Talihina (Okla.) Public Library participates in Play Streets on September 7, 2017. Photo: Talihina (Okla.) Public Library

Rural Libraries and Community Well-Being

October 6, 2020

The event opened with a meme-filled presentation from author and librarian William Ottens (Librarian Tales: Funny, Strange, and Inspiring Dispatches from the Stacks) and closed with a keynote from renowned librarian and literary critic Nancy Pearl (The Writer’s Library: The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives, with Jeff Schwager). The sessions … Continue reading Rural Libraries and Community Well-Being


Graves County (Ky.) Public Library's bookmobile. Photo: Graves County (Ky.) Public Library

By the Numbers: Rural and Small Libraries

September 1, 2020

1982 Year the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) was founded by Bernard Vavrek, director of the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship at Clarion (Pa.) University. 5 Number of days the ARSL Conference will take place, September 28–October 2. Previously scheduled for Wichita, Kansas, the conference has switched to a virtual format. … Continue reading By the Numbers: Rural and Small Libraries


Author Chris Bohjalian

The Center of the Community

September 10, 2019

“Almost without exception, at one point that morning, each [person] was crying,” recalled the New York Times–bestselling novelist. “They would not have cried for the loss of CD-ROMs, but they cried for books … they cried for their community center.” But Lincoln’s is not just a story of loss, Bohjalian explained in a lunchtime session … Continue reading The Center of the Community


A welcome reception for ARSL conference attendees was held September 4 at Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont. (Photo: Margot Malachowski)

Building Community Connections at ARSL 2019

September 6, 2019

Standup comedian, storyteller, and speaker Susanne Schmidt continued Lewis’s theme. Storytelling, she said, is a form of connection. “People find common ground in the shared experiences that come to life in storytelling,” she said. “Stories allow us to connect on a deeper level.” She then walked the audience through the four elements of a good … Continue reading Building Community Connections at ARSL 2019


Author Lance Conrad delivers a keynote speech at the 2017 Association for Rural and Small Libraries Conference. Photo: ARSL

ARSL 2017 Conference: Days Two and Three

September 13, 2017

The Friday and Saturday keynote speakers did much to accentuate the feeling of togetherness. Blind musician/motivation speaker Clint Lewis and YA sci-fi/fantasy authors Brandon Mull (Fablehaven) and Lance Conrad (Price of Creations) praised their hosts and delivered talks that stressed the importance of following your passions and not being afraid to fail. The speakers—all Utah … Continue reading ARSL 2017 Conference: Days Two and Three


ARSL attendees send condolences to Clovis-Carver Public Library in Clovis, New Mexico, where two library workers were killed on August 28 when a gunman opened fire in the library.

ARSL 2017 Conference: Day One

September 8, 2017

The 2017 conference has already broken ARSL conference records. More than 550 librarians from across the US are in attendance this year, according to Julie Elmore, director of Oakland City-Columbia Township (Ind.) Public Library and an ARSL board member. These numbers are up from 503 attendees at the 2016 conference. The increased attendance produced a … Continue reading ARSL 2017 Conference: Day One