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Interesting Local Library Event

There are towns in the northeastern US that have been around since the 1700’s. In the west, however, there aren’t many towns that were founded earlier than the mid to late-1800’s. Our town, though, was established earlier than the very early 1800’s. Before going into the importance of the local library event, it is worthwhile to know a bit about the history of this place.

By the time settlers populated this area, it had already been used for some time by the Native Americans in the area. This is a small river valley that was a great place to bring horses because there was plenty of food and abundant water. It is appropriate that when the town was established, it was named Wild Horse Plains. 

The small town was in existence for nearly a century when it finally got a post office, in 1905, and the name was officially shortened to Plains. The population slowly grew, though it never did get heavily populated. The same can be said for most of Montana. Today, there are just over 1,000 people living in the entire valley.

In 1918, a library was built in Plains. To some people, this might seem like an event not even worth mentioning. However, the public library is one of the important places in the town and it has historical significance.

Yesterday, the Plains Public Library held their centennial celebration. For such a small town, it seems almost amazing that the library has been here for 100 years. It is also the local Internet hotspot, so people sometimes park in the parking lot and use their laptops or tablets to get online. I’ve even used it for that purpose when my modem died a couple of years ago and while I was waiting for a new one to be sent to me.

The celebration included a book sale, audiobook sale, DVD sale, singing, a raffle, a few carnival-style booths for kids, ice-cold soda pop and popcorn, and plenty of chatting and fellowship with other residents.

  • Question of

    Do you use your public library?

    • Yes, often
    • Yes, but not very often
    • Only rarely
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you think that having a public library is important for a town?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I don’t know/no opinion
  • Question of

    Do you think that 100 years is a big milestone for a library?

    • Yes, definitely
    • Yes, but not a big milestone
    • No
  • Question of

    Have you ever donated time, books, or money to a public library?

    • Yes
    • No

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What do you think?

Legend

Written by Rex Trulove

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11 Comments

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  1. I rarely visit a public library any more because I have a huge book collection of my own, more than I’ll ever be able to read in a lifetime. Most of them belonged to my late husband for whom it did not matter if we had grocery money, if he saw a book on sale he had to have it. At one time I only lived to be able to go to my small town’s all-volunteer library. I walked a mile to get there with an armload of books coming and going. When I started college I could not afford to buy textbooks so I checked them out from the library, as they did not have student aid back then. I consider public libraries to be the greatest equalizer because they make it possible for anyone who wants an education to get one.

    1
    • That is very true. We also have a lot of books, probably a few hundred, and we still check books out at the library. Our library sort of functions as a community hub and most of the people in the community use it. I believe that is a very good thing.

      1
      • It used to be that way everywhere, but now the libraries are cutting back on hours so far that it is too much trouble to try to keep track of when they are open or not. Some communities have spent millions of dollars on fancy buildings but now cannot pay people to staff them. It was better when small town libraries were like a hole in the wall staffed by volunteers but they were open for regular hours.

        1
    • I agree. We have a lot of books at home, but there are times when we want to read something specific, but know that we will only read it once. It would be senseless to buy it when we could get it from the library. There have also been times we’ve checked something out, liked it, and later decided to buy it, so the library ends up sort of like a ‘try before you buy’ thing. lol

      1
    • In many places, that’s true. One of the things that impress me about our library is that it isn’t uncommon to see high school and even grade school kids there. There is also a small-town touch at our library. Books can be checked out online and simply picked up. If they come from another library, the librarians will call when the books come in and a person simply need to pick them up. They will also call if there are books overdue, while they are still in the grace period.

      Our neighbor is one of the librarians (there are three librarians).

      1

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