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Men of Energy and Snap: The Origins and Early Years of the Billings Public Library

From: Libraries & Culture
Volume 36, Number 3, Summer 2001
pp. 397-412 | 10.1353/lac.2001.0057


This essay examines the origins and early years of the Parmly Billings Public Library. The author considers the creation of the library in relation to the funding and growth of Billings, Montana. Indeed, libraries are seen as one aspect of a hierarchy of urban growth along with schools and churches. Also considered are the reasons, stated and unstated, that the townspeople wanted a library. Social portraits of the principals involved are provided.