a newsletter of the Montana Library Association

[April 2020 Vol. 38 Issue 2]

Montana Library Association Logo and Tagline


President’s Message - Hear from Mary Anne Hansen!

Executive Director's Message - Hear from Debbi Kramer!

Editor’s Message - Hear from Star Bradley and Sarah Creech!

Fun FOCUS Survey Results

MLA Committee & Division News

Cates Scholarship Donations - Support Montana Library Students!

Amendments to MLA Bylaws

MLA Specialty Plates - Get Yours Now!

Affiliate News

Montana Book Award Call for Committee Member

Catch up on CE at Home

New Content on Montana Newspapers

Register for the Director’s Institute

Save the Date for Montana State Library Fall Workshops


Glacier County Public Library: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Economic Development Consultant Hired by State Library

Americans and the Holocaust Exhibit at Bozeman Public Library

Montana State Library Seeks Feedback on Proposed Changes to Public Library Standards

2019 Montana Book Award Winner Announced

K-12 Library Media Content Standards Update

Programs, Promotions & Projects

Holocaust Education Workshop for Teachers at Bozeman Public Library

Billings Public Library starts Printing Masks for health care workers


Congratulations to Mary Anne Hansen

Mark Wetherington Co-Authored new book


Amazon Smile Donations

Submissions open for June issue of FOCUS


Mary Anne Hansen's Update

Greetings MLA members,

I hope this April newsletter finds you safe and well. Such a difficult time for all of us. As I sat down to write this piece, the thought that jumped immediately to mind is the need to express my deepest gratitude to this wonderful organization and so many individuals who have made my work, as well as the work of your Executive Board, much easier.

First, my gratitude to all who chimed in during our initial ponderings about whether or not to cancel MLA 2020. I received so many thoughtful individual responses, plus many of you also posted your heartfelt and candid thoughts to WiredMT. As responses poured in, the situation quickly escalated, and it became obvious that we had no other choice but to cancel our annual gathering. This was such a painful decision for everyone. How ironic that our 2020 conference theme centered on the concept of “Hindsight is 2020”: MLA 2020, Beyond Hindsight: Envisioning a Collaborative Future. I’m grateful for such widespread collaboration from all types of libraries in coming to this difficult decision to cancel the conference. We are already a collaborative organization, and this pandemic is forcing us to explore new ways to collaborate, share, and learn from each other through virtual means. Please stay tuned as your Executive Board explores collaborating with our State Library colleagues to offer even more online professional development opportunities in the wake of our conference cancellation.

I also have to express my heartfelt gratitude to Debbi Kramer, our Executive Director extraordinaire. Deb has been a constant and continual source of information and guidance to me and other members of the board. She knows our organization inside and out, both as a Montana librarian herself for so many years, as well as through her long-time role as our Executive Director and Conference Planner (along with her hubby, Doug). I know most of us have been concerned about the transition to new Executive Director/Conference Planner leadership with Deb’s retirement because she’ll leave such a void of knowledge and experience. And while MLA has been very happy with Smith & McGowan as our lobbying organization, and thus we’ve had great faith in their ability to lead us through a transition year, I’m very excited to say we won’t be contracting with Smith & McGowan in this new capacity --- not yet, anyway. In short, I’m ecstatic that Deb and Doug have offered to stay on board for one more year, giving the Board more time to roll out the hiring process for a new individual or organization to lead us post-2021. With the devastating blow of the pandemic and such uncertainty within our lives, the Board readily approved Deb and Doug’s offer to get us into 2021. We hope to have the new person/organization shadow Deb during MLA 2021, better positioning them to oversee our tri-conference in 2022 with PNLA and MPLA.

Finally, my gratitude to each member of our MLA Board; they are such an awesome group of people to work with. We’re all so fortunate to have such talent and dedication among our ranks in the Montana Library Community.

Be well and stay connected however you can as we ride this uncertain tide.

Mary Anne Hansen, MLA President

Professor/Research Services Librarian, Montana State University Library

[ Mary Anne Hansen can be reached at ]


Debbi Kramer's Update

What interesting times we live in? I never would have thought with all the technology, etc. in the world that I would ever see a health pandemic.

The MLA Board of Director’s held their spring meeting online March 27, 2020. The meeting concentrated on the most urgent matters. It is our hope to hold an in person meeting later in the summer to discuss more in depth matters relating to the governance of the association.

The June Leadership Retreat, Government Affairs Retreat, MLA Representative conference travel and all other unnecessary travel has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. There will not be an online membership meeting held due to the cancellation of the 2020 annual conference. The Summer Teacher-Librarian Retreat will be held if at all possible, but no date has been set at this time.

All the conference refund checks have been processed. I had to reorder checks and I am waiting for the checks to arrive. Once I have written all the conference refund checks I will put a post on Wired to be looking for your check. Please try to cash your refund check as soon as possible, although at this time many of you are not able to go through the usual channels to get the checks taken to the proper entities for cashing.

MLA is working with the Montana State Library to bring you online workshops that you missed by not being able to attend the annual conference. More information will be available after April 1st.

The board did approve the following items:

  • Online voting will be held on the bylaw changes

  • Online voting will be held to elect new officers for Public, School, and Academic and Special Library Divisions

  • Online election will be held for MLA officers: Vice President-Pres. Elect, Director at Large-West, Secretary-Treasurer, MPLA Representative

  • Retention of current Executive Director Debbi Kramer and conference planners Debbi and Doug Kramer for another fiscal year

Although MLA will not have its yearly membership meeting, all the information that is shared at that meeting will be posted on Wired. All the online voting will take place in the next couple of weeks, so please take a few minutes to please vote as it is so important for your organization.

Please continue to contact me with any questions or concerns. MLA is here to help in any way during this time.

Libraries and librarians are the backbone of this country! Take care and stay safe!

Debbi Kramer, Executive Director

Montana Library Association, Inc.
5176 N. Valle Dorado
Kingman, AZ 86409
Cell: 406-579-3121


by Star Bradley and Sarah Creech, Co-Editors of Focus

My message this month was going to focus (get it, Focus?) on saying good bye to current co-editor Sarah Creech and welcoming the new co-editor DeHanza Kwong. But with all of the turmoil lately I decided to put out a different message.

Sarah and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the library's in the state for their hard work and dedication during this difficult time. Many libraries have offered curbside pickup for materials, are switching very rapidly to offering online programming, and done everything possible to maintain their services to the communities that rely on them so much. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has continued to work to make things available to their communities.

Rather than talk about how terrible things are and how bad things feel, we decided to try and take a more positive outlook. That is why we asked all of you what you are doing to stay sane and happy right now. The results from our survey are below and fun quotes with images are peppered throughout the issue.

At the MSU Library I can say that people are in good spirits and the outlook is pretty positive. We have come together to have virtual check in meetings every week. Some of the cool things our staff have been doing include watching the birds, because even if we are locked in, it's still Spring outside; taking this opportunity to work out more by doing virtual Yoga classes; doing some guided meditations; baking and cooking more (yum!); taking scenic drives to the mountains; taking the dogs out for walks along the river (but staying away from other people!); catching up on reading those books that were piling up; staying in touch with family via Zoom or other web conferencing service; virtual tea parties/lunches/happy hours; and of course binge watching all of the shows we've always wanted to get caught up on.

These are some great ways to maintain your mental health during this time and we hope that you can use some of these ideas yourself, or share on wired some of the other things that you are doing to keep yourself healthy, happy, and sane. This is a very strange time and we know that library folk are resilient and wonderful. Keep up the good work everyone.

(all images used in survey results posts are either labeled for reuse on Google images, or available with Canva, the editing software used to make the post)

Diane Van Gorden Quote about Cats


Marla Unruh with Broadwater Elementary School in Helena says "We are converting to online teaching, which is proving to be more time-consuming than face-to-face. It's a whole new set of challenges! I recommend that school librarians check into a Facebook page called "Trapped Outside the Library." It is run by a Helena friend and colleague." Marla also shared that she's offering a range of online resources including virtual read-alouds using ebooks and Screen-cast-o-matic. She then uploads the video to Youtube and sends out the link.

Rachelle McLain with MSU Bozeman Library wants to make sure other libraries are aware of the National Emergency Library: "National Emergency Library created by Internet Archive has helped us find several titles that instructors need for their classes. Many students left their print books at their Bozeman homes when they left campus for Spring Break and were encouraged to not return to campus, leaving them in a bind. Checking eBooks out from the National Emergency Library is free and multiple users can read the books at the same time. In addition, several of our usual vendors are willing to provide materials at low or no cost. All we have had to do is ask!"

Jo Flick with Montana State Library wants everyone to be taking advantage of the online learning available!

Raya from Stillwater County Library wants library staff to know about a Google Doc made by Jennifer Brown of Suffolk Public Library, it is an amazing list of resources and is linked here. Raya shares that her library hosts a weekly virtual storytime, indoor scavenger hunts, and daily links to resources such as virtual tours, concerts or websites available for free.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. We (Star and Sarah) hope the answers brought you some useful information, and more importantly, joy!


Sheila Cates Scholarship Donations

As you all know the 2020 Montana Library Association annual conference was cancelled due to the pandemic surrounding the COVID 19 virus. One of the main losses for the conference was the loss of donations for the Sheila Cates Scholarship Fund. With this in mind, MLA is asking those who would have donated items or purchased tickets for the Cates Book Bingo event or raffle tickets to donate money to the scholarship fund.

To make a donation to the Sheila Cates Scholarship Fund make your check out to “MLA Cates Scholarship Fund” and mail to

Montana Library Association

5176 N. Valle Dorado

Kingman, AZ 86409

or go to the MLA website and click on the Make a donation to Sheila Cates Scholarship Fund on the homepage. You will be able to choose the amount you wish to donate. All donations are tax deductible and if you would like a donation receipt please let MLA know and you will be emailed a receipt for tax purposes. Thank you.

Debbi Kramer, Executive Director

Montana Library Association, Inc.

5176 N. Valle Dorado

Kingman, AZ 86409

Cell: 406-579-3121



Amendments to MLA Bylaws

The MLA Bylaws Committee is recommending several small changes to the MLA Bylaws. Please see attached. These changes were scheduled to be voted on by the membership at the annual MLA Membership Meeting to be held Friday afternoon, April 3, in Missoula and now will be voted on via email. Check your inbox for the email from Deb Kramer that went out to the WiredMT email list on April 1.

If you have any questions between now and then, please feel free to reach out to the MLA Bylaws Committee.

FOCUS Editor's Note: Here is the link to a pdf of the bylaw changes

Thank you!

MLA Bylaws Committee

Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson, Chair

Kate Zoellner

Jerusha Shipstead

MLA Specialty Plates - Get Yours Now!

As many of you have heard (apologies for those who may not have heard this), the specialty plates that many MLA members and supporters have are going away in the next few months because we don’t meet the new quota of 400 or more members purchasing these each year. We currently have 176 MLA specialty plates across the state.

Those of us who buy these each year are contributing $25 to MLA, and thus with the program ceasing for groups like ours who can’t reach the 400 quota, we’ll be losing income for our association. This currently totals $4400 per year, and that’s a pretty big hit for MLA.

One kind retiree sent Deb a check for $25 and suggested that we reach out to others who will no longer be able to support MLA through the fun specialty plates and inquire if they (and anyone else!) would like to make a direct donation of $25 to MLA in lieu of the plates. Thus I’m sending this email...

Why this new legislation? Apparently, having so many diverse license plates makes the job harder for our state highway patrol. I’m guessing it’s also expensive for the state to administer when there are plates that don’t get as many purchasers. My tags came due this month, and I was able to renew my MLA plates for another year, but anyone renewing after these next three months or so will not be able to retain your MLA plates --- darn!

If you’re so inclined, any amount helps and can be sent to Deb at this address:

Debbi Kramer

5176 N. Valle Dorado

Kingman, AZ 86409

Finally, MLA is doing fine financially, thanks to Deb’s great stewardship of our budget. The MLA Board felt it prudent to reach out and share the reality of losing $4400 per year of income. And in sending this message, I’m very cognizant of the tight personal budgets we’re all living with – so please don’t feel badly if you elect not to contribute to MLA beyond your dues and meeting attendance. This is all part of a bigger discussion the MLA Board will be having the afternoon of April 1 [electronically]. We’ll be discussing how we might streamline our activities to save the association money while not having to charge more and more for events, such as annual conference and retreats. Our 4/1 board meeting is an open meeting, so we’d love to have any interested members in attendance to help provide more insights into MLA’s future.

Mary Anne Hansen, President MLA 2019-2020

Professor/Research Services Librarian

Montana State University Library

Brittany Alberson Quote - Convoy Hellos!

Director-at-Large Update

Greetings from Carmen and Kend, your Directors at Large within the Montana Library Association. We always look forward to meeting new and legacy MLA members each year at our annual conference, and while we won't have that opportunity this year, we remain committed to answering your questions and advocating on your behalf. In a time of social distancing and stay-at-home directives, we are equally committed to making sure you do not feel alone. To that end, we would like to encourage you to fill out this (extremely) short SurveyMonkey with ways we can support you during COVID-19 ( and/or reach out to us DALs directly by email. We are so very grateful to be a part of this creative and resilient community of librarians, and we truly look forward to hearing from you.

Carmen Clark & Kend Mullison

Our emails are:


New FOCUS Co-Editor Announced

I’m delighted to announce that DeHanza Kwong will join Star Bradley as Focus Newsletter Co-editor, following MLA 2020 when Sarah Creech’s term ends.

DeHanza is a Reference Librarian at Butte-Silver Bow a Public Library.

Congrats, DeHanza!


Mary Anne, MLA President 2019-2020

Professor/Research Services Librarian

Montana State University Library


Big picture

Home-bound Hive of Activity: 93 down, 406 to go

Photo by Brittany Alberson

Brittany Alberson has been crocheting these hexagons for a blanket like a busy little bee (get it? too dorky?) throughout my many informational recordings and webinars. It's been nice to have the opportunity to make some progress on it.


Montana Book Award Call for Committee Member

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

The Montana Book Award Committee is looking for one new reader to join in the fun of reading and reviewing books which are written by or illustrated by someone who lives in Montana, or which deal with Montana themes or issues. The Committee is most interested in finding a reader from the Flathead, Lake or Lincoln County region so that the Committee has good representation from across the state.

The new reader would join eight others in reading approximately 20-30 books between Spring 2020 to Late Winter 2021. As a perk, you will attend an expenses-paid weekend in February 2021, when the winner of the Montana Book Award is selected.

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

I am accepting names until April 17, 2020. Please email your submissions to Visit for additional information about the Montana Book Award.

Elizabeth C. Jonkel

Chair, Montana Book Award

Missoula Public Library

301 E Main, Missoula, MT 59802


Earn CE at Home in 2020

Here are some links to find CE online while your school or library may be closed:

Teacher librarians: attend MSL webinars live and shoot me an email with your address and I'll be happy to send you an OPI certificate.

My blog - for the monthly webinar list:

For MSL stuff to attend live, see the ASPeN Calendar:

And, you can find all the recorded MSL webinars on our Vimeo Channel> organized by CE category here:

Also, please check out WebJunction for courses and training:


Joann Flick

Continuing Education Coordinator

Montana State Library



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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 River Press made it possible to digitize more of The River Press, which is now available through 2004.

Ekalaka Eagle sponsored by the Carter County Museum has added now includes 1938-1944 in the available date range.

Finally, the Judith Basin County Free Library is responsible for a project including many of their counties’ titles.

Belt Mountain Miner (Barker)

The Benchland Advocate/ The Benchland Weekly Advocate (Benchland)

Geyser Judith Basin Times (Geyser)

The Independent (Moccasin)

Judith Basin County Times (Stanford)

The Stanford World (Stanford)

These additions came to almost 30,000 pages so if you or your patrons are looking for something to explore online from home, send them to MONTANA NEWSPAPERS and of course CHRONICLING AMERICA for over 990,000 pages of Montana newspapers dating from 1864-2017.

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


Register for the Director's Institute

Public Library Directors are invited to register for the Director's Institute to be held June 8-10 at the Ursuline Center in Great Falls. Registration is open in ASPeN. Andrew Sanderbeck (People Connect Institute​) will facilitate. The goal of this conference is to expand the opportunities we have to collaborate and build kinship between all of Montana's public libraries. We expect that the next big (or a few small but important) collaborative activities will be born at this institute. You don't want to miss it.

Please plan to login to ASPeN and register to attend this important event as soon as you can - we want to know who is coming. There's more information about the program and expected outcomes listed in the ASPeN eCalendar - go to June to see the events listing and complete the registration form from there.

There is NO COST to attend. Room and most meals are provided. The deadline to register is May 21st.

Joann Flick

Continuing Education Coordinator

Montana State Library

Save the Date - Montana State Library Fall Workshops

September 15-16, 2020

REGISTRATION OPENS: August 5, 2020 in ASPeN.

MSL staff are working now to put together a terrific line up of seminar-style sessions that dig deep into critical topics of interest to all libraries, and especially meeting the needs of our small, rural libraries. Fall Workshops consists of several concurrent, seminar style 1/2 and full day training events. When registration opens, classes tend to fill up fast and due to the interactive, hands-on format of these training events, class size is limited. To be sure you get the sessions you most want, make a plan to register early.

The full program for Fall Workshops will be posted well before registration opens.

THERE IS NO FEE TO ATTEND. Any Montanan can come, so please invite your board members and volunteers.

Book your hotel room now - ask for the Montana State Library room rate:

  • Yogo Inn - $94 535-8721

  • Calvert Hotel (includes breakfast) - $96 535-5411

​A limited number of rooms are available at these hotels - make your reservation early to assure you have a spot. The rate expires 8/15/2020.

Joann Flick

Continuing Education Coordinator

Montana State Library

Jo Flick!

Jo Flick rockin' a headset - and carrying on with online learning for Montana Librarians #COVID-19

Photo by Jo Flick


1,000 Books Before Kindergarten at Glacier County Library

Submitted by Amelea Kim, Lifelong Learning Librarian at Montana State 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 Jamie Greco, the director of the Glacier County 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?

I’m from Glacier County Library in Cut Bank and we started our 1000 BBK program in May 2019.

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

I attended a program at PNLA in 2016 on libraries’ role in kindergarten readiness. I have also participated in all except for one of the Ready2Read Rendezvous where emphasis is always placed on improving access to books for young children and reading readiness. These trainings made me want to seek out feasible ways to accomplish these goals. In the past year we have experienced drastic budget and staff cuts and thus have had to cut back on programming. We were looking for a way to do a passive program that wouldn’t require much staff time or a lot of money.

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

This program has been so positively received by our community and has built goodwill towards our library and our mission. Parents and children are excited and enjoy participating because it is so easy to do! I have gotten comments from the clerk at the grocery store who may not actually use the library, but because of our Facebook posts and other publicity she is aware of the program and loves what we are doing. It has also been a fun and enjoyable program for the employees and takes very little staff time.

I would recommend keeping it simple and don’t overthink it. Just find a good starting place and go with it. Be adaptable to your patrons. For example if you have a child that begins the program in May and will be starting Kindergarten in September; let them know that they can go ahead and complete the program even though they may not be able to do that before school starts.

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

Again all of the previous Early Literacy training which I have received came into play here. We were appreciative of the ready-made resources on the 1000 BBK website and we put those ideas and printables to use. Demco/Upstart had the reading records, stickers and posters that we could purchase since staff time wasn’t available for that.

5. Any other thoughts regarding the program?

I highly recommend starting a 1000 BBK program, you won’t regret it! It is such a simple and inexpensive program to implement and the rewards for your patrons, community and library are immense.

Amelea can be reached at

Photos by Jamie Greco with Glacier County Library.

State Library Hires Economic Development Consultant

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

The Montana State Library is excited to announce that they have selected a part-time consultant, Anne Booth of Rural Montana Freelance, to work on Economic Development efforts in Montana public libraries. Anne Boothe is a Malta native with a long and productive career devoted to rural community and economic development. Anne serves on the Board of Directors for the Montana Cooperative Development Center, is a member and past board member of MEDA (Montana Economic Developers Association), and currently serves as the Chair for the MEDA working group for Remote Work in Montana. She has great program knowledge and is well connected with regional, state and federal economic development providers throughout Montana. In 2019 she established Rural Montana Freelance (what she calls her semi-retirement gig) and is looking forward to sharing her expertise with the Montana State Library to help support and connect public library programs and activities to benefit local economic development.

Anne can be reached at her home office in Malta via email at or by leaving a message at 406.390.2288.

Americans and the Holocaust Banner

Americans and the Holocaust : National Traveling Exhibit from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum comes to Bozeman

Please note: The exhibit and all programs have been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.The Bozeman Public Library is currently closed to the public.

by Justin Johnson and Peter Schweppe

March Issue of Bozeman Magazine

On January 27, 2020, the world solemnly acknowledged and recognized the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the notorious Nazi concentration camp located in contemporary Poland. Dignitaries from many nations attended ceremonies in Poland, Israel, Germany, and the USA, each of which served to commemorate the victims and tragedy of the Holocaust. The passage of time has not dampened the determination to never forget such a horrendous event. In the words of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who visited the concentration camp in December 2019, Auschwitz is a place that “obliges us to keep the memory alive. We must remember the crimes that were committed here and name them clearly.” Merkel’s sentiment emphasizes the ongoing importance of critically engaging with this traumatic event. It shows how truly remembering or commemorating the Holocaust is not simply a cognitive or collective act of the mind; rather, it requires a social, public commitment to identifying and naming the atrocities that were committed against humanity.

Cultural institutions around the world have taken this cause to heart, from Yad Vashem in Jerusalem to Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris and even the Auschwitz Museum outside of Oświęcim. In addition to offering visitors space to mourn, reflect, and remember the Holocaust, these institutions notably provide valuable resources for researching the history of genocide. Their vast array of collections allows citizens opportunity to encounter and interact with a plethora of evidence that not only documents this history but encourages future generations to engage with it.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., too, plays a significant role in raising awareness about engagement. Museum resources in Washington D.C. and online showcase the ways that remembering the Holocaust is an imperative for students, educators, and broader populations. As part of its virtual museum, the USHMM website contains a resonant compilation of images, encyclopedias, and timelines for public use, but also lesson plans and research tools. What is more, the Museum Teaching Fellow program trains teachers to lead workshops, write curricula, and lead study trips to Holocaust sites on an annual basis. In turn, the USHMM has established itself as one of the world’s foremost institutions deeply committed to better understanding how and why the Holocaust came to be, while also working to confront legacies of antisemitism and genocide that persist today.

In conjunction with the American Library Association, the USHMM special traveling exhibit “Americans and the Holocaust” continues the project of remembrance and engagement with a traveling exhibit, which will kick off a national tour at the Bozeman Public Library on display from March 18th to April 25th. Based on the permanent collection in Washington D.C., this exhibit will explore relationships between events in Europe and the USA, ranging from news media coverage to refugee experiences. The self-guided exhibit will usher visitors through a variety of stories, facts, and testimony in ways that shed light on the Holocaust and America then and now.

Following a successful grant application this past summer, Bozeman Public Library’s Carmen Clark and Beth Boyson along with Gardiner’s USHMM Teaching Fellow Christina Cote have collaborated with partners at Montana State University and other regional schools to put together an exciting program of events during the exhibit’s stay at BPL. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the self-guided exhibit during the library’s regular opening hours. School groups of 7th grade and above are also encouraged to schedule visits to the exhibit, where they can engage with the educational materials on display. Some financial support may be available to offset travel costs for school groups. For more information, please see the contact information for Carmen Clark at the Bozeman Public Library below.

Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries is made possible by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association. The regular exhibit will be available during regular library hours from March 18th to April 25th. All special events are free and open to the public unless otherwise specified.

Thursday, March 26

MSU History Undergraduate Symposium: “History Unfolded”

Bozeman Public Library, 6-8pm

MSU History students will share their research and experience working with the USHMM “History Unfolded” project which seeks to better understand how American newspapers covered particular events related to the Holocaust. Bozeman Public Library is excited to extend a welcome to all visiting National Council of Undergraduate Research attendees who are in town for the national NCUR conference at MSU. Refreshments to follow.

Friday, April 3

Film Series: Hannah Arendt

MSU Procrastinator Theater, 6:15-9pm

This 2012 feature film from director Margarethe von Trotta presents a closer look at Hannah Arendt, a political theorist who has had a profound impact on discourses surrounding totalitarianism, the Holocaust, and the experience of being a refugee in post-World-War-II society. In addition to the movie which starts at 6:30pm, this event will feature a brief welcome address at 6:15 followed by a roundtable of Montana teachers and MSU professors at 8:30pm. Refreshments on site.

Saturday, April 4

Holocaust Education Workshop (for registered 6th-12th grade teachers only)

Bozeman Public Library, 8am-4pm

Educators in southwest Montana are invited to attend a teacher-training workshop on the Holocaust at the Bozeman Public Library. This workshop will feature breakout sessions from various Holocaust educators and introduce participants to recent teaching tools and resources developed by the USHMM. Eligible teachers will receive Office of Public Instruction credits for participation. Please register at:

Tuesday, April 7

Echoes of Memory: An Evening of Remembrance

Bozeman Public Library, 6:00-8:30pm

Public Lecture: Kathryn Huether

In her talk “The Sonic Afterthought of Holocaust Memorial Spaces and Museum Representations,” Kathryn Huether will address dynamic strategies and implications of acoustics at contemporary Holocaust memorial sites. Kathryn is currently a PhD Candidate in Historical Musicology/Ethnomusicology at the University of Minnesota.

Author Talk: Steven Pressman, 50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission

Acclaimed author Steven Pressman will discuss some of the background that led to his best-selling book 50 Children, which relates the story of an American couple who helped transport Jewish children out of Nazi Germany to America.

Friday, April 10

Wonderlust Friday Forum: Montana’s Jewish Pioneers, A Lasting Legacy

Bozeman Public Library, 12-1pm

Dr. Ellen Baumler will discuss how Jewish pioneers influenced early mining communities in the region, laying the foundations for modern Jewish congregations in Montana.

Tuesday, April 14

Public Lecture: Rachel Herschman

Bozeman Public Library, 6:30-8pm

In her talk “Kasper Goes to War: Propaganda Puppetry in the Third Reich,” Dr. Rachel Herschman will share her striking research on the relationship between puppets, propaganda, and visual culture in Nazi Germany. Rachel has worked on numerous exhibits and publications for New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World as well as the Jewish Museum.

Wednesday, April 15

Film Series: Hitler’s Hollywood

MSU Procrastinator Theater, 6:15-9pm

This 2017 documentary film from director Rüdiger Suchsland explores the psychology behind Nazi cinema and propaganda from 1933-1945. The movie will start at 6:30pm and similarly feature a brief welcome address at 6:15 followed by a roundtable at 8:15pm.

Tuesday, April 21

Book Club: 50 Children, Steven Pressman

Bozeman Public Library, 6:30-8pm

This month’s Book Club is centered around Steven Pressman’s famous book, 50 Children.

Saturday, April 25

Keynote Lecture: Casey Pallister + Closing Reception

Bozeman Public Library, 2-4pm

MSU History PhD Candidate and USHMM Museum Fellow Casey Pallister will give a keynote address titled “Close to Home: The Eugenics Movement in Montana and the American West.” This talk traces the ways certain legacies associated with the Holocaust movement have played out in the American West. Refreshments to follow.

Contact information and links:

Carmen Clark:

Bozeman Public Library: 406-582-2400

Americans and the Holocaust was made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor Jeannie & Jonathan Lavine. The Museum's exhibitions are also supported by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund, established in 1990.

A special thanks goes out to the Bozeman Public Library for hosting the exhibit as well as MSU History and MSU Modern Languages & Literatures for their support. In addition, we acknowledge the dedicated work of the organizing committee, which helped put a program together and bring the “Americans and the Holocaust” exhibit to Bozeman:

Carmen Clark, Bozeman Public Library

Beth Boyson, Bozeman Public Library

Christina Cote, Gardiner Public Schools

Peter Strand, Bozeman Public Schools

Mark Johnson, Alliance for Catholic Education at University of Notre Dame

Casey Pallister, MSU History

Peter Schweppe, MSU History and Modern Languages & Literatures

Justin Johnson is a Senior in MSU’s Chemical Engineering program with minors in Biochemistry and a Major in German Studies. Peter Schweppe is an Assistant Professor of German Studies and History at MSU.

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Montana State Library seeks feedback on proposed changes to public library standards

The Montana State Library Commission and staff would like feedback on proposed changes to Montana’s public library standards. The Montana State Library Commission asked a task force of librarians to review the current public library standards to suggest changes. The Task Force has created a draft and is seeking comments about the proposed changes. State Library Staff will be discussing these standards at several upcoming face-to-face meetings and online. This is the beginning of a lengthy public comment process.

Why did the Commission ask for this work to be completed?

The Montana State Library Commission is the statutory body to “act as a state board of professional standards and library examiners, develop standards for public libraries, and adopt rules for the certification of librarians;” (MCA. 22-1-103 (8)). Montana’s current public library standards, which can be found in Administrative Rules of Montana 10.102.1150A-M, were adopted in 2010. Since that time, numerous influences have begun to shape the nature of library service. Libraries have been under increasing budgetary pressure while at the same time tasked with providing new and changing services. Studies, including Rising to the Challenge: Re-envisioning Public Libraries, published by the Aspen Institute in 2014, called on libraries to turn outwards to be more engaged in understanding and serving the needs of communities. The Montana State Library’s Library Development Study Task Force reinforced the need for library development to ensure that libraries could be nimble in the face of change. The State Library Commission, with input from the library community, articulated their vision for Montana library services, led by the State Library, that ensure that all Montanans will have access to library content and services, sufficient unto their needs. And Montana’s libraries are being called upon to think more deliberately about the impact they have on their communities.

As the role of libraries change so too must the standards libraries strive to meet for libraries to successfully ensure that their users and communities thrive. The State Library seeks feedback from the library community about how the nature of current and future library work should be reflected in the standards all public libraries must meet to qualify for state funding. The State Librarian charges this task force to develop a process to study Montana’s current library standards and those of interest from other states; and to recommend standards that reflect the dynamic, impact driven, community focused work of libraries.

What changes are being proposed?

Drafts of the current proposed changes can be found on the State Library’s website:

How can I comment on these proposed changes?

You can attend one of the face-to-face meetings, contact a State Library staff member, or complete the survey. Information about the process and timeline can be found at

Where can I get more information?

More information about the process to update the public library standards is available from the State Library website including information about task force members and the timeline to adopt new standards:

Submitted by Tracy Cook

Lead Consulting & Learning Librarian

Montana State Library



The 2019 Montana Book Award winner is Grinnell: America's Environmental Pioneer and His Restless Drive to Save the West by John Taliaferro, published by Liveright Publishing (W.W. Norton). This annual award recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book written or illustrated by someone who lives in Montana, is set in Montana, or deals with Montana themes or issues. Presentations and a reception for the winning authors will take place on April 1, during the Montana Library Association Conference in Missoula.

Grinnell: America's Environmental Pioneer and His Restless Drive to Save the West is a biography of George Bird Grinnell, a nineteenth-century ethnologist and natural historian who chronicled and advocated for indigenous culture and early American wildlife conservation. Drawing on forty thousand pages of Grinnell’s correspondence and dozens of his diaries, Taliaferro’s book reveals the compelling story of the man who associated with Teddy Roosevelt, James Audubon, and George Custer, while helping to found the first Audubon Society and the Boone & Crockett Club. This enthralling portrait demonstrates how Grinnell’s life work laid the foundation of the American national park system.

Four honor books were also chosen by the 2019 Montana Book Award Committee:

Down from the Mountain: The Life and Death of a Grizzly Bear by Bryce Andrews, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Down from the Mountain is the story of a grizzly bear named Millie: her life, death, and cubs, and what they reveal about the changing character of the American West. Montana rancher and conservationist Bryce Andrews relates a singular drama of one grizzly that evokes a much larger one: an entangled, bloody collision between man and bear in the modern-day West, where the shrinking wilds force us all into ever closer proximity.

Grain by Grain: A Quest to Revive Ancient Wheat, Rural Jobs, and Healthy Food by Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle, published by Island Press. Through his research, Bob Quinn discovered that through time-tested practices like cover cropping and crop rotation, he could produce successful yields without pesticides. His foray into organic farming became the multimillion dollar heirloom grain company, Kamut International. This book shows how Quinn’s story is the story of the future of American agriculture.

Ernest Hemingway in the Yellowstone High Country by Chris Warren, published by Riverbend Publishing. Hemingway’s time in the Yellowstone High Country has never been thoroughly examined. After years of painstaking research, author Warren takes readers on an astonishing journey into one of the most important periods in the life of one of the world’s most important writers. Warren examines what Hemingway did in Yellowstone, what he wrote, and how his experiences and the people he met shaped his life and work. This is a Hemingway that few readers knew existed, living in a place that few scholars knew was so essential to his writing.

The River Where You Forgot My Name by Corrie Williamson, published by Southern Illinois University Press. This poetry collection travels between early 1800s Virginia and Missouri and present-day western Montana, a place where “bats sail the river of dark.” It reflects on American progress; technology, exploration, and environment; and the ever-changing landscape at the intersection of wilderness and civilization. Poet Williamson turns a curious and critical eye on the motives and impact of expansionism, unpacking some of the darker ramifications of American hunger for land and resources.

The Montana Book Award was founded by the Friends of the Missoula Public Library in 2001 and winners are selected by a committee of individuals representing areas throughout Montana. Members of the 2019 Montana Book Award committee include Gloria Behem, Chester; Marje Doyle, Missoula; Amanda Allpress, Missoula; Della Dubbe, Helena, Hannah Mundt, Bozeman, Mary Drew Powers, Whitefish; Kim Siemsen, Glendive; Debbie Stewart, Great Falls; and Gavin Woltjer, Billings.

Submitted by Elizabeth C. Jonkel

Chair, Montana Book Award

Missoula Public Library

301 E Main, Missoula, MT 59802


K-12 Library Media Content Standards and Revision

On February 24, the Computer Science/Technology Integration/Library Media standards Negotiated Rulemaking committee completed its recommendation to Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. You can find the relevant documents at

The proposed standards are located at

There are two opportunities for public comment. One is the Economic Impact Survey (see main page). Educators are invited to complete this survey. The results will be presented to the legislature’s Education Interim Committee, the Superintendent, and the Board of Public Education.

The second opportunity for public comment is by sending your comments to This is the only way to include your comments in the public record.

I’d like to thank the individuals who provided feedback on the alternative proposal (with committee modifications, this is the official proposal that will advance to the superintendent). The proposal was informed by the AASL National School Library Standards for Learners, the Arkansas school library standards for learners, and the good work of the writing team that completed their recommendation in Summer 2019.

Superintendent Elsie Arntzen will consider the committee’s recommendation as she finalizes her recommendation to the Board of Public Education, which is the body that will vote on the proposal for inclusion in Montana Administrative Rule.

The recommendation should be informed by the experts, which are the individuals who work in school libraries, as well as public, academic, and special libraries. I highly encourage all to provide public comment. These standards have a very long shelf life and will likely not be revised for ten years or more.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to email me, but know that the only way your comments will be included in the public record and advanced to subsequent levels is by emailing Colet Bartow.

Submitted by Ann Dutton Ewbank, PhD

Associate Professor

Director of Accreditation and Operations

Director, School Library Media Certificate Program

Department of Education

College of Education, Health and Human Development

Montana State University

(406) 994-5788

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Holocaust Education Workshop (for registered 6th-12th grade teachers only)

Please note: The exhibit and all programs have been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.The Bozeman Public Library is currently closed to the public.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, April 4, 8am-4pm.

Educators in southwest Montana are invited to attend a teacher-training workshop on the Holocaust at the Bozeman Public Library. This workshop will feature breakout sessions from various Holocaust educators and introduce participants to recent teaching tools and resources developed by the USHMM. Eligible teachers will receive Office of Public Instruction credits for participation. Please register at:

Carmen Clark, Bozeman Public Library


Billings Public Library Prints 3D PPE Masks to Aid Essential Medical Personnel During Pandemic

Billings Public Library is honored to answer the call for help during a time of national crisis by utilizing our technology resources. The library has started printing 3D PPE masks to be used by essential healthcare personnel as they work to assist the members of our community that are vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

Unlike regular single-use facemasks, the 3D printed plastic masks can be used and cleaned multiple times to help medical professionals provide safe, excellent care.

Currently, the library can print three masks a day during operating hours. A second printer has been ordered for the purpose of increasing production to help meet medical supply shortages.

To see a demo video of the process in action, please visit the Billings Public Library Facebook page.

For additional information, please contact librarian Cody Allen at 696-8538.


ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award

ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award Goes to MaryAnne Hansen!

I am so honored that Mary Anne Hansen has received this award through ACRL! I nominated Mary Anne because of her tireless work with tribal college libraries. I am proud of Mary Anne for being an ally for tribal librarianship, which sometimes means taking a back seat, listening, and then moving forward. I am grateful to have Mary Anne as both a friend and colleague.

Congratulations Mary Anne! You deserve it.

-Aaron LaFromboise

Mark Wetherington from the Bitterroot Public Library co-authored “Backpacking Washington, 3rd Edition” published in February of this year, available wherever books are sold!

Mark was featured in a previous issue of FOCUS. Check out his research process here:

And his book here: Amazon Link


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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”!

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Submissions Open for the June 2020 Issue!

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


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:

Sarah Creech (Co-Editor)

It was wonderful to serve as MLA's FOCUS Co-Editor for the past two years. Thank you for your support and constant enthusiasm for FOCUS, MLA! If you'd like to get in touch after this, please feel free to email me at P.S. I'm not related to Sharon Creech in any way that my husband's family knows of, but I do love her books.