Description

Parent Organization: Montana Department of Transportation

Number of staff members: 1

Description of information collection:

MDT Library has about 20,000 titles in the collection, in a variety of formats, including electronic, print, and audiovisual. The primary focus is on transportation research; we collect all publications from the Transportation Research Board and most of those from the Federal Highway Administration. All of MDT’s research reports are included, as well as research publications from other state DOTs and other national and international transportation organizations. We also offer PE Exam related and professional development materials.

Offers interlibrary loans? Yes

Interlibrary loan policy:

Yes, we offer interlibrary loans through OCLC (Symbol: DMY) or via email: mdtlibrary@mt.gov. We allow 6 week check out periods and generally allow renewals. Our non-circulating materials include: PE study materials and audiobooks related to management/leadership/professional development (We might consider lending PE-related materials, provided that we are fairly certain that no other MDT staff will need them.

Contact Information

Susan Sillick

    ssillick@mt.gov

   406-444-7693

   406-444-7204

Library Stories

Library Highlights:

At MDT Library, we’re always looking for ways to improve our processes to acquire information and make it more easily accessible. In that goal, we’ve been working on the following projects:

  • Coming soon (probably late August or September 2014), we’ll be launching the new interface of our online catalog. Called Enterprise, this new interface is much more user-friendly and will hopefully make searching less intimidating for our patrons.
  • We’re putting the finishing touches on a list of safety videos collected from YouTube to make available to employees looking for safety information.
  • We’re looking at creating subject guides using free open-source programs (possibly Wordpress or Google sites). These subject guides will feature key resources related to subjects of interest to MDT.
  • Hopefully, over the next year, we’ll be starting more outreach efforts to our district area offices.
We’ve also recently completed the following projects:
  • We created a directory of transportation-related journals that are freely available online (this is available from our MDT Library homepage. It contains over 200 titles, organized by subject.
  • We conducted a library needs assessment, surveying supervisors throughout MDT as to what the library could be doing better to meet their needs and the needs of their staff. We are working to make improvements based on the feedback received.
  • We have offered a training class for MDT employees on electronic library resources and how to search for information more efficiently.

Success stories:

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen a significant increase in library usage. This is not necessarily in terms of our print collection, although we have seen a steady increase in the number of items being checked out. More employees are becoming aware of the services available to them through the library, especially literature searches and interlibrary loan. They’re realizing that by utilizing the library and these services, they’re able to save time and money. Our library needs assessment is likely a contributing factor to this increase in usage. Librarian Katy Callon met with staff to talk about the library; some did not realize that there was a library at MDT, let alone about the extensive collection and services available to them. Hopefully, through continued outreach and marketing efforts, MDT staff will further come to see the library as a valuable resource.

Lessons learned:

One thing we’ve learned so far is the importance of communication and connection with our customers. We exist to serve the information needs of MDT staff, but unless we are actively reaching out and learning what they need, we won’t be effective in our goal. Through outreach, we’ve learned about what we can do to improve, but of course, this must be an ongoing effort.

What we have learned through involvement in the WTKN:

One thing that the transportation libraries and information centers do well is to support each other through communities such as the WTKN. Many of us are solo librarians who don’t necessarily have backgrounds in transportation or engineering. It’s a steep learning curve to be new to this field, and without a community like this, it would be very difficult to be effective in such a position. We are able to share our knowledge and resources through this network, and as a result, are better able to serve our customers. We have definitely learned the value of having a network of colleagues, like those in the WTKN, to turn to for support and guidance.

Library Links

Catalog

Website

Newsletter

Acquisition list

Other Link



Hours:

Monday:       1412663400 to 1412697600

Tuesday:       1412663400 to 1412697600

Wednesday:  1412663400 to 1412697600

Thursday:      1412663400 to 1412697600

Friday:            1412663400 to 1412697600