New Library Directors Handbook

Federations

Montana is one of the few states that organizes its libraries into federations. Essentially these are regional support systems for libraries. Every year the State Library receives money from the legislature that is distributed to federations. There are six federations in Montana. When you are looking for support or help in your area, try the members of your federation. Many of these librarians have had similar experiences and might be able to help you connect with regional resources. Federations support library staff by providing continuing education opportunities, awarding monies, consulting and reference services, offering reciprocal borrowing privileges, and networking opportunities.

Federations are comprised of libraries of all types, but public libraries are central to their existence. Meetings to network, receive training, and decide on the appropriate way to use the money granted by the state are held each year. Typically federations meet at least once a year. Trustees and library directors are encouraged to attend. Each federation elects a coordinator who is responsible for answering questions and providing guidance for planning.

Federation members are responsible for developing a plan of service that describes how federation funds will be used for the year. Common activities include continuing education and money for cataloging and reference tools. Libraries must work together in order to survive; federations are one way of achieving this cooperation.

You can find contact information for your federation coordinator in the Montana Library Directory (http://www.msl.mt.gov/Library_Development/Consulting/Federations/).

You can find information about Federations including links to the Plan of Service and forms in the Montana Library Directory (http://www.msl.mt.gov/Library_Development/Consulting/Federations/).

Montana Library Federations

Montana Library Directory