Public Library Standards - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Through public library standards, the State Library Commission, with input from the library community, articulates their vision for Montana library services, led by the State Library, that ensures that all Montanans will have access to library content and services, sufficient unto their needs 

  • By relying on the public library standards as a library development tool, libraries plan for and deliver the best possible library services to their communities. The purpose of the standards is for libraries to successfully ensure that their users and communities thrive. 

  • Public libraries must meet the essential public library standards in order to receive state funds. 

  • Current public library standards were adopted in 2010. Since that time, numerous influences continue to shape the nature of library service. Libraries have been under increasing budgetary pressure while at the same time tasked with providing new and changing services. As the role of libraries change so too must the standards libraries strive to meet.  

  • A task force comprised of librarians from around the state reviewed the current standards, the Montana State Library Fair Library Access Resolution, and other documents about 21st century library service. Based on that work, the task force proposed significant changes to the public library standards that are now available for public comment.  The final public library standards must be adopted by the Montana State Library Commission. 

  •  We are in a lengthy public comment period for proposed changes to the public library standards. The Commission saw drafts of the proposed changes at their February 12, 2020 meeting. They will be asking for feedback at various face-to-face meetings and online.

  • Yes! MSL staff and the Commission as well as members of the Public Library Standards Task Force are interested in your feedback on the standards. 

  • You can give us your feedback in person, during online meetings, or via email. To learn more about where we will be speaking and to find the information about submitting an email please visit: 

Guide to Essential Public Library Standards