How did the Boise Library get an ! at the end

If you’ve ever passed the Boise Library and noticed the “!," you may have wondered, "How did the Boise Library get an ! at the end of its name?" The story is an interesting one and is attributed to, Howard Olivier, the founder of Flying Pie Pizzeria.  Flying Pie is an iconic pizza joint in the area and has a reputation for adding a bit of quirky fun to the pizza business.  To give you some examples, they once went to great lengths to deliver pizza in 17 hours to a remote location in Alaska where pizza delivery usually takes no less than 3 days.  They also showed up with a marching band to deliver their millionth pizza and awarded the homeowner Pizza For Life.  Although odd that a pizza place and a library would be linked together, perhaps these stories of Howard’s whimsical ideas may make it a little less surprising that his company would be linked to the unique “!”on the library. 

So, what’s the story?  Well, Howard Olivier was a huge fan of the Boise Public Library.  One day, he looked up at the 5’ tall letters on the building that spelled out “LIBRARY” and thought the sign underrated how incredible the library actually was.  His solution--add an exclamation point!  He made an offer to the marketing director of the library that if they would allow him to add this punctuation mark to the library signage Flying Pie would pay for it.

The library agreed, and on January 21, 1995, the new sign was unveiled for the local TV stations and bystanders to see.  Although the new LIBRARY! sign drew widespread popularity, not everyone was a fan, including Dave Bieter.  He felt that a great library did not need punctuation.  When he was elected Mayor of Boise, getting rid of the exclamation point was on his agenda.  But, as he recalled later, “I learned in about an hour and a half of being the mayor that the exclamation point is beloved in the city of Boise.”  There was no touching it—the “!” was there to stay.  LIBRARY! is now trademarked.  It is part of the Boise Public Library brand and appears on all local branches.

So, there you have it!  That's how the Boise Library got an ! at the end of its name!