The Downtown Library will be closed Sunday, Oct. 17, and Sunday, Oct. 24.

MPL's Grand Opening List of Events

July 14, 1-8pm

Ribbon Cutting

1:00PM 455 E. Main, outside the main entrance. Let’s make it official! Community leaders will give short commemorative remarks, then we’ll cut the ribbon and present Missoula its new, iconic Public Library.

Outside Events

1:45PM ICE CREAM CELEBRATION Following the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, join us for a scoop of our very own ice cream flavor, Story Time Swirl! Ice cream generously created and donated by the Big Dipper Ice Cream. 


1-4PM KwUL ’I’TKIN MAKER TRUCK The Maker Truck is a mobile, cultural makerspace co-designed by spectrUM, SciNation, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The Maker Truck brings culturally relevant STEM activities including basket weaving, drum making, and beading to K-12 students and community events and will feature its 3D printer and laser cutter for visitors to explore. 


2-3PM COWBOY ANDY AND THE SALAMANDERS Cowboy Andy and The Salamanders are a high-energy family-friendly rock band that brings all-original music to fans of all ages! Be ready to sing, dance, groove and move! 


3:30-5PM SOLAR TELESCOPE Safely view our closest star, the Sun, through a solar telescope with spectrUM’s own Making and Tinkering Program Manager and resident astronomer, Nick Wethington. See sunspots, solar prominences and more! This event is weather-dependent.

Level One Events

2-5:30PM GUIDED BUILDING TOURS Guided tours given every half hour. Meet at the rocks in the Marketplace.


2PM UM LIVING LAB RIBBON CUTTING Celebrate the official opening of the UM Living Lab with University of Montana President, Seth Bodnar, and Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship, Scott Whittenburg.


2:30-6PM SEEING FACES, MAKING FACES Hands on, minds on face perception activities for children and families!


2-6PM MAKERSPACE EQUIPMENT DEMO Join the fun in the Makerspace with demonstrations on the Thunder USA Laser Cutter, Carvey, Cricket, and 3D printers. Aaron Cabbett, Artist in Residence, will share his magic with Textile Arts.



2-6PM OCULUS QUEST VIRTUAL REALITY Participants can view major cities of the world from an air balloon, or paint with enormous paint brushes on the moon!


HISTORICAL MISSOULA VIDEO FOOTAGE See Missoula as it was 30 years ago through the perspective of early video recording technology. Missoula City Council meetings, Homecoming Parades, and celebrations paint a nostalgic portrait of Missoula as it was in the late 20th century.


2-6PM GREEN SCREEN MAGIC Participants get a souvenir magic image emailed to them in commemoration of the new Missoula Public Library.


2-6:30PM STOP ANIMATION FOR KIDS Kids can interact with a demonstration animation set while learning about stop-animation techniques.



3PM & 5PM AERIALIST PERFORMANCE Aerialist, Ilsa Greatorex-Duncan, is a Missoula-based aerialist, dancer, and actor who performs nationally. She will perform on Lyra aerial hoop (3pm) and on trapeze (5pm).

Level Two Events

2:30-3:15PM MONTE VISITS The University of Montana’s favorite mascot, Monte, will make an appearance! 


1:30-6PM MONTANA CAMPING EXHIBIT Discover the magic of our beautiful state-play in a tent, explore camping gear and learn about animals found in Montana.


ICE CREAM SHOP In partnership with Big Dipper Ice Cream, Kiddos can create a dramatic play ice cream cart serving their favorite treats while learning about math, colors and social awareness.


RAISING A FAMILY TRIVIA WHEEL WITH PRIZES Play some trivia and explore your knowledge of all things family life in the FFLL Classroom. Also enjoy free face painting!


2PM GWiz MAGIC CHEMISTRY SHOW The amazing GWiz is coming out of Wizard quarantine to dazzle, amaze, and show the science behind the magic!






3-5PM BUG AMBASSADOR Visit with bugs from the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium!


2-4PM MESSY CRAFTS Have some messy fun in the Art Box- expect paint, glue, and more; dress appropriately! After 4pm, there will be self-guided craft kits to make or take, while supplies last.


3PM MR. G’S SCIENCE SHOW Experience amazing physics demonstrations with Mr. G! Witness amazing lasers, air cannons, and so much more.

Level Three Events



2PM CHEF ABE RISHO: Local Chef Abe Risho of the Silk Road will prepare and serve Cannelloni with Cognac Cream Sauce.


3PM SOFT LANDING CHEFS & SOUS CHEF: Shatha and Muhammad from Soft Landing, with Sous Chef Katie Kirwan, will prepare and serve Beet Mutabal.


4PM KELLY MOORE: Kelly Moore from Missoula County Extension Services will prepare and serve Chilled Pea Soup with Tarragon & Pea Shoots, Savory Blueberry & Brie Toasts, and Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki Dip.


5PM AUTHOR LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Leslie Budewitz, author of the Food Lover’s Mystery Series, will prepare and serve Jewel Bay Moose Munch from her book, Butter Off Dead.



REFERENCE MATERIALS TOUR TOURS AT – 2:30PM, 3:30PM, 4:30PM Come discover all the exciting offerings of our Reference Department including the historical collection, genealogy resources, Knowledge Imaging Center (KIC) machine, the Elk Spotting Scope, and the Business Center, and find out what the oldest book in our historical collection is. Tours will meet in the Tony Veazey Montana Room on the third floor.

Level Four Events


2PM MISSOULA PUBLIC LIBRARY WRITING CONTEST WINNERS READING Join the winners of the 2021 Missoula Public Library Writing Contest as they read from their winning works.



4PM PEA GREEN BOAT LIVE BROADCAST Listen and watch as hosts Annie Garde and Sam Manno record a live broadcast of the Pea Green Boat! There will be special guest readers, music from Josh Farmer, and more. This event is in collaboration with Montana Public Radio.


5:30PM TRANSFORMATION BY DESIGN Traci Lesneski, CEO and principal of MSR Design, chair of the American Library Association (ALA) Architecture for Public Libraries Committee, and lead designer of the new Missoula Public Library, will discuss the transformative nature of libraries in our local and global communities.


6:30PM LOCAL AUTHOR READINGS Heather Cahoon, award-winning poet and scholar, has been published widely and is the author of two books of poetry Horsefly Dress and Elk Thirst. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Chris La Tray, storyteller and writer, is the author of One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays from the World at Large, winner of the 2018 MT Book Award, and the forthcoming, Becoming Little Shell. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.


7:30PM INEZ STORER ART DEDICATION Artist Inez Storer will be on hand to discuss her work, Map of the World, on view as a permanent installation in the Missoula Public Library and made possible through generous donor contributions.


7:30PM FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY CHAMPAGNE RECEPTION Raise a glass with The Friends of the Missoula Public Library, as we toast our community and its new library and culture house! Music provided by Bob Wire, Montana’s honky tonkin’ “man about town”.

Search Our Catalog or Website