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ImagineIF's 'Making Montana' wins state Program of the Year Award

by Daily Inter Lake
| January 29, 2021 12:00 AM

ImagineIF Libraries’ "Making Montana" collaborative project was selected as winner of Montana Library Association’s Program of the Year Award 2020.

Making Montana is a free, two-day event designed to inspire the next generation of innovators and highlight 21st century skills. Last year’s event took place Feb. 28 and 29 at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. The celebration of invention and creativity is a result of a collaboration between ImagineIF Libraries, Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, Job Service Kalispell and Montana West Economic Development.

The Program of the Year Award is conferred on a project, program or innovation run by a Montana library, library system, or library network that is not a K-12 school library, which demonstrates excellence. The award is based on activities or accomplishments executed in the previous year (Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2020) and fosters relationships and networking either within a given community or across multiple communities.

In addition, the project addresses a special need or challenge in a community, represents exemplary service or programing, has a measurable impact and introduces a new approach or expands a current practice.

ImagineIF Senior Librarian Megan Glidden accepted the award on behalf of the library due to her role as lead event coordinator. Glidden told the Montana Library Association “Making Montana is more than a job or career fair, it is about inspiration for the future through hands-on learning.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Making Montana has been discontinued in 2021.

At Making Montana’s launch in 2017, the two-day event drew in 2,312 people in attendance. The project continued to draw in more people, with 2,934 total people in attendance in 2020.

ImagineIF and its partners observed the project also created new economic development opportunities in the community, including the Pathfinder program, a partnership between ImagineIF Libraries and Job Service Kalispell. People seeking job assistance can now book a time with Job Service staff by filling out a form on ImagineIF’s website at This partnership addresses the need for more job skill development and career coaching for the emerging workforce, a gap in services that became apparent during Making Montana.

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