February 3, 2022
We are aware of the concern about the loss of certification by the Montana State Library (MSL) and the resulting loss of state funding. We have a responsibility to be open about what the loss of certification means, and how it may impact library services.
I imagine you might be thinking the following:
- “Does this mean that we won’t have access to eBooks and Audiobooks from MontanaLibrary2Go?”
- “Now I won’t be able to get books from Partner Libraries like Missoula, Miles City, etc.”
- “The library’s budget is getting cut by the MT State Library.”
Montana Libraries are certified by the Montana State Library annually when they meet the essential standards defined by the State Library Commission. These standards are part of the Administrative Rules of Montana, and address topics including Library Policies, open hours, and so on. A comprehensive list of the standards can be found in Administrative Rule Subchapter 10.102.
One of these rules (Rule 10.102.1150E) requires that libraries who serve more than 25,000 people employ a library director with “a graduate degree in Library or Information Science or its equivalent.” ImagineIF Library staff and Trustees have had multiple conversations with the MT State Library in order to confirm that because the incoming director does not yet have the required degree, we will not be eligible for certification as of July 2022.
So, what about the funding?
By Montana Law (MCA 22-1-103), the State Library Commission distributes state aid to Public Libraries on a per-capita basis. In order to receive state funding, Public Libraries must abide by the standards set by the Library Commission.
Without certification, ImagineIF Libraries is no longer eligible for $35,731.41 in Fiscal Year 2023.
Does the loss of certification affect other services?
No. Library staff have consulted numerous times with MT State Library consultants, and directly with State Librarian Jennie Stapp to affirm that our access to all other shared services administered by MSL are unaffected.
For users, that means that you will have the same access to services, including:
- eBooks and Audiobooks through MontanaLibrary2Go,
- Over 500,000 items held by our Partner libraries,
- Searching a discovery through the Montana Shared Catalog,
- Cultural and historical resources from the Montana Memory Project,
For staff, this means that we will continue to have access to Montana State Library and Montana Shared Catalog staff to ensure that we continue to offer the excellent library services you are accustomed to.
What does this mean for the library budget?
Library Finances are under the exclusive purview of the ImagineIF Library Board of Trustees. The intent of this is to ensure that library services remain free of governmental influence, and are managed by the community that we serve. The budget is generally developed by the Trustees in close cooperation with ImagineIF Library staff and the Flathead County Commissioners.
Providing adequate funding for the library is one of the fundamental responsibilities of the Board of Trustees, and is codified in Montana Law. The activities of the Finance Committee, which includes ImagineIF staff, are open to the public, and we encourage public participation in this process.
We understand that stable library funding is a concern for many in the community, and it’s important that we hear from you. Please contact us with your questions, concerns, or ideas through any of the channels below:
Mail: 247 1st Ave East, Kalispell, MT 59901
ImagineIF Libraries Staff
February 16, 2022: Montana ACLU files records request regarding library board
February 12, 2022: County challenges loss of state certification for ImagineIF
February 11, 2022: Advocacy group forms in wake of library trustee decisions
February 11, 2022: Montana State Library Commissioner Resigns, Citing ImagineIF Support
February, 2022: Readers rally for library
February 3, 2022: ImagineIf library foundation director explains resignation
February 2, 2022: Reading Between the Lines
February 2, 2022: ImagineIF libraries reduces open hours in Kalispell
January 27, 2022: New Kalispell library director will result in loss of state funding
January 25, 2022: Library launches science education program
December 21, 2021: ImagineIF Trustees Conduct Interviews for Director Job
December 14, 2021: Bigfork Library Hits New Milestone
December 3, 2021: Interim library director resigns amid conflict with board
December 2, 2021: Flathead County Library Director Resigns Amid Board Meddling
November 16, 2021: Public Library Receives Formal Complaints About Two Books
October 28, 2021: ImagineIF Kalispell features Día de los Muertos art installation
October 17, 2021: Fifty Years of Rocky Hoerner Art
October 7, 2021: What’s a Library Worth?
September 30, 2021: ImagineIF libraries feature two art exhibits
July 21, 2021: Library director stepping down to take job in Washington
Jun 17, 2021: ImagineIf libraries bring tactile fun to summertime play
June 9, 2021: ImagineIF offering outdoor educational programming
June 11, 2021: ImagineIF Libraries plan outdoor summer programs
May 2, 2021: ImagineIF trustee recognized with special award
April 29, 2021: Library Prepares for Return to Normalcy
April 26, 2021: Free seed library fully restocked in Columbia Falls
April 23, 2021: ImagineIF libraries return to full-time hours May 3
April 6, 2021: Library board considers polling voters on funding
March 14, 2021: Library board ponders solutions for budget crunch
March 4, 2021: ImagineIF Libraries could lift mask requirement in June
February 16, 2021: Bigfork Library Campaign Surpasses Major Milestone
January 29, 2021: ImagineIF’s ‘Making Montana’ wins state Program of the Year Award
January 17, 2021: ImagineIF Libraries Extend Hours, Continue Take-Home Education Kit
July 8, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries adds new services
June 11, 2020: KALICO Brings Community Art to Kalispell
June 10, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries resume public computer use
May 13, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries to reopen with new hours
April 29, 2020: Building a Virtual Library
April 25, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries to provide curbside pickup starting May 4
April 17, 2020: Helping Parents and Kids at Home
March 23, 2020: Youth services librarian’s passion sparks children’s curiosity
February 26, 2020: Fifth Annual ‘Free the Seeds!’ Event Scheduled for March 7
February 22, 2020: Fun with food boils over at ImagineIF competition
February 21, 2020: Inspiring the Emerging Workforce
Feb 13, 2020: ImagineIF hosts Montana wildlife art exhibits
February 9, 2021: ImagineIF Welcomes New Library Director
January 31, 2022: ImagineIF Announces Updated Hours and New Toddler Time Program
January 19, 2022: ImagineIF Offers New Science Tools for Checkout
December 18, 2021: ImagineIF Libraries Interim Director Resigns
November 2, 2021: ImagineIF Launches New Website
October 26, 2021: Local Artist Brings Día de los Muertos Exhibit to ImagineIF Libraries
September 21, 2021: Local Art Exhibits Return to ImagineIF Libraries this Fall
August 31, 2021: ImagineIF Announces Fall Programming for Kids and Teens
August 25, 2021: ImagineIF Celebrates National Library Card Sign-Up Month
August 12, 2021: ImagineIF Libraries’ Ellie Newell selected for 40 Under 40 Award
July 19, 2021: ImagineIF Libraries Director Resigns
May 24, 2021: Summer Experience for All Ages Kicks Off at ImagineIF
April 29, 2021: ImagineIF Trustee Wins MLA’s Jane Lopp Trustee of the Year Award
April 20, 2021: ImagineIF Libraries Returns to Full Hours in May
February 4, 2021: Flipster Press Release
January 6, 2021: ImagineIF Offers Take-home Kits for Kids and Teens
December 29, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries Expands Open Hours in the New Year
September 11, 2020: ImagineIF Kicks Off Fall with New Programs for Kids and Teens
September 9, 2020: ImagineIF Launches Family-Friendly Civic Literacy Programming
July 2, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries Offers List of New Services
June 17, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries Offers New Personal Shopper Service
June 12, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries Offers Expanded Open Hours
June 8, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries Offers Free Computer Use Sessions
May 29, 2020: Summer Experience for All Ages Kicks Off at ImagineIF
May 11, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries to Reopen with New Open Hours
April 30, 2020: ImagineIF Libraries Launches Curbside Pickup