Operating Guidelines

June 2017


The Network Advisory Council (NAC) represents the interests of all types of Montana libraries and maintains the perspective of statewide geographical balance as it explores ways to help libraries; assesses community needs; identifies innovation opportunities; reviews and evaluates the feasibility, design, and outcomes of statewide library projects; assists with statewide planning, and advises the State Librarian and the State Library Commission.


Lead, explore, and evaluate collaborative and/or innovative opportunities that strengthen library and information services for all Montanans.


  • Identify ways to help all types of libraries use community needs assessment as a starting point for developing and evaluating library services.
  • Provide leadership through innovation, flexibility, and exploration of ideas from libraries and non-libraries 
  • Identify innovative opportunities for library services at the local, regional, or statewide level
  • Work closely with MSL staff to plan, support, and evaluate Library Development projects and services that will benefit Montana libraries and citizens
  • Assist with the implementation of the Library Development Task Force Recommendations
  • Support collaborative efforts between libraries and non-libraries with the ultimate purpose of benefitting Montanans through excellent library services
  • Make recommendations to the State Librarian and the State Library Commission on the annual Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) budget.
  • Identify and communicate the community impact of library services to policy makers, funders, and community members
  • Assist MSL to prepare library technology and information resources Request for Proposal (RFP) documents as part of the official state procurement process
  • Serve on RFP evaluation committees as part of the official state procurement process
  • Contribute to the strategic and long range planning efforts of MSL
  • Advise MSL on other matters that the State Librarian determines will benefit from the statewide and multi-type library perspective offered by the NAC membership
  • Communicate the goals and objectives of the NAC and MSL to librarians around the state
  • Seek feedback from library colleagues on matters within the purview of the NAC and share that feedback with the State Library


NAC Member Appointments:

NAC members are appointed by, and serve at the direction of, the State Librarian. For those members designated to represent specific organizations identified below (designated seat), the State Librarian will appoint the person nominated by the individual or group authorized to make such decisions for that organization.

NAC appointees must collectively represent the interests of all types of Montana libraries and provide a statewide perspective. Knowledge of library leadership and collaboration, library operations, library technology, information access issues, and awareness of the library needs of Montana citizens are considered important qualifications for NAC membership.

NAC Representative Membership Categories:

The following categories of representation are appointed to the NAC:

  • Small public library
  • Medium public library
  • Large public library
  • Small school library
  • Large school library
  • Special library
  • Tribal college library
  • Small academic/community college library
  • Member at large (working librarian, retired librarian or trustee/patron/general public)
  • Federation Coordinators (designated seat)
  • Montana Office of Public Instruction (designated seat)
  • Montana Shared Catalog (designated seat)
  • Montana State Library (designated seat)
  • Montana State Library Commission (designated seat)
  • Montana State University (designated seat)
  • University of Montana (designated seat)
  • TRAILS (designated seat)
  • Montana Library Association President or designee

NAC Geographic Membership Criteria:

When making appointments to the above listed NAC membership seats, it is the intention of the State Librarian to consider, whenever feasible, maintaining a statewide geographic balance (north, south, east, west) collectively among the total NAC membership.

NAC Membership Terms of Service:

Open seat appointments to the NAC shall be for a term of 3 years. At the completion of his or her first three-year term, a member may be appointed to a second three-year term at the discretion of the State Librarian. An individual having served two consecutive terms may not be reappointed to the NAC within 1 year of the completion of his or her second term.  Designated seat appointments do not have a fixed term.

Applying for NAC membership:

People interested in an appointment to an open seat (non-designated) on the NAC are encouraged to complete and submit the application form available on the MSL Website at http://about.msl.mt.gov/commission_councils/network_advisory_council/member_application.aspx. Only names submitted in this manner will be considered for appointment. Names submitted will be maintained on the applicant list for 5 years or until withdrawn by written notice from the applicant to the State Librarian. Prior to any appointment for an open seat, an announcement of the opening and directions on how to apply will be made available via the Wired-MT listserv and the MSL Website.

NAC Chair:

The State Librarian will designate a NAC member to serve as Chair for a term of 2 years. Consecutive appointments to the position of chair may be made at the discretion of the State Librarian. The Chair shall provide an agenda for each meeting of the NAC and determine if an in-person or online teleconference format will be used as determined by budget considerations and agenda content. The Chair will also ensure that pertinent agenda support materials are available to the NAC membership and will facilitate the meeting in such a manner to ensure coverage of the agenda. A secretary will be designated at each meeting to take minutes.

Frequency of NAC meetings:

The NAC shall meet as frequently as needed to conduct its business. It is anticipated this shall normally involve four meetings in each calendar year. The NAC membership will determine at its final meeting of each calendar year four scheduled meeting dates during the next calendar year. Some factors influencing the selection of NAC meeting dates are: State Library Commission meetings, budget and planning cycles, anticipated RFP processes, and known library events. At the direction of the State Librarian, the NAC Chair may alter the scheduled meeting dates, or add or delete meetings as needed to ensure the NAC has the opportunity to address those things which are pertinent to its mission.

NAC voting procedures:

Except when required to do otherwise by State Procurement regulations or the like, NAC decisions and recommendations shall be determined by consensus when appropriate or by simple majority vote of the members present, participating via conference call, or by proxy (noticed to the NAC Chair by email or in writing in advance of the meeting).