I’ve been fortunate to have been introduced to ARSL fairly early in my career in my small, rural library through generous funding from our Regional Library System. I’ve attended three conferences and the same number of our much larger state-wide conference. The amount of information and ideas that I get from the ARSL conference totally outweighs what I gain from the larger conference. Not to mention that the ARSL conference has a “feel” that is more conducive to meeting, networking and sharing ideas with people who face the same obstacles, concerns and joys that I face every single day.
Because last year’s conference was relatively close, I chose to send my entire staff to the Saturday sessions. All three of my fellow staff members had the opportunity to attend classes that they were able to choose and network with people who shared like experiences. The amount of ideas, the knowledge that they aren’t the only people in the world facing the same “opportunities” on a daily basis and their increased interest and desire to do the best possible job have been invaluable both to me and our library. Few times can an entire staff enjoy this amount of training and networking for so little an investment?
We have developed many contacts that have helped improve our library, such as being introduced last year to the Geek the Library project – which we implemented immediately upon our return and have used all year. We have received several grants that we were unaware of – but learned of through our ARSL connections.
I am certain that we would not have many of the great ideas for programming and services that we provide our patrons if it weren’t for ARSL. You can be assured that we will maintain our membership and attendance at all possible conferences for many years to come.
Bertha Voyer Memorial Library
Honey Grove, Texas