Library receives state award; expanded hours start April 19

The Great Falls Public Library has received an Excellent Library Service Award for 2020 from the Montana State Library Commission.

Annually, the State Library Commission recognizes libraries that have achieved excellence in serving their communities and libraries apply for the award using a “checklist that categorizes accomplishments by essential, enhanced, or excellent levels, according to the current public library standards,” according to a release.

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“An ‘excellent’ level of library standard achievement is a measurable way for the Great Falls Public Library to ensure that the residents of Great Falls and Cascade County are receiving the best return on their investment of public resources into the public library,” according to the library.

“We are proud to be awarded an ELSA, especially for the last year, when we faced so many challenges with serving our community in new and innovative ways. We were able to open, and remain open, at a time when many public institutions had to shutter their doors,” Susie McIntyre, library director said in a release.

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The Great Falls library added a new pick-up window and a WiFi hotspot checkout program over over the last year as well.

The library is expanding its hours beginning April 19 to 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus the holds pickup window being available Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone services are available Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. WiFi is accessible seven days a week.

To use the holds pick-up window, patrons can place a hold online or over the phone and then collect their holds once they have been notified that the item is available for pick up.