Library Development

Excellent Library Service Award (ELSA)

WHAT IS THE ELSA? The Montana State Library Commission annually recognizes libraries for achieving excellence in serving their communities with the Excellent Library Service Award (the ELSA). Each year, academic, public, school, and special libraries have an opportunity to apply for the award using a checklist of excellent recommendations. The checklist is based on Montana’s current Public Library Standards which serves as a measuring tool for libraries in the state.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Each year library directors will complete the online checklist indicating all of the recommendations the library has achieved. If a library meets the required number of recommendations, the library will be honored with an ELSA and receive a certificate from the Commission at the MLA awards luncheon. The State Library will provide recipient libraries with a press release for use in notifying local government officials and/or news outlets about the recognition.

HOW DO I APPLY? The ELSA checklist is available through the Library Directory beginning in January. If your library isn’t listed in the Directory, contact Tracy Cook. From the Directory, click “Apply for the ELSA” to get to the checklist. The checklist takes about 10-15 minutes to complete and submit. The form even calculates the number of recommendations for you. Once the form is completed, public library directors are encouraged to take a few minutes to share their stories about the ways in which the Public Library State Aid increase has benefitted their community and their library. You can do this by clicking on the Share Your Stories link in the main menu, under State Aid.

WHEN IS THE DEADLINE? The deadline for applying annually is in March.

This is an opportunity for libraries and library staff to receive recognition that is so deserved — from fellow librarians and from the local community. Consider applying for this honor annually! If you have questions, contact Tracy Cook.