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The community is invited to the Marcus Daly Hospital’s South Valley Community Forum on Thursday, April 18th, at the Library from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. Come and meet John Bishop, the Hospital’s new CEO, along with the Hospital’s local medical team. Learn about CEO Bishop’s leadership style and his vision for medical services in Ravalli County. Feel free to ask your questions and share your thoughts.Treats and sweets will be provided by Wildflower Connections Boutique, Little Blue Joint Restaurant and The People’s Market.


April is National Poetry Month and the Library will present the annual Cowboy Poetry Night and a month-long Poetry Contest.  Poetry Night will be Thursday, April 25th, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at the Library.  Among those performing will be poets Bob Weber and Tim Huls, and musicians Ted Heiland, William Garcia, Verna Molenda and more to be announced.  Everyone is welcome to enter the Poetry Contest.  Turn in poems for display at the Library. Kids grades kindergarten through grade 12 will be the judges for cash prizes.


The annual Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by the Library in conjunction with EXIT Realty, will be held on Saturday, April 20th, from 3:00 to 4:00 PM. There will be prizes, a petting zoo, face painting and other fun activities for kids.


THE LIBRARY NEEDS VOLUNTEERS for the Darby School Scholastic Book Fair next Wednesday through Friday, March 13th-15th from 10:30 AM to 12:45 PM. Helpers are also needed after the fair to assist in packing up. The public is invited to the fair on Tuesday from 1:00-7:00 PM where they can purchase books or donate books to classrooms or kids.  The fair is at the Darby Elementary School, Classroom 14. For more information, contact Darby Librarian Stacie Rennaker, 406-821-4771.

Your Library Needs You

LIBRARY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The Darby Community Public Library is a vital community gathering place in the town of Darby. We offer special programs for kids, teens and adults; public access computers and wi-fi, ebooks, audio books, a Montana collection and much more. We’re currently looking for volunteers; library experience appreciated, but not necessary — just a love of libraries and a desire to help the library continue to serve Darby and the surrounding community with books, knowledge, events and more. Pick up a volunteer application at the library today.

Darby Library Goes Solar

The Darby Library has gone solar and is currently generating about sixty percent of its electricity needs from the sun.

Energy efficiency and innovative building techniques were integrated into the design and construction of our Library back in 2004.  The design called for a ground source heat pump,  good insulation and energy efficient windows, along with utilization of locally available materials such as small diameter roundwood for beams and trusses.

The latest innovation for our building is installation of 62 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the building’s south-facing roof  this past February, which  began producing our electricity  a month later.

Former Library board member Veryl Kosteczko, also a leader of the building project, said the board’s intent was to include solar PV during Library construction, but funds weren’t available at the time.

The board was awarded a grant from Northwestern Energy through the statewide Universal System Benefits Program whereby electric utility customers pay a monthly charge that supports energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.  The system was designed by Dan Brandborg of SBS Solar, a Hamilton company with 30 years of solar experience.  Private donations, including time donated by the engineers, architects, and installers involved with the project also helped.  Library Director Wendy Campbell said the electricity bill savings will allow the library to utilize tax-payer dollars more efficiently. “We outlined the costs of the installation versus the annual savings, and it was an easy decision for the Board,” she stated

The $58,000 system includes sixty-two 325-Watt panels, totaling more than 20kW of installed capacity. SBS estimated it will save the library over $3,000 per year in electrical costs. Because the system is net metered, any extra power it generates flows back to the Northwestern Energy grid and is credited to the Library, to be used during times of low power production.

For educational and monitoring purposes, SBS also installed equipment that tracks, reports and displays the system’s  current and cumulative energy production; the data can be viewed by SBS as well as by Library staff and patrons via a computer monitor.

Stop by the Library to view the consumption monitor and get more information on the system’s technical specifications.