May 23, 2022

Report: Montana State Library Braces For “Dramatic” Budget Cuts and Staff Reductions

UPDATED June 15, 2017
Montana: State Library Board OKs Plans For “Dramatic” Budget Cuts (Great Falls Tribune)

UPDATED June 7, 2017
Montana State Library Budget Cuts Services to Vision Impaired, Data Management (via Missoulian)

From the Article:

“The state library really cannot continue in its current form if we lose approximately $1 million out of our $6 million budget,” Jennie Stapp, the state librarian, said.

The cuts introduced on Tuesday by the Montana State Library Commission to make up the 5 percent agency reduction and vacancy savings will affect the Talking Book Library, which serves people certified as blind, low vision or have a disability that prevents them from using physical materials. The proposed cuts merge the Talking Book Library and eliminate the program’s director and one of three reader’s advisers. Stapp said a reader’s adviser builds relationships with patrons and recommends genres and books because people are not able to traditionally browse aisles of books. Advisers help patrons choose the 7,000 books sent out each week, she said.


From the Great Falls Tribune:

The Montana State Library Commission is having a public meeting Tuesday to discuss a reduction plan that includes budget cuts ranging as high as $990,000, in part triggered by recent legislation, and slashing staff by as much as 27 percent.

2017-06-02_12-23-26“These are the most dramatic cuts we have ever faced,” said State Librarian Jennie Stapp, who has been with the department for 12 years, with five of those as state librarian.


“It’s heartbreaking,” Stapp said. “The State Library is a family, and I had to meet with 10 people yesterday (Wednesday) and say they may not be part of the family anymore.”


Stapp said she will recommend closing the reading room, merge the Talking Book Library with the Digital Library and cut the $400,000 resource budget shared by 82 public libraries by half.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 800 words)

See Also: Meeting Slated to Take Public Comments on Proposed Budget Cuts  (via Montana State Library)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.