We've all had to scale back because of the pandemic over the last year. One thing my wife used to do quite often was take our kiddos to the library. It seems like they always had plans to go do some sort of craft day, attend a story session, or just pick out the latest pile of books to bring home. They were always having fun at the library - except for that one day early last year when downtown Missoula went into a lockdown because it was thought that the window of a police car was shot out. Remember that? My wife and kids got stuck in the library for a couple hours that day. Although, it does seems like a good place to be in lockdown - you have a never-ending supply of reading material!

The new library is finally open!

After a bunch of COVID-related setbacks, the Missoula Public Library finally opened their doors to the public yesterday! Things are a bit modified to start as they have capacity capped at 100 people. If you plan to visit, be prepared to receive a colored wristband when you enter and you'll only be allowed to stay for an hour. The library plans to hold and official grand opening celebration on July 14. Check out some details with the first week of the library being open to the public HERE.

As I was telling my wife about the new library being open, I was sharing the details about one thing that's new at the library - it's also the new home for the University of Montana's spectrUM. The local science museum that allows kids to get hands-on is located on the second floor of the new building. A KPAX article has details about spectrUM's move and some interesting new additions that families will find.

We have a new water table that kind of plays off of our existing water table, so it's like a little bit of like the spectrUM’s past and then kind of like you know, some new exciting stuff," Wethington says, explaining it's his favorite feature. "And having it all in its own kind of contained room where kids can splash and play a little bit more, I think is they're going to really enjoy, and I think it's very exciting because I've always seen that exhibit as like it's super fun, but it's hard to splash water on the floor and then like clean it all up. But here it's just a big drain. - Nick Weathington, Making and Tinkering Programs Manager of spectrUM

Ready for a visit?

Things are still a bit scaled back because of COVID, but the new library and spectrUM are just getting started in their new location and are ready for you to see what's new. Do you think you'll visit the new building now that they're open?

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