Amanda Johnson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday, Oct. 15, the State Library Commissioners met in Malta for their October business meeting, and toured local libraries including the Havre-Hill County Library afterward. The state library commissioners’ office holds meetings six times a year and each meeting is held at a different public library. After the meeting the commissioners try to visit several local public libraries around the meeting area. State Librarian Darlene Staffeldt was one in the group of commissioners to tour the Havre-Hill County Library. Bonnie Williamson, director of the Havre-Hill County Library led the visiting commissioners on an educat ional , informat ive tour of the library. “I love the Havre-Hill County Library,” Staffeldt said. “It is an attractive space, and it provides many fine services and collections for the library users in the community. Havre-Hill County Library has a strong working director in Bonnie Wi l l iamson, and Bonnie always seems to go the extra mile or two. “With Bonnie serving as director, the Havre-Hill County Library has been on the front edge of many new and improved library resources and services that have been developed in the past few years,” Staffeldt added. “In my humble opinion, Havre-Hill County Library is one of the best public libraries in the nation. I think all Montana libraries are the best! “The meeting in Malta was the October business meeting of the Montana State Library Commission, the governing board of the State Library. The Commission meets six times a year and likes to have at least one of those meetings outside of Helena at a local library,” said Staffeldt. “The commission visits libraries at least once a year to get a chance to see the libraries and to give library community members a chance to visit with the commissioners regarding their library issues and concerns,” Staffeldt said. “As state librarian, I travel to meetings And visit with libraries throughout Montana all year long. “In addi t ion to my visi ts wi th libraries around the state, we also employ folks throughout Montana whose job is to travel to libraries and to assist them with any issue from technical help to grant applications that a public library in Montana would face,” added Staffeldt. The state library’s role in funding for libraries in Montana comes in four different formulas/directions; Staffeldt said throug an e-mail. 1. State funds that pass through the State Library for a per capita/per mileage state aid contribution to public libraries. 2. State funds that pass through the State Library for federation support for public libraries in the six federation regions. 3. State funds that pass through the state library for help supporting the interlibrary loan programs in many of Montana libraries including school, special, academic and public libraries. 4. Statewide special project funding from the State general funds, such as statewide databases, as well as from the Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, such as regional consultants, continuing education opportunities and e-book cooperative collections. The State Library Commission does not have direct oversight responsibilities for any local libraries. Commission action can affect the local libraries if the local libraries participate in and/ or make use of some of the statewide projects and resources that the Commission makes available, such as staff consulting and training, statewide periodical databases, public library standards for providing best practices, and so on, said Steffeldt. The Havre-Hill County Library is one of Montana’s larger middle-sized libraries, Staffeldt said. People who want to compare its statistics with other Montana public libraries can find the information on the Internet at www.msl.mt.gov/for_librarians/for_ public_librarians/statistics/reports/ default.asp, she said.