Library Associations (MLA, MPLA, PNLA, and ALA)

Montana Library Association (MLA)

This state association works to promote library interests and development, raise the standards of library services in Montana and provide continuing education for lay people and professional growth opportunities for librarians. Through membership in MLA, trustees get to know library trustees from across the state.

MLA represents all types of libraries, public library trustees and members of Friends organizations within its divisions and interest groups. MLA standing committees work on a variety of library-related issues including government affairs, intellectual freedom, marketing and professional development.

Montana Library Focus, the association's newsletter, is issued six times a year and is available online. In addition, MLA hosts an annual conference in the spring as well as division and interest group retreats throughout the year. MLA's electronic mailing listserv, WIRED-MT, is used by Montana librarians and others to discuss ideas and share information relevant to those subscribing to the listserv. It is open to anyone with Internet access and email.

Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA)

MPLA is an eleven-state regional association of libraries and Friends. States include Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. The mission of the association is to further the development of librarians, library employees and trustees, and to promote quality library service in the states of the Mountain Plains Region.

MPLA publishes the MPLA Newsletter bimonthly and meets annually in joint conference with other library associations. 

Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA)

PNLA is a regional association that promotes regional library activities and cooperation. The association represents libraries in Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, and is designed for people who work in, with and for libraries.

The association publishes PNLA Quarterly and holds an annual conference of its members. In addition, PNLA sponsors the annual Young Readers' Choice Award, which is the oldest children's choice award in the United States and Canada. Nominations for the YRCA are received from children, teachers, parents, and librarians of the Pacific Northwest region.

American Library Association (ALA)

The oldest library association in the world, ALA is dedicated to improving libraries of all kinds, maintaining professional library standards and protecting freedom of access to information without fear of censorship.

ALA has two divisions of special interest to trustees. The first one United for Libraries, which conducts national programs on trustee education and publishes items about trusteeship. The second, the Public Library Association (PLA), represents public libraries.