One of the best benefits of membership is the ARSL list-serv. Because it is a members only list, the issues discussed are relevant to small and rural libraries. Members are transparent with one another–no egos, just honest questions and honest answers. Librarianship is a helpful profession by nature, so you will find that some topics can cause a flurry of list-serv activity through follow-up questions and responses. Don’t let this volume intimidate you; there are management options.
E-mails can be sent in a digest format (one e-mail per day with all topics enclosed) or you can receive them individually. This option allows users to simply scan the subject line in their inbox and delete any that are not of interest. Additionally, most email providers offer custom filters. By utilizing filters, users can route ARSL messages to a folder and check messages when they have time.
Finally, archives of list-serv conversations can be accessed by following the steps below:
2. Enter email address (use the same email address that you are subscribed to the listserv under) and establish a password.
3. Activate password by following emailed instructions you receive.
4. Click on subscribers corner. It will ask you to enter your email and password you created so it can be saved as a cookie. Then you’ll get to a screen that allows you to search the archives. Click on “Archive Search” to search the archives.
Bottom line–it’s well worth the time investment to have access to hundreds of other small and rural library workers! If you are not currently taking advantage of the list-serv and would like to receive access to the group, please contact Sara Zach at firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe.
The ARSL Facebook page is a powerful networking tool and a great source of information. Liking, sharing, and commenting on posts is highly encouraged. Be sure to adjust your settings for your preferences. Users can check the page often for new posts and comments, or settings can be changed to receive a notification when new content is posted. To turn on notifications for ARSL, go to the ARSL Page. Click “Like”. On the drop-down menu below “Like” select “Get Notifications.” A check-mark will appear indicating that notifications are enabled. This is the simplest way to keep up with ARSL news. You can turn off these notifications anytime by deselecting “Get Notifications.“
If you like the convenience and simplicity of Twitter, ARSL’s Twitter feed is a great way to receive updates from the organization. Retweets and comments are always appreciated. To follow ARSL, go to Twitter.com or open the Twitter app on your mobile device, and sign in to your account. ARSL’s handle (@RuralLibAssoc) can be found utilizing the Twitter search bar. Click the “Follow” button (on most devices this button is located above the Twitter feed). Tweets from ARSL will immediately begin appearing in your timeline.
To receive alerts (push notifications) whenever ARSL tweets or retweets something, navigate to the profile screen for ARSL. Tap the settings button, select “turn on notifications.” You can turn off alerts by following the same instruction, and selecting “Turn off notifications”.
While it may be difficult to carve out time for professional development activities, conference organizers work all year to insure that your conference experience will exceed your expectations and make it worth your effort to attend. ARSL is a completely volunteer led organization, and that dedication shows in the hundreds of volunteer hours devoted towards creating a total immersion learning environment. Many sessions are offered throughout the day in order to provide something for everyone. The conference also moves locations each year in order to open access to library workers nationwide. Checkout where our upcoming conferences will be. We believe that once you attend, you will be back because dollar for dollar, the conference is a great investment. Unlike many other conferences all speaker events and most meals are covered in the conference registration.
First time attendees can apply for the ARSL scholarships. Several other states offer conference scholarships or other professional development money and we encourage you to check your state library resources for more information.
Other ways to save some money on the cost of conference is to approach others on the list-serv or the Conference Event page who may be traveling and see if you can find a colleague willing to ride share or perhaps be a roommate to share hotel costs. Please remember to do your due diligence before you elect to ride-share and/or share hotel rooms as ARSL does not endorse members, nor does the organization accept any responsibilities for any incidents that may occur from the result of arrangements made.
ARSL.info is a central location where you can explore all aspects of ARSL. Anyone can use the website for information and resources from ARSL. Members can log in for Members Only content such as access to individual and organizational member directories.
ARSL’s Members Only List-Serv, Facebook and Twitter posts, and face-to-face opportunities at conferences allows your professional network to grow. Be sure to take advantage of all knowledge your fellow small library workers have. Odds are whatever you are experiencing in your small or rural library, someone else has either dealt with or has a workable idea. We are very proud to have members who are willing to help others and share ideas and policies. All you need to do is dive in and ask.
Learn more about ARSL’s organization, policies, board meetings, etc. and get involved!