2023 Public Library Standards Task Force



Public Library Standards Task Force Meetings

August 22, 2023: 9 am to 2 pm

September 22, 2023: 9-11 am

Public Library Standards Task Force Public Comment Sessions

August 30, 2023: 10-11 am

September 13, 2023: 12-1 pm



Submit public comment here: https://forms.office.com/g/ktVL1KKgJ5


Charge of the Task Force 

The charge of the 2023 public library standards task force is to review the following administrative rules and present options for the Montana State Library Commission to consider as part of a formal administrative rules' update process:

Administrative Rules 

  • Create a new rule to clarify the definition of state payments which may include any direct payments of funding to public libraries from the State of Montana through the State Library.  
  • Amend the following administrative rules:
    • 10.102.1158: Library Boards, Governance, and Working with the Director
      • Amend 1 to change the tribal library language to match what was adopted in the Montana Code Annotated
    • 10.102.4003 Direct state aid to public libraries – update the rule to account for the addition of tribal college libraries. 
    • 10.102.1162 Deferrals – update the rule to clearly define the circumstances under which a waiver may be considered. 
  • Consider amendments to the following administrative rule:  
    • 10.102.1158 Library Boards, Governance, and Working with the Director - consider amending #7 which is about growth of the library budget to better reflect the idea of the library board and director finding the resources the library needs rather than year-to-year growth of the budget.
    • 10.102.1160 Personnel – Reconsider the following requirement - “Directors of libraries that serve over 25,000 people have a Master of Library Science or equivalent degree.” 
      • Do library directors need a Master of Library Science degree specifically or is there an equivalent degree that is acceptable? What would be considered an equivalent degree? 
      • Do library directors need a Master of Library Science degree if staff of the library have the library science degree? If so, what staff positions should be considered and/or how many staff should have the degree?
      • Do library directors need a degree or should work experience be considered as a substitute for a degree? If work experience should be considered, what type of experience and/or number of years is needed?  What other work factors may be considered? 
      • Are there other options the task force would like to consider for this administrative rule?  

Process Timeline 

  • July – State Librarian seats the task force  
  • July - schedule task force meeting; create support materials on each of the proposed ideas/topics to discuss  
  • July/August/September - Task force will be given assignment of reviewing support materials created by Tracy and will meet 2-3 times online to complete the work of the task force. Create options and recommendations for library community to consider.  
  • August/September - Have public drop-in sessions (online) to discuss proposed changes. Gather public comment. Make changes as needed.  
  • October 11, 2023 -Present rules options and recommendations, with pros and cons, to the Commission. Ask Commission to select options and request permission from Commission to go through admin rules’ process. 
  • November - Public comment period as required by the Montana Administrative Procedure Act 
  • December 13, 2023 - Final Commission action to adopt rules 
  • Formal notification to libraries of amended rules no later than December 31, 2023 
  • Publication in Administrative Register, January 2024 (date TBD) 
  • Any revised standards go into effect July 1, 2024