In 1921 the Thompson Falls Woman’s Club purchased two books and the children’s magazine “Nature” and placed them for public checkout in the town laundry. This was the beginning of public library services in Thompson Falls. Throughout the years the library was housed in a variety of settings including the basement of the barber shop, the Odd Fellows Hall and a small room in the back of the town fire station.
In 1962 the Town of Thompson Falls built a new city hall which included two rooms for the public library. In 1992, as a result of dwindling funds from the city, the Thompson Falls Public Library District was formed which encompassed the Thompson Falls High School district. The library remained in (and outgrew!) city hall until 2000 when a store front on Main Street was purchased – tripling the space and making the library much more visible to, and used by, the community.
In 2002, Thompson Falls Public Library became one of the founding 17 members of the Montana Shared Catalog. The Montana Shared Catalog is a cooperative project; public, school, academic, medical, and special libraries pooled their resources together to purchase a robust library automation system. Members also enjoy the benefits of shared expertise and the ability to provide great service to library customers. The MSC has now grown to over 180 libraries.
In 2002 Thompson Falls Public Library was named Library of the Year for the entire state of Montana. The honor was awarded at the Montana Library Association annual meeting in Great Falls. Library Director Kathy Roberts accepted the award for the library.
Since moving to Main Street, library services have expanded to include an extensive Montana/local history section; a growing collection of large print books; over 50 magazines and newspaper subscriptions; an expanded audio book and DVD section; seven computers for free public computer access; downloadable e-books and audio-books; online home access to the library catalog and your account, an auto repair database, and a variety of online databases; and interlibrary loan services with thousands of libraries across the country.
The Library Board and staff are optimistic about the future of Thompson Falls Public Library and plan to continue to provide quality services for the residents of western Sanders County.