Library colleagues, co-workers, and friends,

The Montana Library Association (MLA) is committed to supporting its members, staff, and all libraries and library workers during these uncertain times. These are tough times for all us in libraries. We want to maintain as much access to our resources and services as possible to help support our communities, but we also know that public health is paramount. This led the Montana Library Association to make the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Montana Library Association Conference that would have been held in Missoula April 1-4, 2020. Not only are librarian educational and networking opportunities severely diminished by this conference cancellation, but MLA also suffers a significant loss of revenue due to the conference cancellation. Your membership in MLA is so very important at this time, both for the financial livelihood of our library organization but also for the camaraderie and support it will provide for Montana librarians at this scary and uncertain time.

We know that in times of crisis, libraries of all kinds play invaluable roles in supporting their communities both in person and virtually. We are stewards of accurate information and we can play a role in not only slowing the spread of the disease but also the spread of misinformation. Point library users to vital Websites like the World Health Organization, CDC, Montana’s DPHHS local public health Websites, and other trusted sources. Ensure that library users and non-users alike know about the valuable resources libraries have to offer such as support for teachers and students engaging in online instruction; access to hotspots, eBooks, and subscriptions to online magazines and news sources.

Please know that MLA is here for you. Please feel free to reach out to Debbi Kramer, Executive Director or Mary Anne Hansen, President, should you have any questions or need assistance.