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The Grants to States Program
The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.
“We’ll provide statewide quality e-content. We have a new learning portal that gives librarians access to a wide variety of webinars, with a focus on improving digital literacy services. If we supply foundational tools statewide, local libraries can give their attention to community needs and services.”
--Jennie Stapp, State Librarian, Montana State Library
The Grants to States Program
The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan. For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.
Statewide Training Project
Montana State Library offered skills training to librarians statewide, with both online and onsite training serving library staff and boards with a wide variety of backgrounds, credentials, and skillsets. In-person trainings included a two-day fall workshop for staff from all types of libraries across the state, three trustee trainings at different sites, and a three-day Library Leadership Institute. The state library also expanded the number and type of online trainings available, implementing a Library Learning Portal website and adding more than 80 webinars and tutorials available for viewing at any time. It provides an easy-to-search, centralized location for online learning resources produced by the state library or as a result of its programs. These activities shaped a measurable increase in applications to the Montana State Library certification program.
IMLS Funds: $95,003
Montana Shared Catalog Project
The Montana Shared Catalog (MSC) is a statewide library cooperative that utilizes cost sharing to increase access to resources for even the smallest of rural libraries and their patrons. Project staff coordinated the growth and development of the statewide catalog, evaluated new products and updates, negotiated licenses and fees, and provided technical support to MSC members. They also hosted two annual membership meetings to keep all member libraries informed and up-to-date on MSC features and products. A total of 380 people attended these workshops and webinars. During the project period, 26 libraries applied for and joined the shared catalog, and grant funds offset costs related to initiating the new libraries’ software licenses, creating new profiles and policies, loading new library data, and converting bibliographic and patron record data from the libraries’ legacy systems.
IMLS Funds: $236,160
Other project(s) featured through IMLS media include:
- Montana State Library’s SWIM project (in partnership with state library agencies in South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and the University of North Texas): Things are Going SWIM-ingly Out West
Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state.
Five-Year Plan Highlights
General Services and Initiatives
- Acquire and manage relevant quality lifelong learning content that meets the needs of Montana library users and gives libraries and patrons convenient and cost-effective access to library content and services in all formats.
Access to E-Resources
- Continue and extend statewide e-content purchase programs to cut costs and make available materials/services libraries would not be able to afford individually. This effort includes MontanaLibrary2Go and HomeworkMT.
- Expand the availability and use of statewide integrated discovery and searching tools and centralized authentication services for libraries and patrons.
- Expand and improve the Montana Shared Catalog by including more libraries and more resources and by providing Montanans with continued self-serve, machine-mediated access over the open web.
- Design and expand projects to demonstrate how materials can reach patrons quickly at an affordable price, regardless of which library owns the items.
- Support the goals of the Montana Memory Project strategic plan to increase local content and improve management of these online resources. This effort includes materials selection, arrangement, description, and digitization.
- Provide consultation, leadership, and continuing education for library staff members throughout the state to enhance their ability to serve patrons in their search for education, lifelong learning, employment information, and greater digital literacy.
- Assist local libraries in developing their strategic plans and in identifying community needs that give them the opportunity to plan innovative programs.
- Introduce librarians to emerging technologies and their possible impact on services and patron needs.
- Provide formal face-to-face staff training opportunities each year and regular venues through which librarians can share problems and best practices, and discuss innovative ideas of mutual interest.
- Serve as a clearinghouse for information on conventional and online training opportunities.
- Promote partnerships and encourage collaboration among libraries and other agencies and community organizations to expand and improve services for patrons. Among the targeted organizations are the Montana Library Association, Montana Association of Counties, Geographic Information Professionals, AARP, state agencies, Internet providers, foundations, healthcare organizations, and library schools.
- Explore opportunities to improve Internet access and technology support for libraries. This effort includes evaluating the results of a feasibility study conducted under the state library’s Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant.
- Work with library leaders throughout the state to help them position their libraries as community anchors, participants in community-wide planning, and in the outreach services they provide.
- Encourage library leaders to form partnerships with other organizations and agencies in their communities.
Special Services for Special Needs
- Acquire, manage, and provide access to quality content for Montana Talking Book Library patrons and furnish outreach services through partnerships and collaborations with other organizations that provide information for people with special needs:
- Continue the digitization of recorded materials.
- Produce all new Montana book titles digitally from recording to duplication.
- Continue to stay current with assistive technology, and train staff and patrons in the use of this equipment.
- Continue to update the Keystone Library Automated System database.
- Implement a Patron Outreach Project to expand our reach to special needs Montana library patrons and continue partnerships with organizations that serve Montana citizens who have visual, reading, and/or physical disabilities, to coordinate our efforts.
- Increase the accessible materials collection for people who cannot read standard print.
IMLS Data Collection
State Library Survey
The State Library Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Public Library Survey
The Public Library Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Data are collected from over 9,000 public library systems with over 17,000 public library outlets. Read Montana's profile (PDF, 343 KB) from the most recent PLS publication.