Archive for 2011

ARSL Conference Raises Hopes and Concerns

[Jeff D. Saunders was one of this year’s ARSL Conference Scholarship Winners. Thank you Jeff, for the excellent post!]

In my application essay for the Bernard Vavrek Scholarship the big justification I had for attending the ARSL 2011 Conference was sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas relating to our work at the Information Institute on the North Florida Broadband Authority (NFBA) and Florida Rural Broadband Alliance (FRBA) Middle Mile Projects. While NFBA and FRBA are more concerned with bringing better Internet connection speeds to rural Florida, the Institute’s task was a needs assessment of different community anchor institutions, libraries, schools, police departments, etc. and to give recommendations on how NFBA and FRBA could tailor their programs to get said anchor institutions to adopt broadband connections.

Of course, in the process we happen to get a pretty good picture of the state of technology use in rural and small libraries throughout Florida. So I must admit I had an ulterior motive for attending the ARSL conference, to gauge the situation at other rural and small libraries across the country. Through the presentation panels and conversations with some wonderful librarians I came away feeling a lot better about the world as most told me they recieved E-rate, had technology plans, were part of some type of consortium to pool resources for technology, and understood how free access to technology at their library provided a huge value to their community.

What was most concerning was the fact many believed it didn’t matter what value or impact the library had on the community to local administrators or politicians. Some noted the fact that despite the overwhelming support from the community and evidence of the importance of the library, funding got cut anyway. It is something that is downplayed, or not mentioned at all, in library schools today. The fact that despite best efforts and overwhelming empirical evidence libraries, especially rural and small libraries that are the backbone of public libraries in this country, are vulnerable to political ideologies.

We like to think we live in a time when access to information and continuing education for all are accepted as basic needs. Of course, all you have to do is turn on Fox News and you can see that is not the case. Libraries find themselves in a constant political battle with those who do not understand the purpose for them or the role they play in the community, one that everyone I talked to either mentioned or had an opinion on. It is also something that is not mentioned in library schools. Professors, at least most, shy away from explicit discussion about politics and the way it affects libraries. While it was normally the first topic of conversation with the librarians I had the pleasure of meeting at ARSL.

In terms of specific things I took away from the conference, the comments of one Director at the “Small but Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library,” panel who noted the lack of an IT standards system for libraries. This is something extremely interesting to me as I spent the summer hearing pretty much the exact same thing from library directors in Florida. Why there are no standards for the types of technology in libraries is due to a number of factors. For one it is difficult to say what is best for all libraries given the different contexts, situtations, and communities libraries exist in. Second, the power of who decides what the standard is, or more importantly what vendors’ product will be the standard, is a highly contentious proposition. For example, you can imagine the controversy it would cause if the ALA set the standard OPAC system with one company and not another. However, providing general guidelines on what kind of connection speed a library of a certain size should have or the most advantageous number of computers for a library that serves a certain population size are more general questions that do need answering. These are also questions that will be largely answered through forces far outside of the libary’s control.

Libraries are somewhat caught in a shifting paradigm as they become more centered around technology and a new service role. It is unclear, especially to those like me just entering the field, how things will shake out. But I am certain of one thing after my attendance at ARSL, rural libraries are extremely adaptable, more so than their larger urban counterparts, and will profit most from their dedicated and highly skilled staff. When I tell other MLIS students I am interested in working in rural and small libraries they often give me a quizzical look and immediately ask, “but why?” It is pretty understandable. Most in my generation are more concerned with getting a high paying job in some city somewhere and library students are no exception. However, after attending ARSL I am more than ever enthusiastic about joining the rural and small library community.

Jeff D. Saunders
Research Associate
Information Use Management and Policy Institute
The Florida State University
Master’s Student
School of Library and Information Science
College of Communication and Information
The Florida State University

Kansas comes to ARSL on the bus, again!

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.

ARSL 2011 Kansas Bus

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?!

Shoe Shopping with Librarians

[Thank you to Jan Williams, Director of the Russell Public Library, Kansas, for her guest blog post!]

I recently attended the ARSL (Association for Rural and Small Libraries) Conference in Frisco, TX. I was fortunate to attend several very helpful and informative sessions which I know will help me and my staff be the best library we can be.

But the most important thing I learned wasn’t in one of the sessions or talking to one of the presenters. I learned a very important lesson shopping for shoes.

I have very small feet and finding shoes that fit has always been a challenge for me. One of my goals during my off-time was to find a pair of decent shoes to replace the worn-out, uncomfortable ones I was wearing.

The first night of shopping at the mall produced nothing but sore feet while on my quest for shoes. Several of my colleagues offered help but I found nothing within my price range.

The second night, I had only forty-five minutes in which to find the elusive perfect shoe before the mall closed. One of the librarians discovered that one of the department stores was having a big shoe sale so four of my CKLS colleagues got it in their heads that we were going to find shoes no matter what!

One of our system consultants was amazing as she swooped through the aisles honing in on perfect shoes. I’m sure the sales people thought me someone very important to have all these people helping me. I finally found some shoes but I also learned a very important lesson.

Librarians are in the business of helping. Every one of those women that were shopping with me were like bloodhounds on the trail. They were determined to find what they were looking for and weren’t going to give up until they found it. They did that for me and I know that’s what they do for their patrons because that’s the kind of people they are.

Aren’t all of us like that? Isn’t that why we do what we do? The nature of a librarian is to help; not giving up until we squeeze every bit of information out of whatever source we have. It is essential to make our patrons feel important by going above and beyond to find what they need.

That attitude, that drive, and that thirst for knowledge will always be needed and appreciated by our patrons and by our communities. That is what will keep libraries vital and thriving into the twenty-first century and beyond.

Jan Williams
September 2011

Member Power

One of the highlights of our year as an organization is always the conference.  The opportunity to see old friends and the possibility for making new ones creates an excitement that cannot be duplicated by other events.  Perhaps because we are a association of library staff who are, for the most part, isolated during the year, or perhaps because our work in small communities gives us insight into the power of face-to-face networking, the conference is always a big deal.  I cannot encourage you strongly enough to do what you can to be there.

But beyond the 3 days that make up the annual conference, I encourage you to become active in this, your organization; for this is your organization.  A place where those serving as a vital element in the life of their community can communicate, and sometimes commiserate, about their situations.  Where you can “pick the collective brain” for solutions, and resources from those who are doing what you are doing, in the next town down the road.  ARSL is an organization for you, powered by it’s members.

At the conference and for several weeks after, we will be issuing a call for committee members. As a growing organization, with an all volunteer board, we rely on the help and participation of our members.  If you are in Texas for the conference, stop by the table we will have set up with committee information and see what part you can play.  If you cannot come to Texas, look for that same message over the listserv.  There is a piece to this puzzle that has your name on it. Get involved.  It is the best way to assure that the ARSL remains your organization, carrying your message and speaking with the voice of rural librarians everywhere.

But can you afford to not be there?

My library, like libraries everywhere, has had to evaluate and re-evaluate and re-re-evaluate where we are putting our money.  One of the pluses to dwindling funds is that it forces you to select what is truly important, which of your community’s needs are of utmost priority?  Programs, collections, staff salaries, outreach, facilities . . . where should the money go?  Too often, one of the first line items to be cut is staff training.  Seen as a nice plus, more often than not, boards and even library staff do not place this item in the top tier for funding.  Instead, it is something that is done if there is money. I say that philosophy is hogwash. In person training provides opportunities that no other training can offer, and it is vital to the growth of your library.

Training, especially in this day and age of fast changes and even faster technology, is a necessity, not a want or a desire – a must have necessity.  And for those working in isolated, rural or small libraries who do not often have access to in-house or collobrative training, it is even more urgent.  Think of the benefits of an in person training day – you get your batteries recharged, you get to talk to and hear about wonderful, new and exciting ideas that others in your situation are accomplishing and ask them how did they do that?  You have the chance to build your network of experts whom you can contact over the next year and bounce ideas off of and share opportunities for online training.  It is a time to immerse yourself, even for a day, in the pool of “What we could do”. 

The ARSL conference is coming up in a month.  This conference is designed for you – the library staff and board members working in small, rural, perhaps isolated places who want to infuse some new ideas, network with new friends and ask quetions of those who are doind what you want to do.  I know that budgets are tight, that travel money is difficult to come by, but I believe that you will not find a better bang for your buck.  There is little Theory here – it is substance, practical and down to earth.  I encourage you to talk to your board, your Friends, your rich uncle and get yourself to this conference.  It is an investment in your professional life and in the life of your library that I believe you will find pays big returns in the coming months.  You can not afford to miss this opportunity.

See you in Frisco, Texas!

Join your colleagues at the 2011 ARSL Conference!

Join your colleagues at the 2011 ARSL Conference!

Registration for the annual Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Conference continues at

It will be held in Frisco, Texas, on September 8-11 and will be infused with a welcoming atmosphere
and sense of camaraderie unlike any other conference.  Also, ARSL is pleased to announce that the University of North Texas as our conference sponsor.  Online registration ends August 28, 2011.  You may register in-person at the conference after that date.

*              Registration for the full conference is only $200 for
members and $250 for non-members.
*              Conference hotel rates are only $109 per night.  (Rooms
are going fast, so book yours soon.)
*              Free events are scheduled throughout including a
pre-conference mixer, morning yoga classes and closing luncheon.
*              A field trip to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas is only

*       Birds of a Feather facilitated group discussions offer a chance
to gain new perspective while consulting with others about topics
affecting your library such as Summer Reading Club #’s, Fines and Dewey
*       A Member MatchUp will be offered, pairing those new to the ARSL
conference with experienced conference-goers. 
*       Sessions are geared towards all levels of service that you
provide: Adult, Teen and Children’s Programming, Trustee/Board
Development, Community Partnerships, Technology Issues and much more!

*       Free, instructor-led yoga sessions in the mornings.
*       A session on Recycling Books for Fun & Fashion will be offered.

*       National library leaders peeking around the corner during a
What’s Next general session.

Still not convinced that you should register?  Read Sarah Washburn’s (of
TechSoup for Libraries) post:  Best conference, hands down:  ARSL!

I’ll see you in Texas…

Tena Hanson
ARSL Membership Development Committee, Chair

ARSL Conference in this month’s issue of ALA Direct.

We are eagerly anticipating the ARSL National Conference in Frisco, Texas.

In case you were wondering, here is a taste of what is coming during those three days!

“Featured presenters will include Linda Braun, nationally-known library technology consultant and past YALSA president; Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes, creators of the “Unshelved” comic strip; and Joe Bob Briggs, TV personality, film critic, author and champion of intellectual freedom.

Free events and activities at the conference include the pre-conference mixer, instructor-led yoga sessions in the morning, Birds-of-a-Feather discussion groups and the closing luncheon.  Attendees new to the conference can be matched up with more experienced conference goers to get the most out of their ARSL conference experience.

For more information about the conference, and to register, please visit”

The entire post can be found here – ALA Direct On the ARSL Conference

Minutes July 18, 2011

2 min. I. Welcome and Call to Order Sonja Plummer-Morgan,
In attendance: Jennifer, Andrea, Becky, Carla, Lesley, Jim, Tena, Louise, Sonja, Dwight,
Call to order by Sonja 1:08
Timothy not able to make it
3 min. II. Consent Agenda
– Approve Minutes of March 21, 2011*/** Alison Miller, Secretary
– Approve Minutes of May 16, 2011*/**
– Current Financial Statements */** Andrea Berstler, Treasurer
● Move to approve minutes: Alison Second by Jennifer: no discussion: all in favor – motion
● Andrea – current financial statement
○ sent out copies of May/June financial statements (condensed covers everything –
○ any questions (from Andrea) – no questions
○ Motion to accept Andrea: Second by Donna: no discussion: all in favor – motion
10 min. III. President’s Report Sonja
· Nonprofit Status Update
· ALA – New Orleans
● provided via email: overview of activities;
● 501c3 app status update: spoke with Nick and Tracey and Sarah w/AMR Fri and
this morning; addressed some miscommunication; get sense of when draft would
be sent/submitted; expressed concern about the amount of time that has been
taken so far; factors include finance/comptroller (being extra cautious) – especially
due to lack of filing tax returns; some of the answers that we have given AMR
have not been accepted; one example – the board roster (also recent emails from
Sonja); one issue – adding Inc to every reference of arsl title to the website (would
require major work, as discussed via Sonja and Steve) – decided to change as
many as possible – initial response was that is not enough: second example
– Sonja asked Carla to send the updated roster (all updated); wasn’t initially
accepted based on format; third example sent the same question to several
different board members, receiving different answers, etc. At this point, promised
a draft of 501c3 app today; originally was going to mandate review today at this
meeting; Sonja requested that the draft go to the Executive comm – let the board
decide about further requests to app
● who is to answer questions from AMR to Board – examples treasurer, Andrea:
Member Services, Jennifer/Alison – copy Sonja and Carla on responses: if not
appropriate, email Sonja and Carla
● IMLS preconference
● Booth – staffed by Jennifer: successful: Constant Contact newsletter shared
● Additional comments about meetings/people/arsl promotion
● status on social networks provided
● QR Code
● Discrectionary funds of President – asked John Chratska for prof dev at
conference for board (working on day and time)
Questions: None
5 min. IV. Executive Committee Report Sonja
· Decision on General Liability Insurance
● Determined to be around $8000 – will be assessed each year; bring up at a
meeting in the future – should be discussed each year in terms of need
10 min. V. Treasurer’s Report Andrea
· ARSL 2011 Budget Change*/**
Increase Board travel budget by $1400 to $6400 – this allows up to 8 board travel scholarships
of $800 each
● needs request for consideration for fin aid and needs to be in by Aug 11;
● request Board to increase Board travel budget from $1400 to $6400
Motion made by Alison; seconded by Tena – all in favor – motion carried
forms from:
Tena, Becky, Carla, Louise, Jim, Lori
10 min. VI. Nominating Committee Report Lesley Boughton, Chair
· Election Outcomes
· Comments from Members
● Carla shared election results week of July 1 – Lesley made a suggestion to review
survey monkey results regarding nominees and process; question from Sonja –
objection was that there were not many names to choose from
● information is distributed on the listserv/key contact/social networks
● members may not know it’s competitive in terms of who the nominating
committee selects to meet organizational needs
10 min. VII. Conference Update Steve Seale, Chair
● report sent out – information from that reviewed
● additional information regarding volunteer times and board meeting will be sent
● additional marketing information will be shared by Tena
15 min. VIII. Partnerships Committee Timothy Owens, Chair
· Committee Update
· Strategic Partnerships Update Dwight McInvaill
· Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
· Pushing the Limits Project Update Larry Grieco
· ALA Public Programs Office – Exhibits Larry Grieco
● Larry not in attendance – Louise filled in: pushing limits moving at a steady pace;
Larry visited w/various people at ALA – talked about smaller exhibits more feasible
for smaller libraries; long telephone conversation with Bernie – interested in
revitalizing the Center – Louise will write up a summary and share
10 min. IX. Member Services Committee Jennifer Peterson, Chair
· Online Newsletter Update
· Media Channels in conjunction with Press Releases
· ALA 2012 session (Anaheim) in partnership with Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal
Libraries of All Kinds
· ARSL liaison to the Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds?
● Meeting last week – newsletter how to ensure content, double check where they arrive
(SPAM), frequency (perhaps quarterly), issues/segments/etc discussed
● Formal call to Board members for ideas relating to website roundup, rural innovators
● discussed aggregator, hashtag for conference
● would like a table at the conference
10 min. X. Membership Development Committee Tena Hanson, Chair
· Update
● Report sent out last week;
● 1. Does anyone have any great testimonials about membership and/or conference
we could use in promotions? people will look and share any information/possibly
also from evaluations
● 2. What do you think about our Welcome Back letter idea — a letter to be sent to
those with expired membeships 6 months afterwards to encourage them to rejoin?
● 3. How about offering the ability to order ARSL logo items (conference badge
decorations) online? Is this cool with our logo policy? Yes
● comment/question about how many state reps we have
Discussion about diversity
Next Board Meeting – Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, September 11 & 12, 2011
Motion to adjourn – Andrea, second Jennifer, all in favor

Heading to New Orleans for ALA Annual

Heading to New Orleans for ALA Annual?

List of sessions and events relevant to the work you do in your rural library. Be sure to join two of our ARSL board members, Larry Grieco and Dwight McInvaill, and this year’s ARSL Emerging Leader, Sharon Michie, for Public Programs that Work in Rural Libraries on Saturday, June 25, from 4-5:30. And if you have additional not-to-be-missed recommendations for folks attending the conference, be sure to post them to the listserv!      – Jennifer Peterson


Sessions Recommended to ARSL Members attending ALA Annual in New Orleans 2011(Compiled by Jennifer Peterson, ARSL board member)

Browse ALA Annual Conference Schedule: and verify times and locations for events listed below.

Turning the Page 2.0

Friday, June 24, 8:30am – 12:00pm

Convention Center, Rm 345

Description:  Turning the Page 2.0 addresses core issues of advocacy, communications and relationship building in a convenient blended-learning format. This half-day kick-off introduces librarians and supporters to the basic tenants of TtP 2.0. Participants will leave this pre-conference ready undertake a six-week course of synchronous and asynchronous online work aimed at completing an individual advocacy work plan. Attendance at this meeting is encouraged but not mandatory for participation; non-members are welcome. For additional information:


Beautiful (and Cheap) Websites and Tools for Low-Tech Libraries

Saturday, June 25, 8:00am – 10:00am

Convention Center, Rm 343

Speaker: Bob Keith, Technologist, New Jersey State Library
Speaker: Veronica Rutter Reynolds, Web & Collection Dev. Librarians, New City Library

Description:  No money? No technological savvy? No problem! With the incredible rise of content management systems and open source tools, no library needs to be without technological necessities. The presenters will display several easy tools to create simple, clean websites as well as other tricks like tracking reference questions using Google Apps or set up an SMS service using Meebo. In this economy, no one can afford NOT to know about these tools.

Diversity and Outreach Fair (ALA)

Saturday, June 25, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Convention Center, Special Events, Halls I/J

Description:  The annual Diversity and Outreach Fair celebrates local library services, programs and collections to underserved and under-represented communities. Visit with program implementers, learn details and strategies for success, and consider how they might be repeated in your library community. Enjoy the festive atmosphere while networking and learning about these important programs! Sponsored by DEMCO, Inc.

Perceptions of Libraries, 2010

Saturday, June 25, 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Doubletree Hotel, Madewood

Description:  In Perceptions of Libraries 2010: Context and Community, OCLC explores how changing contexts impact how people perceive and relate to libraries and information sources. Technologies and economics are vastly changed from 2005, when OCLC released the first Perceptions report. Join Cathy De Rosa for discussion of trends, perceptions and attitudes of the information consumer from this 2010 study.

Public Programs that Work in Rural Libraries

Saturday, June 25, 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Convention Center, Rm 346-347

Speaker: Larry Grieco, Library Director, Gilpin County Public Library
Speaker: Dwight McInvaill, Director, Georgetown County Library
Moderator: Sharon Michie, Branch Manager, Steele Memorial Library

Description:  This will be a panel presentation and discussion of a variety of public programs with a proven success record in rural libraries. Each panelist will describe one or more programs that have worked in his or her library, from inception to implementation including the development of an idea, funding sources, target audience, and how to replicate in another rural library. Dwight McInvaill will describe “The Hurricane Project” and “The Smart Investing Project”, two programs that have worked in his rural library in South Carolina.  Larry Grieco will describe his “Artist-in-Residence” program, in its third year at the Gilpin County Public Library in Colorado (winner of the 2010 EBSCO Award for Excellence), and his library’s ongoing viewing and discussion series, in the sixth year of showing 15 to 20 films a year; and his library’s twice-a-year poetry readings, “A Midsummer Night’s Poetry Reading,” and “A Midwinter Night’s Poetry Reading,” which have drawn capacity (50) crowds at his library for the past two years.

 NEH’s Picturing America: Model Programs for Public Libraries

Sunday, June 26, 10:30am – 12:00pm

Convention Center, Rm 274


Speaker: Malore Brown, Program Officer, NEH

Speaker: Lainie Castle, Project Director, ALA Public Programs Office

Speaker: Amber Creger, Children’s Librarian, Chicago Public Library Woodson Regional Library

Speaker: Colleen Leddy, Director, Stair Public Library

Speaker: Laura Moran, Library Programmer, Western Sullivan Public Library

Speaker: Brandy Morrill, Librarian III, Chicago Public Library Chinatown Branch

Speaker: Jude Schanzer, Director of Public Relations and Programming, East Meadow Public Library

Description:  Since Picturing America was launched by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2007, 3,600 public libraries have been awarded this collection of American artwork. Public librarians who have the Picturing America artwork in their collections are invited to attend this session to learn more about developing related programs for public audiences. Model program formats presented will include book and media discussion programs, local history presentations, lecture series, poetry programming, and more.

Includes: Stair Public Library (Morenci, Mich.) – Located in a rural community, the Stair Public Library sought to offer a museum-like exhibit experience to their users with the model program “Picturing New York…in a Tiny Midwest Town.” The “New York, New York” Art Show featured related works from the Picturing America collection, as well art from local high school students. Library programs that highlighted the themes in the art displays included a musical performance, author visit, book discussion, storytimes for children and a gaming day at the library.


Come visit with ARSL board members at the ALA Affiliates Booth!

Sunday, June 26, 10:00am – 11:00am

Booth # 2122 in the Convention Center

We’ll be there to chat and share information about ARSL’s fall conference in Frisco, Texas. For more information about ARSL 2011 Conference:


Bookmobile Sunday – Panel Discussion

Sunday, June 26, 10:30am – 12:00pm
Convention Center, Rm 284

Speaker: Susan Baker
Speaker: MaryAnne Marjamaa
Speaker: Michael Swendrowski
Speaker: Kathryn Totten

Description:  The annual Bookmobile Sunday program will feature a panel of experts discussing a range of bookmobile-related topics including advocacy, Bookmobiles 101, new bookmobile tips, bookmobile outreach, and bookmobile programming.


FREE One-on-One Consulting
Sunday, June 26, 1:30-5:30pm

Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Magnolia Room


PLA, in partnership with the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, is pleased to present “Consultant’s Giving Back” at ALA Annual. Schedule a complimentary half-hour session with a nationally-recognized library consultant to talk over your library’s most pressing concerns.

List of more than 15 consultants who will be available:
Registration is open through Monday, June 20. Schedule directly with your consultant of choice.


Raisin’ Readers: Improving Literacy for Rural Children and Youth
Sunday, June 26, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Convention Center, Rm 348

Speaker: James Bartleman, author, As Long as the Rivers Flow
Moderator: Loriene Roy, Professor, University of Texas, Austin

Description: Rural, Native, and tribal libraries sponsor, host, and launch initiatives that support young and teen readers and their families. This program will feature the Honorable James K. Bartleman, Canadian diplomat, author, literacy advocate, and member of the Mnjikaning First Nation, to share his thoughts for engaging youth in literacy programs and read from his young adult novel, “As Long as the Rivers Flow.” As Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Bartleman initiated the Lieutenant-Governor’s Book Program in 2004, collecting over 1.2 million books to stock school libraries in First Nations communities; launched a program to pair Native and non-Native schools in Ontario and Nunavut; and set-up summer camps for literacy development in five northern First Nations communities.


President’s Program featuring Marilyn Johnson

Monday, June 27, 10:30am – 12:00pm
Convention Center, Rm 274

Description: Join ALTAFF President Rod Gauvin as he hosts best-selling writer Marilyn Johnson (This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians can Save Us All). Marilyn has been a national champion of libraries and was the moving force behind ALTAFF’s “Authors for Libraries,” a large and growing group of authors who are willing and ready to speak out at the local and national levels about the importance of libraries. A book signing will follow.


Common Sense Preservation Assessment

Monday, June 27, 10:30am – 12:00pm
Convention Center, Rm 269

Moderator: Mary McInroy, Reference & Library Instruction, University of Iowa Libraries
Speaker: Jacob Nadal, Preservation Officer, UCLA Library

Description: Learn common-sense approaches to preservation risk assessment and set priorities for collections care. Learn about proven models for preservation assessment; free tools for gathering information about your facilities and collections; and resources to help you understand risks and take effective action. This session will include time to connect with colleagues and talk with preservation experts about preservation issues shared by small, rural, and tribal libraries.


ALA Advocacy University: Frontline Fundraising

Monday, June 27, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Hilton New Orleans Riverside, River

Description: The hardest part of getting started with fundraising is figuring out what tools your library should use. The Frontline Fundraising Toolkit is an initiative of ALA President Roberta Stevens which empowers small and rural libraries to engage in fundraising without development staff. During this “town hall” session, you’ll interact with the toolkit writers who will walk through their sections which provide current fundraising techniques and information to help you build a long-lasting base of support for your library.


Other Resources for Browsing ALA Events:

ALA Annual Conference Schedule


Programming Librarian

Guide to the ALA National Conference

Minutes May 16, 2011

Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Board of Directors Meeting

Present: Timothy Owens, Sonja Plummer-Morgan, Alison Miller, Andrea Berstler, Becky Heil, Dwight McInvaill, Jennifer Peterson, Larry Grieco, Jim Connor, Lesley Boughton, Louise Greene, Steve Seale, Donna Brice, Tena Hanson & Carla Lehn.



 I.          Welcome and Call to Order                                                 Sonja Plummer-Morgan,    President

 II.        Consent Agenda

 –         Approve Minutes of March 21, 2011*/**            Alison Miller, Secretary

–        Current Financial Statements */**                        Andrea Berstler, Treasurer

 VP-President elect called the meeting to order in Sonja’s absence. March minutes were not yet available, Alison will transcribe them from the recording, as she was not at the March meeting. 

 Andrea asked if there were any questions about the financial statements provided.  There were none.  Timothy moved, Larry seconded to approve the financial statements as presented.  Motion carried.

III.       President’s Report        Sonja

·         Subpoena Status

Sonja explained that we have satisfied everything that was asked for that we were able to provide.  AMR believes that we have done what we can do, and that there will probably not be any additional concerns about this.  Sonja will let the board know immediately if anything else comes up on this.

·         Rural Library Services Newsletter Relationship

It was the consensus of the board that we wanted to move to an electronic newsletter from ARSL itself to our members.  The RLS Newsletter has been provided as a membership benefit to those who paid for the Premium membership or the Institutional Membership, but there have been issues and concerns about if everyone who should get it is getting it.  Andrea will follow up with AMR to be sure that the final bill is paid to the RLS Newsletter.  Alison asked if the Premiere Membership category will be changed as a result.  Sonja said yes, it will eventually be phased out.  Sonja is working with Sara at AMR to determine the best way to do that. It was  determined that the by-laws do not require changes in the membership structure to be taken to the membership.

·         Nonprofit Status Update

Sonja reported that happily, by the end of this week, we will have the 501 c3 application submitted.  AMR’s controller has asked for more detail in the narrative that was developed by Sonja, Becky and Timothy.  The budget submitted originally showed a 2% loss for each of the next two years.  This was revised once we recognized that we had budgeted for website “design” each year, and that isn’t accurate.  Fixing that created a brief gain in revenue for each of the next two years.  AMR wants very specific information on the application, is so that we don’t get any “red flags” for the IRS that would slow our application down.  The logo was another issue that came up, and Timothy was able to find the Crowdspring contract that shows that we do have the copyright.  But we need to find out if we need to trademark it.  If ARSL is going to charge for the logo, the 501 c3 application will be more complicated.  Louise has agreed to do the research on this.  If ARSL pays another organization for the scholarship and emerging leaders programs, that sets off red flags for the IRS.  However, since we are paying the scholarship recipients and the Emerging Leaders directly, that makes it OK. 

 The main thing outstanding for the 501 c3 application is that the IRS requires that we send a copy of the by-laws.  But the by-laws that are sent have the current name on them, not the new name, which is “The Association for Rural & Small Libraries, Inc.”  The question is whether or not we can change the name on the by-laws without taking it to the membership.  It seemed to be Sara’s reading of the by-laws that made it sound like we would have to take it back to the membership.  Timothy said we announced in the business meeting last year about our progress on receiving the 501 c3. After much discussion, members agreed that we can move ahead. 

 Andrea moved that we approve this change to the by-laws, and that we develop a press release for the membership that educates and updates them on the 501 c3 process.  Jim seconded the motion.  Motion carried. Carla will make the change, and send to Sonja and post on Google Docs.

·         Website

We had a number of people asking Steve Eyler for website changes.  This is difficult for Steve since he doesn’t know all of the committee members and doesn’t know if they’re ok to suggest changes for the website if he hasn’t heard from a board member.  Steve doesn’t charge us for what he’s doing, so we need to reduce the amount of traffic to him as much as possible.  So please go back to sending things to Sonja, and she will get them to Steve.

 ·         ALA – New Orleans

            Sonja will be there.  If you have meetings you would like her to attend or people to meet, or want to get together, just let her know.


IV.       Executive Committee                 Sonja & Timothy

·         General Liability Insurance*/**

Sonja said we got a quote for this  – almost $8,000 – and she asked Sara to get other quotes because that one was so large.  So we are not ready at this point for action on this issue.  AMR  recommends to all their associations that they purchase it, and Sara did not feel that this was an imminent need. Louise asked if it affects our 501 c3?  Sonja said it did not.  Andrea said she feels that this will be most needed at a point where we have our own location and/or start bringing on staff or contractors.  Others asked if we are covered for the conference this year?  Steve and Andrea said the hotel contract was approved and signed by AMR, so our understanding is that we are currently covered for the conference under AMR’s policy.

·         Directors and Officers Liability Insurance*/**

Sonja referred members to the bids we’ve received.  She and Timothy discussed them and recommend the one from Great American, which looked best for our needs.  Moved by Andrea, seconded by Jennifer to accept the bid from Great American.  Motion carried.

·         Timothy update

Timothy reported that he is leaving the NC State Library at the end of this month, and has accepted a job at IMLS in Washington DC, as a Program Officer in the Grants to States program.  Members congratulated Timothy and wished him well.  He also noted that he won’t have access to the state library’s webconferenceing service, so that will need to be taken on by someone else.

V.        Treasurer’s Report         Andrea

·         Conference Budget*/**                                        Becky

  • ARSL 2011 Budget */**                                      Andrea

 Becky reviewed the Conference Budget which is built on 200 people for full conference at $200, and 100 people who each attend one day.  We anticipate about 50 free registrations, which includes presenters, vendors, etc., for a total of 350 people.  Largest budget items include: $10,000 for 3 keynote speakers, $3,000 to help break-out speakers who need assistance to get to the conference, and $2,000 to bring the Best Small Library folks to the conference to make a presentation, although that is still under discussion.  History of this is that in some previous years (not all) we have had conference leaders spend funds that had not been approved by the board, therefore, we are requesting board approval for the conference budget that will be used by this year’s committee.  A board policy was established in this regard. To exceed expenditures in the approved budget, the conference committee will need to come back to the executive committee or board for approval.  Steve mentioned that as conference chair, the budget is originally drafted based on best guesses about numbers of attendees, vendors, etc.  He believes the budget figures will be “moving targets,” that he may need to come back to the executive committee or board for approval.

 There were no questions.  Louise moved and Andrea seconded to approve the conference budget as presented.  Motion carried.

Andrea then asked for questions on the ARSL 2011 budget.  She stated that it’s probably as accurate as possible – working to get final reports from BCR, and including the draft conference budget.  We will re-visit the budget later this year as things firm up, but we need to get a board approved budget to AMR which provides them with spending limits, as they pay the bills for us. Carla noted that “conference vendors” amount is projected at $45,000  seems high – Andrea confirmed that this is a typo – should be $4,500.  Timothy asked about the $500 left to pay for our ALA Emerging Leader, of the $1,000 total, but he doesn’t see that on the budget.  Andrea agreed to add a line item budget of $1,000 annually, under Administrative Expenses, noting it as Emerging Leader.  She said that brings budgeted expenses for the year to $71,000 and budgeted income to $87,000.

 Becky moved to approve the conference budget as amended.  Timothy explained that a second is not required. Motion carried.


VI.       Nominating Committee Report*/**             Lesley Boughton, Chair

Lesley reported that the Nominating Committee recommends for VP/President Elect, Andrea Berstler.  Because Andrea would be moving into that position, that gives us 5 board openings to fill –  4 for 3 year terms and 1 for a one year term, and we had six applicants.  Two are current board members – Donna and Steve.  The other 4 would be new:  Paul Healey, University of IL; Sharon Michie, NC — our Emerging Leader; Shirley Vonderhaar from IA, who chairs our conference scholarships subcommittee, and Lorie Womack from Utah.

             We have two options for the election:  (1) would be to offer a contested election, putting all 6 on the ballot and a write in.  In this case, the candidate with the least votes would not be elected, and the candidate with the next least votes would get the 1 year term.  (2) In order to implement our uncontested slate as we’ve done in the past, we would need to remove one candidate.

             Sonja asked if the committee has a recommendation between the two election options.  Lesley said that we wanted to get the board involved in the discussion.  She said the committee recognizes that the organization is maturing, and will at some point want to have a contested election as a way to engage the membership, but the board can decide whether they want to go there now or not. 

                        Also, the recommended by-laws change is now moot.  In the Articles of Incorporation, Article 5, Section 7 – the board of the directors has the authority to amend the by-laws themselves with a 2/3 majority.

         Larry moved and Louise seconded that we hold an un-contested election for this year, with Sharon Miche, Paul Healey, Steve Seale, and Donna Brice, with Lorie Womack being assigned the one year term.


VII.     Conference Update         Steve Seale, Chair

 Steve reported that his experience says that people tend to register late.  Registration opened a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been extremely slow so far.  Several states have announced there will be scholarships for people to attend, but very few of those people have registered.  All the signs are good.  Program committee did an outstanding job of soliciting and then choosing programs.  We are waiting now to hear back about which presenters will be accepting our offer.  We’ve been hearing from some vendors.  Donna is chair of that subcommittee and reported that although only one has registered, she’s heard from several others that they intend to participate.  John Asmundson from ALA has been extremely helpful – sending information out through his networks.  An overflow hotel has been selected.  An issue has been the convoluted registration process at AMR.  Becky has done a great job working with Sara at AMR to try to streamline it, but it has been an issue.  Summary – so far, so good!


VIII.    Member Services Committee         Alison Miller, Chair

 ·         Online Newsletter Update

Alison reported that she and Jennifer have been co-chairing the committee, but since Alison has had her workload substantially increased, Jennifer will be the Chair and she will remain a  committee member.

Alison sent out a sample of the electronic newsletter through Constant Contact to board members, and got a few comments back.  As we move forward, the committee will be putting out a call for more content ideas so that we have a variety of news to share with our members.

·         Media Channels in conjunction with Press Releases

Jennifer posted the notes from their committee meeting in Google Docs.  They don’t plan to do any committee recruitment at this point, but want to have a committee recruitment table at the fall conference in order to get more members involved.

 Jennifer has been appointed Chair of ALA’s Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee. (RNTLOAK)  She will attend their meeting at ALA in New Orleans.  (Members congratulated Jennifer on her appointment.)  Alison and Jennifer will create a small article for the May newsletter on events of particular interest for rural libraries at ALA.  They would also like to try to create an informal event where people can meet up, and that will be noted in the newsletter as well.  Also, because we are an ALA affiliate, we will be able to put some printed materials out at the Affiliates table.  Their plan is to use print copies of the newsletter for that purpose.

 We can also have an ARSL liaison position to the RNTLOAK committee.  We will want to be sure we fill that for this year.  Jennifer believes this is a great opportunity to think about what we want to look to ALA to help us achieve, as she will be in a position to influence the direction.

 Jennifer reported on their committee meeting: In terms of our social media work, we decided that live chat on the ARSL website should be de-prioritized.  Sonja has been doing that alone, but we feel the committee has it’s hands full with other responsibilities at this point.  We have several Facebook admins.  Jennifer will be approving the Facebook requests, and Alison will approve the LinkedIn requests.  Andrea will be creating an automatic feed between Facebook and Twitter.  We want to encourage everyone to feel free to post in order to create more traffic.  Andrea will be posting the press releases to the blog, and we will request a website change to focus on the blog traffic.  Andrea remains committed to responding to posts on the listserv when no one else responds.  We will also be looking at transitioning to a Facebook page from a Facebook group.  It was a very productive meeting.

IX.       Membership Development Committee                    Tena Hanson, Chair

Tena reported that she has two other members on her committee, and she did post a written report of their committee meeting on Google Docs.  They identified goals and formulated a “to do” list.  First they are working on revising the new member letter and the renewal letter that AMR sends out.  Both of those documents are in Google Docs for members to review and give feedback.  A draft job description for the Key Contacts was revised.  They are brainstorming ways to bring in new members.  They would like to post the Key Contact Job Description on the website so it can be linked from the new member letter.  Tena asked if this document needs to be approved by the board.  It was determined that since they are working on items the board has tasked them to do,there is no reason to have that approved, but are happy that they are providing opportunities for input from board members.


X.        Partnerships Committee                                           Timothy Owens, Chair

Timothy reported for Dwight who had to leave the meeting early that progress is being made on building relationships with both the Gates Foundation and ICMA, and he will be representing ARSL at the Public Access Technology Benchmarks project meeting in Chicago, along with several other organizations and state libraries.  The Association will get a little funding as a result of this, and will be part of the development of these benchmarks.

 They have also been discussing with Bernie Vavrek the possibility of helping to find a new home for the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship, and have been approached by Taped Editions, with some grant assistance for public libraries.

 Louise has been working on a database of rural libraries’ resources.

 ·         Pushing the Limits Project Update    Larry Grieco

Larry reported that the project is right where it should be after one year of work.  Larry serves as an advisor to the team that is developing films that will be used in the project.  They just completed a rural librarian survey that was very successful – they got over 300 responses, most from ARSL members.  They would like to have a focus group at the ARSL conference.  The team will meet in person in Chicago in October.


 There was no public comment.

Next Board Meeting – Monday, July 18, 2011

The meeting adjourned after 2 hours and 8  minutes.



2006 – Programs & Handouts

Please visit the Rural Initiative website for archives of 2006 ARSL Conference.

Conference Proposals

The 2011 Conference planning is well on its way! We look forward to a great time in Frisco, Texas, but we need your help.

Proposals are being accepted for workshops for the 2011 conference. The workshop times are one of the highlights for any conference, and the ARSL membership is no exception. If you, your library, your system or your staff are doing something new, creative and innovative that can be replicated elsewhere, consider submitting a workshop proposal.

The Online Proposal form is here . We look forward to seeing what wonderfully new and fun ideas you have to share with all the ARSL members.

Minutes March 21, 2011

Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Board of Directors Meeting

PresentBecky Heil, Andrea Berstler, Lesley Boughton, Donna Brice, Jim Connor, Louise Greene,

   Tena Hanson, Dwight McInvaill, Jennifer Peterson, Sonja Plummer-Morgan & Steve Seale.

 AbsentTimothy Owens, Larry Grieco, Alison Miller, and Carla Lehn.

2 min.     I.          Welcome and Call to Order         Sonja Plummer-Morgan, President

Since Sonja had not arrived to the meeting yet, VP/President Elect Becky Heil started the meeting and welcomed all who were present –

3 min.    II.        Consent Agenda

 –         Approve Minutes of January 24, 2011*/**          Alison Miller, Secretary

–        Treasurer’s Report */**                                         Andrea Berstler, Treasurer

 Andrea briefly discussed the treasurer’s report since it was the first time seeing it in this format prepared by AMR.  It’s called “February 2011 Condensed” version of the financials.  The only thing missing from it is the itemized check register report, which she felt other board members wouldn’t be interested in.  First sheet is the total summary.  Revenue for month of Feb was $1187, and expenses were $783. We have $83, 515 in the checking account as of the end of February.

 Motion to approve the consent agenda by Jim Connor, and seconded by Donna Brice.  Consent agenda approved.


10 min. III.       Executive Committee Report   Sonja

·         Call for committee members from the membership

Sonja announced that Tena Hanson is the new Chair of the Membership Committee, and will be working with AMR to update the letters that are sent to members to remind them to renew, etc.  Larry was initially going to be Membership Chair, but decided his plate is full with the NSF grant.

 Sonja announced that there are committees for which there is no Chair, such as Nominating Committee.  She referred members to a document Carla prepared in Google Docs which identifies where there are openings.  She asked members to look at that list and let her know if there’s a place they would like to see themselves be appointed.

·         Subpoena

            While the word “subpoena” seemed rather alarming, the good news is it’s not as bad as it sounds.  AMR has been going through our financial records back to 2007 because of a subpoena request for information about a conference registration fee from a library in West Virginia.  They were asking specifically about a check sent to ARSL on behalf of a specific person.  Our records unfortunately reside with Clarion University for that time period.  Becky was the Treasurer at that time, and did have a record of receiving the check for this person, and does have a copy of the deposit slip for the month of September, but since they didn’t give the check #, she couldn’t verify for sure that it was deposited, although the requestor seemed to have the information that it was deposited.  Essentially the way things worked back then was that money was sent to Clarion, they kept track of it all, and the checks were sent to Becky for deposit just in an envelope with no information about what each check was for.  Becky copied down the check numbers and made the deposit.  AMR responded to the subpoena by saying that we no longer have those records, but that they could check with Clarion to see what information is available. If they wanted a copy of the check numbers deposited, we would be happy to get that to them.  We have not heard anything else about it.

 When Sonja arrived later in the meeting, she summarized by saying that AMR is on the case, and we really don’t have to worry about this unless we hear from them again.


20 min. IV.       President’s Report        Sonja

  • ARSL Meeting on Tax Exempt Status**

Sonja reported that Executive Committee had a meeting with AMR on our Tax Exempt Status.  We clarified for them that we are seeking a 501 c3, not a 501 c6. Essentially what AMR said to us is that we should have been filing an IRS form 990 all along – Clarion should have filed when they were handling our records, and BCR should have filed when we were with them. The IRS could penalize us for not having filed these.  BCR was filing their form 990 as a group, and therefore we were operating under the assumption that our responsibility was taken care of.  AMR informs us that it does not.  Going forward it means we’re going to be able to file our 990 and make it right with the IRS.  They may or may not expect some retribution back to 2007.  So while we have really made some great strides, it did uncover these issues:  (1) where are our records from those time periods?; and (2) what happens if the IRS comes back and asks us to file 990’s for those years?  But in the meantime, we will be doing it right in the future, and that we will get our 501 c3 status, and AMR feels we will come out stronger from having gone through this process.  The executive committee did authorize having a CPA review the application ($250/hour for a couple of hours) in order to make sure the information is presented in the best way to the IRS to limit as much as possible any liability we may have incurred from not filing in the past.

·         Directors and Officers Liability Insurance*/**

Three quotes were provided to everyone.  Sonja asked if the group is ready to make this decision, or did they want more time? Decision was made to table this item, and to have members review the choices and provide their feedback/recommendation to Sonja before the end of the week.  She will share the synthesis of that feedback out to everyone, and we can use that to help us make that decision. 

·         Board Meeting at Conference (Sun only? Or Monday am too?)

Since most can’t get a flight out Sunday night, staying over to complete the board meeting on Sunday morning until noon would allow folks to fly home Monday afternoon.  Andrea commented that we really need that Monday morning to get the work done.  Consensus reached to stay over for a Monday morning board meeting.  Sonja asked Becky to work with Steve to be sure it is included in the hotel contract.

  •  Continuation of Rural Libraries Newsletter as a Member Benefit

Sonja reported that The Rural Libraries Newsletter has been around for some time for ARSL, and has been a source of confusion.  Some members have gotten it, and some have not, and it does cost us to provide it.  She recommends that we switch to a monthly ARSL electronic newsletter.  Member Services Committee is already looking at possibilities for making this happen.  Constant Contact would be a good option. Sonja is meeting with Alison later this week.  She sees our own newsletter as a member benefit, and mentioned that we get great coverage from WebJunction’s newsletter as well. 

 Jennifer commented that doing a monthly newsletter may be a challenge – both in developing content and in terms of producing the newsletter. The final decision is in the committee’s hands.

·         Firming up Conference Partners through 2015

Sonja has asked Patty Hector to take on this project.  Patty is working on revising the Conference Partner Document, as well as putting an actual form on the website that will allow states to express interest in hosting the conference.  Then a formal decision-making process will be developed to determine where the upcoming conferences will be held, and who will be the conference partners and what role(s) they will play.

 She mentioned we have several locations who have discussed bringing the conference to their state, but we have no partnerships in place.  Patty has already revised the conference partnership form, and it looks great.  She is going to approach those folks in the years they have mentioned, and firm up the partnership agreements for those years.  2015 remains open.  So by the end of the next couple of months, we should have Partnership Agreements in place through 2014, and a location determined for 2015.

Our PR person is doing a remarkable job with our press releases.  If your committee has news, you can forward it to Sonja.  She and Sonja talk frequently via e-mail, and another press release is forthcoming.

  •  Logo use policy*/**

Sonja has received at least 3 requests from people who want to put our logo on their website, so this is why she wants to finalize a policy.  A couple of board members, Sonja and AMR have drafted this policy.  She wanted it to be as simple as possible, simply directing those inquiries to Sara at AMR, and to use some basic rules and standards.  She asked for a motion to accept it.  Louise asked if our logo is copyrighted.  Sonja said that AMR will work us through that process, and that this policy is a pre-cursor of the copyright process.

Louise said she didn’t see anything in the policy about using the policy in a for-profit setting.  If we’re partnering with a for-profit, this may be an issue.  Andrea said she also thinks we should reserve the right to ask someone to remove our logo if it felt it didn’t meet our logo guidelines policy.

 Sonja will go back to the drawing board and add those two things. 

·         Nominating Committee and Process – need to have slate of candidates by May 1 for approval at May 16 Board meeting and June online election

Looking for a Nominating Committee Chair, and if you have an interest in being an officer, please let Carla know.  Also, if you know someone who would be good for our board, please pass those names along to Carla.  Andrea suggested the chair be someone who is either in the middle of their board term, or if they are ending their board term this year.

  •  Update on Micro-Library Award

Andrea will put together draft guidelines and application process for Becky and Sonja to review before the next board meeting.  The plan is to make an announcement at the 2011 conference that the first award will be presented at the 2012 conference.  Sonja suggested this will give us some time to discuss with Rebecca Miller at Library Journal, to be sure she’s on board, and to ensure we don’t step on any toes. 

Jennifer said she and Rebecca have tentatively planned to do a Best Small Library webinar with this year’s winner later this fall, after the conference.  We could possibly do some dual promotion for it during the webinar.

  •  Membership Development Committee Chair Change

Sonja reported that Larry has decided to forgo the Membership Committee Chair, as he has his hands full with the NSF project.  Tena Hanson has agreed to Chair the committee, and Sonja thanked her for her willingness to do that.

 Other Business:

 (1) Sonja congratulated Jennifer Peterson on being named one of LJ’s “Movers and Shakers,” and thanked her for the shout out Jennifer gave to ARSL  in the LJ announcement.  It was great press for the organization.

 (2) One of the things Sonja finds she does as President is the “unsung” projects such as 501 c3 etc., and the newest one is that Liability Insurance that AMR has recommended.  Sonja feels strongly that this is an important thing for ARSL to have, and so Sara from AMR will be putting together information on General Liability Insurance. 

 (3) Sonja will be going to ALA in New Orleans, so if there are meetings people want her to attend, or if others who will be there want to meet up, please let her know.

 10 min.  V.        Proposed Budget for 2010/11*/**                            Andrea

Andrea reported that Executive Committee did not make changes in the budget reviewed and approved by the board at the last meeting.  They just refined some of the titles of line items, but no changes were made in the proposed amounts.  Until Conference budget is finalized, and we have action on that, the organization budget won’t be revised.

10 min.  VI.       Proposed Conflict of Interest Policy*/**                 Andrea & Becky

Drafted by Andrea and Becky, and reviewed by Executive Committee who recommends approval.  Becky reminded us that we must have such a policy in order to complete our application for 501 c3 status.  No changes were identified by members. 

 Motion to approve the Conflict of interest policy made by Jennifer Peterson, seconded by Andrea Berstler.  Motion passed.

10 min.  VII.     2011 Texas Conference Update                               Steve Seale, Chair

 Steve reported everything is full speed ahead.  Program proposals are being taken.  Registration will be up by mid-April.  Three keynote speakers have been identified – Unshelved guys; Joe Bob Briggs; Linda Braun, a technology presenter.  Steve feels they are the best presenters he’s ever seen.  Steve talked to John Asmundson at ALA who will be helping with press releases and dissemination throughout the library community.  Becky is very close to having the conference budget completed, and it will be brought to the board asap. Conference team is doing a great job.  No big issues so far.

Becky reported on registration process.  Sara at AMR is working with vendor team to get that info up.  A one page info sheet about the conference will be up by April 1.  Shortly thereafter, registration page and vendor pages should be ready as well.

Registration fees will be simplified.  $200 for members for the full conference.  Non-members will be $225 or $250.  Individual days will be $100 per day, and there will be a special rate for library school students of $100 for the full conference, or $50 per day.  We will be in a high population area (Dallas/Fort Worth) which includes 2 library schools within 30 minutes of the hotel.  We anticipate a very big turnout, including a lot of walk-ins and drive-ins.

Alternate hotels are being discussed in case we fill the conference hotel.  Steve will be checking them out personally, and rates will be the same as or below the $109 we have from the conference hotel.


 10 min.  VIII.    Partnerships Committee                                           Timothy Owens, Chair

 Timothy couldn’t be here, and asked Dwight to report.  They held a virtual meeting on March 15 attended by Larry, Louise, Timothy and Dwight.  Louise has developed a state-by-state matrix of resources and opportunities for rural libraries.  It’s a work in progress, and she will be asking for info from the board to add to it.

 Dwight said that Larry reported on the National Science Foundation grant – science and math live events at rural libraries with two content experts from local colleges – a scientist and a mathematician.

 Dwight talked about the Benchmarks project of the Gates Foundation with ICMA.  A committee is working on a framework for the benchmarks.  Dwight was one of 50 people asked to review and comment on the draft framework.  A smaller committee of 17 people are incorporating comments, and that will be shared soon.  Dwight will follow up with Gates Foundation contact, who continues to ask how ARSL’s 501 c3 application is coming along.

Dwight also reported on an e-mail from Timothy who said to let the board know that the Partnerships Committee is in touch with Bernie Vavrek, who is looking for a home for the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship.

10 min.  IX.       Member Services Committee                                   Alison Miller, Chair

 Alison is ill today, and couldn’t be on the call.  Jennifer offered that the committee — she, Alison and Andrea — have had trouble getting together, however, they are in the process of clarifying roles around ARSL’s media channels to coordinate with the excellent work being done on the press releases, and a determination of who posts what where. 

Andrea added that biggest project is to come up with a newsletter for all our members, in place of the “Rural Libraries Newsletter” formerly provided to Premiere Members.  They are looking for the best format to use to send to members.

Jennifer asked if anyone else would be at ALA.  They have been looking for other programs through which to promote ARSL.  Dwight announced that he and Larry are presenting a program on Saturday – “Public Programs that work in Rural Libraries.”  Jennifer asked Dwight if they would be willing to include a couple of ARSL talking points in their presentation to ensure attendees are aware of ARSL and its conference.  The committee will come up with a paper handout that can also be used in that regard.

April ARSL/WebJunction webinar featuring Andrea already has terrific registration numbers.  WebJunction will be promoting both that event, and the conference proposal requests.  Jennifer asked Dwight to provide a brief paragraph to publicize their ALA workshop as well.

 5 min.    X.        PUBLIC COMMENT


Next Board Meeting – Monday, May 16, 2011


 The meeting was adjourned after 1 hour and 17 minutes.