The Executive Board of the Montana Library Association deeply regrets the decision by the Montana State Library Commission to withdraw from the American Library Association. The Library Commission’s stated objective is to provide excellent library resources and services by encouraging collaboration and cooperation between libraries and institutional partners. The decision made this week runs counter to this mission and undermines the shared goals of Montana libraries.
An American Library Association membership offers useful resources, development and funding opportunities, and professional networks that serve our state, our libraries, and, most importantly, our library users. By isolating State Library professionals from their peers and fellow leaders, the Commission has effectively eliminated critical training and tools for not only State Library staff, but for local library boards and trustees.
It is our earnest hope that the Montana State Library Commission will reconsider its decision and choose not to sever ties with the American Library Association. We urge them to look beyond short-term partisanship and view this situation through the lens of what serves the public good and long-term interests of all Montanans.
The Montana Library Association remains firmly in support of the aims and goals of the State Library as an institution. The Montana Library Association will continue to be a resource and professional network for Montana’s library communities. The Montana Library Association persists in fostering literacy, providing access to information, and promoting lifelong learning. We uphold these principles regardless of the decisions made by the State Library Commission because we believe that they are fundamentally American and fundamentally Montanan.
The Montana Library Association invites the public, library workers, and stakeholders to share their views on this matter and to continue to support their local libraries as pillars of education, inclusivity, and community building.
Kelly Reisig, president of the Montana Library Association; Sarah Creech, vice president of the Montana Library Association; Sean Anderson, treasurer/secretary of the Montana Library Association; and Kirk Vriesman, executive director of the Montana Library Association.
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