SpectrUM to Reopen at New Missoula Public Library May 3

SpectrUM Director Jessie Herbert-Meny (right) and AmericCorp leader Brooke Carey reveal part of the discovery area’s new digs within the Missoula Public Library building, which opens to the public with limited hours May 3.
Two pictures of the new spectrUM Discovery area, including a giant month image and a brain and body that can be taken apart.
SpectrUM learning areas within the new Missoula Public Library building.

MISSOULA – The University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area will reopen to the public on Monday, May 3, at the new Missoula Public Library building. Admission to spectrUM will be free to all at the new location.

SpectrUM’s dedicated spaces within the building include its second-floor Discovery Area, with its signature Discovery Bench and rotating exhibits, and its ground-floor classroom for hosting field trips, camps and special programs. SpectrUM’s move to the library brings it under one roof with the library, Families First Learning Lab, the UM Living Lab and Missoula Community Access Television.

In addition to its dedicated spaces within the library, spectrUM collaboratively operates a makerspace with the library on the ground floor. A water room jointly operated with Families First Learning Lab features both a new and an upgraded water table, as well as signage inviting visitors to explore Missoula’s local river ecosystem.

As UM’s hands-on science center, spectrUM promotes a culture of learning and discovery for all, with the goal of inspiring Montana K-12 students to pursue STEM fields, higher education and career pathways.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the public into our new home at the library,” said Jessie Herbert-Meny, spectrUM’s director. “For years, we’ve planned and fundraised to make this move possible. With the support of our community, we are now here in this beautiful facility with our partners and are offering totally free admission for everyone.”

Beginning May 3, the library building will be open for limited hours Monday through Saturday. Please check online for exact hours. Per Missoula County health regulations, visitors will be required to wear a face covering and maintain physical distance from others. SpectrUM will feature low-touch exhibits and activities that can be checked out by visitors and sanitized after each use. Expanded hours, as well as a grand opening celebration date, will be announced at a later time.

Support for spectrUM’s relocation to the library, as well as for new and upgraded exhibits, came from Montana National Science Foundation EPSCoR, the Jane S. Heman Foundation, UM Health and Medicine, Clearwater Credit Union, Missoula Water, Missoula Storm Water Utility, the Sunderland Foundation, the WestSlope Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation and many community donors.

For more information, call spectrUM at 406-243-4828 or visit http://spectrum.umt.edu/.


Contact: Jessie Herbert-Meny, director, spectrUM Discovery Area, jessie.herbert@umontana.edu.