Library board to consider naming Bookmobile

The library board is holding a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. March 2 to decide whether to rename the Bookmobile in honor of Alma Jacobs, who served as head librarian at the Great Falls Public Library and the state librarian, both historic firsts for a Black woman during her time.

During their Feb. 23 meeting, the library board voted to postpone a decision on the request to rename the library for Jacobs.

The request was initiated by Ken Robison, a local historian, in December and led the board to adopting a naming policy during their January meeting.

Board delays decision on renaming library

Board members said they felt the decision to rename the library was a broader community discussion and while a handful of members of the public had offered comment in support or opposition, there should be a more concerted effort to educate the public about the request and Jacobs herself.

Library adopts naming policy

In postponing the naming decision, the board also voted to create a committee to consider the request and gather public input, though several board members and staff indicated a preference to leave the name as it.

[READ: The GFPL history]

The library is currently finalizing graphics for its new Bookmobile and during their March 2 meeting, will consider:

  • Option 1: Great Falls Public Library Bookmobile
  • Option 2: Alma Jacobs Bookmobile
  • Option 3: Alternate name proposed by board member

Library considering inventory system change; request for name change

Susie McIntyre, library director, said during the Feb. 23 meeting that it’s “in awe that I sit in the director’s office in the house that Alma built,” and she keeps a photo of Jacobs on her desk, but “changing the name of a library is expensive and complicate and it needs to be mission driven and community focused.”

McIntyre suggested that an alternative could be naming the new Bookmobile in honor of Jacobs. The vendor is currently finalizing the graphics for the new vehicle that’s expected to be delivered this spring. Because naming the Bookmobile wasn’t on the Feb. 23 agenda, the board scheduled the special meeting for March 2 to make that decision.

Events celebrating Black History Month ( 2020) planned in Great Falls

Jessica Crist, library board member, made the motion during the Feb. 23 meeting to delay the decision and establishing the committee and said,”we haven’t had enough community input.”