FAQs

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP sites use the Internet to transfer large amounts of data from one system to another.

This FTP site contains a list of folders each containing two types of files. The shipping list file (Microsoft Word) labeled DateShippingList.doc shows all the newly available state publications. These publications are available either in a digital-only or print/digital format. Just because a publication is on a shipping list and says that it is available in print does not necessarily mean you will get a print copy in your shipment. In other words, you are not necessarily missing the print copy. We ship out every print copy that we receive from publishing state agencies, but sometimes we only get one, two, or no print copies. Sorry! In almost all cases, however, depository libraries have access to the bibliographic record that provides digital access to the state publication.

The MARC record file labeled DateStatePubMARCRecords contains bibliographic records suitable for import to your local ILS.

These records are created through original cataloging by the State Library or other full cataloging libraries. The State Library extracts these new records from our local catalog and makes them available to you for local use.

The MSL creates catalog records for agency annual reports, the Montana Code Annotated, and Legislative financial audits.

Montana.GOV Connect eliminates the need to create catalog records for each new digital state publication. A backlog of state publications waiting for cataloging does not well serve the creators, providers, and users of state publications. Recently MSL crawled over 20,000 Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) documents thereby providing searchable full‐text access. Timely creation of individual catalog records for each of these 20,000 documents would have been impossible. A lack of backlog means those few print state publications MSL still receives can be more promptly cataloged and distributed meaning quicker access for users.

MSL will continue to catalog some state publications and web pages on an item, agency, or collection level. New original catalog records in MARC format will continue to be freely available online for download from the MSL state publications website.

The Montana State Library produces these records in the Montana Shared Catalog. MSC members need not import their own records. Simply add your holdings to these records as they appear in the Shared Catalog.
Copy and paste or drop and drag the MARC file to your local workstation or network. Use the ILS MARC import function to import these records to your catalog. The MARC files include records only for new state publications that require original cataloging.
No. These files only contain MARC records for new publications that require original cataloging. These files do not contain records for serial publications where catalog records already exist. Records for serial publications already exist in WorldCat and the Montana Shared Catalog and can be extracted from these catalogs if necessary.
Open the MARC file using a text editor (wordpad or notepad) and delete those MARC records you do not wish to add.
Whatever publications you received in your shipment are all that you were supposed to get. None are missing.
Digital publishing has altered the traditional meaning of a shipping list. Nowadays, a “shipping list” refers to what is “available” digitally and sometimes also in a print format.
If you have the chance to flip through the pages of a state publication with a really boring title, you might just change your mind and keep it. It’s for the benefit of your patrons.
No system is perfect. Depository libraries ought to have the freedom to decide what to collect or not collect. It would be more wasteful of your time and resources if we mandated that you keep everything we sent you.
Cost is usually the main reason. Some publications, especially those with fancy bindings, many pages, or color pictures are very expensive. Digital publications have their own problems, but they are cheaper to distribute.
Depository libraries will be notified via automatic email when a new batch of records is available.
Ideally twice a month we want to ship out print state publications and make new records available. Some weeks, however, we get very few publications. Also, an open position on our staff makes it challenging to make records available every two weeks. Thanks for your understanding!

Depository libraries can weed their print/digital state publications collection at anytime. There is no need to notify the state library. Montana Shared Catalog libraries can at any time remove their holdings from state publication records that have attached digital content. Other depository libraries will still have access to the digital content originating from that shared catalog record. Libraries that are not members of the Montana Shared Catalog can also remove records from their local catalog with no negative impact on other libraries.

Questions? Please email statepublications@mt.gov or call 444-5432.

Montana State Library

P.O. Box 201800
1515 East 6th Avenue
Helena MT 59620-1800
406-444-3115
TTY/TTD: 406-444-4799
mslreference@mt.gov
Hours: 8 am - 5 pm, Monday - Friday