a newsletter of the Montana Library Association

Big image
[ February 2017 Vol. 35 Issue 1 ]

This Issue Sponsored by NCCE

Providing year-round professional development opportunities

for K-12 administrators, educators and support staff.

Big image


by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, President of the Montana Library Association

Big image

[ ABOVE: The MLA President hangs out with two hunks at the 2013 Cates fundraising event ...
Librarian Feud! Can you guess which one is Lisa? ]

We recently had a great meeting of the Montana Library Association Board in Helena. Your representatives are engaged and interested and we are working together to do the best for libraries in Montana. Here are some highlights of the January 18 MLA Board meeting.

Stephen Haddad, the MLA Webmaster, has been working hard on a re-design of the MLA Website. It’s been quite some time since our association Website was updated and the board is excited about the changes. We plan on doing a big debut of the new Website at the MLA Conference in March. We are looking for super cool photos for the picture rotator. If you have some good photos to share, contact Stephen at The individual submitting photos which are chosen for the rotator will be eligible for a drawing for a free year’s membership in MLA!

Thanks to MLA Director at Large West, Conor Cote, MLA now has a Twitter page!

The MLA Board approved an associate membership with the Montana Newspaper Association. The two organizations are mutual allies on First Amendment issues and promoting access to public information. As a former journalist, I am particularly excited about this new partnership. Thanks to Jim Kammerer for bringing this to the board’s attention.

A group was put together to look at the investment strategies for MLA funds. We have two managed accounts and the investment strategies for these accounts hasn’t been examined since the accounts were established 10 years ago. Well, we’re going to take a look at them now and see if there might be ways to get a higher rate of return. A committee of myself, Debbi Kramer, Jennie Stapp, and Bruce Newell will do some research, meet to discuss possible options, and report back to the MLA Board in March.

The board approved some updates to the Professional Development Committee guidelines and working documents. A huge shout-out to the Professional Development Committee Chair, Sheila Bonnand, who has spent a huge amount of time working to right the MLA professional development grant situation which went a bit off-track last year. Sheila and her committee have really done great work on behalf of MLA—thank you all so much!

After our board meeting on Jan. 18, I was fortunate to attend the “How to talk to your legislators” training at the State Library put on by John Finn, MLA Government Affairs Chair, and Nanette Gilbertson, MLA’s lobbyist. As the former legislative librarian of Montana, and also a legislative attorney, I believe I understand the legislative process pretty well. I was very impressed with Nanette’s presentation—lots of great information for dealing with legislators and the legislative process. Nanette had an excellent PowerPoint which she was willing to share with us. We put it in the MLA Webpage. Please check it out.

The library legislative reception on Jan. 18 was a resounding success. Thanks to all the librarians who attended. A special thanks to the staff at the state library and John Finn, MLA’s liaison, who put the evening together and added all the special details that make the evening so memorable. Congrats to Eve Byron at the State Library who came up with the idea of videoing legislators talking about why they love libraries. If you haven’t seen these videos on the State Library Facebook page, you should check them out. Really quite brilliant marketing.

Registration for the MLA Conference March 29-31 in Billings is now open! We’re changing things up a bit for this conference and I am excited to see how the new format works. The conference is Wednesday through Friday, ending at 5:00 on Friday. Wednesday will feature a series of pre-conference workshops, all free. MLA is also offering a free lunch on Wednesday. At that lunch, there will be tables for networking based on a specific topics. You can choose a topic you are interested in and visit with like-minded individuals. This idea came about as a result of MLA program selections last fall. There were a number of program proposals submitted that were great ideas but were not selected as programs for the conference as the topics seemed to appeal to a smaller audience. These will now be topics at our lunch roundtable. I think this is going to be terrific!

And, of course, I can’t talk about the MLA Conference without bringing up the Cates events. The Cates Silent Auction has become a staple at conference and serves to raise several thousand dollars for librarian scholarships each year. Plus, it’s really fun to see all the neat auction items that people donate. And the Cates fundraising event is always the most fun at conference. Know your Montana towns and world geography? Know how to fold a map into a hat? Then you’re definitely going to want to get in on this year’s Cates event-- the Where in the World is Sheila Cates Geography Bee! You or your team might win the trophy! But even if you don’t, you’ll walk away from the Cates event with a sore stomach from laughing so much. If you’ve never attended a Cates fundraising event, please do so this year. I know you will have a great time and the money we raise is so important for the continuing education of Montana’s librarians. This year, the Cates event will be held Wednesday evening March 29, so you’ll be all fresh and ready for the fun. The Cates Committee can hardly wait to see you at the Geography Bee!

MLA is moving and shaking and I like it like that. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to seeing you soon!




News From MLA :

- Sheila Bonnand: Professional Development Committee News

- We get an MLA Conference Update from Debbi Kramer

- Lisa Mecklenberg-Jackson provides a handy flyer for the Cates Geography Bee

- John Finn has word on MLA's legislative involvement in the past, present, future

- Conor Cote updates us on MLA's emergence onto Twitter

- Laura Tretter's work with the Tech Services Interest Group is bearing fruit, and

- Megan Stark delivers the 4-1-1 on the new Montana Information Literacy Alliance

FOCUS on Special Librarians: Get to know some of Montana's special librarians

News From Our Affiliates:

- Carmen Clark: Updates from PNLA

- Eileen Wright: Updates from MPLA

Programs, Promotions & Projects :

- Jude Smith brings us news from the Great Falls Public Library Foundation

- Lewis & Clark Library partners with hoopla digital in this update from Patricia Spencer

- Alison Pomerantz keeps us all posted as Whitefish Community Library puts safety first

Marginalia :

- Micro-Reviews

- Kudos! Dillonaire Marie Habener

- Attention Academic Librarians! (call for submissions)

- From the Editors

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

please visit:

Big image


Professional Development Committee News

by Sheila Bonnand, Montana State University Library

Money, money, money, money!

This year’s second round of MLA grants were awarded in January. Congratulations to:

  • Abbi Dooley, North Lake County Public Library District, New Member MLA Conference Grant, $150
  • Corey Fifles, Bozeman Public Library, New Member MLA Conference Grant, $150
  • Mellisa Christofferson, Three Forks Community Library, New Member MLA Conference Grant, $150
  • Michelle Trafton, Fergus High School Library, New Member MLA Conference Grant, $150
  • Jacqueline Frank, Montana State University Library, MLA Conference Grant, $150
  • Mellisa Christofferson, Three Forks Community Library, Offline Grant, $50
  • Martha Furman, Imagine IF Library, Professional Development Grant, $650. Martha will be attending The Association of Children’s Museums: Interactivity 2017 in Pasadena.

The deadline for applications for the next round of grants is March 1. Watch for the call for applications on Wired. The committee has 1 New Member MLA Conference Grant of $150 to award and 14 MLA Conference Grants of $150 each to award. We will also be accepting Professional Development Grants applications. Details about these grant opportunities and application forms can be found at

[ Questions? Contact Sheila Bonnand, PD Committee chair, at ]

MLA Conference Update

by Debbi Kramer, MLA Executive Director
Big image

It’s time to gear up for the annual Montana Library Association Conference. The annual conference will be held in beautiful downtown Billings at the Northern Hotel and the DoubleTree by Hilton. Both hotels are anxious to host MLA on March 29-April 1, 2017.

MLA is shaking things up a bit this year with a little different format. Wednesday has been designed “Seminar Day.” Seven stimulating and educational three hour workshops will be held, four workshops in the morning from 9 am to noon and three workshops in the afternoon from 1 pm to 4 pm. There will also be a lunch available to save seminar attendees from trying to find somewhere to eat during the one hour lunch break. All you’ll have to do is grab a plate, fill it up, sit down and eat while you network with your fellow librarians.

The Sheila Cates Scholarship Event will be held on Wednesday evening following the Welcome Reception and Montana Book Awards at the award winning Billings Public Library.

On Thursday and Friday all the workshops will be an hour long. MLA hopes this format will allow more networking time, visits with the exhibitors and a more enjoyable conference. There will be no Saturday conference events so those traveling long distances will be able to return home and still have a little weekend left to unwind.

We’ll all hit the ground running on Thursday morning with the New Member-Past Presidents’ Breakfast, workshops, exhibitor welcome, Keynote Speaker Erica Findley, library advocate and Board Member from EveryLibrary, division luncheons, interest group meetings and finally cap the day off with the Awards/Membership Dinner. Friday morning we begin the day with the MT2Go Membership meeting, a TRAILS meeting, more workshops, Author Luncheon with best-selling Montana author Keith McCafferty, MLA Membership meeting, a no-conflict time with vendors and finishing off the day with more marvelous workshops and then time for some to begin the long trek home.

The Conference Steering Committee has worked many hours to make this an educational and informational conference. They’ve selected worthwhile programs, chosen delicious, cost efficient meals and scheduled daily events to accommodate all conference attendees.

The 2017 Conference website has all the information needed to register for conference, select meals, buy a ticket for the Cates Event, book a hotel room and chose the workshops and other events one wants to attend by using the following link:

See you in Billings!

[ Debbi can be reached at ]

Big image

MLA Legislative News

by John Finn, Lewis & Clark Library

Greetings fellow Montana librarians. The 2017 Montana Legislative Session kicked off on January 2 and Nanette Gilberston (MLA lobbyist) and I are keeping a close on eye legislation that affects libraries.

MLA’s number one legislative priority is supporting and passing the Per Capita/Per Square Mile legislation. We are rolling along on that priority. The legislation now has a Bill # and will be heard by the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday January 24. Our Bill # is HB261, sponsored by Representative Frank Garner of Kalispell and Co-Sponsored by Representative Kimberly Dudik of Missoula. Testimony will be given by Kim Crowley of the ImagineIf Libraries, Mark Wetherington of the Bitterroot Public Library, Nanette Gilbertson of MLA, and Jennie Stapp of the State Library. Updates will be posted to WIRED as they become available.

On January 20 Nanette and I testified on behalf of two Privacy related bills sponsored by Representative Daniel Zolnikov of Billings. If you recall Representative Zolnikov was the recipient of MLA’s Intellectual Freedom Award this past year for his work on the same legislation in 2015. Nanette and I were happy to support the legislation again.

We continue to monitor the LAWS database for potential legislation that could affect libraries in Montana. You will be notified with clear and detailed instructions from the Government Affairs Committee and MLA Lobbyist Nanette Gilberston when MLA needs your help.

I wanted to give an update on the Montana Library Legislative Day reception, which took place on Wednesday evening January 18. It was a great success. In early estimates we believe there were more than 100 legislators in attendance. It was a good turnout and afforded librarians a wonderful chance to mingle with and share their library’s stories with their elected officials.

I want to thank all of the Friends groups and Foundations from all over Montana that made donations to the reception planning committee. Matched with donations from vendors and other affiliated associations and interest groups, we raised just over $3000 to offset the costs of the reception. Those groups and individuals who contributed were: ImagineIf Libraries Foundation, Bozeman Public Library Foundation, Friends of Bozeman Public Library, Friends of Missoula Public Library, Lewis & Clark Library Foundation, Niki Whearty, Friends of the Big Timber Library, Sirsi Dynix, Infor, Inc., Capital City Chapter of Montana Association for the Blind, Friends of the Toole County Library, and MAGIP.

As you may recall this is the event where MLA takes photos of legislators holding a favorite book, which we use to create the ever-popular READ poster. Those posters are sent to Libraries all over Montana. This year we took over 90 photos of legislators and other guests. Simply standing in line helping legislators choose a book from the 100+ titles we had on hand was fun and engaging. If your legislator was involved in a READ poster picture you can expect a poster soon.

This has already been an exciting and eye-opening session for MLA. We look forward to a successful Per Capita/Per Square Mile campaign.

[ If you have any questions about this session, please contact John at ]

The Montana Library Association is on Twitter!

by Conor Cote, Montana Tech Library

To kick off 2017, the MLA has launched a new twitter account. Follow @MT_mla for news and other information related to Montana Libraries. If you'd like to contribute or have ideas for content please contact any MLA board members or officer. Join the conversation!

Big image

News From the Technical Services Interest Group

by Laura Tretter, Group Chair; Montana Historical Society Research Center

Check out the free webinars from the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) division of ALA. ALCTS make all of their webinars available at no cost 6 months after the original presentation. They do not even require you to be a current division or ALA member.

As expected their webinars include traditional cataloging topics such as RDA and classification, but they cover much more than that. These webinars are a great way to keep informed about developments in BIBFRAME, linked data, and the future of technical services. They cover topics such as management, budgeting, preservation, and digital collections. With over 200 webinars currently available I know you will find something that will help you in your work.

Browse the current list of webinars here:

or on the ALCTS YouTube Channel:

[ Laura can be reached at ]

News From the Montana Information Literacy Alliance

by Megan Stark, University of Montana's Mansfield Library

Join the MLA’s Newest Interest Group: Montana Information Literacy Alliance

The Montana Information Literacy Alliance (MILA), a newly established MLA interest group, invites all Montana librarians to connect with each other about the many ways we all teach information literacy and lifelong learning in our diverse library environments across the state. A small steering group with representation from academic, public and school libraries has been working to reach out to Montana librarians and we are excited to formalize this effort and welcome new voices into the dialogue.

The vision of the group includes developing an online space for the sharing of both teaching materials and insightful discussion, all in support of lifelong learning. Content may range from structured lesson plans to anecdotal accounts of effective patron interactions. MILA hopes to exist as both a resource and an ongoing conversation—offering support, connection, ideas, and feedback to libraries tasked with educating Montanans across their diverse and varied library experiences.

The MILA steering group strongly believes that the diversity among all our libraries brings us richness and strength. We are excited to work toward creating a useful resource all librarians can use to support information literacy when they run into dead ends, need to update their go-to teaching examples, venture outside their subject expertise, want to discuss a sensitive topic with professional peers, or simply have something great to share.

Does this sound like you? We sure hope so! If you are interested in joining and further guiding this effort, or simply learning more about it, contact Micah Gjeltema or Megan Stark

You will also be hearing more from the group at the annual MLA conference—we are excited to continue the discussion in Billings. Plan to join our meeting on Thursday, March 30th from 4:30 – 5:30 PM in the 2nd Floor South Ballroom in the Northern Hotel!

[ Megan can be reached at ]

Big image


Our association is made up of librarians of all types and walks of life. In this segment we turn our attention to some MLA members who are serving in Special Libraries across Montana. When asked to share a bit about themselves a few interesting surprises were revealed. Get to know your colleagues better --read on!

Taylor Robinson (Rocky Mountain Laboratories Library)

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

A. I like that I am constantly learning and that each day is a little bit different.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about your library or the work you do?

A. I wish more Montana libraries knew they could borrow material from our collection.

Q. What do you enjoy when you're not at the library? Hobbies, sports, family activities etc.

A. I enjoy recreating outside in a variety of ways, my dogs, reading, and cooking.

Q. Describe something in your library career that you are proud of accomplishing.

A. I am proud of the position I hold at RML and the yoga classes and the Outdoor Recreation Collection I created on the RML campus.

The RML Library is open to members of the public who need to use the library's resources for their research by appointment.

Big image

[ Outdoor Recreation Collection flyer created by Taylor ]

Big image

[Taylor & pup Chuchi mostly enjoying winter ]

[ Taylor can be reached at ]

Jessica Gerdes (Yellowstone Research Library)

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

A. Helping people find answers to their questions.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about your library or the work you do?

A. We exist!

Q. What do you enjoy when you're not at the library? Hobbies, sports, family activities etc.

A. Reading.

Q. Describe something in your library career that you are proud of accomplishing.

A. Creating our Collection Development Policy.

The Yellowstone Research Library collects published and unpublished materials related to Yellowstone and to make these materials available to park staff, researchers, and the general public. The library collection consists of more than 20,000 books, periodicals, theses and dissertations, unpublished manuscripts, microforms of historic newspapers and scrapbooks, brochures, technical reports, and audio visual material.

The library has also hosted teacher training seminars focusing on primary documents and teacher-led high school writing groups. In 2006, the library staff began a bookmobile service that travels around the park interior once a month during the summer. Participation in the program has grown by at least 30% every year since it began.

[ Jessica can be reached at ]

Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson (Montana Innocence Project)

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

A. Helping people find the information/knowledge they need or want. I am very passionate about access to justice.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about your library or the work you do?

A. That hundreds of innocent people are in jail for crimes they did not commit and the Montana Innocence Project serves as their advocate and champion. We right the inadvertent wrongs of the justice system.

Q. What do you enjoy when you're not at the library? Hobbies, sports, family activities etc.

A. I love hanging out with my twin girls. I spend a lot of time at their school. I play volleyball and enjoy baking and spending time with the Norwegians at the Sons of Norway lodge!

Q. What is something people may find surprising or unusual about you?

A. I could eat chocolate for every meal of every day.

Q. Describe something in your library career that you are proud of accomplishing.

A. I am very proud of the MLA Book Babes calendar of 2008. It was very clever and we had so much fun making it!

“The Montana Innocence Project (MTIP) was founded in June 2008 by a committed group of public officials, attorneys, journalists and professors. MTIP is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to exonerating the innocent and preventing wrongful convictions.”

MTIP does not have a formal legal library, but since Lisa tenure a subject matter library of legal pleadings--digital and in-print, has been created. MTIP uses the same online legal tools that a law library would use, such as Lexis, Westlaw, etc. MTIP has benefited greatly from Lisa’s library background. They LOVE her organizational skills and that she is a librarian!

Big image

[ This is a poster of Richard Raugust created by Lisa. Richard was the first exoneree of the Montana Innocence Project. He was exonerated last September after new evidence of his innocence was discovered. Richard spent 18 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. He'd still be there if not for the Montana Innocence Project. ]

[ Lisa can be reached at ]

Stephan Licitra (State Law Library of Montana)

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

A. I enjoy helping patrons find what they are looking for and the new discoveries I find along the way. Even simple questions can be an adventure in a library. I once helped an author research marriage laws in the 1800s for his new book.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about your library or the work you do?

A. I wish people knew that you can discover more about the world from our resources than just the law. The law is intimately tied to so many aspects of our lives and society. That truth is reflected in our resources.

Q. What do you enjoy when you're not at the library? Hobbies, sports, family activities etc.

A. When I am not at the library, I like to read and surf the web. I also like singing in my local church choir, dancing, crafting and attending family events.

Q. What is something people may find surprising or unusual about you?

A. Reading was a challenge for me when I was younger, up to about 5th grade. Visiting and working at my local library helped me become excited about reading and libraries. Libraries helped me become a better reader and learner.

Q. Describe something in your library career that you are proud of accomplishing.

A. I am proud of the many different kinds of libraries I have had the opportunity to for. They have all added to my growth and opened the world for me in some unique way.

“The mission of the State Law Library is to provide access to legal information consistent with the research needs of Montana's judges and court personnel, members of the State Bar of Montana, state officers and employees, and members of the general public.”

Big image

[ Stephen can be reached at ]

Suzanne Reymer (Montana State Library)

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

A. Being able to use information to help people solve problems.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about your library or the work you do?

A. Consultants are here for public librarians and trustees to help you do your jobs better!

Q. What do you enjoy when you're not at the library? Hobbies, sports, family activities etc.

A. My pets - two dogs and three cats. I love movies and live music. In July, you can almost always find me at the Montana Folk Festival. I'm a Seattle sports fan, particularly the Mariners and the Seahawks.

Q. What is something people may find surprising or unusual about you?

A. I speak Russian and Polish. Russian from a university minor. Polish from three years as an English as a Second Language lecturer for Peace Corps in Poland.

Q. Describe something in your library career that you are proud of accomplishing.

A. I started my career at MSL as a Technology Consultant and I think I'm most proud of the progress that has been made and continues to be made in library technology. We've gone from dial-up to fiber in areas in just a few years, with the help of the Gates foundation, BTOP, E-rate, and a lot of hard work and dedication at the local level. This has enabled even small rural libraries to participate in programs like Montana Shared Catalog and Montana Library 2 Go, and allows them to provide good quality public access to the Internet. I like to think we can even do better.

Learn more about the services the Montana State Library offers you as librarians!


Big image

[ Suzanne is a remote worker without a library. This is her assistant Spike. ]

Big image

[ Suzanne (left) & Gale Bacon work with GoToMeeting on an iPad

at Broad Valleys Federation meeting in 2015]

[ Suzanne can be reached at ]

Sonia Gavin (Legislative Reference Center)

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

A. Helping patron find answers and doing research.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about your library or the work you do?

A. While my primary responsibilities are managing the Legislative Reference Center, I do many other duties for the Montana Legislature, including managing the Session Information Desk, assisting with New Legislator Orientation, coordinating our civic education efforts, and doing outreach about the Legislature.

Q. What do you enjoy when you're not at the library? Hobbies, sports, family activities etc.

A. I enjoy my two dogs (a Basset Hound and a Bassador) cooking, quilting, knitting and crocheting, and hosting social gatherings.

Q. Describe something in your library career that you are proud of accomplishing.

A. I was elected to serve as the Chair of the National Conference of Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Research Librarians' staff section, and I am also in my second year on the Executive Committee for NCSL. In 2016 I was awarded the Outstanding Achievement award for Legislative Research Librarians.

“In addition to serving the Legislative Branch, the Reference Center helps other state agencies and the general public with questions about Montana's legislative process. The public is welcome to use the collection for legislative research. Non-legislative researchers can contact the State Law Library (406-444-3660) for legal research assistance. Historical material, such as information about former legislators, is housed at the Montana Historical Society Library (406-444-2681).”

Big image

[Sonia standing on the 3rd floor of the Capitol, with the Rotunda in background]

[ Sonia can be reached at ]

Molly Kruckenberg (Montana Historical Society Research Center)

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

A. Sharing the incredible history of our State with our public.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about your library or the work you do?

A. I wish more people knew about and took advantage of the incredible resources that we have at the Montana Historical Society Research Center. From historic newspapers and maps, to diaries and government records, to photographs and films, to digital materials, we collect, preserve and provide access to a wealth of information about the history and heritage of our Montana.

Q. What do you enjoy when you're not at the library? Hobbies, sports, family activities etc.

A. I enjoy reading (of course) but also many outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, hunting, boating and skiing.

Q. What is something people may find surprising or unusual about you?

A. I grew up in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the "Groundhog Capital of the World!"

Q. Describe something in your library career that you are proud of accomplishing.

A. In 2014, following nearly ten years of planning and funding requests, we installed high density shelving in our Archives storage facility. This shelving allows for safe and secure storage for our priceless collections as well as for several years' worth of collection growth.

“The Research Center is a non-circulating library, archive, and photo archive with collections available for onsite use as well as digitized materials available online.”

Big image

[ New high density shelving at the Archives ]

Big image

[ Molly and crew ]

[ Molly can be reached at ]

Libby Wolfe (PLUK Parent Center Library)

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

A. Assisting patrons in finding the info and resources they need for their child or student.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about your library or the work you do?

A. We serve patrons statewide. We are not here just for parents. We have information for grandparents, siblings, caregivers, educators, agencies, staff training and more!

Q. What do you enjoy when you're not at the library? Hobbies, sports, family activities etc.

A. I love to quilt. I enjoy genealogy and have started using DNA in my genealogy research. I am also a novice birder. One of my favorite activities is doing Nosework with my dog, Buddie. Buddie is a rescued Cairn Terrier and sniffing helps lower his anxiety. In Nosework he has to find specific odors hidden in a variety of locations. We both enjoy this activity and it has been great for his anxiety and confidence."

Q. What is something people may find surprising or unusual about you?

A. I don't work physically in my library. The PLUK Parent Center Library is in Billings and I take care of everything from my home in Bozeman. Since we serve patrons state wide, many are not aware of the fact that I am not in the library when I serve them. There are a few people in the PLUK office that assist me by mailing items to patrons and re-shelving returned items. I go to Billings a couple of times a year.

Q. Describe something in your library career that you are proud of accomplishing.

A. I have learned everything I know about running a library on the job. I never imagined myself working in a library, but I love it. I am thankful for the fantastic libraries around the state that are willing to work together and assist each other as we serve our patrons.

“The PLUK Library is a health services library, geared primarily towards Montanans, dedicated to providing disability-related information to families and professionals in Montana.

It is open to everyone and is specialized in disability-related topics. The library lends books, curricula, DVDs, software, and videos and will send materials anywhere within Montana, with patrons paying return postage.”

Big image

[ Libby and Buddie doing “Nosework” ]

[ Libby can be reached at ]

Becky Neumann (Kalispell Regional Medical Center)

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

A. I love that librarianship is a service-oriented, community-minded, and education-invested career, and that it flourishes on future-forward thinking and technology. I enjoy helping patrons find exactly what they need and experiencing (and witnessing) those delightful "Aha!" moments of discovery that come from learning something new or seeing something in a different perspective.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about your library or the work you do?

A. Medical librarians are strong supporters and enthusiasts about evidence-based practice and care; we are passionate about best-practice quality healthcare, and one way that we express that exuberance is by providing data-proven, peer-reviewed scientific research articles to clinical care providers. I'm inspired to work with excellence when I realize that on the other side of the articles or books we supply, there are patients benefiting from the information because they are receiving the most up-to-date healthcare practices.

Q. What do you enjoy when you're not at the library? Hobbies, sports, family activities etc.

A. I enjoy adventure (in the format of travel, running, hiking, backpacking, and kayaking). Downtime hobbies include photography, reading, interior decorating, symphonies, and playing violin. The greatest adventure of my life has been raising 4 children with my husband of 22.5 years. We are kept busy attending their varsity soccer and volleyball games in the Fall, and their varsity basketball games throughout the winter, and track and Ultimate Frisbee in the Spring - we are always in the the bleachers cheering for the SCS Cougars!

Q. What is something people may find surprising or unusual about you?

A. My husband and I enjoy Salsa dancing (we took lessons together); we once placed 4th at a competition and tied for 1st at an informal competition!

Q. Describe something in your library career that you are proud of accomplishing.

A. This may sound odd, but I'm a budget minded person, and throughout my limited career, I've always been able to stay within whatever financial allocations were stipulated while maintaining a high quality of outstanding service to patrons. Creativity, building relationships with volunteers, and networking to acquire resources are skill sets I've worked to hone, so that no matter what, my patrons (and my employer) get the highest quality of service from me. I'm proud to be able to do what's best for the library I work for and the patrons we serve without having to compromise the standard of excellence.

Big image

[Becky at the Library of Celsus in ancient Ephesus (a Roman city) of Turkey. The 3rd largest & richest library of its time, the Celsus Library was built in 117 AD and housed more than 12,000 scrolls.]

[ Becky can be reached at ]

Heidi Sue Adams (Kalispell Regional Medical Center)

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

A. Being of service to people and the thrill of finding an obscure article quickly.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about your library or the work you do?

A. The way we save people and organizations money; libraries are an amazing example of an exceptional return on investments for many.

Q. What do you enjoy when you're not at the library? Hobbies, sports, family activities etc.

A. Ice fishing, hiking, just playing in the grand outdoors all year long.

Q. What is something people may find surprising or unusual about you?

A. I played soccer in Sweden.

Q. Describe something in your library career that you are proud of accomplishing.

A. Mentoring others. Learning what others have taught me. Making lifelong friends with other librarians.

What does a medical librarian do?

“Medical librarianship is a service profession. Medical librarians are specially trained to research and provide information about medical diagnoses, treatments, procedures, tests, research, funding and equipment for health occupation workers, patients, consumers and corporations.”

“Medical librarians work with doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, medical students, hospital administrators and others involved in the health care profession. All of these health care employees are educated and want to see their patients receive the best possible treatment. Good information is an advantage for good health care.”

[ Heidi can be reached at ]

Attention Academic Librarians!

by your FOCUS Editors

We’d like to highlight Montana’s academic librarians in the next FOCUS. Will you help us by filling out a brief getting-to-know-you survey? We'd really love to hear from you.

Caroline & Kendra

[ Your editors can be reached at ]

Big image


by Carmen Clark, Bozeman Public Library

The PNLA Conference 2017 will be held August 2-4, 2017 at the Templin’s Resort in Post Falls, ID.

This should be a great conference in a spectacular setting! Tucked away in the majestic mountains of Post Falls, Idaho, Red Lion Templin's Hotel on the River is nestled on the Spokane River in Northern Idaho, just 35 minutes from Spokane International Airport. Please consider joining us this year.

A call for conference proposals is still forthcoming and it will post it on WIRED as soon as the information is available.

The conference rotation for future PNLA conferences is as follows:

  • 2018 Kalispell, Montana
  • 2019 Washington
  • 2020 Alaska (this will possibly be a joint conference with AKLA)
Big image


2017 Pacific NW Library Association (PNLA) Conference:

Renew & Reimagine at Post Falls, Idaho

You are invited to attend the 2017 PNLA Conference in Post Falls, Idaho on August 2-4th, 2017. Prepare to be soothed and delighted at the Templin’s Red Lion River Resort on the Spokane River, just across the border from Spokane, Washington and a mere 10 miles from beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene. North Idaho and Eastern Washington feature spectacular sightseeing, fabulous restaurants, and amazing recreational opportunities making the 2017 PNLA conference a family destination event.

The PNLA planning committee is currently seeking program proposals for one hour presentations at the conference. To submit your proposal, send the following information to the conference committee chair (Bette Ammon) at

The deadline for submissions is February 10, 2017 and submissions will receive a response from the planning committee by March 15th, 2017.

Be sure to include the following information with your submission:

About you:

  • Name
  • Affiliation
  • Position/title
  • Contact information: including mailing address, phone number and e-mail address
  • PNLA member?

About your program:

  • Program title
  • Program description (no more than 100 words)
  • Three Program goals or objectives
  • Program Format (single or double speaker, panel, hands-on, etc.)

Program Logistics:

  • Speaker needs (if any)
  • Equipment needs
  • Any other special requirements or additional information

Questions? Contact the program committee chair at

Important Dates:

  • Deadline for submissions: February 10
  • Submissions will receive a response by: March 31
  • Registration opens: April 18
  • Early Registration deadline: June 27
  • Regular registration deadline: Aug 2
Big image


Big image
by Eileen Wright, Montana State University Billings Library

Sad news from us:

MPLA Webmaster Dan Chaney passed away on Dec. 30, 2016. It is with great sadness that MPLA lost a wonderful man, advocate for not only his own library but for MPLA, and dear friend to so many. The sudden loss of Dan will be felt within MPLA for years to come.

More at:

Save the date:

Nevada Library Association will be next year’s host state with MPLA.

October 16-18, 2017 at South Lake Tahoe, Nevada at the Hard Rock Hotel.

[ Eileen can be reached at ]

Big image


GFPL Foundation News - The Book-A-Thon!

by Jude Smith, Great Falls Public Library

The Great Falls Public Library Foundation is excited to announce that their annual Book-A-Thon fundraiser has reached new heights. As of December 31, 436 donors had given $40,629 for the purchase of juvenile and young adult books and other materials.

“That’s more than was received for the entire 2015 campaign and the most ever for the December 31 cut off,” said Gail Carter, President of the Foundation. The Foundation typically receives an additional $3,000-$5,000 after January 1st, which would make this giving year a record-breaking year for the organization.

The Book-A-Thon began in 1990 and during that first year received $12,966 from 171 donors who were “cold called.” The fundraiser has since transitioned to a letter campaign and flyer distribution method of raising funds. Each year one half of the funds raised went toward purchasing juvenile and young adult materials and the other half was invested by the Foundation for the future. Beginning this year, 100% of the funds raised will go directly for purchasing materials.

Library Director Kathy Mora stated, “We simply could not have the caliber of youth collections in our library without the support of the Foundation and our very generous community. These donations give us more flexibility in budgeting for materials, so all the library’s collections benefit.”

For more information on the Library Foundation, call the library at 453-0349 or visit the Foundation’s website at

[ Jude can be reached at ]

Lewis & Clark Library Partners with Hoopla Digital to Give Patrons Online and Mobile Access to Free Movies, Music, eBooks and More!

by Patricia Spencer, Lewis & Clark Library

The Lewis & Clark Library is pleased to announce public availability of thousands of movies, television shows, music albums, eBooks, audiobooks and comics, all available for mobile and online access through a new partnership with hoopla digital ( that began January 3, 2017.

Lewis & Clark Library patrons can download the free hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or IOS device or visit to begin enjoying thousands of titles – from major Hollywood studios, record companies, and publishers – available to borrow 24/7, for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets, and computers.

“We strive to be an integral resource for our community,” explained Lewis & Clark Library Director John Finn. “This is done through strategic partnerships like our new relationship with hoopla digital, which enables our community members to instantly stream thousands of new titles to their devices. The easy-to-use interface and elimination of late fees enables us to satisfy all of our patron’s needs in a modern way.”

hoopla is different from the Library’s other downloadable eMedia in that hoopla offers movies, music, and comics in addition to ebooks and eaudio books. “The checkout period for hoopla media is a bit different than the Library’s normal checkout period,” explains Finn. “Patrons can download movies for a 3 day checkout; music for a 7 day checkout, and eaudio and ebooks for 21 days.” Patrons will also be limited to a 6 item checkout per month.

“With hoopla digital, it is our mission to empower the evolution of public libraries while helping them to meet the needs of the mobile generation. We’ve worked for years to create a best-in-breed service that is fun, fast and reliable. And we continue to secure content deals to expand our offering of popular and niche movies, TV shows, music, eBooks, audiobooks and Comics,” said Jeff Jankowski founder and owner of hoopla digital.

About hoopla digital

hoopla digital is a category-creating service that partners with public libraries across North America to provide online and mobile access to thousands of Movies, TV Shows, Music, eBooks, Audiobooks and Comics. With hoopla digital, patrons can borrow, instantly stream and download free dynamic content with a valid library card. All content is accessible via hoopla digital’s mobile app and online at hoopla digital is a service of Midwest Tape – a trusted partner to public libraries for over 25 years.

For more information, visit the Library’s website at:

[ Patricia can be reached at ]

Flathead Electric Puts Safety First at Whitefish Community Library

by Alison Pomerantz, Whitefish Community Library Board

Thanks to a generous $1,400 grant from Flathead Electric Cooperative in November, dilapidated steps should no longer trip up patrons’ visits to Whitefish Community Library. Now, WCL’s nearly 80,000 annual visitors will be able to safely enter the library along a renovated walkway to browse the extensive collection, use the computers or attend a program. WCL is widely used by locals and visitors alike to congregate, gather information or as an adjunct to the Chamber and Visitor’s Center for learning about all that Flathead Valley has to offer. Keeping the facility safe and aesthetically pleasing makes sense from an outreach perspective.

"The Whitefish Library Association has once again done a great job in working on our behalf with the Flathead Electric Coop's Roundup for Safety Program to secure grants and address critical needs at the Whitefish Community Library,” said Anne Shaw Moran, Chair of the WCL’s Board of Trustees. “We are so grateful for the support of both these organizations."

For 20 years, Flathead Electric’s Roundup for Safety program has awarded grants to non-profit groups throughout the Cooperative’s service area to help pay for safety-related projects. Participating members allow their monthly bills to be “rounded up” to the nearest dollar, with the extra money going into a fund administered by an independent board of directors. Since 1997, the program has awarded more than $3,000,000 to organizations supporting over 900 projects. Most recently, WCL had new concrete steps put in on the Southern entrance to the library thanks to a Round up for Safety grant. In the past, the library has used funds to pay for upgrades to its security equipment.

“On behalf of our Whitefish Community Library patrons and staff I want to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank Flathead Electric's Roundup for its Safety grant opportunity,” said Joey Kositzky, Director of the Whitefish Community Library. “Thank you Flathead Electric Co-op for investing in our library and our community by making it a safer place to live and work."

Visit for more information on hours, programs and other news about the Whitefish Community Library or Like WCL on Facebook.

[ Alison can be reached at ]


Kudos to MLA member Marie Habener!

Big image
Big image

[Reprinted with permission from the Dillon Tribune]

Special thanks to all newsletter contributors!

We love reading your library news! Be sure to email your articles, updates, reports, photos, glad-tidings, and micro-reviews to

Submission Deadline = March 20 for the April issue
Big image

From the Editorial Desk

Hello Dear Readers,

Compiling profiles for the ‘FOCUS on Special Librarians’ feature this issue was great fun. Our special librarians are certainly a special tribe -we are lucky to have them amongst us! I hope you enjoy learning about their experiences and develop a hankering to discover more about the troves of special collections that exist in Montana!

My introduction to the world of special libraries took place many years ago at the Othmer Library of Chemical History in Philadelphia. The library was in the process of building its collection when I arrived. I was assigned to help organize several floors of donated foreign language chemistry journals and monographs. I can’t begin to tell you what a daunting task that was especially since I didn’t read or speak most of the languages in which the materials were written. Fortunately it all worked and turned out to be one of the more interesting experiences in my library career.

It was fascinating and overwhelming to learn just how specialized a collection could be. The Othmer library had an entire wing devoted to polymers (a word I’d never used before) and a gallery for chemistry in artwork. Thankfully the librarians were patient and gracious in helping a newb like me. The catalogers explained nuances of controlled vocabulary and I got to observe the librarians assist researchers with their specific queries. I learned that while the materials were certainly unique, when it came down to it, many of the processes used by library staff and how they interacted with patrons weren’t all that different from what I’d witnessed using or working in school, academic and public libraries.

My time at the Othmer Library left me with a curiosity about other collections and archives that could be hidden in plain sight. I love seeking out special libraries large or small – established or informal. I have chatted with medical librarians in hospital hallways; stumbled upon a lending library in the dairy section of a grocery store; and tried my hand at genealogy research in family history libraries. One of my next stops is a tool library where you can check out power saws and hammers.

I highly encourage you to seek out the unusual and special libraries in your community and introduce yourself to the library staff! You’re likely to be delighted by what you discover and whom you meet!




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:

Please send address changes to: