BIG TIMBER — The Montana History Foundation and Big Timber Carnegie Public Library will celebrate the release of “The Best Gift: Montana’s Carnegie Libraries” with a book launch celebration on Saturday, Sept. 7.

“The Best Gift: Montana’s Carnegie Libraries” profiles each of Montana’s 17 Carnegie libraries. Built between 1901 and 1922, Andrew Carnegie, the era’s richest man, provided funding to help communities build their libraries. Today, 15 of those libraries are still standing. Nine still serve their communities as libraries.

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In the book, author Kate Hampton provides background on how the libraries came to be and how they changed through the decades, and photographer Tom Ferris captures what makes each building architecturally unique. Historical photographs and original architectural drawings enhance the storytelling, according to a news release from the MHF.

On Sept. 7, the celebration will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Carnegie Public Library, located at 315 McLeod St. in Big Timber. It will include a short program and book signing with Hampton and Ferris. The event will also feature a first look at the traveling exhibit that will make its way to many of the communities with existing Carnegie libraries over the next year. The free event is open to the public.

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