Pilots and other LSTA Funded Efforts of the Montana State Library

A pilot, as defined by the Montana State Library Network Advisory Council, is a one‐time endeavor undertaken to learn about, test, plan for, and determine the scope of an effort funded in part or in full with Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) funds awarded to the Montana State Library by the Institute of Museum & Library Services. It requires one‐time funding, use of existing staff temporarily or possibly hiring temporary staff for a defined period of time. A pilot should clearly identify benchmarks or other objectives to be met or tested. The time limit for a pilot will be determined during the initial recommendation process, after which time a pilot either concludes or moves to the status of a project.

About LSTA

Please contact Statewide Projects Librarian Cara Orban if you have questions about LSTA or any of the MSL pilots.

MontanaLibrary2Go Local

The Montana State Library Commission approved LSTA funding for a pilot to allow the State Library to explore both open source and proprietary models of expanded access to e-content, and avenues to distribute locally created e-content, that would be affordable, manageable, and sustainable for consortium use, to determine expenses and labor involved in implementation, and to articulate expected return on investment for each of these various options. The MontanaLibrary2Go Local pilot allows MontanaLibrary2Go libraries to directly purchase and contribute content by and about Montanans and the Montana region.

Montana Makers Kits

The purpose of the maker space project is to encourage interest in STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) education primarily in young adults ages 10-17. In a maker space, learning happens actively through collaborative, goal-oriented projects and programs, but also through unstructured access to resources that encourages self-initiated learning. STEAM education supports the development of programming skills and the broader outcomes associated with coding, such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving.

The Montana State Library maker pilot equips hosting libraries with tools and resources for young patrons to experiment with technology and craft in a way that is not readily available in most communities. These traveling kits circulate to libraries for 8 weeks at a time.

This project supports several of the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ high priorities:

  • 21st Century Skills: “The global economy calls for new skills like critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation.”
  • Afterschool programs
  • Information infrastructure/systems/workflows

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please return your application by mail or email to Cara Orban.

Application to Host a Montana Makers Kit

About Makerspaces and Making Culture

IMLS Talking Points: Museums, Libraries, and Makerspaces(pdf)

HOMAGO (Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out) Essentials – from the Chicago Public Library YOUmedia Network

The Makerspace Playbook(pdf)

What to Do with your Maker Kit!


Arduino: Some examples of what you can do with your Arduino

Arduino project ideas from Instructables

MaKey MaKey

How to set up your MaKey MaKey

TED Talk featuring MaKey MaKey

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Tutorials

”So You Have a Raspberry Pi – Now What?” (Make: Magazine)

Raspberry Pi projects from Instructables

Snap Circuits

Snap Circuits website

Snap Circuits Project Wiki

Squishy Circuits

Squishy Circuits website

Squishy Circuits projects from Make: Magazine


Make: Magazine

Program Ideas

The Library as Incubator Project

Lunar and Planetary Institute – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Where Do They Belong in Your Library?

The Show-Me Librarian – All Things STEAM

Simply STEM – Complete Program Plans, by Librarians, for Librarians

The Unquiet Librarian – Teen Tech Week DIY 2014: Duct Tape, Squishy Circuits, and MaKey MaKey

YALSA STEM Resources Wiki

Making in Montana Libraries

Billings Public Library Teen Tech Lab

Great Falls Public Library Makerspace Summer Program

Missoula Public Library Makerspace

Share Your Story

Share Your Story is an LSTA-funded pilot of Montana State Library that circulates traveling digital audiovisual recording kits to libraries on a rotating basis. Hosting libraries will be trained to use and make these tools available to record and preserve their community’s stories. Additionally, themes for discussion will be provided, along with materials to support supplementary programs, such as films, book discussions, and other public programs that libraries could implement “out of the box.” Marketing materials for the community will be provided in support of planned events.

Expected outcomes: