A listing of all ARSL materials relating to current and past conferences. The most recent posts are listed first, while additional conference materials are further down the page.

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

2015 Conference Dates

The 2015 ARSL Conference will be held October 1st – 3rd in Little Rock, Arkansas!

Join us for a rocking good time.

2014 Conference – Handouts & Presentations

Materials are provided as Adobe Acrobat Reader format unless indicated otherwise.



Breakout Sessions

2014 Conference Schedule

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

4:00 PM 6:00 PM Registration open

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

8:00 AM 5:00 PM Registration open
8:30 AM 11:30 AM Preconference sessions

Pavilion F A Cram Course in Youth Services or “What’s the difference between a 2-year-old and a teenager?”
Pavilion C Community Building—Novice
Pavilion E Gizmo Garage: Closing the Digital Divide One Device at a Time
Lobby Tour three local libraries
1:00 PM 4:00 PM Preconference sessions

Pavilion C Community Building—Advanced
Pavilion E Crafting a Successful Adult Education Program for Small, Rural and/or Part-time Libraries
Tacoma Public
Rooms that Rock: Practical Tips for Library Space Planning
8:30 AM 4:00 PM Preconference sessions

Pavilion B Talking to Voters About Your Library: Planning and Executing Effective Tax, Bond and Referendum Campaigns
6:00 PM Opening Reception
7:00 PM Performance by the Jet City Chorus

Thursday, September 4, 2014

7:30 AM 6:00 PM Registration open
8:00 AM 10:15 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM 9:15 AM Announcements
9:15 AM 10:15 AM Uniquely Connected: Expanding community in 21st century libraries
10:15 AM 11:00 AM Exhibitor break
11:00 AM Noon Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino iPin! Do you?
Pavilion B Programs with Pizazz
Pavilion C Marketing Your Library through Social Media and More
Pavilion E Lab at the Library: STEM Programming
Pavilion F Building Makers: A Statewide Approach
Venice 2 LEGO @ Your Library
Venice 3 Better Meetings Mean Better Governance
Venice 4 Routes to Reading: Early Literacy Models that Work in Rural Libraries
Noon 1:15 PM Lunch
12:15 PM 12:30 PM Announcements & Welcome from Secretary of State Kim Wyman
12:30 PM 1:15 PM You don’t have to do it all! Using the Edge assessment for better outcomes in small & rural libraries
1:30 PM 2:30 PM Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino Taking the Fear Out of Content Creation for Teens
Pavilion B The Yacolt Library Express: A maximum of service with a minimum of staff
Pavilion C Delivering Excellent Customer Service
Pavilion E Five Levels of Appreciation in the Workplace
Pavilion F Use Your Annual Statistics to Evaluate Your Library—Fast
Venice 2 Board gaming for all ages and interests
Venice 3 I meant to get an MLS but the library was too busy!
Venice 4 The Pursuit of Happiness… Through Libraries
2:30 PM 3:00 PM Exhibitor break
3:00 PM 4:00 PM Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino To combine or not to combine: thinking about school/public library combination
Pavilion B Advice from the School of Hard Knocks
Pavilion C Tablet Slinging Librarians: Using Tablets to Improve Library Services
Pavilion E Digital Literacy for Everyone: Going from Tech Averse to Tech Savvy
Pavilion F Health on the Range: Rural Health Issues and Resources
Venice 2 Flip the Script: Changing the Direction of Your Library
Venice 3 E-Rate Roundtable Discussion
Venice 4 Increasing Your Library’s Capacity: Do More for Your Community
4:30 PM 5:30 PM ARSL business meeting
6:00 PM Dine arounds
8:00 PM Lightning talks

Friday, September 5, 2014

8:00 AM 5:00 PM Registration open
8:00 AM 10:15 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM 9:15 AM Announcements
9:15 AM 10:15 AM Libraries Reimagined!
10:15 AM 11:00 AM Exhibitor break
11:00 AM Noon Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino Marketing Your Library: It’s more than Flyers and Friends
Pavilion B Trustees: Your Greatest Assets
Pavilion C Crafty U (and patrons, too!)
Pavilion E Flip the Script: Changing the Direction of Your Library
Pavilion F Thinking Outside the Storytime Box
Venice 2 Frugal Fundraising: It Doesn’t Take Money to Make Money
Venice 3 Increasing Your Library’s Capacity: Do More for Your Community
Venice 4 What We Talk About When We Talk About Apps
Noon 1:30 PM Lunch
12:30 PM 1:30 PM Author Keynote: Laurie King
1:30 PM 2:30 PM Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino Fundamentals of Fun: Getting the most from your workers
Pavilion B Digital Literacy for Everyone: Going from Tech Averse to Tech Savvy
Pavilion C Programs with Pizazz
Pavilion E Strategic Planning for the Small Library: Aim for the future by planning now
Pavilion F Health on the Range: Rural Health Issues and Resources
Venice 2 Tablet Slinging Librarians: Using Tablets to Improve Library Services
Venice 3 Advice from the School of Hard Knocks
Venice 4 Lab at the Library: STEM Programming
2:30 PM 3:00 PM Exhibitor break
3:00 PM 4:00 PM Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino Get That Grant!
Pavilion B 12 Ways to Market More Effectively
Pavilion C Delivering Excellent Customer Service
Pavilion E Taking the Fear Out of Content Creation for Teens
Pavilion F Highway to Harmony: Mapping the Integration of Homeschoolers into your library
Venice 2 LEGO @ Your Library
Venice 3 Routes to Reading: Early Literacy Models that Work in Rural Libraries
Venice 4 Strengthening your Tech Core: Training on the Web
4:00 PM 4:30 PM Exhibitor raffle
6:00 PM   Dine arounds

Saturday, September 6, 2014

8:00 AM 10:15 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM 9:15 AM Announcements
9:00 AM 10:15 AM Clancy Pool, Library Journal Paralibrarian of the Year
10:30 AM 11:30 AM Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino Nothing but the Truth: Assessing Authenticity in Multicultural Picture Books
Pavilion B Board gaming for all ages and interests
Pavilion C The Pursuit of Happiness… Through Libraries
Pavilion E I meant to get an MLS but the library was too busy!
Pavilion F Growing Your Own: Mentoring, continuing education and leadership opportunities
Venice 2 Maker Spaces: Small Space, Low Budget, High Quality
Venice 3 I must have been crazy, but it worked: Bringing the Smithsonian to Patagonia
Venice 4 Crafty U (and patrons, too!)
Noon Conference ends
ARSL Board meeting

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!)

2014 Conference – Keynote Speakers

  1. Author Keynote: Laurie King

    Laurie King, Author
    Friday, September 5, 2014 @ Noon

    Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of 22 novels and other works, including the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes stories (from The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, named one of the 20th century’s best crime novels by the IMBA, to 2014′s Dreaming Spies). She has won or been nominated for an alphabet of prizes from Agatha to Wolfe, been chosen as guest of honor at several crime conventions, and is probably the only writer to have both an Edgar and an honorary doctorate in theology. She was inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars in 2010, as “The Red Circle”.

    Sponsored by

  2. Clancy Pool, Library Journal Paralibrarian of the Year

    Clancy Pool, Whitman County Library System
    Saturday, September 6, 2014 @ 9:00 AM

    Hired in 1992 as manager of the tiny St. John Branch (SJB) of Washington State’s Whitman County Rural Library District (WCRLD), Clancy Pool worked to perform the miracle of bringing a new spirit and library to the town’s 525 residents, plus another 500 who live in the surrounding area. Library Journal Paralibrarian of the Year Clancy Pool will share how a focus on customer service, community involvement and professional development can build support for your library.

    About Clancy

    Clancy grew up in Spokane and loved both kinds of librarians: The ones who saved the newest Bobbsey Twins book and the ones who wore silly hats and told stories in the park. In 1992 WCL took a chance by hiring a farmer’s wife to manage a branch that she had never actually seen. To Clancy’s delight, she discovered that she could be both kinds of librarians and so much more.

    With the support of family and the district, Clancy worked to increase her skills and build community support. In 2002, she started working full-time for the library district. Monday and Friday in St. John and Tuesday to Thursday in Colfax; first as children’s services assistant and then as branch services manager. At about the same time, Whitman County Library System began fund raising for a new branch in St. John. In 2005 when the town passed the library bond, Clancy was involved in the design and continued fund raising for furnishings. In 2008, on the day of the first summer reading she moved into the new St. John Library. Clancy’s current responsibilities include: Branch manager in St. John, collection development of all adult materials, ILL, supervisor for the 13 community branches (Staff hiring, training, program coordination), coordination of all staff development and program based grant writing).

  3. Libraries Reimagined!

    Daniel Rasmus, Author
    Friday, September 5, 2014 @ 9:00 AM

    The future is uncertain. If libraries don’t face their uncertainties head on, they won’t be able to navigate the future effectively. Rasmus will explore not only the uncertainties facing libraries, but help librarians learn how to navigate change as it occurs. Imagination is at the core, and Rasmus will narrate the conference through multiple possible futures, all plausible, all filled with their own threats and opportunities, risks and rewards. As rural communities feel the effects of disruption reach out over the forests and prairies, mountains and rivers, we need to the tools to help us anticipate change, to practice it, but most importantly, to leverage the change that is coming into effective programs and engagement — this presentation will help provide some of the tools necessary so our libraries can continue as important members of our communities.

    About Daniel

    Daniel W. Rasmus, the author of Listening to the Future, is a strategist and industry analyst who helps clients put their future in context. Prior to starting his own consulting practice, Rasmus was the Director of Business Insights at Microsoft Corporation, where he helped the company envision how people will work in the future. Rasmus developed the MicrosoftOffice Information Worker Board of the Future, and was the Center for Information Work’s creative leader. Before joining Microsoft, Rasmus was Vice President and Research Director for Collaboration and Knowledge Management at Forrester Research Inc.

    Sponsored by

  4. Uniquely Connected: Expanding community in 21st century libraries

    Karen Perry, Clarion Collaborative
    Thursday, September 4, 2014 @ 9:00 AM

    Libraries enjoy overwhelming community support with over 90% of Americans saying libraries are important to their communities; nearly all Americans report that their interactions with librarians have been “very positive.” While some communities are seeing library support erode with the rise of our digital culture, other libraries are using these trends to offer new services and connect with new patrons. We’ll explore national trends in learning and knowledge acquisition, technology and digitization, and consumer expectations; then discuss five strategies you can use to refresh library services and strengthen community in the digital age.

    About Karen

    Karen works with schools, libraries, government agencies and technology vendors to ensure that internet-enabled services are available to all people in all communities. As a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries Program, Karen managed broadband, research, and policy grants that have impacted thousands of libraries across the county. She contributed to the National Broadband Plan as an Expert Advisor to the Federal Communications Commission. Previously, Karen served as the founding Director of Field Outreach for the Knight Center of Digital Excellence; a Principal Consultant with Karacomm; and as a Sales Executive and Manager with Lucent, Bell Labs and AT&T. Karen’s passion is building collaborations that create and implement transformative programs at scale.

  5. You don’t have to do it all! Using the Edge assessment for better outcomes in small & rural libraries

    Samantha Becker, University of Washington
    Thursday, September 4, 2014 @ Noon

    The Edge initiative has developed a set of benchmarks and indicators for public libraries to use to assess their public technology resources and services, and the ways they ensure they are supporting the goals and aspirations of their communities. It’s a comprehensive framework meant to apply to libraries of all types, but no library is meant to do it all! Learn about how to use Edge to balance the competing priorities and limited resources in small and rural libraries and to be deliberate about what not to do.

2014 Conference – Preconference Sessions

  1. A Cram Course in Youth Services or “What’s the difference between a 2-year-old and a teenager?”

    Maryann Mori, Iowa Library Services
    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 8:30–11:30

    This half-day workshop will cover the basics (and beyond!) of youth services— working with children from babies to teens (and ages in between). The session will include aspects of child development, early childhood literacy, programming for specific ages, collection development considerations, outreach, teen involvement, and more.

  2. Community Building

    Shirley Biladeau, Idaho Commission for LibrariesJennifer Fenton, Washington State Library
    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 8:30–4:00

    Community building enhances the status of libraries as a community anchor. But sometimes it is hard to know where to start. This pre-conference is designed to provide insight for participants on resources to use for outreach in their community, potential community partnerships, and developing an engagement plan.

    Two half day workshops: The morning (8:30–11:30) is for the novice, providing the basics on getting started in community building (topics include team building, communication and strategic planning). During the afternoon workshop (1:00–4:00), participants will build on the basics by creating an actual plan of engagement for a specific community building project. Depending on your current level of knowledge in regard to community building, you can select the part of the day that best fits your needs. Participants may attend both sessions if they wish.

  3. Crafting a Successful Adult Education Program for Small, Rural and/or Part-time Libraries

    Debra A. Kavanaugh, Shreve Memorial Library
    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 1:00–4:00

    Small and rural libraries can provide vital, successful adult education opportunities for adult patrons without a GED, or other high school equivalency. This workshop will present workable, affordable manageable strategies, solutions and alternatives which can be adapted to any budget, workforce, workspace and public need. Following the initiative developed for the Shreve Memorial Library system, who wanted to provide its small, rural part-time branches with the same level of instruction and resources offered in the full-time branches, the Coordinator for the program will present the development and implementation of its first ever rural Adult Education Program series.

  4. Gizmo Garage: Closing the Digital Divide One Device at a Time

    Jezmynne Dene, Portneuf District Library
    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 8:30–11:30

    The Gizmo Garage is a partnership program with the Idaho Commission for Libraries and funded by a grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Service that offers ereaders and tablets to library for staff and library patron training. The Gizmo Garage belongs to a regional area and is circulated among libraries for events. The Portneuf Library’s events are very popular, leading to more classes and one on one sessions to help users learn to use their devices and connect to digital materials. Come hear about the successes of this program, learn the basics about popular devices and how they connect to library resources, and discover how you can build a team to create your own Gizmo Garage!

    Program goals:

    • Share the successes from the library’s Gizmo Garage events
    • Demonstrate the basics of popular devices/operating systems
    • Discuss fundamental requirements popular devices/operating systems have
    • Discuss training tips for staff training with devices
    • Get hands on play time with several gadgets
    • Brainstorm creative ways to build partnerships for creating a garage

    Section One

    The first portion of our workshop will be an overview of the Idaho Gizmo Garage project, sponsored by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and funded by a grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Services. The overview will share how the program developed and changed from its initial plan to ways it worked best in practice. Ways to use the Gizmo Garage for staff training, patron training, and digital holdings will be addressed.

    Section Two

    The second portion of this workshop will cover the basics of the most popular mobile operating systems and devices, including the most important things to know in order to maneuver on devices. Requirements for setting up accounts and how to download apps in each environment will be covered.

    Section Three

    The final section will be exploration time with several devices on loan from the Idaho Commission for Libraries. Attendees will have access to many devices in order to play and explore and become familiar with the different operating environments. Included in this portion will be guided active learning exercises to reinforce objectives from the previous section. We will wrap up the workshop with discussion and brainstorming on how to implement similar programs in your library.

  5. Rooms that Rock: Practical Tips for Library Space Planning

    Betha Gutsche, WebJunction OCLC
    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 1:00–4:00

    You don’t need a new building to make your library more inviting to the community. In this interactive workshop, discover ways to improve and stretch space without increasing floor area. From flexible layouts to movable furniture and modified collections, learn practical space planning ideas for libraries of any size and shape. An interactive, half-day workshop, engaging participants in a series of hands-on exercises. Registrants will be invited to bring current library photos and floor plans.

  6. Talking to Voters About Your Library: Planning and Executing Effective Tax, Bond and Referendum Campaigns

    John Chrastka, EveryLibrary
    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 8:30–4:00

    Morning Session: Library Ballot Campaigns 101

    Do you wonder what the limits are for the library staff and board during a library ballot initiative? Are you concerned about what you can say or do in support of a library ballot campaign? Do you know the right questions to ask of the Clerk of Elections and Assessor’s Office? In this session, we will explore the difference between Information-Only and Vote Yes campaigns. You will come away with solid advice about effective planning and execution. We will talk clearly about what library staff and officials involved with Informational campaigns can and cannot do. We will demonstrate how a local ballot committee—with a campaign plan—can help reach voters in different and important ways. Participants will build a roadmap for the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the ballot initiative including Library staff and Trustees, Friends of the Library and Foundations, and the local Ballot Committee.

    Planning Your Message: How to Talk to Voters, Not Just Library Users

    Are you worried that the people who love your library don’t vote? Do you understand the ways that messages about the library impact voters who don’t use the library? And do you know what motivates voters about the library more than anything else? Learn about the best ways to formulate your library campaign message—and who the messenger should be to voters. This discussion will be relevant to both Information-Only and Vote Yes campaigns because the message is similar and the call to action is clear. You will learn how messaging for an election is different than messaging for library advocacy. You will come away with specific and actionable framework of an effective message, and knowledge of the techniques for getting your message out through the right channels.

  7. Tour three local libraries

    Seattle Carnegie Library, 1906
    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 8:30–Noon

    We begin at the Fife branch of the Pierce County Library. By adopting modular building construction techniques, Pierce County Library was able to reduce the time to build a new community library from the typical 28 months to just 8 months. The community literally saw a Library building in place in just 10 days. This building technique allowed PCLS to meet the compressed timeline, as well as provide for desired environmentally friends/green practices. PCLS used BISAC for arranging the collection and staff will discuss the community’s response.

    The next library is the 320th branch of the King County Library in Federal Way. Opened in 2013 this branch library includes many state of the art features such as flexible shelves to give items a bookstore style display, touch screen media stations that let patrons sample ebooks, a meeting room which converts easily into extra space for reading, and state of the art flexible, ergonomic fixtures for staff work spaces.

    The last library is the Main branch of the Tacoma Public Library. The downtown branch received a major remodeled in the late 80′s and was recently updated yet again. The crown jewel of the building is the remodel/restoration of the original Carnegie library into the Pacific Northwest History room on the second floor and meeting/training rooms on the first floor in addition to an art gallery.

    Eat lunch here if you intend to attend the Space planning workshop which take place here—or walk back down the hill to the Hotel Murano.

2014 Conference – Breakout Sessions

  1. 12 Ways to Market More Effectively

    Jamie Matczak, Nicolet Federated Library System

    You don’t need a ton of money or staff to effectively market your library, you just have to think differently and creatively. From promotional videos to jaw-dropping emails, Jamie will share techniques for gaining attention, increasing attendance and what marketing tools are available for even the smallest of libraries.

  2. Advice from the School of Hard Knocks

    Cal Shepard, State Library of North Carolina

    An interactive workshop on how to empower yourself even when you live in a small town. Lessons learned (the hard way) while working in a town of 2000 people.

  3. Better Meetings Mean Better Governance

    John Chrastka, EveryLibrary

    Are your board meetings an exercise in frustration? Do you retread the same issues with your board colleagues, or are your meetings full of surprises? Learn tips and best practices in agenda design and committee assignments, and techniques for chairing meetings, resolving conflicts, and engaging staff. EveryLibrary executive director John Chrastka is a long-time library trustee and Illinois state board chair. He will convene this interactive workshop designed to help solve your meeting problems – and problem meetings. Bring your concerns and be prepared to share your own tips, too.

  4. Building Makers: A Statewide Approach

    Erica Compton, Idaho Commission for Libraries

    Have you thought about implementing maker programs in your library? Idaho Commission for Libraries is supporting the implementation of makerspaces in 11 public libraries across the state. The project includes training on tools & technology, leveraging partnerships, involving community, & evaluating outcomes. The results include formal & stealth programming incorporating engineering, robotics, 3D printing & other STEM topics to draw teens into these innovative programs and spaces! Come discover what Idaho is doing, what we are learning, and what’s next.

  5. Crafty U (and patrons, too!)

    Jeremy Bolom, Lincoln Parish Library

    Whether browsing library materials or Pinterest, crafty patrons love discovering creative and budget-friendly projects. Learn how to get over a year’s programming with little more than scissors, glue, and recyclables. Sample projects will be shown and demonstrated, and attendees will make a craft to take home (just like patrons)!

  6. Delivering Excellent Customer Service

    Lisa Lewis, Safford City Graham County Library

    Sharing tips and ideas on how to ensure that your patrons have a wonderful experience at your library by delivering excellent customer service. Will include customer service training for staff as well as establishing patron friendly library policies.

  7. Digital Literacy for Everyone: Going from Tech Averse to Tech Savvy

    Crystal Schimpf, Community Technology NetworkKieran Hixon

    Looking for ways to get your staff and patrons up to speed? This session offers practical tips, tools, and techniques to help bridge the digital divide at your library and create a culture of learning around technology. If they can figure out Dewey, they can figure out Windows!

  8. E-Rate Roundtable Discussion

    No image of this presenter available

    Michael Roche is with the Vermont Department of Libraries and the E-Rate Coordinator for Vermont will be conducting an informal round table discussion of the current status of E-rate reform. Those whose libraries receive E-rate funding, or who work with the program are encouraged to join the dialogue. Items that will be discussed are:

    • How will the new “rural” be redefined and what will this mean in relation to E-rate services for rural libraries.
    • What will be the changes to NSLP and how will this impact the current rural discount formula.
    • Reduction in the discount matrix.
    • Multi-year budget and multi-year application process will be developed.

    Facilitation will be provided, as needed, by Kieran Hixon, ARSL Board Member and Colorado E-rate Coordinator.

  9. Five Levels of Appreciation in the Workplace

    Delbert Terry, DeSoto Parish Library

    According to research, 64% of Americans leave their jobs because they feel unappreciated. This leads to job dissatisfaction and diminished work performance. The languages of appreciation (words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, tangible gifts, and physical touch) are essential for a productive work environment. Workshop guides participants into establishing appreciated work setting.

  10. Flip the Script: Changing the Direction of Your Library

    Dianne Connery, Pottsboro Area Public Library

    The workshop will focus on how to create a new mission and make it a reality. Our library has dramatically changed focus in the last three years-from book depository to tech hub. We’ve learned the importance of looking outward instead of inward, building relationships and being open to new ideas.

  11. Frugal Fundraising: It Doesn’t Take Money to Make Money

    Judy Calhoun, Southeast Arkansas Regional Library

    Fundraising without spending what little money you have can be a challenge. With a little ingenuity and a determined effort, any group can raise funds without spending much money at all. Join us as we share proven fundraisers that have produced profits with little or no start-up costs.

  12. Fundamentals of Fun: Getting the most from your workers

    Eliza Ordway, Alfred Box of Books Library

    What is the best way to get the most from your workers? LOVE your job! In my experience, having fun and not taking yourself too seriously all the time is a great way to start. I work with a variety of ages in my library; college age student workers and retired teachers and librarians. Each has their own idea of what work should be like and me being somewhere in the middle I also have an idea of what makes work fun. I will offer some ideas of how to balance the fun with the serious sides of running a library.

  13. Get That Grant!

    Becky Heil, Iowa Library Services

    An overview of the grant writing process which will explore what makes an eff ective grant by focusing on four main rules for writing a great proposal: know your funder, follow the rules, do your homework, and focus on people’s needs. We will also examine the basic components to a good grant proposal.

  14. Growing Your Own: Mentoring, continuing education and leadership opportunities

    Pam North, Sherwood Public LibraryAnn Roseberry, Richland Public Library

    Simply put, we are mentor and mentee from a small, rural library. We are currently managing libraries of our own – one each in Oregon and Washington. Our history of working and learning together and compiling resources for continuing education and leadership training will be valuable to all attendees.

  15. Health on the Range: Rural Health Issues and Resources

    Patricia Devine, National Network of Libraries of Medicine

    Evidence shows that there are marked health disparities between those living in rural areas versus their urban counterparts. Not only do rural residents suffer from higher incidence of chronic illness, they also have limited access to primary care services and are more likely to be uninsured or under-insured. This session will describe hallmarks of rural America, identify other access challenges of living in rural communities, and equip participants with tools to use in service the health information needs of those living in rural communities.

  16. Highway to Harmony: Mapping the Integration of Homeschoolers into your library

    No image of this presenter available

    Nationwide, homeschooling is a huge part of 21st century learning. We help students and families succeed with homeschooling. Our programming engages both students and parents with breakout sessions, hands-on learning and social interaction. With how-tos and real experience, we map the road to successful homeschool programming.

  17. I meant to get an MLS but the library was too busy! Having a Successful Library Career without the MLS Telling Your Story

    Ruby L. Nugent, University of Colorado Health Sciences Library

    This session uses storytelling, networking, and creative group work to encourage library staff to share the importance of their unique library journey. With renewed energy and confidence, attendees will take away new ideas, resources and tools key to building and maintaining a successful career, with or without a MLS degree.

  18. I must have been crazy, but it worked: Bringing the Smithsonian to Patagonia

    Abbie Zeltzer, Patagonia Library

    The presentation demonstrates, through word and image, Patagonia Library’s road to bring Journey Stories, a Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibit to Patagonia, Arizona, population 919 for six weeks, and to create a local history companion exhibit and host 12 programs at ten venues in eastern Santa Cruz County Arizona.

  19. Increasing Your Library’s Capacity: Do More for Your Community

    Stu Wilson, Library Strategies Consulting GroupSue Hall, Library Strategies Consulting Group

    An ongoing, highly successful leadership institute for rural communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin will be described and discussed. It will highlight the keys to building organizational capacity in small libraries and literacy organizations in such areas as fundraising, joint partnerships, advocacy, marketing, planning, community assessments and innovative evaluation.

  20. iPin! Do you?

    Lauren Drittler, Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System

    While Pinterest© can be a useful tool for crafters, culinary amateurs and fashionistas, it can also be a valuable resource for libraries, librarians, and library users. Join us to learn how your library can benefit from establishing an online sharing community with Pinterest.

  21. Lab at the Library: STEM Programming

    Holly Jackson, Portneuf District Library

    STEM programming is crucial to creating critical thinkers and by forming community partnerships and creating STEM based programs we can increase the next generation of innovative individuals. These programs don’t have to be extravagant either! There are simple, cost effective ways to convey STEM related concepts. Come gather some ideas of how to implement fun, hands on STEM programming for children, teens, and adults in your libraries.

  22. LEGO @ Your Library

    Mandy Broadhurst, Guntersville Public Library

    Building with LEGO® can provide children of any age a unique, creative, and fun opportunity for learning and socialization. Find out how to start a LEGO Club at your library, including tips on funding, supplies, library materials, club operation, and much more. Participants will also get a hands-on LEGO-building experience.

  23. Maker Spaces: Small Space, Low Budget, High Quality

    Jet Kofoot, Iowa Library Services - North Central District

    This session is intended to help librarians recognize opportunities to create a quality maker space in a small library where resources are limited. It will incorporate information about what a maker space is and offer numerous how to examples that will include cost and space estimates.

  24. Marketing Your Library through Social Media and More

    Penny Hummel, Penny Hummel Consulting

    Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other forms of social media are invaluable assets for libraries hoping to increase their visibility, deepen customer loyalty, grow new audiences, and foster interaction with members of their community. Learn practical ways to effectively and efficiently mobilize these powerful marketing tools for your library.

  25. Marketing Your Library: It’s more than Flyers and Friends

    No image of this presenter available

    Advocacy and marketing are tools that build successful libraries. Learn the skills and resources necessary to keep your library in the minds and hearts of your community.

  26. Nothing but the Truth: Assessing Authenticity in Multicultural Picture Books

    Anna Bates, Stuttgart Public LibraryJudy Calhoun, Southeast Arkansas Regional Library

    Picture books that depict a variety of ethnic, racial, and cultural groups within the U.S. have the ability to acquaint children with other cultures & ethnic backgrounds. But how do you know when a children’s book accurately portrays the culture of its characters? This workshop will give you the tools you need to choose wisely.

  27. Programs with Pizazz

    Mary Jo Mack, John A Stahl Library

    Our library has hosted some programs that have had overwhelming response. Examples are the Polar Express Story time, Lego Block Parties, Come in Out of the Cold, Mask (grade school) story time and special reading programs. Details about these programs and more will be shared in a presentation.

  28. Routes to Reading: Early Literacy Models that Work in Rural Libraries

    Stephanie Bailey-White, Idaho Commission for Libraries

    The Idaho Commission for Libraries received a National Leadership Grant in 2012 to implement the Routes to Reading Program with the goal to significantly increase the amount of reading done in Idaho homes and rural early childhood education settings. Borrow some great ideas and resources that are available to all.

  29. Board gaming for all ages and interests

    Jezmynne Dene, Portneuf District Library

    With the recent resurgence of board gaming many new and amazing options are now available for all ages and interests. Come and explore the new age of gaming along with gathering strategies to stay within your budget.

  30. Strategic Planning for the Small Library: Aim for the future by planning now

    Gail Santy, Central Kansas Library System

    Every library needs a map to you steer successfully toward your destination, but library literature is geared towards big libraries. Learn to prepare a strategic on-going improvement plan using the Japanese technique of kaizen to lead your library to success by involving library board, staff, friends and the community

  31. Strengthening your Tech Core: Training on the Web

    Maribeth Shafer, Central Kansas Library System

    Evaluate your training needs with in the core tech skills. Discover where to find Online Training Programs and Tutorials for specific tech skills. Leave with a training plan to gain core Tech Skills vital in the Library Community.

  32. Tablet Slinging Librarians: Using Tablets to Improve Library Services

    Leah Kulikowski, Wamego Public Library

    No matter a library’s size or budget, we are all looking for ways to increase staff efficiency and better serve our patrons. This workshop will focus on practical and creative ways to use tablet technology (including reference, circulation, payments, storytime music, program registrations, and more!) to stay on the leading edge of customer service.

  33. Taking the Fear Out of Content Creation for Teens

    Amy K Marshall, The Craig Public Library

    Do teens coming to you with programming ideas scare you or challenge you to help make them a reality? Libraries: the forefront of content creation AND helping teens realize their vision. From Readers Theaters to Building a 3-D Printer; what’s in YOUR toolbox to help your teen patrons grow?

  34. The Pursuit of Happiness… Through Libraries

    Sharon Morris, Colorado State Library

    “The public library is a center of public happiness first…” John Cotton Dana, 1896. Research points to how we can increase happiness in ourselves and others. Using interactive activities, participants will discover how to increase happiness in themselves and others. You will walk away with a smile and a plan.

  35. The Yacolt Library Express: A maximum of service with a minimum of staff

    No image of this presenter available

    Explore this very successful, mostly unstaffed library with presenter Sam Wallin, and ask lots of tough questions! How does it work? What about security? How do people get in? What do you mean by “successful?” How much does it cost? Would it work in my district?

  36. Thinking Outside the Storytime Box

    Amanda Bowden, Portneuf District Library

    Storytime is a great way to help encourage and build literacy development in children. But there are many other programs that can address the literacy needs of patrons and their children. Join Amanda as she leads a discussion on some great programs that are easy and inexpensive, including Special Needs Storytime, Baby Storytime, Music and Movement, and Make and Take Literacy Boosters.

  37. To combine or not to combine: thinking about school/public library combination

    Harry Willems, Central Kansas Library System

    There is movement in some communities, as cost saving measure, to consider combining the school and public library. We will show the good and the possible bad of this and provide checklists for issues to consider.

  38. Trustees: Your Greatest Assets

    No image of this presenter available

    The last library director did everything and then presented it to the board. When I took over as director I expected the Trustees to actively participate. With training and resources we are working together to improve our library. My workshop would help other libraries involve their board in actively working to improve their library as we have.

  39. Use Your Annual Statistics to Evaluate Your Library—Fast

    Chris Rippel, Central Kansas Library System

    Each year public librarians submit statistical reports describing their libraries. Chris demonstrates a fast method for using these statistics to compare libraries of similar size, identifying strengths and suggesting improvements. Here is a link to analysis created in 1 hour:

  40. What We Talk About When We Talk About Apps

    Jeffrey Stoffer, Ak-Chin Indian Community LibraryYadhira Osuna, Ak-Chin Indian Community Library

    Now that you have your iPads what do you put on it? This presentation gives an enormous amount of apps suggestions and a link to our App Tumblr that can be used to search for apps for library specific topics. We hope our experience can be a benefit to all.

2014 Vendor/Sponsorship Levels and Prices

  1. Vendor Space – Regular

    For Library vendors

    • Booth space including 6’ skirted table
    • 1 Complimentary Conference Registration
    • Additional Vendor Staff – Free without Meal Plan
    • Listing in Conference Program

    Cost – $500 ($450 for ARSL Business Members)—Meal Plans are available for those not included in the Complimentary Registration

  2. Vendor Space—Non-Profit

    For library-related organizations only, please.

    • Booth space including 6’ skirted table
    • Listing in Conference Program

    Cost – $75 (No Conference Registration or meals are included)

  3. Vendor Presentations—NEW!

    An opportunity for vendors to share their product or service in a public forum. First 30 minutes is included with the Exhibitor’s Package and an additional 30 minutes costs $50.00.
  4. Utilities

    • Electric – $10.00
    • Wireless Internet is free.
  5. Welcome Mixer Sponsor

    • Booth space including 6’ skirted table
    • 2 complimentary Conference Registrations
    • Premium Listing in Conference Program
    • Signage at Welcome Mixer held Thursday Evening
    • Listing on Conference Promotional Material

    Cost – $2000

  6. Author Luncheon Sponsor

    • Booth space including 6’ skirted table
    • 2 complimentary Conference Registrations
    • Premium Listing in Conference Program
    • Signage at Author Luncheon Friday Afternoon
    • Listing on Conference Promotional Material

    Cost – $2000

  7. Conference Bags Sponsor

    Premium Listing in Conference Program Company Name/logo posted on committee selected bags, given to every Conference Attendee

    Cost – $1500

  8. Thursday & Friday – Morning Continental Breakfast Sponsors

    • Booth space including 6’ skirted table
    • 2 complimentary Conference Registrations
    • Signage at Break area
    • Company name/logo listed in Conference Schedule in conjunction with Break listing (Conference Schedule will be posted on websites)

    Cost – $1000 each

  9. Thursday & Friday – Beverage Break Sponsors, Morning

    • Booth space including 6’ skirted table
    • 2 complimentary Conference Registrations
    • Signage at Break area
    • Company name/logo listed in Conference Schedule in conjunction with Break listing (Conference Schedule will be posted on websites)

    Cost – $1000 each

  10. Thursday & Friday – Refreshment Break Sponsors, Afternoon

    • Booth space including 6’ skirted table
    • 2 complimentary Conference Registrations
    • Signage at Break area
    • Company name/logo listed in Conference Schedule in conjunction with Break listing (Conference Schedule will be posted on websites)

    Cost – $1000 each

Exhibit Hall

All breaks will be in the exhibit hall

Exhibit Hall Hours

Thurs: 10:45AM – 5:00PM
Friday: 9:00AM – 5:00PM, Raffle

Vendor “No Conflicts” Time

Thursday – 2 Hours
Friday – 2.5 Hours; 4:00PM, Raffle


For more information on how you can be a vendor at this year’s ARSL conference, please contact Donna Brice.

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

“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.

“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.


2014 Call for Proposals

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) is pleased to announce that proposals for break-out session presentations as well as pre-conferences for the 2014 Conference to be held in Tacoma, Washington, September 3-6, 2014 are now being accepted.

Proposals for these 1-hour sessions can be submitted using our online form. We are also accepting applications for 4-hour pre-conference sessions (scheduled for Wednesday, September 3rd), as well.

The deadline to submit proposals has passed. All those who submited a proposal will be notified whether or not their proposal was accepted by March 10, 2014. For proposal questions, please contact Lisa Lewis using the information below.

Proposals we would like to see should include the following:

  • Customer Service
  • Social Media
  • Digital literacy: teaching methods for public and staff
  • Fund Raising
  • Working with Trustees
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Managing Staff
  • Cultural competencies: increasing your cultural awareness when working with
  • Children’s programming: Preschool, Youth, Teen
  • Looking over the horizon: What new trends are coming of which libraries should be aware

We remind presenters that presentations need to be geared toward the small and rural library audience. Practical, hands-on, and how-to formats are preferred. This is not the proper venue for post-graduate dissertations or marketing products and such proposals will not be considered.

All proposals will be reviewed and chosen by the Conference Programming Committee. Awarded presenters will receive ONE complimentary conference registration per presentation selected. (i.e. a team of three presenters working on one presentation will receive one complimentary registration).

We look forward to your submissions and good luck!

Lisa Lewis
Conference Programming Committee Chair

2014 Conference – Visiting Tacoma

Tacoma + Pierce County is a place for fearless exploration

Museum of Glass

Museum of Glass

Tacoma Art Museum

Tacoma Art Museum

Hiking near Crystal Mountain

Hiking near Crystal Mountain

Tacoma's Theater District

Tacoma’s Theater District

Tacoma's Light Rail

Tacoma’s Light Rail

Stretching from the banks of Puget Sound to Mount Rainier National Park, Tacoma + Pierce County is a place for people who are unafraid to trek through the woods of Mount Rainier in the rain and fearless of breaking a sweat in the heat of the hot shop while blowing glass. Stare down a black bear at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park or learn how to blow glass at one of the many local hot shops. Hop on the Link Light Rail and make your way through the Museum District to get your daily dose of art history, Washington state history and automobile history all in one day!

Explore a new restaurant and drink in the craft beer buzz or find your own story in the historic Museum District. Waterfront recreation, fine dining, antique shopping and once-in-a-lifetime experiences [shark diving anyone?] will keep you busy all weekend. Learn more at From Travel Tacoma – Places to See Known for its world-renowned glass art, Tacoma’s vibrant urban core is alive with culture. Find yourself surrounded by creativity and city sophistication when you eat, shop and stroll Tacoma’s downtown. The friendly city inspires many to celebrate the melding of old and new. See historic architecture amidst urban design.

The city’s many districts abound with culture. Stroll the museum district where you can explore art, glass and history. Wander amongst the eclectic mix of upbeat restaurants and music venues on Sixth Avenue. Shop the unique boutiques in the historic Proctor and Stadium districts, which bustle with foot traffic. Rooted in the arts, Tacoma is the place to be.

Tacoma is ideally situated along the saltwater banks of Puget Sound. Boasting stunning natural surroundings, you don’t need to pack hiking boots to enjoy the mesmerizing outdoors. Explore the parks, gardens and wildlife that make Tacoma a nature wonderland. The nature in Tacoma extends beyond just land. Comb the beaches of the water’s edge and test the open waters in a kayak or boat. Come experience Tacoma’s nature—rain or shine. There’s plenty for you do to, both indoors and out.

Tacoma’s Art Scene

Tacoma’s Nature Scene

  • Cruise the waters of the Puget Sound and learn the history of Tacoma on a guided boat tour with Destiny Harbor Tours. Enjoy Pacific Northwest seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants along Ruston Way.
  • Venture to Point Defiance Park for endless outdoor activities and while you’re there check out the Point Defiance Zoo + Aquarium. Encounter wildlife by riding a camel, watching polar bears swim or talking with walruses.
  • Sample local and fresh ingredients, grown right here! Meet local farmers at more than four farmers markets throughout Tacoma’s neighborhoods, featuring fresh produce, meats, music, arts and crafts.

2014 Conference – Hotel & Transportation

Our conference hotel, Hotel Murano, is full. Additional rooms have been secured at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown. Register soon as rooms are going fast!

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown Hotel is exquisitely designed and conveniently located just off I-5 in the heart of downtown Tacoma. Minutes away from the University of Washington Tacoma, Union Station Tacoma Dome, Convention Center, Washington State Fair Grounds, and a short drive from Joint Base Lewis McChord. With flexible meeting space, we can comfortably accommodate up to 120 people for business or leisure gatherings.

Book your room at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown.

Lobby of the Holiday Inn Express Tacoma Downtown

Lobby of the Holiday Inn Express Tacoma Downtown

Check in at the Holiday Inn Express Tacoma

Check in at the Holiday Inn Express Tacoma

Classic cars at the LeMay Museum

Classic cars at the LeMay Museum

Hotel Murano Glass Tours

Tours of the Hotel Murano’s glass pieces will be available on a first come, first served basis for $5 each. Tour registration is available when you register for the conference. A summary of the artwork available can be found in the Hotel Murano Collection brochure.

  • Thursday, September 4th 4:30-5:30PM (maximum of 20)
  • Friday, September 5th 4:30-5:30PM (maximum of 20)
  • Saturday, September 6th, 1:00-2:00PM (maximum of 20)


Capital Aeroporter is offering special rates for transportation to Tacoma. Getting to Tacoma with Capital Aeroporter SeaTac Airport Shuttle is your efficient, affordable transportation between SeaTac Airport and downtown Tacoma. Serving the greater Tacoma area since 1970, including: Museum of Glass, Convention Center, Point Defiance Zoo/Aquarium, Downtown Tacoma.

Click here or visit and enter the code ARSL in the Frequent User Login to book your airport transportation to the conference.

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.

2013 – Conference Presenters

See also:

Louise Alcorn pic (presenting with Christa Burns)Louise Alcorn has been the Reference Technology Librarian and webmistress at the West Des Moines Public Library since 1996. She presents at local, state and national library meetings and conferences on technology topics and has also authored two books on library technology topics for Neal-Schuman Publishers. Louise earned her MILS at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. She also has a B.A. in American Studies from Grinnell College. Louise participated in the second Iowa Library Leadership Institute in August of 2006. She is active in the Iowa Library Association, serving as Chair of the Public Relations Committee and the IT Forum. In 2009, Louise was elected to a three-year term on the ILA Executive Board, and currently chairs the ILA Bylaws Committee.  She fully embraces her love of all things gadget-y, but is also perfectly happy to curl up with a real, live, paper book.

Denise Anton Wright picBecoming a librarian is the second smartest thing that Denise Anton Wright ever did (the first was marrying her hubby).  During her 28 years in Library Land, Denise has worn many hats: as a youth services librarian, a librarian for a not-for-profit book jobber, an academic librarian, a public library director, and a system consultant.  She is currently the Public Library Administration Consultant for the South Central Library System in Madison, Wisconsin where she works closely with a wide range of public libraries.

Steve Arthur picSteve Arthur, Director of the Ellis Public Library  – Born and raised in Western Kansas as a farm kid and fed a steady diet of space exploration during the Apollo missions and built my first rocket in 1973 during what was considered the golden era of model rocketry.  I served eight years in United States Army Military Police, worked four years in civilian law enforcement, and briefly in the oil field. I earned a degree in history at Fort Hays State University and then became director of the Ellis Public Library in 2002 and established a rocketry program at EPL in 2007. This is the sixth year of the Big Creek Rocketry program and it shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to the library sessions, I offer this program to schools within the county as well as 4H and to 4H groups throughout Western Kansas during Space-Tech Days. This year, the program may expand into a collaborative venture with the Fort Hays State University’s Academy of Science as one of the STEM courses for elementary and high school students. My goal is simple; to offer a program to children that will engage them and provide them a means to build a working model rocket and at the same time, passively teach and build an appreciation for the sciences and history. So far, I have not been disappointed.

becky baker pic

Becky Baker, Library Director at Seward, NE, Scott Childers, Library Director at York, NE, and Lisa Olivigni, Library Director at Crete, NE have over 73 years of combined experience working in a variety of Nebraska libraries.  The three are colleagues and friends, though they have been known to use friendly competition between their communities to encourage greater library use.

Anna Bates pic (co-presenting with Judy Calhoun)

Anna Bates worked for the Southeast Arkansas Regional Library for 20 years. Since receiving her MLIS in 2007, she has worked as Assistant Director of the Stuttgart (AR) Public Library. As the daughter of a librarian, she was taught to cherish books, reading, and the local library. Her passion is to find ways to expand information access to her community and beyond.

Al Bennett picAl Bennett is Co-Principle Investigator representing ARSL in the Pushing the Limits project. He is retired from the California State Library, Sacramento, where he specialized in rural libraries and adult literacy in Library Development Services. He currently instructs glider flying in the Pittsburgh Soaring Club near his home in Pittsburgh, PA, among other activities that include other national library projects.

Andrea Berstler picAndrea Berstler is the Executive Director of Wicomico Public Library in Salisbury, MD.Her library system consists of both urban and rural libraries that serve a uniquely eclectic community made up of Eastern Shore watermen, poultry farmers, science and space workers, university professors and a large community of working poor. Prior to that she was the director of the Hankin Branch Library in Chester County, PA and the Village Library in Morgantown, PA.

A converted educator and business major, Andrea has found a surprising amount of information from both fields has come to her aid in her work as a library administrator.  Advocating that libraries consider themselves customer service businesses, Andrea challenges library managers to apply solid business principles in the running of their organization. She holds an MLS from Kutztown University and is working on an MLIS from the University of Maryland. Andrea has been published in the March 2013 Issue of RUSQ and in the work “The Entrepreneurial Librarian” (McFarland 2012). She has been honored to serve as the ARSL President for the last year.  She is a Philadelphia native, a dog lover and a life-long Phillies fan.

Jeremy Bolom picJeremy Bolom was born a Texan, and although he received his MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999, he has studied (Bachelor of Music from Centenary College in Shreveport), worked (not just in libraries), and lived (currently in West Monroe) in Louisiana long enough to lose his Lone Star State status.  For the past 11 years Jeremy has worked as the Head of Public Service for Lincoln Parish Library in Ruston, LA where he has weeded a lot of books, led a reference service revolution, created many materials displays, and started a crafting university.  An active member of the Louisiana Library Association Public Section, Jeremy enjoys presenting at its yearly conference.  2012 was a big year for Jeremy.  Not only was he honored as the Louisiana Library Association’s first Public Librarian of the Year (and, Lincoln Parish Library received library of the year!), but he also made his first national presentation at the annual conference of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries.  His greatest joy as a librarian is seeing those he’s mentored become enrolled in library school.  Outside work, you can find Jeremy enthralled with his “latest” hobby (currently bowling).  Other than reading (especially pop-up books), he loves chocolate, flea markets, and getting off early on Friday.

Christa Burns picChrista Burns is the Special Projects Librarian, Technology & Access Services, at the Nebraska Library Commission. She provides organization, training, and consultation for special projects, such as the Gates Foundation grants for libraries, E-rate, Learning 2.0, and group purchases of library products and services. Christa also coordinates, produces, and hosts the Commission’s weekly webinar series, “NCompass Live”. Before coming to Nebraska in 2000, Christa spent 8 and 1/2 years at Pace University in Westchester County, NY, starting as a Reference Librarian and working her way up to become Head of Research & Information Services. She received her MLS from the University of Albany School of Information Science and Policy, and her BA from the University of Binghamton in English Literature and Folklore. In her spare time, Christa is a gamer, bibliophile, floriculturist, amateur gourmet and cat minion.

Judy Calhoun pic


Judy Calhoun began her library career 20 years ago as a branch manager for the Southeast Arkansas Regional Library.   In 2007, Ms. Calhoun graduated from Florida State University with a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science.  In 2008 she became the Assistant Director of the Southeast Arkansas Regional Library, a five county 12 branch Library system and in 2012 she was named Regional Director.

Matthew CrossSince 1997 Matthew Cross has been working in the library field, from a student worker to his current position as the Library Technician at the Ak-Chin Indian Community Library. He received his BA in Computer Science from Transylvania University in 2001. He was then the Cataloging Supervisor at the Transylvania University Library until 2008. In 2009 he became the Library Technician at Ak-Chin. There, along with knowing how to run everything electrical, he runs his Summer Reading program: Mad Science Mondays with Matt, keeps programs using technology running smoothly, and is busy planning his next STEM program using Lego robotics.

Sarah Day picSarah Day, Youth Services Director at the Dr. Grace O. Doane Alden Public Library, came to librarianship in a roundabout way. She learned to read when she was four and has loved books and reading her whole life. However, she never thought of making her love of books a career. Instead, she studied art and theater in high school and college, spending her days “coloring” and “playing pretend.” In 2007, she saw an ad in the paper looking for a Children’s Librarian at the Alden Public Library. Sarah inquired about the job description, and while she had never worked in a library a day in her life, the culmination of her life experiences made her more than well suited for the position. As a lifelong library user, she was familiar with the Dewey Decimal System and alphabetizing material. Sarah’s background in art and theater lent themselves well to crafts and programming. Working at a baby store meant that she was up-to-date on the latest research about early childhood development. And her personal preferred genre of reading — juvenile and young adult fiction — made helping younger patrons a snap! She is also quite technically minded, so learning the circulation system and aiding patrons on the computers came naturally to her. Needless to say, she got the job! For the past six year, Sarah has spent her time playing with and teaching kids of all ages, as well as sharing her expertise with her colleagues. She’s presented at least five times at conferences and has been invited to be one of the presenters for Iowa’s 2014 Summer Library Program workshops. She’s very excited to be with us this year and looks forward to meeting as many of you as possible!

Hope Decker picHope Decker is the director of the Cohocton Public Library, a small rural library in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes Region. Hope loves working in her library because she gets to interact with the whole community, but the teens hold a special place in her heart. She emphatically believes that everyone and anyone can start a teen program in their library, sometimes it just takes an idea and the courage to start.

Jezmynne Dene picJezmynne Dene is the Director of the Portneuf District Library, located in Chubbuck, Idaho, and serving all of District 25.  She has her bachelors degree in Southwestern History from the University of New Mexico and her masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Jezmynne is a patient and enthusiastic librarian and is active in her community.  Jezmynne enjoys enabling her staff to succeed and moving her library into the future while staying relevant and important to her library’s community of users.

Lola DeWall picLola DeWall has been Director of Pocahontas Public Library for 7 years with total library experience of 11 years.  Also worked with Preschoolers, 4-H youth and organizations.  Live in rural Iowa, married for 32 years to a dairy farmer, and have three children.  I enjoy reading, sewing, 4-H judging, crafting, and being church secretary.  According to my fellow Librarians my favorite pastime is making creative, monthly, physical changes in our library building and convincing them that change is fun!

Karen Drevo picFor more than twenty-five years, Karen Drevo has been the Youth Services Librarian at Norfolk Public Library, Norfolk, NE.  She thinks bringing people and books together is the best job in the world!  She does a wide range of collection development and programming for all ages.Karen has been an active member of the Nebraska Library Association for twenty-five years—serving on many different committees and has chaired the School, Children and Young People’s section of NLA and the NLA Intellectual Freedom Committee.  She is currently Chair-Elect of the new NLA Intellectual Freedom Round Table.  She has also served as Chair of the Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries.
Since 1995, Karen has volunteered considerable time on various committees of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) and has served multiple terms on the CSLP Board of Directors as Chair the CSLP Vendor Committee and Chair of the Copyright/Rules of Use Committee.  She has presented workshops in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas for librarians who speak little or no Spanish but  provide programming for young children from Spanish-speaking homes. Karen has also presented Every Child Ready to Read Workshops, teaches an Early Language and Literacy class at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, and portrays her Great-Great-Grandmother who homesteaded in Nebraska in 1867 for the Nebraska Humanities Council.

Terry Elsey picTerry Elsey is currently the Collection Development Librarian at Laurens County Public Library in Laurens, SC, where she began working 2 years ago when she received her MLIS degree. For many years previously, Terry was in regional management in the medical transcription and documentation industry. She loves being a librarian and because Laurens County Library is not a large library, Terry gets the chance to do a variety of tasks and to learn about many different aspects of library operations. Some of the things Terry does include handling interlibrary loan requests, selecting and ordering books and A/V materials, writing a collection development blog, being the lead staff person for our ILS use and upgrades, and working the Reference Desk while backing up Circulation, among other duties. Terry works  part-time as a Reference Librarian at a local college where she enjoys learning more about database searching, in particular. Terry is thrilled to be involved in a profession where the all our efforts are directed towards helping others find and benefit from information of all kinds.

Carrie Falk picCarrie Falk, is the Circulation Librarian at the Shenandoah Public Library in Shenandoah, Iowa.  She has been providing entertainment for the citizens of Shenandoah for over 13 years, starting out as the Teen and Technology Librarian and moving into her current position 6 years ago.  Carrie has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Kansas State University and a master’s in Library Science from Emporia State University.  She began her library career as a volunteer page in the Children’s Department of her local public library, and has never looked back.

Larry Grieco pic (co-presenting with Al Bennett)Larry Grieco, director of the Gilpin County Public Library in Black Hawk, Colorado, obtained his MLS from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  He has been an advisor from the outset in the Pushing the Limits Project.  He served two terms on the ARSL Board of Directors and has been active for years on both the local and national level in rural library matters.  He is also a member of the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee.

Val Haverhals picValerie Haverhals has been the director of the Hawarden Public Library in northwest Iowa for the past twenty-five years.  She began her library career in Hawarden and hopefully will end it there!  She has survived two building projects, implementing two circ systems, and being her own tech person.  As the director of a small public library, she feels the support and cooperation of the board, staff, city administration, and community are the keys to success.  Plus, you need to talk about your library whenever the possibility presents yourself.  Word of mouth is the best advertising. Plus, a positive attitude goes a long way in working and dealing with library users!In her spare time, she enjoys reading, a few online games,visiting  her three children who have long left the nest, plus spending time with her husband.  She enjoys dreaming about all the great cooking she hopes to try when she retires. She admits to being a HGTV addict and Food Network groupie.

Kieran Hixon PhotoKieran Hixon is passionate about rural libraries. His focus has been on open source software and low cost tech solutions for small rural libraries. He is currently a technology consultant on the edges of the digital divide for the Colorado State Library. He is known for his high energy and humor, and isn’t sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing. He lives on forty acres with 6 adults, 1 child, 6 dogs, 9 chickens, 3 turkeys and a myriad of feral cats.

Jamie Hollier picJamie Hollier is a project manager, entrepreneur, and consultant who is passionate about technology and how it can be used to create stronger communities. Jamie is the owner of Anneal, a consulting firm, and a partner at Commerce Kitchen, a web development, design, and marketing company and has been honored as a White House “Champion of Change”. Currently, Jamie is the project manager for, an online hub for those who teach and support digital learners through a community of practice and a collection of training resources. Previous to that, she worked as the project manager for Colorado’s Public Computer Centers, which brought computers and training to 88 locations throughout Colorado and has provided access to over three million users. Jamie is also a board member for the Digital Public Library of America and consults for open government and startup communities in Colorado.

Craig Johnson_(c) Elisabeth ROGER_CROPPED2Craig Johnson is the author of eight novels in the Walt Longmire mystery series, which has garnered popular and critical acclaim. The Cold Dish was a Dilys Award finalist and the French edition won Le Prix du Polar Nouvel Observateur/BibliObs. Death Without Company, the Wyoming State Historical Association’s Book of the Year, won France’s Le Prix 813. Another Man’s Moccasins was the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award winner and the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers’ Book of the Year, and The Dark Horse, the fifth in the series, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Junkyard Dogs won the Watson Award for a mystery novel with the best sidekick, and Hell Is Empty, selected by Library Journal as the Best Mystery of the Year, was a New York Times best seller, as was As the Crow Flies. The Walt Longmire series is the basis for the hit A&E drama, Longmire, starring Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Katee Sackoff.Johnson lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five.

Kim Kietzman picKim Kietzman has worked in libraries of all sizes and worked in every area of library service. In 2004 she opened Iowa’s newest public library in a small town on the Mississippi and wore every hat until she left in 2007 to become a consultant to libraries in southeast Iowa. In that role she was immersed in the daily worries, frustrations and joys of running a thriving library in communities of 200 and up. One of her roles during this time was to provide facilitation of long-range planning for public libraries. Her work in planning and community engagement has led to a love affair with surveys, focus groups and planning for libraries. It takes all kinds in the library world, right?

Leah Krotz picLeah Krotz spent a lot of time in libraries as a child, but didn’t plan on making them her career.  However, when she married and moved to a small Kansas town, that’s the job she found!  She’s loved being director of the Belleville Public Library for the past 22 years.A University of Nebraska and KPLACE graduate, Leah has been very active in community economic development and rural issues, and believes that libraries are essential to the well-being of small towns.  Marketing the library, creating a fun and inviting atmosphere, and reaching out to the community have helped the Belleville Public Library be named a Library Journal Star Library for three consecutive years.

Lisa Lewis picLisa Lewis is the Director of Library and Community Services with the Huachuca City Public Library in Huachuca City, Arizona.  She started as an assistant librarian with a public school District and took the job as Director in Huachuca City in 2007.  Lisa has considerable knowledge working with children and states that this is her favorite part of her many responsibilities at the library.  She has also taken many continuing education classes in giving superior customer service and trains her staff regularly on best practices in this area.  Lisa also is responsible for multiple community events and loves being involved in these celebrations.

Amy McBride photoAmy McBride has been the Development Officer at the Montrose Regional Library District since 2006, and was President of its Board of Trustees before that.  She raised more than $800,000 in private and public grants to build the Naturita Community Library in 2009, and more than $200,000 since then to support programming at the Library.  Since 1991, she has worked with dozens of nonprofit groups and local governments to increase their organizational effectiveness.

Susan Mannix picSusan Mannix currently serves as the Director of the LeClaire Community Library. She has worked in a variety of library positions since her first job as a teen library page in 1977 and as a Director in Iowa & Illinois public libraries since 2002.   Susan has enjoyed mentoring fellow librarians for several years, especially in the area of improving relations with governing boards and local officials. In 2012, she was appointed to the Iowa Library Association’s Leadership Development Committee and currently serves as Interim Committee Chair (2013).

Rachel Miller picRachel Miller is Library Director at Forsyth Public Library in Forsyth, Illinois and previously was Youth Services Consultant at Rolling Prairie Library System.  Taking Think Outside the Barn @ your library Illinois to the Farm Progress Show (the Largest Outdoor Farm Show in the Country!), has given her a close-up view of how to promote small town and rural libraries in nontraditional settings.

South Sioux City library seedsDavid Mixdorf has been the director of the South Sioux City Public Library for 4 years. In that time the library has grown from around 150 programs a year to over 1500 programs this year. The library has been involved in the creation of community gardens, the SSC Farmers Market, beginning gardener classes and a community garden club. The library has also established a seed swap/seed saving library. Participants raise and save a variety of garden seeds and donate them back to the library. David has been gardening for as long as he can remember. He has been growing a wide variety of fruit and vegetable varieties over many years. His family has grown a certain variety of rhubarb and a variety of onions for over 100 years. Presently,  this year David has over 50 varieties of tomatoes and 8 varieties of peppers growing in his garden.

Maryann Mori picMaryann Mori has presented on a variety of topics at several national library conferences, including The Internet Librarian (2007), ALA (2008, 2009), PLA (2010), and ALSC (2012).  She has been published in Library Worklife, The Informed Librarian Online, Public Libraries, and elsewhere.  Her work has been included in ALA books, Social Networking Communities and E-Dating Services (IGI, 2008), and most recently in Serving Teen Parents: From Literacy to Life Skills  (Libraries Unlimited,  2011). She created and currently teaches an online course for the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) on the topic of information literacy.  Formerly a Teen Specialist Librarian for the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (Indiana) and Director of the Waukee Public Library (Iowa), Mori is currently a District Library Consultant for Iowa Library Services.  She completed her MSLIS from the University of Illinois in 2006.

IMLSTimothy Owens is a Senior Program Officer in State Library Programs at the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Prior to joining IMLS, he served as a Library Development Consultant at the State Library of North Carolina with a variety of responsibilities, including connectivity, library data, e-rate, and resource sharing. He served as a reference librarian at Duke University after starting his library career at Neuse Regional Library in rural eastern North Carolina. From 2007 to 2011, he served on the ARSL board (President: 2009-2010). He attended library school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also holds a Master’s in Music from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.

Paul Paladino pic (co presenting with Amy McBride)In 1991, Paul Paladino became Director of the Montrose Regional Library District, and within two years, the Montrose Library was named Colorado Library of the Year. He headed four successful elections to increase funding for the District, including one in 1996 to build a $6.1 million library in Montrose. In 2006, he focused on improving library services in Naturita, in rural western Montrose County, and led construction of America’s largest straw bale library, which won the 2010 Colorado Library Project of the Year, was named the Best Small Library in America by Library Journal and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and was awarded a National Medal by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Paul is a past president of the Colorado Association of Libraries and has served on numerous CAL and State Library committees. Educationally, Paul peaked early, having been chosen best All-Around Student in Mrs. Austin’s first grade class at Gilder-Giles School.  He went on to get a B.A. from the University of Dayton and an M.L.I.S. from Indiana University.

Cecily PetersCecily Peters is an enrolled member of the Ak-Chin Indian Community, grew up in the Ak-Chin and in 2012 graduated from Maricopa High School. During her high school career, she was a part of Ak-Chin’s Youth Council, started the Amerind Club, and was its president her Junior and Senior year. From December 2011 to December 2012, Cecily was Miss Ak-Chin, 1st Attendant. She is currently attending Central Arizona College for her Associates in Gaming Design while working full time at the Ak-Chin Indian Community Library as a Page. She runs Anime Club and Gaming Idol, assists with Storytime Spectacular, and all of our current film projects.

Carolyn Petersen picAs assistant program manager for Library Development at the Washington State Library Carolyn Petersen concentrates her efforts on helping rural and tribal libraries develop.  Library board training and strategic planning efforts are a key part of what she does.  In the 20+ years Carolyn has worked in public libraries, she has experience in areas such as management, grant work, volunteer coordination, staff training, and reference service.  However, readers’ advisory is what drew her to the field in the first place and remains her favorite specialty.

Jennifer Powell pic (Geek your library presenter)Jenny Powell has helped public library staff and leaders engage with their local communities and start important conversations for the past four years with her work as a field manager for OCLC’s Geek the Library community awareness campaign. Jenny was recognized as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker earlier this year and her experience providing one-on-one library support gives her unique insight about library advocacy and community engagement.

Melissa Powell picMelissa  Powell has worked for over 30 years in libraries as a paraprofessional and degreed professional, in addition to a 4-year “retirement” to learn about the book & publishing industry.  She teaches Basic Cataloging Skills for Lyrasis, and the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) and conducts cataloging training for the AspenCat Union Catalog, (Koha-based ILS).Additionally Melissa is the Webcast Producer for Publisher’s Weekly, and the Editor of the Biblio Tech Review, an international library technology newsletter. She received a B.A in History and a Masters in Library and Information Studies at Northern Illinois University and has additional training in coaching and communications.

LRainie - LgLee Rainie is the Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, a non-profit, non–partisan “fact tank” that studies the social impact of the internet.The Project has issued more than 350 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives.Lee is a co-author of the new book Networked: The New Social Operating System, a book about the social impact of technology that was written with Barry Wellman.He also is a co-author of Up for GrabsHopes and Fears, Ubiquity, Mobility, Security, and Challenges and Opportunities – a series of books about the future of the internet.

Prior to launching the Pew Internet Project, Lee was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has a master’s degree in political science from Long Island University.

Sally ReedSally G. Reed is the Executive Director of United for Libraries. Begun in early 2009 with the merger of Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA),  United for Libraries brings together Trustees and Friends into a partnership that unites the voices of citizens who support libraries to create a powerful force for libraries in the 21st Century.Prior to joining FOLUSA in 2001, Reed served as the Director of Libraries for the Norfolk Public Library in Norfolk, VA, where she worked closely with the Friends and Trustees to increase library funding and coordinate a strategic plan to build a new central library and two anchor branch libraries. Reed has also served as the Director of Libraries in Ames, IA, Middlebury, VT, and Northampton, NH.

She has written numerous articles and books for the field of librarianship, the most recent of which include 101+ Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends (Neal-Schuman, 2004),  Making the Case for Your Library (Neal-Schuman, 2000) and the second edition of her book Small Libraries: A Handbook for Successful Management (McFarland, 2002).  Reed has presented programs and lectures to Friends groups and librarians in over 200 cities and towns across America as well as internationally.

In 2000, Reed was the recipient of the Herbert and Virginia White award given annually by the American Library Association to recognize success in the promotion of libraries and librarianship.

Chris Rippel picChris Rippel, MLS Florida State University, is system consultant for the Central Kansas Library System in Great Bend, Kansas. I prefer posting “stuff” online to see what grabs people.  “Mouserobics” mouse self-tutorial has been translated into numerous languages including Tagalog. “What Libraries Can Learn from Bookstores” was selected as a Library Link of the Day and republished in an Australian library magazine. The compilation, “Things That Make Libraries Look Stupid” was republished in The Whole Library Handbook 4.  My 2013 ARSL presentation introduces two tools I hope will help librarians.

heidi-schutt picHeidi Schutt is the Library Director of Muir Library in Winnebago, Minnesota. She also serves on several committees within the regional library system. Like many other small-town librarians, she does not have a specific area of expertise, but loves the transformation of the library during the Summer Reading Program. When not at the library, she is volunteering in town, taking her energetic dog for walks and digging in her vegetable garden.

Gail Sheldon picGail Sheldon has been the director of Oneonta Public Library in Alabama since 2009. She was hired as the director two months after starting her master’s degree program in Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. Gail works hard to keep the programs her library offers fresh, inventive, and relevant as well as community-minded. She is currently serving as a member of the ARSL Board of Directors.

staritaJoe Starita is Pike Professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Previously, he spent 14 years at The Miami Herald – four years as the newspaper’s New York Bureau Chief and four years on its Investigations Team, where he specialized in investigating the questionable practices of doctors, lawyers and judges. One of his stories was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting. Interested since his youth in Native American history and culture, he returned to his native Nebraska in 1992 and began work on a three-year writing project examining five generations of a Lakota-Northern Cheyenne family. The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge – A Lakota Odyssey, published in 1995 by G.P. Putnam Sons (New York), won the Mountain and Plains Booksellers Award, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in history and has been translated into six languages. Starita’s latest book – “I Am A Man” – Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice – was published in January 2009 by St. Martin’s Press (New York) and has recently gone into a fourth printing.

The book tells the story of a middle-aged chief who attempted to keep a death-bed promise to his only son by walking more than 500 miles in the dead of winter to return the boy’s remains to the soil of their native Nebraska homeland along the Niobrara River. En route, the father unwittingly ended up in the cross-hairs of a groundbreaking legal decision in which a federal judge in Omaha declared – for the first time in the nation’s 103-year history – that an Indian “is a person” within the meaning of the law and entitled to some of the same Constitutional protections as white citizens. This book was chosen as Lincoln’s 2010 “One Book-One Lincoln” selection and as Nebraska’s 2012 “One Book-One Nebraska” statewide community reading project and is being developed into a feature-length film. In July 2011, Starita was given the Leo Reano national civil rights award by the National Education Association for his work on behalf of Native Americans.

Mary Beth Stenger, director of the Southern Area Library.Mary Stenger is the Director of Southern Area Library in Lost Creek, WV.  Southern Area Library was selected as the Best Small Library in America for 2013 by Library Journal  with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation presenting a $20,000 award to the library for its selection.Mary became director on July 1, 2010.  Since that time the library has increased its programming by 888%.  Our computer usage increased 32%.  The number of visitors through our doors increased 156%.Prior to becoming director, Mary homeschooled her three sons, and she is currently homeschooling her daughter.  Mary graduated from West Virginia University in 1984 and is a CPA who worked for Peat, Marwick, Main.

Jeffrey StofferJeffrey Stoffer is the Librarian Assistant at the Ak-Chin Indian Community Library. Jeffrey worked at Phoenix Central Library for three years in the Youth Services Department. He is best known for creating an innovative super hero puppet show and library tour program starring Readerman. He also created a program called Comic Collab, in which he taught teens how to draw comics. For the past four years Jeffrey has been creating programming for the Ak-Chin Community. His newest projects include Library TV, Dark Readings and a Movie Club Program. Check out his work at

WendyStreet picWendy Street has been the director of the Pella Public Library since 2002, and has been a librarian since 1987.  She is active in the Iowa Library Association and is currently serving as the Treasurer of the Iowa Library Association Foundation.  Wendy received her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Iowa.

John Thill picJohn Thill is a librarian specializing in Local History and Spanish Language Services at the Napa County Library, a system serving wine country’s vintners and hotel workers alike.  He holds a Master’s Degree from San Jose State University and has over ten years of experience working in both large urban libraries and rural systems.  He also runs the Spanish language collection development blog Accidental Bibliotecario, which aims to help English speaking library personnel purchase materials for their Spanish speaking populations.

Sheila Urwiler picSheila Urwiler has worked in libraries for five years, and is currently the director of a 4-branch system in northwest Indiana. She has extensive experience in training and leadership in various organizations and businesses.  Last year, she helped found the Starke County Literacy Council and this year is working with other community leaders on the “Moving Starke County Forward” initiative to improve education and health outcomes in the county.

Sarah Uthoff picSarah S. Uthoff is the director of the Oxford Public Library in Oxford, Iowa and serves as a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College. Uthoff is just as at home handing original documents for primary research as she is trouble shooting a technology problem, she has recently fallen in love with social media (especially her Trundlebed Tales podcast). Genealogy librarian by default at most of the libraries she has worked at, her genealogy basics program has proved consistently popular around the region. Uthoff is also a respected national authority on Laura Ingalls Wilder and is Vice-President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association, runs the listserv for the Country School Association of America, and is Foodways Resource Chair for the Midwest Open Air Museum’s Coordinating Council (a living history organization). Find her online

Joan Weaver picJoan Weaver has been the director of the Kinsley Library for the past 16 years.  In previous lives she was a high school English Teacher, owner of an advertising agency, fiber artist, and storyteller for the Kansas Arts Commission, all of which daily help her wear the many hats of a small library director.   In 2012 the library won the Ebsco Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service for its online “One-Stop Shop” showcasing the history of its home county, with resources gathered from historians, architects, computer programmers, newspaper editors, the librarian and volunteers.  Joan also was awarded the Polaris Innovation in Technology John Lliff Award for her “nimble efforts with a 2.1 FTE staff, volunteers and community partners to create a library website that also highlights community resources and information.”

Paul Healey picPaul Healey serves as Senior Instructional Services Librarian at the Jenner Law library of the University of Illinois College of Law. He teaches Legal Research and Advanced Legal Research courses in the law school, and also teaches courses on legal materials, information ethics, and library administration at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He holds a JD in law and MA in library and information science from the University of Iowa, and a PhD in library and information science from the University of Illinois.

Paul is considered a national expert on librarian professional liability and on legal issues pertaining to pro se library users. He is author of the books Professional Liability Issues for Librarians and Information Professionals (Neal-Schuman Press, 2008), and the forthcoming Legal Reference for Librarians: How and Where to Find the Answers (ALA Editions, 2013). His articles have been published in Law Library Journal, the National Law Journal, and AALL Spectrum, among others, and he is a two-time winner of the American Association of Law Libraries Call for Papers competition.

Paul is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, where he chairs the governance committee. He is also active in the American Association of Law Libraries and spent six years as Editorial Director of AALL Spectrum, the official magazine of the organization. Paul has been a featured speaker across the U.S. and Canada on legal and library related topics.

Prior to becoming a law librarian, Paul practiced law for seven years in Dubuque, Iowa as a partner in the firm Healey & Peters, Attorneys, and was a seminar presenter on legal and business topics for Inherent, Ltd.
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Conference Logo

Aimee Fisher, a graphic arts student from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD,  has kindly created a conference logo for the 2013 ARSL Conference!