“I am pleased to announce that starting in early June, for limited hours, the Glacier County Library will be opening its doors to the public.”
That wonderful announcement was made by Interim Library Director Austin Castle last week. And while they do not have a firm date set in stone for their reopening, Castle assured that it would be the first or second week of June.
Once the date is announced, Castle said, “the Glacier County Library in Cut Bank will have its front door unlocked and the open sign on from 12-2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 12:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday when both myself and our Assistant Librarian Vananda Yazzie from our Browning Branch Library, will be in the building.”
During those hours and days the library is open, Castle said “patrons will once again be able to come in during those times to check out books, audiobooks and DVDs. The book drop near the library’s back door is open again for people to return any items they may have previously checked out. We encourage anyone who has library items checked out prior to COVID-19 to return them as soon as possible.”
While many services will be available, Castle said computer services are not going to be one of those. “At this time, computer services will not be available, but we are working towards providing this essential service again soon.”
For patrons needing items or documents printed, the library will be able to do that. Just email your documents to the library at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be printed out for you and a pickup time arranged.
Even though the library in Cut Bank will be open soon with limited hours, the Browning library will remain closed until further notice. “The library building in Browning sustained flood damage. Until the repairs can be made to the building and until equipment can be replaced, the Browning Branch Library will remain closed to the public. We will keep the public informed of the situation and look forward to the day we can once again open our library in Browning.”
While their doors are closed in Browning, there are some services still available. “People may email or call to request books, audiobooks and DVDs for checkout or request printing, copying and faxing services.”
Although no one is allowed inside the Browning library, they will have someone available to handle the services listed above on Monday and Tuesday from 9-11:30 a.m. and Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to Noon.
Castle suggested contacting either of your local libraries should you have any questions or requests. To call the Cut Bank Library dial (406) 873-4572 or email at email@example.com. And to contact the Browning Library, call (406) 338-7105 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both facilities have Facebook pages at Glacier County Library and Browning Branch Library where additional information will be posted as it becomes available.
Castle might be new as the Interim Director, but he is not new to the library. He was originally hired in May of 2014 and started working as a Library Clerk. He was promoted to Library Technician and then became the Assistant Librarian. In early May of this year, he took on the role of Interim Director.
“I feel the best part about working at the library has been the people I’ve had the privilege to assist. I have met so many wonderful people over the years who use all the free services the library has to offer,” he shared. “In a normal year, we offer public computer use and wireless Internet, programming for children and adults, books, audiobooks, DVDs and magazine checkout, a meeting room for civic organizations and a safe environment for children after school and during the summer months to study, to meet their friends, to play with the toys in our children’s section and to read and learn. I love the fact that people would come in and talk about their day and children would come in after school trying to explain what they learned that day.”
Castle believes libraries are community centers and he also believes both Cut Bank and Browning should feel lucky to have libraries in their communities as should East Glacier for having their local book station.
“After a year of COVID-19, my belief of the importance of libraries is stronger now than it was before. Libraries will help people to reconnect after so much time of separation.”
Castle is not the only one who is excited to have the opening day of the library close on the horizon. The community of Cut Bank has been waiting a long time to see those doors open once again. It will indeed feel good to reconnect with the people, books and comforts the Glacier County Library offers to all its patrons.