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2020 ARSL Conference Session Descriptions

Monday, 9/28
Tuesday, 9/29
Wednesday, 9/30
Thursday, 10/1
Friday, 10/2

All times are listed in Pacific Time (PT). Convert to your timezone. Program schedule is subject to change.

Monday, September 28 | 10:15–11:15 PT

Engage, Enrich & Enlighten: Citizen Science for Libraries Made Easy
Millions of people of all ages from around the world have made invaluable contributions to scientific research in their communities by counting birds, testing their tap water, reporting flu symptoms, or playing Alzheimer’s research games. Citizen science and crowdsourcing programs foster natural curiosity and maximize natural resources to accelerate research and are an excellent way to engage with patrons of all types of libraries. Anyone from schoolchildren to college students and faculty to senior citizens can participate in citizen science or crowdsourcing projects, with no prior experience required!

Margie Sheppard, Outreach and Technology Coordinator, MidContinental Region - Network of the National Library of Medicine
Tess Wilson, Community Engagement Coordinator, Network of the National Library of Medicine – Middle Atlantic Region

The First Year: Strategies for a Successful Directorship
It's inevitable: directors come, and directors go. Do you want your new leaders to succeed? If so, they'll have to manage five relationships (with their governing authority, their staff, their community, their profession, and themselves). And the transition to new leadership requires the thoughtful support of trustees. This session focuses on practical advice for library managers, new directors, librarians, and trustees dealing with an executive transition.

James (Jamie) LaRue, Chief Executive Officer, LaRue & Associates

Pathways to Community Wellbeing
Small and rural libraries have the power to change their communities. They create pathways to community wellbeing that are specific and unique to their location. Come join us in this interactive panel discussion with directors from Idaho, Wisconsin, Iowa, New York, Vermont, West Virginia, and Mississippi. We will talk about the exciting findings from an ongoing three-year IMLS-funded research project and how your library could become involved.

Emilie Braunel, Director, Plum Lake Public Library (WI) (moderator)
Chelsea Price, Meservey Public Library (IA)
Richard Styre, Elk River Public Library District (ID)
Jerianne Davis, Director, Helvetia Public Library (WV) 
Susan Green, Director, Jaquith Public Library (VT)

Practical Policies & Procedures: Write It Down, Make It Happen
Strong policies ensure smooth operation of the library and provide protection for employees and management. But when do you need a public policy versus an internal procedure? Developing written documents to support library services does not have to be an endless endeavor. This presentation will examine essential policies for effective library management and strategies for policy development and for communicating policy to staff and patrons. Using existing tools and resources, library planning techniques, and current time management strategies, you will be able to create effective policies and procedures, now and in the future. You'll also leave with information about pandemic-related policies and adaptations.

Andrew Smith, PhD, Chair, Emporia Public Library Board & Associate Professor, Emporia State University (KS)
Robin Newell, Library Director, Emporia Public Library (KS)
Kristi Chadwick, Consultant, Massachusetts Library System
Mary J. Soucie, State Librarian, North Dakota State Library

Teaching Black HERstories Through Children’s Literature
Young people today are faced with issues that impact them socially, environmentally and economically. Literature can speak to these concerns while also addressing curricular standards and literacy. New classroom-ready lessons have been developed that tie into racial discrimination, economic inequity, and entrepreneurship, among others. Using these interactive literature lessons, you can connect with elementary and middle-school students through stories and activities that speak to current and culturally-relevant issues.

Gigi Wolf, Lead Economic Education Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Tea Parties to Tween Scene, Clubs to Contests: The Tears & Triumphs of Accidental Programming & Events Librarians
This breakout session we will discuss what we have learned on the job as accidental programming and events librarians. We will talk about what has worked for us and what has failed spectacularly! We have been in the trenches and want help and encourage others.

Alice DeFriez, Librarian, Wasatch County Library (UT)
Robin Raines-Bond, Librarian, Wasatch County Library (UT)

Monday, September 28 | 12:15–1:15 PT

Rural Libraries Create Pathways to Civil Legal Justice
People instinctively turn to the library to find help with crises in their lives. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified a host of civil legal issues, such as housing, employment, divorce, custody, or debt management. Too many people don’t know their options and can’t afford to start with a lawyer. You and your library play a vital role in connecting community members with relevant information to help them navigate the complexities of the civil legal system, especially in rural areas where legal resources are sparse. Get inspired by stories of how the library can turn people’s lives around. 

Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager, OCLC

Know Your Staff: An Interactive Guide to Teambuilding
Do you know your staff members’ favorite colors or even favorite movies? Can you even say you know what type of books they like to read in their spare time? Did you know that not having a sense of belonging is one of the main reasons employees leave organizations? The lack of belonging leads to a high employee turnover which isn’t good for any organization, including libraries. Learn interactive methods, both in person and virtual, to build a more cohesive team that will produce retention and engagement.

Arnessa Dowell, Information Services Director, Grand Forks Public_ (ND)
Tonya Palmer, Senior Information Services Associate, Grand Forks Public_ (ND)
Audrey Jones, Information Services Associate, Grand Forks Public_ (ND)

There's No Place Like Home… School Programs at Your Library!
Does your community have a homeschool group that comes to your library seeking resources? In this session, we will share how our library developed a successful weekly homeschool program. Each week we focus on a different topic such as exploring book genres, STEAM, art appreciation, and digital literacy. You will receive three make-and-take projects that we have used for our weekly activities. Leave armed with an outline of activities you can put into place immediately and a list of the materials we used to create our homeschool collection. Join us as we use our "brains, hearts, and courage" to send you on your way "home" to start your own successful home school program!

Lisa Lewis, Library Services Manager, Show Low Public Library (AZ)

Grant Writing 101: Practical Steps & Strategies to Help Your Library Soar
Are you looking for programs and funds to help enhance library services? Have you always wanted to try grant writing but don’t know where to start? Are you encouraged (or expected) to write grants but daunted by the prospect? Many of us want to do it, but don't know how. This program, led by a librarian with a successful record of grant writing, will build your confidence with practical steps and strategies. Streamline and simplify the grant writing process in seven easy steps, build a grant writing toolkit to save time, and learn how to analyze projects for sustainability.

Julie Biando Edwards, Instructional Designer & Librarian, Niche Academy

Computational Thinking Unplugged
Have you ever felt the need to Google “computational thinking” when it’s mentioned in conversations about STEM programming trends? You’re not alone! In this session we where we will move past the jargon and explore the importance of computational thinking for our patrons, with a focus on equitable and inclusive programs. Learn how you are already implementing elements of computational thinking in your programs, and discover new ways to engage patrons with 21st Century skills. Prior experience with technology and coding is not required. Come away with helpful resources and new ideas for your library’s programs.

Claire Ratcliffe, Education Coordinator I, Space Science Institute (CO)
Brooks Mitchell, Education Coordinator II, Space Science Institute (CO)

Welcoming & Inclusive Libraries: Serving the Latinx Community

Latinx communities reside across the United States. They may be long-time or recent residents, they may be visible or few in numbers, and they may reside permanently or temporarily as seasonal workers. Whatever their status, libraries have a mission to welcome all, including Latinx. This session will present practical ways to learn about, engage with, and serve the Latinx community. These approaches are a starting point. Depending on a library’s resources (staff, collection, space, finances, etc.) and the make-up of its Latinx community, it will build on the knowledge from this session in order to adapt and expand its services.

Clara Chu, Director and Mortenson Distinguished Professor, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Sponsored by Knovvmads

Tuesday, September 29 | 9:00–10:00 PT

Redefining Literacy with Community Events
Right now you may have one of the toughest jobs out there: marketing the viability of your library. It’s not just all about the books anymore. But how do you get patrons, your community as a whole, to understand you offer much more than books? Gather ideas as to how you can redefine literacy by hosting community events that showcase your broad resources. Learn about partnerships with community businesses and organizations, as well as school libraries, that will help you market a broader vision of "literacy" and the relevance of libraries.

Mindy L Miller, Library Director/Youth Programs, USD 392/Osborne Public Library (KS)

Library Security for Rural Libraries: Staying Safe When Help Is Far
If you work in a city or county library that’s in a rural location, where you’re alone all or most of your work day, or your building is a one-room facility, or has only one way in or out, this safety and security program is here to help. It can be challenging to work in a library environment that is unlike a facility in a major city. You need to develop your safety and security plan, rely on new technology ideas, and stand up for your rights as an employee.

  • Trusting your intuition when working alone. The police are two hours away. Should you stay or go, when faced with a threatening patron?
  • Setting up help systems: phone trees, neighborhood support, code words, exit and evacuation plans.
  • Improving your physical security with panic alarms, OC pepper spray, new door hardware, remote doors, restrooms/safe rooms. Can you bring your dog to work?
  • The value of Security Incident Reports.
  • How to get better results from your elected leaders, boards, and law enforcement agencies, when it comes to security and protecting library staff.

This program is for all library employees who work in rural areas, as well as the library leadership that supervises these facilities, especially from a distance. Dr. Steve Albrecht is well-known for his training programs, articles, and Library Security book (ALA, 2015).

Dr. Steve Albrecht, Library Security Consultant

Going Solo in the Library
How do you run a library when you are the only paid staff? From books to volunteers, budget to programming, learn what it takes to prosper as a solo librarian. Librarian Sherri will discuss her strategies to keep sane in a busy workplace. She’ll speak about purchasing books, passive and active readers’ advisory, utilizing volunteers, simple programing ideas, patrons, and some budgeting. We will save time for questions, suggestions, and brainstorming.

Sherri Lemhouse, Librarian, Brownsville Community Library (OR)

Proving Your Library’s Value: Persuasive, Organized & Memorable Messaging Using The E’s of Libraries®
Even throughout COVID-19 when so many libraries were closed, they still provided the "E's of Libraries" services—Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Empowerment, and Engagement. We will highlight some of those examples, and a way to frame what libraries may have done during COVID-19 within the E's messaging framework. In addition, we will discuss how to incorporate the E's in the situations your library might be facing now - making the case for funding, explaining how virtual library services are still serving the community, applying for grants, and more.

Jillian Wentworth, Manager of Marketing & Membership, United for Libraries
Alan Fishel, Partner, Arent Fox

Understanding & Improving Library Broadband Challenges & Resources with the Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit 
[Supersession | 9:00 am–11:15 pm]

Now more than ever, it is critical for rural and small libraries to understand and improve their broadband technology resources. Learn how your library can use the free, IMLS-grant funded Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit, a self-service guide created by and for rural and small libraries. If you're struggling with technology in your library, please join this interactive session to learn about the toolkit and how it how it can help you. Participants are encouraged to describe their technology challenges and work with the facilitators and other attendees to seek solutions.

Stephanie Stenberg, Director, Internet2 Community Anchor Program
Carson Block, Founder and Library Consultant, Carson Block Consulting

Tuesday, September 29 | 10:15–11:15 PT

OurStoryBridge: Creating an Online Oral History Project to Engage Your Community
Hear how one library helped develop a local history project to share the rich social and cultural history of their community. In just six months, storytellers had contributed over 150 three- to five-minute stories with associated photographs sourced from personal collections and the library archives. Total visitors to the project website exceeded the town population, and partnerships have grown with the local school district, museum, historical society, college, and other organizations. The goals of the project are to capture the rich history of their community, with a focus on recording older generations before their history is lost, as well as build civic pride and engagement among students to encourage their growth as involved community members. Get a manual, resources, and ideas to create a similar project at your library. During times of community crisis like the current pandemic, the importance of programs like this has increased, as families listen together to stories at home and are comforted by learning that the community has always come together in crisis.

Jery Y. Huntley, Volunteer Grants Manager, Keene Valley Library (NY)

Why Didn’t I Think About That?: Lessons Learned from Virtual Storytime
In a world of changing technology and uncertainty, libraries are constantly asked to reach their patrons in new ways. Libraries are on the front lines of providing digital services to their users. The panelists provided virtual storytimes to their patrons and will share their lessons learned.

Bailee Hutchinson, Branch Manager, Southern Prairie Library System (OK)
Erin Busbea, Director, Columbus Lowndes Public Library (MS)
Sherry Scheline, Director, Donnelly Public Library (ID)
Patrick Bodily, Director, Independence Public Library (OR)

Leadership: Small Acts, Big Results
Budgets are tight, staff is limited, and developing and maintaining dynamic library services requires an abundance of creative, courageous leaders. But how do we find or cultivate these leaders? This session offers Appreciative Inquiry as a framework that provides tangible strategies that participants can use to nurture leadership through simple but meaningful actions. While we will examine library best practices, we will also learn from successes in other industries. Participants will brainstorm collectively about addressing the challenges of mentorship in smaller libraries. This program speaks to the heart of 21st Century libraries and celebrates every librarian's leadership potential.

Erica Rose, Library Science Faculty/Program Coordinator, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Focus on Small/Rural: Learn How You Can Get One of 600 $3,000 Grants from ALA
In fall 2020, ALA announced Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, a special initiative that will distribute nearly $2 million in cash grants to small and rural libraries in 2020-2021. In this session, librarian project advisors and ALA staff will share how your library can apply to receive a $3,000 grant to tackle an issue of concern in your community. Grantees will be required to view a six-part e-course about community engagement/facilitation skills and host at least one virtual or in-person conversation with community members. Eligible conversations may include any topic that is relevant to the community, including (but not limited to) discussions about e-learning, COVID-19, films, books, etc. This session will cover grant guidelines, application instructions, and tips and best practices for developing a successful application.

Mary Davis Fournier, Deputy Director, ALA Public Programs Office
Judy Bergeron, Director, Smithville Public Library
Erica Freudenberger, Outreach & Marketing Consultant, Southern Adirondack Library System
Sponsored by Libraries Transforming Communities

Wednesday, September 30 | 9:00–10:00 PT

Capturing Your Community
Every community is special and has an interesting history, fascinating people, and an ongoing story. Every small library has a unique opportunity, and perhaps the responsibility, to capture and preserve that community. Hear over fifty ways that the one library has taken local subjects to increase resources and create imaginative programming for patrons of all ages. Joan’s out-of-the-box thinking will take you beyond the gathering of oral histories into maps, mysteries, musicals, and more. This is the niche your library is equipped and destined to fill.

Joan Weaver, Director, Kinsley Library (KS)

Sharing Our Resources to Support Healthy Living
Learn how to support healthy living by sharing your time, space, collections, and expertise. Summer meals at the La Cygne Library snow-balled into the library becoming a vibrant hub of lifelong learning through partnerships with everyone from a retired P.E. teacher to local banks. The library now serves summer meals with a side of enriching, engaging programming. Building on this success, since 2018 the library also serves senior citizens free meals and programs too. It's all made possible through community partnerships large and small. We’ll wrap things up with an engaging community conversation about how you can support healthy living by embracing the power of partnerships in your community too.

Janet Reynolds, Library Manager/Librarian, La Cygne Library (KS)
Noah Lenstra, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

School Library Lessons for the Public Library World
Public librarians are great at sharing ideas with each other, but what about our school library colleagues? They have tips and tricks that can greatly enhance our community engagement and work with young people. Hear from a librarian who has been a public library director for nine years and a school librarian for five. She will share practical advice she's learned through that dual perspective about supporting beginning and emergent readers with collections and programming as well as tips and tricks for leading groups of students and adults. Lessons learned during remote learning with students will also be added to this presentation.

Abigail Adams, Librarian & Library Director, Platt Memorial Library; School Library Media Specialist, Shoreham Elementary School (VT)

Mental Maintenance 
Mindfulness and self-care are well-intentioned buzz terms, but, how often do we really have the time or extra energy to follow through with them? Now more than ever, keeping your emotional well-being afloat can mean the difference between surviving and thriving, and not just at work. Drawing from various sources and personal experiences, including both successes and failures, discover how one hot-headed and persnickety librarian found a slice of inner peace (and can even sleep at night). Ideas and examples for self-care and stress management will be given. Handouts will include an extensive bibliography. This session asks tough questions and addresses the stress in our lives; however, it is not intended to replace professional care and/or advice.

Jeremy Bolom, Assistant Director/Head of Public Service, Lincoln Parish Library (LA)

All Ages Welcome: Recruiting & Retaining Younger Generations for Library Boards, Friends Groups & Foundations 
Learn how to recruit younger members to your library Boards, including Trustees, Friends, and Foundations Boards, in this interactive program. You will find out strategies for recruitment and retention, ways to define and manage diversity for your group, and best practices for onboarding and retention.

Kathy Kosinski, Member Services and Outreach Manager, Califa Group
Lina Bertinelli, Workforce, Librarian, Enoch Pratt Free Library and Maryland State Library Resource Center
Tess Wilson, Community Engagement Coordinator, Network of the National Library of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region
Madeline Jarvis, Adult and Information Services Manager, Marion Public Library (IA)

Wednesday, September 30 | 10:15–11:15 PT

Cooking in the Library
Cooking classes are fun and interactive programs that allow you to get to know patrons and community businesses, as well as teach cooking skills and nutrition. This is helpful for children, teens, and parents who may not have these skills or rely heavily on prepackaged meals. Learn how to host hands-on classes, including options that are less intensive or costly. Programs include Read It & Eat, Crocktober, demonstrations, assembly-only recipes, and more.

Maggie Pinnick, Adult Program Coordinator, Mulvane Public Library (KS)

Spark Talks: Services
Spark Talks are short presentations to spark your next big idea! Learn how to serve free meals with a side of enriching, engaging programming to support healthy living. Discover free, online genealogical resources beyond commercial databases to provide quality resources to patrons. Hear how rural librarians developed specialized services and, more importantly, how they empowered their staff to get the services out to patrons. Explore new career-focused resources from the Fed to help students build knowledge and develop skills for an evolving workforce. Join ARSL Board members to learn how you can get more involved in our association. Grow your skills and your network while working on behalf of small and rural libraries and library professionals across the country.

Janet Reynolds, Library Manager/Librarian, La Cygne Library (KS)
Noah Lenstra, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Andrew Smith, PhD, Chair, Emporia Public Library Board & Associate Professor, Emporia State University
Gigi Wolf, Lead Economic Education Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Stephanie Flores, Public Service Manager, Richland Hills Public Library (TX)
Kathy Zappitello, Executive Director, Conneaut Public Library (OH)

Bailee Hutchinson, Branch Manager, Southern Prairie Library System (OK)

STEAM @ The Library
Creating a STEAM program at a small library may seem daunting because of limited space and funds. Discover how one library provides teens with choices through its STEAM @ The Library program. The program is offered on four themed days to make best use of library space and staff expertise. Themes include Maker Monday, Tech Tuesday, Wear-It Wednesday, and Code Club Friday. Participants complete projects and earn buttons. Learn about free resources, costs of materials and equipment, staffing, community partnerships, and more. Handouts will be provided.

Karen Benson, Library Director, Gravette Public Library (AR)

Show Me the Money: Tips & Techniques for Writing a Successful IMLS Grant Application
Discover the requirements and best practices involved in preparing successful IMLS grant applications. This session will demystify the federal grant process and provide participants with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be successful in preparing a competitive application. IMLS program staff will review required components for an IMLS grant application and offer tips on how to write a competitive application. We will discuss the peer review process so that participants can develop a solid understanding of what's involved in the analysis and evaluation of competitive, fundable applications. Session attendees will be encouraged to participate in the discussion..

Jill Connors-Joyner, Senior Program Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services

Playing Well with Others – At Work
Do you work with other people, collaborate with others, or have patrons? Do group tasks seem like torture? Time to add some play into work! Research shows when humans at any age engage in play, they learn and grow into healthy, happy, well-functioning individuals. Indeed, embedding playful work techniques into your day can lead to greater creativity, productivity, and resilience in you and your library. Join us for this interactive and fun session, as we delve into the research on play, identify your play style, and explore ways to add more play into your work.

Kieran Hixon, Technology and Digital Initiatives, Colorado State Library
Sharon Morris, Director of Library Development, Colorado State Library
Christine Kreger, Continuing Education Consultant, Colorado State Library

Using Technology to Make a Big Difference with Small & Rural Communities
Discover how forward-thinking libraries drive relevancy within small communities and create modern library experiences for rural users with simple, intuitive technology upgrades. From holds pickup lockers and mobile checkout to expanded digital collections and extending library open hours, learn how three small libraries are making a big impact.

Meghan Davis, Global VP of Marketing, bibliotheca
Jennifer A. Alvino, President and Library Director, Windham Public Library (ME)
Becky Bilby, Library Director, Sioux Center Public Library (IA)
Daniel Compton, Library Director, Summit County Library (UT)

Sponsored by bibliotheca

Thursday, October 1 | 9:00–10:00 PT

Sustainability Is a Core Value: Communicating Climate Change Through Citizen Science
In 2019, the ALA declared “sustainability” a core value of librarianship. Libraries can play an important role in promoting community awareness about resilience and a sustainable future. How can librarians help share scientific knowledge and encourage public dialogue about impacts of climate change? Citizen science involves public participation in research science, but it also provides valuable opportunities for rural communities to learn about and plan for local environmental change. The session goal is to SOAR (share our amazing resources) for citizen science projects that you can easily introduce at the library. From environmental monitoring to online games, these projects are perfect for the whole family.

Nicole Colston, Assistant Research Professor, Water Resource Center, Oklahoma State University
Bailee Hutchinson, Branch Manager, Southern Prairie Library System (OK)
Tutaleni Asino, Assistant Professor, Director, Oklahoma State University Emerging Technologies and Creativity Research Lab

From Dysfunctional to Functional: Moving Library Boards to the Next Level
The library board of trustees approves policies and bylaws, plans for the growth of the library within the scope of its mission and vision, hires and evaluates the library director, and oversees the general management of the library. Using our experiences from real-life training of public library boards in 17 counties in central Kansas, we will follow our presentation with a discussion using real-life examples to craft and nurture library director and board relations, including roles of the library board and the separate roles of the library director. When balanced, these roles can complement each other and build a strong, vibrant library.

Maribeth Shafer, Assistant Director & CE Consultant, Central Kansas Library System
Gail Santy, Director, Central Kansas Library System
Patty Collins, Youth Services Consultant, Central Kansas Library System

Your Piece of the Pie: Today's Youth, Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs
Develop “kidpreneurs” through this free, classroom-ready program for 4th–6th grade. Your Piece of the Pie (YPOP) inspires future entrepreneurs and leaders through literature, multimedia, and public speaking. As the job market evolves, employers look for individuals with entrepreneurial skills such as confidence, creative thinking, relationship building, and leadership. YPOP is a four-part lesson that teaches students all of these skills to strike out on their own and to become valued employees.

Gigi Wolf, Lead Economic Education Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

DIY Local History Online
Your library probably houses unique information about your community and its history – but does anyone else ever see those objects, documents or photos? Learn how even the smallest library can, with a minimal investment in hardware and software, begin a Do-It-Yourself project to digitize and share their own history with the world. Learn the basic ‘how and why’ of digitization and see projects of libraries serving communities ranging in population from 250 to 20,000 as inspiration for your own possibilities.

Barnes, Sharon, Technology Consultant, South Central Kansas Library System

“We Need to Talk”: How to Master the Art of Tough Conversations 
[Supersession | 9:00 am–11:15 pm]
No matter your role in the library, no one is exempt from having difficult conversations. Whether it be discussions with staff, peers, or patrons, we all dread having to address sensitive or difficult topics. In this two-hour session, we will identify conversation types, how to prepare for and plan conversations addressing various issues, and how to take a mindful approach to guiding difficult conversations down a constructive path to greater understanding. Throughout the session, we will offer opportunities for participants to practice what they learn through exercises and reflections that they can use in their everyday interactions.

Lauren Clossey, Continuing Education Consultant, State Library of North Carolina
Amanda Johnson, Data Analysis & Communications Consultant, State Library of North Carolina

Thursday, October 1 | 10:15–11:15 PT

Marketing Your Small Library: A Little Investment Can Go a Long Way
Many small and rural libraries need more patrons, and many of their community members would greatly benefit from the services that libraries offer. But since these libraries rarely have a communications professional on staff, nor a marketing budget, they aren't reaching (or maybe even having the capacity to try to reach) potential new patrons. To build local marketing capacity and expertise with minimal budget, Georgia Public Library Service began to offer annual marketing mini grants to Georgia public libraries in 2018. Our hope was to get more people to visit their local libraries, but we were surprised to learn the other benefits to libraries such as increased staff morale and confidence, new partnerships with local media, and increased engagement online and at the library. This session will share how several grantees used the funds (either $500 or $1,000) to build and implement a local marketing campaign focused on bringing in new patrons, what they learned, and how they have continued to make strides with marketing since the grant ended. Participants will come out of the session understanding that a small marketing investment can go a long way and have ideas of what they can implement locally to bring in new patrons.

Deborah Hakes, Communications and Marketing Director, Georgia Public Library Service
Chelsea J. Kovalevskiy, Assistant Director, Cherokee Regional Library System (GA)

Communities Matter: Providing Health Information at Your Library
More and more people come to the library looking for consumer health information. This can leave many librarians scrambling for answers, especially in small and rural libraries. Responding to questions involving medical problems, mental health concerns, and medications and prescriptions can be challenging for even the most seasoned librarian. The National Library of Medicine provides numerous free resources to help you care for your community and to serve their needs. Come and learn about the best online resources to use for information and what resources to include in print collections.

Margie Sheppard, Outreach and Technology Coordinator, MidContinental Region - Network of the National Library of Medicine

Easier Than It Looks: A Simple Approach to Strategic Planning
It’s no surprise that libraries should have a strategic plan in place. Strategic plans map out where we are heading over the next three to five years, but fear not! The planning process doesn’t need to be full of fear and dread! We can embrace a simple solution to strategic planning to help lead our libraries forward. This session will discuss what is essential for a strategic plan to have, how to implement a plan, and how to evaluate how successful we’ve been – in simple steps.

Patrick Bodily, Library Director, Independence Public Library (OR)

How to Host Play Streets at the Library
We all know that play and learning go hand-in-hand, but in today’s technology rich world, we don’t always have access to play. That’s where Play Streets comes in. Through a temporary closure of streets, the program creates a safe, publicly accessible space for children, adolescents, and families to engage in active play. We worked with rural communities across the country to help them offer the program, and in June 2019 we released the Guide to Implementing Play Streets in Rural Communities. We found public libraries often support Play Streets. In Talihina, Oklahoma, a Play Streets was held just outside the local library and in Texas, the library brought its bookmobile so kids could access books and play. We will introduce Play Streets, the Guide (you’ll get a free copy!), and discuss with you how you can work with partners to bring Play Streets to your community!

Noah Lenstra, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
M. Renée Umstattd Meyer, Associate Professor of Public Health, Baylor University
Keshia Pollack Porter, Professor of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Unconscious Bias in Hiring Practices
Are unconscious biases impacting your hiring process? These biases can cause us to make decisions in favor of one person or group to the detriment of others. In this session, learn how to recognize and eliminate bias in your library’s hiring process. We’ll look at the potential for bias to appear in job descriptions, recruitment, screening candidates, interviewing, and making an offer, and how to work to overcome these biases.

Beth Crist, Youth and Family Services Consultant, Colorado State Library
Jean Heilig, Fiscal Officer & LSTA Coordinator, Colorado State Library

Thursday, October 1 | 12:15–1:15 PT

Spark Talks: Programming
Spark Talks are short presentations to spark your next big idea! Learn how to incorporate mindfulness into programming and services to counter stress and enrich the lives of your patrons. Hear tips and tricks for virtual storytimes. Discover how dance programs for seniors can lower the risk of dementia. See how you can host Play Streets to create a safe, publicly accessible space for children, adolescents, and their families to engage in active play. Explore new career-focused resources from the Fed to help students build knowledge and develop skills for an evolving workforce.

Simone Kirk, Branch Manager, Solo Librarian/Programmer, Star City Branch Library (AR)
Arnessa Dowell, Information Services Director, Grand Forks Public_ (ND)
Tonya Palmer, Senior Information Services Associate, Grand Forks Public_  (ND)
Audrey Jones, Information Services Associate, Grand Forks Public_  (ND)
Mary Lawson, Information Services Associate, Grand Forks Public_ (ND)
Noah Lenstra, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
M. Renée Umstattd Meyer, Associate Professor of Public Health, Baylor University
Keshia Pollack Porter, Professor of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Gigi Wolf, Lead Economic Education Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Bailee Hutchinson, Branch Manager, Southern Prairie Library System (OK)
Erin Busbea, Director, Columbus Lowndes Public Library (MS)
Sherry Scheline, Director, Donnelly Public Library (ID)
Patrick Bodily, Library Director, Independence Public Library (OR)

Promoting College Literacy & Supporting Academic Success at Your Library
Colleges and universities are stepping up recruitment of prospective students from rural communities. However, prospective students report having little awareness of the college opportunities and some even believe college is not an option for them. Libraries are an ideal place for patrons of all ages to learn about higher education opportunities. This session will acquaint participants with different types of college-bound students, from middle and high school students to adult learners, and lead them through creating a plan to offer programs and services to the group of their choosing. Attendees will learn about college planning resources to promote at the library, free training and available grants, key skills to maximize students' future college experience, and ideas for working with community partners on programs and services.

Michelle P. Green, Learning & Engagement Librarian, University of Wyoming
Africa S. Hands, PhD, Assistant Professor, East Carolina University
Cynthia Dawn Hughes, Cataloging Librarian, University of Wyoming
Bailee Hutchinson, Branch Manager, Southern Prairie Library System (OK)

Leave the Fines Behind: Rural Libraries Soar Even Higher by Going Fine Free and Creating More Equity!
Rural libraries are the cornerstone of equity, engagement and engagement for communities. And when it comes to going fine free, they are leading the way! Join us for a conversation with rural library leaders who will share the who, what, when, where, and why of going fine free and how they meet key community needs, align with local government priorities and increase equity through increased access to information. We will also share leading strategies to woo and wow trustees and local government leaders to make the case for going fine free. Join the fine free movement to help your rural library soar even higher!

Veronda Pitchford, Assistant Director, Califa
Jennifer Pearson, Library Director, Marshall County Public Library (KY)
Diana Weaver, Library Director, Basehor Community Library (KS)
Margo English, Library Director (and former library trustee), Owensville Carnegie Public Library (IN)

How Rude! The Price of Incivility in the Workplace
We all want to come to work and be treated with kindness and respect. However, studies have found that 98% of us have experienced slights, insensitivities, and rude behavior in our workplace. The effects of incivility can lead to a loss in staff creativity, deterioration in team spirit, and may result in patrons turning away from the library. Come learn tactics staff can use to minimize the effects of rudeness on performance and well-being and strategies managers can use to keep their own behavior in check and to foster civility in others.

Jean Marie Heilig, Fiscal Officer, Grant Coordinator, Colorado State Library
Christine Kreger, Professional Development Consultant, Colorado State Library

Changing the Behavior Game: Build Relationships to Change the Culture of your Library
Learn how the chaos of one summer helped transform the way our library thinks about and works with kids and teens, using the skills of a social work practicum student and trauma-informed practices. Discover how a social worker or social work student can help in library work and how to find one, and walk away with trauma-informed approaches and simple relationship-building tools when working with the public.

Erin Silva, Youth & Teen Services Librarian, North Liberty Library (IA)

Friday, October 2 | 9:00–10:00 PT

Mindful Programming for All Ages
Mindfulness is more than a lifestyle trend. Stress levels of children, teens, and adults are rising, and mental health reached an all-time low. Libraries can counter this alarming development by incorporating mindfulness into programs and services. Mindful components can be added to storytimes, teen programming, and adult events. This session will give practical tools and ideas on how to bring mindfulness into the library and enrich the lives of your patrons. All program ideas are tailored to small libraries on tiny budgets.

Simone Kirk, Branch Manager, Solo Librarian/Programmer, Star City Branch Library (AR)

Social Media for Small Libraries
Social Media is an increasingly important medium for connecting with community members, but embarking on an effective social media campaign can seem overwhelming to smaller-sized libraries facing staff and budgetary constraints. However, social media practices can be successfully implemented by small libraries to help advocate for, promote, and celebrate the library. This program will help libraries decide on which social media platforms to focus, how to find the time to consistently use social media, and what content engages users. Tools, tips, tricks, and shortcuts included!

Suzanne Macaulay, Assistant Director, Pioneer Library System (OK)

Esports in the Library
Esports, the competitive wing of electronic gaming, is experiencing explosive growth around the world. Discover the resources libraries need to meet young people where they are with an interest-driven learning environment. Librarians will learn free resources to build their program from scratch or to add a scholastic component to gaming in their own library.

Tyler Hahn, Youth Librarian, Cherokee Public Library (IA)

Library Ethics 101: What Would You Do? 
[Supersession | 9:00 –11:15 am]

Public libraries face ethical issues all the time. This session aims to create open discussion about library core values and ethics. Borrowed from a session at 2020 Public Library Association Conference, our program provides real library ethical scenarios, followed by a discussion with a panel of experienced trainers. We will discuss sticky situations when personal ethics and professional ethics differ. This is a highly interactive session; audience participation is encouraged. We will provide helpful resources and ample time for audience Q&A. We will solicit questions form ARSL e-list before our presentation to facilitate interaction.

Maribeth Shafer, Assistant Director & CE Consultant, Central Kansas Library System
Gail Santy, Director, Central Kansas Library System
Patty Collins, Youth Services Consultant, Central Kansas Library System

Friday, October 2 | 10:15–11:15 PT

Spark Talks: Community Outreach
Spark Talks are short presentations to spark your next big idea! Learn how to develop a local history project to share the rich history of your community, record stories of older generations, and encourage youth civic engagement. Hear from rural library leaders who made the decision to go fine-free to better meet the needs of patrons. Discover how even the smallest libraries can take on low-tech, low-budget DIY projects to digitize and share your community history with the world. Learn how to market your library with photos, and leave with best practices for smart phone photography, photo editing, and social media sharing. Hear tips and tricks from a journalist for undertaking an oral history project, including grant funding, transcription, interview techniques, and more.

Jery Y. Huntley, Volunteer Grants Manager, Keene Valley Library (NY)
Sharon Barnes, Technology Consultant, South Central Kansas Library System
Jamie Matczak, Education Consultant, Wisconsin Valley Library Service
Veronda Pitchford, Assistant Director, Califa
Jennifer Pearson, Library Director, Marshall County Public Library (TN)
Diana Weaver, Library Director, Basehor Community Library (KS)
Margo English, Library Director (and former library trustee), Owensville Carnegie Public Library (IN)
Lindsay H. Metcalf, Author, Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane
Joan Weaver, Director, Kinsley Library (KS)

Resources for Patrons with Disabilities 
Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to a variety of health issues, add print disabilities and the risk is even greater. Learn about a variety of resources to, affordably and effectively, serve the print disabled in your community. Presenters will identify national and local nonprofit organizations, government resources, support groups, and online resources to help you meet the needs of your patrons with vision loss, physical mobility issues, cognitive issues, and other print disabilities. Attendees will learn about assistive technology devices and built in accessibility features in common software and mobile devices. 
Michael Lang, Director, Kansas Talking Books Service
Lori Kesinger, Marketing and Outreach Director, Audio-Reader Network
Wandean Rivers, Technology Trainer, Manhattan Public Library (KS)
Small Libraries Will Save the World! Implementing Sustainability at the Library
Concerned about climate change but not sure what you can do? Help your library “go green” by leveraging the secret super power of small and rural libraries everywhere: the make-do mindset! Forget LEED building certifications, we’ll show you how your library can adopt systems that align your shoestring budget with tips on everything from sustainable programming practices, "greener" options for curbside delivery and sanitizing practices, environmental partnerships, as well as easy (and cost-saving!) eco-friendly swaps based on the experience of one library’s mission to be a community leader in reducing its environmental impact. 
April Griffith, Library Director, Eureka Springs Carnegie Public Library (AR)
Learning Circles
Learning circles are free, interest-driven study groups. Every learning circle has a facilitator. The facilitator does not have to be an expert in the subject, so with a little practice and training, anybody can facilitate. Bring people together who want to learn something new. That's what libraries do⁠—connect people with the information and resources they need. Topics are unlimited. People can form a learning circle around whatever they are interested in learning⁠—latte art, raising chickens, writing a blog, or 3D printing.
Dianne Connery, Director, Pottsboro Library (TX)

Community Support for Your Library During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on public library budgets and spending. How can library Foundations and Friends of the Library groups best support their libraries during this time, and foster community support for the library? Hear how library support groups are shifting their priorities, and learn how to continue advocacy efforts for your library during this uncertain time.

Jillian Wentworth, Manager of Marketing & Membership, United for Libraries
Jennie Garner, Library Director, North Liberty Library (IA)
Karen Pierce, Director, Slippery Rock Community Library (PA)
Holly Williams, Director, Pittsfield Public Library (ME)

Sponsored by United for Libraries