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.


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.


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.


Explore, Discover, Connect:

An evening of TED Talks and Lively Discussion

TEDx GreatFallsLibrary continues on   Thursday, April 17, 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.


 April’s selections are:

                        Kelly Mcgonigal:       Make stress your friend

                        Dan Ariely:                 What makes us feel good about our work?

                        Dan Gilbert:               The surprising Science of happiness

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 visit our Facebook page at and tweet at

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 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, 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, or on Facebook at

For more information about TED’s upcoming conferences, visit




The Great Falls Public Library is one of fifty libraries and National Park historic sites around the country selected to be part of a tour of a free traveling panel exhibition, Civil War 150.  This tour is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  In conjunction with being a host to this unique historical exhibit, the library is also the recipient of a grant whose funds will sponsor public programming supporting the exhibit.   The exhibit will be at the Great Falls Public Library from May 26 to June 16, 2014.  The traveling exhibit and grant is sponsored by Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with The Library of America.  It is funded by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 In conjunction with planning programs for this tour, the Great Falls Public Library is seeking relatives of descendents of Civil War veterans.  We are interested in presenting a program where personal stories from the war will be shared.  We are interested in your stories and history and believe they are of significant historical and cultural import.  Please contact Jude Smith at 453-0349 or for more information.


Donations Days for Friends Book Sale

 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, Jan. 25, 10 am – 2 pm

·                    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







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Great Falls Public Library | 301 2nd Ave North, Great Falls, Montana 59401
406-453-0349 | M, F, Sat 10am - 6pm | Tu-Th 10am - 8pm | Sun 1-5pm, Oct-May

Great Falls Public Library