FOCUS

a newsletter of the Montana Library Association

April 2021 [Vol. 39 Issue 2]

Montana Library Association Logo and Tagline

- IN THIS ISSUE -

President’s Message - Hear from MLA President Gavin Woltjer


What is the President Reading - Hear what Gavin Woltjer is reading this month


Executive Director's Message - Hear from Debbi Kramer


Editor’s Message - Hear from Co-Editor Star Bradley


MLA Committee & Division News

Montana Book Award Committee Looking for New Reader

New Vice-Chair for SLD

Report from Director-At-Large East


Articles

Lois Dissly Retires

Hotspots at Bozeman Public Library

Public Library Hotspot Map

Great Falls Announces Newest Notary

ImagineIF Offers Take-home Kits for Kids, Teens and Adults

Why Strategic Planning Matters

2020 Montana Book Award Winners

Mansfield Library New Seed Library


Programs, Promotions & Projects

Cates Going Virtual for 2021

Town Pump Keeps Kids Reading

Introducing Brodart Little One


Marginalia

Amazon Smile Donations

Submissions open for the June issue of FOCUS

- MLA PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE -

Gavin Woltjer's Update

One Year Later


This past month our state recognized the year-long event of the COVID-19 pandemic—and we continue to navigate this uncertain landscape. (Although, the landscape does appear to be showing recognizable landmarks that make it slightly less discombobulating.) Much has happened in this past year—too much for one brief missive from my desk to fully appreciate and recognize all of the libraries and the professionals who have gone above and beyond in their service to their communities. As I have stated in past messages, I am consistently awed by the selfless, professional, and determined people who strive to make Montana libraries stronger, incorporative, and welcoming to all—regardless of any socially constructed label attached to the patron. Libraries are certainly not perfect institutions, but I believe we, in Montana, are earnest in our desire to improve, admit our shortcomings and faults, and learn new ways to serve.


To this point, as libraries of all types across our state come back from the negative impacts of the pandemic, I encourage you all to think about what you have accomplished this past year. And celebrate these accomplishments. Even if these accomplishments seem insignificant, the fact that you were able to meet the needs of your community is noteworthy. I also offer a word of warning as you start the journey back to normal: be patient. After a year of offering new services, discontinuing other services, incorporation of new technology or business hours or operational modalities, the desire to return to normal will be strong. (Full transparency: I want normal to be now!) But be patient with the each other. Some of your colleagues may have worked majority of their hours from home this past year. Or perhaps some of your colleagues have worked in a different capacity than what they did pre-COVID. It will take time to return to pre-COVID normality in our shared workspaces. Be kind and understanding to each other. Second, be patient with patrons. While most of them will be excited to have their libraries back up and running, some will question the veracity of the intent behind the actions taken to keep employees and public safe during this time. I ask that you honor these feelings. This does not mean you need to agree with or even engage with a patron who shares these thoughts. What this means is that you honor this patron’s feelings. They too have undergone a year (plus!) of uncertainty. Finally, be patient with your community. Some of you may be able to return—or have already returned—to normal business operations soon. Some of you will continue to phase in new offerings at your library. Some of you may still be closed to the public. Trust in the reopening strategy that has been created for your library. Articulate this strategy with the community. And be ready to receive feedback—of all kinds—about this strategy. Remember: no strategy is perfect. Failure will happen. Recognize it. Study it. And then make something better.


For the Billings Public Library, we have taken the mindset that our return to normal is a marathon and not a sprint. As the number of vaccinated individuals continues to increase in Yellowstone County, we continue to prepare for the next phase of our strategy. Hopefully, by early fall, a sense of normality will be seen and experienced through our offerings, be it public programming or utilization of public space. At the Billings Public Library, we have learned a lot about our organization this past year—good and bad. We’ll take this information and make it usable. I challenge each of you to do the same with your libraries. Until we can meet again, I look forward to seeing you all online for the upcoming MLA conference. Not only is the conference schedule populated with informative topics to be delivered by outstanding speakers, it also offers the opportunity to listen to three incredible women, Tami Haaland, former Montana Poet Laureate, and current Montana Poet Laureates Melissa Kwansy and Mandy Smoker Broaddus at the author luncheon and keynote events.


Gavin J. Woltjer

MLA President

Acting Public Information Officer, City of Billings

Library Director, Billings Public Library


(Photo by Banik Communications)


[ Gavin Woltjer can be reached at woltjerg@billingsmt.gov ]

- What is the President Reading? -

Philip Roth: A Biography by Blake Bailey (W.W. Norton & Company, 2021)


One of the most anticipated books of 2021. Richly layered, thorough, accessible, and extremely fascinating, this biography of one of America’s titans of letters provides an in-depth exploration of the life of Philip Roth. Throughout this absorbing biography, biographer Blake Bailey refuses to play the role of Roth apologist and equally examines the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of Roth’s life. Just as Roth and his work will continue to be studied and debated by scholars and literature aficionados, Bailey’s book, too, provides many ideas to debate and study. As the official biographer of Philip Roth, Bailey was given access to materials previously denied previous Roth biographers. This book is suggested for inclusion in high school, academic, and public libraries.


Outré by D. Harlan Wilson (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2020)


Bizzaro fiction has never been a genre that I gave much thought to before coming across author D. Harlan Wilson’s incredible book Outré. Trying to summarize the plot of this book would undermine the exhilarating reading experience for future readers. Allow me to describe my reading experience. Reading this book was like falling down a nightmarish and hallucinatory rabbit hole where the known is recognizable but always in dressed in disguise. Part philosophy, part horror novel, and part film history, ideas of identity, social norms, mental illness and ultraviolence (among many others) clash to create a narrative this simultaneously discombobulating and informative. Better yet, imagine a Salvador Dali painting. Now place yourself in the painting. You have one goal: navigate this surreal landscape. Fans of Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Brautigan, and Philip K. Dick will recognize that Wilson belongs to the same family tree of storytellers. This book is suggested for inclusion in high school, academic, and public libraries.


The Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Anika Orrock (Chronicle

Books, 2020)


We’ve all seen the movie A League of Their Own. I’m sure most of us can quote parts of it. But the film, while an enjoyable rendition of a segment of baseball history, it is far from the true picture of what these women ballplayers experienced and overcame to play America’s national pastime. Author and illustrator Anika Orrock provides a different view. By using segments from primary resources, interviews, and other ephemera, Orrock delivers an illustrated history of women’s baseball never seen before. By using the player’s own words and reminiscences, a colorful tapestry of vignettes come to life on each beautifully illustrated page that showcase not only the importance of baseball, but also the importance of discussing and honoring this period of baseball history. This book is suggested for inclusion in high school, academic, and public libraries.


Gavin J. Woltjer

MLA President

Acting Public Information Officer, City of Billings

Library Director, Billings Public Library


[ Gavin Woltjer can be reached at woltjerg@billingsmt.gov ]

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- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE -

Debbi Kramer's Update

Executive Director’s

Conference Planner Report

April 2021

Hopefully when you read this article, spring will have arrived! I know I look forward to warmer days and spring flowers, birds, green grass and trees with leaves.


Conference planning is almost complete. Many attendees have signed up to attend and the conference planning committee is busy getting up to speed on hosting the online workshops. It is our plan to record all the workshops and they will be available to watch at a later date for the coming year. This year with a virtual conference there have been several changes made and it is my hope that the conference will go along with a minimum for interruptions and problems. The Montana Book Awards Committee is planning a virtual event as well as a virtual Awards Ceremony and Cates Event. During the conference please plan to attend the annual Membership meeting, Division meetings and Interest Group meetings. I know that Zoom fatigue will affect us all, but it is important to attend these virtual meeting to keep MLA moving in the a suitable direction. As this is a learning experience for all of us both attendees and planners there are bound to be some glitches.


As your Executive Director I have been busy keeping MLA running as efficiently as possible. I hope that registering for conference and paying membership fees was not too onerous a task. I have found that invoicing libraries has been a very favorable alternative as each online transaction reduces the money MLA receives. Please let MLA know how you feel about the new membership software during the annual membership meeting.


The MLA board will hold its spring meeting on Wednesday, April 14th at 1 – 4 pm. All MLA members are cordially invited to attend the meeting and more information will be available through WiredMT.


MLA is pleased to announce its partnership with Smith Food and Drug Stores. If you have not signed up with Smith’s to contribute a portion of each of your dollars spent on food and prescriptions, please use the following link: smithsfoodanddrug.com/inspire It only takes a few minutes and is a wonderful way to support your organization.


MLA is also delighted to announce our partnership with the Town Pump Charitable Foundation. Grants of $1000 each are available to supplement your summer reading programs. Libraries can apply now through April 30 at www.townpumpfoundation.com using the Keep Kids Reading application. Grants will be awarded in May 2021.


Please let your friends and family members who use Amazon for online purchases to sign up for AmazonSmile. What a great way to help all Montana libraries!


Debbi Kramer, Executive Director

Montana Library Association, Inc.


[ Debbi Kramer can be reached at debkmla@hotmail.com ]

- EDITOR'S MESSAGE -

FOCUS Co-Editor Message

I almost don't want to say it out loud, but it looks like Spring might be here, or at least close! I can't wait for some warm weather and sunshine! I'm looking forward to the flowers blooming and everything turning green. With spring almost here, that means it's time for the annual MLA Conference. It's going to be a little different this year, with the conference being held virtually. But I think it's going to be a good time and I can't wait to see everyone from around the state. And for anyone who wants to learn more about using a fun tool called Kahoot! come to my session on Saturday. (Yep, total shameless plug!)


For everyone in the Academic Library community, the annual Symposium is coming up too. There's a good line up of programs, and I'm looking forward to that virtual conference too. The planning committee is busy getting everything organized for the symposium, and once things are finalized we will be announcing it here in the newsletter as well as on WIRED.


I hope our good weather continues, and that the sun keeps on shining. Enjoy your Spring everyone and see you soon at MLA or the Symposium, or both!


Star Bradley

Co-Editor MLA FOCUS


Photo by Star Bradley


[ Star Bradley can be reached at estrella.bradley@montana.edu ]

- Committee & Division News -

Montana Book Award Committee Looking for New Reader

Are you an avid reader of literature who always wished they could judge who is the best Montana writer of them all? Or, do you know someone who always recommends to you the best books written by a Montanan author or about Montana?


The Montana Book Award Committee is looking for one new reader to join in the fun of reading and reviewing books which are written by or illustrated by someone who lives in Montana, or which deal with Montana themes or issues.


The new reader would join eight others in reading approximately 20-30 books between Late Spring 2021 to Late Winter 2021. As a perk, you will attend an expenses-paid weekend in February 2022, when the winner of the Montana Book Award is selected.


If this appeals to you, please send me an email stating your interest in joining the Montana Book Award Committee and why you would like to join. Or, if you would like to nominate or suggest someone as a reader, please send me their name (and contact information).

I am accepting names until mid-April 2021. Please email your submissions to montanabookaward@gmail.com. Visit http://www.montanabookaward.org/ for additional information about the Montana Book Award.


Elizabeth C. Jonkel

Missoula Public Library

(406)541-8857

ejonkel@missoula.lib.mt.us

https://www.missoulapubliclibrary.org

New Vice-Chair for SLD

It is with great excitement that I announce Chani Craig as the new vice-chair of SLD. Vic Mortimer will become chair of SLD; Brittany Alberson will step out of her role as chair at the end of the fiscal year. Please join me in welcoming and thanking Chani for bringing her leadership to the Association.


Gavin J. Woltjer

Acting-Public Information Officer

Library Director

President, MT Library Association

woltjerg@billingsmt.gov

Report from Director-At-Large East

Hello Montana Library Land!


This is my last report as the Director-At-Large East.


I am glad to see that people have stepped up to serve MLA and their fellow librarians. Please be sure to look over the candidate bios, ask questions and most of all: VOTE!


Your Directors-At-Large, the membership committee and the board are working hard on updating the membership fee structure, the website and many other things. Please feel free to ask questions.


I am looking forward to “seeing” you at MLA 2021!


Carmen Clark

Director At Large East

Montana Library Association

cclark@bozeman.net

- ARTICLES -

In Gratitude to Lois Dissly

Happy Trails to You


Lois Dissly is retiring. Those few words carry a huge impact. Lois Dissly, a Cascade native, joined the Bozeman Public Library staff in 1982 as the Head of the Children’s Department at the Lamme Street location. After ten years working at BPL, Lois was awarded a 10K grant to attend Library School at Emporia College, and earned her Master’s degree in Library Science there. Upon rejoining the Library staff, as head of Technical Services, Lois oversaw the transformation from a computer-less, not one trace of internet, paper card catalog to the Library we all enjoy today. Among the dozens of accomplishments and projects Lois has overseen are the InterLibrary Loan service, the Collection Management of the circulating materials, and the shift to streaming materials and content, the Library Volunteers program, the Social Media and webpage, as well as the first shared catalog in the entire state, and Gallatin County. Lois served as PLD Chair, Chair of the Tech Services Interest Group and – a record no one will ever break – co-chair of the MLA conference. Twice.


Lois and Paul Dissly have been married for 40 years. Lois considers her greatest accomplishment giving birth to and raising three boys with Paul, while working full-time at BPL. Lois, thank you so much for all your contributions. Please accept every good wish for your retirement.


Beth Boyson

Adult Services Programming & Reference Librarian | Cataloger

Bozeman Public Library

BBoyson@BOZEMAN.NET


Photo by Paul Dissly

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Hotspots Come to the Bozeman Public Library

A year ago, I didn’t know this word would connect us to each other, or, designate a place to desperately avoid. See what happens in a year?


Adding hotspots to the circulating collection in Montana has been challenging, even with all the great help from Montana State Library. (Shoutout!) The additional responsibility of explaining how to use them, charge them, return them, and store them, has made for interesting discussion and debate.


Establishing a policy has also proven to be a challenge. Is a new borrower’s agreement needed? These hotspots are EXPENSIVE. What if one is lost or damaged? Is charging $300 fair? Did the borrower know that might happen? On the lender’s side, can we guarantee privacy to the borrower? While using a hotspot, is that information stored somewhere by the vendor? Is that information accessible to someone not quite as committed to confidentiality as libraries generally are?


I like hotspots – the ones that help people connect, not the ones that are a collection of Covid infections. Hotspots are helping people who isolated connect safely to the outside world. This is essential for school, telehealth appointments, personal connections and mental health. The discussions and sharing of best practices on how to package, lend and maintain them has brought the library community together.


The Covid relief bill (CARES Act) passed in March, contains significant money devoted to libraries, and devices. Here’s to a new adventure in serving users.


Beth Boyson

Adult Services Programming & Reference Librarian | Cataloger

Bozeman Public Library

BBoyson@BOZEMAN.NET

Montana Library Hotspot Map Now Available

The Montana State Library has created a map that can be accessed by the public to find public library Wi-Fi locations near them: https://arcg.is/1Of55C. The map has information such as hours the connection is available, outside access tips, and related services available at the library.


Please feel free to share on social media or your library's website. If you'd like to embed this in your website, please let me know and I can generate an iframe code for you.


Jessica Edwards

Data Coordinator

jedwards@mt.gov

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New Notary at Great Falls Public Library

The Great Falls Public Library is proud to announce our newest Notary Public! Triston Kanode has been working at the library for just over 2 years, beginning in Circulation and moving quickly to Reference Services, and now joins Eva McDunn and Debbie Stewart as a Notary Public.


The Great Falls Public Library has had Notaries Public on staff for decades, with now retired Library Director Kathy Mora filling the position long before she made her way up to the third floor Director's office.

"I'm excited to offer expanded library services during the covid pandemic when other notary services such as banks are unavailable to the public. It's important to me to always be expanding my repertoire and certifications when offering services and expertise to patrons." says Triston.

Debbie explains her views on the role, "What we offer is important because we help people from beginning to end. We help patrons find the forms or documents they need for their situation, they can print them out here, and then we can notarize for them. So many notaries are specialized only in their field, like at the bank, or cost a lot of money per notarial act. We're affordable and knowledgeable".


Eva McDunn, 2017 Montana Notary of the Year, says "Offering this service reduces barriers for at-risk populations who don't have traditional bank accounts or practices."

Becoming a Notary Public requires at least 4 hours of training and passing the notary exam, and is managed through the office of the Montana Secretary of State.


Photo of Triston Kanode taken by Katie Richmond


Katie Richmond (she/her/hers)
Public Relations
Great Falls Public Library
krichmond@greatfallslibrary.org

ImagineIF Offers Take-home Kits for Kids, Teens and Adults

ImagineIF Libraries is excited to continue new educational programming for kids, teens and adults in 2021. Due to COVID-19, the Library’s in-person programs are on pause, but ImagineIF will still provide hands-on learning for youth and adults in Flathead County. Kids, teens and adults can enjoy take-home kits available for pickup at all ImagineIF locations starting the first Monday of each month: Takeout Storytime, ImagineIF Minis, Teen Take & Make and Adult Take & Make. Find out more at: imagineiflibraries.org/take-make-kits.


For preschool ages, parents and caregivers can pick up a Takeout Storytime Kit designed especially for toddlers and preschoolers, containing everything needed to replicate an ImagineIF Early Literacy Class at home. Kits will include songs, science and art exploration, sensory activities and child development tips for caregivers.


Students in grades K-5 are invited to explore science, culture, and art through ImagineIF’s Mini Take-home Kit. Whether exploring chocolate chemistry, recreating ancient sundial technologies, or dissecting owl pellets, kids will relish hands-on learning.


The Teen Take & Make Kit challenges teens to explore STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities through entertaining and fun projects they can do at home. These kits are especially for youth in 6th - 12th grade.


The Adult Take & Make Kit is designed for adults to engage in hands-on activities that inspire tinkering, experimentation and play. Get inspired to learn a new skill or try a new recipe!


Library visitors can also request these kits via Personal Shopper service for a nearly touchless experience. Find out more about Personal Shopper at: imagineiflibraries.org/shopper or call 758-5820.


Lune Axelsen

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

imagineif LIBRARIES

laxelsen@imagineiflibraries.org


Thumbnail Photo by Ellie Newel

Below Photo: A toddler creates their own work of art using the "Artist" Takehome Storytime Kit. - Photo by Kayla Calderwood

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Why Strategic Planning Matters

Why Strategic Planning Matters


“Our goal is to equip libraries to successfully engage all members of their communities through planning so they can confidently invest in current and future library services that meet the changing needs of our patrons. In doing so, libraries reaffirm their status as vital centers of their communities.” -Jennie Stapp, Montana State Librarian


The Montana State Library is part of a two-year, multi-state training initiative that will make strategic planning accessible to libraries across the state. Through the “Framing the Future: Advancing Strategic Planning for Small and Rural Libraries (FtF)” program, key representatives from Montana will receive training in strategic planning facilitation and will be available to help Montana libraries complete a strategic plan.


The Montana State Library is partnering with Library Strategies and 5 other states in providing this opportunity to Montana libraries. We began the process with training in equity, diversity, and inclusion. The next phase of this project involves exploring why strategic planning is important and how it can be helpful.


If you are attending the 2021 virtual Montana Library Association conference and are interested in strategic planning, please consider joining us at the Saturday, April 17 “Importance of Strategic Planning Session” happening from 9:00am – 10:30am. The session will be recorded.


The workshops in Phase 2 of “Framing the Future” are tailored to each participating state and will focus on several elements that contribute to creating a culture of planning for library communities. The virtual workshops will include:


  • Exploration of why planning is important for libraries and their communities.
  • Learning about the essentials and structure of a planning process.
  • Investigate why and how community engagement should be the heart of a planning process.
  • Exploration of how facilitated planning can lead to better prioritization of library needs, new perspectives on service, and better access for underserved communities.


This project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Laura Bush, Community Catalyst Grant number RE-246273-OLS-20. Arizona, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming are participating in this project.


Tracy Cook

Montana State Library

TCook2@mt.gov

SHAKESPEARE IN MONTANA Wins The 2020 Montana Book Award

The 2020 Montana Book Award winner is Shakespeare in Montana: Big Sky Country’s Love Affair with the World’s Most Famous Writer by Gretchen E. Minton, published by the University of New Mexico Press. This annual award recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book written or illustrated by someone who lives in Montana, is set in Montana, or deals with Montana themes or issues. Due to Covid 19, presentations and a reception for the winning authors will be hosted online this year by the Montana Library Association. Dates and times will be forthcoming.


Shakespeare in Montana: Big Sky Country’s Love Affair with the World’s Most Famous Writer traces more than two centuries of history and uncovers a vast array of different voices that capture the state of Montana’s love affair with the world’s most famous writer. From mountain men, pioneers, and itinerant acting companies in mining camps to women’s clubs at the turn of the twentieth century and the contemporary popularity of Shakespeare in the Parks throughout Montana, the book chronicles the stories of residents who have been attracted to the words and works of Shakespeare. Minton explores this unique relationship found in the Treasure State and provides considerable insight into the myriad places and times in which Shakespeare’s words have been heard and discussed. By revealing what Shakespeare has meant to the people of Montana, Minton offers us a better understanding of the state’s citizens and history while providing a key perspective on Shakespeare’s enduring global influence.


Three honor books were also chosen by the 2020 Montana Book Award Committee:


The Blaze by Chad Dundas, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Having lost much of his memory from a traumatic brain injury sustained in Iraq, army veteran Matthew Rose is called back to Montana after his father's death to settle his affairs, and hopefully to settle the past as well. When an event sparks a memory of an unsolved crime from long ago, a part of Matthew's past might lead to answers that connect two acts of arson, a series of long-unsolved mysteries, and a ruthless act of murder.


Life List by Marc Beaudin, published by Riverfeet Press. A kind of field guide in poetry, this collection pays tribute to the birds that have flown through Beaudin’s years of watching and listening, through his “vain attempts to render in language the precarious circumstances of being alive.” With a sharp critique of environmental, social and political issues, along with haunting ruminations on loss, love and the passing of time, these poems fill the skies with a feathered grace.


Regarding Willingness by Tom Harpole, published by Riverfeet Press. Tom “Harp” Harpole was a horse logger working from remote mountain camps and living in wall tents until an accident suggested a change of lifestyle. He took to his other avocation – writing. His willingness and perspective on dalliances with danger range from an N.F.L. record, to horse logging, to skydiving with Russian cosmonauts, to getting a black bear stoned, to his compassion as a volunteer EMT in rural Montana, to protesting Gorbachev in 1990, to driving ice roads above the Arctic circle, and more. This book is a collection of sixteen of his most popular stories.


The Montana Book Award was founded by the Friends of the Missoula Public Library in 2001 and winners are selected by a committee of individuals representing areas throughout Montana. Members of the 2020 Montana Book Award committee include Gloria Behem, Chester; Marje Doyle, Missoula; Amanda Allpress, Missoula; Della Dubbe, Helena, Hannah Mundt, Bozeman, Kim Siemsen, Glendive; Debbie Stewart, Great Falls; Starla Rice, Hot Springs; and Gavin Woltjer, Billings.


Elizabeth C. Jonkel

Assistant Director

Missoula Public Library

ejonkel@missoula.lib.mt.us

Growing Services: Mansfield Library's New Seed Library

With the end of winter finally in sight and the indoor growing season upon us, seasoned and beginner gardeners alike have been visiting the Mansfield Library to browse and check out seeds from the seed library that launched mid-February. This new service is proving to be both helpful and popular, with over 350 checkouts in just 18 days!


Responding to community interest in growing food and pandemic-spurred food insecurity, the seed library was started to provide community members with the resources and encouragement to gain food, knowledge, and experience with sustainable seed practices. Through relationships with the Five Valleys Seed Library, UM Dining, the PEAS Farm, and other local farmers, the Mansfield Library is able to provide the public with both seeds (many of which are regionally-adapted) and information about gardening, seed saving, and food systems.


Students and non-student community members alike can take seeds from the seed library, meaning usual patrons of the currently-closed Five Valleys Seed Library still have access to free seeds!


Photo credit: Chloe Runs Behind


Patti McKenzie

Assistant to the Dean – Media Information

Mansfield Library

patricia.mckenzie@umontana.edu

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- PROGRAMS, PROMOTIONS, PROJECTS -

Cates is going virtual for 2021!

And we hope you’ll go with us!


In order to continue our important mission of raising money for scholarships for library education, the MLA Cates Committee is asking for your usual amazing Cates Silent Auction contributions. But this year, we’ll be posting the auction items online and folks will have a chance to submit a bid for the item—all virtually. We are also hoping contributors will be kind enough to cover the cost of shipping auction items to the eventual winner, as a last resort. (We are thinking about other methods of delivering items).


If you can contribute, please send a photo and description of your silent auction contribution to Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson at lisameckjack@gmail.com by March 1, 2021. We will have the auction page open for raffle chances from April 1-April 14 and will announce the winners of the random drawings at the MLA Conference April 14-17, 2021.


You can buy a chance for an item - 1 for $5 or 6 for $25. So, it’s pretty much like the in-person Cates Silent Auction you’ve come to know and love at conference—only virtual!


Stay tuned to hear more. For now, start pulling together your awesome crafts, jewelry, food, wine, book, what-have-you contributions. Let’s raise some money for librarian scholarships—all in the name of Sheila Cates!


Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson

lisameckjack@gmail.com

Town Pump offering library grants to ‘Keep Kids Reading’

The Town Pump Charitable Foundation is offering $1,000 grants to public libraries in Montana to help fund summer youth-reading programs.


Libraries can apply now through April 30 at www.townpumpfoundation.com using the Keep Kids Reading application. Grants will be awarded in May 2021.


“The Town Pump Charitable Foundation appreciates the critical role libraries play in our Montana communities,” said Bill McGladdery, director of corporate communications for Town Pump. “Many Montana libraries increase youth-reading programs in the summer months to help prevent the ‘summer slide’ and help children maintain or improve their spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.”


Summer youth programs also introduce local citizens to all the library has to offer children and families for free.


Reprinted from Montana Standard Newspaper, March 21, 2021.

Brodart LITTLE ONE: Books for Children and Teens

Introducing the Little One book catalog! Help younger library patrons get lost in over 200 titles that explore friendship, nature, diversity, STEM, and more. Inside you’ll find the most buzzed-about books set to release in April-June 2021.

So how does the catalog work?

To Browse: Click on a category title (Brain Power, Summer Reading, etc.) to view that category’s full title list. Click on a cover image for additional title information.

To Place an Order: Click on the banner for the full list of titles, found on the back cover of the catalog. From there, you can log into Bibz. Then simply choose your title selections to create your own list, and place your order.


To learn more, check out these links:

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- MARGINALIA -

Montana Library Association receives a donation every time you make a purchase on smile.amazon.com with “MLA” as the donation recipient. Set up your automatic donation today and remember to shop with “Smile”!

Submissions Open for the June 2021 Issue!

REMINDER: The submission deadline for the June newsletter is May 20. Please email your library news, micro-reviews & photos (with captions & attributions) to mlaFOCUSeditor@gmail.com Thank You!


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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: