a newsletter of the Montana Library Association

[ October 2016 Vol. 34 Issue 5 ]
Big image

This Issue Sponsored by NCCE

Providing year-round professional development opportunities

for K-12 administrators, educators and support staff.

Big image

Click HERE for the full-size image!

**NCCE now offers a full service E-RATE program for schools & libraries!**


Big image

Mrs. Ruzicka, Missoula, and Me.

by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, Interim President of the Montana Library Association

Today was a good day. I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Montana Book Festival in Missoula which is this amazing multi-day event featuring workshops, author talks, book signings, and so much more. Prior to that gig, I picked up my “Yes For Our Library” sign that is going in my front yard in support of Missoula Public Library’s request for a bond in November to build a new library. I am excited about the possibility of Missoula Public building a new library! It is needed and I know it will be a heralded addition to the community. It’s definitely time for a new library in Missoula and I remain optimistic that it can happen.

The emphasis in this issue of FOCUS is school librarians. Likely the first encounter that some of us may have had with a professional librarian. I really like school librarians and have often thought I missed my calling by not becoming one. All the kids love the school librarian and school librarians generally have such fun spaces with excellent methods for incorporating the library into the curriculum the students are learning. Plus, school librarians do the best bulletin boards! I love making bulletin boards! My girls’ school librarians, Mary Griel at Chief Charlo Elementary and Brenda Gillhouse at Meadow Hill Middle School, both in Missoula, have been excellent librarians and have encouraged Anja and Rane’s love of reading. I understand that the PACE hour allowing the middle school kids to go to the library and read is one of the most popular electives of the day. Ya’ gotta love that!

I still fondly remember my high school librarian. Her name was Mrs. Ruzicka. She was small and sassy and ever-so-classy. She was the best dressed teacher in my little high school in Minnesota. She got my attention with that, but she kept my attention with her teaching style and love of books. I am sure she is part of the reason I became a librarian. She was encouraging, she was clever, and she challenged us to think outside the box. I remember one assignment Mrs. Ruzicka had us do where we had to create a children’s book using non-traditional material. I made a book using Scotch tape. It was an adventure involving Scott Tape (a precursor of things to come perhaps—my husband’s name is Scott. Not Tape though). I made a wooden cover which I woodburned a design on. Actually, pretty ingenious for a high school kid. Mrs. Ruzicka loved that book! She asked me if she could keep it to show to future students as an example for that assignment. Of course, I said yes. Years later I ran into Mrs. Ruzicka when I was visiting my family in Minnesota. She was still tiny and pretty and fun. And she told me she was still using my Scotch Tape book as an example. Talk about making a kid feel good. That’s what school librarians do. School libraries, and their caretakers, provide a safe place for all students to create, think, collaborate, and grow. They do amazing work and my hat is off to Mrs. Griel, Mrs. Gillhouse, Mrs. Ruzika and the hundreds of other school librarians like them. Thank you all for the great work you do with students every day!

I hope you are all looking forward to the ASLD/PLD Retreat at Chico Hot Springs Oct. 16 and 17. Specifically, I am looking forward to meeting with the group that will be picking programs for the 2017 MLA Conference. I am excited to talk about all the great program ideas submitted by our Montana librarians, as I know there will be many marvelous ones. Also, the next MLA Board meeting is Monday, Oct. 17, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Livingston Public Library. If you have anything you wish to be brought before the MLA Board, please do not hesitate to let me know. And remember—yes for libraries—always!


News From Our Affiliates :

- Eileen Wright: Updates from MPLA

- Carmen Clark: News from PNLA

- Sarah Kahn: Humanities Montana is asking for "Letters About Literature"

- Kim Anderson: Commemorate the Bill of Rights with Humanities Montana

News From MLA :

- Cara Orban: “What IS ASLD/PLD?”

- Debbi Kramer: Calling all School Librarians!

- Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson: Congratulations, 2016 Cates Scholarship Winners!

- Heather Dickerson: Upcoming Children's & YA Interest Group Meeting & Webinar

News From MSL :

- Jo Flick: Are You Prepared?

- Jennie Stapp: Montana Librarians Testify for All of Us

Programs, Promotions & Projects :

- Alison Pomerantz updates us on the Dorothy Johnson Book Celebration

- Let's celebrate ImagineIF's receipt of the Friend of Literacy Award with Lune Axelsen

- Jude Smith takes a moment to show off Great Falls Public Library's great new look!

- GFPL is also launching a seed bank, and Alice Kestler gives us the details

- Tim King reports how Livingston-Park Co Public Library played the summer away

- Yvonne Redding tells about Rosebud County Library's groundbreaking coding club

Features & Articles:

- Debbi Kramer talks advocacy and the importance of MLA

- A Spotlight on Displays in our Montana School Libraries!

- The Montana State Library is developing a strategic plan, and wants your input!

- Survey Says... A Spotlight on School Librarians & Media Specialists

- Brittany Alberson explains why Indian Education for All is a matter of social justice

Marginalia :

- Micro-Review

- From the Editors


Big image

by Eileen Wright, Montana State University Billings Library

There is still time to register for the upcoming MPLA/CALCON16 conference. MPLA has joined with Colorado Library Association for an exciting conference: Innovate, Inspire, Connect. It is set for Oct. 20-22, 2016 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colorado. Keynote presenters are Nina Simon, Stephen Bell, and Donna Scheeder. Click HERE to register today.

MPLA Professional Development Grants are Available!

Have an idea for a great program at your state library association conference, but don’t think you can afford to attend? Or is there an upcoming regional or national library program that would enhance your professional development, but you need a little extra funding in order to attend?

Have no fear! The Professional Development Committee of MPLA is here to lend a hand. Just a quick click to our website: will put applications for two different types of grants right at your fingertips. We have funding to assist you, for state associations and individuals. Here are the upcoming deadlines for submission:

State Association Grant Application Deadlines:

  • Feb 1st (2017) for 2017 Spring Conferences

Individual Grant Application Deadlines:

  • Sept 28th
  • Nov 30th
  • Jan 27th

What’s been happening in the MPLA region? Check out the latest newsletter:

(Eileen can be reached at


Big image
by Carmen Clark, Bozeman Public Library

The 2016 PNLA conference in Calgary was a rousing success. Along with learning, collaborating and line-dancing a good time was had by all. Attendance was a bit on the low side, but the conference still made a profit for the association.

Great sessions, great speakers, a fun evening in the Ranchman’s Bar across the street as well as tours of a few newer branches of the Calgary Public Library were included in this years’ lineup.

Please consider coming to the 2017 PNLA conference in Post Falls, Idaho!

Save the date: Next year’s conference will be August 2nd-August 4th.

During our annual membership meeting the gavel was passed to the next PNLA President Jenny Grenfell. Jenny is a Library Manager for the North Mason Timberland Library.


Calgary Branch Libraries

During the 2016 PNLA conference in Calgary, Alberta, I had the opportunity to visit several of the Calgary Public Library branches. The libraries I visited were either newly renovated or newly built. I hope you enjoy my "photo tour."

Quarry Park Library

The Quarry Park Library shares the building with the Remington YMCA. There is a running track as well as a pool.

Big image

Fish Creek Library

The Fish Creek Library is a newly renovated library with an enormous Early Learning Centre.

Big image

Nicholls Family Library

The Nicholls Family Library is located in Westbrook C-Train Station.

Big image

( All photos courtesy of Carmen Clark.

Carmen can be reached at )


Big image

Letters About Literature

by Sarah Kahn, Program Officer for Humanities Montana

Humanities Montana will be carrying out Letters About Literature again this year. Letters about Literature is a national competition that invites students to submit letters written to the authors of their favorite books. Students in grades 4-12 can submit letters to the competition; there will be state and national winners. LAL is a great way to get students engaged in literature, and the Library of Congress provides schools with a teaching guide to help get kids writing. Students can enter themselves or teachers can send in their submissions using these guidelines. Entry deadline for grades 9-12 is December 2, 2016. Entry deadline for grades 4-8 is January 9, 2017.

Big image

Click HERE for the full document, including deadlines & entry coupon!

(For more information about Letters About Literature, contact Sarah Kahn at

Big image

Reserve your FREE Bill of Rights Commemorative Display!

by Kim Anderson, Director of Programs & Grants at Humanities Montana

December 2016 marks the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, which the National Archives is commemorating in part by developing a pop-up kiosk exhibit suitable for display in such venues as libraries.

To request a Bill of Rights exhibit, send an email to Lisa Teberg-Johnson at Humanities Montana with the subject "Bill of Rights" and the following information in the body:

  1. Your library’s full name and complete mailing address

  2. Name, phone & email of contact person at your library


  • Requests for a Bill of Rights exhibit must be submitted by Oct 14

  • The Archives will deliver exhibits by mid-November

  • Host libraries are asked to have the exhibit on display by Dec 15 - the Bill of Rights anniversary date, through the end of December.

Big image

( Image courtesy of Lisa Teberg-Johnson.

Questions? Please contact Lisa at Humanities Montana,

or call 406.243.6022 )


Big image


by Cara Orban, Montana State Library

Good question! It is an acronym for Academic & Special Libraries Division / Public Libraries Division. Each year, these two divisions of the Montana Library Association join forces for a small but lively conference in the fall.

This year, we have a great lineup of sessions (listed below) as well as a wonderful Sunday evening speaker, Angela Weikert, Director of Operations, Education, & Public Programs at the Museum of the Rockies. Please join us October 16-17 at Chico Hot Springs for engaging discussions, useful information, and good community!


  • Sonia Gavin (MT Legislative Reference Center) getting you session-ready with an overview of the Montana Legislature's website

  • John Finn (Lewis & Clark Library-Helena) introducing us to a real, live Montana legislator and explaining how to make contact with our own legislators

  • Stephan Licitra (State Law Library) telling us about the Law Library's resources

  • Mary Kay Bullard (Bicentennial Library-Colstrip) helping us keep our staff happy and productive

  • Kate Zoellner et al. (Mansfield Library-UM) getting us fired up about the Montana Information Alliance

  • Sara Groves (MT State Library) showing us how to grow our minds

  • Pam Henley (MT State Library) expounding on how to use the Digital Public Library of America for genealogy

  • Beth Boyson (Bozeman Public Library) inspiring us to adapt our reference desks for the 21st Century

  • Matt Beckstrom (Lewis & Clark Library-Helena) navigating the tricky world of internet security

Registration info is online at

(Want to add some event planning to your resume? Please contact your PLD Chair, Mitch Grady [], or your ASLD Chair, Cara Orban [], to join in the fun!)

Calling all School Librarians!

by Debbi Kramer, Executive Director of the Montana Library Association

Would you like to help out a great organization? MLA needs you! Recently our School Library Division Co-Chair Lynde Roberts resigned her position to move out-of-state with her husband. Dianne Mattila the SLD co-chair has stepped up to the plate to take over Lynde’s duties, but would like someone in the school library world to help by being a co-chair for the remainder of this MLA year (2016-17) and co-chair for the upcoming year. (2017-18). This position is usually selected at the School Library Division meeting at annual conference in April. If you are interested, please contact me directly at

Selection of SLD co-chair will be chosen at the October 2016 MLA Board meeting.

This is a great opportunity to help out your organization and make it stronger and more effective. Thank you.

(For more information, you can reach Debbi at

Congratulations, 2016 Cates Scholarship Winners!

by Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, Interim President of the Montana Library Association

Jacqueline Frank (MSU Renne Library - Bozeman), Carole Harris-Carlstrom (Alberton School District), Kourtni McHugh (Heights Elementary Library - Billings), and Hannah Mundt (Bozeman Public Library) each received a $2,000 scholarship--due to YOUR generous giving at the Cates Silent Auction & Cates evening fundraising event held each spring at the MLA Annual Conference.

We raise these funds in the memory of Sheila Cates, a long-time Montana librarian who passed away from cancer in 1993, leaving behind an amazing legacy for the rest of us to emulate. The Montana Library Association instituted the Sheila Cates Scholarship in 1994 to provide financial support to Montana Library Association members seeking a graduate degree in library and/or information science, a graduate school library media program, or seeking a school library endorsement.

The Cates Scholarship Committee is so proud to play a small part in the future of these four exemplary Montana librarians. You should be too! Thank you so much for your support of the Cates Scholarship fund. And a huge congratulations to Jacqueline, Carole, Kourtni, and Hannah!

Our Award Winners:

( Not pictured: Carole Carole Harris-Carlstrom.

All images courtesy of the Cates Scholars portraited. )

MLA Cates Committee:

  • Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, Chair
  • Bobbi deMontigny
  • Della Dubbe
  • Jo Flick
  • Mary Guthmiller
  • Mary Anne Hansen
  • Jim Kammerer
  • Anita Scheetz
  • Lyn McKinney

(For more information about our current Cates winners as well as the history of the scholarship program, contact Lisa at

Upcoming Children's & YA Interest Group Meeting & Webinar

by Heather Dickerson, Lewis & Clark Public Library

Kids in the library? Teens in the stacks? The Children's and Young Adult Interest Group is ready to meet in Billings for a productive, engaging, and super interesting hour! Do you have suggestions for our meeting? Topics you'd like to see covered? Board games and beverages you'd care to sample? Please send an email (as short or long as you'd like) to Heather Dickerson at

Teens + Poetry = Good Stuff!

Webinar, October 25. 2 pm.

Join Jo Flick, Amy Andreas, and Heather Dickerson for an upbeat hour devoted to hosting your own teen poetry event! You'll walk away with a template for the event, plus a host of supporting resources. Look for registration information on WIRED soon!

(For more information about programming at the Lewis & Clark Public Library, get in touch with Heather at

NCCE Full Service E-RATE Program Available Now

Big image

Click HERE for the full-size image!

**NCCE's 2017 conference will feature keynote talks by Jaime Casap & Kevin Carroll!**