May at the Library

City of Great Falls Montana





Date: April 12, 2014             

Contact: Jude Smith (406) 453-0349 Great Falls Library                 

May at the Great Falls Public Library

Art at the Library

An art exhibit by local, eclectic artist Doris Boyle, Infinity and Beyond, continues at the Great Falls Public Library through the month of May.  The show is comprised of a variety of mediums including paintings, abstracts, mixed media, pottery and jewelry.

Register Early for Free Computer Classes

The Great Falls Public Library is presenting a four-part series of free computer classes on Mondays in April and May from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.  This series, Computer Basics: The Second Step, is for those wishing to move beyond basics.

All classes will be held on the second floor of the library.  People attending the classes must arrive at the library before 6:00 pm.

Due to high interest and limited computers, class size has been capped at 28.  Anyone interested may register by calling the library at 453-0349 or stopping in at the 2nd floor Information Desk.  However, you must register for the entire series. The schedule is listed below.

  • April 21 - Managing Files and Folders:  Creating Folders, Saving & Moving Documents
  • April 28 - Word Documents:  Formatting, Copying/Pasting, Saving Inserting Pictures & Other Objects
  • May 5 - World Wide Web:  Finding What You Need,  Uploading & Downloading, Participating in Online Communities
  • May 12 - E-mail:  Making an Address Book, Formatting E-mails & Attaching Files

Contact Susie McIntyre at 453-0349 or check for more information.

These classes are sponsored in part by the Great Falls Public Library Foundation.

OpenBooks Discussion

The OpenBooks Discussion Series, which runs October – May, concludes for the season on Thursday, May 1, 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 former teacher at UGF. For more information on this series call 453-0349.

May’s selection is Bound Like Grass by former Great Falls resident Ruth McLaughlin.  This account of her family's  struggle to survive on their isolated wheat and cattle farm is told with acute observation as McLaughlin explores her roots and in unvarnished prose reveals the costs of homesteading on such unforgiving land, including emotional impoverishment and a necessary thrift bordering on deprivation. Yet in this bleak world, poverty also inspired ingenuity. Even after leaving behind a life of hardship and hard luck, McLaughlin remains bound — like the long, intertwining roots of prairie grass — to the land and to the memories that tie her to it.

The Great Falls Festival of the Book

The 14th annual Great Falls Festival of the Book continues with a variety of programs that are free and open to the public.  This festival is sponsored by the GFPL Foundation, Friends of the GFPL and Humanities Montana.  The schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, May 1, 7:00 pm Poetry is Alive and Well

This reading features three local poets: Tyson Habein, Allen Lanning and Traci Rosenbaum.  Habien is the 2013 Humanities Montana Festival of the Book Poetry Slam winner.  Lanning is a poet who also writes fantasy and historical fiction, and Rosenbaum is writing her thesis on poetry.

  • Friday, May 2, 7:30 pm Gala Reading with Saif Alsaegh, David Abrams, and Jamie Ford

 Alsaegh grew up in Baghdad, was educated in California and New York, and continues to write and perform his poetry.  His most recent book is Iraqi Headaches.

Abrams’ award-winning novel about the Iraq war, Fobbit, was on numerous best seller and best of the year lists for 2012.  He retired in 2008 after a 20-year career in the active-duty Army as a journalist.  He was named the Department of Defense’s Military Journalist of the Year in 1994 and received several other military commendations throughout his career.  In 2005 he joined the 3rd Infantry Division and deployed to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He now lives in Butte with his wife.

Jamie Ford is the great grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung.  His debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.  His work has been translated in 34 languages.  His most recent novel is Songs of Willow Frost.  Jamie lives in Great Falls with his wife and family.

  • Saturday, May 3, 2:00 pm Self-publishing and Specialty Books

Local author and publisher Sara Habein will focus on how to get one’s work out into the world.  She will offer insights for managing a project’s details, overcoming self-doubts and useful resources.  She is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of micro-fiction, and a staff writer for Persephone Magazine.  She is the editor of Electric City Creative, a Great Falls-based arts organization and for the small press Nouveau Nostalgia.

Foreign and Independent Film Series

The Great Falls Public Library’s Foreign and Independent Film Series concludes its eighth season on Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00 pm. and Saturday, May 10, at 2:00 pm. This series is free and open to the public.

May’s selection is the Argentinean film Clandestine Childhood.  Based upon the director’s own childhood, this film begins when 12-year-old Juan and his family return to Argentina in 1979 with fake identities after years of exile.  His parent’s are Montoneros guerrillas being hunted by the ruling Military Junta.  Despite this, Juan’s daily life is full of warmth and humor.  Though Juan follows his parents’ strict rules set up to ensure their survival, the fateful day arrives when he is told the family needs to leave immediately with no explanation.  This film is in Spanish with subtitles.  It does contain some violence.

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.

The selected short is Veo Veo.

Civil War 150

The Great Falls Public Library is hosting Civil War 150: Exploring the War & Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Lived It, a national traveling exhibition, on display May 26 – June 16.  Utilizing letters, personal accounts, and images drawn from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, this exhibition traces major events during the Civil War through the eyes of soldiers, presidents, freedmen, and families.  Great Falls Public Library is one of 50 sites nationwide selected to host this exhibit.

In conjunction with this traveling exhibit, the library will host a series of programs, reenactments, and music from May 8 – June 19.  All of these programs are free and open to the public.  The exhibit and programs are sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the GFPL Foundation.  The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, May 8, 7:00 pm  -  Black Heritage and the Civil War

This is a celebration of the Civil War by African Americans through songs and stories.

Thursday, May 15, 7 pm - The Civil War Years of Montana: Descendents of Civil War Veterans Share Stories, Diaries, and Photos

Thursday, May 22, 7 pm - Literature of the Civil War with UGF Professor Aaron Parrett & his banjo

Thursday, May 29, 6 – 6:45 - Reception for Traveling Exhibition

Mayor Michael Winters gives a brief welcome

7 pm - Issues of the Civil War & Their Relevance to the Present - A panel discussion with Vern Pedersen, Benjamin Donnely, & Oliver Pflugg (all from UGF)

Saturday, May 31, 10 am – 4 pm - Return of the Galvanzied Yankee: An Encampment

The 1st U.S.V.I. is Montana’s first regiment devoted to the Civil War.  Members hail from around the state.  This group will be setting up an encampment in the Library Park (in case of inclement weather, in the Cordingley Room) where visitors can get a real feel for how soldiers lived.

Thursday, June 5, 7pm -  Lincoln and Liberty: Songs as Sound Clips from the Civil War

Former instructor of literature and folklore at Flathead Valley Community College, Bill Rossiter, presents songs of the American Civil War and the lore surrounding them.  These songs provided a soundtrack for one of the most important periods in our history.  Their messages, both the official songs and the sometimes-wicked parodies written by the troops, give a glimpse of the period that could be easily missed if only the battles and politics were examined.

Saturday, June 7,  10 am – 4 pm Bonnets and Battlefields: An Interactive Experience with Jim Vaughn and Tiea Toby

10:30 – 11 a.m.       Clara Barton: Bonnets on the Battlefield

1:30 – 2 p.m.           (formal presentation with Tiea Toby)

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.    Perspectives of a Civil War Officer

 2:15 – 2:45 p.m.      (formal presentation with Jim Vaugh)

Tiea Toby & Jim Vaugn from Laurel, MT, are re-enactors with the Washington State Civil War Association.  They have presented various interactive Civil War experiences for the public for many years.  They will set up a tent and fly in the Library Park (in the Cordingley Room in case of inclement weather) and provide a living and interactive experience.

Thursday, June 12,  7 pm - When Johnny Comes Marching Home: Documenting Montanans Civil War Experience with Rich Aarstad from the Montana State Historical Society

Thursday, June 19, 7 pm - Yankees and Rebels Who Fought in the Civil War and Came to New Montana Territory:  In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Creation of the Montana Territory and the Civil War

Ken Robison and Bob Harris will appear in uniform and present reenactments of Civil War Union officers who later settled in Great Falls. Dick Thoroughman will speak about Confederates who came to Montana after fighting in the war.

Friends of the Great Falls Public Library Annual Book Sale

The Friends of the Great Falls Public Library will hold its annual used book sale Wednesday, May 14 from 4 – 7 pm, (This evening is for members only.  If you are not currently a member, you may attend the sale by joining the group that evening for the $15 annual dues.); Thursday, May 15 from 4 -7 pm, Saturday, May 17 from 10 am – 4 pm, and Sunday, May 18, from 1 – 4 pm on the third floor of the Public Library.  There will be no cost to attend the sale on Thursday, May 15, Saturday, May 17, or Sunday, May 18.  Sunday also will be Sack Sale Day.

People may purchase a bag of books for $2 or a box of books for $4.

The public is encouraged to attend the sale to take advantage of great used books.  All public support of this sale directly supports the library.  Proceeds from this sale support various library projects regular budgets do not allow.  The Friends have sponsored a wide variety of programs at the library over the years, including Montana Repertory Theater productions, musical performances, and the Festival of the Book.  The group has also sponsored book kits available for check out for book discussion groups, Wii gaming, the annual summer reading party, and a variety of other projects for the Kids’ Place and library.

Friends of the Public Library is a voluntary organization that values, supports, and champions the public library in ways that include, but are not limited to, advocacy, sponsorship, and organizing special events and projects for the library, such as this book sale.  Members can choose their own level of involvement, either through active involvement or through membership dues, with both levels supporting the library and the community.  For further information or to assist with the sale, call Jude Smith at the library at 453-0349.

Page Forward

The new book discussion groups introduced by the Great Falls Public Library this year continue in May.

Page Forward Saturdays continues on Saturday, May 10, 10 am, 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.

May’s selection is Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson. In this engaging historical novel set in 1918, 16-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks leaves Iowa and travels to a Montana homestead inherited from her uncle. The authentic first-person narrative, full of hope and anxiety, effectively portrays Hattie's struggles as a young woman with limited options, a homesteader facing terrible odds, and a loyal citizen confused about the war and the local anti-German bias that endangers her new friends. Larson, whose great-grandmother homesteaded alone in Montana, read dozens of homesteaders' journals and based scenes in the book on real events. Writing in figurative language that draws on nature and domestic detail to infuse her story with the sounds, smells, and sights of the prairie, she creates a richly textured novel full of memorable characters.

Page Forward Wednesdays continues on Wednesday, May 14, 7 pm, and continues on the second Wednesday of each month.  May’s selection is Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  Compared to such popular works as Harry Potter and Twilight, The Night Circus is a phantasmagorical fairy tale set near an historical Victorian London in a wandering magical circus that is open only from sunset to sunrise.

The circus serves a darker purpose beyond entertainment and profit. The magicians Prospero the Enchanter and the enigmatic Mr. A.H, groom their young protégées, Celia and Marco, to proxy their rivalry with the exhibits as a stage.  The two beguile the circus goers and each other with nightly wonders, soon falling in love despite being magically bound to a deadly competition with rules neither understands; the magical courtship strains the fate laid out for them and endangers the circus that has touched the lives of so many and cannot survive without the talents of both players.

Participation is free and open to the public.  The groups meet 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.

Kid’s Places Happenings in May - Schedule subject to change

What: Wii Gaming

Dates: May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 30, 31 (library closed 25th)

Who: Children under 12 with accompanying adult

Time: 3:00-5:00pm on Fridays & Saturdays; 3:00-4:45pm on Sundays

Location: Kids' Place


What: Books & Babies

Dates: May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

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: May 7 & 8

Who: 2-5 year olds with accompanying adult

Theme: Dino-Masks

Time: 10:30 to noon

Location: Kids' Place


What: Preschool Story Time

Dates: May 14 & 15

Who: 2-5 year olds with accompanying adult

Theme: Dino-Roar

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

Location: Kids' Place


What: Preschool Story Time

Dates: May 21 & 22

Who: 2-5 year olds with accompanying adult

Theme: Dino-Sports

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

Location: Kids' Place


What: Preschool Story Time

Dates: May 28 & 29

Who: 2-5 year olds with accompanying adult

Theme: Music Week

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

Location: Kids' Place