a newsletter of the Montana Library Association

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[ April 2018 Vol. 36 Issue 2 ]



by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, President of the Montana Library Association
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( Past examples of cool stuff you can get at the annual MLA Conference! Photo by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson. )

Hi everyone,

I am so excited that the 2018 MLA Conference, months in the making, is almost upon us. Big skies, library highs, and legal ties—we’re going to have a little bit of all these things in Bozeman in April. I truly believe this is going to be a terrific conference with so many marvelous programs and events that you will need to pick and choose what you can fit into your schedule. With that in mind, here are my suggestions for the Top 11 Things You Won’t Want To Miss At Conference! (This conference is going to be so good, I couldn’t limit my “must-dos” to just 10.)

1. New member breakfast. Starting Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m., this is the perfect way to kick-off the conference. If you are new member of MLA, this is your opportunity to meet MLA Past Presidents and get their perspective on the MLA organization. You will get to know other new members of MLA and we will get the chance to meet you! I can’t wait!

2. MLA table in the exhibit hall. At each conference, the MLA PR & Marketing Committee puts together an MLA table in the exhibit hall. Swing by to get a visual of your MLA Board members, sign up for an MLA Committee (we need you!), have your picture taken in support of MLA, and receive a very cool MLA freebie for doing so. We’ve offered some great stuff over the years (see accompanying photograph)!

3. Keynote speaker. Our keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Montana Supreme Justice Beth Baker. Not only has Justice Baker chaired the state’s Access to Justice Commission for a number of years, but she is fully aware of the important role that librarians in Montana play in providing access to legal information for thousands of Montana citizens. Prepare to be inspired by this member of Montana’s highest court.

4. Networking. Montana librarians are the best. Truly. Fun-loving, hard-working, inspiring, and smart. It is so educational to talk with other librarians at the conference and share ideas and tips. Or just commiserate on diminishing budgets, difficult board members, etc. The annual conference is our main opportunity to connect with others who do what we do. You will leave feeling recharged after visiting with your colleagues.

Welcome reception and Montana Book Awards. A beautiful public library, delicious food, and awards for Montana books. Enough said. Wednesday starting at 6:00 at Bozeman Public Library.

5. Cates Silent Auction. I’ve heard tell that the Cates Silent Auction is some librarian’s favorite part of the MLA Conference! And we DO get some great baskets and items to bid on. Everyone who buys a ticket has a chance to win! Folks love to scope out all the cool stuff multiple times and buy tickets to support librarian scholarships. Whatever you do, don’t miss the Cates Silent Auction room at conference! Winning tickets will be drawn Friday at 5:00!

6. Programs. Attend as many as you can fit in. There is something for every interest and type of librarian. I am putting in a special plug for the Just Mercy program on Friday, April 13 at 2:45. We’ll hear from Ron Waterman, a Helena attorney, who defended an innocent man and helped get him exonerated. We’ll also be discussing our conference One Read book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. This program will affect you, I guarantee it.

7. Author brunch. Wrapping together crime fiction and recipes, Whitefish attorney and author Leslie Budewitz, will be our entertaining and delicious author brunch speaker on Saturday. Brunch alone is a great reason to get up in the morning but when it is combined with an author who writes books with titles like Assault and Pepper and Killing Thyme, you know it’s going to be a good day!

8. MLA membership meeting. Happening Friday afternoon, right after lunch, please join us to hear about the work of the association. We’ll have resolutions and bylaws changes to vote on, new officer candidates to meet, and lots of updates. Please plan to attend the membership meeting as this is your chance to be informed and offer input regarding the direction of your Montana Library Association.

9. Awards Dinner. If this event doesn’t leave you feeling good about what we do as librarians, nothing will. We are celebrating the work of our fellow librarians who have been nominated to receive awards for their intellectual freedom work, their expertise in advocating for libraries, and the important work they do in their local communities. MLA is a very special organization and we want to recognize those librarians and libraries who have gone the extra mile. Please join us in celebrating our 2018 MLA Award winners at the awards dinner at 6:30 Friday evening.

10. MLA Librarians Got Talent! The absolute #1 must do at conference is attend the Sheila Cates Fundraising event! These events are always a good time and I know this year’s event will rank as one of the greatest of all time because it’s all about YOU and your talents. If you have never gone to a Cates event, trust me—you will love it. Come to one and you’ll be hooked. This much fun is barely legal! And all money raised by the event goes to scholarships for Montana librarians seeking further education. Please support our efforts and come to the Cates event Thursday night starting at 8:00 p.m. Getting involved with the Cates Committee is one of the smartest things I ever did in the library world.

11. Some thanks. OK, everybody, got your game plan for our 2018 conference? I hope so! Speaking of our conference, I would be remiss not to say a very heartfelt thank you to your hard-working and talented conference local arrangements coordinators Lois Dissly, Pam Henley, and Rachel Mclain who have done so much to make this a remarkable and memorable conference. And a huge thumbs up to the amazing organizational skills of Debbi and Doug Kramer. They make the officers’ work easy. Can’t wait to see you all in Bozeman. Time for some library highs indeed!

[ Lisa can be reached at ]

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News From MLA:

- Mary Guthmiller brings us our Annual Membership Meeting Notice

- "Librarians Got Talent" needs YOU, writes Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson

- Have Something to submit to the Cates Silent Auction?

- You really, really ought to come to the Sheila Cates Scholarship Event, writes 2017 beneficiary Kendra Mullison

- Are you a runner? Cara Orban is making plans for running at MLA

- Debbi Kramer has word on how to buy a nifty MLA tee shirt ...

- As well as the latest on the MLA Amazon Smile situation

- John Finn brings us the latest legislative news and notes

News From Our Affiliates:

- Carmen Clark has the latest on PNLA's upcoming conferences

- There's going to be a PNLA Scholarly Paper Competition, adds Samantha Schmehl Hines

- Jo Flick checks in about the Montana Information Literacy Alliance (MILA)

- Laura Tretter is launching a new Technical Services Interest Group!

- The Montana Legal Services Association has some thoughts on bullying, writes Alex Clarke

- Jennifer Birnel updates us on changes and additions at the Digital Public Library of America

- Natasha Hollenbach of the Montana Historical Society has news on new website content

- The Missoula Art Museum invites you to some events funded via an IMLS grant, writes Bethany O'Connell

Features (from ALA):

- Misty Copeland will be our 2018 National Library Week Honorary Chair!

- Are you looking to make connections during School Library Month in 2018?

Programs, Promotions, & Projects:

- Heather Johnstone brought zombie fingers & worm punch to Rosebud County Library

- The MSU Billings Public Library is commemorating 50 years since Vietnam, writes Cheryl Hoover


- Submissions open for the June 2018 issue

- Glacier County Library St Patrick's displays

- Co-Editor wanted!

- Some Kudos to Montana History Magazine, among others

- A quick goodbye from Kendra Mullison

- April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, writes Alice Kestler


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Annual Membership Meeting Notice

by Mary Guthmiller, MLA Secretary & Treasurer

The 2018 Annual Membership meeting of the Montana Library Association will be held Friday, April 13, 2018 from 1:05-2:30 p.m. in the Hyalite Room of the Gran Tree Inn in Bozeman. All members are encouraged to attend either in person or through our virtual option.

All members are invited to submit agenda items prior to the meeting (by Friday, April 6, 2018) to: Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson at

A copy of the draft minutes from the 2017 membership meeting can be found at:

Notification pursuant to Article V, Sec. 3 of MLA Bylaws:

Notice of meeting. Written notice of membership meetings stating the place, day, and hour of such meeting shall be given not less than ten, or more than ninety, days before the date of such meetings.

The mission of the Montana Library Association is to develop, promote, and improve library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

[ You can reach Mary by phone at 406.994.4642 or by email at ]

We Need YOU for the 2018 MLA "Librarians Got Talent" Show!

by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, President of the Montana Library Association

Do you play a musical instrument? Sing in the shower? Balance spinning plates while cooking dinner? Recite poetry to your cats?

Then show off that talent to your MLA friends and colleagues!

The Cates Committee is hosting an MLA Librarians Got Talent show for this year's Sheila Cates fundraising event at the annual MLA Conference in Bozeman. The fun starts Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m. in the Hyalite Room at the GranTree.

We have some great acts in place BUT WE NEED MORE! Please consider sharing your talent for a great cause. All money raised at the talent show goes to scholarships for Montana librarians. Individual and group acts are welcome. Please consider participating. E-mail Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, Cates Committee Chair, at, to let her know your talent. Think outside the box. I KNOW you have a talent...

The show will take place in short acts and will include an emcee and a house band. For those not interested in displaying your talent on stage, you can share your talent for picking this best act! Everyone in attendance gets to vote! Please come support the Cates Scholarship.

PRIZES, FUN, AND A GREAT TIME! MLA Librarians Got Talent! See you on stage or in your seats--the choice is up to you!

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[ You can reach Lisa at ]

Calling for items for the 2018 Cates Silent Auction at conference!

also by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, President of the Montana Library Association

Got a basket, got a box?

To fill with jewelry, wine, or socks?

How about a plant in a pretty pot?

Or maybe it's chocolate that you've got.

Get your colleagues, get your mates

To put together a basket for Cates!

Calling for donations to the 2018 Sheila Cates Silent Auction at the MLA Conference!

The Sheila Cates Silent Auction room is a very popular destination at conference because we always have great stuff to bid on! In past years, libraries and librarians have been very generous in donating marvelous stuff. We are hoping this year will be no exception. Do you have a craft item, art piece, or library novelty that you would be willing to share? We'd love to have it!

We're specifically calling on libraries and federations--band together to put a basket together for Cates. All proceeds from the auction go to scholarships for Montana librarians. We've been able to raise over $2,000 from the silent auction each of the last few years. That is because you all have been donating terrific stuff that others want to bid on. Keep it up!

If you can donate to the auction, please send me a description of your item. Thank you in advance for your generosity, wonderful librarians!

On behalf of the Cates Scholarship Committee,

Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, Chair

[ You can reach Lisa at ]

Come to Cates!

by Kendra Mullison, North Lake County Public Library District

Others in this newsletter have written at length and quite persuasively about why you ought to attend not just the Montana Library Association's annual conference but also its headline Sheila Cates Scholarship Event, and I'm here to throw one more straw on the proverbial camel's back in hopes of crushing your resistance. After all, as one of this last year's scholarship recipients, I will not only be there but I will be painting ... watercolor? In front of a live audience?

If for no other reason than to help me figure out how I was convinced to something so potentially (probably) thoroughly embarrassing, please come and enjoy an evening of Montana's greatest library talents ... and me, holding a paintbrush, frozen in terror. All of my thoroughly realistic fear aside, this event is always a lot of fun.

Case in point? Last year's "Where in the World is Sheila Cates?" Geography Bee. Lisa Mecklenberg-Jackson has kindly offered up some of her candid shots from the 2017 Sheila Cates Scholarship Event.

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( Some of the Cates Committee members pose for a photo. From left, Anita Scheetz, Mary Guthmiller, Jim Kammerer, Mary Anne Hansen, Della Dubbe, and Lisa Mecklenberg-Jackson. Photo courtesy of Lisa. )

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( The winning team from the Geography Bee was the Happy Wanderers! Left to right, the team was made up of Anne Kish, Aaron LaFromboise, Susanne Caro, Pam Henley, and Cherie Heser. Susanne's boyfriend can be seen in back. Photo by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson. )

Last year's event featured rounds of Montana geography questions, as well as Montana library-specific questions and international geography questions! It was emceed by the amazing Dale Alger and, along with the silent auction which followed it, brought in the money which has seen me through two semesters of my Library Science degree. My studies would not have been possible without your generous support, and I know that there are many other equally deserving librarians who are in the same situation, and whose lives will be changed for the better as a result of your participation.
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( Half of the fun of a Cates fundraising event is consorting with your fellow librarians. here, plotting occurs. Photo by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson. )

Come plot with us! I mean, come enjoy a night full of truly amazing acts! I'll be there too, and I look forward to celebrating Montana's past, present, and future librarians with you.

[ You can reach Kendra at ]

Attention Runners!

by Cara Orban, Montana State Library
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( Stock image by Pavel1964 )

Hi, librarian runners/runner librarians,

I'm kind of done with hotel treadmills. Any of you up for an early morning run on the streets of Bozeman on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday at MLA? Pace, distance, and the definition of "early morning" are so totally negotiable. Please respond if you're interested and let's see if we can get agroup together.

PS, bonus points for Bozeman runners who can advise on the best in-town routes (whether or not you choose to run with us).

[ You can reach Cara at ]

MLA Tee Shirts!

by Debbi Kramer, Montana Library Association Executive Director
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The t-shirts are “Gilden” brand Adult Unisex 100% preshrunk cotton. MLA is purchasing them through Joann’s Fabric.

For those of you attending conference please pre-order the t-shirt with the following information: Size, Montana Color choice, Diagonal or Straight Librarian lettering. T-shirts are $15 for conference pick-up and $20 if you would like to order one to be mailed to you.

Because of the small margin of profit, MLA will not be offering them to be purchased through PayPal.

After conference Montana Librarians will be able to order them online for $20 and they will be mailed out.

[ You can reach Debbi at ]

Amazon Smile Reminder

by Debbi Kramer, Montana Library Association Executive Director
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Through the 3rd quarter of the fiscal year, I am pleased to announce that MLA has received $463.60 from Amazon in contributions through the AmazonSmile program. If you have signed up to donate to MLA through your Amazon purchases, please do so today. Follow this link ( and a portion of all your purchases will be donated to MLA.

Thank you for your help.

[ You can reach Debbi at ]

Legislative News & Notes

by John Finn, Lewis & Clark Libraries

Greetings MLA members. It has been a seemingly quiet legislative off-year. State revenue is up, oh wait, maybe it’s not. We will have to wait and see. And if it’s up, does that mean anything to us?

The MLA Government Affairs Committee has taken the opportunity to make plans for proposals at the MLA Business meeting in April and MLA Board retreat in June to be ready for the next legislative session.

The Committee will soon reform to develop strategies at a meeting at MLA with Nanette Gilbertson, our MLA lobbyist. We will all work together with Nanette on possible areas of emphasis for the coming legislative year, including how active we want to be on topics such as:

  • Net Neutrality,
  • ESSA,
  • State Library Budget,
  • Revenue Enhancements,
  • Government Documents and GPO,
  • discussion on a possible “bathroom bill” ... and
  • the Six Mill Levy

We also know that we will be asked to participate closely with the State Library on an upcoming PR campaign. It is time for us to identify areas and issues for MLA to demonstrate our considerable skill to influence legislation.

During last year’s legislative session, the Government Affairs Committee was very flexible and ready to swing quickly into action when the time arose to make calls and personal appeals to their legislators. The Committee will have an equally strong role for this coming year’s session.

Your Government Affairs Committee members are:

  • Matt Beckstrom, Lewis & Clark Library
  • Connie Behe, ImagineIf Libraries
  • Pamela Benjamin, TRAILS Coordinator - Montana State University Library
  • Honore Bray, Missoula Public Library
  • Ann Ewbank, Montana State University
  • John Finn, Lewis & Clark Library
  • Susan Gregory, Bozeman Public Library
  • Anita Scheetz, Fort Peck College
  • Gavin Woltjer, Billings Public Library

In early May of this year the Montana delegation, consisting of Jennie Stapp - State Librarian, Ann Ewbank - Montana State University, Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson - MLA President, Ann Kish - State Library Commission, and myself will be making the trek to Washington, D.C. for this year’s National Library Legislative Day. While there, we will all participate in legislative training presented by ALA’s Washington Office staff, and learn about the likelihood of the Trump Administration passing a favorable budget.

John Finn, Chair - MLA Government Affairs Committee

[ If you wish to share your thoughts on any issues, contact John at ]

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by Carmen Clark, Bozeman Public Library

The 2018 PNLA conference will be held in Kalispell August 1st through August 3rd at the Red Lion Kalispell. Conference organizers are working hard at sifting through all of the conference proposals we received. We received so many great proposals. It looks like this will be a great conference. Some of you might remember Shark Rodeo from the PNLA conference in Helena a few years back. We are happy to report that they will be the entertainment for the Corks & Cans event during PNLA.

Registrations for the conference will be open shortly, please check back on our website for more information on that:

The conference rotation for future PNLA conferences is as follows:

  • 2019 Washington
  • 2020 Alaska (this will be a joint conference with AKLA)

[ You can reach Carmen at ]

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First annual PNLA Scholarly Paper Competition

by Samantha Schmehl Hines, Associate Dean for Instructional Resources & Library Director, Peninsula College

Thanks to a generous sponsorship provided by EBSCO, the Pacific Northwest Library Association is pleased to announce its first annual Scholarly Paper Competition! Submit your paper to by May 15. The three best papers as chosen by the PNLA Quarterly Editorial Board will compete during the PNLA Conference in Kalispell August 1-3 for a prize of $100, announced at the Membership Lunch. Competitors will be notified by June 4th.

Submission guidelines:

Papers must be 3-10 pages in length, and should be based on original research on a specific problem offering a specific solution. Topics can include locally implemented experiences (either successful or not), theoretical models, statistical studies, or state of the art reviews. While formal research methods aren’t required, a clear position or concept is. Generalities should be avoided. Preliminary work on a research project is welcome within these guidelines. Copyright will remain with the authors, and the papers will be published in the Quarterly if desired.

[ Questions? Want to see the scoring rubric? Please contact Samantha Hines, PNLA Quarterly editor, at ]


by Jo Flick, Montana State Library
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( Information Literacy By Ewa Rozkosz via Flickr (CC-BY-SA) )

  • Are you curious about Information Literacy?
  • Are you supporting your students or patrons on how to protect their privacy online, how to spot “fake news,” or how to seek out quality resources so they can broaden their knowledge?
  • Are you learning about or implementing ACRL or AASL standards?
  • Do you want to network with other librarians around this important topic?
  • Are you looking for an opportunity to jazz up your involvement with MLA and take some first steps toward leadership in our professional community?

Come to the Montana Information Literacy Alliance (MILA) interest group meeting at Montana Library Association Annual Conference April 12th and get involved. We’ll review the work of this group so far, and organize for our activities in the year ahead. We’re looking for folks ready to work in small teams on developing content, planning professional development, or supporting library programming. This is a relatively new interest group where public, academic and school libraries work side-by-side.

Join us! Thursday, April 12th 4:20 - 5:15 pm in the ASPEN Room, Best Western Gran Tree, Bozeman.

[ You can reach Jo at ]


Technical Services Interest Group Meeting

by Laura Tretter, Montana Historical Society

Come to the Technical Services Interest Group meeting in Bozeman on Thursday April 12 from 4:20 - 5:15 pm to help us share Montana’s heritage by gathering the hidden materials in our libraries.

The Technical Services IG has begun work to collect information about Montana materials that are in our libraries but remain undiscovered simply because they require original cataloging. We will discuss practical details on collecting and maintaining an inventory, training, and getting the work done.

Be a part of this important project to provide access to unique and valuable Montana content now and in the future. The meeting is open to all who are interested. Look for more information coming soon.

[ You can reach Laura at ]


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( Image courtesy of )


by Alex Clarke, Montana Legal Services Association

Did you know that bullying at school is against the law? The Bully-Free Montana Act protects students enrolled in public K-12 school from physical harm, property damage, or reasonable fear of either. The law requires that victim first use all administrative solutions at the school. There are other tools that can help protect children from bullying at public school. Read our bullying article at to learn more.

For more information, visit the Crime Victims section on If you can't find the information you want, click on the LiveHelp button. Or, apply for help from Montana Legal Services Association at or 1-800-666-6899.

[ You can reach Alex by calling 406.543.8343 ext. 220 ]


Announcing the Launch of our New Website

by Jennifer Birnel, Montana Memory Project Director at the Montana State Library
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The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to unveil its all-new redesigned website, now live at Created in collaboration with renowned design firm Postlight, DPLA’s new website is more user-centered than ever before, with a focus on the tools, resources, and information that matter most to DPLA researchers and learners of all kinds. In a shift from the former site structure, content that primarily serves DPLA’s network of partners and others interested in deeper involvement with DPLA can now be found on DPLA Pro.

The new site combines the same core features and functionality that veteran users will recognize with new tools developed to enhance the DPLA experience for new and returning users alike. Highlights include:

  • Browse by Topic. Browse by Topic is an all new resource designed to showcase the breadth and variety of content in DPLA without having to do a search. Topics such as Photography, Baseball, and the American Civil War each include lists of hand-selected items organized around specific themes that highlight materials from DPLA’s partner collections. DPLA plans to continue to expand this feature with new topics in the future.

  • User guides. Educators, family researchers, lifelong learners, scholars, and developers will now find customized guides designed to orient them to the most relevant DPLA resources and provide tips for how to use DPLA.

  • Search and Discovery. Researchers can now preview the same great content from our partners’ collections with larger item thumbnails where available. Onitem pages, clear integration of Rights Statements logos provide easy reuse guidelines and the “Cite this item” button generates item-level citations.

  • Primary Source Sets. Educators and students will find a number of small, but powerful updates to the Primary Source Sets, such as a link to share sets directly to Google Classroom, integrating DPLA with this widely-used classroom tool, and easy navigation between sources and teaching guides.

  • Exhibition Design. The revamped DPLA Exhibition design provides improved navigation, allowing users to easily explore these stories of national significance.

In addition to the main site, DPLA Pro now provides organizational information about DPLA as well as a centralized resource for members of DPLA’s partner and collaborator communities and anyone looking to get involved with the work going on at DPLA. DPLA Pro includes extensive resources for and about DPLA’s Hub network and member institutions, but it is not just for DPLA “pros.” DPLA Pro also includes resources for Community Reps sharing DPLA with audiences across the country; developers building new apps with our API; educators looking to learn more about DPLA’s ongoing education projects; and librarians, publishers, and others interested in maximizing access to ebooks. DPLA Pro is the place to explore past and current projects underway at DPLA, such as and Hydra-in-a-Box, and learn more about events including DPLAfest, workshops, and more.

DPLA’s new website represents a significant step forward in DPLA’s core work of connecting people with the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, and museums. Users now have more pathways to discover content in DPLA, better tools at their disposal, and a more clear, streamlined website to facilitate their discovery. DPLA has worked hard to ensure that the new site is fully compliant with accessibility best practices to ensure that all users can access and use the resources in our collections and on our website. DPLA is also powered by its strong and growing network of partners and collaborators, who will also now find an online resource tailored to their needs at DPLA Pro.

Let us know what you think using the feedback button in the lower left corner of the new website!

[ You can reach Jennifer at ]


New Content on Our Website!

by Natasha Hollenbach, Montana Historical Society
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The Montana Historical Society is pleased to announce that new content is available to search and browse on the web site MONTANA NEWSPAPERS.

The Winifred Times is a brand new addition to Montana Newspapers. This digitization project sponsored by The Winifred Museum covers June 22, 1923-July 10, 1936.

The Big Sandy Cultural Fund concluded a second newspaper digitization project, which provides access to The Mountaineer (1921-1936), which is a continuation of The Bear Paw Mountaineer (1911-1921), the subject of their first project.

The Big Horn County Historical Museum in Hardin, Montana has sponsored a project digitizing an additional 15 years of The Hardin Tribune-Herald. With this extension, The Hardin Tribune and The Hardin Tribune-Herald is now available from 1908-1933.

MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, a service of the Montana Historical Society, is freely accessible to all Internet users; no subscriptions or fees are required. To learn about having your local newspaper digitized, contact us at

[ You can reach Natasha at ]


CARES: Catalyzing Access, Research, and Education Solutions

by Bethany O’Connell, Missoula Art Museum
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Funded with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Missoula Art Museum invites artists, collectors, community members, educators, staff, and volunteers of museums, libraries, archives, and other cultural heritage organizations to explore how a new collection facility can spark interdisciplinary collaborations, enhance access to scholarship and educational resources, and improve the care of cultural collections.

CARES events at MAM:

April 23 :

  • Research and Education Design Charrette // 9 A.M. – noon

May 11 :

  • Introduction to Archive Management Workshop // 9 A.M.–noon
  • Physical and Digital Storage Design Charrette // 1–4 P.M.

Design Charrettes are free and open to the public. Workshop seating is limited. Registration required by calling (406)728-0447. Limited travel funds available. For more information, visit CARES.

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( Image : Jacob Lawrence, Seattle Arts Festival, Bumbershoot '76, screen print, MAM Collection, gift, J. Scott Patnode in honor of Stephen Glueckert, 2017. )

[ You can reach Bethany at ]

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Misty Copeland serves as 2018 National Library Week Honorary Chair

courtesy of
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In 2015, Misty was promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, making her the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history.

Misty is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Life in Motion and her 2014 picture book, Firebird, won the Coretta Scott King Book Illustrator Award in 2015. Her new book, Ballerina Body, an instant New York Times Bestseller, published in March 2017.

Misty’s passion is giving back. She has worked with many charitable organizations and is dedicated to giving of her time to work with and mentor young girls and boys. Misty was named National Youth of the Year Ambassador for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in June 2013. In 2014, President Obama appointed Misty to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. And in 2015, she traveled to Rwanda with MindLeaps to help launch its girls program and to establish The Misty Copeland Scholarship.

The National Library Week 2018 celebration will mark the 60th anniversary of the first event, sponsored in 1958.

Celebrations during National Library Week

  • Monday, April 9: State of America's Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2017.

  • Tuesday, April 10: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.

  • Wednesday, April 11: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.

  • Thursday, April 12: Take Action for Libraries Day.

School Library Month 2018 : Making Connections at Your School Library

courtesy of
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In a February 6, 2918 news release Jennifer Habley, Manager of Web Communications at American Association of School Librarians (AASL), reported that Jason Reynolds, author of “Ghost,” “Patina,” “Long Way Down,” and “Miles Morales: Spider-Man,” will serve as the national spokesperson for the 2018 celebration of School Library Month (SLM). Observed in April and sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), School Library Month celebrates school libraries as approachable, equitable, and personalized learning environments necessary for every student’s well-rounded education.

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( Reynolds, in a 2017 image courtesy of )

“It's impossible for me to talk about the importance of the school library without talking about the school librarian,” said Reynolds. “In full disclosure, the library wasn't a place I frequented in school, but if I were in school today I'd practically live there, because there's a good chance the coolest person in the building works where the books are. Not only can the school librarian help to curate a comfortable and welcoming space for all students, not only can they usher them to a vast array of books and reference materials, librarians also usually have the ability to connect with students on a personal level, because, well, they've read the most stories, which makes their potential for empathy and openness ceiling-less.”

For more information, free graphics and activity ideas see


Zombie Fingers and Eyeballs with Worm Punch

by Heather Johnstone, Rosebud County Library
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( Zombie face chocolate pretzels. Photo by Joshua C. Chadd. )

On Monday, March 12th, Rosebud County Library hosted a book signing with Joshua C. Chadd, author of the Brother’s Creed zombie apocalyptic series. We had a variety of people attend the event from late grade school aged kids to teens to adults. Guests enjoyed a lunch of hot dogs made to look like fingers, zombie eyeball grapes, chips and salsa, zombie face chocolate pretzels, and worm punch. The author was entertaining while describing growing up in Alaska and how he became a writer. He also told us about a fantasy series he is working on. The event concluded with the author selling signed copies of his books, “Outbreak”, “Battleborn”, and “Wolf Pack”.

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( Rosebud County Library patrons of all ages recently enjoyed a reading and book signing by Joshua C. Chadd, upper right hand corner, author of the Brother's Creed series. Photograph by Heather Johnstone. )

[ You can reach Heather at ]

Vietnam: 50 Years Later at the MSU Billings Library

by Cheryl Hoover, MSU Billings Library

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( Image courtesy of Used with permission from the MSU Billings Library. )

At MSU Billings, we can always count on our high-caliber faculty members to collaborate with the library to create a series of fun, informative, and free lectures that appeal widely to the general public. This spring, MSUB Library staff worked with faculty members to develop a five lecture series in March and April, 2018 to commemorate the Vietnam War and to recognize the men and women who served. All lectures were scheduled for Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm and open to the public.

The series opened on March 13 with a lecture by MSUB History Professor Dr. Keith Edgerton who examined how Hollywood and documentary filmmakers treated the Vietnam War and how society’s attitudes have evolved. Other lectures included:

  • March 20, “Female Voices of the Vietnam War” by Dr. Melissa Boehm and Dr. Samuel Boerboom, Communication & Theatre Faculty
  • March 27, “The Supreme Court and the First Amendment: From Protests to Symbolic Speech” by Dr. Paul Pope, Social Sciences & Cultural Studies Faculty
  • April 3, “Music of the Vietnam Era...Beyond Protest” by Dr. Mark Fenderson, Dr. Scott Jeppesen, Mr. Doug Nagel, Music Faculty. Accompanied by Adjunct Music Faculty, Stephanie Davis on the piano
  • April 10, “Vietnam Voices” by Mr. Darrell Ehrlick, Billings Gazette Editor and Adjunct Communication & Theatre Faculty.

The wrap-up presentation by Mr. Darrell Ehrlick will include highlights from the popular oral history interviews he conducted with 79 veterans for the Billings Gazette series Vietnam Voices.

We are so pleased with the feedback we have received from the community regarding our lecture series. One of our all-time favorite comments from a frequent lecture attendee: “I schedule my life around Tuesday nights and the lecture series.” This type of feedback makes it all worthwhile!

Be on the lookout for our fall lecture series, which will focus on monsters in history. A list of previous lecture series can be found here.

[ You can reach Cheryl at]


Submissions Open for the June 2018 Issue!

REMINDER: The submission deadline for the April newsletter = May 21. Please email your library news, micro-reviews & photos (with captions & attributions) to Thank You!

Co-Editor Wanted!

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Kendra's two-year appointment is at an end, and we are recruiting a new editor to partner with Alice. This position involves some graphic design, copyediting, and the willingness to learn a new host platform (Smore). An eye for detail is appreciated.

Please contact Kendra at or Alice at for more information about what all is involved, or reach out to MLA Executive Director Debbi Kramer at with any questions or to express your interest in the position.


by Tammy Ryan, Montana Historical Society
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( In 2013 and 2015, Miss Indian America winners reunited at the Sheridan WYO Rodeo to celebrate their shared history and experiences. Pictured here in 2015, front row, left to right: Arlene Wesley (Yakama), MIA 1953; Annita Jo Wolf Black representing her mother, Brenda Bearchum (Northern Cheyenne-Yakama), MIA 1961; Williamette Youpee (Sisseton-Yankton Sioux), MIA 1963; Sharon Ahtone Harjo (Kiowa), MIA 1965; Sarah Johnson Luther (Navajo), MIA 1967; Deana Harragarra Waters (Otoe-Kiowa), MIA 1975. Back row, left to right: 1954 Miss Indian America runner-up Annie Grace Strange Owl (Northern Cheyenne); Jewel Medicine Horse Williams (Crow), secretary to Howard Sinclair. Photo by Gregory Nickerson. )

“Montana The Magazine of Western History” will receive a Western Heritage Literary Award for the Outstanding Magazine Article of 2017 from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on April 14. The awards will be presented in a ceremony to be emceed by actors Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross. Each award winner and inductee receives a Wrangler, an impressive bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback created by Oklahoma artist Harold T. Holden, a 2017 Hall of Great Westerners inductee.

The Montana The Magazine of Western History article winning the award is “All-American Indian Days and the Miss Indian America Pageant” by Gregory Niclerson published in the Summer 2017 issue of “Montana The Magazine of Western History.” This will be the eighth Western Heritage Award for the Montana Historical Society’s magazine.

“This is an extremely prestigious award,” Montana editor Molly Holz said. “Greg’s article has received a lot of attention and we’ve had requests for it from all over the nation.”

Nickerson’s article tells the story of the creation of the All-American Indian Days and the Miss Indian America Pageant at the Sheridan Wyoming Rodeo in the early 1950s. During this period, Indians from reservations in southern and eastern Montana often travelled to Sheridan to shop, yet they faced prejudice in Main Street businesses that refused to serve them. Native people and reform-minded community leaders joined together to create All-American Indian Days and the Miss Indian America Pageant as a site of reconciliation, and these efforts at improving race relations earned Sheridan national recognition. The winners of the Miss Indian America pageant embraced the opportunity to use the honor to promote interracial understanding and American Indian culture.

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( Gregory Nickerson. Photo by Nickerson. )

Nickerson holds a master’s degree in history of the American West from the University of Wyoming. Originally from Big Horn, Wyoming, Nickerson conducted interviews with Miss Indian America organizers and Crow Fair participants as a student at Carleton College and later while curating an exhibit on All-American Indian Days for the Sheridan County Museum. In 2015, he produced the short film “No Indians or Dogs Allowed? Sheridan, Wyoming, and the Miss Indian America Pageant” for Wyoming PBS, which is available on Vimeo.

“This article and award really is a tribute to the Sheridan volunteers and American Indians who put on the Miss Indian America pageant from 1953-1984, and to the local archivists who preserved records of the event,” Gregory Nickerson says. “The expert staff at Montana Historical Society were extremely supportive in bringing this article to fruition, especially editors Molly Holz and Randall Williams, photo editor Laura Ferguson, graphic designer Diane Gleba Hall, and business manager Tammy Ryan.”

[ To read the article, check your local library or visit The magazine is also available for sale from the Montana Historical Society by calling 406.444.4708. ]

Glacier County Library March Displays

A Quick Goodbye

by Kendra Mullison, North Lake County Public Library District

It’s that time—time to make way for new talent! I first joined the FOCUS editorial team back in June of 2015, and in the midst of a great number of changes for the newsletter. First, there was the transition to two co-editors as the workload grew: Caroline Campbell and I partnered up to pick up the torch passed on by Rebekah Kamp. Together, Caroline and I oversaw the second transition, from a static .PDF file to a responsive, web-based service.

And while there have admittedly been some hiccups along the way (i.e. that one time I accidentally deleted an entire newsletter while trying to download a copy for archival purposes, then rebuilt it from scratch in an afternoon) there have also been some great successes. You might have noticed, for example, that we have more content than ever, and Smore’s analytics have tracked an uptick in traffic accessing our issues over the last few years. Alice has had no small part to play in these successes, picking up where Caroline left off after the end of her two-year commitment. I have stayed on for an extra to help provide a sense of continuity and to kick off the third and latest transition, which will see the FOCUS trade out one co-editor each year and therefore build strength upon strength, expertise upon expertise.

Working on the FOCUS has been a great pleasure as well as a great honor. I have had a special opportunity to engage with the work done in our wonderful state by librarians and library-lovers alike. I hope that in some small way I have done them and their collective accomplishments justice. I will miss wrangling with layouts and obsessing over photo credits, a little, but more than that I will miss the process of framing and sharing the work that you all do.

So, here it is, my farewell for the short term. Please look me up anytime in Polson, or drop me a line at You’ve been so good to me, dear readers, and if I don’t see you Bozeman I’ll see you somewhere along life’s storied path.

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( On the path to Grinnell. Photo by Kendra. )

Warm regards,


Outgoing FOCUS Co-Editor

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The Theme for 2018 is Embrace Your Voice

by Alice Kestler, Great Falls Public Library

There are always too many good national celebrations or observances each month for us to cover each one. One of our articles celebrates School Library Month. The month of April, among other observances, is also designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) has resources for this observation. You can download an action kit here <>. One of the points NSVRC makes about sexual assault is that everyone heals in their own way. “Healing and justice look different for every survivor,” they say. “Working with law enforcement can sometimes be threatening or harmful, and sometime survivors aren’t ready for that.” Another of their talking points is that consent is always mandatory. NSVRC defines consent as “voluntary, mutual and can be withdrawn at any time.” These are just two of the information points that can be spread this month.

Check with your local women’s shelter or YWCA to see if others in your community are planning any activities. Even if your community is not planning an event to raise awareness of sexual assault this month you can create a book display and offer some of the flyers that are available at the NSVRC website.

As one of the NSVRC palm cards says:

You can become an agent of change

  • Our words shape the world around us
  • Whether you are showing your support for a survivor or helping someone better understand these issues, your voice is powerful and necessary in this conversation

Let us all embrace and raise our voices on this important topic.

Alice Kestler

FOCUS Co-Editor


Montana Library FOCUS

[ISSN 1076-352X]

The FOCUS is an official publication of the Montana Library Association (MLA), and is published in collaboration with the members which it serves. You can look for new issues six times a year: in February, April, June, August, October, and December. With an online readership of over 500, the newsletter works to reflect, inspire, and give voice to the vibrant communities that exist in and around Montana’s libraries.

The FOCUS welcomes your input! To submit feedback, articles, reviews, inquiries, and ideas—or to place an ad or provide sponsorship—please contact the editorial staff directly:

Alice Kestler (Co-Editor)

In honor of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the 50th anniversary of his death on April 4, I recommend one of my recent favorites: Ta-Nehisi Coates' We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy. In this collection of essays Coates tells what it means to be a person of color in America with grace and candor. He gives a window on living through Barack Obama's presidency and then plunging into its aftermath, all while navigating a complicated personal life. Coates is the author of several other award-winning books, including the memoir Between the World and Me (a 2018 YRCA nominee—there's still time to vote!) and several iconic story arcs of the Black Panther comic franchise. Photo by Debbie Stewart.

Kend Mullison (Outgoing Co-Editor)

You know what makes the perfect read for a busy graduate student? A novella! The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe follows the adventures of a middle-aged academic trying to save the only women's college from scandal and ruin by retrieving an errant student who has run off to the waking world. Both inspired by and a reaction to H.P. Lovecraft, Kij Johnson's little novella is absolutely packed with beautiful sentences and moments which remind me to dream a little bigger (and stranger). Photo by Mallory Witham.

This being my last issue of the FOCUS, you won't see any more editorial recommendations from me here. But you will likely see some micro-reviews! And please, always feel free to reach out and find me at

Please send address changes to: