a newsletter of the Montana Library Association

[ April 2016 Vol. 33 Issue 8 ]


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“Thanks for the Memories....”

by Dawn Kingstad, President of the Montana Library Association

It seems like yesterday, but over eight years ago four other librarians and I trekked across the entire state to a Montana Shared Catalog meeting in Kalispell, MT. It took us nearly a day to arrive at our destination, but the camaraderie in the car made it feel like we had only been traveling a few hours. Although there wasn’t much leg room in the car; it is a trip that I will remember forever. Five of us in a hotel room made it necessary to engage with each other. It was the first time that I had ventured out of my shell and interacted with other library professionals. I was awkward at first, but I was so glad that I made the effort to know my fellow peers. To this day, I still keep in touch with those four special ladies that made me feel welcome and part of the library world. It made me realize how vital it is to make connections with your fellow peers, and why going to conference and meetings isn’t just busy work but vital for us to grow and evolve professionally.

MLA Conference time always holds a special place in my heart. Conference is like my morning cup of coffee. It’s my kick-start that get me inspired to reach new heights in planning for our library’s busiest time of the year, the Summer Reading Program.

I love coming to conference and being inspired by other libraries that are doing amazing things. Last year, I was so impressed with the program Play and Exploration at ImagineIF: Toys, Interactives, and Experiences for Children. Our own staff has been working towards making our library even more family friendly. Participating in this program strengthened my confidence that my own library was heading in the right direction. Toys are not just distractions and noise; they are vital to children’s development. Listening to other libraries share their experiences made me feel more confident in my choice to incorporate toys into our children’s area. I also brought home some great new ideas to try in my own library. I was also very impressed how last year’s training at the MLA Conference helped me understand some of the new ideas that I learned during my fall training at the Ready2Read Rendezvous.

Conference time is also a special time for our family. My son, David’s birthday usually falls on one of the conference days so we call it the “Birthday Extravaganza” trip and my family usually travels with me. The boys consider all of you as their extended family and love to interact with those who venture to the pool area. The boys love when they get to travel with mom because they get to see things that they usually don’t see in their own small home town.

The steering committee and I really tried to make the programs at this year’s conference very applicable to what library professionals are seeing in their daily work schedules. We also know that you are so much more than just a library professional. Many of you wear many hats every day: you may be a parent, a spouse, a volunteer, a board member, etc., and it may be hard for you to get away from your hectic daily schedules. That’s why this year we tried to incorporate more diverse events in case you are bringing your family with you.

At this conference, our keynote speaker, Eric Atherton from FutureSYNC, will be taking a more hands-on approach during the keynote. I hope that you are able to participate. I am looking forward to hear what Eric has to say about Meaningful Influence and Emotional Intelligence and how we can apply these skills to be successful in our daily lives. Library professional are sought out by our community for a myriad of reasons and we need to think quick on our feet. Some may not realize how influential we are to our community.

Looking forward to seeing my library family!

Protect! Empower! Inspire!

Dawn Kingstad

MLA President


Montana Libraries in the News :

  • Paula Beswick: The Bozeman Public Library in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and on KTVM News

News From Our Affiliates :
  • Eileen Wright: News from MPLA
  • Carmen Clark: News from PNLA
  • A (brief) MLA conference notice
  • Tammy Ryan: News from MHS

Programs, Promotions & Projects :
  • Laura Tretter puts out a call to join the Technical Services Interest Group
  • Anita Scheetz publishes a press release on an important traveling exhibition soon to visit James E. Shanley Tribal Library
  • Cindy Christin updates us all on new opportunities at Bozeman Public Library
  • Pam Henley introduces a new Mentor Program
  • Dawn Kingstad welcomes and farewells beloved staff at Glendive and Richey Public Libraries
  • LouAnne Krantz hints at the upcoming deadline for submitting Young Reader's Choice Award ballots
  • Aspen Bassett reports from ImagineIF Libraries on their hard work to help launch the Montana State Library's Ready2Read Texting Program

Marginalia :
  • From the Editors

In celebration of a fantastic February OFFLINE conference, and in anticipation of our equally wonderful annual MLA conference this week in Missoula, your FOCUS editors recorded some of the conference-goers "favorite moments" on site in Lewistown. You will find these sound bytes interspersed throughout the FOCUS, each one a perfect snippet of pith and personality.

- OFFLINE Sound Byte #1 : Keynote Speaker Michael Stephens -

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Michael Stephens is Assistant Professor in the School of Information at San Jose State University, and has written the monthly "Office Hours" column for Library Journal since 2010. His work focuses on emerging trends, tools, and processes driving change in library and information communities.

Both Dr. Stephens' keynote address ("The Hyperlinked Library") and workshop presentation ("Emerging Trends & Emerging Tech") are available in .PDF form to download from the Montana Library Association website (under "Conferences"). You can keep up with Dr. Stephens and his work through his personal website, visitors are greeted with a quote from Stephen Barnes:

"We must never forget that the human heart is at the center of the technological maze...."


Bozeman Public Library Buys a Bookmobile!

submitted by Paula Beswick, Foundation Director for the Bozeman Library Foundation

Bozeman Public Library is making waves in the news this month as it finalizes the acquisition of a new bookmobile, soon to be putting wheels to asphalt in the near future. This major milestone received coverage in both the Bozeman Daily Chronicle ("Library foundation moves forward with Bozeman bookmobile purchase" by Eric Dietrich) on March 19th and on KTVM ("Bookmobile to arrive in Bozeman") in a March 24th interview with Judith Retana. News of the bookmobile's purchase was posted to the Bozeman Public Library Facebook page and was received with great enthusiasm by community members.

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Paula Beswick signs the final paperwork for the Bozeman Library Foundation to purchase the vehicle, above.

For the full 15-second clip, visit the Bozeman Public Library on Facebook.

To read the full original article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, follow this link.

To read a summary of Judith Retana's KTVM coverage, click here.

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- OFFLINE Sound Byte #2 : Pam Henley of the Montana State Library -

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by Jason Greenwald, Bozeman Public Library

Social media content that combines graphics and text is more engaging than text alone. Don’t have Adobe Photoshop or hours of free time to create stunning images? That’s okay! Neither do we. That’s why we’re loving Adobe Post available for the Apple iPhone. (You can use it on an iPad too.)

Using prepackaged designs, users can create high-quality images in 5 minutes or less. If you’re the sort who likes to tweak typography or adjust alignment, Adobe Post gives you the flexibility to alter your creation to your liking.

Final images contain the “#AdobePost” logo in the lower right-hand corner, but give credit where credit is due: this app will help you save time and increase social media engagement without costing a dime. Spread the word!
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Choose a design, the customize it with photos from your camera roll. Tap the Palette button to access numerous preselected color palettes (which you can remix), move elements around, update text, change the font, and tweak just about anything else you please.

(For more information about Adobe Post or this micro review, email Jason Greenwald at

- OFFLINE Sound Byte #3 : Kris Johnson of the Montana State University Library -

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by Eileen Wright, Montana State University Billings Library

Registration is open: MPLA is joining with Colorado Library Association for this year’s joint conference: MPLA/CALCON16. The upcoming conference Innovate, Inspire, Connect, is set for Oct. 20-22, 2016 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colorado. Click HERE to register.

Keynote speakers for the upcoming conference are: Nicolle Davis of Arapahoe Libraries and LJ’s Librarian of the Year, Steven Bell from Temple University, and Donna Scheeder, President of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

Are you member of MPLA? Remember if you need money to attend the MPLA conference or another professional conference, workshop, seminar, or training? Professional Development money is available for MPLA members, which can be used towards all of these. For full details, follow the links at the website to: Committees >> Professional Development >> Grants.

Not yet a member of MPLA?

one note more from Eileen Wright, Montana State University Billings Library

I have had the great pleasure to serve as your MPLA representative, and awhile back I sent a message out about what it meant to be a member of MPLA. I stated that MPLA is an organization that can let your personal strengths shine even stronger. It is an organization where you gain wonderful friends, who can give you new perspectives and become your life-long friend.

These are the same reasons to be a member of MLA.

You know that you can call on our library community to express your joys and seek advice on concerns. You know we may be miles apart in our grand state, but when we come together for conferences, meetings, gatherings, you are among some amazing librarians who you can call friend.

Being a member of MLA is opening the door to a new neighbor and discovering the joys, laughter, and support that they can give you through your professional and sometimes personal life.

Enjoy the ride . . . .

- OFFLINE Sound Byte #4 : Jessie Goodwin of the Montana State Library -

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by Carmen Clark, PNLA Representative, Bozeman Public Library

Join us at the Carriage House Inn for the 2016 PNLA conference. Registration coming soon!

CALL FOR Proposals

2016 PNLA Conference: Networking Across Borders, in Calgary, AB

You are invited to attend the 2016 PNLA Conference in Calgary, Alberta, August 3-5th 2016. The conference will be held at the Carriage House Inn, located in Calgary, Alberta. This city of one million makes an art form out of contradiction: Here prairie collides with mountain, cowboy charm meets urban electricity, and the world comes to be swept off its feet by the sheer exhilaration of the Canadian Rockies. Come see what makes Calgary one of the top destinations in Canada.

Questions? Contact the committee at

Important Dates:

  • Registration opens: April 18
  • Early Registration deadline: June 27
  • Regular registration deadline: Aug 3
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- OFFLINE Sound Byte #5 : Jo Flick of the Montana State Library -

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Hope to see you there!


by Tammy Ryan of the Montana Historical Society

We at the Montana Historical Society are incredibly excited about our magazine's online index. We're so excited, in fact, that we commissioned MHS Publications Program Christy Eckerle to write an article about it for Montana: The Magazine of Western History, and which we have permission to include here as well. If you have a hard copy of our Winter 2015 issue on hand, you will find the article in its original form on page 67.

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(For more information about this article, the Montana Historical Society, and Montana: The Magazine of Western History, contact Tammy Ryan at

- OFFLINE Sound Byte #6 : Lauren McMullen of the Montana State Library -

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Join the Technical Services Interest Group!

by Laura Tretter, Montana Historical Society Research Center

Mark your schedule for the Technical Services Interest Group meeting on Thursday April 7 at 3:45 PM, where an OCLC trainer will present a short online demo of WorldShare Record Manager, the future of cataloging in OCLC. This product is currently in limited release, but it’s not too soon to take a look and start learning. If you are not able to attend the live MLA session, contact Laura Tretter at for information on how call in or access a recording of the demo. After the demo be sure to stay around to connect with like-minded colleagues and relax a bit after a full conference day.

(If you have other technical services training topics or ideas contact Laura Tretter at

James E. Shanley Tribal Library selected to host traveling exhibition about Native concepts of health and illness

by Anita Scheetz, James E. Shanley Tribal Library at Fort Peck Community College

Poplar, MT — James E. Shanley Tribal Library has been selected in a competitive application process to host Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness, a traveling exhibition to U.S. libraries.

Native Voices explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. Stories drawn from both the past and present examine how health for Native People is tied to community, the land and spirit. Through interviews, Native People describe the impact of epidemics, federal legislation, the loss of land, and the inhibition of culture on the health of Native individuals and communities today.

As one of 104 grant recipients selected from across the country, James E. Shanley Tribal Library will host the traveling exhibition for a six-week loan during its tour of the United States from February 2016 to June 2020. James E. Shanley Tribal Library will also receive a $250 programming grant, virtual training and publicity materials.

“We are so pleased to bring to National Library of Medicine’s fascinating exhibition to the Fort Peck Reservation,” said Anita Scheetz, Library Director, James E. Shanley Tribal Library, Poplar. “We hope the Native People in our community will take pride in the exhibition, and that all visitors will enjoy learning about these powerful concepts.”

Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness was displayed at the NLM in Bethesda, Maryland, from 2011 to 2015. To learn more and view content from the exhibition, visit

The exhibit is now up at the Library. The exhibit will be available from February 8 through April 1, 2016.

There will be health related programs offered during March.

Here is the schedule:

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About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About the National Library of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, has been a center of information innovation since its founding in 1836. The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe. It also supports and conducts research, development, and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology. In addition, the Library coordinates a 6,000-member National Network of Libraries of Medicine that promotes and provides access to health information in communities across the United States.

(For information about any or all of the programs or the exhibit, call James E. Shanley Tribal Library in Poplar at 768-6340, or email Anita at

- OFFLINE Sound Byte #7 : LaVonne Limpus-Jurack of Lewistown Public Library -

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What's Next at Bozeman Public Library

by Cindy Christin, Bozeman Public Library


The Bozeman Public Library is excited about our new service called Freegal Music. With a Bozeman Library card, you can download 3 songs a week to your permanent collection and stream 3 hours a day. Freegal offers download or streaming access to more than 9 million songs, including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists. In total the collection is comprised of music from over 28,000 labels with music that originates in over 80 countries. There is no software to download, and there are no digital rights management restrictions. Apps are available for Apple as well as Android.


The Children’s Room at the Bozeman Public Library is planning a series of programs which focus on families with children entering kindergarten in the fall. Weekly storytimes will include special emphasis on the skills that are helpful for kids starting school, using the Montana Early Learning Standards, in addition to our great read-aloud stories, songs, and activities. Our staff will continue to tell parents about our statewide Ready2Read text program geared to parents of 4-year-olds. Simple text messages are sent three times each week by texting “signup” to 406-204-3583. The Library also plans to work with area museums, libraries, and schools, offer Kinder Camp this summer, create a model kindergarten classroom in the Children’s Room, and hold a special celebration at the end of the summer for all kids entering kindergarten.

(For more information, call 582-2404.)

Public Library Directors – Be a Mentor! Get a Mentor!

by Pam Henley of the Montana State Library

Are you a new public library director with questions? Are you a knowledgeable director with lots of experience and resources to share? Then here’s an opportunity for you! I attended the Summer Leadership Institute last summer, which requires commitment to completing a project. Working with MLA, I’ve developed a Mentor Program. Experienced directors will be matched with those newer to the job, to offer guidance and support when needed. New directors will have someone to call on when they have questions or concerns.

While the State Library staff is always available when you have consulting questions, it’s sometimes easier to talk to a peer who has dealt with the same issue or had a similar situation. The Mentor Program offers the opportunity for increased understanding and collaboration to all participants, professional development, and can help encourage future library leaders. Interested? Contact me directly, check the MLA website for information and application forms, and plan to attend the mentor session at MLA (Friday at 2 PM).

(You can reach Pam Henley at

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New Faces, Fond Farewells in Glendive

by Dawn Kingstad, Glendive Public Library


We are so excited that Wyn Reimann has joined our team. Wyn is just the right fit for our Richey Public Library. Wyn has been working hard to spruce up the library, and her daughter Cassie has a smile that brings the patrons in to say "hello!"


The Glendive Public Library was so lucky to find our new Programming and Events Coordinator, Kaity Arndt. She was the perfect fit and the patrons just loved coming to Miss Kaity's Story-time. Her husband works for the the railroad and she and her family had to relocate. We wish them the best, and we will miss Kaity and her family.

- OFFLINE Sound Byte #8 : Lynn Puckett of Billings Public Library -

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REMINDER: Get Your YRCA Votes in by April 15!

by LouAnne Krantz, Montana YRCA Representative

The Young Reader's Choice Awards (YRCA) are special among book awards in large part because they reflect the tastes and interests of teen readers who cast votes for their own personal favorites. And it's easy for libraries to sponsor the YRCA voting process! Most of the work has already been done for you: voting information and ballots, posters, contact information, and FAQs are available through PNLA's dedicated YRCA webpage--and of course, you can always contact me, your state YRCA representative, for more information and resources. I'd love to see more Montana libraries participate in raising awareness about YRCA and in collecting votes.

Every ballot counts--and all ballots MUST be received by April 15 to be counted.

(You can reach LouAnne at

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- OFFLINE Sound Byte #9 : Nancy Hatfield of Bozeman Public Library -

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The app in question is "MobileCirc."

For more information on the app, you can visit the SirsiDynix website here.

Ready 2 Read Marketing Success at ImagineIF Libraries

by Aspen Bassett, ImagineIF Libraries Kalispell

Since October 2015, the Montana State Library has provided the Ready 2 Read text program as a means for parents and caregivers to help preschoolers build early literacy skills. Three times a week, participants receive texts with helpful prompts that help prepare children for school. These short texts provide opportunities for the caregivers and children to read, sing, talk, play and write together. One such text said “To ease your child into K, help him learn 5 shapes- circle, square, triangle, rectangle, heart. Today, ask him to pick 2. Find them in a book or your house!”

ImagineIF Libraries display Ready 2 Read bookmarks and cards with the information for interested patrons to take home. During our weekly storytimes, parents frequently expressed interest in the program. However, we wanted to do more. So we reached out to our community Health Services clinic, a division of Flathead City-County Health Department, and launched a special promotion. During the month of January, children getting their routine vaccination shots also received a free snack from ImagineIF Libraries which included information about the Ready 2 Read program. In that month, 50 parents signed up for Ready 2 Read texting in Flathead County, compared to the 13 which signed up in February after the end of the promotion.

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“Research shows that children who start kindergarten armed with a set of early literacy skills not only succeed in school but also in life,” said Sara Groves, the project director. The Ready 2 Read texting program is based on research developed by Stanford University that found if parents of preschoolers received text messages focusing on developing early literacy skills such as vocabulary, patterns and sound recognition, those kids scored significantly higher in kindergarten assessments.

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Not only does it increase early literary skills, but this program also encourages a closer relationship between caregiver and child. The weekly texts offer new ways for them to spend time together without spending money or causing stress through major planning. One regular grandparent from the ImagineIF Storytime program expressed his excitement over the texts as they provided fresh conversation starters between his granddaughter and himself.

You can sign up to receive weekly text message tips by simply sending “SIGNUP” to 406.204.3583 to get started.

(For more information about ImagineIF's implementation of the Ready2Read texting program, you can contact Aspen Bassett at To learn more about this phenomenal Montana State Library resource, email Sara Groves at

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A Few Words From Your Editors

Dear Montana Library Friends,

Sometimes, a touch of disaster is all that it takes to highlight how truly special Montana libraries and the people who love them are. Those of you who attended OFFLINE in Lewistown this year probably heard rumors about two poor travelers stranded in Rogers Pass on the way to the conference, and I have the privilege of having been one of those travelers. I say privilege because--despite the blowing snow and the creeping chill setting in as we waited for a tow into Great Falls--I was rescued by my fellow librarians.

A single phone call to notify my library director of our misadventure sparked a chain reaction and a series of selfless offers to get us to safety, then to Lewistown, and ultimately back home to Polson after the conference--all at the expense of the comfort and convenience of other OFFLINE-goers. Luckily, the Story Shuttle was easily fixed and together my fellow traveler and I arrived at the Lewistown Public Library to be greeted by a chorus along the lines of "You're here!" and "You made it!" and "You're just in time for your own presentation!"

OFFLINE was, for me, a series of favorite moments:

  • riding shotgun in a tow truck at sunset listening to the driver share his love for Cheryl Strayed's Wild and his daughter's passion for literature;
  • enjoying an unexpected detour and meeting new people along the way;
  • reconnecting with far-flung librarians I usually only "see" by email;
  • listening to others share the truly inspiring work they're doing to better integrate technology into library service, and bearing personal witness to the fact that they do indeed keep the human heart beating at the center of Montana's diverse, innovative, and compassionate library community.

The best part of OFFLINE was not, in the end, the most incredible breakfast spread of bagels and cream cheese I've ever seen. It was the feeling of something falling into place, of knowing that what we do "at home" feeds into a larger movement and that both our struggles and our successes are in sync with what's happening statewide. It was a reminder that we do our best work when we do it together.

Which brings me to this issue. Caroline and I have been partners in crime now for several issues of the FOCUS and have seen it through an intense period of transformation. We make quite a team, and her absence this issue as she takes some leave underscores just how much value she adds to this newsletter. Any gaps in the quality or content of this month's issue are entirely my own fault--and as always, we are eager to hear your feedback and ideas for how to improve in the future.

It was an honor to be with you in Lewistown, and I look forward to seeing many of you again in Missoula this week ... where I hope to collect yet more sound bytes and celebrate this phenomenal community with you in person!

- Kendra (& Caroline)

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:

Kendra Mullison (Co-Editor)

North Lake County Public Library District
Please send address changes to:

Debbi Kramer (Executive Director)

Montana Library Association
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