Public Library Standards

Montana’s Public Library Standards are defined in the Administrative Rules of Montana.  They provide benchmarks for library services, collection development, planning and evaluation, finance and facilities.  The standards include three benchmark levels:  Essential, Enhanced and Excellent.  The Montana State Library provides consulting and other support to assist public library directors, trustees and the communities they serve in striving to meet the standards.

Each public library must meet the Essential standards in order to receive State Aid.  More information on the essential standards can be found by selecting the topics to the right. The Enhanced and Excellent levels of the standards are designed to encourage libraries to continually improve services to their communities.

The annual Excellence in Library Services Award (the “ELSA”) recognizes Montana libraries that meet a minimum number of the Excellent benchmarks. Libraries should review the Consulting Calendar to learn more about when to submit their annual survey of Essential standards compliance and to apply for the ELSA.

Read how Montana libraries have used State Aid funding to improve their libraries, leading to increased ability to meet all levels of the standards.

Review all the essential, enhanced and excellent standards on the Administrative Rules website:

Public Library Standards Administrative Rules
(NOTE: to navigate through each rule select Prev and Next at the top of the Administrative Rules webpage)