Philosophy and Procedures
It is the policy of the Montana Library Association to attempt to make possible the widest participation of members in MLA activities. MLA realizes there are problems in traveling long distances and in being gone from work on association business and has established the following travel guidelines. Members eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses should attempt to keep travel costs as low as possible.
These polices are based on an association philosophy which acknowledges the distances and difficulties of meeting in Montana, the inability of individual members and member institutions to fully reimburse for association activities, and the realization that individuals benefit personally and professionally from positions of association leadership.
The MLA Board of Directors requires budget requests for travel expenses to be submitted as part of the regular budget process. Budget detail should identify who will be reimbursed and for what expenses. One shall document such expenses with appropriate receipts. This will enable the board to make informed decisions on when to reimburse division, committee, and interest group travel.
The association shall not reimburse members of the board of directors, divisions, interest groups, or committees for attendance at the MLA Annual Conference.
Exceptions to these general polices may be allowed by the MLA President when a member places a request for travel reimbursement in writing. This request must be submitted in advance. No members should expect travel reimbursement after the fact for travel which is not covered by policies or approved by the president.
Travel to In-State Meetings
Transportation. Members are encouraged to travel together for association business. The association will reimburse mileage for the Montana Library Association Board of Directors meetings based on the current rate paid by the state per mile for board members whose library lies beyond a radius of 25 miles from the meeting site. Board members whose library lies within a 25 mile radius of the meeting site will not be reimbursed. For those qualifying for mileage, reimbursement will be for round trip mileage at one-half the applicable Montana State mileage rate. The association will reimburse for airfare to those traveling in the state on association business if the cost is less than or comparable to mileage as calculated above. Any exceptions to these rules must be approved by the president.
Room and meal expenses. MLA shall reimburse hotel expenses for participants whose library lies beyond a 200 mile radius of the meeting site. Reimbursement shall be at the same rate as that set by the State of Montana for its employees. Members are encouraged to share rooms. Members sharing a room with another person shall be reimbursed at a rate of one-half of the room cost, not to exceed the state rate. Participants will not be reimbursed for meal expenses.
Incidental expenses. Incidental expenses are expected to be absorbed by the member or the member’s institution. The president may approve incidental expenses over $15.
Retreats and Continuing Education Offerings
Retreat expenses shall be reimbursed for division chairs if the division is holding a retreat at more than one site. No reimbursement shall be given for the first retreat. Reimbursement of expenses for additional retreats shall be a part of the division’s budget request and shall be broken out in such a way as to permit the board of directors to approve or deny the request. In presenting a budget request for reimbursement of retreat expenses, the guidelines on travel, lodging, meals and incidental expenses, in Section 2 above, shall be followed. Retreats shall be self-supporting.
Participants will not be reimbursed for attending any MLA retreats or continuing education offerings. Exceptions may be submitted according to MLA policies as part of the budget request and must be approved by the president.
Travel to Out-of-State Meetings
Association positions eligible for out-of-state travel expenses include:
American Library Association (ALA) Councilor — ALA does not pay for any travel to meetings
Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA) Representative — PNLA pays for travel to one PNLA board meeting
Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) Representative — MPLA pays for travel to one MPLA board meeting
The association will not reimburse expenses for any meeting where the association representatives have been reimbursed by their regional association.
Transportation. The association will reimburse mileage at one-half the applicable Montana State mileage rate or a super saver airfare, whichever is less, to those traveling out of state on association business. Reimbursement will also be made for group transportation to and from airports. Exceptions must be approved by the president.
Room and meal expenses. The association shall reimburse hotel expenses for those traveling on association business. Members are encouraged to share rooms. Members sharing a room with other persons shall be reimbursed an equal share of the total price divided by the number of persons sharing the room. Long-distance phone calls shall not be reimbursed unless directly related to MLA. Members shall be reimbursed for meals, not included with conference registration at the same out-of- state rate set by the State of Montana.
Conference registration. The association shall reimburse required registration fees for members attending out of state conferences on association business, i.e., board meetings. Additional fees for pre-conferences, workshops, and discretionary activities shall not be reimbursed.
Incidental expenses. Incidental expenses are expected to be absorbed by the member or the member’s institution. The president may approve reimbursement for incidental expenses over $15.
Joint conferences held in Montana. The association shall not reimburse persons in positions designated in Section 4(a) above for attendance at joint conferences held in Montana.
Expense Claim Submission and Reimbursement
Claims for reimbursement. Claims should be submitted within one month of the date the expenditure was made or before the end of the fiscal year in June, whichever comes first. The budget committee must be notified of any exceptions to the above prior to the end of the fiscal year in question. All claims must have receipts attached.
MLA-issued checks. All checks issued by the association should be cashed by the recipient within one month of issue. Outdated checks no longer honored by the bank will not be reissued by the association.
President’s claims for reimbursement. Claims submitted by the MLA President must be approved by the secretary-treasurer for payment.
President’s discretionary fund. Expenditures for more than $300 from this fund must be pre-approved by the executive committee.
Adopted: April 22, 1989 Amended: April 25, 1995 Amended: June 21, 2017
Montana Library Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 823, Arlee, MT 59821