2-5 year olds with accompanying adult

Theme: Buggly Bugs

Time: 10:30 to11:00 & 11:30 to 12:00

Location: Kids' Place


What: Preschool Special Presentation

Dates: 26

Who: 2-5 year olds with accompanying adult

Theme: My Teeth: Children's Dental Health Month

Presenter: City County Health Department

Time: 10:30 to11:30

Location: Kids' Place


What: Preschool Story Time

Dates: 27

Who: 2-5 year olds with accompanying adult

Theme: My Teeth

Time: 10:30 to11:00 & 11:30 to 12:00

Location: Kids' Place