By Jet Kofoot, member of the 2013 ARSL Conference PR Subcommittee, and Consultant, North-Central District, Iowa Library Services
Row a boat, charter a bus, catch a plane, drive a car, hire a taxi, ride a train, rent a truck do whatever it takes to get to the 2013 ARSL Conference in Omaha, NE. The conference will begin with pre-conferences & tours on Wednesday, September 25, tentatively scheduled from 1:00-5:00 PM with a welcome reception that evening from 7:00-9:00. The full conference will begin at 8:00 Thursday morning, September 26, and will run through noon Saturday, September 28. The conference hotel (Doubletree by Hilton) is open for reservations and conference registration will be opening April 12. Additional conference and hotel information including room rates and conference fees can be found on the ARSL web site http://arsl.info/registration.
The conference planning team is excited to announce that Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, will serve as our opening keynote speaker Thursday morning. Sally Gardner Reed, Executive Director of ALA’s United for Libraries, will be our closing keynote on Saturday. Also, Mary Beth Stenger, director of the Southern Area Public Library, and winner of the 2013 Best Small Library in America award from Library Journal, will address our group to tell her story. Craig Johnson, of Longmire fame (http://www.craigallenjohnson.com/) will be our featured speaker at the 2013 Author Luncheon, held on Friday September 27. Those in the area who wish to attend this event alone can purchase tickets for $40. Those registered for conference will find that this event is included. We are very excited about the conference programs in 2013! We look forward to announcing additional keynote, pre-conference, and breakout session speakers as they are confirmed.
If you’re thinking about bringing family or friends, there is plenty to keep them occupied in the Omaha / Council Bluffs area while you are busy soaking up our excellent sessions. Our conference, this year, has built in a meal plan option for those who wish to attend only the meal events. For $160 your guest(s) can attend all meal functions, which includes the Wednesday evening reception, breakfast and lunch both Thursday and Friday, and brunch on Saturday.
While you’re in Omaha, plan to spend some time exploring this great city full of history, culture and adventure. Walk across a swinging rope bridge suspended over a tropical rainforest at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Hop aboard historic train cars at The Durham Museum. Climb in, on, and through everything imaginable at the Omaha Children’s Museum. Step into pioneer life at the Mormon Trail Center. Explore more than 100 acres of botanical beauty at Lauritzen Gardens, and marvel at exquisite works of art inside the Joslyn Art Museum. Boys Town is a national treasure featuring an expansive campus, historic chapel and museum. El Museo Latino is the first Latino art and history museum in the Midwest, and Love’s Jazz and Art Center captures the heritage of jazz in an area where Duke Ellington, Count Basie and others once played. To learn about more things to do in the Omaha / Council Bluffs area visit the Convention and Visitors Bureaus for Omaha and Council Bluffs.
Grab your oars, buy your tickets, tune-up your car, or hire your ride so you’ll be ready to travel to the 2013 ARSL Conference in September. It promises to be an educational and fun event that focuses specifically on the needs of rural and small libraries.