Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) Board Meeting
2018.09.16, 8am CST
President Lincoln Doubletree, Springfield, IL
Prior to the meeting Lewis added agenda items under New Bus – e. Advocacy, f. Emerging Leader
I. Lewis called meeting to order 8:31am
Board members in Attendance:
Kathy Zappitello, Kieran Hixon, Julie Elmore, Jane Somerville, Jennifer Pearson, Aimee Newberry, Kathy Street, Clancy Pool, Sara Wright, Meredith Wickham, Mary Soucie, Lisa Lewis, Bailee Hutchinson, Hope Decker, Jennie Garner
Other members in attendance:
Judy Calhoun, Board Convener, and Becky Heil, Conference Logistics Committee Co-Chair
Zappitello nominated Garner for Secretary and Pool for Treasurer.
Hixon seconded nomination.
III. Presidents’ Reports (Past & Incoming Remarks)
Hixon – Outgoing President Remarks
Thanked board. Mentioned many good comments from conference attendees and social media.
Goal for year was to have no issues at conference and smooth event surrounding mission of
Goal to make national contacts. Accomplished. ARSL has been invited to the table by many
groups. Would like us to have representation – COSLA, ALA.
ARSL Leadership Institute – this was not pursued this year but as past pres, Hixon hopes to
follow up on this in 2019.
Lewis – Incoming President Remarks
Thanked Hixon for his work this past year.
Lewis stated that this year will see a lot of change and would like to see smooth transition.
Continue having voice at the table for small and rural libraries to improve what we do for our
Hutchinson had submitted to add g. Audit under New business; Lewis added this agenda item.
IV. Consent Agenda
Moved – Soucie
Seconded – Pearson
No discussion. Motion passed.
V. Verbal Reports
2019 Conference Update – Elmore
Calhoun and Elmore went to Burlington, VT for site visit. Working on logistics and some schedule
changes to allow ARSL to increase attendee number to 650.
General Session and Conference sessions are in the same rooms.
Overflow hotels are walkable but are a distance and have to cross some larger intersections.
VI. Old Business
a. Conference Logistics – Heil
2021 is a little behind due to some unforeseen challenges.
Need to go to NW next –Somerville is in charge of narrowing down to several cities in Idaho,
Somerville reported that she looked at Western Montana, Eastern Oregon but eliminated because
no place will accommodate the attendance at ARSL.
Cheyenne, WY – is interested in hosting
Boise, ID – large convention center 10 mins from airport
Free shuttles, walking distance to multiple hotels, vibrant downtown
Reno Sparks, NV – Large convention center, food and beverage pricing is less expensive than
It was noted it doesn’t seem as walkable
Heil mentioned that goal is to choose city and send out RFP by March 2019
2022 – Heil remarked that they are looking at Iowa. Not sure there is a location
TEI [Landmark Audio] has suggested Indianapolis and inferred that they may donate to ARSL
2023 – choosing region – Southeast (FL, GA, NC, AL)
Wickham motioned approval of the Conference Logistics Committee recommendations
Hutchinson seconded of the regions recommended by the group
It was mentioned that the goal is to have a contract so we can announce cities out sooner
Lewis called for vote – passed
Heil stated that for Kansas 2020 – four cities submitted RFPs for 75 vendors, 1000 attendees
Looking at logistics to score the possible locations.
Heil read Tena Hanson’s (IA) committee report – 750-800 people with room to expand to 1000 if
needed. This will lower conference costs overall. Soucie and Somerville are also part of
committee meeting. Elmore mentioned that she thinks we can’t look at a place unless they can
accommodate 1000 but we don’t have to ask for that in contract. Somerville mentioned her
concern that we’d get too big for smallest libraries but this conference still held that feeling that
all are welcome.
Other discussion ensued. Hixon stated that selling out and turning people away is a liability.
Suggested we have the bandwidth to accommodate all of the attendees and make it still feel like
a small town conference. Hotels should be able to also accommodate up to 1000, KS said. Soucie
said they also want to be sure we are good stewards of ARSL money. Elmore stated we need
ensure that the growth this year isn’t an anomaly. Wright commented that Kansas has a lot of
nearby states that are drivable.
Hixon clarified that the proposal process is to protect financial liability to ARSL. Wanted to be
sure we can accommodate at least 1000. Somerville stated that conference may have to be held
in bigger and bigger cities. Elmore stated that we don’t have enough data to know that we are
going to continue seeing the huge attendance. Contracts can be written for less but we need to
be able to expand to 1000. Wright said we need to think big but we also don’t want to lose the
feeling that we’re comfortable for the smallest libraries. Setting goals and strategies that we are
able to do both – change thinking and still be responsive. Zappitello added that beginning
regional level work for the association will also help accommodated more attendees.
Heil requested some direction from board. Discussion about risks of negotiating for large
attendance of 1000 commenced. Heil suggested 800 minimum with a venue that could
accommodate up to 1200. Wickham stated that current membership is 1016. Soucie suggested
committee use 800 for minimum in Kansas with 1200 at top and then revisit to look at Vermont
growth. Hixon requested seeing data showing growth and tracking trends.
Pool requested seeing some numbers for membership in the committee reports.
Elmore suggested board members send email to chairs requesting information that they would
like to see included in reports.
Lewis recapped the committee charge to look to accommodate 800 with ability to go to 1200.
Heil left the meeting.
b. Electronic Discussion List Policy – Wickham
Wickham provided overview of Marketing Committee work for Electronic Discussion Lists Policy
Lewis suggested tabling until everyone was up to speed.
VII. New Business
a. New organizational chart overview – Lewis
No changes to exec committee
No longer board advisor – eliminated
Convener – Judy Calhoun (replace advisor)
Keeps everything on track, agenda items, etc.
It was determined that Membership and Marketing should be separated into two committees
Soucie asked if board members would chair committees
Lewis stated that going forward we’ll move to 9 members; committee chairs will separate
Hixon mentioned that the bylaws state that board members are committee chairs. Bylaws changes require vote from membership
Soucie pointed out Section ii. Article VII of the Bylaws, revision 2017, does not require
board members be committee chairs.
Street asked if committee chairs would be expected to be at meetings at ARSL conference. Lewis stated that board liaisons would report committee work so committee chairs did not need to be at meetings. Soucie added that board liaisons would bring this information to meeting. Lewis clarified that committee chairs do not have to be board members.
Lewis asked Wickham to give an overview
Membership report is run each month.
Wickham stated that she, as Membership and Marketing chair, received emails from people wanting member benefits (Library of Congress and Federal Credit Union checking for members in good standing) – currently chair has to check with management company when these are received. Wickham requested that be
Discussion followed regarding roundtables on Zoom, which falls under membership as networking outside conference with 20 or less members, varying subject matter offered for discussion. Somerville was helping with roundtables and stated she held off on additional round tables during conference planning. She plans to work on this now that conference is over.
Letters to new members and renewing members with a welcome from President were discussed and also time to renew notifications.
Lewis suggested rewrites to job descriptions for each committee.
It was decided that Kathy Street will assume role of Membership Chair and Bailee Hutchinson will be Marketing Chair.
It was noted that the two committees will work closely going forward.
Soucie suggested that Wickham, Street, and Hutchinson work together to write new charges for these two committees and present committee work plans to board. Should check with the Primary Source consultant, Kate Laughlin, to see what makes sense. Elmore stated that they should at least come up with some guiding principles to work with for now.
Solid work plans need to be in place, Hixon noted. We will need to be fluid as we change the structure.
The board discussed titles for the committees and decided on Membership Development (Membership) and Marketing and Communications (Marketing).
Conference Logistics and Finance – No changes
Pool tentatively selected Wright as back up Treasurer and Wright agreed to that role.
Conference Committee Chair – No changes
Street recommended three chair positions for conference committee: Past, Current, and Incoming.
Calhoun (past), Elmore (current), and ARSL member Connie Mitchell (incoming for Kansas conference in 2020).
Governance Committee Chair – Wright volunteered to take this over for Decker so Wright will now chair Governance.
Advocacy – no changes
Partnership – Pearson is working on succession planning. Zappitello will work alongside Pearson as
Subcommitee work will be done by committee chairs
Decker volunteered to work on Conference as possible incoming chair or to lead hospitality. She is also willing to work on partnerships/advocacy.
Newberry will work with Finance and Membership committees.
Soucie will ste
ARSL conference ribbons should be at each of the state conferences. Banner/tablecloth,
conference ribbons to ship to conferences through the membership. Soucie suggested
membership take this on as a project.
Decker – mentioned rural library orgs in some states.
Hixon stated that this is an opportunity in response to Elmore’s suggestion to work with
vendors. Start building leadership in the membership.
Street agreed to take this on as a project with help from Decker.
d. Annual Retreat
Lewis asked for suggested dates
Elmore – April may work to get away from SRP and Conference so it’s more midyear.
Lewis stated that it’s difficult to get away from work so do this during the week.
Discussion on location and dates followed.
Elmore offered to look for central location. Lewis will send Doodle poll for date.
Soucie reviewed committee charge and plan – advocacy advisory committee to nail
down details for plan. Two subcommittees:
1. Work on legislative advocacy network – write script for leg advocacy, committee will
draft position letter/paper for president to send.
2. Education webinar for Advocacy
Theme for 2019 – Take scare out of Advocacy – what it means, grassroots efforts.
Goal to have webinar quarterly on successful advocacy by members or challenges
Want this to be member focused
Discussion regarding presenters for advocacy and whether EveryLibrary should lay
the base or start with membership as presenters on basics, how to write a simple
elevator speech, etc.
Elmore suggested all newsletters should include successful advocacy story.
Hixon suggested we start on listserv with basic advocacy – monthly advocacy tips.
Soucie asked board members to send names of people who have advocacy success
stories; focus on advocacy tips for members and have a clearinghouse.
Partners we work with who can develop session or some other conference piece
(preconference, keynote, etc.).
Partnership will take on ARSL organizational advocacy.
f. Emerging Leader
Hixon provided overview of ALA’s Emerging Leader program for which ARSL sponsors an emerging leader. Hixon suggested that ARSL may not want to sponsor an emerging leader this year as we did not have a good applicant pool from which to select. Motion to not sponsor an emerging leader this year – Soucie
Hutchinson talked about audit report from Patti Mayfield (TX).
Treeline recommended accounting firms.
$6500 for one year from one company.
$10,000 two-year audit from another company.
Soucie said she would be in favor of tabling this to give board time to determine if we
should spend this money.
Pool said we set a $2000 budget thinking it would be a partial audit. We have not spent
this money as yet.
Discussion was held regarding legal requirements for compliance and the history of
audits for ARSL.
Minutes state that full audit needs to be done every four years.
Lewis suggested tabling for time to talk to Kate. CP can guide audit committee but not
Pool requested that we make a decision at the November meeting.
Item was tabled by Lewis.
VIII. Committees Meet
Committee meetings and discussion of budgets need to take place.
Pool would like budget requests by Oct. 31, 2018.
Will contact Treeline to get blank budget forms and send to chairs.
Hixon then explained Policy Clearinghouse database run by CLiC (Colorado Library Consortium). Wright worked with another librarian to populate the database with policies that have been attached to ARSL list. Many ARSL members have submitted policies.
New business added
h. Grant request = Libraries Transforming Communities – ALA partnership for this IMLS grant –
Deadline is Sept. 17.
Pearson gave review of request: Session at conference. ARSL rep on advisory committee.
Pearson moved to approve request on Libraries Transform grant.
IX. Public Comment
X. Time of next meeting – Nov. 14, 8:30am (MST)
XI. Meeting adjourned at 11:58pm