Library! at Bown Crossing


Grand Opening — May 18, 2017

After seven years of planning, public input, and construction, the Library! at Bown Crossing opened its doors to an eager — and excited — public. Bown is the fourth branch in the Boise Public Library system, and is only its second purpose-built facility (the Hillcrest and Collister branches utilized existing storefronts). The grand-opening ceremony kicked off with remarks from Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and Library Director Kevin Booe, and concluded with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by a number of city employees who were instrumental in making the new branch a reality. 

Features and Services

Located in southeast Boise between E. Parkcenter Boulevard and E. Boise Avenue, the Library! at Bown Crossing acts as a community center, welcoming and integrating southeast Boise neighborhoods and businesses. The full-service library offers a welcoming, light-filled environmen, with plenty of space to study, meet, and relax. The branch also was the first city-owned building to complete a Health Impact Assessment (PDF).

Some of the branch's highlights include: 

  • 16,000 square feet of public space
  • Open six days a week, totaling 50 hours
  • 40,000 books, DVDs, audiobooks, and video games
  • 28 PCs and 12 mobile devices for public use  
  • Wireless internet access (WiFi)
  • Virtual-reality room
  • 3D printers
  • Coding robots
  • Self-service checkout
  • Print/copy/scan center
  • Programs and events for all ages

Special Spaces

  • Reading room with fireplace
  • Two private study rooms
  • Specially designed areas for children and teens 
  • Quiet areas with comfortable seating
  • Audio-visual equipped multi-purpose rooms 
  • Kitchen facilities

Sustainable Design

The Library! at Bown Crossing was designed with sustainability and efficiency in mind, and every effort was taken to utilize responsibly sourced building materials and furnishings. As of this writing, the branch is seeking LEED Silver-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which signifies exemplary design and efficiency.

Library customers are encouraged to note: 

  • Maximized daylighting, with glass-curtain walls that let light in, but keep out the summer heat 
  • Locally sourced sandstone
  • Recycled glass in the interior concrete
  • Responsibly sourced, sustainable cork flooring
  • Adaptive lighting which adjusts to outside natural light
  • Insulation made from recycled materials, including shredded blue jeans 
  • Water-wise landscaping with drought-tolerant and native plants 
  • Environmentally friendly stormwater management
  • Charging stations for electric vehicles

Project Timeline and Budget

The design, services, and features of our newest branch were shaped by the Boise community. In 2010, preliminary designs, and proposed features and services were made available for public comment, and those comments were incorporated into the draft design in late 2014. In May 2015, the refined designs were offered to the public again, and comments were forwarded to the architects and to the project team for consideration. The city celebrated a groundbreaking for the long-awaited Library! at Bown Crossing on Oct. 28, 2015, and the branch was completed roughly 18 months later.

The project budget was $8.625 million, with $7.625 million coming from the city's capital contingency fund, and $1 million provided by the Library's Friends group and the Library Foundation. 

Architects: FFA Architecture & Interiors, Inc.

  • Troy Ainsworth, Principal 
  • Karl Refi, Architectural Designer
  • Brenda Katz, Interior Designer
  • Ian Gelbrich, Project Architect

Contractor: CM Company, Inc.

  • Anna Ellis 
  • David Moe 
  • Brian Leisten 
  • Bruce Steinwinter
Contact Us

Phone: (208) 972-8200
Telecirc: (208) 384-4450
TTY: 1-800-377-3529

Director: Kevin Booe

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