ASPeN - Access to Services, Programs, and eNetworks is the next generation Montana State Library - Library Directory

What is ASPeN?

  • ASPeN is a replacement for the former Montana Library Directory.  
  • You can search for contact information for libraries in Montana; update your library's information; register for events; track your continuing education; and more.

Why did we decide to create a new product?

  • The current directory is about 20 years old.  It uses old programming language and is reaching end of life.
  • Updating the directory by using new programming language gives us more security and features.
  • The new directory also gives more power to State Library staff.  Instead of needing to ask a programmer or database expert to create event registrations or other forms, staff can do this themselves.

Need help?

ASPeN Procedures and Roadmap


ASPeN is a system developed by the Montana State Library. The Information Products Group currently maintains it at the Montana State Library. The primary focus is to keep a certification system for Montana State Librarians and Montana State Libraries Trustees so that they may stay in compliance with the Montana State Library Commission regulations.

Release Cycle

The ASPeN release schedule is biannual/semiannual. With the opportunity to have minor released quarterly and bug fixes as needed.


The suggested schedule will be as follows:

Month Release Type
January YYYY.09.DDD Minor Feature Release (optional)
February YYYY.09.DDD Bug Fixes (as needed)
March YYYY.03.DDD Major Feature Release
April YYYY.03.DDD Bug Fixes (as needed)
May YYYY.03.DDD Bug Fixes (as needed)
June YYYY.03.DDD Bug Fixes (as needed) Sprint
July YYYY.03.DDD Minor Feature Release (optional)
August YYYY.03.DDD Bug Fixes (as needed)
September YYYY.09.DDD Major Feature Release
October YYYY.09.DDD Bug Fixes (as needed)
November YYYY.09.DDD Bug Fixes (as needed)
December YYYY.09.DDD Bug Fixes (as needed) Sprint

YYYY = Year of release. Please note January and February are previous year  03 or  09 = Major release months. If a major release is required out of cycle use that month number with leading zero instead.  DDD = Week of year

Feature development freezes will occur on the first of September and March so that system testing can be completed before the release on the 15th of the month. This testing will allow for a minimum of 15 days of testing.

Operational Methods and Practices

Development vs Production Server(s)

ASPeN is developed under a model that has a  Production generally available server and a  Development server. While the Development server may or may not be generally available, dependencies for Development ePass are not publicly facing. The dependency restriction will not allow the server to be reviewed outside of the State network.


A version control system will be used for the ability to roll back and track changes through development. All major builds will be signified with YYYY.MM formatting. All subversions will be denoted by a week number. If this is found to be insufficient, the Month may be replaced with a day number.


A publicly facing changelog will be made available. This changelog will be in reverse chronological order. This changelog will not serve as user documentation but as a list of significant or semi-major changes to the ASPeN framework. This information may be able to be pulled from the changelog built into versioning systems.

Internal to the code, a "changelog" will be maintained with comments when appropriate. This will include file and function headers.

Change log can be found HERE

Problem Tracking

Problem tracking will be based on an internal spreadsheet maintained and populated by helpdesk tickets as well as staff vision/need/interaction.

Roadmap (2-year)

  • Administration
    • Investigate consolidated ASPeN master pages

          - Consider moving to 2022.03

    • Move ASPeN to a standalone environment separate from other MSL Services
    • Authentication addressed (ePass switch?)
    • Transition public ASPeN support from Zoho to ServiceNow
  • Fix
  • New Feature
    • Consumer delete/restore

    • Committee details page

  • Administration
    • Initial versioning commit

      • Version control will begin after migration to

    • Integrate shared ASPeN MSL services / resources

    • SQL Server Migration is possible before May

    • File uploads fixed and unified - Top priority

      • PDF / epub

      • Investigate javascript OCR of documents

    • Custom controls to unify common tasks

    • Refactor forms

    • Refactor Todo (on a user's home page)

  • New Feature
    • Unified menu system

    • Email controls

    • Unified metadata system

    • Services Billing module

  • Administration
    • .NET Core v3.1+
  • Fix
    • Implement possible fix for positions / persons
  • New Features
    • API - discuss after March

    • iframe resources for 3rd parties

    • ASPeN PWA

      • Event
        • Registration
        • Attendance
        • Calendaring
        • Search
        • Presentation timer
      • Notifications
      • Organization Search
    • Reports

      • Forms

      • Common requests by permissions

      • Event agendas

  • Administration
    • cron / scheduling system
    • consolidate master pages
  • Fix
    • Refactor responsibilities module
  • New Features
    • Board member / high turnover position tutorials
    • Additional reporting
    • Badges

  • Administration
    • pass
  • Fix
    • pass
  • New Features
    • pass