Posts Tagged ‘ARSL Conference’

Mark your calendars!

The 2012 ARSL Annual Conference will be help in Raleigh, North Carolina on September 28, 29 and 30, 2012.  It will be in the Sheraton Raleigh located downtown, within easy walking distance to restaurants, museums and other entertainment.  More details will be announced soon, but be sure to mark the dates on your calendar today.

Member Power

One of the highlights of our year as an organization is always the conference.  The opportunity to see old friends and the possibility for making new ones creates an excitement that cannot be duplicated by other events.  Perhaps because we are a association of library staff who are, for the most part, isolated during the year, or perhaps because our work in small communities gives us insight into the power of face-to-face networking, the conference is always a big deal.  I cannot encourage you strongly enough to do what you can to be there.

But beyond the 3 days that make up the annual conference, I encourage you to become active in this, your organization; for this is your organization.  A place where those serving as a vital element in the life of their community can communicate, and sometimes commiserate, about their situations.  Where you can “pick the collective brain” for solutions, and resources from those who are doing what you are doing, in the next town down the road.  ARSL is an organization for you, powered by it’s members.

At the conference and for several weeks after, we will be issuing a call for committee members. As a growing organization, with an all volunteer board, we rely on the help and participation of our members.  If you are in Texas for the conference, stop by the table we will have set up with committee information and see what part you can play.  If you cannot come to Texas, look for that same message over the listserv.  There is a piece to this puzzle that has your name on it. Get involved.  It is the best way to assure that the ARSL remains your organization, carrying your message and speaking with the voice of rural librarians everywhere.

Join your colleagues at the 2011 ARSL Conference!

Join your colleagues at the 2011 ARSL Conference!

Registration for the annual Association for Rural & Small Libraries
Conference continues at

It will be held in Frisco, Texas, on September 8-11 and will be infused with a welcoming atmosphere
and sense of camaraderie unlike any other conference.  Also, ARSL is pleased to announce that the University of North Texas as our conference sponsor.  Online registration ends August 28, 2011.  You may register in-person at the conference after that date.

*              Registration for the full conference is only $200 for
members and $250 for non-members.
*              Conference hotel rates are only $109 per night.  (Rooms
are going fast, so book yours soon.)
*              Free events are scheduled throughout including a
pre-conference mixer, morning yoga classes and closing luncheon.
*              A field trip to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas is only

*       Birds of a Feather facilitated group discussions offer a chance
to gain new perspective while consulting with others about topics
affecting your library such as Summer Reading Club #’s, Fines and Dewey
*       A Member MatchUp will be offered, pairing those new to the ARSL
conference with experienced conference-goers. 
*       Sessions are geared towards all levels of service that you
provide: Adult, Teen and Children’s Programming, Trustee/Board
Development, Community Partnerships, Technology Issues and much more!

*       Free, instructor-led yoga sessions in the mornings.
*       A session on Recycling Books for Fun & Fashion will be offered.

*       National library leaders peeking around the corner during a
What’s Next general session.

Still not convinced that you should register?  Read Sarah Washburn’s (of
TechSoup for Libraries) post:  Best conference, hands down:  ARSL!

I’ll see you in Texas…

Tena Hanson
ARSL Membership Development Committee, Chair

ARSL Conference in this month’s issue of ALA Direct.

We are eagerly anticipating the ARSL National Conference in Frisco, Texas.

In case you were wondering, here is a taste of what is coming during those three days!

“Featured presenters will include Linda Braun, nationally-known library technology consultant and past YALSA president; Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes, creators of the “Unshelved” comic strip; and Joe Bob Briggs, TV personality, film critic, author and champion of intellectual freedom.

Free events and activities at the conference include the pre-conference mixer, instructor-led yoga sessions in the morning, Birds-of-a-Feather discussion groups and the closing luncheon.  Attendees new to the conference can be matched up with more experienced conference goers to get the most out of their ARSL conference experience.

For more information about the conference, and to register, please visit”

The entire post can be found here – ALA Direct On the ARSL Conference

So glad to have seen you in Denver!

It’s been a week plus since our conference, and perhaps this is a little on the late side, but I wanted to thank you all for the wonderful turnout in Denver this year!  The conference planning committee was overwhelmed and overjoyed at the response to this year’s conference program. It seems that the Programs and Presenters group found just the right speakers to meet the needs of your libraries and bookmobiles.
I hope you remembered to thank whomever may have been responsible for making sure you made it to Denver and have already started planning on how to get to Frisco next year. The dates for 2011 will be out shortly.
Anyway – thank you to our Denver partners and local libaries for a warm and sunny time in the Mile High City! It was a conference to remember!

Hope to see you in Denver, Colorado

Join us in Denver for the 2010 Annual Conference

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries 


The Association of Bookmobile & Outreach Services

are pleased to announce that registrations are now open for their

2010 Joint Conference

Magic in the Mile High City!

to be held in Denver, Colorado at the

Crowne Plaza Hotel

October 14-16, 2010

 There are some interesting, educational and exciting plans for this year’s conference. 

The Keynote Speaker for Thursday’s Opening Session will be Dr Loriene Roy, past President of ALA.  For the Closing Session on Saturday morning, Pat Wagner from Pattern Research will address the group.  Both individuals are well known and respected speakers in the library world. 

In addition, local author and radio personality Dom Testa will speak at an Friday Author’s Lunch.  A Wednesday night Welcome Mixer is planned to allow you to meet old friends and make some new ones.  There will be dine-arounds on Thursday evening and a Magic Show on Friday night.  A time to visit bookmobiles, stop by the vendor tables as well as to reconnect with friends and associates from across the county will be included in this year’s schedule. Workshop selection is being finalized and workshop titles will be announced in a few weeks. Some of the topics for this year’s workshops include gaming in the library, using outreach programs for children and teens, ethics, library advocacy, and managing change. 

 Early Bird member’s rate for conference registration is $200.   (good through 8/29/2010)

 Three exciting pre-conferences are planned as well. 

All are scheduled for Wednesday, October 13, 2010 

Dealing with a Runaway Board will offer real world solutions for those who are having difficulty managing boards, directors or other library personnel who are out of control.  A panel of experts will work with attendees to develop solutions for your situation. 

 10 Things You Should Know Before Disaster Strikes will take you step by step through disaster preparedness; what you need, who you should call and how to organize now, before a disaster hits your library.  This workshop includes a hands-on salvage workshop for restoring damaged library materials.

 Think Outside the Box is a 1/2 day tour of the two newest libraries in the Anything Library System.  LEED Certified and completely Deweyless, these two new libraries offer an opportunity for you to see a different kind of library.  Meet with the architect, talk to the directors and tour the facilities.  Transpiration to and from the libraries is included.


The Crown Plaza Hotel – Denver Airport – is situated just outside lovely Denver, Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.  Minutes from the Denver International Airport, the hotel offers a lovely lobby area, a restaurant with a wide variety of meals, an exercise room, business center and swimming pool.  All the rooms for the conference will have free internet access and the conference room rate is only $99 per night (single or double occupancy).  This rate is good for 3 days before and after the conference, so plan an extra day and do some sightseeing. The hotel also will provide a free shuttle service to and from the Denver Airport.  Be sure to ask about it when you register (303-371-9494). 

Conference registration information and an online conference brochure can be found at the following link:  

 To register, please stop by the Conference Registration and Exhibitor website –

 If you have any questions regarding the upcoming conference – please  send email to

I really hope to see you there!

Feeling like you are a Mile High

Earlier this month I was privileged to spend 3 days in Denver.  I can say that the air is dry, the mountains are stunning and the folks at the Crowne Plaza are warm and welcoming and are looking forward to seeing you all next October.

Denver is the site for the 2010 Joint Conference for ARSL (that’s us) and ABOS (Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services).  It’s been a few years since we held a joint conference with our sister organization, but we are already hard at work, planning the upcoming conference.

Mark you calendars now– that’s right, set aside what you are doing while you browse this blog, get out your calendar, blackberry, Iphone or that scrap of paper you use to note dates and write this down – October 14 – 16, 2010.

Just a few previews – to help you decide to join us.

The location is the very lovely Crowne Plaza Hotel near the Denver International Airport.  The hotel and conference center has a wonderful, open lobby, well lit conference facilities and warm, comfortable guest rooms.  Speaking of rooms, the daily conference rate for the hotel is $99 (plus tax) per person per night and is available 3 days before and after the conference, in case you want to stay and explore Denver a little more.  You can begin making your hotel reservations now – just make sure you mention the Library Conference when you call.  A link for online reservations will be on our website soon.

We can let you know that two of the keynote speakers are Dr. Lorraine Roy, past president of ALA; and Pat Wagner, from Pattern Research.  We are very excited to have these leaders in the library world as part of the activities.

The Conference Committee is hard at work preparing an exciting, interesting, fun-filled yet educational conference.  We plan to begin accepting proposals for workshops beginning in February, so watch for that notice.

We are also hard at work organizing 2 preconference workshops, a welcome mixer and dine arounds, small evening excursions, an author lunch, a magic show and other fun events so you can chat with old friends, make new ones and enjoy the Denver Area.

So make your plans to join us in Denver for

“Magic in the Mile High City!” 

October 14 – 16, 2010

Overheard from CA librarians at the conference…

I now have a whole list of ideas for how to help job seekers in the library (Helping Your Community Get Back to Work session)- the Job Search Toolkit wiki, utilizing the expertise of HR persons from local businesses to help patrons review and revise their resumes/applications/interview skills; show them how to access skills assesments and tutorials to learn new skills. — Jody Meza, Orland Free Library, CA

I attended a great program this morning called Getting IT online, and finally got the lightbulb above my head regarding Twitter.  The presenters explained how you can put an RSS feed link on your library’s website so that all your Twitter posts will appear there!  This would be great for our library, since I would then be able to post directly to the website without asking for help from the IT guy!  —Margaret Miles, Plumas County Library, CA

I was here for the preconference on “Dewey or Do We Not” at the new Gatlinburg Public Library. This program really spoke to me about ways to update and merchandize our collections and library spaces to our customers. I took about 80 pictures of their library illustrating the ‘book store model’ modified dewey approach that they took for their library collection. It was an invaluable workshop for me. — Wendy Burke, Colusa County Library, CA

Here are three quotes and one statistic that resonated with me:

  • “How you think about the customer is how you will treat them.” If you have a colleague who thinks that a library would be a great place to work, if the annoying patrons would only stop bothering them, that attitude will inevitably percolate through to the service that is provided.
  • “Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” (Samuel Ullman) Times are tight and we are all being pulled and strained in all directions. We need to guard against losing sight of why we love libraries.
  • “Today’s service is tomorrow’s reputation.” I lived in China for a year twenty years ago, in a city that had millions of inhabitants but only 40 foreign residents. I was always aware that I was the first foreigner that many of the people I encountered had ever met, or might ever meet. If I was having a bad day or bad moment and someone had a negative interaction with me, that could color their impression of all Americans, so I made an extra effort to always be gracious, patient, and diplomatic. The stakes are similar when you work in a service profession, and it’s important to remember that.  — Laura Pappani, Nevada County Libraries, CA
If you are interested in trying gaming at your library, and you do
not have a lot of money to purchase electronic games such as an
X-Box or a Wii, there are free online games that you can direct
your patrons to such as<>
and<> .  Patrons can also design
their own games at<>. 
--Victoria Mrozek, Merced County Library, CA

I primarily chose to take breakout sessions that covered the topic of
building community and partnerships. Two workshops on the first
day, one after the other "Community Leadership - it's not a spectator
sport" with presenter Jim Connor opened up may possibilities for
developing new relationships in our communities that could provide
support for our library. This support might be in the form of volunteers
as well as dollars. His training material should be on the ARSL web
site and is worth reading through most especially if your funding
sources seem to be dwindling, but also to open your eyes to some
new possibilities for relationships that can provide new funding for
your library.
–Kristen Freeman, Humboldt County Library, Kim Yerton
Memorial/Hoopa Branch
I primarily chose to take breakout sessions that covered the topic of building community and partnerships. Two workshops on the first day, one after the other “Community Leadership – it’s not a spectator sport” with presenter Jim Connor opened up may possibilities for developing new relationships in our communities that could provide support for our library. This support might be
in the form of volunteers as well as dollars. His training material should be on the ARSL web site and is worth reading through most especially if your funding sources seem to be dwindling, but also to open your eyes to some new possibilities for relationships that can provide new funding for your library. –Kristen Freeman, Humboldt County Library, Kim Yerton Memorial/Hoopa Branch

It’s a Small, Small World

Ok – now that you are stuck singing this silly song for the next few hours, here’s why I called this post by such a title. One of the best parts of the ARSL conference, which is now officially concluded, is meeting and sharing with librarians, trustees and library staff from other parts of my state, other states and even across the county.  Doing so has made me aware of several things.

First – the ARSL conference allows you to travel all over the county by traveling to one location.  Here in Tennessee I have become aquainted with California, Texas, Kansas, Iowa, North & South Carolina, Maine, Alabama, Georgia as well as my home state of Pennsylvania.  I have learned how their libraries function, are funded, the tales of their towns and villages, the stories from their trenches. 

 Also I have learned that while some librarian’s talk funny (you can decide which ones those are) we are often telling the same story. We have the same struggles, the same joys, the same insecurities, the same pet peeves; it is as if we run the same library, just in the next town or state over. If you will allow me to use an over-used phrase – we are all in the same boat.  Their tales are similar to my tales, their funding woes are like mine, their insecurities are mine, their crazy patrons visit me in PA and their trenches look surprising like the ones I visit daily. 

Perhaps that is why this conference and this organization has struck a resounding chord at the heart of so many? ARSL members and conference attendees know they are not in this alone and they know that someone else is working and may have already come up with a solution to the problem they just found that they have.  

As we travel together over the next weeks and months – remember this.  We are all in this together.  The land of small and rural libraries is truly a small, small world.

Andrea Berstler