The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

New Hours and services at Big Sandy Library


February 17, 2021

By Erik Sietsema

The Big Sandy Public Library has changed its hours of operation, is compiling a community cookbook, and has upgraded some services in order to better serve the community.

The new hours began Monday, February 8th. Rachel Baumgarn, who works at the library, explained the change: "It's more consistent. We're open at 10 all week, and we close at 5, except today (Friday). We close at three. We got asked a lot about hours because nobody knew when we were closing or opening. So we asked the board if they would change it, and they agreed." The previous hours of operation were: Tuesday 12 to 6, Wednesday 10 to 4, Thursday 12 to 6, and Friday 10 to 2. The new, more consistent hours are far easier to remember and have added Mondays to the schedule.

Throughout the month of February, the library will be accepting recipes as a part of a cookbook they are assembling as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Library. The Friends of the Library help raise money for things the library needs that are not in the budget, like the Summer Reading Program, Homecoming, the Christmas Stroll, and Halloween. If you'd like to contribute a recipe to the effort, you can send it in via Facebook Messenger to the library Facebook page or you can deliver a physical copy of the recipe in person. Cookbooks will be on sale later this year.

In addition to the change in hours, the Montana Shared Catalog is now available as a smart phone app to those who have a local library card. The app enables users to check the availability of titles throughout the county, check out books through inter-library loans, place holds on books that are currently checked out, and manage their account. It can take around a week for a book to arrive through the loan system, but books are automatically sent when you check them out using the app. The Montana Shared Catalog is available through the website, though it only enables you to search the availability of titles. The app is free.

Though it is not as new of an offering, the Big Sandy Library card can now be used to check out books through Montana Library 2 Go. This is the online digital library offering both e-books and audiobooks for download. Previously, Big Sandy Library users needed to have a Havre library card to use the service. As an interesting bonus, those who already have a Havre card can add a second account with their Big Sandy card. This means they can check out double the number of titles. This may seem like an odd advantage, but for families where a parent has a card and kids enjoy audiobooks or ebooks, it gives the option of setting up the app on separate devices with separate accounts. I've spoken with several families where both parents have gotten cards to do just this. MontanaLibrary2Go can be accessed through the website or through the Libby app. The Libby app is free and enables you to check out e-books to your device or to a Kindle reader or app. You can also listen to audiobooks on your phone. Signing in simply requires you to enter your library card number after selecting the library you are associated with.

The library is also offering pulled and extra books for sale on site. In the large meeting room, a bookshelf against the back wall features a variety of books which can be purchased.

On top of the expanded hours and additional services, new books and movies are constantly being added to the collection. You can check the Facebook page for regular updates as to what's new.


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