Pilots and other LSTA Funded Efforts of the Montana State Library
Project Description and Objectives
A pilot, as defined by the Montana State Library Network Advisory Council, is a one‐time endeavor undertaken to learn about, test, plan for, and determine the scope of an effort funded in part or in full with Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) funds awarded to the Montana State Library by the Institute of Museum & Library Services. It requires one‐time funding, use of existing staff temporarily or possibly hiring temporary staff for a defined period of time.
A pilot should clearly identify benchmarks or other objectives to be met or tested. The time limit for a pilot will be determined during the initial recommendation process, after which time a pilot either concludes or moves to the status of a project.
Montana Makers Kits
The purpose of the maker space project is to encourage interest in STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) education primarily in young adults ages 10-17. In a maker space, learning happens actively through collaborative, goal-oriented projects and programs, but also through unstructured access to resources that encourages self-initiated learning. STEAM education supports the development of programming skills and the broader outcomes associated with coding, such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving.
The Montana State Library makerspace pilot equips hosting libraries with tools and resources for young patrons to experiment with technology and craft in a way that is not readily available in most communities. These traveling kits circulate to libraries for several weeks at a time.
This project supports several of the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ priorities:
- 21st Century Skills: “The global economy calls for new skills like critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation.”
- Afterschool programs
Share Your Story
Share Your Story is an LSTA-funded pilot of Montana State Library that circulates traveling digital audiovisual recording kits to libraries on a rotating basis. Hosting libraries will be trained to use and make these tools available to record and preserve their community’s stories. Marketing materials for the community are provided.
- Previously undocumented cultural heritage from the local community is documented and shared
- Community awareness of library resources and programs increases
- Presence of library resources and programs in the community expands
- New patrons visit the library or make use of library services
- Patrons have the opportunity to learn new technologies and skills
- Staff feel more confident with hands-on technology training, and offer increased or more varied opportunities to library patrons
- Community partnerships are formed or expanded to assist in promoting and collecting interviews, and in leading public programs
The Montana State Library Commission approved LSTA funding for a pilot to allow the State Library to explore both open source and proprietary models of expanded access to e-content, and avenues to distribute locally created e-content, that would be affordable, manageable, and sustainable for consortium use, to determine expenses and labor involved in implementation, and to articulate expected return on investment for each of these various options. The MontanaLibrary2Go Local pilot allows MontanaLibrary2Go libraries to directly purchase and contribute content by and about Montanans and the Montana region.
Please contact Statewide Projects Librarian Cara Orban if you have questions about LSTA or any of the MSL pilots.
For More Information
Please use the links in the menu on the right to find information for prospective members ("Getting Involved") or current members ("For Participating Libraries"), and about project governance ("Governance").