The mission of the Red Lodge Carnegie Library is to engage our community with 21st Century materials, services, and technology to enhance literacy, civic, educational, and cultural opportunities.
8th Street and Broadway / PO Box 1068
Tuesdays through Fridays 10 AM to 6 PM
Saturdays 12 to 6 PM
Closed Sundays and Mondays
The Red Lodge City Library opened in the Savoy Hotel in 1914 thanks to the efforts of the Red Lodge Women’s Club. The Club sought the assistance of Andrew Carnegie in securing a permanent library facility. Carnegie donations required that a local governing body provide the building site, promise to arrange for the financial assistance needed for the maintenance of the library, and offer free service for all. The City of Red Lodge agreed to do that, and in 1914, Red Lodge was awarded a $15,000 towards the construction of the library. The building was delayed by World War I, with completion of the facility in 1919. In 1992, a generous donation by the Koski family allowed for a substantial expansion of the original Carnegie building. The Red Lodge Carnegie Library is located on the north end of the Red Lodge Commercial Historical District. The Library Board strives to maintain the historical integrity of the community’s beloved Carnegie building.
Services and Programs
All library services and programs are free and open to the public. The only exceptions are printing and copying, which costs 10 cents per page, and the almost-monthly Friends of the Library Book Sales, where hardcover books are sold for $1.00 and paperbacks for 25 cents. Programs and services include: Reference & Information Services, Test Proctoring, State and Federal Income Tax Forms, Public Access Computers, Wireless Internet Access, Printing, Copying, Scanning, Audiobooks, Homework and Job Assistance Databases, Billings Job Service Testing Site, Friends of the Library Book Sales, Preschool & Rural School Outreach, Storytime, Book Club Kits, Summer Reading Program, Interlibrary Loan, Special Programs for Children, Youth, and Adults, Public Meeting Space, Downloadable Audiobooks and eBooks, Community Announcement Board, Books, DVDs, Newspapers & Magazines, and Public Review Site for Local and State Documents,
The Red Lodge Friends of the Library provides supplemental funding for library materials and programs and provides volunteers for the Book Sales and the Library Gardens. The Friends raise funds through membership, donations, the Fun Run for Charities, and the Book Sales.
The library programs and services are well-used by the Red Lodge community. In 2013, an average of 357 patrons visited the library each week. The library offered 89 programs for children and adults, with a total attendance of 1,846. There are 14,587 books, 794 audiobooks, and 580 videos in the library’s collection, and patrons also have access to a statewide shared collection of 8,552 downloadable audiobooks and 9,338 eBooks. The library maintains subscriptions to 24 newspapers and magazines. Including the downloadable collection, the library’s annual circulation in FY2013 was 23,269, showing a 28% increase from FY2012.
In FY2013, the 9 public access computers were used an average of 167 times per week, with an average session length of 43 minutes. An average of 21 users per week access the library’s wireless internet during library hours, and many others use the signal when the library is closed. The library’s free internet access is highly valued by locals and by the many visitors that pass through Red Lodge each year.
The Red Lodge Carnegie Library is a department of the City of Red Lodge. The building and grounds are city property, and library staff are employed by the city. The library is governed by a Library Board of Trustees, a five-member citizen board appointed by the Red Lodge City Council, which has legal authority to provide free library services to the residents of Red Lodge and also to the residents of Carbon County. In exchange, Carbon County collects a library mill levy, a portion of which is given each year to the Red Lodge Carnegie Library based on an interlocal service agreement. These county funds, in addition to funding from the state of Montana, supplement those apportioned by the City of Red Lodge from general fund taxes. Due to the agreement with Carbon County, the service area population of the library is estimated to be 5,197; a large portion of these residents are seasonal.
The Red Lodge Carnegie Library Board meets monthly. Regular meetings occur at 5 PM on the first Thursday of the month. Meetings are held in the library Reading Room and are open to the public. Trustees are appointed to a five-year term and may serve no more than two full terms in succession. Trustees are appointed and reappointed on July 1 of each year. Openings are posted in the Carbon County News and at City Hall, the Post Office, and the Library. Anyone interested in applying for an open position may submit a letter of interest to the Mayor.