Special Events 

Library Book Groups

  • Turning Page: Radium Girls by Kate Moore, April 24th, 7:00 pm
  • Litcentric:  My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman , April 30th, 7:00 pm
  • Graphics: Maus I: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman, June 5th, 7:00 pm
  • Please call 657-8290 for Information

Upcoming Special Events

April 26, 2019 Happy Birthday, Will ShakespeareFriday Night Fun:  Happy Birthday, Will Shakespeare!

William Shakespeare was baptized on this day in 1564, and we are celebrating The Bard with games, treats and Elizabethan green screen. "How shall we beguile the lazy time--"?   Come down and find out!  April 26th, 6:30 pm in the Community Room.

A Tolkien Mini Film Festival presented by The Council of Westmarch

April 27,Tolkien Mini Film Festival 10:30am, Community Room  This one-day event features a number of Tolkien-related fan films, shorts, and rarities, curated by The Council of Westmarch, and shown in anticipation and celebration of the upcoming biographical film, Tolkien. This event is free to the public, however tickets are required to gain entry.  Bring a snack to share with fellow viewers in a fun and relaxed atmosphere for this very special event!

The Festival schedule is as follows: 10:30am Screenings Begin, 12:30pm Lunch Break (attendees will be on their own for lunch and should plan accordingly), 1:30pm Screenings Reconvene, 4pm Festival Ends

Tickets can be acquired in person at the second floor help desk of Billings Public Library beginning April 1st.  

The Council of Westmarch is Montana's official branch of The Tolkien Society, a UK-based educational charity devoted to promoting the life and works of professor J.R.R. Tolkien.  The Council meets regularly to discuss Tolkien's works and conducts annual celebratory events, as well as other public lectures and events.

We are celebrating April's National Poetry Month with a Poetry Contest for all ages!

UPDATE:   Thank you for your interest in our Poetry Contest!  

Submissions are now closed, and the judging has begun.  We will keep you up to date when the winners are announced.  

Billings Public Library and The Friends of BPL will award  cash prizes to the winners in each age category, and the top three poets will get some time in the spotlight by reading their winning submission at our Poetry Night on Tuesday, April 30th, at 6:30 pm in the Community Room!  First Place in each group (Children, Youth, and Adults) will receive $25.00, Second Place, $15.00 and Third Place, $10.00.

poetry event detailPoetry Night : National Poetry Month Celebration! 

Help celebrate National Poetry Month with the Billings Public Library. Guest speaker Dawn Noelle Archer will share her creative process and read from her selection of poems being published this spring!  Also, enjoy the winning poems of the Poetry Contest read by the winners themselves!  April 30th, 6:30pm- 8:00pm, in the Community Room.

2019 Container Gardening

Gardening Series: Container Gardening with Master Gardener Sharon Wetsch

Wednesday, May 1st, 5:00 pm, Community Room. Join Sharon Wetsch as she demonstrates the steps for planting beautiful and productive containers with both flowers and vegetables. Participants will have a chance to take home some of Sharon’s creations. Thanks to the Yellowstone County Master Gardeners for cosponsoring this event.

Fast Tracks to Paradise:  How the Railroad Shapes the Town of Livingston, Montana Bird’s Eye View Map of Livingston 1883

May 2nd:  Paul Shea, Director of the Yellowstone Gateway Museum in Livingston, joins us to explore the impact the railroad has on the history of Livingston through historic images and stories.  

Shea has served as Director of the museum since 2009, when he began his tenure by re-exhibiting the entire museum and improving its building. He conducts research and gives interpretive programs, and has been a member of the Museums Association of Montana since 2000.  The Library is pleased to offer his program in partnership with the Western Heritage Center.  (7:00 pm, Community Room)

Author Visit:  John Clayton

John ClaytonMeet the author of the May One Book Billings selection: John Clayton! He will be talking about his book Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon, Yellowstone Park, and his other writing, as well as answer questions about his work. Please join us in the Community Room on Saturday, May 11th, at 1:00 pm. If you signed up foWonderlandscaper one of the discussions of Wonderlandscape, don't forget that take place May 6-May 9. 

Books and other support for One Book Billings is provided courtesy of the Billings Public Library Foundation.

Syttende Mai Festival with the Sons of Norway

The Billings Sons of Norway Jotunheiman Lodge are proud to share with the people of Billings their Syttende Mai celebration!  May 17th is a special day, honoring Norway's Independence and reveling in Norwegian culture.  Experience authentic Norwegian dancing, music, needlework, and folk arts, exactly as it has passed down through generations of Norwegians!  The festivities will be at the Billings Public Library under the Oculus starting from 12:00 noon to 2pm. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Chinese in Montana: Our Forgotten Pioneers with Ellen Baumler, author and interpretive historian, Montana Historical Society

baumler_lrgThursday, May 30th, 6:00 pm, Community Room. Chinese pioneers have been neglected in Montana’s written record, even though in 1870 they comprised 10 percent of the population. By the 1950s, very few remained. Chinese homes and businesses fell victim to urban renewal programs. Time erased their remote mining and railroad camps. Traces of their culture disappeared, and their stories have become obscured in myth and legend. What happened to these pioneers and where did they go? Historian and award-winning author Baumler explores Montana’s urban and remote Chinese settlements through archaeological sites, artifacts, and rare remaining landmarks, recalling the contributions of Montana’s Chinese residents and the cultural footprints they left behind.*Cosponsored by Humanities Montana.

Meet Writer John Taliaferro

john taliaferroThe Writer's Voice brings John Taliaferro, author of Grinnell: America's Environmental Pioneer and His Restless Drive to Save the West to the Library on Thursday, June 13 at 7:00 pm in the Community Room. 

Before Rachel Carson, there was George Bird Grinnell―the man whose prophetic vision did nothing less than launch American conservation. Grinnell, the son of a New York merchant, saw a different future for a nation in the thrall of the Industrial Age. With railroads scarring virgin lands and the formerly vast buffalo herds decimated, the country faced a crossroads:Grinnell Could it pursue Manifest Destiny without destroying its natural bounty and beauty? The alarm that Grinnell sounded would spark America’s conservation movement. Yet today his name has been forgotten―an omission that John Taliaferro’s commanding new biography now sets right with historical care and narrative flair. 

John Taliaferro is a former senior editor at Newsweek, and the author of four previous biographies. He lives in Montana in the Paradise Valley

Classes and Crafts:

Tai Chi for Everyone presented by the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Billings

In the Taoist tradition, a person's health depends on the harmony of body, mind, and spirit. The Taoist Tai Chi arts exercise the entire physiology, including the tendons, joints, connective tissue and the internal organs. Attendees should wear comfortable clothing that allows movement, including grip-less, flat-soled shoes, and should be prepared to sign a waiver.Thursdays at Noon in the Community Room.

The Fellowship of the Fiber 

Thursday, April 25, 1pm, Large Conference Room
We are the library's fiber arts enthusiasts who knit, crochet, embroider, spin, felt, and generally love fiber arts.  We get together the second and fourth Thursdays of every month to talk about what we enjoy the most and share projects.  If you're a newbie at the fiber craft game, we can help you learn!  This is our Fellowship, we look forward to your company!

Library Book Groups!  

The Library sponsors book discussion groups which are sure to whet your appetite for something different:

Turning Page Book Discussion Group


uses the Library's collection of book club kits and usually meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. We gather in the 2nd floor Board Room at 7pm.  Our next meeting will be April 24th, when we will discuss Radium Girls by Kate Moore. Call 657-8290 to register.

LitCentric Book Discussion Group

  meets the last Tuesday of every month between January and October at 7pm in the second floor Large Conference Room.  We use a combination of self-purchased copies and library book club kits. Bring your mug for coffee!  We are currently reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman and will meet on April 30th.

Email to sign up.

Graphics:  A Graphic Novel Book Group

A joint project with Adult and Teen Services, this intergenerational book group will feature selections from our new Graphic Novel Book Kits for bi-monthly discussions.  Our next selection will be Maus I: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman, and books will be available to check out at the 2nd floor Help Desk on April 3rd for our meeting on June 5th. Read the book and then join us to share your thoughts over a slice of pizza!

Looking for your Next Favorite Book or Movie? 

Visit our Readers' Corner to find out what members of our Library Staff are reading and watching.  You will see what we are excited about, and can join in the conversation!  To learn about the latest hot titles, check out Book Sizzle.  Then come back next week;  we update these pages regularly!