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Lewis and Clark Library celebrates 150 years - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Lewis and Clark Library celebrates 150 years

Posted: Jan 09, 2018 10:40 PM Updated:

The Lewis and Clark Library is celebrating its 150th anniversary of serving the Helena community.

In 1868, the Helena Library opened its doors and was the first public library in the territory of Montana.

At the time, the library functioned as a subscription library where members were charged a fee for access.

The library was originally located on Last Chance Gulch before being destroyed by a fire in 1874. It was quickly reestablished by the community.

Helena citizens voted in 1886 to found the Helena Public Library as a free library, the first free public library in Montana.

In the mid-1970s, the Helena Public Library was renamed the Lewis and Clark Library and became a joint city/county library.

The library also added branches in Lincoln and Augusta during this time.

According to Library Director John Finn, they’re always looking to update and expand its services for the community, but some things will always stay the same.

“Libraries will always be about books and reading,” Finn said. “Even though there are new eBooks or digital formats, we still collect hard copies at the same rate that we always had.”

To celebrate the anniversary, the library has changed its logo for the year and is currently planning several events.

For more information about the 150th anniversary and library services, visit here.

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