Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Between the Stacks

I just returned from the Broad Valleys Federation meeting and thought I would share a little information about this wonderful organization. There are six different federations in Montana, which are divided into different geographical regions. The Broad Valleys Federation has 21 member libraries and stretches from Helena to Dillon. It includes large libraries such as Bozeman Public, medium libraries such as Whitehall, and smaller libraries. Some of the members are libraries which are a combination of a school and community library, such as the Broadwater School and Community Library in Townsend, Montana. Our Library Board members are also invited to attend and contribute ideas in different areas. I met many terrific people and several different networking ideas are now in the works to share resources and talents. The Montana State Library provides funding to the federations for learning conferences like this one, which in turn helps our yearly training/conference budget. I was able to earn 4 continuing education credits in two days. Public librarians in Montana are required to re-certify their positions with 60 credits, every four years. It was a great way to learn about the federation and connect with the information shared by the state library staff in class.

Library programming is running steadily along for March. The Friends will be having a meeting in April to plan out the summer and the reception for the “Erin in Exile” exhibit in May. Watch for the May calendar. It will include all of the special Thursday night programming to complement the exhibit as well as other events. If you would like to join the Friends of the Library, please stop in to the front desk for more information or watch for the meeting date in the April calendar. Our Friends and volunteers are vital to the many functions and services the Library provides. They generously share their time enabling the staff to do more complicated tasks or provide services that would otherwise have to wait.

This is travel month for librarians around the state as the Montana Library Association will be hosting its annual conference in Billings. I will be attending along with most of the other librarians in the state to learn about new programs, technology, state and local challenges, disaster planning, and more. I will also be involved with the Montana Information Literacy Alliance meeting as well as the disaster planning workshop. One of the most enjoyable committees I have served on is the Professional Development Committee which awards funding for librarians to attend training opportunities around the country and the state. It is always rewarding to see staff from smaller libraries attend the state conference and network with others.

Until next time, if you have any questions just drop in or call 287-3763.


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