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MSU Library named Library of the Year by Montana Library Association

The library was recognized for a host of accomplishments, including its leadership on the TRAILS consortium, the annual Tribal College Librarians Institute that MSU has run for nearly 30 years and the library’s work with the Ivan Doig archive.

BOZEMAN — The Montana State University Library has been named the 2018 Library of the Year from the Montana Library Association. The award was presented at the Montana Library Association’s awards banquet held Friday, April 13, at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn in Bozeman.

The library was recognized for a host of accomplishments, including its leadership on the TRAILS consortium, the annual Tribal College Librarians Institute that MSU has run for nearly 30 years and the library’s work with the Ivan Doig archive.

“The incredible work of our staff and faculty has been recognized by their peers across the state,” said Kenning Arlitsch, dean of the MSU Library. “We are grateful for this honor.”

The MSU Library is part of the Treasure State Academic Information and Library Services, or TRAILS, a consortium of higher education academic libraries in Montana that is designed to provide better services to users statewide while avoiding costs that libraries would pay in contracts negotiated individually. TRAILS leverages its member libraries’ buying power so that high-quality resources can be accessed by more students, faculty and staff across the state. TRAILS currently has 24 member institutions in Montana. Collectively, it owns more than 4 million library items and serves more than 49,500 students, faculty and researchers. Seventeen of those members also migrated to a shared library management system in 2016, putting in place an infrastructure that will support expanded future cooperative efforts.

The MSU Library’s leadership on TRAILS was singled out for commendation by MSU’s accrediting body, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, during its 2017 campus visit as part of MSU’s accreditation process.

Arlitsch noted that the TRAILS consortium – which launched in 2016 – holds “tremendous potential” as a shared service that will benefit students and faculty who learn and conduct research in the state of Montana.

“Consortia allow libraries to develop shared expertise and capacity to serve users on a larger and more sophisticated scale,” Arlitsch said.”

The MSU Library founded the Tribal College Librarians Institute in 1990. The institute is designed to provide continuing education, professional development and networking opportunities for tribal college librarians and librarians who serve tribal college students. It is recognized as the one of the best development programs in North America for librarians serving native people. The 2017 institute brought together more than 60 presenters and tribal college participants from 13 states and two Canadian provinces.

“The rewards (of the Tribal College Librarians Institute) are reaped by the students and faculty of Montana’s tribal colleges,” said Jan Zauha, outreach and humanities librarian with the MSU Library, in a nomination letter she wrote to the Montana Library Association Awards Committee.

Finally, the MSU Library was chosen in 2015 to house the archive of the acclaimed writer Ivan Doig following a joint proposal the MSU Library and the MSU College of Letters and Science submitted. After the archive was acquired, library staff and faculty organized and digitized the 183 boxes of material, making them available to the public in less than one year.

Then, as part of its efforts to promote the archive and share it with people throughout the state, the library created an exhibit about the archive at the Big Sky Country State Fair. The library also participated in the “Doig Days of Summer” celebration in Dupuyer, and – in collaboration with the College of Letters and Science and MSU’s Center for Western Lands and Peoples – it launched a three-day symposium on the MSU campus and in White Sulphur Springs. Titled “Doig Country: Imagining Montana and the West,” the symposium brought together hundreds of scholars, readers, teachers, students and community members. Zauha noted that one community member who attended the symposium called it a “rare chance to interact with MSU, and such a generous gift to Montanans.”

The MSU Library previously won the Library of the Year award in 2003.

More information about the TRAILS consortium is available at trailsmt.org/. For more about the Tribal College Librarians Institute, visit lib.montana.edu/tcli/. The Ivan Doig archive at MSU is available online at ivandoig.montana.edu/.

Anne Cantrell, MSU News Service 04/16/2018

This story is available on the Web at: http://www.montana.edu/news/17646