The new Billings Public Library is open and ready to welcome you!

Billings Public LibraryThe 66,000 square foot Billings Public Library, designed by Will Bruder + Partners, opened on January 6, 2014. Features include a radiant atmosphere full of natural light, a story time tower, easy-to-use checkout systems, public computing areas for children, teens and adults, free public wifi, comfortable seating throughout, community meeting rooms, study rooms, cafe - and much more.

Architect Will Bruder often presents information about the process of designing this exceptional building for the Billings community. A local teen, Katelyn Bauer, interviewed Will in the Fall of 2015. She filmed and edited the interview for our YouTube channel.  On January 9, 2015, Will presented a talk called "Defining Place: Celebrating Context and Community" at the TedX Billings event at the library.

The Library was dedicated on February 1, 2014.  On that day, over three thousand people celebrated the new addition to our community.  The festivities were highlighted by musicians, civic leaders, children's choirs, historians and writers.  We also welcomed the library's architectural design team who led tours of the new state-of-the art facility.

Enjoy a visit to the Library and take advantage of this beautiful new community center and cutting edge resources.  We have 200,000 volumes to check out, popular magazines and newspapers to browse, online music and movies, and our staff ready to help navigate services. We are delighted to be part of a brand new era of library services in our community.

 First floor toward childrens  Study Room
 Looking for books  Library Dedication singers

The old library building was demolished to make way for a 100-space parking garden. The parking garden opened in Summer 2015.  

Funding for the new library was provided by a City voter-approved $16.3 million bond issue, with $3 million of those bonds to be retired by a successful capital campaign conducted by the Billings Public Library Foundation, which also secured a $2 million initial gift from an anonymous donor for the architectural and engineering services through construction.

October 2013
More finishes are starting to appear, with bright pops of color and local stone. Millwork for the specialty areas is being installed. Fall planting goes into landscape beds along Sixth Avenue.

 Periodicals  Stone Wall
 Coffee Shop  Butler's Pantry

September 2013
A major rain storm caused some delays for clean-up and fixing some water damage to drywall, but pointed out where some curb and gutter improvements could be made. The electricians are hard at work installing outlets and lights. The children's area turned orange as painters went to work!
 electrical  first five years area

August 2013
The interior becomes more colorful with a blue glass wall, the installation of the amber resin panels under the skylight. The scrim is mostly completed, and reclaimed wood from a snow fence is paneling the Community Room.The structure for the wall in the Story Tower shows its wavy form.
 Blue glass  reclaimed wood
 Scrim  Oculus
 unulating wall  

July 2013
Sheet rock and plastering is underway. The first of the exterior scrim is being installed.
 sheet rock  scrim

June 2013
Windows were installed all around the building. Siding was installed on the exterior and solar panels are in place on the roof.
Windows  Siding going up
 solar panels  

May 2013
The Story Tower is taking shape. It will reach from the first floor Children's area, through the second floor and roof, reaching a height equal to the current building. Story times and programs for small children will take place in the Tower, with a view to the sky above.
 Cone - 1st floor Cone interior 
 cone passing  through the roof

April 2013
Plumbing, electrical, sprinkler system installation; stairway poured; interior framing completed; installation of HVAC equipment;
 sprinkler  stairs
 framing  hvac

March 2013
Special floor areas poured; duct work installed; exterior framing completed; interior framing begins; exterior insulation applied;  Roof insulation and membrane applied.
 insulation roofing

February 2013
Second level subfloor poured; big crane departs; exterior framing begins, structure for elevator starts, foundation dug for water feature;
 North side water feature

January 2013
First floor subfloor laid;structural steelwork moves west, roof trusses going up; outline emerges; first interior views; roof deck goes on.
 1st floor  steel
 structure  Roof deck

December 2012
Steel structure starts to rise, tree rises for the holidays
 steel  girder
 steel  tree

November 2012
Structural steel arrives and is prepared; masonry work continues
 welding  masonry

October 2012
Storm drainage pipes and major conduits installed; preparation for first concrete floors, two slabs poured; arrival of the big crane.
 big pipes  Ground prep
 slabs  crane

August - September 2012
Foundation footings and walls poured, masonry walls begun.
 Footings perimeter wall
 masonry wall  

Groundbreaking for new library
: June 2012
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new library took place on Thursday, June 28th. See coverage from local news providers:
Billings Gazette:    New Library's start gets official Celebration
                                People Outline the New Library Building
KTVQ-2 Television:   Library Supporters Celebrate Groundbreaking

Site Preparation: April-May 2012

  • Overexcavation - Beginning in early May, 14,000 cubic yards of clay were removed from the site of the new building and replaced with architectural gravel. The overexcavation was completed in late June. Completed on schedule.
  • Utility Relocation - All utilities were re-routed from the alley west of the current Library building and buried so as to avoid the new building site. The relocation took 6-8 weeks and was completed by mid-May. Completed on schedule
  • Underriner Building Demolition - H.L.Ostermiller Construction of Billings completed demolition by April 27. Completed on schedule.

Library Design & Meeting Schedules
Will Bruder + Partners are the design architects for the Library project and have partnered with O2 Architects of Billings. The design team, in collaboration with students from the Community Design Center at the School of Architure at Montana State University in Bozeman, held dozens of public meetings and focus groups involving hundreds of people during 2011 to ensure that the design was developed transparently and with extensive community input. 

The Library Design Committee consisted of Billings citizens appointed by the Library Board of Trustees to advise the Board on all matters related to the planning, design, and construction of a new downtown library building.    
Design Committee Members  
Design Committee Scope of Work

Design Committee Meetings 
Design Committee Meeting Notes:
  • November 8, 2012  
  • Planning Documents
    The Library's Strategic Plan and site study reports can be found on the Additional Resources and Reports page.

    Billings Public Library Foundation
    The Billings Public Library Foundation was instrumental in supporting the new library with a pledge of $5 million towards the cost of the project. Learn more about the Billings Public Library Foundation.