Archive for 2011

PEARL Project: Community Outreach by Texas Rural Libraries

These rural Texas communities know their libraries! Through the PEARL Project (Promoting & Enhancing the Advancement of Rural Libraries), the University of North Texas is working with 105 rural libraries in Texas to enhance the role of public libraries in their communities. With funding from the Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust, the three-year project is addressing the roles of the small rural library as:

  • A community resource.
  • A gathering place for people.
  • A facilitator for community partnerships.

The project’s team includes Louise Greene, ARSL board member and secretary, who is one of the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) students who serves as a mentor to the project’s rural librarians. Dr. Robert S. Martin is also a part of the project team and he will be presenting on the PEARL Project at the Small but Powerful Forum for Winning Big Support for your Rural Library at ALA Midwinter.

A core component of the project are the Community Outreach Plans. Each plan has a detailed step-by-step action grid that describes how to complete a program with community partners. Programs among the more than two dozen plans now available in .pdf format include: game day, summer reading for teens, homebound delivery, reaching low income patrons, developing a local history collection, offering ESL classes and more. Each plan was written by a librarian in a rural community in conjunction with PEARL grant students and is designed to heighten the visibility of the library within the community and improve library servies. The plans are proven workable models. New plans are added continually as they are written.

Find out more about the project and browse the Community Outreach Plans, and if you’ll be in Dallas for Midwinter, please come to the Small but Powerful Forum. And if you won’t be there, urge your regional or state representatives to join on your behalf!

And special thanks to the PEARL Project and staff for their support as ARSL Annual Conference Sponsors in 2011!


Newest ARSL Board Members

Some of you may have met our newest board members in Frisco but we wanted to be sure to introduce them to all in the ARSL community. Please say hello to Lorie, Sharon and Paul; they bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to the board.

Lorie WomackLorie Womack – Roosevelt Library Branch Manager, Roosevelt, Utah

Rural libraries are expected to provide a wider variety of services with a limited availability of resources. It is critical that we learn to tell our story and provide the services needed by our patrons. As rural librarians we need to be advocates for the services we provide with elected officials and the community members we serve.

Michie, SharonSharon Michie – Steele Memorial Library Branch Manager, Wayne County Public Library, Mount Olive, North Carolina

My passion for the ARSL extends beyond our mission- it comes from personal experience. Attending the conference in past years has given me practical knowledge and ideas to transform my community. We may be leading small libraries, but they can be mighty! The ARSL sponsored me in last year’s ALA Emerging Leader program, and I am eager to give back to our close-knit community of rural librarians.

Healey, PaulPaul D. Healey, JD, PhD – Senior Instructional Services Librarian and Associate Professor of Library Administration, Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Law Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I believe strongly in the need for vibrant libraries in small communities, because libraries provide a bedrock of literacy, and a gateway to the larger world. I am very interested in how the delivery of information services is changing in an increasingly digital world, and in the particular challenges and issues that those changes create for libraries that may not have the resources and access of their large community counterparts.

Also elected to a second term were Steve Seale and Donna Brice.

See full list of your current ARSL board members»


ARSL Announces 2012 and 2013 Conference Locations

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries announced the locations for their 2012 and 2013 Annual Conferences today. The 2012 ARSL Annual Conference will be held at the Sheraton Raleigh, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, on September 28, 29 and 30, 2012. The Sheraton Raleigh is located downtown, within easy walking distance to restaurants, museums and other entertainment. Be sure to mark the dates on your calendar today.

The ARSL partner for the 2012 conference will be the State Library of North Carolina. In 2012, the State Library will be celebrating their 200th Birthday. In light of this landmark, the theme for the 2012 conference will be “Celebrate Libraries”. ARSL hopes you will make plans now to join us and help us blow out the candles on the birthday cake. Information about conference rates and registration will be available shortly.

The 2013 Annual Conference will be held in the Council Bluffs (IA) / Omaha (NE) area in September of 2013. Conference partners for this event will be the Iowa and Nebraska (The Iowa Small Library Association and representatives of the Nebraska library community are co-hosting). Further details will be announced as they become available.

Designed for those who work for small and rural libraries, the ARSL conference features practical, peer-led workshops and keynote speakers who are leaders in various areas of librarianship. Additionally, the conference’s after hours activities are a wonderful time for library staff, directors and trustees to network, share ideas, and encourage one another in an informal setting.

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries is an organization dedicated to the positive growth and development of libraries. ARSL believes in the value of rural and small libraries and strives to create resources and services that address national, state, and local priorities for libraries situated in rural communities. Created in 1982 by Dr. Bernard Vavrek, Director of the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, ARSL became an independent entity in 2007. ARSL is an ALA Affiliate organization. For more information on the association including contact information and how to join, visit our website at www.arsl.info.


ARSL Brochures

Thanks to the Membership Development Committee, and to our partners at the ALA OLOS Office, for their great work in the creation of the new ARSL Brochure! The brochure can be downloaded as a PDF here. All are welcome (and encouraged!) to share with others in your networks to bring more members into the fold!

If you would like to order brochures and/or conference badge ribbons to share at your state / regional conference, we will soon be ready to accommodate you. Please email your request (along with desired quantity, delivery date, and address) to committee chair Carolyn Petersen at carolyn.petersen (at) sos.wa.gov.

ARSL Brochure

Please also feel free to use these About ARSL Slides to help promote the association at your local events or information booth.


Patty Hector

Patty Hector, president Association for Small & Rural Libraries 2008-2009, tells LJ’s Rebecca Miller about her hopes for rural libraries.


Sarah and Kieran

During the 2011 ARSL Conference in Frisco, TX, library leaders Kieran Hixon and Sarah Washburn sit under a shady tree discussing the return on investment they receive from ARSL.


2011 – Programs & Handouts

The following links will download documents to your computer. Note that some of these documents are Microsoft Office in origin and will require Word and PowerPoint to be installed on your computer to view. Other documents utilize Adobe Reader (noted as ‘PDF’). Those can be viewed by downloading Adobe Reader onto your computer for free.

Download a PDF of the 2011 Conference Program.


Board of Directors 2011-2012

We love hearing from our membership and constituents. Please feel comfortable emailing anyone on our Board.

Immediate Past President

Sonja Plummer-Morgan (term exp ‘12)
Director
Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library
39 Second Street
Presque Isle, Maine 04769
(207) 764-2571
pimelibrarian at gmail.com

President

Becky Heil (2nd term exp ‘13)
Library Consultant
Iowa Library Services/State Library
1401 Fifth Street,
Coralville, Iowa 52241
(563) 542-0519
becky.heil at lib.state.ia.us

Vice President/President-Elect

Andrea Berstler (2nd term exp ‘14)
Branch Manager
Henrietta Hankin Branch Library
215 Windgate Drive
Chester Springs, Pennsylvania 19425
(610) 321-1707
fax (610) 321-1727
aberstler at ccls.org

Board Members

Leslie Boughton (term exp ‘13)
State Librarian
Wyoming State Library
2800 Central Avenue
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001
(307) 777-5911
lbough at wyo.gov

Donna Brice (2nd term exp ‘14)
Library Director
Eastern Lancaster County Library
11 Chestnut Dr,
New Holland, PA 17557
(717) 354-0525
(717) 354-7787 (fax)
dbrice at elancolibrary.org

Louise Greene (term exp ‘12)
Director of Library Services
Kitty Lindsay Learning Resource Center
Richland Community College
One College Parkway
Decatur, IL 62521
(217) 875-7200 ext 302
lgreene at richland.edu

Larry Grieco (2nd term exp ‘12)
Director
Gilpin County Public Library
15131 Highway 119
Black Hawk, Colorado 80422
(303) 582-0161
lgrieco at co.gilpin.co.us

Tena Hanson (term exp ‘12)
Library Director
Milford Memorial Library
1009 – 9th St.
Milford, IA 51351
(712) 338-4643
(712) 338-4859 (fax)
tenah at milfordlibrary.net

Paul D Healey, JD, PhD (term exp ‘14)
Senior Instructional Services Librarian
Assoc. Prof, Library Admin.
Albert E Jenner, Jr Law Library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 244-8500
phealey at law.illinois.edu

Dwight McInvaill (term exp ‘12)
Director
Georgetown County Library
405 Cleland Street
Georgetown, South Carolina 29440
(843) 545-3304
dmcinvaill@gtcounty.org

Sharon Michie (term exp ‘14)
Steele Memorial Library Branch Manager
Wayne County Public Library
111 N Chestnut Street
Mt. Olive, NC 28365
(919) 441-7848
michie.sharon at gmail.com

Alison Miller (term exp ‘13)
Manager, ipl2 Reference
Services, Drexel University
21 Gobel Street
Dundee, New York 14837
(607) 243-8813
Milleru65 at gmail.com

Jennifer Peterson (term exp ‘13)
Community Mgr, WebJunction
220 W. Mercer Street Ste. 200
Seattle, Washington 98119
(206) 336-9214
petersoj at oclc.org

Steve Seale (2nd term exp ‘14)
4020 Old Orchard Drive
Plano, TX 75023
(469) 235-8032
333mudturtle at gmail.com

Lorie Womack (term exp ‘12)
Roosevelt Library Branch Manager
70 West Lagoon (44-4)
Roosevelt, UT 84066
(435) 722-4441
lwomack at duchesne.utah.gov

Convener

Carla Lehn
Library Programs Consultant
California State Library
900 North Street
Sacramento, California
(916) 653.7743
clehn at library.ca.gov


2010 – Programs & Handouts

The following links will download documents to your computer. Note that some of these documents are Microsoft Office in origin and will require Word and PowerPoint to be installed on your computer to view. Other documents utilize Adobe Reader (noted as ‘PDF’). Those can be viewed by downloading Adobe Reader onto your computer for free.


2009 – Programs & handouts


2008 – Programs & Handouts

See additional recordings and handouts from the conference hosted on the Rural Initiative website.


National Summit on Rural & Small Libraries – Background Readings

Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Illustration from Rural Development News, a publication of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development.
Compiled for the
National Summit
on
Rural and Small Libraries
Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
July 17-18, 2008
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Library Director’s Dilemma…………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Opinions from the Field
Commonalities Among Comments…….4
Larry Grieco, Colorado…………………… 6
Rose M. Chenoweth, Illinois……………. 8
Patricia Hector, California……………….. 9
Bonnie McKewon, Iowa………………….. 9
Ann M. Riegle-Coursey, Ohio………… 10
Mary Pasek Williama, Illinois…………. 10
Karen Starr, Nevada…………………….. 11
Holly Van Valkenburgh, Nevada……. 11
Harold George, Florida…………………. 11
Karyn Schmidt, Wisconsin…………….. 12
Deb Biggs Thomas, Michigan…………14
Elizabeth Kudwa, Michigan…………….14
Roger Mendel, Michigan………………..15
Sharman Bridges Smith, Mississippi..15
Jan Haines, Ohio…………………………..16
Madge B. Walker, Tennessee…………17
Betty Jo Jarvis, Tennessee………………………18
Jeanna Elaine Cornett, Kentucky………………19
Louis E. Mays, Ohio………………………………..19
James Elliott, Florida……………………………….20
Vic Nunez, Florida…………………………………..21
Ronald Moore, Florida……………………………..22
Sandra Gioia Treadway, Virginia……………….22
Judith A. Ring, Florida……………………………..23
Leslie A. Scott, North Carolina………………….23
Deborah Hotchkiss, South Carolina…………..26
Jan Walsh, Washington……………………………27
Jim Scheppke, Oregon…………………………….34
Rich Greenfield. Alaska……………………………40
Sue Sherif & Aja Ruzmuny, Alaska……………43
Carla Lehn & Jon Torkelsdon, California…….45
Judy Greeson, Tennessee……………………….48
National Rural Assembly……………………………………………………………………………………..49
The Rural Compact……………………………………………………………………………………………..50
Perceptions of Rural America……………………………………………………………………………….51
Center for Rural Strategies…………………………………………………………………………………..52
A Field Guide to Community Building (Heartland Center for Leadership Development)..53
Defining “Rural” in Rural America………………………………………………………………………….54
Rural America at a Glance 2007 Edition…………………………………………………………………55
Challenges for Rural America in the 21st Century…………………………………………………….55
Articles and Reports
Kellogg Foundation’s Rural People Rural Policy / Rural Policy Research Institute…..56
Carsey Institute / Rural Sociological Society…………………………………………………….57
Center for Rural Affairs – Rural Policy Program……………………………………………………..58
Rural Policy Research Institute (RUP!)…………………………………………………………………..59
National Rural Network (NRN)………………………………………………………………………………60
The Daily Yonder………………………………………………………………………………………………..61
Understanding Communities and their Dynamics…………………………………………………….62
20 Clues to Rural Community Survival…………………………………………………………………..63
Enhancing Economic Development Through Libraries……………………………………………..64
Worth Their Weight: An Assessment of the Evolving Field of Library Valuation…………..64
International City/County Management Association…………………………………………………65
Five Ways Public Libraries Can Help Communities Achieve Strategic Goals……………65
Local Government Managers and Public Libraries: Partners for a Better Community..66
National Association of Counties (NACO)………………………………………………………………67
National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT)…………………………………………..68
National Rural Education Policy Agenda………………………………………………………………..69
Urban Libraries Council (ULC)………………………………………………………………………………71
Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL)……………………………………………………72
Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS)………………………………………73
Notable Quotes…………………………………………………………………………………………………..74
The Library Director’s Dilemma
- William Hamilton
Published in The New Yorker, 17 November 2003
THE BIG FEAR
Libraries (and what they can offer)
will be increasingly irrelevant and invisible
to the majority of people.
- Karen Hyman
Conquest’s Laws
Everyone is a reactionary about subjects he understands.
The behavior of an organization can best be predicted on the assumption that it is headed by a secret cabal of its enemies.
- Robert Conquest
The historian Robert Conquest formulated a principle that has come to be known as Conquest’s Law: “Everyone is a reactionary about subjects he understands.” His Law points to the notion that we are often so aware of the complexities of subjects with which we are thoroughly familiar, that, consequently, we are immune to fantasies of their fundamental change. Conversely, when it comes to subjects about which we have only superficial knowledge, we are prone to see change as natural and easy.
Nothing ever gets done unless it’s done by a fanatic.
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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Commonalities Among Comments
Prepared by Graduate Students of the Clarion University Department of Library Science
Statistics:
Out of 26 responses (many responses included more than one issue):
53.8 % of responses mentioned technology
53.8 % of responses mentioned funding
38.4 % of responses mentioned staffing
30.7 % of responses mentioned library’s place in community/ community access
to library
23 % of responses mentioned changes in community outside of the library
11.5 % of responses mentioned collaboration
11.5 % of responses mentioned change in patron base (seniors, immigrants)
7.6 % of responses mentioned equality of service between rural and urban areas
7.6% of responses mentioned ILL and delivery methods
7.6 % of responses mentioned Library Boards.
Summary of Responses (repeated issues have not been recorded):
Technology:
- high-speed (Broadband) internet connection
- wireless local area networks
- computers available for public use
- maintain current technology/computers
- rural broadband telecommunications
- bridge the digital divide
- libraries need less stuff and more computers
- technology is always an issue
- great disparity in our state in terms of access to the internet
Funding:
- budgets are declining
- larger tax bases to maintain status quo
- gas prices make traveling for staff training expensive
- State prohibits increased taxation
- Cost of getting authors/programs to rural areas
- Will not get full funding on any vote to support libraries
- local funding can’t keep up with increased costs
- state funding is drying up
- property tax rates have been reduced
- need to close library for hours to cut back on utility expenses
- expansion plan has been scrapped
- Friends’ efforts not enough
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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- Concerned about cuts to government revenues
- Inadequate funding by localities
Staffing:
- hiring of professional librarians as directors
- online training
- difficulty of staffing in rural libraries
- education (in library service and continuing education)
- Small staff does not allow time for conferences
- Continuing education, training, and retraining
- Aren’t being replaced because of costs
- Most do not have Masters’ level librarians
- recruitment issues
Library’s Place in Community/ Access:
- Center of culture in community
- Increase attendance at programs
- Economic gardening
- serve entrepreneurs/ small business owners
- difficulty getting to the library (need to renew books for longer periods of time)
Changes in Community Outside the Library:
- Rising gas prices
- Consolidation of schools
- Decline in “family farms”
- The eco-friendly Green trend
- Shift in population from urban areas to rural for second-home/ retirement
Collaboration:
- Be part of system to connect libraries in region or state
- Need to be part of system to benefit in purchasing of services, materials, programming
Change in Patron Base:
- Increase in baby boomers retiring to rural areas
- Increase in large print materials
- Young people who become educated leave the smaller towns
- Changes from newly arrived immigrants
Equality of service:
- Meeting the needs of patrons despite rural/small status
- Issue of the unserved
ILL/ Delivery Methods:
- Cost of OCLC
- Impact of gas prices
Library Boards:
- Need to be educated advocates
- Be knowledgeable about human resources
- Need to conduct self-assessments
- Are micromanaging with little knowledge
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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National priorities for small libraries:
1. Connectivity – every small library in America needs a high-speed internet connection. In many rural areas, especially, access to high speed internet is not readily available. Here in Gilpin County, partly because we are in the mountains, even people who have computers at home may have a dialup internet service provider, with particularly slow internet speed, and they still come to the library to work on the internet or even just to check their email.
2. Wireless local area networks in every small library. My experience with internal wireless networks is such that a compelling sidebar to wireless networking is that patrons can park outside the library, 24/7, to have internet access on their laptops. This is an inexpensive and extremely valuable service to offer the public. Another advantage to wireless networks is that patrons come to the library during regular hours and sit anywhere they want with their laptops—it alleviates the pressure of having enough public computers available at all times. Two, three, or more people at any given time are anywhere they want to be in the library, using their personal laptop, to access the internet. Just as in #1 above, people come to the library, even if it’s just to the parking lot, to pick up a signal on their laptop for high speed internet access that they don’t have at home.
3. An adequate number of computers available for public use. Through the generosity of the Gates Foundation, computers have been made available in most small and rural public libraries for patron use. Through this invaluable source, and other sources, the campaign to equip small libraries with enough computers must continue. Furthermore, every couple of years these computers must be upgraded, with new operating systems, software, etc., that keep even the smallest library on the cutting edge of current technology.
4. Hiring of directors who are library professionals in possession of the core values of librarianship. Every community in America, no matter how small, deserves to have a public library that is managed by a library professional. This isn’t a matter simply of library skills training, but rather speaks to professional ethics, intellectual freedom, privacy of patron records and usage, and those other somewhat abstract values that we assume (hope) library schools instill in their students. If small communities do not have the resources to hire a library professional, then there should be grant money available, perhaps administered by state libraries, to supplement the salary and benefits of a professional librarian.
5. A level playing field. People who live in small, rural communities should not have to give up in their small library, certain services and advantages we attribute to larger libraries and library systems. Small and rural libraries should be attempting to provide services that meet or exceed the needs of the public they serve. In some cases this may mean emulating the larger urban and suburban libraries, but in other cases it calls for an accurate assessment of the local needs and a commitment to meeting them.
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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The above can be termed both national and local priorities. What follows might be more accurately described as local priorities of small and rural libraries:
1. To be the center of culture in a small community. There is no public institution better suited to be the center of culture in a community than the public library. Through public programming, for both adults and children, the library can offer a number of interesting themes, from book clubs to author visits, film series, educational programs, poetry readings, crafts workshops, summer reading programs, “let’s talk about it” programs, art exhibits, and many more. This often is not identified as a priority, taking a back seat to provision of meeting room space, interlibrary loans, reference services, etc.
2. To provide services that are taken for granted in larger communities. Free coffee might be offered all day during library hours. At least one person on the staff, most likely, but not necessarily the library director, should offer notary services free of charge. Best sellers and high demand books, movies, audios, etc., should be available. Clean restrooms. Perhaps a U.S. mail dropoff box. Other things in response to a particular community’s stated or discovered needs.
3. To be a part of whatever system physically connects libraries in the region or state. By this I mean courier or shuttle services that make interlibrary loan transactions possible. This is standard in larger libraries or systems, and smaller or rural libraries should be given the opportunity to participate in it. If money is not available to include a small library on the courier service route, then the library should be provided the service gratis, and larger libraries would contribute to the extra costs of the service.
Larry Grieco, Director
Gilpin County Public Library
15131 Highway 119
Black Hawk, Colorado 80403
lgrieco@co.gilpin.co.us
Member, ARSL Board of Directors
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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My ideas on trends, sadly, are mostly negative:
1. Budgets are declining. This is everywhere but it is much worse in the rural community, especially in counties that choose tax caps. In those counties, budgets are declining and the libraries will ultimately disappear if something is not changed in the formula. People want to pay less taxes and may not realize what that means until important services like libraries are lost.
2. With the growing costs of energy especially fuel, rural enterprises are threatened because they have to travel farther for shopping and basic services. Farming is an extremely high energy consuming profession. The high energy costs could very well drive many farmers out of business. This, of course, would have a major impact on rural communities.
3. Schools are consolidating and consolidating again, removing the grade schools in communities, the one organization in town that everyone rallies around. Our small towns are getting smaller and I suspect many will disappear in the next 10 to 20 years.
4. Farms are getting BIGGER and are run by agricultural corporations. The family farm is being lost. This is contributing to the declining populations in rural areas.
5. The growing GREEN trend may help counter some of these negative trends. Focusing the U.S. on the value of respecting nature and its resources could benefit rural communities.
6. In our particular library system, people are moving from Chicago (3-6 hours away) to our rural communities to get away from stressful city life. Some of these homes are second homes for get-away purposes and some are retirement homes.
7. Now for just public library issues:
a. They need larger tax bases to just maintain the status quo.
b. They need access to cheaper, higher quality broadband. A handful or less of our 258 libraries have dial-up but many have low-end DSL which is not adequate to their needs.
c. The declining budgets are hurting their ability to maintain current technology. Many of our smaller and/or rural libraries have 5 and 6 year old computers for the most part with a new computer being a rare investment.
d. With the cost of gas, leaving the library for training is becoming too expensive. We are planning to do more online training through Horizon Wimba.
e. The fast-growing, burdensome costs of OCLC will probably lead to most of our school and public library members dropping out of OCLC membership. This is a hot issue in our state and we are still talking about solutions. I fully expect that our small libraries will revert back to interlibrary loan methods of 20 years ago if OCLC costs are allowed to grow unchecked.
Rose M. Chenoweth, Library Development Consultant
Alliance Library System
600 High Point Lane
East Peoria, Illinois 61611
rchenoweth@alliancelibrarysystem.com
Member, ARSL Board of Directors
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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I think lack of broadband access in rural areas is probably on everybody’s list, but as the article in the latest Public Libraries (“Connecting with Connectivity: Why Librarians Need to Care”) points out, there are librarians out there that don’t know what kind of bandwidth they need, how to get it and, in some cases, don’t really care. The Internet isn’t going away and is a tool that will become an even more integral part of our lives. We need to educate ourselves about this important issue and make sure our libraries get the access to serve our patrons. My second concern is the impact of gas prices on ILL and delivery. The small libraries in our regional system depend on each other’s collections to provide materials for their patrons. Some of them are looking at cutting down on frequency of delivery because of higher prices. Some of them have stopped providing ILL materials to libraries outside of our physical delivery because postage is expensive. The last thing is the difficulty of staffing our rural libraries. Our libraries have gone through a tremendous amount of turnover in directors mostly from retirements and it has taken a year to a year and a half to find replacements. The librarians also report that it is difficult to find qualified staff in their small communities.
Patricia Hector, Assistant System Director
Mountain Valley Library System
North Bay Cooperative Library System
North State Cooperative Library System
55 E Street
Santa Rosa, California 95404
pattynbc@sonic.net
Member and 2008-09 President-elect, ARSL Board of Directors
My observations aren’t so much a trend for small, rural libraries as they are on-going needs:
• Library boards need to be educated advocates
• Library boards need to see themselves as “employers” and be knowledgeable about human resources, understand and exercise their role in it, be much better at the “recruitment & retention” piece of human resources, work to improve salaries in small libraries
• Library boards need to conduct self-assessments (themselves as individual trustees and collectively as a group)
Not sure how to re-frame these thoughts to be seen as trends, and maybe you don’t need to. But in my regional system, these are on-going challenges and I’ll bet they are universally found in most small libraries.
Bonnie McKewon, Director
Northwest Iowa Library Services
P.O. Box 1319
Sioux City, Iowa 51102
mckewon@nwils.lib.ia.us
Member, ARSL Board of Directors
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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I think the two trends that will impact our small library the most over the next few years are funding and collaboration. The US economy is bad but the Ohio economy is worse. We have so many people without work. This makes it hard to run a library on limited budgets which diminish more as tax dollars decrease, but it also means our services are more valuable to the community than ever before. They need computer access to look for work or register for benefits, they need free education and recreation.
Secondly, collaboration will impact us. The state may force libraries (and other service agencies) to join together to make the most of limited money. Even if they don’t make us do so, we should be looking for ways to conserve our funding by joining forces when we can.
Ann M. Riegle-Coursey, Director
New Madison Public Library
142 South Main Street, PO Box 32
New Madison, Ohio 45346
coursean@oplin.org
2008 Chair of Ohio Library Council Small Libraries Division
The issue I would like to see tackled most is the issue of the unserved in the entire nation. Without a federal (dream on) law or state laws that mandate library service to all, there will always be people left out of the public library loop, and I think this is tragic! It’s bad enough when a parent chooses to not support or buy a card at a distant library, but the children who grow up in those unserved areas are at an immediate disadvantage, and if they don’t have a decent school library, then they’re out of luck to compete with the rest of the nation’s kids and that includes access to the Internet. Possible implementation: laws must be made at the state level because leaving it to local decision will never include all. We need to be mandatory, as part of the education of our citizens. We need lobbyists on our side; we need an entire branch of our organization dedicated to government lobbying. A formidable job!
Mary Pasek Williams, Former Director Towanda District Library 301 South Taylor Towanda, Illinois 61776
Member and Secretary, ARSL Board of Directors
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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Rural broadband telecommunications accessibility and sustainability in cyclical resource based economies loosing their economic base to overseas industries, whether those are resource based or commodity based.
Karen Starr, Assistant Administrator, Development
Nevada State Library and Archives 100 North Stewart Street Carson City, Nevada 89701
kjstarr@clan.lib.nv.us
My first concern for the rural and small public libraries is education – getting a basic education in library service and then continuing to learn as new information is made available and new technologies develop. It is the virtual world that I feel will be the solution, but so far I have yet to see the technology I would prefer; that would include visual contact and co-browsing in online communication for trainings.
Holly Van Valkenburgh, Consulting Librarian Nevada State Library & Archives 100 North Stewart Street Carson City, Nevada 89701
hvanvalk@clan.lib.nv.us
I received your message via the FLA listserv. I am the Branch Manager of a 5,000 square foot library in the small town of Hastings, Florida, and we are the bridge to the digital divide in this small town. Actually, I sometimes feel like we are the bridge to MySpace, but that is ok, as long as we establish a relationship.
As you might expect, the biggest chunk of our circulation is Movies and Music.
A big challenge is getting young people to read, and creating better attendance for our programming, especially children’s programs.
Hope this helps!
Harold George, Branch Manager
St. Johns County Public Library System, Hastings Branch Library
6195 South Main Street #B
Hastings, Florida 32145
haroldgeorge@yahoo.com
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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Trends that I observe at my two libraries (Ettrick and Taylor, Wisconsin — population c500 each) –
More demand for services, both from local library and from system. There are easily obtainable statistics to back up this assertion. Circ is increasing about 20% each year. Delivery volume is expanding — the vans are not. I’m really glad that Wisconsin values resource sharing, but it does require a rather expensive and extensive infrastructure.
Little increase in resources from village or state. The village is hamstrung because the state prohibits increased taxation. Yet the library is expected to keep up with more demand for technology, information and best-sellers. And the librarian is expected to make the new technologies work. (I learned to punch IBM cards when I went to library school.)
No expectation of expansion. Taylor has enough space for the collection and programming, but Ettrick is land-locked in a corner of the elementary school with no possibility of expansion. That means I have to weed a LOT. (Can’t use Round-Up on these weeds! Wouldn’t if I could — this is an organic library.) That means that if we need more computers, we use laptops. Luckily, some people bring their own. (This will increase, so instead of librarians helping people with computers they know, they’ll have to navigate other email and browser configurations set up by nephews who “know lots about computers”.) This is only going to get worse as more businesses expect people to apply for jobs online, and physicians insist that their patients learn about their conditions at the Mayo Clinic website instead of explaining it themselves. Fortunately, recent high school graduates are more-or-less computer savvy, so they don’t have to learn the basics of windows, as the older folks do.
Cultural expectations rising. I do a lot of consultation on making Windows work for people in their 70s. And I really don’t mind helping 40-year-olds sign up for Yahoo mail that they have to get in order to fill out a job application. But I am bothered that employers assume that it’s no imposition to force people who have so little money that they are applying for jobs at WalMart to have email. The trend: people will be bypassing the internet with wireless phones that can receive email, so libraries will only be needed for the initial application. Of course, people working at WalMart will have to choose between paying for their cel or child care, but that’s their choice.
Decreased travel as expenses rise. You hope I’ll come to Sacramento for a conference, just as a bunch of vendors think I’ll be coming to ALA. Dream on! I am really lucky in having library boards that support continuing education. I go to the state public library gathering in the spring and the Wisconsin Library Association meeting in the fall, as well as the system’s continuing education workshops. I even hit the exhibits at PLA this year. But the plane fare to Sacramento is more than my whole CE budget. Getting time away from the library is a huge hassle — I don’t take time off lightly. That’s because small library = small staff. If I’m not there, I need a substitute. I just closed the library for a meeting, because none of the regular subs were available. (It’s hard to train someone who works maybe once a month — it’s too easy to forget the protocols when they’re not rehearsed enough. And the library is a very complex organism.) My solution — more email listservs — use technologies for community building. If my medieval recreation group can do it, so can libraries.
By the way, the Wisconsin Small Libraries Roundtable defines a “small” library as one serving a population of 5,000, not 25,000. The difference between a library serving 500 and one serving 1500 is considerable. There are several “jumps” between 500 and
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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25,000. I have little in common with such large communities. So much of the advice to small libraries involves connecting with community newspapers, TV, doctors, retirement communities, businesses, etc. Right. We could put up a sign in the gas station, I suppose.
More demand for government money. Nature has been giving this state a hard time. Our system escaped with very little damage — but one of the towns just south of us was hit by their second tornado in a year’s time. Libraries were damaged by floods in another system, though we’re all glad we’re not in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, or Iowa City. We won’t even notice as prices of gas and food climb as a direct result of this weather in the heartland, because we’ve watched the prices rise for other reasons. I hate to see state resources siphoned away from libraries because of bad weather — but I don’t know how the state can rebuild roads and libraries with the same money.
Considering ecodisasters like floods, hail, tornadoes… multiply by $5 diesel fuel for combines and tractors… and the cost of the poisons and fertilizers… It’s no wonder that the movement is to scale back and go local and sustainable — at least for those farmers who have not sold out to corporate farming. Will they make it? I hope so, because my library depends on their survival.
These are a few thoughts. I’m sure they’ll be echoed by others. I’m sorry if I’ve been repetitiously redundant, but this has been written between customers.
I’m sorry I won’t be in Sacramento — I hope you have a great conference.
Karyn Schmidt, Director
Ettrick Public Library
Ettrick, Wisconsin
and
Taylor Memorial Library
Taylor, Wisconsin
ettrickpl@yahoo.com
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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I just wanted to set the stage, as it were, to let you know that here in Michigan we’ve been exploring and hopefully developing partnerships with other groups working on the concept of economic gardening — involving small and rural libraries in helping to provide the information piece for small business and entrepreneurs — and in development and growing small business in general. ! Given our troubled economic times, small and rural libraries can with help provide a key link in helping the economy to better itself by assisting small business and entrepreneurship.
Deb Biggs Thomas, Michigan eLibrary Coordinator
Library of Michigan
702 West Kalamazoo
Lansing, Michigan 48909
BiggsThomasD@michigan.go
I’ve been working with Deb Biggs Thomas, on a number of issues pertaining to entrepreneurs and small business, some of which include service to these groups in rural/small library communities.
In doing this work, it’s become clear that, especially in our economy, it is and will continue to be very important for rural/small libraries to be able to serve entrepreneurs/small business owners. You may have already received an email from another colleague of mine at Michigan State University mentioning a concept called Economic Gardening. Economic Gardening is an economic development tool that is very different from traditional economic development (ED) methods. You may know that typical ED methods involve attracting companies to come to your area and set up shop. With economic gardening, the focus is on helping existing small business owners to grow and flourish and to help provide an entrepreneurial climate for them in which to do this.
There are a few ways to implement economic gardening, but the one that involves libraries centers on providing database access to entrepreneurs via the library. Even small libraries subscribe to 1 or 2 databases that could help an entrepreneur research a market and keep up on trends. In addition to connecting entrepreneurs to these database, librarians should also be trained to some degree to help these entrepreneurs make sense of the information that they find in these databases. Having managed a small branch library, I do recognize that staff at small/rural libraries wear numerous hats and probably will feel that they don’t have time to take on the additional task of being an analyzer of information, but there are some things they can do to make their communities more aware that they can get market research information at their local library…just making the resources more visible will be a great first step…pathfinders for business resources including websites geared for entrepreneurs and small business owners could also be something a small/rural library could provide. In addition, developing relationships with local Chambers, local SCORE offices (Service Corp of Retired Executives), local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and civic groups can be another way to make the library more visible in the community as a place to go for business information.
Elizabeth Kudwa, Business Librarian Capital Area District Library 401 South Capitol Avenue Lansing, Michigan 48933 kudwae@cadl.org
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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Costs for getting authors/programs to rural remote libraries are very expensive and will continue to increase with the cost of fuel rising.
Unemployment in states like Michigan means that more of the unemployed will be looking to libraries for help with resume and job searching and will place even greater demand on the public access computers in libraries.
Couple the above comment with the fact that increased use of Internet means a greater demand for broadband into rural areas, areas that economically the private sectors does not see as profitable.
Increased need for rural libraries to be part of a regional library system so that libraries can benefit from economies of scale in purchasing services, materials, and programming.
With the increased number of mortgage foreclosures, rural libraries as well as urban libraries will not get full funding of any voted levy/millage used to support library services. This means less money at a time when libraries will see increased use by their residents.
With baby boomers retiring there will be an increased number moving to rural areas. In Michigan communities in the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula will see an increase in the number of seniors moving to their areas. A growing number of seniors are retiring with smaller pensions and so moving out of state is not as feasible as it was a few years ago. Many seniors are looking to cheaper costs of living in rural areas. This means greater demand on services and the need for rural libraries to provide programming geared to the over 60 population. Diminishing school enrollments may mean reducing children’s’ programs and increasing programs for adults, esp. seniors.
Roger Mendel, Director
Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative
503 South Saginaw Street Suite 839
Flint, Michigan 48502 810-232-7119
rmendel@flint.org
I truly do believe that public libraries can play a major role in sustaining and revitalizing rural communities. If I may say so, I also believe funding, technology and staffing are the most critical issues facing rural public libraries. The key to success of a rural public library lies with the library’s leadership (the staff). All the money in the world and the best, most up-to-date technology that money can buy, mean nothing without good library staff. Continuing education, training, and retraining of rural library staffs are paramount to the success of any library, particularly rural libraries.
Sharman Bridges Smith, Executive Director
Mississippi Library Commission
3881 Eastwood Drive
Jackson, Mississippi 39211
sharman@mlc.lib.ms.us
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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One of the things affecting rural and small libraries is the lack of broadband service. Even though the enclosed document states that 92% of Ohioans have access to broadband service, there are pockets of Ohio that have no service. Statewide resource sharing is a goal, but not possible for those in certain areas of Ohio. Affordability, lack of computers in the home and lack of knowledge of how computers can improve lives are part of the issue.

http://connectohio.org/_documents/COArticle_92percentGongwer_062708.pdf

http://connectohio.org/_documents/COArticle_BroadbandclickswithhalfthestateDispatch_062808.pdf

Businesses are closing in small towns and small cities. People are driving further than before for employment that doesn’t pay well. The following article from my hometown newspaper says a lot about trends. My brother-in-law is in social services and he’s seeing a trend for people to stop trying because of the cost of fuel.

http://www.recordherald.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=131275&TM=37210.41

Even though we have Learning Express which can be very helpful, the lack of job opportunities in small towns often defeats the purpose. AND, there are only so many jobs in small towns for people with a lack of education. Often the school system, county government and the library are the major places of employment.
Young people who become educated leave the smaller towns. Some older people who have enough money to settle in rural areas return, but they expect the same services as in larger cities.
A lot of the rural areas close to cities are seeing housing developments, but the libraries aren’t ready for the demands. Once again, the new residents expect the same services as in urban areas.
Librarians are hunkering down and not attending conferences and workshops unless they are very close. A lot are attending one event a year per person.
Staffing is also short and it seems as if it will remain that way for a while. Staff aren’t being replaced because of costs.
Some boards are still micromanaging with little knowledge of what really goes on or what the needs are.
In very small towns, the library is it – it’s the source of air conditioning, entertainment for kids in the summer who want to hang out on the computers. This can cause problems because the libraries have too few computers and staff can spend a lot of time trying to coordinate use of the computers by everyone. Unemployed people often go to the libraries to hang out on the computers as well.
Small and rural libraries need less stuff and more computers. Librarians need to take a harder look at what materials are necessary. For example, one small library in NW Ohio is a reading room. The director realized that’s what the community members want, so it’s a great place to get popular books and lots of periodicals. She can get other items in a couple of days through resource sharing if necessary. She isn’t wasting money on materials that stay on the shelves.
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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Some directors are reconfiguring the buildings to accommodate trends. They are wise to do so and are finding it much easier than trying to expand for the sake of expanding. Using space wisely will continue to be important.
None of this is new, but it is still a concern in Ohio.
Jan Haines
Library Development Consultant
State Library of Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
JHAINES@sloma.state.oh.us
We are currently seeing the impact of high oil prices and the dwindling buying power of the dollar. Our patrons are requesting that we change the policies and allow them to check out books for longer than 2 weeks because they can’t come to town as often with the high gas costs. We have one office staff member that answers the phone and she says all she gets done all day is renewing books. She is behind on other jobs because of this. We are at an all time high in registering new library borrowers families. Instead of going to the movies they are coming to the library for DVD’s and books for entertainment. Many families have had their high speed internet disconnected and are coming here to use the internet. Those of them who have a laptop are coming because we do have free wi-fi (courtesy of Comcast). This is straining our seating at tables. I have had to purchase more copies of the local newspaper because families are canceling their subscription and coming to the Library and reading ours. We have also had an increase in usage of Senior Citizens. Actually many of them are not coming to check out materials but are coming to find a cool, comfortable place to rest because they can’t afford air conditioning. These seniors are asking for more and more large print editions of books, CD’s and Audios. They are aware that these items are available from the State program for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, but they say they do not have up-to-date materials they want to read or listen to. We are using more of our resources for non-print materials than ever before and still cannot supply the demand. As more of our county population ages, I expect their demands to increase. Since revenue is down for the city and county, we do not expect any raise in our budget for the next couple of years. When an employee leaves, we are living with the idea that they may not likely get replaced. We are relying more and more on volunteers to help us do our work. This year we are using several kids from the local college as well as girl scouts. They do a great job but require a lot of supervision which ties up one of us.
Hope this helps. It sounds like I am unhappy because we are so busy, but actually we are having the time of our lives. It’s nice to know that the teens think the library is a “cool” place to be and our seniors are always bringing us homemade cookies and fresh produce from their gardens. You want more details, let me know.
Madge B. Walker, Director Greeneville-Greene County Library 210 North Main Street Greeneville, Tennessee 37745
mwalker@ggcpl.org
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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Local funding can’t keep up with increased costs. “Alternative or creative” funding approaches including “renting” high demand items to provide fast access to popular materials and charging for public computer classes, increases the divide between the haves and have nots.
Bookswim is here and its very scary. One of my libraries actually started “renting” high demand items as a challenge to the Bookswim alternative. See above.
Global access to information is changing the role of public libraries yet we aren’t keeping up. Web 2.0 classes, internet reference classes and other continuing education efforts are still not getting a reference desk on the floor of most of the libraries I work with. Not everyone who works in the library is a librarian. Patrons don’t know this and unfortunately, neither does the staff.
Agricultural communities in transformation (end of tobacco subsidies, etc.) can’t compete in a computer-literate world when high speed internet access isn’t available to entice the corporate world to move to the area. The infrastructure isn’t in place and small communities don’t have the tax base needed to build it. The young adults are leaving for “greener pastures” and I don’t mean another farm. They are looking for opportunities for education, training, and careers where currently only small businesses or factory work is available in towns where they grew up. Once they get their education, what will entice them back?
Commuting trends in the last decade indicate people are commuting further than before, but with the recent surge of gas prices, will this trend continue?

http://www.physorg.com/news88967500.html

A new report suggests U.S. commuting trends are rapidly changing, mainly due to increasing immigration and more people reaching retirement age.
The report — Commuting in America III — is the latest decadal review of the nation’s commuting patterns from the Transportation Research Board http://www.TRB.org . Author Alan Pisarski notes although the personal vehicle remains the most common way to go to work, public transit and carpooling are becoming increasingly popular.
“One of the most significant changes will probably come from newly arrived immigrants,” said Pisarski. “Unlike most native-born Americans or immigrants who have been in the United States for more than five years, many new immigrants either carpool, bike, walk, or use public transportation for their daily commute.” Other findings in the report include: — The number of workers with commutes lasting more than 60 minutes grew by nearly 50 percent between 1990 and 2000. — Men comprise the majority of early-morning commuters from midnight to 7:30 a.m.; women make up the majority of commuters after approximately 7:30 a.m. — Only about 4 percent of workers live in households with no vehicle.
Will changes to NAFTA have an effect on our communities? Will the factories come back?
Betty Jo Jarvis, Director Highland Rim Regional Library 2118 E. Main Street Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130 bettyjo.jarvis@state.tn.us
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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I work primarily with very rural and very small libraries, just to explain my frame of reference, and here are some issues that I see affecting these libraries: – Most of the staff in the libraries I serve do not have formal library science backgrounds. Most of the libraries cannot afford to pay well enough to attract masters’ level librarians. Because the requirement for masters’ level library directors is based on population, and many of the counties I serve are in a population decline, I am afraid there will actually be libraries that are now required to have a masters’ prepared director that in the near future will no longer have this requirement. – Our libraries have long relied on state funding, through state aid, tuition reimbursement, construction grants, and other grants. This funding appears to be drying up, and many libraries in my area will see their growth stunted in direct correlation to the lack of state funds available. These are the two largest issues that I see affecting my libraries. If I think of any additional issues before July 11th, I will send those to you, as well. Jeanna Elaine Cornett, Regional Librarian Cumberland Valley Region 875 South Main London, Kentucky 40743
jeanna.cornett@ky.gov
I have worked in a small academic library in a very rural area of Appalachian Ohio for 30 years. Besides obvious funding and identity issues facing small rural libraries, I think a significant issue facing our population is the lack of broadband Internet, or a lack of competition for broadband, to bring costs down.
As you know, there’s a major digital divide in this nation. Urban and suburban areas, and small towns, have some sort of broadband access. The only access left to rural residents is expensive satellite. Our small community has been trying for years to bring a wireless ISP or even Verizon DSL to the area. We have hit one snag after another.
Rural library users either use dialup or don’t have access at all. We not only have to take a leadership role in bringing broadband to rural areas, but we also have to change the mindset of many rural residents that access to the Internet is critical and essential in today’s society. Even if many of our residents had access, they would not be willing, nor could they afford, to pay for it.
Louis E. Mays, Professor/Librarian
Learning Resources Center
Southern State Community College
12681 U.S. Route 62
Sardinia, Ohio 45171
lmays@sscc.edu
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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Florida is in a very unique position right now in terms of rural libraries. Due to the passage of a constitutional amendment, Property Tax rates have been reduced, which means that all counties funded by property taxes are being forced to cut services. In our case, that means an 18% cut to the library budget. In addition to this, the State Legislature also cut the amount earmarked for Library Aid from the State. For us that means a 50% cut from 131,000 in aid funding to 64,000. A big hit, I’m afraid.
For us that means we have to re-shuffle our monies around to keep our staff from a) being laid off or b) taking a pay cut. Both are options that the county was considering, and I was fighting. It seems I have won on that front, however, if any of our staff leaves, we cannot fill the position due to a hiring freeze imposed by the county.
Where it will hurt us is in services to our patrons. We may have to close the library extra hours per week to cut back on utility expenses; we will definitely have to cut back on the number of books we purchase or replace; new shelving or fixtures are definitely out of the picture no new computers will be able to be added or existing ones upgraded beyond current level. Last month almost 1,000 people came to the library and signed in to use the public access computers. Many of these computers don’t even have a front USB port to accommodate Flash/jump/thumb drives.
Our children’s services librarian complains about the state of the Children’s/YA book section, as many are very dated, contain outdated racial and gender stereotypes, and inaccurate factual information. We are also lacking in School Reading list materials, and have to tell students, “we’re sorry, but we don’t have any of those books”.
In addition to looking at losing hours, we are considering for the first time ever charging a fee for use of the community room, and increasing the prices on our printing from the computers.
Our five-year plan included an additional branch in the county, as we only have the one library building at the present time, and no bookmobile of our own. That item has been scrapped.
We have a literacy teacher on staff, who brings the library to the poor and migrant in our community. She has been forced to cut her budget and operates solely on the basis of a grant, which will expire soon. We cannot afford to pay her salary once she goes off the grant. With a 33% adult literacy rate in the count, and Jefferson being the fifth highest illiterate county in the state, we cannot afford to lose her position. She is vital to the community, but the county cannot afford to take her on, either. She teaches as many as 64 adult students reading and writing, ESOL, and Spanish-English competency. Her classroom space is donated by a local church, as we cannot afford to rent space, and the library is too far for many of these students to travel.
Fortunately all is not lost. We are members of a larger consortium, the Wilderness Coast Library System, who provides bookmobile service for our county as well as two others, and who lobbies on our behalf for state grants. But these must be shared with the other counties, and so it is a mixed blessing.
Our Friends group is also behind us and contributes substantially for funds through their book sale and other fund raising efforts. But it is not enough.
James (Jim) Elliott, Director
Jefferson County Public Library
375 South Water Street
Monticello, Flotrida 32344
jelliott@jefferson.lib.fl.us
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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Right now, most everyone around here is concerned about how cuts to government revenues will impact library services. It seems to us that the legislature and governor mandate cuts in spending, as a direct result of the input of the people they represent; it’s how the government is supposed to work, some say. In Florida, nearly 2/3 of the voting population voted to cut taxes. Yet, when a commensurate cut in services occurs, there is a wide outcry. I attached a copy of some stories I found about one case-in-point, a rural library in Rainbow Lakes Estates, near Ocala, Florida, from around March, 2008.
I’d rather we did it the other way around, that is we’d identify needs first, how much it costs, and progressively rate out taxes to pay for it all. A lot of stuff is known ahead of time, like salaries & benefits, vehicle expenses, and so on. I imagine there’d be quite an outcry there as well.
Libraries are just one facet, after all. There are so many community needs going unmet, because people want their tax bills cut. Few realize that their cut will only be $50 or $100 a year for most folks; the people who are really benefiting the most are those who live on the ocean or in exclusive enclaves. Their taxes will decrease by thousands, given the value of their homes, but only the top 1 or 2% realize that benefit. “Realize” is a bit of a pun, as these are the same people who can afford to back the neo-Gilded Age legislators and Executive that we now “enjoy” (my tongue is firmly in my cheek), and promote the tax cuts. These Rainbow Lakes folks were a majority vote in favor of the tax cut, but probably don’t recognize who really benefits from all this, but it’s not them.
Technology is always an issue. Many of our libraries received Gates grant computers a few years ago. Ours are aging and need replaced, so hopefully the grant will continue. If not, we’ll have to begin replacing the PCs, or come up with another scheme, perhaps with more thin-client servers or dumb terminals, than stand-alone PCs. We’ve been able to install wireless routers, so that helps increase access. We have excellent tech support from our cooperative (Polk County Library Cooperative), but funding cuts threaten that support too.
Our staffing has been good, and maintained. Our city supports our library, though I’d guess a majority here voted for the tax cut recently, and will probably vote for more cuts in November. They can’t seem to understand how they are being manipulated through the press, particularly broadcast media.
Our collection budget will decrease some for now, but we are expecting less funding going forward. Much of this is from cuts to our state funding, plus less revenue locally. Our multi-type cooperative (Tampa Bay Library Consortium) funding has been cut, so I expect less training opportunities to be offered next year.
One more thing: the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute used to be offered for free, next year it will cost attendees $150. I wonder how many potential leaders will have to reconsider because of the fee, not to mention less support locally for travel to the monthly meetings.
Vic Nunez, Reference Librarian Bartow Public Library Bartow, Florida
vnunez@pclc.lib.fl.us
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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There certainly are a number of issues that are related to Small & Rural Libraries in America today. I feel one of the top issues is that of being able to access the libraries in rural regions. The main problem being transportation, specifically the price of gas for our patrons, is a huge problem now. That coupled with the fact that there is little to no public transportation in the area, we have seen a drop in our program attendance. We offer a lot of great programs for our patronage, and sometimes no one shows or 2-4 people show up for programs.
Another issue is budget cuts in all areas of librarianship. Some libraries here in Florida, are cutting back hours, laying off staff, not filling vacant positions, etc.
Libraries can thrive in times of hardship, and as more and more people are out of work, the library becomes a vital place for all.
Ronald Moore, Branch Manager
Paisley County Library (a branch of Lake County Florida)
24954 C.R. 42
Paisley, Florida. 32767
rmoore@lakeline.lib.fl.us
Co-chair of the Small and Rural Libraries Group, Florida Library Association
From my perspective, what distresses me about Virginia’s small and rural libraries is that they seem with few exceptions to be losing ground rather than gaining it. The gap between the best and worst library systems in the state has grown in recent years, and although in some cases the most disadvantaged are in blighted urban areas, by and large the poorest libraries are in depressed rural areas of the state. Inadequate funding by localities that don’t have a strong enough tax base to support services is a large part of the problem (though there are some communities where the ability to pay is there but the will isn’t). We are struggling in Virginia to figure out some way to equal the playing field a bit more through state funding — but we can’t yet get the state to fully fund the state aid formula that exists, let alone come up with a plan to offer more to our poorest library systems.
But of equal concern to us is the great disparity in our state in terms of access to the Internet. Many of the rural library systems in the state do not have any broadband connection and are still using dial-up connections. If broadband is provided by a rural library, it is at a very slow speed. We know that the Gates Foundation is exploring ways to change this, but they tell us that Virginia ranks among the bottom 10 states in this area. In Virginia, there is a statewide network but a library has to be able to get to it and the cost of that, often through local phone systems, is too high to be a realistic option.
We will look forward to the final report that comes from the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship with great interest, and if we can be of further help, please let us know.
Sandra Gioia Treadway, Librarian of Virginia
Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Sandra.Treadway@lva.virginia.gov
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
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At your request, I had my development staff brainstorm trends and issues. With the economic downturn in Florida and the recent tax reform legislation, rural libraries are having a very difficult time. I look forward to receiving the results of your discussions.
“Our first step will be to identify those trends and issues that will affect rural and small libraries and their communities for the next several years.”
• Maintaining technology
• Maintaining expected levels of service in light of reduced resources
• Adopting and adapting new technologies
• Finding/seeking new resources (i.e., volunteers, private money, etc.)
• Restructuring staffing patterns
• Recruitment issues
• Coping with reduced dollars from federal, state, and local sources
• Keeping up with patron demands
• Refining and redeveloping policies
• Dealing with change in county/legal service area population (such as population influx, development, population or ethnicity changes)
• Embracing cultural diversity
• Communicating the value of libraries to residents and governing officials in the local community
Judith A. Ring, Director
Division of Library and Information Services
Department of State
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
We have seen in NC the emergence of public libraries — business librarians in particular — as key players in networks of people who help entrepreneurs, especially in at least two of our rural regions.
Many startups and aspiring entrepreneurs use the library as a first point of information and it’s great when the business librarian knows the other resource people in the region.
In the Rocky Mount region east of Raleigh there is a group of public libraries across 3 counties working together through a grant-funded project called Business Information Center Outreach Services Program (BICOS) on improving their entrepreneurship-related resources. They are subscribing to more business “intelligence” sources, and they have recently started offering on-site counseling through SCORE. See http://www.bicos-nc.org/ for more info. If this all goes well we should encourage them to become an economic gardening site! www.ncruralcenter.org/entrepreneurship
Leslie A. Scott, Director
Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship
North Carolina Rural Center
4021 Carya Drive
Raleigh, North Carolina 27610
lscott@ncruralcenter.org
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
- 24 of 74 -
Thoughts on rural libraries….by library directors in South Carolina
Issues:
Demographics:
Libraries in small, rural counties in South Carolina are affected by all the negative demographic issues: poverty, joblessness, single parent families, Lack of youth activities, lack of transportation, poor school and health systems. Declining populations leading to shrinking tax base
Generally, not only are the residents poor, but so are the county governments…resulting in a lack of local resources for library facilities, staff, and materials. Even if the will to fund libraries were there, the dollars are not…especially with the tax cap (SC act limits increase in county budgets by no more than 15% in five years) and lack of growth due to local economic conditions.
Illiterate populations leads to further loss of industry/commerce/jobs and less of all of these coming into the community (again money).
Public libraries in rural areas are serving a very different clientele from the cities and suburbs. Patrons from less affluent backgrounds are not as familiar with library services and are more likely to be put off by traditional library “rules.”
Mindset (new South with new set of problems such as indifference and apathy: old South gone but leaving legacy of small upper class who have theirs and don’t care about anyone else)
Population migration due to limited economic opportunities. Rural towns across America, indeed across South Carolina, have witnessed steady out-migration of their youth and working-age populations to adjacent urban areas for jobs and affordable housing. A recent cover story in the Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal newspaper showed a marked loss of residents of rural counties(e.g. Union, Laurens, etc.) into neighboring(urban)Spartanburg and Greenville counties. Small towns must identify and recruit small business, manufacturing, agri-business, distribution centers and other viable employers to provide jobs to sustain their economic survival.
Aging populations will have a significant impact on programming, outreach, and collections of small libraries well into the 21st century. The percentage of residents ages 65 + in many small towns is rapidly approaching 25 percent and higher. Libraries must hire and/or train staff to target services to senior citizens and, equally important, the ballooning number of active baby boomers living in or retiring to these rural areas. Large print materials, audio books, assistive devices, instructional classes for seniors, and targeted outreach to the homebound as well our mobile seniors are all essential to serving a graying community nationally.
Digital Divide:
Currently, public libraries have a corner on the public access computer market in rural counties…very few areas have much broadband coverage. This digital divide issue will be critical to what happens in the future, both for public libraries and for SC citizens. If broadband can be deployed in the rural areas, jobs and opportunities may follow.
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
- 25 of 74 -
Free access to the latest technology is critical. Rural & libraries still remain the only gateway to free internet, e-mail, and research databases for their rural, geographically isolated patrons. Also, many outlying areas which may or may not have internet access need increased bandwidth, satellite internet service, plus training on how to use the multiple technologies and resources available in the digital age. Sadly, rural towns and counties continue to have significant numbers of residents with little or no internet access or computer skills.
Public Services:
On the other hand, public libraries offer a neutral community center that is hard to find in many rural areas…the ability to provide better facilities and programming would bring more people to the library.
We are often the only option for cultural and educational resources outside of the public schools…it’s hard to buy books locally and most people can’t afford them. The local recreation groups may do dance or sports or martial arts, but few other agencies do any type of storytelling or arts-related programming for children.
Access to timely health care information and services. As rural residents age and small towns find it more difficult to recruit trained medical professionals to practice in their communities, libraries have outstanding opportunities to provide health and medical information for healthy living to their communities. Rural residents often seek current, confidential answers to medical questions at their public library by reading current books and magazines. Hospitals, the NLM, and medical schools have all partnered with rural public libraries in recent years to offer health databases, educational classes, and diagnostic screenings at little or no cost to residents. Libraries must expand their role in educating their patrons using the ever-growing array of health information resources.
Funding:
Consistent local and state government funding must be available to rural library services and the communities they serve. Communities have successfully secured funding by partnering with local or regional agencies, organizations, schools, and businesses to collectively persuade their elected local and state leaders to fund library technology, facilities, and programs. A collaborative effort often makes the most efficient use of limited resources and can convince elected leaders of the need for funding projects of equal importance to libraries such
as schools, roads, water and sewer projects, and parks and recreational facilities.
In the future, libraries must vigorously lobby government at all levels(using Friends, professional associations, and constituents) to fund them adequately so they can fulfill their roles as the sole providers of lifelong learning in the majority of rural communities.
Staffing:
Limited funding sources mean lack of support for quality staff and collections. It is hard to grow when you have to fight to keep budgets from being cut each year.
Library staff cannot participate in the latest trends for lack of staff, equipment and facilities so our patrons are behind the times.
Bottom line:
Small and rural libraries have service needs that are greater than current or future resources. And, limited funding sources mean lack of support for quality staff and
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
- 26 of 74 -
collections. It is hard to grow when you have to fight to keep budgets from being cut each year.
It all boils down to money. Money really does buy better facilities and more (and better-trained) staff to provide services.
What can we do?
• Continue to argue our case before the legislature.
• Develop better data to support our requests for more dollars. (Perhaps some statistics that address specific rural county issues?)
• Develop some benchmarks for service and develop some tools to help convince local governments to meet them.
• Invite the Clarion folks to South Carolina for a program or conference…even most of the larger public libraries have at least one or two branches that might benefit from some insights into rural services.
• Have a “summit” of just rural South Carolina public libraries to spend a day talking about issues. Share some success stories.
• Redistribution of wealth through tax reform
• Different approaches to service
• Creative business recruitment outside the box – this is happening somewhat
• Creative fee and local taxation strategies
• Rethinking governmental approaches
Case Study of a Success:
A new library facility in a small rural community can be a catalyst for renewing the downtown areas of a small town. For example, the new Pamplico (Florence Co. SC) branch opened about six months ago. Computer use, circulation and door counts have gone up approximately 500%. The new meeting room is used by the community for numerous events, children’s activities and community forums. The old library building has been renovated and is now the town hall. Utilizing a $500,000 grant from the Commerce Department the city removed telephone lines, repaired side walks and re-landscaped mainstreet. The downtown area is much more appealing and new businesses are interested in moving downtown. The new library was the base to start this revitalization. All of these communities are excited that they will also have the opportunity that Pamplico had to revitalize their downtown and at the same time to bring quality library facilities and services to their communities.
Other communities involved in new buildings and revitalization of towns in SC includes: Johnsonville & Olanta branches (Florence Co.); Headquarters libraries for Marlboro Co. and Calhoun Co.
“In these times of economic turmoil and high gas prices,
rural community libraries may be the only game in town.”
Deborah Hotchkiss, Director
Library Development Services
South Carolina State Library P.O. Box 11469 Columbia, South Carolina 29211
Dhotchkiss@statelibrary.sc.gov
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
- 27 of 74 -
Issues for Rural Libraries, 2008:
A Collaborative Paper from Western Council States
Jan Walsh, President
Western Council of State Libraries
The following contributors embraced this subject and sent valuable information and papers: Susan Barrett and Rand Simmons, Washington State Library; Jim Scheppke, Oregon State Library; Susan Oberlander and staff, New Mexico State Library; Sue Sherif, Aja Razumny, Rich Greenfield and Kay Shelton, Alaska State Library; Carla Lehn, Jon Torkelson and Susan Hildreth, California State Library. Because several submitted thoughtful and comprehensive papers for this summit, I have included their papers in full at the end.
Development of a national plan for rural library services is a major step forward. Because the nation’s geography and cultures are diverse, however, and areas are uniquely and wonderfully different, one from another, a plan must address regional differences and be adaptable by state libraries in planning to address state needs. For instance, in the west, the determining factor in community economic vitality and growth is still usually geographic location.
One of the important issues to address is how to get the library involved in the rural issues discussions on a local, regional, and national basis. For example, participation in the National Rural Assembly and other national rural meetings and organizations, working with state and regional rural issues organizations and forums, and having a presence and voice in local efforts, are all critical to the future of rural libraries. We need to figure out how to get there and how to speak with one voice.
While all those concerned with rural libraries are doing their best to collaborate and keep in touch, unfortunately many rural libraries are not aware that this wealth of resources is available, and those who are aware often find themselves overwhelmed, not empowered, by them. It still seems apparent that to move forward substantially we need something to collaborate around – an entity, a clearinghouse, or at least a national plan, to serve as the “one clear voice” on behalf of rural libraries. (Please see California State Library’s Carla Lehn and Jon Torkelson’s paper, pp.45-47.)
Key factors for success to rural libraries are strong leadership, adequate and stable funding, access to excellent training, and the availability of connectivity and information technology. In addition, macro issues in rural areas significantly impact their public libraries.
Macro Issues in Rural America
• Providing a forum to focus on the future of rural libraries is a very good thing. However, this is not just a library issue. It is one part of the numerous issues concerning the future of rural communities. For example, the availability of technology, rural health, rural economics, and support for rural local government services are all related and are a few of the rural issues that affect the library as well as the community.
• The economic downturn has had an severe effect throughout the nation
o For instance, most rural Alaskan communities are currently in crisis, mainly due to rising fuel1 costs, but also due to several other pre-existing and long-term
1 Rural residents may pay 100% or more than their urban counterparts for fuel. Where residents of the three largest Alaskan urban areas pay 4% of household income for fuel, rural households -
Issues and Trends Facing Rural and Small Libraries
Compiled by Don Reynolds for the Clarion Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship National Summit – July17-18, 2008
- 28 of 74 -
factors, including lack of balanced local economies2 (which results in high underemployment) and global warming and de-population trends.3 In rural areas more than urban ones, the overall cost of living now ties directly to fuel costs: food, manufactured goods, electricity, etc. – everything costs more as the cost of fuel goes up. Some of these increased costs have yet to ripple through the Alaskan economy, although rural areas in other western states have been impacted. The dramatic rise in fuel costs may be temporary or short term, or it may be recurrent or long term. In any case, however, a national plan for rural library services must take into account the overall trend.
• Rising fuel and utility costs are issues everywhere, but in Alaska they have reached a point where the cost of keeping a building warm and lit may overtake the ability of the community to support their library and other public buildings.
• As the cost of transportation of goods rises, and the costs, financial and environmental, of energy production increase, it seems possible that rural areas could become critically important to energy production and economic health. The production of ethanol from corn and the construction of wind energy facilities in rural areas are indicative of this development. The rising cost of the transportation of food products may increase the importance of the availability of locally grown food.
• Gas lines and exorbitant prices for gas and food are changing the lives of Americans.
o Rising gas prices will affect rural libraries in several ways:


National Summit on Rural & Small Libraries – Final Report – September, 2008

Final Report of the National Summit on Rural and Small Libraries
Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship – Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Department of Library Science – July 17-18, 2008
- 1 of 4 -
Future Agenda for Rural and Small Libraries in the US
The purpose of this paper is to briefly comment on the status of librarianship in small and rural libraries, to note recent developments, and to provide a framework for the implementation of a systematic vision for the future.
Preface
The backbone of public librarianship in the United States can be found in the 7,000 or so small libraries that populate rural/urban American. These consist of industrial, ranch, resort, bedroom, seat of government, agricultural, and extractive communities. Despite the preponderance of small towns and their libraries, these have often been dwarfed in the public’s view by more glamorous depictions associated with institutions in metropolitan America. In the public and library press, notice of a donation of Kerouac manuscripts to the New York Public Library typically received greater attention than the sleep over party of teens at the Bullard Sanford Memorial Library in Vassar, Michigan.
Contributing to the above has also been a scene of decades of neglect in Schools of Library and Information Science that have found more favorite topics to be pursued by instructors and faculty than the rigors of working with library boards and the budgeting process in small public libraries. As a further matter of perspective, thirty years ago for a researcher studying rural libraries, it would have been easier to locate information of the same about life in Ghana rather than something pertaining to the United States.
Tipping points causing change to the above situation have included a series of national events contributed by the action of the American Library Association and its various committees structured to study small and rural public libraries and the formation of the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. The vital driving force, however, has been the selfless contributions made by librarians, staff, and trustees of local community libraries.
Recent Developments:
The last ten years have been particularly propitious for small and rural libraries correcting the previous historical imbalance. Outstanding credit has to be directed to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its enormous contributions spurring the development of both infrastructure and collateral training in information technology at the local level. More recently the Foundation’s actions have enabled the development of WebJunction, a marvelous clearinghouse of information, along with projects like MaintainIT, and most significantly Library Journal’s award for the Best Small Library in America. The latter has given remarkable identity to our previously invisible institutions. Not to be excluded in the array of contributors has been the Rural Library Project in Georgia, the Rural Library Initiative in California, the action of the Western Council of State Libraries, and the contributions of numerous state bound associations dealing at committee levels with rural libraries. Importantly, in 2002, the establishment of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, and the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, has given organizational direction for the future.
Over the last twenty years, there were two efforts to extract a “national agenda” for rural library services. The first such entitled “The 21st Century—Rural and Small Libraries, Action Agenda,” was compiled during the H. W. Wilson Symposium of the Future of Public Libraries at Omaha, Nebraska, on September 26-29, 1990. A second effort, “Action Agenda for Community and Economic
Final Report of the National Summit on Rural and Small Libraries
Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship – Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Department of Library Science – July 17-18, 2008
- 2 of 4 -
Development,” was written during a meeting sponsored by the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship, the National Agricultural Library, and the Northeast Center for Rural Development, in cooperation with the State Library of Maine, on September 19-21, 1991. This occurred at a conference dealing with “Information and Rural Economic Development.” Regretfully, these latter documents became part of good intentions left undone. It took a group of twelve individuals, meeting in the early months of 2008, in Clarion, to consider what were options for the future. Those attending included: Ken Davenport [Iowa], Becky Heil [Iowa], Susan Hill [Ohio], Carla Lehn [California], Rebecca Miller [New York], Jim Malzewski [Washington], Emily Parker [Washington], John Philip [Ohio], Jim Rancilio [Michigan], Don Reynolds [Tennessee], and Bernard Vavrek [Pennsylvania].
Rural Library Summit:
With the above as prelude, one is led to the most recent effort at “building” community libraries at the national level. On July 17, 18, 2008, a “Summit Meeting on Rural and Small Libraries” was hosted by the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship in Clarion. Attending were: Laurie Brooks, Associate Deputy Director, Institute for Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC; Mary Chute, Deputy Director for Libraries, Institute for Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC; Blane Dessy, External Advisory Committee, Department of Library Science, Clarion University of Pennsylvania; Theresa Gemmer, President, Association for Bookmobile and Outreach Services [Everett Public Library Outreach Librarian, Everett, WA]; George Needham, Vice-President, Member Services, Online Computer Library Center, Dublin, OH; Satia Orange, Director, Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, American Library Association, Chicago, IL; Don Reynolds, President, Association for Rural and Small Libraries, [Director, Nolichucky Regional Library, Morristown, TN]; Carol Sheffer, President, Public Library Association, American Library Association, Chicago, IL [Deputy Director, Queens Library, Jamaica, NY]; Greta Southard, Executive Director, Public Library Association, American Library Association, Chicago, IL; Bernard Vavrek, Director, Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship, Clarion University of Pennsylvania; and, Jan Walsh, President, Western Council of State Libraries [Washington State Librarian, Olympia, WA].
Vision for the Future:
All of librarianship is challenged by an increasing array of opportunities that play on the Internet stage. Actors of all types have come forward to provide their own versions of information packaging and access. Despite the mentality that electronic networks are the core matrix of today’s cultural services in the United States, it is the American public library that provides critical multi-point contact at the community level, on a daily basis. New challenges have developed. Arsenals of Democracy was the title of a decades old book about the societal role of the public library. Increasingly, it has been necessary to reassert that role, in an increasingly fractious society.
While Americans have great trust and reliance on their public library infrastructure, these cultural building blocks have not always grabbed the national imagination as one might hope. This paper is about hope and future success created by those individuals who have committed their willingness to do so. This action represents the first step in a national movement to re-invigorate small and rural public libraries.
- Bernard Vavrek, Director
Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Final Report of the National Summit on Rural and Small Libraries
Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship – Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Department of Library Science – July 17-18, 2008
- 3 of 4 -
Action Items for the Future:
The Summit participants realize that many of these actions are dependent upon the approval of governing bodies. Participants will communicate these items to their respective boards and councils for approval prior to implementation.
1. PARTNERSHIP/COLLABORATIONS
What?
Who?
When?
Align with other national organizations with common interest in rural issues
• rural compact
• broadband access
• early learning
ARSL
ABOS
9/2008
Encourage, explore and develop models for cooperation between small and rural libraries and with other libraries
ARSL
ABOS
WJ
OLOS
COSLA
6/30/2009
webinar then ongoing discussion boards
Encourage small and rural libraries to reassess their services regularly based on changing demographics, in consultation with other community agencies
• early learning
PLA
ARSL
ABOS
COSLA
6/2009
website available
2. NETWORKS
What?
Who?
When?
Create a network of mentors
ABOS ARSL WJ
begin now – in place summer 2009
Create a “go to” list of people with interest in small and rural libraries to act as advisors/speakers
ABOS ARSL
WJ
begin now – in place summer 2009
3. RESEARCH
What?
Who?
When?
Comparative library funding by size
PLA?
10/2008
Economies by scale
PLA
10/2008
Funding opportunities for small and rural libraries/directory
B. Vavrek’s graduate students – CSRL
8/15/2008
Value of a national information policy
* How to fund public libraries
B. Vavrek
12/2008
Final Report of the National Summit on Rural and Small Libraries
Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship – Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Department of Library Science – July 17-18, 2008
- 4 of 4 -
4. TRAINING and EDUCATION
What?
Who?
When?
Core competencies for library management
• identify what’s available
• promote these resources
• identify and plug holes
Western Council
COSLA
WJ
12/15/2008 IMLS deadline
Complete by Summer 6/30/2011
Core competencies for external relations
• identify what’s available
• promote these resources
• identify and plug holes
PLA – Emerging Leaders
7/31/2009 if chosen
Identify and promote LIS programs that encourage public libraries especially small and rural libraries
ARSL @ ALISE
1/2009
5. FINANCIAL SUPPORT
What?
Who?
When?
Design a plan for a national funding mechanism to make training available to all workers in small and rural libraries
Plan A: Don to ask Pat Wagner
Plan B: Grant proposal from ARSL
Plan C: George to offer OCLC staff
No date given
Promote template on what libraries save individuals to small and rural libraries
ABOS
ARSL
OLOS
COSLA
12/2008
Underwrite, publish, and promote new studies on economic multiplier effect of small and rural libraries
ARSL
1st step – ARSL to identify current studies applicable to small and rural libraries
12/2008
2nd step – identify gaps
12/2011

 

Print Final Report


Clarion National Summit on Rural & Small Libraries – Final Report with ARSL Goals – October 27, 2008

Final Report of the National Summit on Rural and Small Libraries
Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship – Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Department of Library Science – July 17-18, 2008

Future Agenda for Rural and Small Libraries in the US
The purpose of this paper is to briefly comment on the status of librarianship in small and rural libraries, to note recent developments, and to provide a framework for the implementation of a systematic vision for the future.
Preface
The backbone of public librarianship in the United States can be found in the 7,000 or so small libraries that populate rural/urban American. These consist of industrial, ranch, resort, bedroom, seat of government, agricultural, and extractive communities. Despite the preponderance of small towns and their libraries, these have often been dwarfed in the public’s view by more glamorous depictions associated with institutions in metropolitan America. In the public and library press, notice of a donation of Kerouac manuscripts to the New York Public Library typically received greater attention than the sleep over party of teens at the Bullard Sanford Memorial Library in Vassar, Michigan.
Contributing to the above has also been a scene of decades of neglect in Schools of Library and Information Science that have found more favorite topics to be pursued by instructors and faculty than the rigors of working with library boards and the budgeting process in small public libraries. As a further matter of perspective, thirty years ago for a researcher studying rural libraries, it would have been easier to locate information of the same about life in Ghana rather than something pertaining to the United States.
Tipping points causing change to the above situation have included a series of national events contributed by the action of the American Library Association and its various committees structured to study small and rural public libraries and the formation of the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. The vital driving force, however, has been the selfless contributions made by librarians, staff, and trustees of local community libraries.
Recent Developments:
The last ten years have been particularly propitious for small and rural libraries correcting the previous historical imbalance. Outstanding credit has to be directed to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its enormous contributions spurring the development of both infrastructure and collateral training in information technology at the local level. More recently the Foundation’s actions have enabled the development of WebJunction, a marvelous clearinghouse of information, along with projects like MaintainIT, and most significantly Library Journal’s award for the Best Small Library in America. The latter has given remarkable identity to our previously invisible institutions. Not to be excluded in the array of contributors has been the Rural Library Project in Georgia, the Rural Library Initiative in California, the action of the Western Council of State Libraries, and the contributions of numerous state bound associations dealing at committee levels with rural libraries. Importantly, in 2002, the establishment of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, and the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, has given organizational direction for the future.
Over the last twenty years, there were two efforts to extract a “national agenda” for rural library services. The first such entitled “The 21st Century—Rural and Small Libraries, Action Agenda,” was compiled during the H. W. Wilson Symposium of the Future of Public Libraries at Omaha, Nebraska, on September 26-29, 1990. A second effort, “Action Agenda for Community and Economic Development,” was written during a meeting sponsored by the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship, the National Agricultural Library, and the Northeast Center for Rural Development, in cooperation with the State Library of Maine, on September 19-21, 1991. This occurred at a conference dealing with “Information and Rural Economic Development.” Regretfully, these latter documents became part of good intentions left undone. It took a group of twelve individuals, meeting in the early months of 2007, in Clarion, to consider what were options for the future. Those attending included: Ken Davenport [Iowa], Becky Heil [Iowa], Susan Hill [Ohio], Carla Lehn [California], Rebecca Miller [New York], Jim Malzewski [Washington], Emily Parker [Washington], John Philip [Ohio], Jim Rancilio [Michigan], Don Reynolds [Tennessee], and Bernard Vavrek [Pennsylvania].
Rural Library Summit:
With the above as prelude, one is led to the most recent effort at “building” community libraries at the national level. On July 17, 18, 2008, a “Summit Meeting on Rural and Small Libraries” was hosted by the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship in Clarion. Attending were: Laurie Brooks, Associate Deputy Director, Institute for Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC; Mary Chute, Deputy Director for Libraries, Institute for Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC; Blane Dessy, External Advisory Committee, Department of Library Science, Clarion University of Pennsylvania; Theresa Gemmer, President, Association for Bookmobile and Outreach Services [Everett Public Library Outreach Librarian, Everett, WA]; George Needham, Vice-President, Member Services, Online Computer Library Center, Dublin, OH; Satia Orange, Director, Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, American Library Association, Chicago, IL; Don Reynolds, President, Association for Rural and Small Libraries, [Director, Nolichucky Regional Library, Morristown, TN]; Carol Sheffer, President, Public Library Association, American Library Association, Chicago, IL [Deputy Director, Queens Library, Jamaica, NY]; Greta Southard, Executive Director, Public Library Association, American Library Association, Chicago, IL; Bernard Vavrek, Director, Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship, Clarion University of Pennsylvania; and, Jan Walsh, President, Western Council of State Libraries [Washington State Librarian, Olympia, WA].
Vision for the Future:
All of librarianship is challenged by an increasing array of opportunities that play on the Internet stage. Actors of all types have come forward to provide their own versions of information packaging and access. Despite the mentality that electronic networks are the core matrix of today’s cultural services in the United States, it is the American public library that provides critical multi-point contact at the community level, on a daily basis. New challenges have developed. Arsenals of Democracy was the title of a decades old book about the societal role of the public library. Increasingly, it has been necessary to reassert that role, in an increasingly fractious society.
While Americans have great trust and reliance on their public library infrastructure, these cultural building blocks have not always grabbed the national imagination as one might hope. This paper is about hope and future success created by those individuals who have committed their willingness to do so. This action represents the first step in a national movement to re-invigorate small and rural public libraries.
- Bernard Vavrek, Director
Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship Clarion University of Pennsylvania Action Items for the Future:
The Summit participants realize that many of these actions are dependent upon the approval of governing bodies. Participants will communicate these items to their respective boards and councils for approval prior to implementation. Possible Assignments for ARSL highlighted in yellow. ARSL Identified Goals for 2008-09 highlighted in gray.
1. PARTNERSHIP/COLLABORATIONS
What?
Who?
When?
Align with other national organizations with common interest in rural issues
• rural compact
• broadband access
• early learning
Strategic Goal 2
All COSLA members (50 states + D.C. and territories) are partners of ARSL, and offer ARSL conference fellowships (scholarships that include a requirement to come back home and share what you learned). Also aim for an additional partner from each state.
Strategic Goal 6
Ensure strong ARSL partnerships with other national library and non-library organizations on rural and small town issues, including those that represent traditionally underserved populations that may be reflected in rural and small libraries.
Marketing 1.
Consider State Libraries as key partners. Target those who haven’t participated yet. By Mid-October COSLA meeting, (and on an on-going basis) provide Carolyn and Susan Hildreth with ARSL information to share:
• Describe success of conference
• Ask for consideration for state fellowships for the 2009 Conference in Gatlinburg.
• Ask for a staff contact person for rural issues from each state/territory
• Assist in raising awareness of our organization – we can keep them informed
Marketing 5.
Contact PLA & ALA rural committees for introduction/awareness and ask to be a recipient of information about their activities.
ARSL
ABOS
9/2008
Encourage, explore and develop models for cooperation between small and rural libraries and with other libraries
Strategic Goal 6
Ensure strong ARSL partnerships with other national library and non-library organizations on rural and small town issues, including those that represent traditionally underserved populations that may be reflected in rural and small libraries.
Membership 4.
The listserv is a membership benefit – consider how to make it relevant and useful, but not too much e-mail. Consider getting input on this through a survey monkey member survey. Does the listserv need a moderator?
Conference 16.
Consider a workshop or talk table to problem-solve a major issue (i.e., ILL; Cataloguing on OCLC, etc.) – Note: Jim Malzewski is on OCLC’s committee on this topic.
ARSL
ABOS
WJ
OLOS
COSLA
6/30/2009
webinar then ongoing discussion boards
Encourage small and rural libraries to reassess their services regularly based on changing demographics, in consultation with other community agencies
• early learning
Conference 16.
Consider a workshop or talk table to problem-solve a major issue (i.e., ILL; Cataloguing on OCLC, etc.) – Note: Jim Malzewski is on OCLC’s committee on this topic.
Programs 12.
Try to generate problem solving information on the listserv – link to a place on WebJunction or more information, so we don’t get too much chatter that annoys people on the listserv. Use SurveyMonkey – i.e., what ideas do you have for “Dia de lost Ninos” – then summarize on WJ and send out a link.
PLA
ARSL
ABOS
COSLA
6/2009
website available
2. NETWORKS
What?
Who?
When?
Create a network of mentors
2008-09 Focus
Set up a group for consultants on the new WebJunction.
Programs 14.
Consider feasibility of a mentor program -experts that can be called upon on specific issues. (This one is left over from 2008 plan – committee can decide if/what to do)
ABOS ARSL WJ
begin now – in place summer 2009
Create a “go to” list of people with interest in small and rural libraries to act as advisors/speakers
2008-09 Focus
Set up a group for consultants on the new WebJunction.
Programs 14.
Consider feasibility of a mentor program -experts that can be called upon on specific issues. (This one is left over from 2008 plan – committee can decide if/what to do)
ABOS ARSL
WJ
begin now – in place summer 2009
3. RESEARCH
What?
Who?
When?
Comparative library funding by size
PLA?
10/2008
Economies by scale
PLA
10/2008
Funding opportunities for small and rural libraries/directory
B. Vavrek’s graduate students – CSRL
8/15/2008
Value of a national information policy
* How to fund public libraries
B. Vavrek
12/2008
4. TRAINING and EDUCATION
What?
Who?
When?
Core competencies for library management
• identify what’s available
• promote these resources
• identify and plug holes
Western Council
COSLA
WJ
12/15/2008 IMLS deadline
Complete by Summer 6/30/2011
Core competencies for external relations
• identify what’s available
• promote these resources
• identify and plug holes
PLA – Emerging Leaders
7/31/2009 if chosen
Identify and promote LIS programs that encourage public libraries especially small and rural libraries
ARSL @ ALISE
1/2009
5. FINANCIAL SUPPORT
What?
Who?
When?
Design a plan for a national funding mechanism to make training available to all workers in small and rural libraries.
Conference 16.
Consider a workshop or talk table to problem-solve a major issue (i.e., ILL; Cataloguing on OCLC, etc.) – Note: Jim Malzewski is on OCLC’s committee on this topic.
Plan A: Don to ask Pat Wagner
Plan B: Grant proposal from ARSL
Plan C: George to offer OCLC staff
No date given
Promote template on what libraries save individuals to small and rural libraries
ABOS
ARSL
OLOS
COSLA
12/2008
Underwrite, publish, and promote new studies on economic multiplier effect of small and rural libraries.
Don Reynolds ROI Comparative Chart and Resource List
ARSL
1st step – ARSL to identify current studies applicable to small and rural libraries
12/2008
2nd step – identify gaps
12/2011
DBR: 20 OCTOBER 2008

 

Print Clarion Final Report 2008


Board of Directors 2010 – 2011

Association for Rural and Small Libraries Board of Directors 2010 – 2011
(Election of July 2010) – revised 5/6/11

Past President
Timothy Owens (term exp ’11)
Library Consultant
State Library of North Carolina
109 East Jones Street
Raleigh NC
(919) 807-7424
Timothy.owens@ncdcr.gov

Andrea Berstler (term exp ’11)
Branch Manager
Henrietta Hankin Branch Library
215 Windgate Drive Chester Springs PA 19425
(610) 321-1707
aberstler@ccls.org

Lesley Boughton (term exp ’13)
State Librarian
Wyoming State Library
2800 Central Avenue
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001
(307) 777-5911
lesley.boughton@wyo.gov

Donna Brice (term exp ’11)
Director – Eastern Lancaster County Library
11 Chestnut Drive New Holland, PA 17557 (717) 354.0525
dbrice@elancolibrary.org

Jim Connor (term exp ’11)
President, Trustee College
816 Glenwood Avenue
Hastings, Nebraska 68901
(402) 461-6425
trusteecollege@msn.com

President
Sonja Plummer-Morgan
Director (term exp ’12)
Turner Memorial Library
39 2nd Street
Presque Isle ME 04769
(207) 764-2571
pimelibrarian@gmail.com

Louise Greene (term exp ’13)
Consultant
Rolling Prairie Lib. System
345 W. Eldorado Street
Decatur IL 62521
(217) 429-2586
louiseg@rpls.ws

Larry Grieco (2nd term exp ’12)
Director
Gilpin County Public Library
15131 Hwy. 119
Black Hawk, Colorado 80422
(303) 582-0161
lgrieco@co.gilpin.co.us

Tena Hanson (term exp ’12)
Library Director
Milford Memorial Library
1009 – 9th St.
Milford, IA 51351
(712) 338-4643
tenah@milfordlibrary.net

Vice Pres/President Elect
Becky Heil (term exp ’13)
1715 Scenic View Drive
Dubuque IA 52001
(563) 542-0519
Beckyh59@gmail.com

Dwight McInvaill (term exp ’12)
Director
Georgetown County Library
405 Cleland Street
Georgetown SC 29440
(843) 545-3304
dmcinvaill@georgetowncountysc.org

Alison Miller (term exp ’13)
Manager, ipl2 Reference Services, Drexel University
21 Gobel Street
Dundee NY 14837
(607) 243-8813
Milleru65@gmail.com

Jennifer Peterson (term exp ’13)
Community Mgr, WebJunction
220 W. Mercer Street Ste. 200
Seattle WA 98119
(206) 336-9214
petersoj@oclc.org

Steve Seale (term exp ’11)
4020 Old Orchard Dr.
Plano TX 75023
(469) 235-8032
333mudturtle@gmail.com

Convener
Carla Lehn
Library Programs Consultant
California State Library
900 N Street
Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 653-7743
clehn@library.ca.gov


Board of Directors 2009-2010

Association for Rural and Small Libraries
Board of Directors
2009 – 2010
(Election of July, 2009) – revised 8/26/09
Past President President Vice Pres/President-Elect
Patty Hector(term exp ‘10) Timothy Owens (term exp ‘11) Sonja Plummer-Morgan (term exp ’12)
Assistant System Director Consultant for Public Library Networking Director, Turner Memorial Library
NorthNet Library System Library Development Section Presque Isle, Maine
Santa Rosa, California North Carolina State Library (207) 764.2571
(707) 544.0142 ext. 103 Raleigh, North Carolina sonjaplummer@presqueisle.lib.me.us
pattynbc@sonic.net (919) 807.7424
timothy.owens@ncdcr.gov
Carolyn Ashcraft (term exp ‘10) Becky Heil(2nd term exp ‘12) Ex-officio - Editor, Rural Library 
State Librarian ARSL Treasurer Services Newsletter
Arkansas State Library Director Susan Hill Pieper, Director
Little Rock, Arkansas Dubuque County Library Sys Paulding County Library
(501) 682.1526 Farley, Iowa Paulding, Ohio
cashcraft@asl.lib.ar.us (563) 744.3577 (419) 399.2032
beckyh@dubcolib.lib.ia.us susanhillpieper@gmail.com
Andrea Berstler (term exp ’11) Dwight McInvaill(term exp ’12) Ex-officioALA?????
Branch Manager Director
Henrietta Hankin Branch Library Georgetown County Library
Chester Springs, Pennsylvania Georgetown, South Carolina
(610) 321.1707 (843) 545.3304
aberstler@ccls.org dmcinvaill@georgetowncountysc.org
Rose Chenoweth (term exp ‘10) Steve Seale (term exp ’11)
Library Development Consultant Continuing Education Consultant
Alliance Library System Northeast Texas Library System
East Peoria, Illinois Garland, Texas
(309) 694.9200 ext. 2110 (972) 205.2570
rmcheno122@gmail.com sseale@netls.org
Jim Connor (term exp ’11) Lynette Sloan(term exp ‘10)
President Director
Trustee College Fort Loudoun Regional Library Convener
Hastings, Nebraska Athens, Tennessee Carla Lehn
(402) 461.6425 (423) 745.5194 Library Programs Consultant
trusteecollege@msn.com lynette.sloan@state.tn.us California State Library
Sacramento, California
Larry Grieco (2nd term exp ‘12) (916) 653.7743
Director clehn@library.ca.gov
Gilpin County Public Library
Black Hawk, Colorado
(303) 582.0161
lgrieco@co.gilpin.co.us

Board of Directors 2008 – 2009

Association for Rural and Small Libraries
Board of Directors
2008 – 2009
(Election of July, 2008) – revised 6/29/09
Past President President Vice Pres/President-Elect
Don Reynolds(term exp ‘09) Patty Hector(term exp ‘10) Timothy Owens (term exp ‘11)
Director Assistant System Director Consultant for Public Library Networking
Nolichucky Regional Library North Bay, North State & Mtn Library Development Section
Morristown, Tennessee Valley Coop Lib Systems North Carolina State Library
(423) 586.6251 Santa Rosa, California Raleigh, North Carolina
Don.Reynolds@state.tn.us (707) 544.0142 ext. 103 (919) 807.7424
pattynbc@sonic.net timothy.owens@ncdcr.gov
Carolyn Ashcraft (term exp ‘10) Sonja Plummer-Morgan(term exp ’11) Ex-officioEditor,Rural Library
Services Newsletter
State Librarian Director, Turner Memorial library Susan Hill Pieper, Director
Arkansas State Library Presque Isle, Maine Paulding County Library
Little Rock, Arkansas (207) 764.257 Paulding, Ohio
(501) 682.1526 sonjaplummer@presqueisle.lib.me.us (419) 399.2032
cashcraft@asl.lib.ar.us susanhillpieper@gmail.com
Andrea Berstler (term exp ’11) Steve Seale (term exp ’11) Ex-officioALA, OLOS
Branch Manager Continuing Education Consultant Satia Orange 
Henrietta Hankin Branch Library Northeast Texas Library System Director, Office for Lit/Outreach Services
Chester Springs, Pennsylvania Garland, Texas American Library Association
(610) 321.1707 (972) 205.2570 Chicago, Illinois
aberstler@ccls.org sseale@netls.org (800) 545.2433 ext. 4295
sorange@ala.org
Rose Chenoweth (term exp ‘10) Lynette Sloan(term exp ‘10)
Library Development Consultant Director Ex-officio – WebJunction
Alliance Library System Fort Loudoun Regional Library Chrystie Hill
East Peoria, Illinois Athens, Tennessee Director, Community Services
(309) 694.9200 ext. 2110 (423) 745.5194 WebJunction
rchenoweth@alliancelibrarysystem.com lynette.sloan@state.tn.us Seattle, Washington
(206) 336.9204
Larry Grieco (term exp ‘09) Mary Pasek Williams (term exp ‘09) hillc@oclc.org
Director Department Head, Patron Services
Gilpin County Public Library Oak Lawn Public Library Convener
Black Hawk, Colorado Oak Lawn IL 60453 Carla Lehn
(303) 582.0161 (708) 422.4990 Library Programs Consultant
lgrieco@co.gilpin.co.us librarymrpwilliams@gmail.com California State Library
Sacramento, California
Becky Heil(term exp ‘09) (916) 653.7743
ARSL Treasurer clehn@library.ca.gov
Director
Dubuque County Library Sys
Farley, Iowa
(563) 744.3577
beckyh@dubcolib.lib.ia.us

Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries – September 2009

Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 1 of 15 -
Bylaws of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL)
Approved by Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Article 1. Name ……………………………………………………… 2
Article 2. Purpose …………………………………………………… 2
Article 3. Membership …………………………………………….. 2
Article 4. Meetings …………………………………………………. 3
Article 5. Board of Directors …………………………………….. 3
Article 6. Officers …………………………………………………… 5
Article 7. Committees ……………………………………………… 6
Article 8. Finances …………………………………………………. 7
Article 9. Parliamentary Authority …………………………….. 8
Article 10. Endorsements ………………………………………….. 9
Appendix A Library Bill of Rights ……………………………….. 10
Appendix B The Freedom to Read……………………………….. 11
Appendix C Freedom to View ……………………………………… 14
Appendix D Statement of Professional Ethics ……………….. 15
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 2 of 15 -
Article 1. Name The name of this association shall be the Association for Rural & Small Libraries, henceforth referred to as the “Association.”
Article 2. Purpose
The Association shall be a not-for-profit organization established under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law).
The mission of the Association is to provide a network of people and materials to support rural and small library staff, volunteers, and trustees to integrate the library thoroughly with the life and work of the community it serves.
The objectives of the Association are:
 To organize a network of members concerned about the growth and development of useful library services in rural and small libraries;
 To provide opportunities for the continuing education of members;
 To provide mechanisms for members to exchange ideas and to meet on a regular basis;
 To cultivate the practice of librarianship and to foster a spirit of cooperation among members of the profession, enabling them to act together for mutual goals;
 To serve as a source of current information about trends, issues, and strategies;
 To partner with other library and non-library groups and organizations serving rural and small library communities;
 To collect and disseminate information and resources that are critical to this network;
 To advocate for rural and small libraries at the local, state, and national levels.
Article 3. Membership
Membership in this Association shall be open to any person or institution interested in librarianship who subscribes to the purposes stated above and who pay annual dues.
Dues for membership shall be set each year by the Board of Directors and ratified by a majority vote of those members present and voting at the Association’s Annual Meeting. The membership year for the Association is January 1 through December 31. Each member shall be entitled to one vote at the Annual Meeting.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 3 of 15 -
Article 4. Meetings
The Association may hold as many meetings a year as it wishes, either electronically or in person.
The Annual Meeting of the membership shall be held at the Association’s Annual Conference. A written announcement of the date, time, and place shall be provided to members at least one month in advance. In the event that an Annual Conference is not held, the Board of Directors shall schedule an Annual Meeting either electronically or in person.
Other meetings of the membership may be called when deemed appropriate by the President or by petition of at least five members and approval of the Board of Directors. A quorum for any meeting shall consist of those in attendance. All meetings may be held in person, by teleconference, or electronically.
Article 5. Board of Directors.
Section 1. Number.
The Association shall be managed by a Board of Directors of twelve (12) members, one-third of whom shall be elected from among the Association’s active members for a three-year term at each Annual Meeting. Each year the Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate for Vice President/President-elect and three Board members. The Board may add ex-officio members as needed. [Paragraph revised 11 September 2009]
Only individuals are considered for election. Organizations may wish to designate an official representative who would then become eligible to serve as a Director.
Section 2. Terms of Office.
The term of office shall be for three (3) years. Board members will assume office at the close of the Annual Meeting immediately following their election and will serve a term of three years. Directors may be re-elected for one additional three-year term and then must rotate off the Board for at least one year.
Section 3. Duties.
The Board shall have the power to conduct business on behalf of the Association, including the appointment of committees, filing of reports, disbursement of funds, etc.
In addition, the Board shall fix the time and place of business meetings, make recommendations to the Association, and perform other duties as specified herein or by parliamentary authority. The Board will be subject to the orders of the Association, and none of its acts will conflict with action taken by the Association.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 4 of 15 -
Section 4. Powers.
The Board of Directors shall have sole power, on behalf of the Association, to incur indebtedness, solicit funding, make public statements, issue public writings, and establish and maintain relations with other organizations.
However, the Directors shall not be personally liable for the debts, liabilities or other obligations of the Association.
Section 5. Quorum and voting.
A quorum shall consist of a simple majority (7) of the Board. Resolutions of the Board shall be passed by the vote of a simple majority of its members present and voting.
Ex-officio members of the Board of Directors will not count toward a board quorum and will not retain the privilege of voting. [Paragraph revised 11 September 2009]
Section 6. Meetings.
There shall be a meeting of the Board at each Annual Meeting, and there shall be at least four (4) meetings of the Board called and convened between the Annual Meetings of the Association in person, by teleconference, or electronically, each of which will be made known to the membership. In other months the Officers may also meet in person, by teleconference, or electronically as needed and the budget permits.
Regular and additional meetings of the Board shall be called, and the time and place set, at the discretion of the President or six (6) voting members of the Board.
All meetings of the Board are open to members of the Association.
The Secretary shall take minutes of Association, Board and Executive Committee meetings and maintain the official record on file with the secretary’s papers. Copies of the minutes from all meetings shall be distributed to the entire membership within one month of the meeting date on the Association Listserv and posted on the web site. Minutes of Board meetings shall be distributed to Board members at least one week prior to the next Board meeting.
Section 7. Publication of resolutions.
The text of these Bylaws, and all major resolutions and policy decisions of the Association shall be published on the Association web page and listserv.
Section 8. Vacancies and removal.
Vacancies on the Board of Directors shall be filled during the year by appointment of the President with concurrence of the Officers for the remainder of the unexpired term.
A Board member who does not attend four (4) consecutive regularly scheduled meetings shall be removed from the Board. A member may also be removed for cause by a two-thirds vote of the Board present and voting.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 5 of 15 -
Article 6. Officers
Section 1. Members
The officers of the Association shall be the President, Vice President/President-elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Vacancies in any office shall be filled by the Board of Directors from their membership for the unexpired term.
Section 2. Terms of Office.
The President and Vice President of the Association shall be elected by the membership of the Association. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected by the Board of Directors from their membership at their first meeting during the Annual Meeting.
Section 3. Duties of officers.
The officers shall perform those duties assigned to them by these bylaws as well as the parliamentary authority of the Association.
President:
1. Prepares the agenda for Board meetings to be sent at least one week prior to the meeting.
2. Presides at the Board meetings and maintains order.
3. Expedites business compatible with the rights of those present.
4. Signs documents as necessary.
5. Appoints appropriate committees as needed.
Vice-President/President-elect:
1. Presides in the absence of the Chair.
2. Serves as member of the Annual Conference planning committee.
Secretary:
1. Takes minutes of all Association, Board, and Executive Committee meetings.
2. Distributes minutes from each meeting to all Board members within three (3) weeks and to the entire Association membership within one month of the meeting date through posting on the Association Listserv and web site. Minutes of Board meetings shall also be sent to Board members attached to the meeting agenda at least one week prior to the next Board meeting.
3. Reads the minutes of the last meeting (if required by the group).
4. Signs the minutes after they have been approved by the Board.
5. Maintains a record of all Association, Board and Executive Committee meetings as the official Association record on file with the secretary’s papers.
6. Signs documents with the President as necessary.
7. In the absence of the President and Vice-President, the Secretary will call the meeting to order with the first item of business being the election of a temporary chair for the meeting.
Treasurer:
1. Prepares and annual budget.
2. Keeps an accurate account of all financial transactions and makes a report to the Board at the regular scheduled Board meetings.
3. Files all reports with the Secretary for inclusion in the Association records.
4. Signs documents as necessary.
5. Serves as chair of a budget committee if formed.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 6 of 15 -
Section 4. Removal of Officers.
An officer may be removed for cause by a simple majority vote of the Board present and voting.
Article 7. Committees
Section 1. Executive Committee
The Board of Directors may, by a simple majority vote of its members, designate an Executive Committee consisting of the President, Vice President, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer, delegating to such committee the powers and authority of the Board in the management of the business and affairs of the Association, to the extent permitted, and except as may otherwise be provided, by provisions of law.
By a majority vote of its members, the Board may at any time revoke or modify any or all of the Executive Committee authority so delegated, increase or decrease but not below two(2) the number of the members of the Executive Committee, and fill vacancies on the Executive Committee from the members of the Board.
The Executive Committee shall keep regular minutes of its proceedings, distributing them to the full Board after each meeting and filing them with the Association records.
Section 2. Other Committees.
There shall be such committees as the Board of Directors will create or will be created by a simple majority vote of those present and voting at any meeting of the Board.
Members of the Board shall be assigned to chair and serve on these committees. Individuals from the Association membership who are not members of the Board may be invited to serve on these committees and shall act in an advisory capacity to the Board.
The Board shall appoint a Nominating Committee to prepare a slate for Vice President/President-elect and three members to be voted on prior to the Annual Meeting.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 7 of 15 -
Article 8. Finances
Section 1. Financial Year.
The financial year of the Association shall be January 1 through December 31. All expenditures shall be made with the approval of the Board of Directors, and paid by the Treasurer who shall be responsible for keeping a record of all financial transactions for the Association. An annual financial and program report shall be provided to the Board and membership at the Annual Meeting.
Section 2. Activities Restricted.
No part of the net earnings of the Association will inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, Board of Directors, officers or other private persons, except those the Association will be authorized and empowered to make reasonable compensation for services rendered to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the Association’s purposes [see Article 2 above], including distributions to other such organizations under Section 501(c)(6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).
No substantial part of the activities of the Association will be attempting to influence legislation, and the Association shall not participate in, or intervene in, including the publishing or distribution of statements or any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
Notwithstanding any other provision of these Bylaws, the Association will not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law) or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law).
Section 3. Dissolution.
Upon any dissolution, voluntary or involuntary, revocation of its charter, insolvency or bankruptcy of the Association, the Board of Directors will, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all of the liabilities of the Association, dispose of all of the remaining assets of the Association by donation to be determined. [Section revised 11 September 2009]
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 8 of 15 -
Article 9. Parliamentary Procedure
The rules contained in the Special Parliamentary Procedures for Small Boards in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. (Scott Foresman, 1990) will govern the Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are consistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order the Association may adopt.
“Procedure in small Boards. In a Board meeting where there are not more than about a dozen members present, some of the formality that is necessary in a large assembly would hinder business. The rules governing such meetings are different from the rules that hold in assemblies, in the following respects:
Members are not required to obtain the floor before making motions or speaking, which they can do while seated.
Motions do not need to be seconded.
There is no limit to the number of times a member can speak to a question, and motions to close or limit debate generally should not be entertained.
Informal discussion of a subject is permitted while no motion is pending.
Sometimes, when a proposal is perfectly clear to all present, a vote can be taken without a motion’s having been introduced. Unless agreed to by general consent, however, all proposed actions of a Board must be approved by vote under the same rules as in an assembly, except that a vote can be taken initially by a show of hands, which is often a better method in such meetings.
The chairman need not rise while putting questions to vote.
The chairman can speak in discussion without rising or leaving the chair; and, subject to rule or custom within the particular Board (which should be uniformly followed regardless of how many members are present), he usually can make motions and usually votes on all questions.”
Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
Scott Foresman, 1990. pp.405-6.
Section 2. Voting.
The majority of the members voting will decide general and special elections.
Only members in good standing will be permitted the privilege of voting. [Section revised 11 September 2009]
Section 3. Amendments.
These Bylaws may be changed or amended by a two-thirds majority vote of those members present and voting at the Annual Meeting of the Association, or by an electronic or online vote of two-thirds majority of the members registered and voting.
Notice of these changes must be given to the membership at least two weeks in advance of the meeting when the vote is taken or electronic notification of an electronic or online vote will be emailed at least two weeks in advance of any vote taken. Electronic or online voting will be concluded within a 2 week timeframe from day online polls open until vote is concluded.
[Section revised 11 September 2009]
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 9 of 15 -
Article 10. Endorsements.
The Association endorses the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association, the Freedom to Read, the Freedom to View, and the Statement of Professional Ethics of the American Library Association. The texts of these statements can be found in the Appendix. [Section added 11 September 2009]
Date Adopted by the Membership of the Association: 21 August 2007.
Date of adoption of the proposed 16 June 2009 revisions: 11 September 2009.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 10 of 15 -
Appendix A
LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted by the ALA Council June l8, l948;
Amended February 2, l961; June 28,1967; January 23, l980; and inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 11 of 15 -
Appendix B
THE FREEDOM TO READ
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as citizens devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow citizens.
We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in this task. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.
Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings. The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 12 of 15 -
Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.
We therefore affirm these propositions:
1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.
Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any expression the prejudgment of a label characterizing it or its author as subversive or dangerous.
The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for the citizen. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 13 of 15 -
6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.
It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive.
7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.
The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all citizens the fullest of their support.
We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.
This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the
Westchester Conference of the American Library Association
and the American Book Publishers Council,
which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.
Adopted June 25, 1953.
Amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004
by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 14 of 15 -
Appendix C
FREEDOM TO VIEW
The Freedom to View, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore, we affirm these principles:
l. It is in the public interest to provide the broadest access to films and other audiovisual materials because they have proven to be among the most effective means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.
2. It is in the public interest to provide for our audiences, films and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.
3. It is our professional responsibility to resist the constraint of labeling of prejudging a film on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.
4. It is our professional responsibility to contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public’s freedom to view.
This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee
of the American Film and Video Association
(formerly the Educational Film Library Association)
and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979.
This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.
Endorsed by the ALA Council, January 10, 1990.
Bylaws of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Approved by ARSL Membership E-Ballot – 21 August 2007;
Revisions Approved at Annual Membership Meeting – 11 September 2009
- 15 of 15 -
Appendix D
Statement of Professional Ethics
I. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
II. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
III. We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
IV. We recognize and respect intellectual property rights.
V. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
VI. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
VII. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representations of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
VIII. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.
Adopted by the American Library Association June 28, 1995.


ASSOCIATION FOR RURAL AND SMALL LIBRARIES APPOINTS TWO NEW MEMBERS TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 3, 2011 CONTACT: Carla Lehn (916) – 653 – 7743 clehn@library.ca.gov
ASSOCIATION FOR RURAL AND SMALL LIBRARIES APPOINTS TWO NEW MEMBERS TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LEXINGTON, KY – The President of The Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL), Sonja Plummer-Morgan, recently announced the appointment of two new members to the Board of Directors. Tena Hanson, Library Director, Milford Memorial Library in Milford, IA and Donna Brice, Library Director, Eastern Lancaster County Library in New Holland, PA join the Board in serving to work towards ARSL’s mission of supporting rural and small libraries. ARSL’s goal is to provide networks of people and materials to assist libraries to integrate with the lives and work of their communities.
Hanson brings broad experience to the Board as the Public Relations Officer of the Iowa Small Library Association (ISLA) in 2006 – 2009 – a pivotal time of successful revitalization. She is currently on the Iowa Library Association (ILA) Executive Board; a Special Projects Consultant for an Iowa Area Council; and chair of the Virtual Exhibit Hall of the Iowa Small Libraries Online Conference. “In a state with over 500 public libraries, we believe and live by the idea that we are the sole providers of a wide variety of services, and do our best to meet the needs of our communities,” says the library director. The library which Hanson manages has served its community since 1932.
Brice has worked in library management for twelve years, the past three as the director in Eastern Lancaster County. She served on the 2010 ARSL Conference Committee. “Small and rural libraries are the bedrock of our communities,” she says. Her description is supported by the list of winter activities in the Eastern Lancaster library, such as: weekly Employment
workshops, classes on online health resources for Seniors, and a winter read-a-thon. Brice says
she is “forward thinking and excited by new ventures.”
The two new directors have already begun work. Brice, in fact, is Co-Chair of the
Vendor/Sponsorship Committee for the 2011 ARSL Conference to be held on September 8-10 in
Frisco, Texas. A key goal, according to Brice, is to increase the number of vendors. “A lot of
library people come to conferences just to visit with the vendors. It makes for a more enjoyable
experience,” she says.
Hanson offers her strong background in developing strategic plans to best meet the needs of the
often isolated small and rural libraries. She notes that a strong association allows networking,
sharing ideas, and helping overcome the isolation. “I’m excited to be part of the group effort,”
she says.
ARSL is a network of persons throughout the country dedicated to the positive growth and
development of libraries. The organization believes in the value of rural and small libraries and
strives to create resources and services that address national, state, and local priorities for the
libraries. Learn more at http://www.arsl.info/.
# # # # #


2007 – Programs & Handouts

The following links will download documents to your computer. Note that some of these documents are Microsoft Office in origin and will require Word and PowerPoint to be installed on your computer to view. Other documents utilize Adobe Reader (noted as ‘PDF’). Those can be viewed by downloading Adobe Reader onto your computer for free.

See additional recordings and handouts from the conference hosted on the Rural Initiative website.


Minutes Thursday, November 3, 2011

Opening:  The meeting of the Board of Directors of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries was called to order at 1:04 p.m. Pacific; 2:04 p.m. Mountain; 3:04 p.m. Central; 4:04 p.m. Eastern on November 3, 2011 through WebEx by Becky Heil, President.
Present:
Andrea Berstler, Lesley Boughton, Louise Greene, Larry Grieco, Becky Heil, Paul Healey, Carla Lehn, Alison Miller, Sharon Michie, Jennifer Peterson, Sonja Plummer-Morgan, Steve Seale, Lorie Womack
Absent: Donna Brice, Larry Grieco, Tena Hanson, Dwight McInvaill

Quorum Present:  Yes

Others Present: none

A.   Consent Agenda

Lesley Boughton explained that financial statements were received every month within ten days of closing.  Lesley presented the current financial statement which was for September 2011.

Approval for minutes from March 21, 2011 and May 16, 2011 was discussed and postponed until January 2012.

Paul Healey moved to approve minutes for the September 12, 2011 meeting and the current financial statements.  Lorie Womack seconded.  Motion carried.

B.   President’s Report

AMR Contract Update

Becky Heil examined difference between last year’s contract with AMR and this year’s contract.  This year’s contract for financial services eliminates intercessions with the IRS, adds a hard copy membership mailing, identifies additional conference duties for registration, one staff member to attend a board meeting, name badges for the annual conference and attendance roster.  The charge for this year’s contract will be $9,768, a difference of $2000 more from last year.

Lesley Boughton asked for clarification of the Membership Services Committee expenses that were requested. Louise Greene asked for clarification of the percentage increase over last year’s contract.  Paul Healey questioned whether the additional expenses were justified.  Sonja Plummer-Morgan questioned justification of conference registration desk expenses.  Paul Healey questioned the added value of the services.

Paul Healey moved to accept the contract with the 2% increase over last year’s but without additional expenses.  Discussion followed to clarify if the Membership Services Committee would receive the allotted funds as opposed to AMR for assistance at the conference.

Becky Heil reiterated that the new contract incorporated this year’s work plan by adding a follow up hard copy letter and mailing to members, sending an account executive to the annual conference, and preparing name badges and an attendance roster.

The motion was tabled.

Paul Healey made an amended motion to accept the contract with all proposed additions except sending an account executive to the annual conference. Louise Greene seconded the amended motion. It was acknowledged that the new contract may cost slightly more than the 2% increase previously approved by the board. Motion carried.

 

Appointment of Sharon Michie as Volunteer Coordinator

Sharon Michie explained that she cannot accept the position this year due to work responsibilities.  She remained open to future appointments.

It was agreed to send the volunteer coordinator idea back to the Membership Services Committee.

DRAFT Committee Volunteer List

Carla Lehn requested that additions/changes to the volunteer list be sent to her.

 

Quarterly Committee Chair Meetings

Jennifer Peterson noted that project based needs should dictate when another meeting is added to responsibilities.

It was agreed that it will be up to committee chairs to identify the necessity for additional meetings.

Approval of updated Strategic Plan

Jennifer Peterson questioned whether creating a public relations policy and plan was a feasible charge for her committee.  Discussion ensued of the distinction between public relations functions and official board statements and where those duties could be charged.  Agreement was reached to transfer this part of the plan to Executive Committee tasks.

Jennifer Peterson moved to accept the Strategic Plan with this amendment.  Paul Healey seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

Dropbox

It was agreed that Dropbox was a functional tool for board documents.  Jennifer Peterson requested moving meeting documents into a meeting folder and further organization.  Carla Lehn offered to organize Dropbox documents with assistance from Becky Heil.

Board Meeting Dates

The January 5,2012 meeting date was set with agreement to conduct a Doodle poll for Mondays, Tuesdays or Fridays for succeeding meetings.

  1. C.   Executive Committee Report

Recommendation on General Liability Insurance || Recommendation on Directors & Officers Insurance

Paul Healey explained that new premium quotes were needed for general liability insurances as the previous quotes had likely expired or were invalid.  A distinction was made between claims versus instances.  It was clarified that tails would apply to currently serving board members and not to former board members whose terms had expired.

Becky Heil confirmed the Executive Committee recommends Great American for Directors and Officers insurance.

Jennifer Peterson moved to accept the Executive Committee recommendation with an updated quote for the premium. Lorie Womack seconded. Carla Lehn clarifies the motion that Great American would be the selected carrier for Directors and Officers insurance. Motion carried.

Paul Healey explains that AMR has general liability insurance to cover all organizations under contract and that limits are shared among clients.  The quotes are in Dropbox.  It was discussed that AMR could carry ARSL on general liability since ARSL doesn’t have risk for employees or a facility.

Paul Healey moved to revisit general liability insurance in one year and allow AMR insurance to carry ARSL for this year. Lesley Boughton seconded the motion. Motion carried.

 

  1. D.   Treasurer’s Report   

Leslie Boughton presented a draft budget and asked for clarification of the fees for Constant ContactJennifer Peterson clarified the purpose of the budget line.  A question was raised about using the funds for other items.  Leslie Boughton explained that the draft budget shows $14,000 deficit in revenues received and that additional revenue is not expected.  The hotel bill for the conference is shown as $23,000 but portions will be paid by organizations that used the conference venue, some expenses would be distributed to other budget lines.  The question was raised about adding anticipated grant funds in this year’s budget even though the funds had not been confirmed or disbursed.

It was agreed that a vote on the budget would take place at the January 5, 2012 meeting when updated information would be included in the budget.

  1. E.    Conference Committee Update

Becky Heil reported for Andrea Berstler. The contract with the Sheraton, Raleigh had been signed, the Conference Committee was set with many volunteers, and a Conference Committee meeting was scheduled in the near future.

  1. F.    Update on Washington D.C. Trip

Steve Seale reported that he met with Karen Perry from the Gates Foundation and attended meetings with representatives from Schools, Hospitals, Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB), and various state libraries.  Meetings centered on serving the connectivity needs of anchoring institutions. Steve reported hearing that the quality of internet/broadband connectivity was the highest priority among rural librarians and the factor that made the most difference in library operations. ARSL presence was well-received.  Steve spent most of his time attending meetings about the FCC Connect America Fund Goal – to provide universal broadband availability to anchor institutions in rural areas.  Steve explained the close relationship between the Gates Foundation and SHLB.

  1. G.   Partnerships Committee

Sonja Plummer-Morgan reported on the Seattle conference and the discussion with Karen Perry of the Gates Foundation and its relationship with SHLB.  Sonja Plummer-Morgan moved to purchase an ARSL SHLB membership.  Motion carried.

Sonja confirmed that board corrections were being incorporated into the Gates Foundation grant proposal and that she would send the amended proposal to the board when it was finished.  She confirmed that the grant had been verbally assured and that it would be for approximately $30,000 each year for a period of three years.  She explained that 501c3 status could be expedited but that the Gates Foundation was willing to fund when that status had been attained.

Sonja motioned to accept the grant proposal as it stood with promised modifications so that the November 11 submission deadline could be met.  She outlined that the changes would be incorporated, the amended proposal would be deposited in Dropbox for board inspection, the Partnership Committee would approve the changes, and that Becky Heil would sign it and that it would be submitted by November 11, 2011.  Motion carried.

Sonja reported that the partnership committee was focused on Gates and UNT as partners and that the Gale proposal should be respectfully declined for reasons of a lack of capacity at this time.  Sonja would deposit of letter of declination in Dropbox for inspection.

Sonja moved the partnership with UNT remain in the exploration phase but that further time was needed to explore the structure of a partnership.  Motion carried.

  1. H.   Member Development Committee

Jennifer Peterson described upcoming webinars and programs and referred to the committee report in Dropbox.

  1. I.      Membership Services Committee

In Tena Hanson’s absence, Jennifer Peterson called for a vote to send the 2nd membership renewal notice by mail to members for the approximate sum of $400.  Sonja Plummer-Morgan moved; Paul Healey seconded.  The motion carried.

  1. J.    Policy Review

Paul Healey reviewed the Logo Policy and moved the policy be accepted as it stands.  Motion carried.

The next policy to be reviewed will be Board Member Travel.

 Recap of Actions to be Taken

Becky Heil: Organize Drop Box, request updated insurance quotes, send Volunteer Coordinator position back to committee, amend AMR contract, review and sign Gates Foundation grant proposal, amend Strategic Plan, Doodle Poll

Carla Lehn: update Drop Box, volunteer list

Lesley Boughton: update financial reports

Paul Healey: review Board Member Travel policy

Sonja Plummer-Morgan: adjust Gates Foundation grant proposal, submit, compose letter of decline to Gale

Executive Committee: create Public Relation Plan and Policy

 

Next Board Meeting

January 5, 2012     Thursday   4 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT/1 p.m. ET

 

Public Comments: None

New Business: None

Meeting adjourned: 4:40pm

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Louise W. Greene, Secretary

_______________________

 

 


Minutes September 12, 2011

Opening:  The meeting of the Board of Directors of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries was called to order at 9:00 a.m. on September 12, 2011 in Frisco, TX by Becky Heil, President.

Present:  Andrea Berstler, Lesley Boughton, Louise Greene, Larry Grieco, Tena Hanson, Becky Heil, Paul Healey, Carla Lehn, Jennifer Peterson, Steve Seale, Lorie Womack

Absent:  Donna Brice, Dwight McInvaill, Alison Miller, Sharon Michie, Sonja Plummer-Morgan

Quorum Present?  Yes

Others Present: Don Reynolds, former president of ARSL, retired

A.    Election of Board Treasurer and Board Secretary

Andrea Berstler moved to elect Lesley Boughton as Treasurer and Louise Greene as Secretary.  Tena Hanson seconded.  No discussion.  Motion carried.

B.   Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting July 18, 2011 were unanimously approved as distributed.  Andrea Berstler moved; Lesley Boughton seconded.  No discussion.  Motion carried.

C.   Treasurer’s Report

Andrea Berstler distributed four pages of financial reports produced by AMR for board discussion. Discussion ensued on report structure; discussion of further breakdown of fees; questions about fees and where total line items are disbursed. Consensus reached that some transaction reports from AMR be requested for clarification.  Lesley Boughton, as Treasurer, will contact AMR.  Discussion whether AMR contract will remain in place at the same rate and of timeline for contract renewal; investigate future conference board meeting presence of AMR personnel, review satisfaction with conference registration experience.  Jennifer Peterson moved that board will review online conference registration software and membership experience with AMR.  Lesley Boughton seconded.  Motion carried.  Andrea Berstler moved that annual contract with AMR be renewed unless the annual cost to ARSL exceeds a 2% increase.  Jennifer Peterson seconded.  Motion carried. Paul Healey moved to approve Treasurer’s Report.  Tena Hanson seconded. Motion carried. Action: Becky Heil will follow up with AMR on online conference registration experience.  Paul Healey will examine existing and new AMR contract language.  Andrea Berstler added that ARSL has not yet been through an audit cycle.

D.   President’s Agenda

  1. Reviewed relationship with AMR.  Becky Heil will verify with AMR the line of communication between AMR office and board members.
  2. Board Member Description. Discussion of Board Member Job Description Art 5. Section 8 of By-Laws and Board Member Responsibility number 3 in description document (participation in regular board meetings). Discussion of role of ex-officio members. No action at this time.
  3. Committee Chair Description. Discussion tabled.
  4. Board Work Processes.  Lorie Womack requested a TO DO List following board meetings.  Louise Greene requested timely conclusion of board meetings.  Consensus reached that board meetings last 1.5 hours unless otherwise noted in advance.  Lesley Boughton requested Executive Committee Meeting minutes be distributed to entire Board.  Paul Healey will investigate group document work space.  Consensus reached that members be on time for meetings.  Louise Greene recommended new member orientation be formalized.  Consensus reached that Board visibility be heightened.  Proposed logo policy discussed.  Paul Healey will review and agreed to be Ad Hoc Policy Review Committee Chair. Discussion of creating a brochure for distribution. Discussion about which services are available to ARSL as an ALA affiliate.  Discussion of Board business cards.  Carla Lehn reminded committee chairs of conference call number availability.  Steve Seale moved to discontinue press release services of volunteer ARSL member.  Discussion of role of public relations functions within committee structure.  Motion withdrawn.  Jennifer Peterson will investigate press release functions within the Member Services Committee.  Consensus reached that agenda for Board meeting be posted on ARSL list-serv and that a telephone number be published for member participation in comment session.
  5. Discussion of Directors’ Liability Insurance Policy.  Discussion on previous quotes for policy premiums.  Lesley Boughton requested policy be put in place as soon as possible.  Consensus reached that new avenues be explored for liability policy.  Becky Heil will discuss with AMR.

 

E.    Membership Committee Report

Tena Hanson reported on membership dues structure, levels of membership, benefits.  Discussion about $10.00 donation embedded in Premier Membership dues voluntarily sent to conference scholarship fund.  Ways to recognize members who donate to fund were listed.  Jennifer Peterson moved that $10.00 donation in Premier Membership option be retained.  Larry Grieco seconded.  Motion carried.  Discussion of member newsletter.  Lesley Boughton recommended newsletter be consistently published on schedule and distributed to the entire membership through website.

F.    Partnership Committee Project Update

Larry Grieco indicated additional information on the NSF grant and ALA Public Programs Committee work will be forthcoming for the next Board meeting.

G.   Committees Meetings

Consensus reached that committees would meet in the even numbered months.  Becky Heil urged committee chairs to consider budget requests as well as volunteer roles among membership to accomplish organization tasks.

H.   Recap of Actions to be Taken

Becky Heil: Discussion with Alison Miller, Dwight McInvaill, Sharon Michie on board roles and duties; AMR on liability insurance for director, expanded financial reports, member registration experience, contract renewal, conference board meeting presence. Position letters (2). Follow BMGF grant process, represent ARSL with BMGF in Washington, D.C.

Paul Healey: will review all current and future policies. Paul will look at DropBox

Carla Lehn: will send Paul all policies. Assemble Board Retreat discussion for strategic planning and distribute, assemble remarks from membership about conference experience

Andrea Berstler: conference contact follow up, partners at NC State Library, DropBox orientation

Jennifer Peterson: Marketing webinar on 9.20.11, newsletter for conference wrapup, set up editorial calendar.

Larry Grieco: follow up ALA public programs and NSF

Lesley Boughton: Contact AMR in preparation on budget for January meeting; will report at executive committee in October.

Tena Hanson: brochures, membership campaign, traveling exhibit

Steve Seale: conference wrap up, represent ARSL with BMGF in Washington, D.C.

Lorie Womack: recording duties for Conference Manual

Louise Greene: continue UNT partnership exploration

Meeting Adjourned:  12 p.m. Noon, Becky Heil, President

Next Board Meetings:

November 3, 2011 Thursday   4 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT/1 p.m. ET

January 5, 2012     Thursday   4 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT/1 p.m. ET

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Louise W. Greene, Secretary

_______________________

 

 PRINT

 

 


Mark your calendars!

The 2012 ARSL Annual Conference will be help in Raleigh, North Carolina on September 28, 29 and 30, 2012.  It will be in the Sheraton Raleigh located downtown, within easy walking distance to restaurants, museums and other entertainment.  More details will be announced soon, but be sure to mark the dates on your calendar today.


2011 ARSL Scholarship Recipient Experience (and why you should attend next year)

I was very lucky to have been selected as the Ken Davenport Scholarship recipient for the ARSL 2011 Conference held in Frisco, Texas. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to be part of something I had never experienced. My experience was eventful, fun, and slightly overwhelming. Not overwhelming in a bad way, but overwhelming in the sense that I walked away with about a million new ideas and stories that I wanted to share.

In addition to working in a smaller library, I am also an Information Technology Rural Librarians Master’s Scholarship (also known as ITRL) Program Recipient at the University of Tennessee. The scholarship is made possible by the Rural Library Professionals as Change Agents in the 21st Century Grant provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. I mention that, because there were really two reasons I felt that this conference was important for me to attend. It aligned perfectly with my current education focus and could help me in my current library position as the Information Specialist at the Lumpkin County Library in Dahlonega, Georgia.

The group sessions were everything from inspirational to entertaining. Linda Braun spoke to us about moving forward and being willing to leave things behind as libraries move toward being a community center and less of a book repository. Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes, otherwise known as the two guys behind the comic strip ‘Unshelved,’ reminded us of the humor that can be found in the daily life of working in a library.

My favorite part of the conference was the variety of breakout sessions offered. This gave each individual the ability to explore different topics that were appealing to them or their library situation. These topics covered everything from grant writing tips, adult programming with no money, library signage, and getting teens in the library. And trust me, that is in no way an extensive list of topics. The breakout sessions were well run and presenters were excited to share whatever lessons they could pass along.

But even if there had been no group sessions and no breakout sessions I still would have walked away with more library knowledge than I showed up with. Having the opportunity to speak and interact with librarians who are in similar library situations as your own is an experience in itself. Bring up one topic, such as computer classes at the library and you immediately get 10 responses from 10 different people. Everyone comes willing to share about how things happen at their library. You learn very quickly that there are multiple ways to do one thing at a library and believe me there are ideas out there that have never crossed your mind.

I hope everyone takes full opportunity of the 2012 Conference – which I believe will be in Raleigh, North Carolina. Please pass the word around about ARSL. It is an amazing organization that works hard for the members and offers so much in the way of learning and growth. If you have never attended an ARSL conference before, please take the opportunity to apply for a scholarship for the 2012 Conference. Come to share or come to learn – you will end up walking away from your experience having done both.

Thank you again to ARSL for the scholarship opportunity and for presenting an awesome conference. Hope to see you next year!

Angela Glowcheski
Lumpkin County Library, Dahlonega, GA
angela.glowcheski@gmail.com