Despite the fact that the Belgrade Library has had times of budget shortfall, it has done well with the resources at hand. The library was just name the best small library in American by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Library Journal.
Community Celebrates Library Award
By Hannah Stiff, Belgrade News Friday, February 13, 2015
Though he was running a little late, Montana Governor Steve Bullock arrived at the Belgrade Community Library in time to celebrate a major achievement Thursday night.
“This is the national award, it’s the Super Bowl of libraries, no question,” Bullock said. “No questions about a bad play on the six yard line. I mean this is because of the hard work of a community.”
Bullock was talking about the Belgrade Library being named the best small library in America. Bullock spoke to a packed room at the library about libraries being the backbone of towns around the state.
“It’s not exaggerating to say that libraries are the cornerstone of Montana communities,” Bullock said.
Bullock lauded Belgrade Community Library Director Gale Bacon and her staff for the bevy of relevant services they offer the city. From free tax help to reading in preschools around the area, the governor said the Belgrade Library is “a model for libraries across the nation.”
The award was handed down from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Library Journal. Representatives from both groups were on hand at the Thursday night reception to present the library with a sign that reads “2015 Best Small Library in America.” The sign will be a permanent fixture at the library.
Ralene Simmons, a representative for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said the Belgrade Community Library’s strength can be chalked up to two factors: staff and community.
“To put it simply, you are the reason we are standing here,” Simmons said gesturing to the packed house.
Bacon was also awarded $25,000 to spend on the library. She said she’s already used some of the money to buy laptops. Bacon also hopes to purchase tablets for her patrons to enjoy.