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Kalispell looks to build new library

Published On: Jul 02 2013 06:47:03 PM MDT   Updated On: Jul 02 2013 07:04:41 PM MDT

Libraries aren't just for reading anymore.

“The libraries are becoming a gathering place, a safe haven at times for a lot of our young people to go study, concentrate, interact, to research on the internet, or books or whatever they need.” said Flathead County Commissioner Cal Scott.

Flathead County Library has been around since the early 1900s, and has seen a large increase in use in recent years, which is why the library system and the county commissioners have decided to build a new 55,000 sq. ft. library building.

Flathead County Library System Director Kim Crowley is hoping to nearly double the amount of space they currently have.

“Right now we have no room for meeting spaces, for study spaces, for collaborative work areas," said Crowley.  "A lot of libraries are putting in digital media labs.  We just have no space to meet the needs of the public.”

While some may say the way we read has changed due to technology, that's not the case at the Flathead County Library where people are still coming in to check out books like this one here and reading them all of the time.

“We don't think the book is going away anytime soon, our circulation of books and DVDs and music right now continues to grow every year," Crowley said.

There are a few road blocks to get through before the project begins, but Scott says they are going forward with the plan that they have in place.

“The bottom line is it is in the plan, we're looking at that," Scott said.  "It is up to determination of the library board and the county in the future as to if we actually do anything in the future at that time."

Scott said he's confident that the library will be used by more people in than community than just those who want to read.