a newsletter of the Montana Library Association

[February 2020 Vol. 38 Issue 1]

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-MLA President Mary Anne Hansen introduces this issue of FOCUS and discusses the contributions Deb Kramer has made in her years as Executive Director as well as the contract with Smith & McGowan.

-FOCUS co-editor message from Sarah Creech


-Offline Update

-2020 MLA Annual Conference Update

-Cates Silent Auction Call for Donations

-School Library Division Update

-MLA Nominations Open for Four Positions

-Cates Book Bingo

-Public Library Division Call for Nominations


-Technical Services Interest Group Update on "Montana Treasures Project"


-Earn your Montana State Library Certification in 2020

-New Montana Content on Chronicling America

-New Content on Montana Newspapers

-Free Learning Opportunities for Library Trustees

-Program Proposals Open for YALSA’s 2020 YA Services Symposium


-The LILEAD Project, submitted by Ann Ewbank

-Task Force Working on Possible Revision to Public Library Standards, submitted by Tracy Cook

-Transforming Teen Services, submitted by Heather Dickerson

-Billings Public Library: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, submitted by Amelea Kim and Allynne Ellis

-Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library Goes Fine Free, submitted by Patti McKenzie

-K-12 Library Media Standards and Revision, submitted by Ann Ewbank


-Missoula Writes Contest Open, submitted by Desiree Funston

-Lewis & Clark Library Joins Beanstack Challenge, submitted by Patricia Spencer

-‘Move It’ at the Great Falls Public Library

-Bozeman Public Library Programming Updates, submitted by Corey Fifles and Kit Stephenson

-UM Traveling Exhibition Featuring “Native Voices,” submitted by Patricia McKenzie


-I Love My Librarian Award Winner Mary-Anne Hansen, submitted by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson

-Missoula Public Library Receives ALA Census Equity Grant, submitted by Deb Kramer

-Shout Out to Gavin Woltjer


-Amazon Smile Donation

-E-Rate Information and Funding Deadline Dates

-MLIA Grant Program now Accepting Applications

-Excellent Library Services Award (ELSA) Applications are Now Open

-6-Week Residence at MSU for STEM Teachers

-Please submit your news to the April 2020 FOCUS issue by March 20!


What’s the biggest news that I can share this issue? Your MLA Executive Board continues to hammer out the details for transitioning from Deb Kramer’s valuable, dedicated role as MLA Executive Director, and as MLA Conference Planner, which she and Doug have both facilitated so well these past several years. And I have to say that Deb has been invaluable to me knowing all of the little details that are expected of the MLA President. I would have been lost without her this year! We cannot thank Deb enough for her too-numerous-to-count contributions to the Montana Library Association. We’ll definitely miss her! That said, your Executive Board has made a commitment to go forward with a one-year contract with our Lobbying Organization, Smith & McGowan, as you know from previous communications. They have proven themselves to be our champions, and they’re eager to work with us during this transition year and possibly into the future, though we’ll put out a call for a competitive process before the one-year transition period is over.

Please watch WIRED for a call for your input on what we need from Smith & McGowan in order to provide continuity from Deb’s transition to having them oversee our functions, including conference planning. Please know that we, your Executive Board, understand that we may have to take our contributions to MLA up a notch or three in order to make sure nothing big slips through the cracks. We also invite anyone interested to attend our next in-person MLA Board meeting, to take place on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 1 (no foolin’!) in Missoula at the Holiday Inn Parkside, our 2020 Conference hotel. At that meeting, we’ll invite anyone to chime in with any concerns or suggestions for our path into this next year with Smith & McGowan leading us.

I hope to see you all in Missoula, April 1 - 4!

Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2020!

Mary Anne

Mary Anne Hansen, MLA President

Professor/Research Services Librarian, Montana State University Library

[ Mary Anne Hansen can be reached at ]


by Sarah Creech, Co-Editor of Focus

For my final editor’s message (my last issue will be April of this year), I want to take a minute to highlight some work from the Library Aide at Belgrade Community Library, Rebecca Meredith. She is a writer and when we asked her to create some laminated markers for things like “mark item used,” “Belgrade holds,” “Bozeman holds,” and “in-process cataloging” she went above and beyond with her creativity. I’ve included the lot throughout this issue of FOCUS, for your perusal. My personal favorite is the “Spine Label Project,” a great band name and a fun way to work on an ongoing project; while it hasn’t been active since 1932, it sometimes feels like it! Rebecca says she hopes other libraries will find them useful and fun.

What kind of MLA member would I be if I did not promote MLA 2020 “Beyond Hindsight.” Please plan on heading to Missoula in early April! The conference is another great way to get to know the community and hear more about what our fellow library lovers are up to in their different facets and job functions. It’s also a great way to support your fellow library champions. The awards dinner and the Cates events are highlights in my opinion; as a former Cates scholar, I love seeing how all the money for scholarships is raised by “tipping the cow” or just throwing actual cash around at the Cates event. As for the awards dinner, there’s no better way to acknowledge how hard everyone works in libraries on a daily basis. While everyone can’t win every year, Carly Delsigne (chair of awards and honors committee) says “nominate them again!” Perseverance is part of the library spirit!

I have enjoyed my tenure as FOCUS co-editor, first with Alice Ebi Kestler, and now with Star Bradley. I’ve learned a lot from both of them and it’s been a thrill to read library news and updates before the rest of the Montana library community. If you or someone you know may be interested in stepping in as co-editor, please email your resume, summary of newsletter experience (if any), and a sample of your writing to me and Star at It’s a great way to build your resume for a new librarian and a great way to get to know the community for someone new to MLA. Thank you for your support, MLA!


Offline Update

Time is running out to register for Offline 2020

The annual technology oriented retreat will be held Friday and Saturday February 7/8 at Helena College.

Please visit the MLA website to get more information and to register.

All meals listed in program are included in your registration price! Dinner Friday will be a catered meal at Exploration Works, our local kid's science museum. All the exhibits will be open for librarians to explore!

The local planning committee is very excited about welcoming everyone to the retreat.

This year’s program includes these amazing sessions:

Chromebooks in Libraries – Aaron Canen
Device Checkout Headaches and Solutions – Panel Discussion
Technology and the Library: How Change Begets Change – Mark Sheehan
Open Education Resources (O.E.R.) – Doralyn Rossmann, Della Dubbe, Jessie Pate
Computational Thinking – Heather Dickerson, Cody Allen
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2020 MLA Conference Update

2020 Annual Conference Update from Debbi Kramer

The annual MLA 2020 conference at the Downtown Holiday Inn, Missoula April 1-4, 2020 is only a couple ofmonths away! Planning is well underway and with the theme “Beyond Hindsight: Envisioning a Collaborative Future” it looks to be another wonderfully educational conference.

MLA President Mary Anne Hansen has selected ACRL President Karen Munro as the keynote speaker. Her message entitled “The Wisdom of Foresight: The Shared Future of Academic, Public, and School Libraries” will be very worthwhile for all attending. The author brunch with speaker Debra Magpie Earling will be an excellent opportunity to hear a Montana author share her story.

The University of Montana Mike and Maureen Mansfield Library has graciously agreed to host the Welcome Reception and Montana Book Awards. What a great opportunity to visit the beautiful Mansfield Library.

Once again at the 2020 conference several meals will be included with registration. A pre-conference box lunch, Thursday and Friday morning breakfast buffets, keynote speaker luncheon, division luncheon and author brunch are included. When filling out your registration form either online or with a printed form, please be sure to indicate all the meals you plan to attend so the proper meal tickets are in your registration folder. All attending will need meal tickets for the various meals provided even though the meals are included with registration. Meal counts need to be submitted to the hotel at least ten days before conference. It makes it much easier for me if your registration form is completed properly and I don’t need to contact you concerning your meal preferences. If you have any questions or concerns with your registration form, please contact me. It is the conference planners hope that all meals will accommodate special dietary needs. Please indicate any special dietary needs on your registration form and we will do our best to address those needs. The Downtown Holiday Inn catering staff will do their best to provide food for special dietary


The conference steering committee, Lisa M. Jackson, Rachel Rawn and Karen Gonzales, have been working behind the scenes to acquire monetary sponsors and goodies for the conference swag bags. Thank you, ladies for all your hard work helping organize the conference.

The Cates Committee is finalizing plans for the Cates Event which will be held on Thursday, April 2nd. As always the Cates event will be an entertaining affair. Don’t forget to be working on our Cates raffle donations.

In the next couple of months I will be reaching out to conference attendees to again help with facilitating the introductions for conference workshop speakers. It is a very vital conference task and one that takes only a few minutes of a conference attendee’s time. Your help is greatly appreciated. Doug and I will also need help, on a limited time basis, at the registration desk. Please volunteer to help at the registration table during conference, if your schedule permits.

Please take a few minutes to check out the conference website, you will find the conference schedule, workshop descriptions, speaker biographies, meal descriptions, president’s welcome letter and exhibitor links for those exhibitors attending.

The conference steering committee, conference planners and MLA president hope the 2020 annual conference will meet all your needs both educationally and professionally.

Cates Silent Auction - Call for Donations

Hello generous librarians!

The MLA Cates Committee is seeking baskets, items, valuables, etc. for our annual MLA Cates Silent Auction. The Cates Silent Auction will take place at MLA in Missoula on April 2 and 3.

In our dream world, every library in Montana would contribute a basket or an item. Let your creativity go wild! We so appreciate your cleverness and generosity in donating to the Cates Silent Auction. It is so much fun to see how excited everyone gets looking at all the amazing baskets we receive for Cates.

The Cates Silent Auction is our biggest fundraiser of the year. We raise funds to go towards Cates Scholarships, which help Montana librarians earn their MLIS or School Media Certification.

If you can contribute an item for the Cates Silent Auction, or if you have any questions, please contact Cates Committee Chair Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson at

School Library Division Update

School librarians throughout the state are deep in the weeds of the mid-year slog. So we are due for a quick update:

We hope to see decent representation from the School Library Division at the annual MLA conference in Missoula, April 1-4. And please consider celebrating libraries and librarians with the entire association by nominating colleagues for MLA awards!

Likewise, it’s never too early to start thinking about the summer School Librarian Retreat in July. We would love to hear from you and have you present to your fellow school librarians on what’s new and exciting in your library! Working on a new reading celebration event? Got some great strategies for teaching research and information literacy? Been to an invigorating and inspiring conference this year and want to share out what you learned? We want to hear from you! If you have some great ideas to present at this year’s summer School Librarian Retreat, feel free to get in touch with Brittany Alberson.

Billings school libraries should be on your radar. Facing a massive budget shortfall, Billings Public Schools has proposed cuts to multiple programs and positions, including 6 school librarian positions. This is a developing situation that concerns all librarians in Montana. When foundational library programs are threatened, all library programs will feel the threat. Please reach out and support our colleagues in Billings school libraries.

Finally, Erin Regele’s two-year term as SLD co-chair is coming to a close. We thank her for her service and representation. If you are interested in serving a two-year term as SLD co-chair and taking an important leadership role in MLA, get in touch with Brittany Alberson for more information.

May the Force be with you, you fierce and fabulous school librarians! You’ve made it to the halfway point of the school year!

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MLA Nominations Open for Four Positions

The Board is looking to fill the following positions:

  • Vice President/President Elect

  • Secretary-Treasurer

  • Mountain Plains Library Association Representative

  • Director at Large — West

Position descriptions can be found here: Benefits of becoming a Board member include:

  • A great opportunity to network with amazing librarians from all regions, all disciplines

  • A chance to make a difference for our shared profession at the local and state level

  • A great career and resume builder for new, inspired and/or aspiring librarians

Obligations and responsibilities to be aware of include:

  • Participation in four annual board meetings

    • June - an overnight retreat at the fantastically beautiful Canyon Ferry Montana Learning Center (

    • October - an in person or online attendance meeting, following the Fall Retreat in Chico

    • January - online meeting

    • April - held in conjunction with the annual MLA conference

  • Voting on administrative and membership recommendations and policies

  • Approval of the MLA budget

  • Advocacy for the MLA membership and for librarianship in the state of Montana

Please consider nominating yourself or a colleague to one of these four positions. Connect with me directly at or give me a call at (406)541-8857.

Thank you for your attention,

Elizabeth Jonkel

Past President/Montana Library Association

Cates Book Bingo at MLA 2020

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Public Library Division Call for Nominations

This is a call for nominations to be a co-chair for the Public Library Division of the Montana Library Association. It’s a two year commitment, the first year being a junior co-chair and the second year being the senior co-chair.

It’s a fun job! PLD organizes the Fall Retreat along with the cohorts of Academic and Special Library Division (ASLD). And we all know how useful and fun the Fall Retreat can be! The senior co-chair attends the MLA Board meetings, 4 throughout the year.

For more information about this fabulous opportunity to represent, please check out the job description -

And the bylaws and membership information can be found in the following link -

If you are interested or know someone who is, please email me, Kit Stephenson at The deadline is Friday, February 28 at 5pm.

I will send out the nominees with bios and pics the first week of March and we will have a vote during our PLD meeting at the MLA conference. That meeting is on Friday, April 3rd , 11:45am – 1pm, lunch included!


Technical Services Interest Group Update "Montana Treasures Project"

MLA technical Services Interest Group

Do you work in Technical Services and would like to join this group?

Contact Laura Tretter - or

Christine Call –

for more information! We invite all those interested in technical services to join us.

Montana Treasures Project

The MLA Technical Services Interest Group has been shining the light on our uncataloged Montana materials. We have had a successful run with this project, but we feel that it is time for it to end. We are looking forward to planning new projects in the future and would like to shift our focus to growing and structuring the MLA Technical Services Group in order to serve you better. However, please feel free to continue to contact us for cataloging help. We plan to remain strong in our commitment to help with your tough cataloging questions.

We are excited to explore new ideas and projects in the coming months. We invite you to join us at MLA and bring your ideas along! Please feel free to contact us at for more information.

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Earn Your MSL Certification in 2020

A credential you can can earn doing what you already love to do, at absolutely no cost? Yes...that is what your MT State Library offers: MSL Certification. When I was a volunteer EMT, I had to drive to most of my training, and some of it I had to pay for, just to keep my credential. Librarians and trustees can earn an MSL certificate without any driving or cost. Every month, I post a list of free webinars on topics of interest to librarians on my blog and to this list serv. If you just earn 5 credits online each month, you can have enough credits to be certified by the end of 2020.

Your credential is a badge of honor for you and your library. That badge displays next to your name in the ASPeN directory. MSL posts a list of those earning certification in the program at the MT Library Association Annual Conference - YOU could be on that list. Best of all, you'll learn new stuff and advance your skills and learning is just plain good for you.

So... make a resolution to earn that certification in 2020. And, be sure to let me know if you need any help navigating ASPeN or finding appropriate training. I'm here to help.

The list of free January webinars from across the land is attached. You can always find this list and other good info about training on my blog: or on the ASPeN events calendar: on the MSL Learning Portal:

Happy learning,


Joann Flick

Continuing Education Coordinator

Montana State Library


New Montana Content on Chronicling America

The Montana Historical Society is pleased to announce that new Montana content is available to search and browse on the website CHRONICLING AMERICA.

Newly Available Titles

The Bozeman Courier (1920-1927)

The Fort Peck Press (1934-1937)

The Glasgow Courier (1942-1945)

The Kevin Courier (5/5/1922-8/23/1922)

The Montana Courier (8/30/1922-9/20/1922)

The Kevin Review (9/27/1922-12/25/1924)

Laurel Outlook (1944-1950)

The Wolf Point Herald (1920-1932)

Chronicling America is hosted by the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program. It is freely accessible to all Internet users with no subscriptions or fees required. To learn more about the National Digital Newspaper Program or Chronicling America visit or contact us at

Natasha Hollenbach

Digital Projects Librarian

Montana Historical Society


New Content on Montana Newspapers

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

The Grass Range Community Foundation has extended the date range available for the Grass Range Review. This paper is now available from 1912-1932.

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

Natasha Hollenbach

Digital Projects Librarian

Montana Historical Society


Free Learning Opportunities for Trustees!

The Montana State Library is excited to announce two opportunities for trustees to further develop their leadership skills this spring. Choose from Missoula (March 5) or Billings (April 28) to attend a free, all-day workshop designed to help trustees better understand their legal duties, essential non-profit practices, building a productive team, implementing their library’s strategic plan and much more! Led by Terry Profota of Sage Solutions, trustees are sure to leave with valuable knowledge that will increase their ability to support their library and contribute to its future success.

Registration and more information are available in ASPeN. Check the Events calendar for either of the above dates to see specific locations. Trustees can log in to register, but if a trustee who wants to attend has not yet created an ASPeN account the library director should contact their consultant. It’s important to have an accurate account of attendees, and state library staff will be happy to assist with registration.

Watch for further announcements and reminders on Wired-MT in the coming weeks. We’re looking forward to seeing lots of trustees at these free events!

Pam Henley, Statewide Consulting Librarian

Montana State Library

Toll Free: 855-419-2616

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Program Proposals Open for YALSA’s 2020 YA Services Symposium

YALSA currently seeks program proposals for its 2020 YA Services Symposium, which will take place November 6-8 in Reno, NV. Program proposals should relate to the theme, “Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding Worlds of Teens” and focus around key issues in YALSA's report. Submit a program proposal by February 15. Apply for a YALSA member travel stipend by June 1. Registration opens in April. Interested individuals can sign up for updates about the symposium here.


The LILEAD Project for School Library Leaders

Leadership is one of the most important skills that a school librarian can cultivate. While there are many professional development opportunities to hone your leadership capacity, the LILEAD Project (pronounced like Homer’s Iliad) is tailored toward the needs of school librarians who wish to better demonstrate leadership in a pre-K-12 setting.

The LILEAD Project began in 2011 with a survey of school library (district-level) supervisors, and from this survey emerged a program designed to:

  • Empower school librarians to be innovative and creative leaders

  • Enable school librarians to think deeply, critically, and passionately about the goals and purposes of libraries in schools and become forces of change

  • Equip school librarians with the tools and skills needed to transform learning and teaching for student success.

Currently, the LILEAD Project provides the LILEAD Leaders Program, which consists of four seven week online courses for school librarians. The goal of the program is to assist in the growth of leadership capacity and affect positive change in schools. Participants receive continuing education credits (CEUs) upon completion of each course. In addition to receiving CEUs, participants who complete all four courses will receive certification as a LILEAD Leader.

The next course offered is the third in the series, Communicating and Coalition-Building for Change. This course begins March 5 and will provide participants with the skills and tools to effectively communicate the vision and goals of the library program and to describe how the program connects with the goals and priorities of their schools, districts, and/or states. It will help them understand stakeholders’ perspectives and how to best address a variety of audiences to gain support and build coalitions outside of the school librarianship field.

I can’t recommend the LILEAD Project’s professional development opportunities enough. I was fortunate to serve as a mentor in the program for two years. Not only is the professional development content practical and applicable, participants form a strong community of practice. This community of practice further assists in leadership development through networking and collaborative opportunities.

If you are ready to step outside your comfort zone and embrace your leadership strengths, the LILEAD Project is for you! For more information please contact

Submitted by Ann Ewbank

Director, School Library Media Program

Montana State University

Photo Caption: Ann Ewbank and LILEAD Project participants engaging in the Six Thinking Hats exercise.

Possible Revision of the Public Library Standards

A task force comprised of librarians from around the state has been working on a proposed new set of standards for public libraries to meet in order to receive state funds. The Montana State Library Commission is charged with adopting standards for public libraries. After the adoption of the Fair Library Access Resolution, the Commission directed the State Librarian to appoint a task force to review the public library standards and bring them into alignment with the Fair Library Access Resolution. They also recognized that the role of libraries has been changing, and the standards need to be revised to help libraries successfully meet the needs of their users and community members.

The task force met in fall 2019 to review the Fair Library Access Resolution and discuss changes to standards. Montana State Library staff used the work of the group to create a draft set of possible standards. The task force met in January 2020 to review the drafts and recommend further changes. State Library staff will create a new draft that will be presented to the State Library Commission at their February 12, 2020 meeting. This is the beginning of a long process of gathering public comment on the standards.

The Commission will review the drafts. They will not take action on the standards. Commission members want to hear from librarians and library board members before adopting any proposed changes to the public library standards. The Commission may decide to adopt a new set of standards later this year after completing an administrative rules process. The new standards would not go into effect until fiscal year 2022. State Library staff will assist libraries with meeting the standards, and there will continue to be a process for requesting more time to meet a standard.

Information about the task force, its members, and the work it has completed so far can be found at by clicking on Commissions and Councils and then Public Library Standards Task Force. The latest draft of the public library standards will be posted on the Montana State Library Commission meeting page once the materials are ready. Watch wired-mt for more information.

Submitted by Tracy Cook

Lead Consulting & Learning Librarian

Montana State Library


Transforming Teen Services

Coming soon to a Montana community near you: the Transforming Teen Services project! In trainings facilitated by Teen Librarians Cody Allen (Billings Public Library) and Heather Dickerson (Lewis & Clark Library), you’ll learn about teen growth and development, connected learning, computational thinking, and more. Allen and Dickerson are part of YALSA’s second cohort of Transforming Teen Services: Train the Trainer (T3) project. T3 brings together a community of practice that spans the United States and outlying territories. Throughout the next year, they, working with the Montana State Library, will present at conferences, lead webinars, and facilitate in-person training around the state to offer opportunities for library staff who work with youth to cultivate their skills as we reimagine library services for teens.

These learning experiences will help library staff understand the unique experience of growing teens and their developmental ages and stages, explore Connected Learning, and become comfortable with Computational Thinking. Participants will build skills in facilitating learning specifically in areas related to Connected Learning and Computational Thinking, and gain an understanding of topics related to equity in teen services. Participants can expect to walk away from their training with concrete and specific ways to put learning into practice.

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:

  • Please join us for a webinar on Tuesday, February 3, for our introduction to Transforming Teen Services and Connected Learning. The webinar starts at 12 noon; please register via ASPeN. In this webinar, participants will come to understand Connected Learning and how to implement it more thoughtfully in their library work.

  • Interested in Computational Thinking? Join us at Offline in Helena on February 7 and 8! We’ll do a short introduction to Computational Thinking and why it matters in libraries.

  • We’re bringing an Introduction to Connected Learning to MLA in April!

If you are interested in training on any of these topics for staff in your library system, school library, or out of school learning program, please contact Amelea Kim, Lifelong Learning Librarian at the Montana State Library, to schedule. Allen and Dickerson can offer trainings that last anywhere from an hour to a whole day! We hope you will take advantage of these opportunities to build and develop services for and with teens that will help guarantee that the adolescents you support have what they need for future success.

Contact information:

Cody Allen: 406-696-8538,

Heather Dickerson: 406-447-6683,

Amelea Kim: 406-444-0224,

Submitted by Heather Dickerson

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten at Billings Public Library

"The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a wonderful way to encourage families, parents, and children to develop a love of reading and language from a young age. The Montana State Library has started to promote this program as part of the Ready 2 Read early literacy initiative, and would like to highlight libraries in Montana that have already implemented this program. Below is a short interview with Allynne Ellis, the Children’s Librarian from Billings Public Library, about their 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program.”

1. What library are you from, and how long have you had your 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program?

Billings Public Library. Our program started on Oct. 15, 2019.

2. How did you learn about 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, and what made you want to start a program at your library?

My undergraduate degree is in Early Childhood so I have always been interested in child development. When I read an article in the International Literacy Association’s blog, “Reaching for 1,000 Books”, my interest was piqued. Billings Public Library promotes literacy through many reading programs like Summer Reading and our Family Reading Program, but I find parents to be reluctant to involve their pre-readers. Parents routinely point out that their child was too young to read and didn’t need to participate. I wanted to emphasize to parents you are never too young for reading. 1000 Books targets that age group and really promotes the importance of early literacy.

3. What successes have you seen from the program, and what have you learned so far?

In 3 months, we have already had a child complete the program! Our targeted promotion of the program has also brought in new families to the library. Parents are asking us for reading suggestions for their children and are excited to gamify reading for their little ones.

Parents want to do well for their children, we just have to give them the tools. Making information available about the program and how it works on TV, newspaper and social media is a great way to catch parents where they are. Having an app that allows parents to quickly add books especially on a device they also have with them has been very helpful. It simplifies the record keeping for them and us.

For us the most important steps were building the program in our online software, finding sponsors and marketing. Having online software allows us to go paperless and relieves stress and additional work for parents. Working with our Library Foundation allowed us to find sponsors who could build a nest egg to sustain the program for years to come. Marketing is so important. Use all your social media and local media outlets to get the word out. Talk about the importance of the program with your Story Time groups and your Books and Babies parents. We dedicated a page on our website to explaining the program with links to additional early literacy resources. When I was doing research I found a lot of library sites telling people to call the library for more information. People don’t want to call, make the information readily available along with being easy to understand and access but be ready to encourage people and answer questions.

4. What resources were helpful in planning your 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program?

We looked at the national 1000 Books site, along with several other library’s programs. Because we already had software through our Summer Reading provider ReadSquared, we were mostly interested in what prize levels and the prizes other libraries were offering. Demco is the official home of the 1000 Books Program so we looked at their offerings along with Oriental Trading and S&S Discount for prizes.

If you are not going to use a software system, which I strongly encourage, I would highly recommend the official 1000 Books site because it has tons of resources including reading logs and fliers to advertise your program.

5. Any other thoughts regarding the program?

This is a simple program that works to foster the love of reading at an early age and encourage parent and child bonding through reading. For the library, it is a passive program, where the parent or family sets the pace. It will increase your circulation without a large increase in workload and it will also encourage a return visit to the library without adding programming.

Allynne can be reached at

Amelea can be reached at

Submitted by Amelea Kim, Lifelong Learning Librarian at Montana State Library

Photos part of the 1,000 books before kindergarten campaign from Billings Public Library.

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Eliminating Fines to Ensure Library Access

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library is eliminating most overdue library fines. Beginning spring semester 2020, UM students, faculty and staff will no longer receive overdue fines on most books and media. In addition, general item check out for undergraduate students will extend from 3 weeks to 4 months and match the loan period for graduate students.

Based on student requests the library recently engaged in an analysis and discussion of library fines. The 2019 American Library Association’s “Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequality” was used as a guide. The resolution included the following language, which resonated with library personnel who are committed to student success and retention:

  • Fines present an economic barrier to access of library materials and services.

  • Mounting evidence indicates that eliminating fines increases library card adoption and library usage.

  • Fines create a barrier in public relations, and absorb valuable staff time applying, collecting, and managing dues.

The Mansfield Library is committed to serving students and eliminating any barriers that might negatively impact students’ relationship with the library or their access and use of library collections, programming and services.

Library users can renew general items online anytime from the library website by logging into their My Library Account. Some specialized items such as course reserve materials or laptop computers will continue to generate overdue fines. Learn more about library services and resources and details about overdue fines at Mansfield Library.

Submitted by Patti McKenzie

Assistant to the Dean – Media Information

Mansfield Library

University of Montana

Missoula, MT 59812

(406) 243-6049

Photo by Mark Fritch

K-12 Library Media Content Standards and Revision

Montana’s K-12 schools are required to teach content standards including math, science, English language arts, and social studies. Standards are contained in the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) and are approved by the Board of Public Education (BPE). While standards articulate what students should know and be able to do, they are not curriculum. The standards serve as the destination and the curriculum provides the roadmap for how students achieve proficiency. Student proficiency in English language arts, mathematics, and science is assessed through the Montana Comprehensive Assessment System.

Montana’s K-12 Library Media/Information Literacy content standards were last revised in 2008 and are currently undergoing revision. Standards revision and their subsequent implementation is a multi-year process with many levels and opportunities for public comment. The timeline for the K-12 Library Media/Information Literacy standards is as follows:

March 2019: Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) calls for participation in the revision process.

July 2019: Standards writing team is appointed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, convenes over two days, and produces a proposal. This proposal is posted and an invitation for public comment is issued.

August-November 2019: OPI considers the revision team’s proposal and public comment and creates a draft proposal.

February 12, 2020: Negotiated rulemaking committee appointed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction convenes. The fifteen-member committee, led by a qualified facilitator, considers the document line-by-line and comes to consensus on the entire document prior to returning it to OPI. Members can agree that the language is acceptable, suggest and incorporate alternative language for inclusion or withhold consensus entirely. The committee does not proceed until all fifteen members reach consensus on the entire proposal (see MCA 2-5-108 for an explanation of negotiated rulemaking). This session can be viewed live or recorded on the Montana Public Access Network.

February-May 2020: OPI issues a call for public comment and disseminates an economic impact survey to teachers and school leaders. OPI considers this information, makes changes to the draft proposal if desired and presents the proposal to the Education Interim Legislative Committee (information only) and BPE for formal administrative rule change.

May 2020-August 2020: BPE issues a call for public comment, holds a public hearing, and considers the draft proposal. BPE votes to accept or reject the proposals.

May 2020- July 2021: Upon approval by BPE, OPI prepares for implementation of the revised standards.

July 1, 2021: Revised standards go into effect and are implemented in the 2021-2022 academic year.

I encourage the entire library community to participate in the standards revision process by providing public comment. The K-12 Library Media/Information Literacy standards adopted during this process will shape Montana school library programs for many years to come.

For more information and to stay up-to-date, please see OPI’s K-12 Content Standards and Revision website.

Submitted by Anne Ewbank

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Missoula Writes Contest Open

Missoula Public Library’s 12th annual Missoula Writes contest kicks off on January 2, 2020. The contest is open to all full-year and part-year residents of Montana. We award cash prizes to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in three categories (fiction, non-fiction and poetry) and four age groups (8-10, 11-14, 15-18 and 19+). The submission deadline is Thursday, February 13 at 5:00 p.m.

Click here for more info and full contest rules. Please encourage your patrons and students to strut their writing stuff!

Desirée Funston

Reference Librarian

Missoula Public Library

301 E Main Street

Missoula, MT 59802


Lewis & Clark Library Joins Beanstack Winter Reading Challenge

Thanks to a generous donation from the Lewis & Clark Library Foundation, the Library is pleased to offer Beanstack, a web-based platform where individuals, families, and groups can track their reading and participate in library reading and activity challenges.

“We are very excited about Beanstack as it is a great way to engage readers of any age and any level in fun reading challenges throughout the year,” explained Lewis & Clark Library Children’s Librarian Molly O. Hudson.

The first reading challenge has already begun the 2020 Winter Reading Challenge. “Lewis & Clark Library is joining hundreds of other schools and libraries across the United States as participants in this exciting event. We challenge you to read 20 minutes each day during the month of January,” stated Hudson. Sign up, read, and log your minutes on Beanstack. The more minutes that you read, the more chances you’ll have to win one of three Kindle Prize Bundles, which include a Kindle, a case, and an Amazon gift card.

Participating is as easy as 1-2-3! Sign up online at or visit any branch of the Lewis & Clark Library.

Read and log the minutes you read each day, starting January 1 through January 31. Reading books, ebooks graphic novels, magazines, newspapers, and listening to audiobooks all count.

Earn online badges for registering and for every 60 minutes you read!

Want to go mobile? Download the Free Beanstack tracker mobile app, available in the Android and iOS, to register and easily track reading minutes.

From the Beanstack web page,

Penguin Random House’s (PRH) U.S. children’s publishing divisions, Random House Children’s Books (RHCB) and Penguin Young Readers (PYR) will sponsor the third annual Beanstack Winter Reading Challenge in support of public libraries and school systems throughout the United States. This year, a record number of over 1,500 schools and libraries are expected to participate, reading to surpass last year’s collective goals of at least 5 minutes and 75,000 books during the month of January. Top-performing libraries and schools will earn “Golden Penguin” and “Golden House” awards. PRH pledges to donate $50,000 in prizes, including author visits and new books, to be shared among the winners.

Since launching in 2013 with an appearance (and subsequent investment from Mark Cuban) on Shark Tank, Beanstack has become the #1 most-used reading challenge software for US libraries.

“Over the last two years, we’ve often had the term ‘Fitbit for Reading’ applied to our solutions,” says Zoobean co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Felix Lloyd. “The Winter Reading Challenge helps our partners activate their communities to read more in 2020 and into the future.” Participants will log their time spent reading and books read throughout the month of January on their library’s or school’s individual Beanstack or Beanbright site.

“Our focus on growing and creating readers, and supporting educators in their daily efforts to do so aligns so well with Beanstack’s initiative — this is an engaging and fun challenge that we know will motivate kids to participate,” says Adrienne Waintraub, Executive Director, School & Library Marketing, RHCB and Carmela Iaria, Vice President & Executive Director, School & Library Marketing, Creative Marketing Director, PYR. “With our donation, we will be able to build up diverse collections in libraries across the country, which we believe is such an important part of supporting the development of young readers.”

It's not too late to start! Visit the Library’s webpage at get started today! “Don’t worry if didn’t begin on the first of the month, the app allows you to backdate your reading journal,” explained Hudson.

For more information, and to get started on the 2020 Winter Reading Challenge, visit

Submitted by Patricia Spencer

Public Information Officer


Move It at the Great Falls Public Library

ABC Fox Montana reports:

"New Year's resolutions are being put to the test at the Great Falls Public Library with their 'Move It at the Library’ program.

The free fitness class is geared toward anyone ages 8 and up and lasts throughout the winter.

The library is hosting the family friendly workout session each Saturday morning from 10 to 11 in the Cordingley Room.

Local fitness professionals lead the group with music and dancing.

Program Director Rae McFadden says it's a great way to have fun and stay active in the colder months.

“We are here to provide this fitness format with a big, heated indoor space so that we can get our wiggles out and also build our brains with all of that movement. It's great for kids, it's great for adults, it's also great for our emotional health and our learning. Come join us,” said McFadden.

Now, McFadden is asking for fitness professionals to sign up to lead the rest of these morning sessions. Anyone interested can find more information here."

Submitted by Noah Lenstra

Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science

University of North Carolina Greensboro


Author, Healthy Living at the Library

Director of Let's Move in Libraries

Bozeman Public Library Programming Updates

Hello Focus Community!

It’s 45 degrees in Bozeman at the end of January, with almost no snow. Not every Montanan loves the cold and snow but this winter is a shock for everyone- regardless of personal winter feelings!

Speaking of winter feelings, this winter at Bozeman Public Library we’ve collaborated within our community and created a few new resources to encourage patrons, especially those who may struggle more during the colder months, to live their best lives in the winter and beyond. These are designed with our mission in mind: to create opportunities that inspire curiosity, exploration, and connection. These resources are designed especially to foster connections. Read on to learn more!

  • Open Door: The goal and intention of the Open Door is to connect community members who frequent the library to resources that will help them live healthier lives. Located in a new office space in the Library’s front lobby, different service providers in Bozeman and Gallatin County staff the Open Door office. These partners include Community Health Partners, Bozeman School District, Western Montana Mental Health, Job Service, and many more! Each organization holds regularly scheduled “office hours” in the new space and have expressed their excitement and enthusiasm with the project. For questions about the Open Door, contact BPL’s assistant director, Kit Stephenson, by email at

  • Surviving and Thriving in a Montana Winter (program series): This 4 part series happened monthly from November- February and focused on topics of special importance in the long, cold, dark winters. This year, those topics were winter safety, taking care of mental health, balancing your nutrition for the cold, and staying active. We paired with organizations and individuals in Bozeman to share their experiences combined with key facts on the topics and regional knowledge of Bozeman with our patrons for a low key, informal setting, where questions and conversation is encouraged.

Submitted By Corey Fifles and Kit Stephenson of Bozeman Public Library

UM Travelling Exhibition - Native Voices



Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library

University of Montana Missoula, Montana 59812

Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library

University of Montana

Mansfield Library

Contact: Ben Chiewphasa


Ben Chiewphasa email

(Missoula, MT, January 13, 2020) – A new traveling exhibition, Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness, which examines concepts of health and medicine among contemporary American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people opened in the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, Missoula, Montana on January 13, 2020.


Health Career Opportunity Program Students:

Our Educational Journey and Perspective on Indigenous Health and Wellbeing

Skaggs Room 169, University of Montana, Tuesday, February 11, 2020

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Hosted by Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP)

Films for the Future: Reclaiming Ownership of Native Health

UC Theatre, University of Montana, Friday, March 6, 2020

5:30pm hors d’oeuvres, 6:30pm films, 8:00pm Q&A

Hosted by Missoula Indian Urban Indian Health Center


“Gifts from the Elders: Honoring the Past for a Healthier Tomorrow”

“Return: Native American Women Reclaim Foodways for Health and Spirit”

The traveling exhibition, produced by the National Library of Medicine, explores the connection between wellness, illness, and cultural life through a combination of interviews with Native people, artwork, objects, and interactive media. The exhibition is open to the public in the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library from January 13 to March 13, 2020. Library hours: Monday – Thursday 7:00am – 2:00am, Friday 7:00am – 7:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 7:00 pm, and Sunday 10:00am – 2:00am. To request disability related modifications or to ask questions about the exhibit, events, or locations, please contact Ben Chiewphasa at

The National Library of Medicine has a history of working with Native communities as part of the Library’s commitment to make health information resources accessible to people no matter where they live or work. The Native Voices exhibition concept grew out of meetings with Native leaders in Alaska, Hawai`i and the Lower 48.

“We hope that visitors in communities across the country will learn from the ideas, practices, and traditions shared here,” says Betsy L. Humphreys, acting director of the National Library of Medicine. “We hope, too, that those who host the exhibition will enrich it by including additional content and programs that reflect their local Native culture and history.”

“This exhibition honors the Native tradition of oral history and establishes a unique collection of information,” says Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, director emeritus of the National Library of Medicine. “We hope visitors will find Native Voices both educational and inspirational, and we hope Native people will view it with pride.”

“The Mansfield Library, situated on the traditional lands of the Salish and Kalispel people, is honored to partner with the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center and UM's Health Careers Opportunity Program to make this fascinating exhibition available for the Missoula community,” says Ben Chiewphasa, Government Information Librarian. “We invite everyone to come enjoy our exciting schedule of partner-led events that explore Native health in the 21st century.”

About the traveling exhibition

Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness examines concepts of health and medicine among contemporary American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. The traveling exhibition features interviews and works from Native people living on reservations, in tribal villages, and in cities. Topics include: Native views of land, food, community, earth/nature, and spirituality as they relate to Native health; the relationship between traditional healing and Western medicine in Native communities; economic and cultural issues that affect the health of Native communities; efforts by Native communities to improve health conditions; and the role of Native Americans in military service and healing support for returning Native veterans.

To make the Native Voices information accessible to people even if they can’t come to the Mansfield Library, Missoula, Montana, there is an online version of the exhibition at Online Exhibition link.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the world’s largest library of the health sciences and collections, organizes and makes available biomedical science information to scientists, health professionals and the public. It celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2011. For more information, visit the website at National Library of Medicine.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit National Institutes of Health .

Submitted by

Submitted by Patti McKenzie

Assistant to the Dean – Media Information

Mansfield Library

University of Montana

Missoula, MT 59812

(406) 243-6049

Picture by National Library of Medicine

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I Love My Librarian Award Winner MaryAnne Hansen

On December 11, 2019 the American Library Association (ALA) announced 10 winners of the prestigious I Love My Librarian Award. Recipients are dynamic librarians from academic, public and school libraries who were nominated by patrons nationwide for their profound impact on the lives of families, students, teachers and information seekers in their communities.

This year’s winners include our own MaryAnne Hansen (MLA President)!

MaryAnne Hansen
Montana State University, Bozeman, Mont.

Hansen is honored for her leadership and her work with the Tribal College Librarians Professional Development Institute, which provides key professional development opportunities for librarians serving Indigenous college students.

The I Love My Librarian Award honors librarians who go above and beyond traditional library service. This coveted award was established in 2008 and recognizes outstanding public service that has transformed lives through education and lifelong learning.

ALA received 1,974 nominations for this year’s award detailing the incredible achievements of librarians across the country and highlighting the indispensable role librarians play within their communities, schools and campuses. Award recipients include three academic librarians, three public librarians and four school librarians.

Since the award’s inception in 2008, ALA selects up to 10 librarians from a pool of hundreds of nominations. This year’s award winners will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the I Love My Librarian Award ceremony in Philadelphia on Jan. 25, 2020, at 3 p.m. during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. The event was streamed via Facebook Live at

Read about all of the winners, including MaryAnne’s glowing nomination, here:

Congratulations to MaryAnne!

-Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, MLA PR & Marketing Committee

Missoula Public Library Receives one of 59 awarded Census Equity Grants from the ALA

Announced on December 19, 2019, the 59 libraries that will receive Library Census Equity Fund mini-grants:

More than 500 libraries applied for what was initially planned to be 25 mini-grants. Due to the tremendous interest, the Census funders provided additional funding, bringing the total number of mini-grants to 59.

Congratulations to Missoula Public Library!

Shout out to Gavin Woltjer

Good afternoon,

I wanted to send a shout out to Gavin for standing up for school librarians and their programs in the proposals to cut librarians in the Billings School District due to their budget shortfall.

I personally believe that the more united we are as librarians, the more effective our voices are in the big picture. I appreciate that Gavin was willing to defend this most important profession.


Angela Archuleta

Lame Deer High School Librarian

Lame Deer Junior High School Librarian

406-477-8900 ext 1235


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

E-rate Funding Year 2020 Application Filing Window Opens January 15, 2020

I am pleased to announce the Funding Year (FY) 2020 FCC Form 471 application filing window will open on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at 12:00 noon EST and will close on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Applicants can begin preparing now for the successful filing of their FY2020 funding applications by taking the following steps:

  • Install Browser Updates: Google Chrome is the recommended browser for the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC), but no matter which browser you use, be sure the latest version is installed on your computer.

  • Establish Account and User Rights: If this is your first year participating in the E-rate Program, call our Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100 to create your account in EPC. If you already have an EPC account, log in and review, update and/or assign user rights for persons who will need access for FY2020.

  • Update Your EPC Profile Now: To ensure a smoother filing process, EPC profiles will lock on January 13, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EST. You will not be able to make changes to your EPC profile after that date. So, please log in to your EPC account now to make any necessary changes to your profile. The October 25, 2019 SL News Brief includes important reminders for updating your profile.

  • Proceed With Competitive Bidding: If you have not started the competitive bidding process by filing your FCC Form 470, please begin now. Remember that you must wait 28 days after filing the FCC Form 470 before entering into an agreement and filing your application. For FY2020, you must certify your FCC Form 470 on or before February 26, 2020 to be able to wait 28 days and then certify your FCC Form 471 before the window closes.

As always, we are here to help. Contact our Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100 for assistance or open a customer service case in EPC.

This will be the 23rd E-rate Program application filing window, and through the past year we have worked together to improve the E-rate experience in the following ways:

Funding decisions

In FY2019, we received over 36,000 applications for just under $2.9 billion in funding requests. On April 27, 2019, one month after the application filing window closed, USAC issued its first funding wave for FY2019, providing decisions on over 18,500 applications for over $530 million. By September 1, we had issued decisions on over 95% all workable applications.

We are dedicated to continuing to review applications and issue commitments efficiently in FY2020.

Implementing program participant suggestions

During 2019, we requested your suggestions to improve our E-rate information technology systems and program participant trainings. We made a number of improvements in our online systems, including the addition of a Pending Inquiries section on applicant landing pages in EPC. This new section collects all pending USAC requests for information for reviews of applications and post-commitment requests in one convenient location.

Also based on your feedback, we conducted in-person participant training for all experience levels – two service provider training sessions in Washington DC and eight in-person applicant training sessions around the country. Each session consisted of a half-day beginner session followed by full-day session with opportunities to attend some beginner and advanced learning track options. We also held two in-person full-day Tribal training sessions.

In addition to our regular webinar series offered throughout the year, we introduced office hour webinars. For an office hour webinar, we announced a topic and assigned homework in advance (generally watching one or more online training modules or recorded form walkthroughs) in order for attendees to be prepared to participate in a moderated question-and-answer open session.

Redesigning the USAC website

On November 11, 2019, USAC launched an updated version of its website. The updated site features design and functionality changes to help users find the information they need, when they need it. The site's new program homepages put key dates and resources front and center.

Expanded menus make it easy to navigate to program information, and improved search functionality makes it easier to find answers. The site responds to mobile devices and all operating systems and meets 508 accessibility standards.

Updating online training

We have updated our applicant online training series, which provides a learning option for those program participants who were unable to attend our fall training events or who want a refresher. We encourage you to view the offerings in this series and let us know what you think. We are also hard at work preparing guidance materials and an online tool that will help applicants prepare for the changes in Category Two budgets that will take effect starting with FY2020.

Please continue to share your feedback through our in-person trainings, our webinars, and our Share Your E-rate Technical System Ideas page to help us continue to improve the program.

I always tell my team that it takes a village for the E-rate Program to succeed. Whether you are an applicant, a service provider, a consultant, or a state coordinator, your hard work and dedication impacts the lives of students and community members, allowing them to learn, grow, and thrive in an ever-evolving digital world. I look forward to continuing to work together as we meet the challenges and opportunities of the next decade.


Catriona Ayer

Vice President, Schools and Libraries Division, Universal Services Administrative Co.

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MLIA Grant Program is Now Accepting Applications

MLIA Grant Program is now accepting applications for state fiscal year 2021 | The deadline for submitting applications is Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

The Montana State Library is pleased to announce that the MLIA Grant Program is now accepting applications for state fiscal year 2021. Read full MLIA News Announcement: link. The deadline for submitting applications is Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

The purpose of the MLIA Grant Program is to assist state agencies, local governments, or Indian tribal governments with implementing the priorities of the Land Information Plan (GIS).

A major enhancement to the MLIA Grant Program is the adoption of the state’s Montana Grants and Loans online grant/loan management system, referred to as “WebGrants.” The Montana State Library will be using the online WebGrants grant management system for the MLIA Grant Program’s FY2021 grant cycle. All applicants will now be required to complete and submit their applications using this system. Any applications submitted in any other format will not be considered for funding.

  • Please visit for more information about the program and to learn how to apply online.

  • Apply online through WebGrants:

  • MLIA Grant Program Training and Q&A Webinar: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 | 10:00a - 11:30a | No Registration Required | More Information

  • For program questions please email or call 406-444-3114.

Erin Fashoway

State GIS Coordinator | Montana State Library

406-444-9013 |

GIS.MT.GOV – research land information

Excellent Library Service Award Application (ELSA) now open

The Montana State Library Commission annually recognizes libraries for achieving excellence in serving their communities through this award. Each year, academic, public, school, and special libraries have an opportunity to apply for the award using a checklist of the “Excellent” level of library standard recommendations. The checklist for the award is adapted from Montana’s current Public Library Standards which serves as a measuring tool for libraries in the state.

The application process is now open in ASPeN. You will need to login to see the application. It can be found on the library director or designee’s “ASPeN Admin” page. To begin the process, please visit and login. Then click on ASPeN Admin. You will see 2020 ELSA Award under the heading of Services. Please click “Enroll Now” to apply for the award. If you have any problems, please let us know.

The DEADLINE to complete the ELSA checklist is March 6, 2020. The State Library Commission will present the ELSA awards at the MLA Conference, in Missoula, April 1-4, 2020.

-Take care,

Tracy Cook

Montana State Library


6-week residence at MSU for STEM teachers

Summer Research Experience for Teachers Program at Montana State University

Montana State University-Bozeman is currently accepting applications from middle and high school STEM teachers and community and tribal college faculty to participate in a 6-week summer professional development program. Teachers will conduct research projects related to rural transportation topics with faculty mentors and peers, and participate in STEM-focused teacher professional development activities, earning professional development credits. Transportation is familiar to all and so makes an excellent vehicle for integrated STEM learning and for promoting student interest in STEM applications to rural issues.

To learn more and to download an application form, go to:

Participants will receive:

  • Campus housing and a meal stipend;

  • Travel reimbursement to and from Bozeman;

  • $6,000 stipend;

  • Up to $1,500 for lab materials or other classroom supplies over the following academic year to implement new curricula developed during the program.

The program will run June 22 – July 31, 2020.

Application deadline: February 7, 2020

For any questions, please contact:

Susan Gallagher

Education & Workforce Program Manager

Western Transportation Institute

Montana State University

Bozeman, MT 59717-4250

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Submissions Open for the April 2020 Issue!

REMINDER: The submission deadline for the April newsletter is March 20. Please email your library news, micro-reviews & photos (with captions & attributions) to Thank You!

If you're interested in acting as co-editor of FOCUS for two years starting in June 2020, please email your resume, a summary of your newsletter/editing experience, and a sample of your writing. Thanks!


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: