- Doing it All: “Small.” Blog post by Nina Lindsay. October 11, 2017. Nina Lindsay, President of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) recounts her experience attending the ARSL conference in St. George, Utah, this past September. Her post is a recognition, celebration, and encouragement for librarians in rural and small communities.
- Analysis of Human Needs Index Shows Unmet Need in Rural America. Report by The Salvation Army and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), released September 28, 2017. The Human Needs Index (HNI) shows that states with greater remoteness have higher levels of need than government measures suggest. This report is based on the Salvation Army’s tracking of basic assistance for things like food, clothing, housing, furniture, medical services, and utilities. Potential explanations for this discrepancy include less rural access to government services, a potential preference for local and church-based assistance over government assistance, and persistent unemployment leading rural people to stop looking for jobs, driving down the state’s official unemployment rate.
- Rural Libraries in the United States: Recent Strides, Future Possibilities, and Meeting Community Needs. Report of the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) explores nuances of rurality, details challenges rural libraries face in maximizing their community impacts and describes how existing collaborative regional and statewide efforts help rural libraries and their communities. Summary bog post in District Dispatch HERE.
- Ten things libraries can do to promote community healing and support vulnerable populations. American Library Association.
- Beyond the Rural Library’s Walls. Article about rural libraries in Maine and Kansas with internet hotspot lending programs by Dr. Sharon Strover, University of Texas at Austin. IMLS UpNext Blog, January 24, 2017.
- A new way to measure the digital divide. This study conducted by the Mississippi State University Extension created a Digital Divide Index (DDI), a county-level index score (from 0 to 100) measuring the digital divide. The higher the number, the larger the digital divide. The objective of the DDI is to serve as a descriptive and pragmatic tool for policymakers, community leaders, and residents. The DDI consists of two components: infrastructure/adoption and socioeconomic characteristics. Read the full report or download county-specific data HERE. and explore Utah counties ranking HERE.
- Checklist of MUST-DO activities for a new Director in a rural or small library in Utah (PDF)
ARCHIVED WEBINARS & PRESENTATIONS
- 2017 ARSL Conference Presentations
- Engaged Planning for Rural Libraries. Utah State Library Division. Archived webinar presented on June 13, 2017. Cindy Fesemyer will walk you through the steps you might take as you begin planning for your rural library and the community it serves. Starting with a brief peek at data collection options, the webinar will focus on what it means for your library to “turn outward” and secure its place at the heart of your community.
- WebJunction courses and webinars for small and rural libraries.
- Engaged Planning: Ask What You Can Do For Your Rural Community, WebJunction. Archived webinar presented on December 1, 2016, in collaboration with ARSL outlining the steps of an engaged planning process, to align library capabilities with community needs and aspirations.
- Beyond the Job Description: Ten Practical Tips for the New Rural Library Director. On paper, the job description for a library director may not cover some of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with serving a small or rural community. Juggling the nuances of a new position can be overwhelming, but equipped with a tool belt of everyday skills ranging from assessment to communication and outreach to time-management, you can move through this role with confidence. This webinar is useful for anyone interested in strengthening their role in the library, even if they are not the library director. Learn from a successful new director, 10 fresh tips for working with staff, boards, and the community to create a strong and vibrant library. Presented 08-10-2016. WebJunction in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.
- Marketing and Branding. Do your valuable resources and services go unseen? Learn about marketing and branding tips for asserting your value within your community. Handouts here. Presented 06-08-2016. University of North Texas PEARL Project.
- Cultural Diversity and Inclusion. Do you interact with a diversity of cultures within your library? Whether you’re working with stakeholders across the community or interacting with patrons from various walks of life, culture matters. Learn how to function effectively across various cultural contexts. Presented 07-13-2016. University of North Texas PEARL Project.
- Intellectual Property. Do you understand the critical role libraries play in balancing copyright law? Learn about why librarians should care about intellectual property law and policy, and how it impacts your library. Presented 08-03-2016. University of North Texas PEARL Project.
- Communication. Do you strive to be a better communicator? Learn about the importance and problems with communication in the library, and tips to help with effective communication. Presented 08-24-2016. University of North Texas PEARL Project.
ARTICLES, REPORTS & STUDIES
- Rural Libraries: The Heart of Our Communities. Susan Hildreth, Public Libraries March/April 2007.
- U.S. Census Bureau – Rural Data
- Rural Libraries Services for Older Adults: Summary of Findings. WebJunction
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS, DEGREE & CERTIFICATION
- Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL)
- Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA)
- Rural Library Undergraduate Certificate, University of North Texas
- National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Rural Section
- Rural Diabetes Prevention and Management Toolkit from the Rural Health Information Hub
SAMPLE PLANS FOR RURAL & SMALL LIBRARIES