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The State Library was established as the Public Library Commission in 1907 and occupied a single room in the State Capitol. In 1909, the library's name was changed to the State Library Commission. The State Library Commission occupied the Liberty Memorial Building on the Capitol Grounds from 1936-1970 and later moved to the Randal Building north of Bismarck. The agency's name was changed to the North Dakota State Library in 1979. In 1982 the State Library returned to the Liberty Memorial Building, its present location.

The Liberty Memorial Building

The State Library is located in the Liberty Memorial Building on the Capitol Mall in Bismarck. The Liberty Memorial Building was built to provide additional space for state agencies and to mark the end of World War I. The building is dedicated to the memory of the men and women of North Dakota who served the cause of liberty in World War I. Construction of the building began in 1920 and was occupied in 1924. The original cost of construction was $415,000.

The Liberty Memorial Building is typical of the federal-type buildings of the era and is designed in the classical style of architecture with a limestone exterior. The foundation was constructed using sawed granite and the exterior ground level walls are Bedford Stone. The large main doors at the top of the stairs are made from ornamental bronze. The walls of the first floor lobby are finished in Kasota Stone, quarried in Kasota, Minnesota. The first floor corridor & grand stairway are finished in travertine that was imported from Italy. The floors of the corridors and tread of stairway are made from Terrazzo and Kasota marble, and the balusters and railing are made from Italian Travertine and Italian Tavernelle Claire marble. The ceiling squares were individually molded and plastered together.

The building underwent a major renovation completed in 1981 which updated existing systems to modern code specifications. The renovation retained the building's unique architectural details.

State Librarians
State Librarian Mary J. Soucie
2014-current Mary J. Soucie
State Librarian Hulen E. Bivins
2010-2013 Hulen E. Bivins
Former State Librarian Doris Ott
2001-2010 Doris A. Ott
2000-2001 Joseph C. Linnertz (acting director)
Former North Dakota State Librarian Mike Jaugstetter
1996-2000 Mike Jaugstetter
1995-1996 Joseph C. Linnertz (acting director)
Former North Dakota State Librarian William Strader
1991-1993 William R. Strader
1991 Joseph C. Linnertz (acting director)
Former North Dakota State Librarian Patricia Harris
1985-1991 Patricia L. Harris
Former North Dakota State Librarian Margaret Stefanak
1983-1985 Margaret M. Stefanak
Former North Dakota State Librarian Ruth Mahan
1981-1983 Ruth E. Mahan
Former North Dakota State Librarian Richard Wolfert
1969-1981 Richard J. Wolfert
1968-1969 Leone Morrison (acting director)
1964-1968 Freda W. Hatten
Former North Dakota State Librarian Hazel Byrnes
1948-1964 Hazel Webster Byrnes
1922-1948 Lillian E. Cook
1921-1923 Mary E. Downey
1919-1921 S. Blanche Hedrick
1909-1919 Minnie Clarke Budlong
1907-1908 Zana K. Miller

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Mary J. Soucie, State Librarian
A division of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction - Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent

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