University Relations and Communications

Library director Jane Howell to be honored for life's work

April 1, 2010


Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Jane Howell, director of the Montana State University Billings Library, will be honored next month for a lifetime of commitment to faculty, students and the community.


Jane Howell

Howell will receive the Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Montana Library Association at the association’s annual meeting in Bozeman on April 8.


Howell, who will be retiring from her position at MSU Billings this year, will be given the award for her work to connect the university’s library to students, faculty and the Billings community in new ways.


Howell came to Eastern Montana College in 1982 as a business and public services librarian, and became library director in 1990. As director, she worked to improve access to information and utilize cutting-edge technology tools for faculty and student research.


She has served on the boards of state, regional, and national library associations, presided over the Montana Library Association from 1994-95 and served as Montana Chapter Chair for the Association of College and University Libraries and the American Library Association.


As a professional, Howell is noted for pioneering numerous collaborative efforts, including the establishment of OMNI, a group of eastern Montana libraries sharing an online catalog, the first such venture in the state of Montana. She also helped establish BAHSIC (Billings Area Health Sciences Information Consortium), a cooperative effort between MSU Billings and local and regional medical libraries. In recent years, she has been an enthusiastic partner and supporter of the development of a joint community library — operated by MSU Billings and the City of Billings.


She has also been active in soliciting scholarships for students at MSU Billings, serving with her husband, Joe, in leadership capacity with the MSU Billings Foundation’s Wine and Food Festival.


In a letter of nomination, MSU Billings Library Associate Director Brent Roberts observed, “Her energy and drive have inspired scores of people in her workplace at the MSU Billings Library, across the MSUB campus, and throughout the Billings community…her tireless efforts in various capacities in local, state, and national organizations, have touched people throughout Montana and the nation.”