a newsletter of the Montana Library Association

Big image

[ December 2017 Vol. 35 Issue 6 ]


by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, President of the Montana Library Association
Big image

( GFPL Holiday display. Photo by Debbie Stewart )

Q. What do you get when you cross a turkey with a centipede?

A. Lots of drumsticks!

Q. Why didn’t the turkey eat dessert?

A. He was stuffed!

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving. Mostly because I love to eat! It’s the one holiday where one can eat without guilt. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie, turkey. I think it is all just delicious! Speaking of turkeys, this fall we are experiencing a unique experience in the neighborhood where I live in Missoula. We have a very spirited group of wild turkeys roaming the ‘hood! There must be 30 of them strolling the streets at various times. And they are LOUD! Quite interesting and entertaining—these wild turkeys on a city street. I did a little research and learned that while domestic turkeys can’t fly, wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour. Wild turkeys can also run up to 25 miles per hour! I have yet to see the neighborhood turkeys run or fly, but I’ll be ready when they do. Besides serving as the holiday for eating, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give thanks for the good things in our lives. One of the things that is great in my world and that I am very thankful for is Montana librarians. Such a fun, clever, helpful, and inspiring group. You do such good work for the citizens of our state.

Happy Holidays to all of you and thank you to all of Montana’s wonderful librarians for the important work you do!

[ Lisa can be reached at ]


News From MLA :

- John Finn: Legislative News & Notes

- Mary Guthmiller has news about the MLA Fall Board Meeting

- Library Organizations Unite for Progress, write Gavin Woltjer and Anne Kish

- Kathy Mora wants you to Save the Date for Offline

- Debbi Kramer has updates on the 2018 MLA Conference

- It's time to nominate for the annual MLA awards, Carly Delsigne reminds us

News From Our Affiliates :

- PNLA is coming to Kalispell & more news courtesy of Carmen Clark

- Jessica Edwards has word on Montana State Library Cards

- Some MSL Training Save the Dates from Joann Flick

- MSU Library is hosting a 2018 Open House 2018—and you're invited, says Jan Zauha

- Mary Ann George traveled to the Alberta Association of Library

Technicians’ Annual Conference earlier this year & has some thoughts

Features :

- Kendra Mullison writes about some fond farewells (& more) at North Lake County Public Library District in Polson

- Tracy Cook has more retirement news from the Montana State Library

- Bitterroot author Janice Mineer unpacks what it means to write with a sense of place

- Librarian Mark Wetherington hikes Washington

- Natasha Hollebach wants to share some thoughts on Montana Newspapers Online

- Susie McIntyre has news about the MontanaLibrary2Go RFI

Programs, Promotions & Projects :

- Jonna Underwood threw a Banned Books Week celebration

- Jude Smith has some thoughts on celebrating native culture

- Children’s Festival of the Book made some waves, writes Cindy Christin

- Angela Archuleta colored outside the lines (in a good way!)

- Patricia Spencer reports on Lewis & Clark Library's "Girls Who Code" event

Marginalia :

- Submissions Open for February

- Recovering From Identity Theft

- FOCUS - Publication Standards and Guidelines (Annual Posting)

- Editorial Notes: On a Hard-Won Year

To view past issues or download PDF versions of the newsletter,

please visit:

Big image


Big image

Government Affairs Committee News and Notes: The very special “Special Session Edition.”

by John Finn, Lewis and Clark Library

Even though the Montana Legislature just ended a Special Session where they tried to fix the budget mess created by falling revenues and a devastating fire season, it may be best to look ahead. Not back. Perhaps it is best to look toward the 2019 Legislative session and the midterm elections instead of reviewing what happened at the Capitol in November.

The future will bring most of us brighter news. During the 2019 Legislative session we will focus our energy on championing the Montana State Library by rallying our support around new revenue sources. We can add our voices to the many citizens affected by this year’s terrible budget decisions. Those decisions brought funding cuts to the State Library, our friends at the Montana Historical Society, Montana public libraries, as well as many other social service agencies. We can emphasize to our legislators just how important and vital our services are to the people of Montana, and encourage them to find ways to strengthen our tax base. We can take every opportunity to introduce ourselves and our cause to US Senate candidates when they show up to shake hands in our towns. We can invite those same candidates to our Annual Conference. We can be on guard if a ballot referendum supporting the idea of bathroom use based on gender makes it to the ballot. And if it doesn’t show up on the ballot, be aware of what we will do if it comes up again in the 2019 session.

We have some time to begin planning for the midterms and for the 2019 session. Interim session for 2019 has already begun. The MLA board will have to identify our priorities for the next legislative year. If you have questions or concerns, please contact a Board member or your Government Affairs Chair.

To recap what happened at the Special Session, I will say that no further damage was done to libraries in the State of Montana. The Governor went into the session with the stated desire to protect the State Library and the Historical Society from any further budget cuts and that did indeed happen. No further cuts were incurred by either agency. However, the Governor chose not to veto a bill that will make cuts in HB2 permanent to the State Library’s budget. Their base budget will now begin at the level reached after the cuts in HB2 and SB261 were passed. MLA will fight hard to help restore the funds, and more importantly positions, that MSL lost in this past session.

The per capita/per square mile funds that public libraries lost as part of HB261, are still gone for this and next Fiscal Years, but will return to us in FY 2020. Those funds were never part of a discussion during the Special Session.

If you wish to share your thoughts on this weighty issue, please do not hesitate to tell me what you think.

[ You can reach John at He is Chair of the MLA Government Affairs Committee ]

Your MLA Board is Hard at Work!

by Mary Guthmiller, Montana State University Library
Big image

( MLA Board members at the fall meeting. Photo by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson. )

Your MLA Board met on October 16, 2017. A draft of the minutes is as follows. You can access them, as well as reports, on the MLA website at:

Happy reading!

[ You can reach Mary at ]

Library Organizations Unite for Progress

by Gavin Woltjer, Billings Public Library, and Anne Kish, Carson Library @ UM Western

In October, your MLA Board met and addressed how to strategically move the organization forward in terms of helping to ensure that libraries have the resources needed to serve their communities. The Montana Library Association and the Montana State Library have a long history of successfully collaborating to meet common goals. The MLA Board unanimously formalized this partnership by passing a resolution to work hand-in-hand with the State Library in this time of budget shortfalls and uncertainties. The MLA Board's Resolution specifically supports the State Library's Strategic Framework, which focuses on fostering partnerships, securing sufficient and sustainable funding, and creating useful information infrastructures.

Formalizing this partnership through a resolution symbolizes the growing unity of library professionals, but this step is not a mere symbolic gesture. Please watch the Wired listserve for communications on actions that you can take to strengthen libraries. MLA leadership and State Library leadership will communicate the types of information that they need in order to make their best cases for state and federal library support. Please respond to solicitations from the two organizations for data collection, contacting legislators, advocacy opportunities, etc. Thanks to all of you for being a part of strengthening our statewide library community!

Resolution in Support of the Montana State Library Strategic Framework:

WHEREAS, a stated goal of the Montana State Library is to help all organizations, communities, and Montanans thrive through excellent library resources and services;

WHEREAS; the Montana State Library adopted a strategic framework which formalizes the intention to achieve the stated goal through strategically fostering partnerships, securing sufficient and sustainable funding, and creating a useful information infrastructure;

WHEREAS, the Montana Library Association and the Montana State Library share values such as user-centric services, promoting diverse worldviews of library patrons, and data-driven planning;

WHEREAS, the Montana Library Association and the Montana State Library share the visions of promoting and supporting progressive library services and collections;

WHEREAS, the goals and strategies of the Montana Library Association closely align with the goals and strategies of the Montana State Library Strategic Framework;

WHEREAS, the Montana Library Association is in a unique position to support the goals of the Montana State Library Strategic Framework by means of conference and workshop programming, public programming, library advocacy, etc.;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Montana Library Association Board sees fit to formally partner with the Montana State Library, whenever possible, in advancing the Montana State Library Strategic Framework, which was adopted on December 14, 2016.

Adopted on October 16, 2017 by the Montana Library Association Board.

[ Gavin & Anne are your MLA Directors-at-Large! You can reach Gavin at and Anne at ]

Save the Date for Offline 2018!

by Kathy Mora, Great Falls Public Library
Big image

OFFLINE will be held in Great Falls February 2 & 3, 2018. The theme of the upcoming retreat is “We’ve Always Done It That way – NOT!” There will be sessions on data-driven collection management, new genealogy resources, managing your tech projects, updates on computer security and more.

The retreat will be held at Great Falls Public Library with registration and networking at 11:30 and sessions beginning at 12:30 on Friday. We have a great group of presenters with sessions of interest to all. Registration will begin mid-December so start making plans to travel to Great Falls now.

Oh yes, and there will be chocolate…

[ Kathy can be reached ]

Save the Date for the 2018 Montana Library Association Conference, Too!

by Debbi Kramer, Montana Library Association
Big image

The Conference Planning Committee and Conference Planners have been busy the last two months getting all the information together to make the 2018 annual conference one to remember.

Pre-conference offerings include: Island of Misfit Items with presenters Beth Boyson, Abbi Dooley, Stephan Licitra, Paulette Parpart; Dave Shearer; Owning Your Own Mission: (How not to lose your cool while saving the world) with presenter Sara Close; Essential Services of the Montana State Library with presenters Jessica Edwards, Erin Fashoway; Montana Intellectual Freedom Boot Camp with presenters James LaRue, Marci Merola; OCLC Members Forum with presenter Rob Favini and TeamWORK: Turning Dysfunction into Cohesion with presenter Dave Meldahl.

New Bozeman Library Bookmobile Pilot, Carmen Clark is arranging a show and tell with area bookmobiles that we will all be able to tour and check out.

The Program Selection Committee did a tremendous job of selecting programs for the daily workshops and is actively working on interesting tour ideas.

Bozeman Public Library has again graciously agreed to host the Welcome Reception with the 2018 Montana Book Award Reception to follow.

The speaker at the Author Brunch, yes brunch, is Montana Author Leslie Budewitz who writes cozy mysteries. Leslie is also an attorney. How fitting considering our conference theme!

The keynote speaker, Ron Scheier will be speaking on Library laws and Robert’s Rules. Another topic all Montana librarians need to understand.

There will be some exciting changes to the schedule during conference as well as changes to costs associated with meals and registration. Registration will open in early January. So Save the Date! Plan to attend the 2018 annual conference to gather new information, network with fellow librarians and attend workshops to bring best practices back to your library.

And ... Don't Forget to Smile!

Big image

Montana Library Association Inc (EIN: 81-0366433) has been issued a $118.56 donation from the AmazonSmile Foundation as a result of AmazonSmile program activity between July 1 and September 30, 2017.

Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at and Amazon donates to Montana Library Association Inc. #YouShopAmazonDonates

AmazonSmile works year-round! if you have any questions, please sign in to and click on the Help tab. Thank you!

[ Debbi can be reached at! ]

Big image

It's Time to Nominate Award-Winners!

by Carly Delsigne, North Jefferson County Library District

Do you know someone who is very deserving of a Montana Library Associations Award? It’s time to get your nominations prepared.

The Awards Committee invites you to send in your nominations for the 2018 Awards. Each nomination must consist of three letters of support; one from the nominator and two from other supporters of the nomination. No more than three letters of support will be considered by the committee. In addition, those nominating a work for the Media Award must provide the committee with a copy of the nominated work. All nominations will be confidential until the recommendations of the committee have been approved by the Board of Directors and the recipients notified. The deadline date should be set no later than the fourth Monday in January (January 22, 2018) in order for the committee to complete its work. The Montana Library Association honors individuals and groups who have served the Association and/or the Montana library community with distinction. The Montana Library Association confers the following awards and honors:

  • Honorary Life Membership Award

  • Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award

  • Interest Group Excellence Award

  • Media Award

  • School Administrator of the Year Award

  • Special Friend to Libraries Award

  • Jane Lopp Trustee of the Year Award

  • Legislator of the Year Award

  • Outstanding Support Staff Award

  • School Library Program of the Year Award

  • Librarian of the Year Award

  • Library of the Year Award

Please see for details of the process and awards.

[ Please send all nominations and letters of support to Chair Carly Delsigne at or mail them to 3 N. Main St. / Clancy, MT 59634. ]

Big image


- PNLA Updates -

Big image
by Carmen Clark, Bozeman Public Library

After a long hiatus, PNLA will return to Kalispell in the summer of 2018!

For a bit of historic background, PNLA conferences were held in Glacier Park 1948 and then again in 1964. There was also a conference in Kalispell in 1993.

We are happy to be back not only in Montana, but in Kalispell specifically. A call for conference proposals is still forthcoming. The theme for the 2018 conference is: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

I hope many of you will be able to join me next August! Looking forward to seeing everyone and networking with colleagues from Montana, Idaho, Washington, Alaska, Alberta and British Columbia.

Big image

Save the Date!

You are invited to attend the 2018 PNLA Conference in Kalispell, Montana on August 1-3, 2018. Network with colleagues and be challenged to find new ways of engaging with and within your home communities in the comfort of the Red Lion Kalispell. Kalispell is north of Missoula, at the northern end of Flathead Lake, and less than an hour from Glacier National Park. With fantastic sightseeing and recreational opportunities, the 2018 PNLA conference will be another great family destination event!

[ Carmen can be reached at ]

Big image

Montana State Library Cards

by Jessica Edwards, Montana State Library

Just a reminder that Montana library staff and trustees are eligible to get a Montana State Library card. This card allows you to access MSL's electronic resources, such as our professional development ebook collection on OverDrive. If you don’t yet have an MSL card and would like to apply for one, please click here.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

[ You can reach Jessica at ]

Save the Date for Trustee & Director Training!

by Jo Flick, Montana State Library

Trustee & Director Training:

Working Together: building & nurturing positive relationships with governing agencies & community

All day training presented by the Local Government Center of Montana State University Extension

April 25th - Fort Peck Community College Dumont Community Room (Annex) - Wolf Point

May 11-12 - Marina Cay Resort, Big Fork (as part of Tamarack Federation meeting, you do not need to be a member of the federation to attend)

Fall Workshops:

  • Multiple half and full day sessions to choose from

  • intensive hands-on learning

  • something for everyone

  • expert presenters

  • timely topics.

September 17-18, DoubleTree Hotel, Billings

Watch for details and registration information early in 2018 -

[ You can reach Jo at ]

MSU invitation to Library Open House

by Jan Zauha, Montana State University Library
Big image

Dear Montana Librarians and Friends:

Please save the date for the 2018 MSU Library Open House! We will celebrate MSU’s Spring Convocation and the 200th anniversary of the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley on the day before our semester classes begin:

January 9, 2018

3-6 PM

MSU Library

We’d love to have our Montana library friends join us to explore resources and enjoy wine, food, and music as we reconnect and reanimate for the spring semester.

For provocative reading over the holidays, refresh your memory of Shelley’s great novel about the boundaries between human and monster, science and ethics, and so much more. Enjoy a free online version of Frankenstein.

Happy holidays!

[ Questions? Contact MSU Outreach Librarian Jan Zauha at ]


Fond farewells (& some new arrivals) in Polson

by Kendra Mullison, North Lake County Public Library District

Our longtime Library Director at North Lake County Public Library District, Marilyn Trosper, is retiring after thirty years of stellar service! The story begins even before that, however. Marilyn first fell in love with libraries as a youngster who would visit the library partly just to watch the librarians at work. As a junior in high school, she persuaded the school librarian to take her on as a Library Aide. “The rest,” Marilyn has said, “is history.” And what a wonderful history it has been!

Big image

( Marilyn receives the Montana Library Association's Honorary Life Membership at the 2017 MLA conference. Photo by Abbi Dooley. )

In her time at our library, Marilyn has overseen a number of important changes. She created our children’s collections, helped found the Montana Shared Catalog as well as the Sheila Cates Scholarship, and oversaw our transition from a city library to a library district. But there’s more to her story than is easily quantified, and the many relationships she has helped foster both within Polson and the larger Montana library community demonstrate her commitment to and her passion for library service. Her love for the job has built our library every bit as much as the bricks and mortar.

One of our local papers, the Valley Journal, featured an article on Marilyn’s retirement in one of their November issues. You can read it online at:

Marilyn’s last day here at the library will be January 5, 2017. She will be followed in her position as Library Director by our current Assistant Director, Abbi Dooley. If you’re not already familiar with Abbi from her ongoing work with the Content Management Committee and her attendance at a number of Montana Library Association events, she’s a name to watch! We’re excited to see where her highly competent leadership takes us in the coming years.


Marilyn’s retirement was preceded by the departure of our veteran Administrative Assistant, Mary O’Brien, who retired after 19 years here at North Lake County Public Library District this November. We look forward to seeing Mary as a library user (and author!) browsing among our stacks and attending events such as our National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) writing sessions. The Administration Assistant position has been filled by the capable and enthusiastic Mallory Witham.

And while we will miss Marilyn and Mary very much indeed, we are so incredibly grateful for the time and work they have invested into us as a staff and into the library itself.

Thank you, Marilyn and Mary!

[ You can reach Kendra at ]

Mike Price is Done!

by Tracy Cook, Montana State Library
Big image

( Bruce Newell, Mike Price, Bob Cooper. Jennie Stapp as photographer. )

Mike Price, Information Specialist at the Montana State Library, retired on November 10, 2017. Famous for sending one word emails that said “done” whenever he completed a task, Mike was one of the key individuals behind the Montana Shared Catalog. He worked with Bruce Newell, Bob Cooper, and Sarah McHugh to bring the Shared Catalog into existence. It started with 17 libraries and now has 177 libraries.

Mike worked behind the scenes using his programming and IT skills to create the shared catalog. He also supported a variety of Library Development efforts that are necessary for any organization to run smoothly. He preferred to stay behind the scenes although he enjoyed working with Montana librarians whenever he had the opportunity.

Mike started at the Montana State Library in 2000. He owned his own computer company prior to joining MSL. Mike quickly began contributing to our work, and when he left he confessed that he will miss us. He will spend his retirement in perpetual summer – living in Argentina in the winter and returning to Helena in the summer.

State Library staff will miss Mike – his efficiency, honesty, and ability to come up with solutions to problems. He would often end his one word emails with “HTH” – yes, Mike, you were helpful. Thanks for everything. Ciao.

[ Tracy can be reached at ]

A Sense of Place : Heartbeat in the Bitterroot

by Janice Mineer, Montana Author & Library User

December in Montana is laden with rich sights, sounds and scents: The smell of pine trees, the iridescent beauty of crisp sparkling snow, the mouth-watering aroma of gingerbread. Memories made long ago feed our holiday feelings. For me, one such memory was the inspiration for my new novel, Heartbeat of the Bitterroot.

As a child, we visited my mother’s family on the farm at Christmas. An older cousin invited my brother and I to play in the hay barn. Hide and seek amid the sweet-smelling bales of hay and the kindness of an older cousin who took time to entertain us created a memory that found itself in the pages of this book.

But some memories are poignant. Many people struggle to make sense of conflicts in their past, wrestling with the choices of others which threaten to define us. The novel illustrates the importance of courage and the potential to be an agent for change, to make a good life in the face of the damaging choices of those around us.

The main character of my book, Hearbeat in the Bitterroot, Jenna, struggles to overcome her feelings of self-doubt due to her difficult early years with a dysfunctional mother. A serious look at her shallow relationship with her boyfriend tells her she is hiding from the full future that could be hers. But just as she meets Michael, a handsome man with a warm and loyal heart, and his beautiful little daughter, she finds herself in the midst of life threatening danger. She discovers that the man she thought was her father was not, and she faces the possibility that her biological father may yet be alive. She searches for him, all the while wrestling with her deep feelings for Michael, who is haunted by fears of his own.

A sense of place is clear in the book with symbolic references to the bitterroot flower, majestic bison and the Bitterroot River of western Montana. Jenna’s uncle uses the true secret of the bitterroot flower—a pink heart at its center—to remind Jenna that she has a strong heart. Her resilience can help her face her fears and create a better life for herself than the one she was given at birth.

[ Janice can be reached at Her brand-new book is available from online book sources such as Amazon and through local bookstores. ]

Backpacking Washington

by Mark Wetherington, Bitterroot Public Library

When people found out I was working as co-author with Douglas Lorain this past summer for a revised third edition of Backpacking Washington, published by Wilderness Press, they most often said “Wow! That’s awesome; you’re getting paid to hike.” Well, yes and no I told them—technically I’m getting paid to gather, organize, and ultimately provide information. This isn’t much of a stretch from what librarians do on a daily basis. It just happens that instead of using databases and catalogs to find and retrieve information, I’m hiking trails to gather knowledge about the best campsites, “don’t miss” side trips, and potential hazards. After that I craft a narrative that gets people excited about getting outdoors, providing them with enough information to plan a safe and enjoyable trip through some of the most beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest.

( All photos by Mark Wetherington. )

The hiking part gets all the attention—and definitely requires effort—but it’s the calculating total elevation gain; confirming the most current details of seemingly ever-changing permits, fees and regulations; and tedious drafting of maps in Adobe Illustrator that really feels like work. That, too, is similar to public librarianship. People see us helping patrons on the computers or searching OCLC for an obscure film from the 1980s, but they don’t consider the training, cataloging tasks, and other “behind the scenes work” that goes into keeping a public library humming along.

Another aspect of hiking is similar to libraries. Patrons have conditioned us to always expect the unexpected and to go with the flow (even if that “flow” involves earnestly searching for a mystery book they read a few years ago that they think had a crimson cover and was sort of like The Da Vinci Code, but not exactly, and actually maybe the cover was brown). In other words, sometimes unexpected things occur and you just have to roll with them. Two days before leaving for a trip to the William O. Douglas Wilderness, a forest fire broke out and the area was closed. I simply sighed, put that folder back in my box, and pulled out the map and outline for a trip in Glacier Peak Wilderness instead. The trip I ended up taking was phenomenal. It included glacier views, waterfalls, hungry trout in alpine lakes, and some of the best solitude of all my Washington backpack trips this summer. My list of hiking sites in the Evergreen State is ever-growing, it seems!

Despite being focused on getting to trailheads as quickly as possible to maximize hiking time, I found myself stopping to visit libraries in various towns along the way, just to get my library fix. The largest library I had the pleasure of visiting was the Spokane Public Library (what a view of Spokane Falls!). The smallest was a tribal library in Johnstown, WA out on the Olympic Peninsula. The library in Winthrop instantly struck me as being the hub of the community. Their librarian directed me to an excellent bakery. I found that asking librarians in the towns I visited for information was a more social, and usually more accurate, way of getting recommendations than just using a smartphone. I’m unsure if my “Where is the best place in town to grab a nice lunch before heading down the road?” was counted as a reference question, but I hope it was.

Big image

( Itswoot Lake, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington. Photo by Mark Wetherington. )

Looking back, one of the biggest mistakes of my travels not directly related to hiking was failing to take advantage of the audiobooks available on Overdrive (I love my car, but the CD player is broken so books on CD weren’t an option). However, NPR, playlists, and podcasts served me fairly well. Because of wildfire related trail closures and/or early season snowfall that made it impossible to make some of the necessary trips this year, my contract has been extended another year, so I will have plenty of opportunities to use Overdrive next summer.

My biggest hiking related mistake was the whirlwind trip in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness where I covered 60 miles and 11,000 feet of elevation gain/loss in 72 hours. I must note with pride that I was able to fit about two hours of fly fishing on Crooked Creek (actually in Oregon, as my route crossed state lines) for native redband rainbow trout into that endurance trip as well. The fishing was one of the bright spots on a trip that was otherwise defined by overgrown trails, steep climbs and descents, and long days of hiking.

Typically I take a book on my backpacking trips—anything from poetry, to modern short stories, to classic novels. After a miserable slog on a “trail” through an extremely remote and recently burned area with new vegetation up to my shoulders, downed trees everywhere, and ankle-breaking stump holes to stumble into (all in prime rattlesnake habitat) I recognized that bringing along William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying might have been tempting fate just a bit too much.

As an avid backpacker and librarian, it has been particularly gratifying to reflect on the fact that I will be co-author of a guidebook – a source of information – which will hopefully end up on the shelves of libraries in the Pacific Northwest and serve as inspiration for others to go out and hike. I’ve felt for many years that access to public lands and public libraries are two of the greatest benefits of living in America. I feel especially fortunate to have been able to help people better enjoy both these resources through my work on Backpacking Washington and serving as a public librarian.

[ The date of the anticipated release of the revised third edition of Backpacking Washington is spring 2019, after research wraps up next summer. Douglas Lorain is the author of the original release and the 2nd edition. Mark Wetherington is co-author with him for the revised third edition. You can reach Mark at ]

Montana Newspapers Online : A Service of the Montana Historical Society

by Natasha Hollenbach, Montana Historical Society

The Montana Historical Society is pleased to announce that new content is available to search and browse on the web site MONTANA NEWSPAPERS. The website has reached the milestone of over 500,000 pages!

The following newspapers have been added.

Due to the generosity of the James E. Shanley Tribal Library, Fort Peck Community College in Poplar and the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes the following papers are available online:

Every page of every issue of The Hellgate Lance, 1983-2008, is also online and keyword-searchable. This project was made possible through the generosity of Hellgate High School and the Missoula County Public Schools.

The Mineral County Museum and Historical Society in Superior, Montana has sponsored a project digitizing an additional 10 years of The Mineral Independent. With this extension, The Mineral Independent is now available from June 1915 through December 1932.

Also newly available:

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

Big image
Big image

[ You can reach Natasha at, or by calling (406)444-7428. You can learn more about the Montana Historical Society at ]

MontanaLibrary2Go is on the hunt ...

by Susie McIntyre, Great Falls Public Library
Big image

The MontanaLibrary2Go Consortium is currently in the process of an RFI (Request for Information) to explore our vendor options for supplying downloadable content.

We released the RFI earlier this year and received responses from six companies: Baker & Taylor, Bibliotheca, Cengage, Facts on File, Overdrive and Recorded Books. After an initial review of the proposals, the executive committee requested demo’s and free trials from Baker & Taylor, Recorded Books and Bibliotheca. We did not feel that we needed a demo or free trial from Overdrive as they are our current vendor.

We chose not to request demo’s for the other companies. Cengage only offers nonfiction eBooks and therefore would not meet the needs of our consortium. Facts on File offers videos only and therefore would not meet the needs of our consortium.

We would like to invite MontanaLibrary2Go Consortium members to participate in the evaluation of this RFI. We are providing various ways for members to participate. You may access the RFI responses, details of the free trials, recordings of webinars and information about upcoming conference calls at <>.

The key thing we are looking at with the different vendors is comparing EASEOF USE FOR THE PATRONS, COST, and EASE OF USE FOR THE LIBRARIES.

Ease of use for the patron:

  • Who has the best-most intuitive app

  • Who works the best with Kindles

  • Who allows side-loading to non-smart audio devices

  • Who provides the best tech support


  • Hosting fee

  • Content costs

  • Set-up fees

  • Support fees

Ease of use for the libraries:

  • Who has the best purchasing interface

  • Who has the best reporting interface

  • Who allows us to set-up holds ratio purchasing/recommending to order in the best work flow manner

In mid-January, we will have more discussion of the options and the entire membership will vote on whether or not to move forward to issuing a Request for Proposal.

PLEASE NOTE: This vote will NOT be to direct the Montana State Library to change our contract for downloadable content. This vote would ONLY be to decide to either (a) not continue with the process (stay with Overdrive) or (b) to request that the Montana State Library issue a Request for Proposal for the contract. The State has to follow legal guidelines when they enter a contract.

If you have questions or want more information, please contact your executive team members.

[ You can reach Susie at ]

Library Support Staff Attend Library Technician Conference in Alberta

by Mary Ann George, Helena College Library
Big image

( Mary Ann George, Helena College University of Montana and Chris Buss, Bozeman Public Library. Photo was taken by a convention participant and provided courtesy of Mary Ann. )

One of the most interesting things I attended this year was the Alberta Association of Library Technicians’ Annual Conference in April with Chris Buss from Bozeman Public Library This conference brings together Library Technicians from around the province for education and comradery. This year’s conference was held in Banff, Alberta, CA. It was great to attend a conference in which all attendees were in support staff, non-MLIS positions. Discussions were highly relevant and conversations were lively and engaging. We attended sessions whose topics included Creative Commons, cultivating resilience and the changing roles of Library Technicians.

Library professionalism for non-master degree holding staff is more evolved in Canada than in the United States. 16 campuses offer a Library Technician Associates Degree. This credential enables people in library work to earn higher wages, hold jobs with more responsibility and supervisory roles, and allows for career advancement. Fun innovation: there was a conference sponsored bus that transported conference attendees from Edmonton to Banff and back, with pick-ups and drop-offs in Calgary and Red Deer.

Our Canadian hosts were welcoming, gracious and lots of fun.

[ You can reach Mary Ann at ]

Big image


Banned Books Week at Sheridan County Library

by Jonna Underwood, Sheridan County Library
Big image

( Image courtesy of )

For Banned Books Week this year, we did a radio call-in program highlighting one banned book each day. I recorded three clues for each book and listeners would call in to guess the answer. The banned books we highlighted were To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. All correct guesses for the day were put into a drawing for a gift certificate to a local restaurant or the movie theater. We also included reasons for the book being banned/challenged.

The call-in book trivia was a fun way to highlight banned books week and a nice way to incorporate our local radio station. The callers, I think, enjoyed trying to figure out the clues and I had a lot of fun digging up trivia about each book. Such as:

Q: The cover of the first printing of which book is among the most celebrated pieces of art in American Literature?

A: The Great Gatsby.

Big image

Celebrating Native Culture

by Jude Smith, Great Falls Public Library
Big image

( Young Chief student dancer. Photo by Jude Smith. )

reat Falls Public Library has developed an informal tradition over the last ten years of celebrating Native American Cultural Heritage Month each November. This celebration has taken different shapes over time to include art exhibits by Native American artists including Monte Yellow Bird, tribal elders sharing myths and stories, Native American authors, and Pow Wow dancing and drumming.

The Pow Wow dancing has proved to be the most enduring with students from the Great Falls Public Schools performing each year. Some years have included student drummers, some only dancers. These students are generally elementary and middle school students who through school, family, and personal interest have immersed themselves into their cultural traditions and share those with the community at large. In addition to the dancing, students and families create and wear regalia appropriate to tribal affiliation.

Dancers include students of many levels of skill, but with a focused level of commitment to the tradition and the sharing of that tradition. Attendance at these events has grown over the years as well. This year’s dance hosted over 80 community members sharing in an event unique to our area.

[ Jude can be reached at ]

Notes From the 2017 Children’s Festival of the Book

by Cindy Christin, Bozeman Public Library

The 10th annual CFOB was held on Saturday, November 4 at the Bozeman Public Library featuring award-winning authors/illustrators Jarrett Krosoczka and Grace Lin, as well as Bozeman’s own middle grade author Kent Davis.

The Friday before the festival included eight visits to elementary and middle schools by both Jarrett and Grace, who shared their childhoods, early years of writing and drawing, and recent books with over 1000 students. Teachers, librarians, parents, and students were excited to meet these two talented authors, and we hope to include school visits in future festivals.

Saturday morning began with a writing workshop for all ages. Grace Lin presented a program for preschoolers and their families on her first picture book, Ugly Vegetables, followed by Jarrett’s lively reading of Punk Farm and some of his other picture books. Kids enjoyed crafts based on their picture books following the presentations.

Kent Davis talked about writing his series, A Riddle in Ruby, in his “Twisted History” presentation in the afternoon. Grace shared her interest in Chinese stories and how her novels came to be, starting with Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Jarrett and his audience created a comic book together while discussing “Writing with Pictures.” The full day of presentations, book sales, and book signings ended with a panel discussion with all three authors moderated by author Michele Corriel.

Our thanks to the Bozeman Public Library Foundation for funding this unforgettable day, with the help of Humanities Montana and many other generous contributors. For more information about Children’s Festival of the Book and guests from past years, please visit

[ Cindy can be reached at ]

School Library Division Outside the Lines Program

by Angela Archuleta, Lewis & Clark Elementary School Library

One Outside the Lines program we have offered for my sixth-grade library classes at Lewis and Clark Elementary School centers on a fur trunk brought in from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. I started with non-fiction books about endangered species. First, the students watched a news clip about snow leopard research in Afghanistan. After viewing the clip they partnered with another student to use the index and table of contents in non-fictions books to find answers to questions about snow leopards. Next, the sixth graders made firsthand observations about animal furs from the trunk. The furs were used as a hook for introducing them to the Gale Database Science in Context. Learning about the database allowed them to sharpen their inquiry skills. Future projects will build on the skills they learned such as how to use a non-fiction book to answer questions, how to develop science-related questions through observation and how to use a database to research a subject.

[ You can reach Angela at ]

Teen Programing Promotes 'Girls Who Code'!

by Patricia Spencer, Lewis & Clark Libraries
Big image

During November, Lewis & Clark Library Teen Librarian Heather Dickerson began offering a Girls Who Code component to Teen Programming at the Library. Based on the national program, Dickerson uses the Girls Who Code “club” program model to encourage young women to engage in computer science programs and build their technology skills.

The Girls Who Code club program model provides facilitators a curriculum with lessons and features famous women in science. Clubs meet once a week for three months and participants work on projects that are interesting to them. The Lewis & Clark Library club decided to explore making animations in using Scratch, a block based programming language created by MIT.

Dickerson explains that “Girls Who Code is a unique and necessary addition to our slate of Teen Programs at LCL. It's an opportunity for fun, community, and a way to explore possibilities for future careers. Coding is problem solving, and our girls do an excellent job of asking themselves ‘what do I want to accomplish’ and then figuring out how to get there.”

For more on the Girls Who Code program, visit!

[ You can reach Patricia at ]

Big image


Submissions Open for the February 2018 Issue!

REMINDER: The submission deadline for the February newsletter = January 22nd.Please email your library news, micro-reviews & photos (with captions & attributions) to Thank You!

Recovering from Identity Theft

by Alex Clark, Montana Legal Services Association

Big image

Did you know there is a website to help you recover from identity theft? can help you report and recover from identity theft. The website helps you create a plan with next steps for reporting and recovering from identity theft.

For more information, please visit the Crime Victims section of If you can't find the information you want, click on the LiveHelp button. Or call the Montana Legal Services Association Helpline at 1 (800) 666-6899.

Montana Legal Services Association

1535 Liberty Lane

Suite 110D

Missoula, MT 59808

Toll Free: (800) 666-6124

Websites: / /

[ You can reach Alex at or by phone at (406) 543-8343 ext. 220 ]

FOCUS - Publication Standards and Guidelines (Annual Posting)

Per the MLA Handbook regarding the FOCUS newsletter:

“The editor(s) should publish the guidelines in brief form at least once a year in the Montana Library Focus itself and they should be distributed to all Board members, committee and interest group chairs at the beginning of each fiscal year.”

Focus - Publication Standards and Guidelines

  1. Montana Library Focus is published by the Montana Library Association as its official vehicle for communications. It is published six times a year in the months of February, April, June, August, October, and December. The deadline for submission of material follows:

  2. January 20 for the February issue

  3. March 20 for the April issue

  4. May 20 for the June issue

  5. July 20 for the August issue

  6. September 20 for the October issue

  7. November 20 for the December issue

  8. Send submissions of reports, news releases, or features to: Focus Editor

  9. Submissions in electronic copy are preferred. Acceptable formats include .doc, .docx, .pdf, .tiff and .jpeg. If an electronic copy cannot be emailed to the editor, a copy may be submitted, via post, on a CD. If no disk copy can be sent, please submit text in clean, scan able copy. Use facsimile only upon request from the editor.

  10. Reports should cover the business of MLA committees, divisions, or interest groups; for example, meetings, activities, announcements, upcoming events. As a general guideline, keep reports to 700 words or less. Please contact the editor prior to submitting any report significantly longer than this.

  11. News releases are brief announcements of interest to Montana librarians, but not related to official MLA business; for example, personnel news, grants received, programs held, new services offered. News releases should be 500 words or less.

  12. Features are any article-length (1000 plus words) essay, discussion, interview, research paper, or other form of expository writing. Please submit complete manuscript or contact the editor for details.

  13. In general, writing in the third person is preferred for reports and news releases.

All manuscripts must be double-spaced with wide margins. Indicate your name, address, affiliation, and phone number. For other stylistic or formatting guidelines, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style, 13th edition.

Want to share something in FOCUS?

Here are the Submission Deadlines:

  • FEB 2018 issue = January 19 deadline
  • APR 2018 issue = March 20 deadline
  • JUN 2018 issue = May 18 deadline
  • AUG 2018 issue = July 20 deadline

FOCUS Theme Schedule:

  • FEB: Focus on Paraprofessional Librarians
  • APR: Focus on Library Trustees
  • JUN: Focus on MLA Conference & New Officers
  • AUG: Focus on Friends of the Library
  • OCT: Focus on ??? (Ideas welcome!)
  • DEC: Special Year-End Highlights

From the Editorial Desk

by Kendra Mullison, North Lake County Public Library District

I live in dread of writing blissful holiday reflections at this time of year--reflections which can come off as one-note or even trite, especially when we really do face grave and complicated circumstances in the coming months.

When the world spins out of control, I have to focus on the concrete. And there's nothing more concrete, nothing that brings me more joy, than those moments when kids and imaginative play intersect.

This week, even as their grandmother prepares for her impending retirement, Marilyn Trosper's four grandchildren made the decision to donate their play kitchen to the library for use in our children's area. Not only was this an incredibly generous decision on Maddie, Reanna, Casey, and Noah's part--but it's the sort of gift which really does keep on giving.

Big image

( The play set, donated by Casey, Noah, Maddie, and Reanna Trosper. Photo by Mallory Witham. )

Concrete? You betcha. Bound to encourage imaginative play? You betcha. Just this morning, before I sat down to write, the children at our Thursday Story Time were going gangbusters with the play kitchen, cooking carrot soup on a stove which is, in all of the most important ways for a four-year-old, real.

How do kids do it, I wonder? Do we teach ourselves out of this ability to both know what's real and celebrate what's imaginary, intangible, and mythical as we mark years off the calendar? Or is it simply something we forget, and something we can work our way back to, with the right tools and a little dash of everyday magic?

Big image

( Makerspace attendee Naomi C. contemplates her Squishy Circuits masterpiece. "It's a snake with five glowing eyes!" she told us afterward. "But that's just make-believe." Photo by Kendra. )

Yeah, I'm going to go with option B!

This isn't to say I'm turning off my "activism voice," or shelving my holiday spirit. Rather the opposite, actually! I'm doubling down on both of these things, but also trying to find a way to navigate the conflicting emotions brought on by the holidays in a strange and challenging year. I hope, despite everything, we can all find those little concrete things--moments, objects, gestures--which bring us joy.

( November also means National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, at the library! Speaking of the concrete, there's nothing like getting those first 50,000 words of a new book under your belt. And Ser's delicious scones didn't hurt, either. At all. Photos by Kendra. )

But if not ... you know how to reach me! And the good folks of NAMI are always available with resources (like this excellent piece on the "holiday blues") if you need a little extra support around this time of year.

Kendra Mullison

FOCUS Co-Editor


Big image

by Alice Kestler, Great Falls Public Library

Another year is fast drawing to a close. It has been a year of joys and losses. All the issues of FOCUS this year have articles that reflect the joys of working in a library: introducing children to the wonders of the world, especially reading; watching the solar eclipse; music programs; library retreats and conferences; a variety of awards; Sheila Cates Scholarship winners and amazing outside the lines programming. I am sure each of us can personally recount many joyful events that enriched our lives this year.

Along with joys, many of us have also experienced sorrows. Our own library community was saddened this year by the death of Daniels County Librarian Marlene Machart on November 16. Memorials for Marlene can be sent to Friends of the Library, PO Box 190, Scobey, MT 59263. The Montana state budget cuts brought the loss of people dear to our hearts and central to our state library services. According to Jennie Stapp, the State Library did not fill two vacant positions, a GIS Analyst and our Communications and Marketing Coordinator. In addition the state library laid off:

  • 3 GIS Analysts
  • Our Network Administrator
  • Our Web Developer
  • Our Talking Book Library Supervisor
  • 1 Talking Book Library Reader Advisors
  • Our State Data Coordinator
  • 2 Library Techs

We wish for all of them, their families, and those who remain at the State Library a better year in 2018.

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:

Kendra Mullison (Co-Editor)

If you enjoyed Carrie La Seur's The Home Place, you might be interested to know that this Montana author's next book, The Weight of an Infinite Sky, will be released in January of 2018. La Seur's home city of Billings plays a key role! Photo courtesy of Kendra.
Please send address changes to: