Helena Independent Record: Daines taps Library of Congress book trove for Montana libraries

BILLINGS — The Library of Congress receives 25,000 new books every day, and when there are duplicate copies, the extras go to the House and Senate lawmakers — for free.

It’s a “who knew?” kind of arrangement that surprised U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and his staff when they recently asked about connecting Montana’s libraries with the nation’s library of record.

Daines figured he could take his share of the free publications and ship 150 books to Montana schools and public libraries every month. The first boxes of books went out this month. If there are more books available, the shipments will be larger, said Alee Lockman, Daines’ communications director.

“They sent us a lot of kids books, awesome kids books,” said Kathleen Schreiber, Harlowton Public Library librarian. “We got ‘The World’s Best Cities: Celebrating 220 Great Destinations,’ ‘Who Wants a Hug?,’ ‘Kid Sherriff and the Terrible Toads,’” to name a few.

Schreiber said she received about 40 books total for her library. Other books were shipped to Brockton School District on Fort Peck Reservation and Troy High School in Lincoln County.

Daines plans to send about 1,800 books a year back to Montana. Schreiber said she was able to request the kinds of books her library received. Some of the new additions are stamped Library of Congress.