Services and Programs
@ Missoula Public Library

| Get a Library Card | Book Drops | Children's Services and Programs | Young Adult Services and Programs | Adult Services and Programs | Online Resources |

Get Carded @ your library!

Your Library Card--small enough to fit in your wallet, big enough to change your life. Click here to print a .pdf library card application*. Fill it out, bring it into the library with proof of address and I.D., and you are ready to access a world of information. Temporary cards, allowing patrons to check out two items at a time, will be issued to those unable to provide proof of address and I.D. Applications for those under fifteen require a parental signature, as well. *NOTE: You must have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer in order to access this file. Click here if you need to download a free copy of Acrobat reader.

New! Apply for a library card online: Click here.

Book Drop Locations

For your convenience, books and other materials may be returned to the library via our book drops. In addition to the drops located near both the Front Street and Main Street entrances, two local businesses host remote book drops for the library. These remote book drops are located at Barnes and Noble Book Sellers, 2640 N Reserve Street, and at K-Mart, 3626 Brooks. All book drops are clearly labelled with the types of materials they can safely accept. PLEASE NOTE: We ask that you return all audiovisual materials (books on tape or CD, videos, DVDs, CDs and music cassettes) either directly inside the library, or to the Front Street AV drop only! The Main Street book drop and both remote book drops are not equipped to handle audiovisual materials, which can result in damage.

Children's Department

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| Children's Collections | Preschool Programs | Our Goals | Special Programs |
Family Reading Program | Tours and Class Visits | Children's Desk | Children's Computers | Recommended Reads |

Children's Collections

The Missoula Public Library offers a variety of materials selected especially for children. Children and parents can find books in the following sections:

  • Toddler Cubes
    This collection is designed for our very young listeners. You can recognize Tot books by the "TOT" on the spine label. These books, many of them board books, contain basic concepts, little text, and lots of repetition. This rapidly growing collection is shelved at random in the three toddler cubes in the center of the picture book room.

  • Easy/Picture Books
    A better name for these books would be everybody books! You can recognize these books by the "E" written on the spine label. These books are filled with pictures and text. Easy books are not always easy to read. Choose these books to read to your children, or for readers who are fairly fluent. These books are kept in approximate alphabetical order by author's last name.

  • Beginning Readers/Easy Beg
    The Beginning Reader collection has been selected specifically with newly developing readers in mind, approximately grades K-3. The books in this collection have been designed and written by those well-versed in the reading process. They have short sentence structures, and controlled vocabularies. Familiar examples include many titles by Dr. Seuss, the Frog and Toad books, and the Amelia Bedelia books. Many even feature lists of words contained in the book, excellent for developing flash cards and other reading tools! The very easiest books have blue dots on their spines. You can recognize these books by the "E-BEG" written on the spine label. These books are kept in alphabetical order by author's last name.

  • Picture Books for Everyone
    This small but growing collection features books that are longer, or have content that is more advanced than traditional picture books, but contain many illustrations. You can recognize these books by the "JE" written on the spine label. This is shelved in random order.

  • Children's Non-Fiction
    Probably the largest collections in the Children's Department, you can recognize these books by the "J" and Dewey Decimal number written on the spine label. In the computer, this section is called "juvenile nonfiction." These popular books are written for a variety of ages, and are kept in Dewey Decimal order by subject.

  • Children's Fiction
    Often called chapter books, these books contain lots of text and few, if any, pictures. They are intended for children who read fluently on their own, from approximately fourth through eighth grades. Many adults like to read them, too! You can recognize these books by the "J" and the author's last name written on the spine label. In the computer, this section is called "juvenile fiction." They are shelved in alphabetical order by author's last name.

  • Children's Paperbacks
    These books are softcover versions of the Children's Fiction collection, or fiction titles only printed in softcover format. You can recognize them by the "JPB" and author's last name written on the spine label. Many popular paperback series are shelved in bookcases on the ends of the Children's Fiction shelves. The rest are shelved alphabetically by author's last name.

  • Holiday Books
    A very popular collection, these books are written for a wide range of ages, and are shelved together by holiday near the southwest corner of the library. You can recognize these books by the colorful, holiday-specific stickers on the spines.

Browsers can also find books and music on tape and CD, children's videos, DVD's and magazines for children.

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Preschool Programs

  • Tiny Tales
    This unique program is held every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30. Babies ages birth through 3 years of age are invited to attend, and must be accompanied by an adult lap. Participants will sing songs, learn fingerplays and nursery rhymes, and hear stories.

  • Storytime
    The Library presents Preschool Storytime (ages 3-6) all year long. It is held at 10:30 on Friday mornings. In addition we also have a Family Storytime (all ages welcome), held on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Storytimes offer engaging experiences including stories, songs, fingerplays, flannel board stories and more.

Our Goals

  • Help children and caregivers develop reading muscles and library habits
  • Develop an appreciation for language and a love for books
  • Assist in language development
  • Increase familiarity with the library and library staff

Just a reminder....

  • Parent participation is the key to the success of our programs. You are best equipped to help your own child focus on our activities. Please join in and show your child how much fun it is!
  • Please put toys and food away. They distract your child and others. If bottles, blankets or other "not-to-be-parted-with" items are necessary, we will work with it. Breastfeeding is also okay if need be.
  • There's lots to share, so let's save personal conversations for before and after the program when there is lots of time.
  • If your child seems overwhelmed or unhappy, please feel free to step outside or try again another time. Promptly remove inattentive children who may be distracting listeners.
  • Most of all ENJOY this special time with your child!

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Special Programs

The library hosts a babysitting clinic at least once each year. Students age 11 and older listen to experts explain babysitting safety, first aid, and fun. Participants receive a certificate of completion to show to potential employers.

Other special programs occur throughout the year. Watch for these during National Library Week in April; National Library Card Signup Month and Banned Books Week in September; Teen Read Week in October; and Children's Book Week in November. Recent examples of special programs include a Harry Potter Party to celebrate the release of the newest book, a Scary Stories Told in the Dark program, a Lemony Snickett Party, and our now-annual Christmas Cookie Decorating and Craft event. Information about upcoming events can be found at the library, on our website, and through many mainstream media sources.

Family Reading Program

Each summer the library sponsors a Family Reading Program (FRP). Any reader of any age can participate and earn delightful prizes for reading. The program begins in June of each year. In conjunction with the FRP, the Library presents weekly activity programs for school age children six and older. Held on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m., these programs feature storytellers, magic, crafts, special speakers, and more fun than can be imagined. Visit the Children's Desk to pick up FRP folders for the whole family. Click here for more information.

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Tours and Class Visits

A visit to the library is an excellent way to encourage a love of books and reading! Special tours can be arranged for groups of children upon request. Children will be shown around the library and given special instruction on the library's automated computer system. Reservations are required. If you wish for your students to pick up library cards at the time of the visit, we must receive the signed library card applications in advance. Please call 721-BOOK (2665) at least two weeks prior to your planned visit to arrange your tour.

Children's Desk

Missoula Public Library strives to make sure someone is always available to assist children and other users of the children's department. Look for the person sitting at the purple desk near the entrance to the children's department, directly behind the Gnome House. Our friendly and helpful children's staff can help you find the answers to your questions, suggest a great book to read, or help you find materials on the shelves. Library staff are unable to supervise children left in the children's department. We care about children at Missoula Public Library, and want to ensure their safety and well-being. A capable caregiver age fourteen and older must remain with children twelve and younger at all times.

Children's Computers

Near the children's desk you will find two computers, one of them with Internet access, reserved for children ages twelve and younger. Children may sign up at the children's desk to use these computers for 30 minutes at at time. Caregivers must remain at the computer with children seven and younger, or children needing extra assistance. Library staff are unable to give indepth instruction on using the computers.

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Young Adult Department

| Young Adult Collections | Family Reading Program | Special Events | Young Adult Computers |

Young Adult Collections

The young adult collections are selected with our teen patrons in mind. The themes, language, and situations are appropriate for that age group, roughly middle school through high school readers. You can recognize all young adult materials by the bright red and yellow "YA" stickers on the spines. You will find young adult materials in the following sections:

  • Young Adult Nonfiction
    This small but growing collection contains high-interest nonfiction materials, many with more mature themes than nonfiction located in the children's nonfiction. You will also find selected "classic" literature in the 800's of this area. You can recognize young adult nonfiction titles by the "Y" and Dewey Decimal number printed on the spine label, directly beneath the bright yellow and red "YA" sticker.

  • Young Adult Fiction
    This collection contains works of fiction by writers specializing in literature for teens. Young adult fiction titles are labeled with a "Y" and the author's last name on the spine label directly beneath the red and yellow "YA" sticker. These titles are arranged alphabetically by author's last name.

  • Young Adult Paperbacks
    The young adult paperback collection are softcover versions of the young adult fiction titles, or titles only printed in softcover format. In addition to the bright yellow and red "YA" sticker on the spine, these titles can be recognized by the "YPB" and author's last name printed on the spine label.
    Like the young adult fiction, these titles are arranged alphabetically by author's last name.

  • Young Adult Comics
    One of the most popular collections in the library, these titles include graphic novels (novels in comic panel format), manga, collected volumes of previously published comics, collections of comic strips, and selected single issue comics. Subject matter runs the gamet from popular comic strip characters such as "Zits", to superheros, to original works such as Bone. We are always looking for suggestions for this dynamic collection. You can recognize the YA comics by the "YC" and author's last name printed on the spine label.

Browsers can also find books on tape and magazines for young adults.

Family Reading Program

Teens, like all other library patrons, are encouraged to participate in the Family Reading Program, beginning in June of each year. Read or listen to books and earn great prizes. Pick up reading folders at the Children's Desk. Click here for more information.

Special Events

Periodically throughout the year the library holds special events just for teens. Events are typically held during National Library Week in April, Free Comic Book Day in May, and National Library Card Signup Month and Banned Books Week in September. Teens now have their very own nationwide celebration, Teen Read Week, held each October. Recent examples of teen events are a Lord of The Rings event held to coincide with the release of the second movie, Teen Read Week graphic novel review session and celebration, a Bloodhag concert held at the Boys and Girls Club and hosted by the Library, a poetry workshop, and a teen mystery dinner. Look for news of upcoming teen events at the library, on our website, and through many mainstream media sources.

Young Adult Computers

Under the neon "YA" sign in the southwest corner of the library you will find a small computer room with four computers reserved for users at least 13 years of age and no older than 18. Teens may sign up at the YA desk to use these computers for thirty minutes at a time. All computers have the Office Suite (Word, Access, Excel, Powerpoint), Publisher, Paint Shop Pro, and Internet access. The computers also have CD burners, excellent for storing multimedia presentations and other large files. We are always open to suggestions for software to install on these computers. Click here to make a suggestion!

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Adult Services and Programs

| Adult Collections | Montana Room | Information Desk | Reference Desk | Genealogical Resources | Interlibrary Loan ||Internet Computers| |Word Processing Computers | Family Reading Program |

Adult Collections

Missoula Public Library houses a wide variety of fiction titles, nonfiction titles, magazines, newspapers, music, audiobooks, and video materials for just about any taste or purpose under the sun. Our 5 mill levy increase has, among other great changes, doubled our materials budget. This means you will find more variety, more new materials, and more copies of popular materials than ever before. Can't find what you are looking for? Just ask!

Information Desk

If you call the library, chances are you talked to someone at the Information Desk. This busy desk is the first one you see directly ahead of you as you enter the Library's upper level. If you have a quick question, this is the place to ask! If the folks at the Information Desk don't know the answer, chances are they know who does.

Reference Desk

For more indepth questions, visit the folks at the reference desk on the east end of the Library. With close to one hundred years of combined experience, few answers will elude our crackerjack reference team. The reference desk is also the best place to request materials from other libraries. Want to ask a reference question? Click here. Please note: it make take a few days for us to get back to you.

Audra Browman Research Room (formerly the Montana Room)

The Audra Browman Research Room contains one of the most extensive collections of materials on Montana to be found anywhere! This reference-only collection is housed in a room on the northeast end of the building, near the reference desk. Just ask, and one of our friendly staff can unlock the doors for you.

Genealogical Resources

Missoula Public Library has a wealth of resources available for the dedicated genealogist. Our genealogy collection is the most developed in the state for genealogy information on Missoula County, Lake County, Granite County, Mineral County, Sanders County, Ravalli County, and to a lesser degree Lincoln County. Genealogists should also refer our extensive Montana Collection, located in the Montana Room.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

No single public library can purchase every book published. If you need materials Missoula Public Library does not own, Interlibrary Loan is a great option! Libraries across the country, and even around the world, have developed a network to loan materials to one another in order to better serve library users everywhere. Just so you know, we don't generally request materials published in the current year, as those materials are still in high demand at their home libraries. Also, some libraries do not loan books on tape, videos, or other audiovisual materials through ILL. If you think items such as these would benefit Missoula Public Library patrons, feel free to request that we buy them! Visit the folks at the reference desk to request materials from other libraries. Alternatively, visit our iBistro online catalog, click on "I Need Materials," then "Interlibrary Loan." Fill out the form, and our ILL staff will place the request for you. Please note: your I.D. is your library card bar code number.

Internet Computers

Near the reference desk are ten Internet computer stations available for public use. Users sign up on a first come, first served basis for thirty minute time slots. Due to great demand for this service, computer use is limited to three thirty minute slots a day, for a total of 90 minutes of Internet access daily. Printing costs .10 a page for black and white copies and .50 for color copies. Click here to read Missoula Public Library's Internet Policy. You must now use your MPL library card to log into our computer management system. Please go to the reference desk if you need assistantnce logging ninto the system.

Word Processing Computers

In addition to the eight Internet stations, the Library also has three computers available for those needing to write a paper or letter, create a resume, put together a Powerpoint presentation, or other word processing tasks. These computers have a longer time limit than the Internet stations. Printing costs .10 a page (.50 for color), and computer disks are available for $1.00 at the check-out desk. Ask at the reference desk to be let into the word processing computer rooms.

Family Reading Program

Adults, like all other library users, are encouraged to participate in the Family Reading Program, beginning in June of each year. Read or listen to books and earn great prizes. Pick up reading folders at the Children's Desk. Click here for more information.

Online Resources

| iBistro | Infotrac Magazine Database | Missoulian Index | Learn-a-Test Database | Auto Repair Database |

iBistro This is our online public access catalog (OPAC). Using iBistro, you can search our catalog to see what items we own, and which are available. If you have a library card from Missoula Public Library, you can set up a myBistro account, which will allow you to review the materials you have checked out, find out when they are due, renew materials, place or cancel holds, check the status of a hold, or change your PIN. Click here to learn how to set up a myBistro account.

Infotrac Magazine Database Do you need to find up-to-the-minute information for a paper or a report? Are you interested in current health information? Need to read about a company or a business? Want to know what to read next? Infotrac is a database containing close to a million magazine, encyclopedia, and newspaper articles on literally thousands of topics. Click on the button above. When prompted, type your library barcode number with no spaces into the password box, then click the "proceed" button. Still confused? Ask a staff member for a demonstration when you visit the library.

Missoulian Index A searchable database covering over 25 years of articles! The index will give you an article citation. Indexed articles are available on microfilm, located near the reference desk at Missoula Public Library.

Auto Repair Database This database lists automotive information for vehicles from 1954 to the present. Click here if you are using a computer in Missoula Public Library. Click here if you are using a computer outside of Missoula Public Library.

To find information on various city boards - their schedules,
agendas and minutes, click on the link below.

Missoula Public Library plans to subscribe to other online resources in the future. Have a suggestion? Click here to let us know!

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