2015 ARSL Conference Hotel

Association for Rural and Small Libraries Fall 2015 Conference

Pre-Conference Start date: 9/30/15
Conference ending: 10/3/2015
Last day to book by: 9/11/15

Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate:

  • Little Rock Marriott  for 139.00 USD  per night

Special hotel rates available from 9/29/15 to 10/4/15
Book your group rate: Association for Rural and Small Libraries Fall 2015 Conference >>

Call for Proposals

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) invites proposals for break-out session presentations for the 2015 Conference to be held in Little Rock, Arkansas, October 1 – 3.

Proposals for these 1-hour sessions can be submitted using our online form found here: The deadline to submit the form is March 13, 2015.  All proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Programming Committee.  Those who submit a proposal will be notified whether or not their proposal was accepted by April 6, 2015.

This year’s conference theme is “Rockin’ in Little Rock.”  Themes we hope to see among your proposals include the following:

Libraries Rock ….

  • Building Community Partners
  • Solving Problems with New Approaches
  • Creative Management
  • Technology  Tools

We remind presenters that workshops must be geared toward the small and rural library audience, and those that are practical, hands-on, and how-to are preferred.  This is not the proper venue for post-graduate dissertations or marketing products. Additional instructions are included on the form.

Workshop presenters will receive ONE complimentary conference registration per workshop title selected. (i.e. a team of three presenters working on one workshop will receive one complimentary registration).

The committee is looking forward to receiving your submissions.

Good Luck!

Becky Heil

Conference Programming Committee Chair

Annual Report

The Annual report is available to download.  Annual Report 2014 (pdf)

Disaster of the Month: D&O Insurance

By Su Epstein

Saxton B. Little Library,  Columbia CTinsurance

To be honest, insurance was not something I really thought much about.  Personal insurance (home, auto, etc.) sure, but for the Library?  When I began as a Library Director, I knew the Library had a basic liability policy and I did review it.  I made sure it covered should someone get hurt in the building and if, heaven forbid the building had a fire, the contents would be covered.  But after that, I gave it very little thought.

A few years down the road, however, the make-up of our library board changed.  Personalities shifted and perspectives clashed.  Things came to a head over a fundraising event.  Tensions had been high and communications poor.  At a very public planning meeting, outside of the Library, a full-fledged shouting match erupted.  Accusations and names flew like startled birds.  A board member left, threatening to sue for defamation of character.  I consulted a lawyer and learned the board member had grounds.  At the same time, there arose issues with the vendor contracts for the fundraising event.  This too posed a potential litigious situation.  I called upon my inner Research Librarian, and hit the books and the internet.

It was then that I learned of Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance (often called D&O).  This insurance, purchased by the organization reimburses the organizations leadership for losses or advancement of defense costs of legal actions coming about from alleged wrongful acts in their capacity as leadership of the institution.    Policies vary by the amount of coverage, but are offered by almost all of the major insurance companies.  Costs are based on not only the amount of coverage, but the size of the board and institution.

For our institution the cost increased our insurance line approximately five hundred dollars annually.  It was not an easy sell.  However, the cost of one lawsuit would be far greater.  At the time, my library was facing two possible legal actions.  A situation that six months earlier would have been inconceivable for all of us.

In the end, the fundraising event went off, but not without some very problematic hitches.  The former Board member decided they liked the Library more than they hated the Board and dropped the suit.  The Library Board purchased D&O insurance.  For me, it was all a little too close for comfort.

I don’t know if such insurance is needed and as the coverage varies, it must certainly be analyzed on a per library basis. Likewise, needs can be greatly affected by circumstance.  What I do know, definitively, is that is far better to research and discuss the options before there is a potential need.

2014 ARSL State Library Scholarship Opportunities

State library agencies are again making scholarship opportunities available to librarians in their state! Below are the details that we have received thus far.


The Arizona State Library, Archives & Public records offers Continuing Education Scholarships of up to $1250 to attend ARSL and other conferences. Applicants must be employed full-time by an Arizona library. For more information and to download an application, visit


The California State Library is pleased to announce ARSL scholarships for rural or tribal library staff. We expect to fund up to 2 scholarships per library jurisdiction. If we do not receive enough applications we will establish a waiting list; library directors may forward more than two applications, but please prioritize them from your perspective.

Scholarship applicants must:

  • Be a current ARSL member;
  • State how attending the conference will benefit your library;
  • Identify at least 3 sessions you will attend;
  • Meet virtually via a ReadyTalk session to discuss scholarship requirements before the conference;
  • Meet as a group during the conference to plan ways to cooperate and share what you learn with others, and how you will use that to help improve library service in your communities.

All scholarship requests are to be submitted by Library Directors by July 1, 2014.

Scholarship Form and Application

Contact: Susan Hanks, Library Programs Consultant,, 916-653-0661


The Montana State Library is funding four scholarships ($1,500 each) for librarians who serve in small libraries or tribal libraries in Montana with the deadline of July 1, 2014 to apply. Complete the application and send to Jo Flick,

A committee will meet the first week of July to make selections for the scholarship.

North Carolina

The State Library of North Carolina is now accepting applications for scholarship funds to attend the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference in Tacoma, Washington from September 3-6, 2014. Since there are limited funds available, this is a competitive scholarship. Priority will be given to first time conference attendees in libraries serving rural/small populations. The brief essay question about benefits of conference attendance will also be weighted heavily in the awards.

A $1,200 lump sum payment will be made to the winning applicant’s library to help with conference costs; receipts for these expenses will have to be submitted to the State Library of North Carolina shortly after the end of the conference.

The application is available online and will close on July 20, 2014. Winning applicants will be notified by the end of July. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Jeffrey Hamilton at 919-807-7417 or


The Utah State Library Division is funding up to six scholarships ($1,300 each) for library directors, library staff, or trustees in a small or rural  public or tribal library in Utah. The application deadline is June 13, 2014. Complete details are available at


For scholarship opportunities from the Vermont Department of Libraries, please contact Brittney Wilson, (802) 828-3266.


The Washington State Library, thanks to funding from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), is making full scholarships available for rural and tribal library staff to attend the 2014 conference of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL). Scholarships will include all conference fees, transportation, and other expenses.

Eligible applicants must:

  • Work at a small and rural library (serving 10,000 or fewer), or in a tribal library in Washington State;
  • Be a first-time attendee at the ARSL conference;
  • Demonstrate a willingness to share knowledge gained from conference attendance with fellow library/district staff through a webinar, printed article, blog post, etc.;
  • Show how conference attendance will help to meet the library’s goals as they relate to the LSTA priorities;
  • Attach authorized (signed) permission to the application.

Deadline for applications: Friday, May 30, 2014. For more information, or to apply, visit the Washington State Library ARSL Scholarship page.


The Carol McMurry Library Endowment will offer any Wyoming library worker up to $1500 per year to attend this or another conference:

Applicants can contact Jamie Markus if they have questions about the application.

Registration now open!

Yea! The conference is coming! Yes, it is time to register for the 2014 Association for Rural and Small Libraries.

It will be held in Tacoma, Washington, September 3-6, 2014. Register now!  (Remember to log in first so you can get a member discount!)

One enchanted evening: Lightning talks

Did the metal shop class just build a book drop for your library?

Did you mount an effective display which moved lots of materials?

Did you land a big bequest?

Did you come up with a very successful teen program?

On Thursday evening, September 4th at 8 p.m. (location to be announced), come  and share your accomplishment with your fellow attendees.  You will have ten minutes before we move the mike onto the next individual.  Bring a poster or bring a PowerPoint and boast about what you and your library staff have accomplished.  Practical, easily replicable ideas appreciated!

If you are interested in participating, please email the following information to Lisa Lewis  -  Program Selection Committee Chair  -

Thank you for your participating and I look forward to hearing from many of you!





Topic to be shared:


Projector Needed:

Yes or No

Super Bowl Reading Program

wrp teensIn Sussex County, Delaware three youth services librarians are kicking off 2014 with their 2nd Annual Super Bowl Reading Program.  In late 2012, Tameca Beckett, Laurel Public Library, Christina Poe, Seaford Public Library, and Jessica Webb, Delmar Public Library decided to start the New Year with a little friendly competition.  And what says competition in January better than a little football?  They decided to host a one month Super Bowl Winter Reading Program.  Each participating library would compete to see who could score the most reading touchdowns.  The winner would be announced during the Super Bowl Tailgate party, the Saturday before the Super Bowl.  The only prize awarded was a small trophy for the winning library and bragging rights for the year.

Reading logs were distributed to local schools, community centers, and homeschool groups. wrp1 Throughout the month, each library hosted football themed programs.  Each week the touchdown totals were posted in each library as well as on social media.  In one month, the youth from Delmar, Seaford and Laurel scored a combine

d 227 touchdowns, which equates to 2,270 reading hours.  Over 300 parents and children from each library attended the tailgate party, hosted at the Laurel Public Library.  The Laurel High School football team lent football helmets and jerseys for the tailgate party photo shoot.  Teen volunteers from each library assisted with the food and games during the party.

This program is a demonstration of the power of collaboration and theme.  The football/sports theme drew fathers and sons into the library in droves.  Additionally, kids were motivated as they worked as a team for their library.  Children actually congratulated each other as they scored reading touchdowns.  Yes, there was still a winner but that was all overshadowed in the group effort for both librarians and children.  During the height of the tailgate party, filled with smiling children and parents, it was impossible to identify who was on what team.  Librarians, volunteers, teens, and kids were all apart of Team Literacy.  And it is obvious that we all win on that team.

By Tameca Beckett, ARSL Board Member and Co-Chair of Member Services Committee

Laurel Public Library, DE

“Isn’t that what libraries are all about?” – Jennifer Milligan, Scholarship Winner

By Jennifer Milligan

jennifer milliganShare. Learn. Grow. Change. Rinse. Repeat.  After all, isn’t that what libraries are all about?  A place to share and learn and grow and change, a place to be inspired, a place to be yourself, a place to figure out who you are?

A little over two years ago, I left a successful career in engineering to become a public library director after having completed my MLIS while continuing to work and raise a family.  I did so because I believe in the power of public libraries to educate, inform, and inspire those within our communities, because I believe in the power of continuing education and growth to improve our lives.  To be effective in my role as a director of a small rural public library, I need to learn and grow and change, I need to be inspired, and I need to share that inspiration with those around me, creating stronger and more effective public libraries for all of us. The ARSL conference offered me that opportunity; the opportunity to learn and grow, to make connections, and to better serve my community.

Whether it was getting ideas for fundraising, learning about free tech tools, discussing ways to incorporate makerspaces into small libraries, exploring options for family literacy programming, or sharing the importance of library advocacy, I found every session I attended to be full of passionate professionals, eager to share and learn.  My enthusiasm only grew as I realized that these are ideas that will work for me, a director of a small rural library with limited financial and personnel resources.  How exciting it is to share big ideas and lofty goals in ways that will work for the smallest of libraries, presented by people just like me, people who understand my challenges!  The opportunity to network with similar professionals was priceless, providing me with contacts and friendships that will continue to help me learn and grow and serve my community.

Libraries are a place of change.  We need to be inspired and innovative to meet the challenges of the changes in our communities, to continue to meet the changing needs of our patrons, to ensure that we are continuing to educate, inform, and inspire.  I believe that attendance at the Association for Rural & Rural Libraries Annual Conference provided my entire library system with new information and ideas that will reinvigorate us as we move forward to meet our next challenge.

Lessons Learned from a Drive Through

By Su Epstein

Saxton B. Little Library,  Columbia CT

There is something about the sound of shattering glass that represents all things ‘not good.’  Twice in my career I’ve heard this sound in a Library, I am truly hoping not to have a third.

The last time that horrible sound spun its web around me was a mild day last spring.  It was a Thursday, but not unlike any other, around 3:40 in the afternoon.  The afterschool crowd was in and settled, our later afternoon elderly doing their end of day pass through.  I was gearing up to leave early and cash in some comp time for some much needed rest.su1

The crash sounded at first like a bookcase had toppled and my heart sank, as I heard my Children’s Librarian cry out, “Oh my God, Oh my God.”  We all ran, and I’m sure I was not the only one with a growing sense of fear.

Our library is very small.  In total it sits on a 4800 s.f. footprint that consists of three rooms.  So it took mere seconds to reach the main library but several seconds for my brain to process what I was seeing.

One of our elderly patrons had driven down our walkway, through two metal book drops and a window to arrive literally seven feet into the library.  Realizing what he’d done, he then backed out.

In front of the window had been a four drawer cd holder.  Thousands of discs had flown like fall leaves throughout the room.  Later, we would marvel that not one had broken.   The cd drawers appeared a bit off kilter.  The car had also clipped a six foot magazine shelf.  It had tipped, causing magazines to waterfall and its hanging shelves to swing.  Our television and stand had, prevented the bookcase from crashing down on the periodical seating.  What faired worst was the side of the building that then sported a large whole.

We were lucky.  Thankfully, no one, not even the driver was hurt.  Although many were shaken, no one had been seated or standing in that particular area.  911 was called immediately and with no one harmed, most of us, myself included, mulled around in a stunned state of disbelief.

It was later, after police, fire department, ambulance and television crew had left that several things dawned on us.   First, and foremost, we should have left the building until we knew it was structurally sound.  We didn’t and no one instructed us to.  Fortunately, it wasn’t an issue, but it was a line immediately added to our disaster plan and an idea I’ve tried to drum into my brain.

Second, the disaster plan!  We have one, not that it included a car drive through, but we didn’t even think of our plan at the time.  What was really driven home by this event was that a copy of the plan should be located not only outside of the building, but somewhere local.  I had followed all good wisdom and have a copy of our plan at home — home, which is forty minutes away from the library.  If we had needed to vacate the library and take immediate action, the carefully constructed do lists and phone numbers in our disaster plan would have done me no good at home.  After this event, a copy of our disaster plan lives in a safe spot in our neighboring town hall and their plan lives in a cozy spot next to ours in the Library.

The last lesson learned from this event was to trust in our insurance company.  Since it was a town building and clearly the driver’s fault, it was suggested to simply let the driver’s insurance handle the claim and avoid the library’s insurance.  The driver’s company settled with the driver and the town within weeks, but after 3 months, they had still not settled for the damages within the library.  After filing complaints with the insurance commission and seeking legal counsel, our insurance company suggested we file the claim with them and allow them to seek reimbursement from the driver’s insurance carrier.

Our insurance required only documentation of our loss.  The driver’s insurance was insisting upon sales receipts from the damaged items.  Unfortunately it had been over eight years and two director’s ago when the furniture had been purchased and no one knew where or when those purchases had been made.  While sure, the receipts were in file boxes in the building, who knew which boxes?  After providing photos of the accident and replacement list, our insurance company issued a check and our part in the process was completed.

Now, our furniture replaced, our window and wall repaired and we continue on.  Though we all wish that the jokes about putting in a drive through would come to an end,  I simply say, “do you want fries with that?”

“This is exactly what I’m looking for” – Michele Lawrence, Scholarship Winner

By Michele Lawrence

Michele LawrenceWhen I first learned about ARSL from The University of Alabama’s listserv, I thought, “This is exactly what I’m looking for.” Small and rural libraries have unique issues that other library associations would be at a loss to address.   I read about the 2012 conference and knew I had to go as soon as I possibly could.  The breakout sessions sounded like a wealth of information for my future in small libraries.  I was beyond excited when I found out I was awarded the Dr. Bernard Vavrek scholarship for the 2013 conference in Omaha, NE.

This conference was amazing from the first keynote speaker, Lee Rainie, to the last.  The speakers and presenters were full of energy and excitement for libraries and willing to share all their experience and knowledge to help others.  Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire novels, is a dynamic and fun speaker.  Anyone who has a chance to see him definitely should.  How can I choose the highlights?  The unofficial theme of the conference was to generate mutual support by getting your library involved in the community.  It seems like a simple and obvious plan, but seems to be frequently overlooked.

Rachel Miller and Louise Greene offered great tips to involve your library with community events in Think Outside the Barn.  The Power of One presenters shared great ideas to run a library with a small staff smoothly, such as keeping storytime supplies in a box to be ready at a moment’s notice.  I’m so excited about that even if my library doesn’t participate in the program, I’ll be a one woman Geek Squad!

The ARSL conference brings great presenters, vendors, and ideas together in one venue.  More importantly, it is an opportunity to meet and talk with others who share a love for libraries and small communities.  The conference rejuvenates this passion so you return home ready to face the challenges and rewards of working in a small or rural library.


Super Librarian! – Kathy Hale, Scholarship Winner

kathy scholarshipBy Kathy Hale

With much hope and trepidation I wrote an essay and was awarded the scholarship  to attend my first ARSL Conference. Would I find workshops to fit my needs? Would I have anything worthy to share with others? Would I “fit in”? The “Empowering Small Libraries” conference met my expectations and calmed my anxieties. The sessions and speakers shared not only knowledge, but also introduced me to tools to equip me to better serve my community. Several sessions empowered me with an “I can do it” attitude. Finally, talking to other conference attendees inspired camaraderie of a shared purpose.

My preconference session, Shifting Sands, presented by Bonnie McKewon made me aware of changes coming to libraries of all sizes and some ways to meet the changing needs of our communities and patrons. One of the early sessions with keynote speaker, Lee Rainie, shared Pew research data that confirmed the important role that libraries fill in our community and how that role is changing.

With my mind now set on meeting those challenges and equipping myself to meet them, I made my final decisions on which break out sessions to attend. The presenters were librarians who were willing to share with others how they too could achieve success in specific areas in their libraries.They exemplify what ARSL does best – sharing problems, sharing different ways to overcome those difficulties, and sharing success with others. One presenter mentioned that she plans children’s programs that she enjoys doing. That was a novel thought for me. It made sense, because if I don’t enjoy what I’m doing the program has less chance for success. Mary Stenger, the recipient of the 2013 best small library award, encouraged me with her “if I can do it, you can do it” attitude.

I was also inspired by the presentations from the authors, Craig Johnson and Joe Starita. I enjoyed meeting new people and sharing mealsKathy and discussions with them. I enjoyed the volunteers serving at the registration area and everywhere.

I remember the day Becky Heil called to inform me that I was being awarded the scholarship. I was preparing for our summer reading finale and wondering how I was going to do it all. I needed super powers. She remarked that the ARSL conference would make me a “Super” librarian every day.  While I didn’t quite receive super powers, I came away with an attitude and knowledge to do my job better. Thank you ARSL and thank you to everyone who makes these scholarships possible. It was an opportunity I will treasure.


#chatARSL – Twitter Chat 101

The Future is Now: Rural Library as Innovation Incubator was a webinar collaboration with WebJunction.  In case you missed it, the full archive of the webinar and learning guide are available.

We’d love to continue this conversation with you! Follow ARSL’s Twitter feed and participate in #chatARSL.  If you are new to Twitter or if you have never participated in a Twitter Chat, here are a few tips that will help you get started.

Twitter Chat 101

Q1: What is a Twitter Chat?

A1: When people use a specific hashtag (#) on Twitter to discuss a specific topic.

Q2: Why do you need to use a hashtag?

A2: The hashtag is a way to search and filter tweets that are part of a chat. The # symbols, letters and numbers are used.  For example, #chatARSL.

Q3: How can I get started?

A3: First, sign up for a free Twitter account at

Q4: Okay.  I have a Twitter account.  Now what?

A4: Follow ARSL on Twitter.  In the search box at the top of your Twitter homepage, type @RuralLibAssoc. Click Follow. This will allow you see all the posts from ARSL (@RuralLibAssoc) on your Twitter feed.

Q5: I’m following ARSL (@RuralLibAssoc) now. I’m ready to participate in the Twitter chat.  What’s next?

A5: In the search box, type our hashtag, #chatARSL. This will display all of the tweets so far in the conversation. You will be able to read the moderator’s questions and comments as well as everyone’s recent posts on the topic.  Feel free to jump right in!  The moderator will pose a question. To create a response, click on the blue square at the top right corner of the page.

Q6: I just typed my response.  Is there anything I should remember before I hit “Tweet”?

A6: Yes, a Twitter response (Tweet) can only be 140 characters.  And don’t forget it has to contain the hashtag #chatARSL so everyone participating in the conversation can see it.

Q7: I see the moderator’s questions.  How should I answer?

A7: Here’s an example (it’s very similar to the question and answer on this page)

     @RuralLibAssoc: “Welcome to #chatARSL! Q1:What was your favorite webinar in 2013? #chatARSL”

     @Your Tweet: “A1:I loved the webinar on the library programs on a budget. #chatARSL”

Q8: I did it!  Are there other ways to engage?

A8: Yes! You can reply to any participant’s tweets.  If someone says something you like, there’s a small “reply” button at the bottom of each tweet.  Don’t forget to include the hashtag #chatARSL!

Q9: What does Retweet mean?

A9: A Retweet is a way to re-post someone’s tweet.  It’s kind of like forwarding the tweet to share it with others.

We look forward to sharing innovative stories, ideas, and helpful tips!

COSLA Celebrates 40 Years of Success; Plans for Future

Lexington, KY – The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) held its Annual Meeting at the Hilton Savannah Desoto in Savannah, Georgia during the week of October 27-31, 2013.  COSLA celebrated its 40th anniversary and devoted time to organizational planning while discussing and taking action on issues of common concern and national interest.

2013 marked the 40th anniversary for COSLA which was first organized in November 1973 at a meeting in Washington, D.C.  Former State Librarians  Al Trezza (IL) and Joe Shubert (OH) conceived the idea of COSLA during an afternoon break at the meeting.  They were standing under the stoop at the Capitol Hill Hotel (now disappeared into a parking lot) during a quiet rain.  They identified officers and the general plan and then discussed the ideas with other state librarians later in the day and evening.  In honor of the occasion, a celebratory reception and dinner for current members, past members and guests was held on the Savannah River Queen on Monday, October 28th in Savannah, Georgia.  A program providing the history of COSLA as well as testimonials from many past members was enjoyed by everyone at the event.  COSLA was pleased to have 25 past COSLA members join the celebration along with the 44 states represented at the meeting.

To read more, download this PDF press release from COSLA – COSLA Celebrates 40 Years of Success (pdf)

2013 – Program and Handouts

Thank you to all the presenters for sharing their presentation materials here!

Full Conference Program (pdf)

See also:

Session Handouts

Answering Legal Reference Questions on a Shoestring
Paul Healey

Handout (pdf)

Community 3E
Gail Sheldon

Handout (docx)

Community Connections
Becky Baker

Handout (pdf)

Dazzling Displays on a Dime
Leah Krotz

Handout (pdf)

Establish a Seed Saving Library
David Mixdorf

Handout 1 (docx)
Handout 2 (docx)
Handout 3 (docx)
Handout 4 (docx)

Everyday Tools
Becky Heil

Handout (docx)

Excel at Rearranging your Library
Chris Rippel

Collection Manager
Shelf Shuffler

Family Read
Heidi Schutt

Handout (pdf)

From Cozy to Exotic: Not Your Typical Library Programs
Carrie Falk

Handout (doc)

Fundraising to Build and Sustain the Best Small Library in America
Amy McBride

Handout 1 (pdf)
Handout 2 (pdf)
Handout 3 (pdf)

Gaming & Game Programming in the Library
Josh Barnes
Jezmynne Dene

Handout 1 (google doc)
Handout 2 (google doc)

Geek Your Library
Jennifer Powell

Community Awareness (pdf)
Library Success (pdf)
Why it Works (pdf)

Genealogy Basics for the non-genealogist Librarian
Sarah Uthoff

Handout 1 (pdf)
Handout 2 (pdf)

Inspired for Greatness
Heather Woody


Laughter for the Health of It
Wendy Street

Handout (pdf)

Makers, Mentors and More
Timothy Owens
‎Travis Porter
Kieran Hixon


Mind Mapping
Denise Anton Wright


No Cost Staff Recognition
Sheila Urwiler

Handout 1 (pdf)
Handout 2 (pdf)

Pew Panel: The Future of Technology at Public Libraries
Lee Rainie

Key Messages (docx)
Global Libraries Support for Public Libraries (docx)
Radio spot from Independence Public Library (mp3) [To listen, click on link. To download, right click, then "Save link as.."]

Physical Change by Mental Change
Lola DeWall

Handout (docx)

The Power of One
Judy Calhoun
Anna Bates

Powerpoint (updated with Speaker’s notes)

Reader’s Advisory On the Run
Carolyn Petersen

Handout (pdf)

Refurbishing Reference
Terry Elsey


Shifting Sands…A Changing Library Landscape
Bonnie McKewon

Handout 1 (pdf)

Small Libraries Can Make Big Impact
Joan K. Weaver

Handout (pdf)
Handout 3 (pdf)

Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Valerie Haverhal

Handout (pdf)
Handout 2 (doc)

Tapping into Transnational Community Networks
John Thill

Handout (pdf)

Tech Tools: Get-er Done for Free
Kieran Hixon


Teen Programs That Pack a Punch
Hope Decker

Handout 1 (pdf)
Handout 2 (docx)
Handout 3 (docx)
Handout 4 (docx)
Teen Survey (docx)
Teen Survey Results Chart (docx)
Teen Survey Thank You (docx)
Brainstorming Ideas (docx)
Cupcake decorating rubric (docx)
Cupcake decorating rules (docx)
Cupcake decorating score sheets (docx)

Think Outside the Barn
Rachel Miller
Louise Greene

Handout (pdf)

21st Century iBrary
Matthew Cross, Jeffrey Stoffer, & Cecily Peters

Handout (docx)

Video Book Talks: From Script to Screen
Michael Sauers
Laura Johnson


Weeding:  The Good, the Bad and the Mustie
Jeremy Bolom

handout (pdf)


2013 Conference Update

By Jet Kofoot, member of the 2013 ARSL Conference PR Subcommittee, and consultant, North-Central District, Iowa Library Services

We look forward to this year’s ARSL Annual Conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton Omaha Downtown in Omaha, NE from September 25-28. Preconference sessions and welcome reception will be held on the 25th with the full conference beginning Thursday morning.

For the first time ever, the conference has sold out! If you’ve already registered you’re welcome to add events such as preconferences or the Wednesday tour of Council Bluffs, and can do so by logging into the registration page once again, selecting only those items you wish to add.

For information about lodging, our fee schedule, dates, etc., please see the following page on our website:

Preconferences and Tours

Preconference sessions and tours are filling quickly for this year’s conference. We’ve reached the registration limit for the Shifting Sands preconference and the evening Ghost Tour but you can still get in on the 3 remaining preconference sessions and the all day tour of Council Bluffs.  Remember, if you’ve already registered it’s not too late to add a preconference or tour to your registration. Read more about the preconference sessions: and tours:

Author Luncheon

The folks of Buffalo, Wyoming know what’s cool. They recently held their second year of “Longmire Days” in celebration of mystery writer Craig Johnson’s popular Longmire series of books and the new television series by the same name. Over 5,000 visitors were attracted to Buffalo for the weekend festivities. Like the citizens of Buffalo, ARSL conference attendees can get on the Longmire bandwagon as Craig Johnson is our speaker for Friday’s Author Luncheon.  Mr. Johnson will be signing autographs after the luncheon. A special note of appreciation is extended to the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) for sponsoring this luncheon.  Be sure to attend this exciting event!

Wednesday Welcome Reception

Dr. Spit and the Blues Mechanics

Dr. Spit and the Blues Mechanics

You’re in for a real treat, both literally and figuratively, if you’re attending the welcome reception Wednesday evening. Refreshments will feature foods that originated in Nebraska, and musical entertainment will be provided by Omaha artists Dr. Spit and the Blues Mechanics! Come and enjoy the food and entertainment while you network with colleagues from across the country. The 2013 ARSL Conference is shaping up to be our biggest and best conference yet. Don’t miss out!

Final Plans

Those of you coming to Omaha are likely making final travel plans. Be sure to take some time to review the conference schedule and session descriptions, and take a look at the presenter photos and bios as you start to put faces with names.

If you’re posting to Twitter, be sure to tag with the conference hashtag #ARSL13 and please add your conference photos to the ARSL Group on Flickr. We look forward to seeing many of you there and will be posting updates for those unable to join us via the ARSL website at Conference Information.

Pre-conference Presentations

NLSI_no_backgroundNASA’s “Explore: Marvel Moon” Hands-on Activities

Presenter: Eve Halligan, NASA Lunar Science Institute

Open the door to another world by providing hands-on science experiences for your community! Undertake hands-on NASA activities that are designed to engage children ages 8 to 13 and their families in the library environment and rely on inexpensive, fun materials. Receive NASA activity plans, resources – and lots of ideas! In this full day pre-conference, Eve Halligan from the NASA Lunar Science Institute will show you how to incorporate science education in your library programming.

Price: $65-Includes continental breakfast and boxed lunch
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 25
Times: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Shifting Sands: A Changing Library LandscapeBonnie McK

Presenter: Bonnie McKewon, Iowa Library Services

Shifting Sands: A Changing Library Landscape” examines how trends affect libraries’ decision-making in meeting community needs. In this half day pre-conference, see how library spaces are being reimagined as creative gathering places. Look at how staff job descriptions are changing to meet workplace expectations. Discuss what fresh skills library trustees need to bring to the 21st century board table. And see how Planning for Results leads library staff and boards to respond to community needs. Yes, the sands are shifting, but good news – it’s not quicksand – we can best navigate a changing library landscape by working together!

This session is FULL.

Michael SauersVideo Book Talks: From Script to Screen

Presenters: Michael Sauers and Laura Johnson, Nebraska Library Commission
Laura Johnson
In this half day pre-conference, Michael and Laura will discuss the how and why of video book talks – and demonstrate making one, from writing your script, editing your video, and posting it online. If you want to engage your teens, market your book discussion group, or just encourage people to read, check out this easy, fun way to add book talks to your website.

Price: $35
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 25
Times: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Head shot 1 (1) (2)Inspired for Greatness

Presenter: Heather Woody, Success Coach – Heather Woody Unlimited

Learn ways to motivate, influence and inspire the people within your team in order to keep them engaged, fulfilled and enthused about the work they are doing on a daily basis. These key intangibles are important in reducing turnover and increasing overall job satisfaction. People and their performance excel when they are able to add fun into their daily mix of tasks, projects and goal achievement. Learn ways to implement productive, performance enhancing fun into your library in this half day pre-conference and be empowered!

Price: $50
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 25
Times: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

See more information about 2013 ARSL Conference

2013 ARSL Scholarship Recipients

The Association for Rural and Small Libraries offers three annual conference scholarships to promote the organization and the conference. The Dr. Bernard Vavrek Scholarship goes to a current LIS student and the Founders and Ken Davenport Scholarships go to current library professionals.

Thank you to our ARSL Premier Members who have helped make these scholarships possible through a $10 contribution as part of their membership and thank you to the members of the Scholarship Committee for all of their hard work.  More than 90 applications were submitted and each committee member read each application as part of the evaluation process.   It is a lot of work with some very difficult choices as there are only 3 scholarships and so many worthy applicants. Thank you to:   Hope Decker, Julie Elmore, Judy Grandstaff, Valerie Haverhals,  Becky Heil and committee chair, Shirley Vonderhaar.

On behalf of the ARSL Conference Scholarship Committee we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Scholarships to attend the ARSL Conference this fall in Omaha, Nebraska.

ARSL Conference Scholarship Winners for 2013

Bernard Vavrek Scholarship
Michele Lawrence
Student at the University of Alabama and library assistant at North Suffolk Public Library

Founders Scholarship
Kathy Hale
Director, Savonburg Public Library

Ken Davenport Scholarship
Jennifer Milligan
Director, Sherrill-Kenwood Free Library

We look forward to sharing blog posts from Michele, Kathy and Jennifer when they share about their conference experience!

And thank you to the state library agencies who are providing additional scholarships for rural librarians to attend the conference in September.

ARSL Market Research Report

In March, the ARSL Board met in Chicago to begin work on planning for our future. There were a number of pieces put into place before this meeting including several surveys and focus groups conducted by Lucas Consulting.  Several of you participated in these surveys and groups.  When all the data was collected, the teams of Lucas Consulting and Rainbow Research analyzed the data and created a report for our organization.

Since those meetings, the Board and Executive Committee of ARSL have been working to incorporate much of this data into our operations.  We are evaluating a number of processes we use to reach members, working to develop an updated strategic plan and revamping how our board does business.

Many of the changes we are incorporating and projects we are undertaking are due to the input, suggestions and contributions of our members and potential members.  We thank you for your honest, forthright and (as always) practical advice.  This is your organization and we want to take every opportunity to make it responsive to your needs and wants.

We were fortunate to have such an opportunity and want to thank the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for making this project possible and for providing top quality professionals to facilitate this work. We are extremely grateful to them for making this opportunity to view our Association from a new perspective and to prepare for future growth.

We hope you will continue to let us know what is important to you.

Market Research Report – Executive Summary

Market Research Report – Full Report

Conference Registration Now Open – ARSL 2013

By Jet Kofoot, member of the 2013 ARSL Conference PR Subcommittee, and Consultant, North-Central District, Iowa Library Services

So, hopefully, you’ve found a ride to the ARSL 2013Conference. Now is the time to register, apply for a scholarship and check out (no pun intended) the sessions being offered. The conference planning committee is excited about this year’s conference, and we’re sure you will be too!

First things first, however; make sure you have the correct dates on your calendar, your GPS is set for the correct location and you’ve reserved a room. The conference will be held September 25th–28th at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in downtown Omaha, Nebraska.

The hotel is currently accepting reservations so book your room today.

  • Make reservations via phone at 800-222-TREE (8733), or by calling the hotel directly at 402-346-7600 (Attendees must mention “ARSL” for the $99 conference rate)

  • Or place your reservation via the ARSL Personalized Group Web Page

  • Don’t pay more than $99 / night (plus tax / fees) for a room! Our contract covers our guests under this rate during, and also three days before and after, the conference, as available (please note that rooms may be sold out — all over town — Saturday night).

Now that you have a place to stay, go and register for the conference, sign up for one of the exciting pre-conferences (offered on the 25th) and a fun tour.

Meals provided:

  • Mixer (Wednesday evening)
  • Breakfast (Thursday morning)
  • Lunch (Thursday)
  • Breakfast (Friday morning)
  • Lunch (Friday)
  • Brunch (Saturday mid-morning)


  • Michael Sauers and Laura Johnson – Video Book Talks
  • Keliann Laconte – NASA Explore Marvel Moon
  • Bonnie McKewon – Shifting Sands: A Changing Library Landscape
  • Heather Woody – Inspiring Small Libraries

Be sure to register early for pre-conference sessions as space is limited.

  • Tours

    • On, In, Up & Down Tour of Council Bluffs: Tour public art, parks, historic Dodge House, Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs. Eat lunch at Dixie Quick’s restaurant (featured on Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives!).
    • Spooky Sights and Scary Nights! Council Bluffs Ghost Tour: Do you believe in ghosts? How do you get rid of a ghost? Attend the Council Bluffs Ghost Tour and you’ll find out!

What, you don’t have the money in your budget to pay for the conference!? Apply for a scholarship.

The paper work’s out of the way.  Now you can relax and take some time to peruse the information about the awesome keynote speakers and breakout sessions.

  • Keynote Speakers

    • Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
    • Sally Gardner Reed, Executive Director of ALA’s United for Libraries
    • Mary Beth Stenger, director of the Southern Area Public Library, and winner of the 2013 Best Small Library in America award from Library Journal
    • Craig Johnson, will be the featured speaker at the Author Luncheon
    • Joe Starita, Nebraska author of “I am a Man:” Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice
  • Breakout Sessions

    • Too many to mention them all but here’s a sampling
      • The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Librarian

      • Dazzling Displays on a Dime

      • Chocolate Orgy & More Fun, Free Community Involvement Programs

      • Excel at Rearranging Your Library

      • I Didn’t Know Directors Had To Do THAT!

      • Innovation on a Shoestring

      • No Cost Staff Recognition

      • The Power of One

      • Super Hero Leadership

      • Tech Tools Get-er Done for Free

You should be set-to-go, but if there’s something I missed you might find the answer on our Conference FAQ page.

Wow, you’ve got a ride (hopefully) and a hotel room. You’ve registered for the conference, a pre-conference and a tour. Your scholarship application is in the works, and you’ve scrutinized the offerings for keynote speakers and breakout sessions. Go take a nap; you deserve it!!

ARSL board election are coming!

Nominations for the ARSL board are now closed and the nominating committee has met to determine the list of names put forth on the ballot.

Due to a recent resignation, we are looking to fill six board positions. Two of the nine applicants will be current members, up for a second term.

We anticipate having a ballot with the nine individuals available by mid-June. The election will close in mid-July and the new board members will be notified shortly thereafter.

Short applicant statements will be made available to members to inform your vote. We look forward to your participation in this year’s ARSL board election!

State Library Agency 2013 ARSL Conference Scholarships

Again this year, we’re learning of state library agencies making scholarship opportunities available to librarians in their state! In addition to these state-provided scholarships, ARSL has opened up the application process for three ARSL scholarships.


The Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) is pleased to announce the formation of 2 grants for this year’s Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference in Omaha, Nebraska from September 26-28, 2013. Funding through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), in conjunction with APLS, provides up to $1,500 reimbursement for registration, travel, hotel and meals for each grant recipient.

Criteria for grant applicants:

· Must work in an Alabama public library
· Never attended an ARSL Conference before
· Have a library service population of less than 25,000
· Have a willingness to network and share
· Agree to write a 1-page article (300 word minimum) for APLSeeds by November 1, 2013.
· Agree to speak at the October 17th Administrators’ Meeting about your conference experience
· If not the head of a library, supervisor approval of the application is required

Completed applications must be postmarked by June 14th, and grant winners will be announced by July 1st. It is up to the recipient to make all travel arrangements. Applications are available on the APLS website ( under Homepage Quick Links or for download here. Reimbursement forms and receipts must be returned to APLS by October 11th. Any questions should be directed to Denise A. Wetzel at or 800-723-8469, ext. 3949.


The California State Library is again sponsoring up to 30 rural and tribal library staff scholarships for the ARSL Conference in Omaha this year. A message and application were sent to library directors on June 5 describing the process to use to potentially secure a scholarship for themselves and/or a staff member. Questions? or


Please find the application for first time conference attendees from Idaho here: Due July 31, 2013.


Montana State Library is offering 3 scholarships for Montana librarians from small (under 10,000 service population) libraries and/or tribal libraries to attend the conference. Please contact MSL’s Statewide Training and Development Specialist, Jo Flick, with questions. Her email is


The Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) will be targeting all of the funds available this year for Continuing Education and Training Grants toward grants to Nebraska public library staffers to attend the ARSL Conference. We hope to send about 35 to 40 Nebraska librarians to the Conference.

The grant will cover virtually all the expenses of attending the conference—registration, mileage, lodging, and meals.

See all the details and get the application form at

The application deadline is July 3, 2013.

New Jersey

The New Jersey State Library is awarding one $1,000 scholarship to attend ARSL. Application due by July 31, 2013.

North Carolina

The State Library of North Carolina is now accepting applications for scholarship funds to attend the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference in Omaha, Nebraska from September 25-28, 2013.  Since there are limited funds available, this is a competitive scholarship.  Priority will be given to first time conference attendees in libraries serving rural/small populations.  The brief essay question about benefits of conference attendance will also be weighted heavily in the awards.

The scholarship will cover:

  • conference registration (which may include a one-year membership)
  • hotel lodging
  • airfare

The State Library will pay conference registration up front.  Grant agreements between the State Library and the awardees’ library will cover hotel and airfare not to exceed $750 based upon receipts submitted.  All other expenses such as meals, ground transportation, parking, or other incidentals are the responsibility of the staff person and/or library.

The application is available online - and will close on July 30, 2013.  If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Jeffrey Hamilton at 919-807-7417 or

North Dakota

The North Dakota State Library offers a CE grant award for the attendance of two public librarians to the annual meeting of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) conference. Each award will be for an amount not exceeding $2,000. The funds provided by the CE grant may be used to cover the costs of registration, travel, hotel and meals (per diem). Eligible costs shall be payable based on the travel cost policies of the State of North Dakota. Funding for the two awards is made possible through the use of Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) received by the North Dakota State Library. The grant award amount will be paid post conference and reimbursement will be based on the provided copies of qualifying expenses. Selection for the award of the CE grant will be made based on an  essay submitted by the applicant. For more information on the CE grant and to download a copy of the application please go to:

The awarded applicants must meet the minimum criteria specified on the application. For full consideration, applications for the CE award must be received by the North Dakota State Library before July 19, 2013. Announcement of granted awards will be made no later than August 1, 2013.  See: for details of the upcoming September 25-28, 2013 conference in Omaha, Nebraska.


The Office of Commonwealth Libraries is pleased to announce the formation of four scholarships to attend this year’s Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference in Omaha Nebraska  from September 26-28, 2013. Funding through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) provides conference registration plus up to $850 reimbursement for travel, hotel and meals for each scholarship recipient.  It is up to the recipient to make all travel arrangements.

The scholarship’s criteria for applicants include:

  • Must work in a Pennsylvania small or rural public library
  • Never attended a previous ARSL Conference
  • Willingness to network and share
  • Agree to participate in a Webinar to present what you learned to PA librarians
  • If not the head of a library, the supervisor must approve the application

Please complete this application.  It should be completed and sent to Bonnie Young no later than Monday, June 10.  Please let Young know if you have any questions.


For information on the Utah ARSL Scholarship, visit:
Application Deadline May 30, 2013


The Washington State Library, thanks to funding from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), is making full scholarships available for rural and tribal library staff to attend the 2013 conference of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL), which will be held from Wednesday, September 25 – Saturday, September 28, 2013, in Omaha, Nebraska. Scholarships will include all conference fees, transportation, and other expenses.

Eligible applicants must:

Work at a small and rural library (serving 10,000 or fewer), or in a tribal library in Washington State;
Be a first-time attendee at the ARSL conference;
Demonstrate a willingness to share knowledge gained from conference attendance with fellow library/district staff through a webinar, printed article, blog post, etc.;
Show how conference attendance will help to meet the library’s goals as they relate to the eight LSTA priorities (;
Attach authorized (signed) permission to the application.

Deadline for applications: Friday, May 31, 2013. To apply, contact Carolyn Petersen at, 360.570.5560, or toll-free at 1.866.538.4996.


Wisconsin’s Division for Libraries and Technology will award four scholarships at $750 each to support first-time attendees who work in Wisconsin libraries to the ARSL conference. Qualifications, information and the online application is available here: and applications are due 7/15/2013.


The Carol McMurry Library Endowment will offer any Wyoming library worker up to $1500 to attend this or another conference:

Applicants can contact Jamie Markus ( if they have questions about the application.

Pew Report: Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading

By Gail Sheldon

I am pleased to represent the ARSL Board of directors as a member of the Pew Internet & American Life Advisory Committee. As librarians, we all know that children and parents have a very special relationship with reading and libraries. We see it every day. Whether it is for story hour, early literacy, homework, school projects, or other programs – parents (grandparents, too) and children love their library. We see their smiling faces, their inquisitive natures, and the joy at finding just the “right” book.

Even though we see this every day and understand how important libraries are to parents and children, oftentimes those who are in control of our funding do not. They do not see how essential we really are. Today, you have ammunition – you have facts and figures that you can use to advocate for your library and the vital role it plays in in the lives of children and parents in your community.  The Pew Internet and American Life Report, “Children, Parents, Libraries, and Reading” was released today. You can find the entire report at

Some of the facts you will find:

“The importance parents assign to reading and access to knowledge shapes their enthusiasm for libraries and their programs:

  • 94% of parents say libraries are important for their children and 79% describe libraries as “very important.” That is especially true of parents of young children (those under 6), some 84% of whom describe libraries as very important.
  • 84% of these parents who say libraries are important say a major reason they want their children to have access to libraries is that libraries help inculcate their children’s love of reading and books.
  • 81% say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries provide their children with information and resources not available at home.
  • 71% also say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries are a safe place for children.

Almost every parent (97%) says it is important for libraries to offer programs and classes for children and teens.” (Part of the report summary)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t be afraid to read these reports – while some research can seem dry and difficult to read – these are very accessible and easy to understand. They are full of visual representations of the data so you can see how each question relates to the other. It will really get you thinking, “How can I use this? What will make the most difference?” The answers to these questions will be different for each of us depending on our situations. But find something you can use from this report and pair it with YOUR own observations and statistics, and library stories from YOUR patrons. Nothing speaks like stories. You know your library and your stakeholders best. Please share your ideas for using this research with the Listserv; it generates ideas for all of us.

Thank you to the Gates Foundation for funding this research, and to the Pew Research Center for their significant work.

2013 – Breakout Session Descriptions

See also:

21st Century iBrary
Matthew Cross
Ak-Chin Indian Community Library

For the past four years the Ak-Chin Indian Community Library has prided itself with using new innovative methods to teach digital media and 21st century skills. Our presentation is about telling our story and is meant to inspire others to think outside their box for programming at their libraries.

The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Librarian
Sarah R. Day
Dr. Grace O. Doane Alden Public Library

I describe our after school program (a 3 week rotation of games, crafts, and movies) and explain how anyone can implement a similar program at their library, no matter their size. In the second half of my program, I teach a simple craft.

Answering Legal Reference Questions on a Shoestring
Paul Healey

Reference questions seeking legal information are fairly common, but most rural and small libraries do not have the materials, or the expertise, to answer such questions. This presentation will explain the ins and outs of answering such questions, including potential legal issues in providing help. We will also look briefly at the array of legal materials and resources available for free on the Internet.

Ask Them…The Right Way: Creating Community Surveys
Kim Kietzman
Altoona Public Library

Writing questions for community surveys that get responses and results is frequently something libraries pay someone else to do – at great expense. Get tips and tricks to create your own!

Build Library Awareness by Engaging Your Community
Jennifer Powell

Jenny Powell, Field Manager for OCLC’s Geek the Library community awareness campaign, will use the experience of libraries participating in this free program as a platform for a broader discussion about the importance of library personnel getting out of the library and into the community to make connections, build relationships and educate the public about the library’s important local role. Jenny will inspire with examples of library leaders and staff who successfully engaged the local community.

Cataloger as SEP Expert
Melissa Powell

The cataloging database is the foundation of the library’s web presence and as such drives traffic to the pertinent information in the PAC. How well are you ranking your resources for your users? Discussion of access points, notes, and subject headings. Essential for copy catalogers and frontline staff as well.

Community 3E: Innovative Programming/Community Involvement
Gail Sheldon
Oneonta Public Library

The presentation describes the initial conception, and continued organization and presentation of Oneonta Public Library’s two annual premier events – our Public Safety Fair: “Don’t be Lucky – Be Safe” and Haunted Library: “Terror in the Stacks”. These events are part of the Library’s Community 3E initiative (Education, Engagement, and Entertainment).

Community Connections
Becky Baker
Seward Memorial Library

A panel discussion on various ways to help the library connect with the community, especially the business community, in ways that don’t cost too much! Summer promotions and more will be included.

Dazzling Displays on a Dime
Leah Krotz
Belleville Public Library

Displays don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Learn to create captivating displays, using everyday objects and fun themes to bring your library to life. You’ll see tons of pictures to get your creative juices flowing, and go home with resources and practical tips for creating displays that dazzle!
Jamie Hollier
Public Library Association

Information session about the Public Library Association’s, an IMLS funded project launching in June 2013. is an online hub for digital literacy support and training, with a special focus on rural and small libraries. Included in are self-directed trainings for end-users and a community of practice for digital literacy trainers.

Establish a Seed Saving Library
David Mixdorf
South Sioux City Public Library

Describes how to establish a seed saving library for minimal expense.

Excel at Rearranging Your Library
Chris Rippel
Central Kansas Library System

Eventually, librarians need or want to rearrange their libraries. Rearranging bits of paper is tricky. Chris Rippel demonstrates using Excel to easily create a variety of patron-friendly layouts. It’s free, quick to learn and use, and perfect for small libraries.

Family Read – Family-Centric Reading Program
Heidi Schutt
Muir Library

This summer, a few libraries in southern Minnesota are trying a new style of a summer reading program. We are compiling family-oriented resources to create a FamilyRead program that involves and encourages entire families to read together and talk about what they’re reading. We want to share our resources and results.

From Cozy to Exotic:  Not your typical library program
Carrie Falk
Shenandoah Public Library

Will share programs that work at our library and make suggestions for people, organizations and local businesses you can partner with to enhance programs and save costs. We’ve had everything from a car cruise to a gadget zoo to Saturday craft day projects. Will include many more examples and pictures.

Fundraising to Build and Sustain the Best Small Library in America
Amy McBride
Montrose Regional Library District

Learn how the Montrose Regional Library District raised $1 million to build a National Medal-winning library in Naturita, Colorado (population=546), and how it raises at least $30,000 annually to sustain it.

 The Future is Now
Andrea Berstler
Wicomico Public Library

With the technology landscape constantly shape-shifting, libraries must respond as futurists to changing patron needs. Learn strategies on how to remain relevant, if not core, to your community’s needs by providing the means and support for patrons to create and innovate. Rural and small libraries with limited resources can become community innovation incubators, by providing patrons access to transformative technologies and by creating the space for new ideas to be explored. From makerspaces to editing suites to digital learning labs, libraries are empowering and impacting their communities, now and in the future.

Gaming and Game Programming in the Library
Josh Barnes
Portneuf District Library

Got game? Come and explore the many types of games, consoles, and programs available to make your library the hottest place on the block. We’ll also discuss ways to get started: everything from the equipment you’ll need to getting your library’s management on board.

Genealogy Basics for the Non-Genealogist Librarian
Sarah Uthoff
Kirkwood Community College Library

Librarians have to take on many unexpected roles. One of these is the preserver of local history and sidekick in people’s quest to find their family tree. This session will give you the background knowledge to help you help your patrons find the right track.

Hitting It Out of the Park:  Leadership and Advocacy
Valerie Haverhals
Hawarden Public Librrary

The presentation combines library leadership and advocacy to ensure that your library is newsworthy, active, and partnering with groups in the community.

I Didn’t Know Directors Had To Do THAT!
Maryann Mori
Iowa Library Services

Would-be directors often have misconceptions about the role of director, and many newly-appointed directors are surprised to learn exactly what their job description means when they start the job. Understand the joys and challenges of becoming a director, and gain practical tips for finding help when help is needed.

Innovation on a Shoestring
Christa Burns, Nebraska Library Commission
Louise Alcorn, West Des Moines Public Library

Libraries everywhere are dealing with tight budgets and shrinking staff. Small and medium libraries are particularly hard hit by these issues. How are these libraries maintaining a respectable level of technology and library service innovation with little or no money and staff? They are starting new programs, bringing in new resources, and developing new partnerships. This session will highlight some very creative responses from small and rural libraries in middle America.

Into the Wild Blue:  Initiating an Educational Rocketry Program in Your Library
Steven Arthur
Ellis Public Library

Six year successful and growing program of rocketry. taught to kids in the community, other locations in the county as well as to other communities in Western Kansas. It is presented at 4H Space Tech Days, have offered this program to boy scouts and girl scouts and have been approached to offer it in surrounding schools. Program is a collaborative effort between the library and county extension, provides passive remedial instruction in sciences, and has grown exponentially. Annual launch is attended by the community and is a fixed feature in local fair. Kids develop a sense of pride when launching a rocket they built. City made proclamation to declare Ellis ʺRocket Townʺ each year at annual launch. Also supported by local businesses.

Laughter for the Health of It:  Using therapeutic laughter in library programming
Wendy Street
Pella Public Library

I am a Certified Laughter Leader and do library outreach programs that incorporate information about the health aspects of laughter as well as laughter exercises. My presentation will include how to do a Laughter Club, how to incorporate laughter exercises in library programming, and participation in an actual laughter session.

Makers and Mentors and More
Timothy G. Owens
Institute of Museum and Library Services

Looking for new ways to reach teens without breaking the bank? Get ideas to adopt and adapt from the maker movement, learning labs, and more, by exploring projects supported with federal LSTA funding. Leave with tips and tools for engaging teens on a shoestring budget.

Mind Mapping Your Library, Mind Mapping Your Life

Denise Anton Wright
South Central Library System

Mind Mapping is an incredibly powerful visual tool that was first popularized by Tony Buzan in the 1960s. Since that time Mind Mapping has been successfully used as a planning model in a variety of library settings. Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with Mind Mapping to achieve both professional and personal goals.

No Cost Staff Recognition

Sheila Urwiler
Starke County Public Library System

Our staff are our best resource for marketing, advocating and providing outstanding service; with limited budgets and time, we don’t always appreciate them as much as we should. This presentation will discuss low- and no-cost ideas for implementing a staff recognition program, and empowering staff to appreciate each other.

Pew Panel
Lee Rainie

This panel discussion will offer follow-up information regarding data presented in Lee Rainie’s opening keynote presentation.  Those interested in learning more about applying the data to their own situations and libraries won’t want to miss it.

Physical Change by Mental Change
Lola DeWall
Pocahontas Public Library

Marketing your library to appear fresh and new on a budget. How many times have you said, ʺI can’t do anything to change the appearance of my library. This is the only way it works.ʺ Ideas presented to physically market your library to the community. (Design on a Nickel)

The Power of One
Judy Calhoun
Southeast Arkansas Regional Library

Running a one-person library can be a daunting task. In the Power of One, we will show how you can transform from mild mannered librarian to Super Librarian! Discover your superpowers to unleash skills that will help to make your life easier and more efficient.
Topics that will be included are: Time Management, working well with others: board members, volunteers, Friends, etc., financial Matters, technology Issues and more!

Pushing the Limits
Al Bennett

Larry Grieco, Director of the Gilpin County Public Library in Colorado

Pushing the Limits is entering the fourth and final year for funding by the National Science Foundation. Twenty rural libraries offered four programs each in 2013 for their communities featuring reading, viewing project-developed videos and discussions involving local scientists. Leaders from participating libraries will describe their activities. The additional rural library grantees will be in introduced. The future of the program after 2014 will be discussed.

Reader’s Advisory on the Run
Carolyn Petersen
Washington State Library

This presentation is aimed at the librarian who is too busy to read everything he/she would like to, but still wants to keep abreast of adult reading trends so they can recommend materials for their patrons. Topic covered: book awards, best seller lists, internet sites to follow, How to judge a book by its cover.

Refurbishing Reference
Terry Elsey
Laurens County Public Library

  • Survey holdings in reference
  • Decide reference depth and breadth with typical update periods
  • Include decisions on print vs eresources such as ebooks and databases
  • Make reference policy
  • Significantly weed print collection, possibly move to circulation, local history collection, discard or update
  • New signage, print placement
  • Arrangement of databases on website

Small Libraries Can Make Big Impact
Joan K. Weaver
Kinsley Public Library

The small, rural library can stay relevant by being instrumental in preserving their community’s heritage through oral histories. Presentation will show how small libraries can follow the example of the Kinsley Library (recognized throughout Kansas and as a two-time 2012 ALA award winner) in gathering, preserving and making accessible the lives of 66 citizens. See ʺPatchwork of Dependencyʺ, ʺPatterns of Changeʺ, and ʺ1979 Tractorcade to D.C.ʺ at

Start a 1,000 Books B4K Program at Your Library
Karen Drevo
Norfolk Public Library

Learn how to launch a ʺ1,000 Books Before Kindergartenʺ stealth program at your library to ensure kids enter kindergarten ready to read, reinforce parents’ role as their child’s first teacher, instill the lifelong love of reading in young children, encourage frequent visits to the library, and boost your circulation–all on a shoestring budget.

Super Hero Leadership
Lisa Lewis
Huachuca City Public Library

ʺEMPOWERʺ your library by developing ʺSUPERHEROʺ leadership skills. Channel your inner superhero and lead your library through difficult challenges such as budget, innovative programs, community outreach, staffing difficulties and much more. You will leave this presentation armed with all the tools necessary to conquer the world!!! (maybe a slight exaggeration).

Tapping Into Transnational Communities
John Thill
Napa County Library

This program examines the way in which transnational communities, those based on extended families and hometowns within a country of origin, can be used to create specifically tailored library services that reflect the true demographics of a library’s Spanish speaking community. The presentation will include tips on identifying transnational communities within a service area by using internet resources and on-the-ground cues and how to utilize this information in collections and programming.

Tech Tools Get-er Done for Free
Kieran Hixon
Colorado State Library

Join Kieran as he unpacks his toolbox full of 25+ free tech tools that you will be able to use at your library with a flick of a mouse.

Teen Programs That Pack a Punch
Hope Decker
Cohocton Public Library

Every library can provide teen programs that teens will love; “If you build it they will come”. Three simple programs will be presented (Extreme Cupcake Decorating, Ultimate PB&J Challenge and Duct Tape Crafts). At the end participants can share their own teen programs, pit falls of teen programming and brain storm solutions.

Think Outside the Barn @ your library
Rachel Miller
Forsyth Public Library
Louise Greene
Richland Community College

Advocate for small and rural libraries in the festive atmosphere of a fair, farm show, or community event. Bring “Think Outside the Barn@Your Library” to your area and connect with patrons on their turf. These venues are perfect to remind people with rural roots what libraries do for them.
What will participants learn from this program?
1. What resources are needed to be a presence at a fair, farm show, or community event.
2. How to operate a booth including staffing, decor, and visitor interactions.
3. How to uncover local opportunities to promote your library

Working Together: The Library Director’s Relationship with Library Trustees & City Government
Susan Mannix
LeClaire Community Library

Maintaining effective & productive relationships with the Library Board of Trustees, City Government & City Administration can be among the Public Library Director’s most important and challenging roles. Join in a discussion on how a Director can confidently and successfully manage these pivotal professional relationships.

Weeding: The Good, The Bad, and the Mustie
Jeremy Bolom
Lincoln Parish Library, Ruston, LA

Weeding is not a dirty word! Change your attitude about weeding and take charge of your collection. Learn the essential steps to make your collection more useful, comfortable, and attractive for your users.

See more information about 2013 ARSL Conference including Registration.

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