As in past years, many ARSL attendees were fortunate to receive scholarship funds to attend the conference by organizations within their state. A special thank you to those Conference Scholarship Providers for 2011 who made the conference a possibility for so many attendees!
The seven regional library systems in the state of Kansas have provided scholarships AND transportation to ARSL’s annual conference since the 2009 conference in Gatlinburg, TN. We asked them to share a bit about their bus adventures.
The day began with a picture, a birthday request from Wendy Mitchell, Director of Clay Center Carnegie Library in Clay Center, who asked everyone to pose in their Kansas Geek the Library t-shirts. They celebrated her birthday with cupcakes on the way to the conference! Wendy is in the front row, furthest right.
Kim Rutter shared:
SEKLS pays for the bus cost for everyone in our region who wants to go to ARSL. In addition, we have four $400 scholarships to cover conference costs for library staff who sign up first and $150 scholarships to help with expenses for later enrollees. People who are going to ARSL for the first time get first shot at the big scholarships. In spite of the bus breakdown on the way back from Gatlinburg, in the first year of the magic bus, library directors and staff in Southeast Kansas have continued to board the bus to Denver and to Frisco and have benefited from the camaraderie with their counterparts from around the state. Nothing like spending 7-8 hours on a bus together to forge friendships! I highly recommend this mode of travel to other states: our bus dropped us off right at the front door of the hotel with our luggage. No baggage being dragged over tarmac, no luggage carousels to wait on, no airport shuttles or taxis to cope with…did you notice how the Kansas people just rolled right off that bus and straight into the gaming mixer? We might not have had the reputation as party animals before now, but all this bus travel has changed that!
Carol Barta shared:
NCKLS scholarships cover registration only, so our librarians appreciate the bargain of riding the bus. And did you know that buses are the most environmentally friendly way to travel long distances? They are even greener than trains. And the bus driver had decorated the bus with bunting and flags in honor of 9/11 and our trip home.
The best thing about riding the bus is having someone else drive. We didn’t have to pay attention to where we were, or stress about finding exits and reading maps. We arrived without being worn out from travel and even got a nap or two on the way home. Though we did practically meet our quotas of talking for the week on the bus alone.
And what better way to build bonds between librarians in your state! These Kansas librarians connect and collaborate throughout the year based on the connections they make on the bus. But as Chris Rippel from CKLS shared, in some cases, “What happens on the bus, stays on the bus.”
Thank you to all our Kansas ARSL members! We may not see the Kansas bus make it all the way to North Carolina next year, but perhaps another state will step up and fill a bus?!