Conference Home

Virtual Programs

The 2024 ARSL Conference Planning Committee is still working to finalize the program schedule. In the meantime, please find a preview of some of our accepted virtual programs below. Check back soon for more programs and the official program schedule!

Are you thinking of attending #ARSL2024 virtually?

Included in virtual attendance:

  • On-Demand Sessions: You will have access to all on-demand, pre-recorded sessions beginning Wednesday, September 11. Interact asynchronously with presenters and other attendees using the chat and Q&A features on the session page.
  • Whova Access: You can access Whova from your web browser or via the mobile app. Switch back and forth between the web version and the app while you’re at work, at home, or on the go. Explore networking opportunities within Whova. Send messages to other attendees, participate in message boards, schedule virtual meetups, and discover new connections based on what you have in common.
  • Sponsors & Exhibitors: Our sponsors and exhibitors are important partners to our libraries. Please be sure to visit their virtual exhibit booths to learn more about new innovations, products, and services.

Not included in virtual attendance:

  • Livestreams: In-person keynotes and sessions will not be livestreamed or recorded.

2024 ARSL virtual, pre-recorded programs include, but aren't limited to the following:

Communities Inspire Libraries: Strategic Planning With Curiosity & Humility in Small Communities

Learn how small and rural libraries in Wisconsin develop community-driven, asset-based strategic plans with the support of peers and WiLS (Wisconsin Library Services) through a cohort learning model. In the spirit of openness and information-sharing, presenters will share stories from our cohort libraries about their planning approaches, lessons learned, and the resulting strategic plans that inspire their community and library work today. Co-presenting is a recent participant in the cohort, who engaged in a very collaborative planning approach with a neighboring community to support regional priorities, strengths, and opportunities.

Laura Damon-Moore, Library Strategist & Consultant, WiLS (Wisconsin Library Services)
Teresa Weber, Library Director, Bayfield Carnegie Library

Small Adjustments for Big Changes

Hear about the programs that have influenced one library’s community, including diversifying collections, creating spaces for different age groups, implementing food security programs, getting outside of library walls, implementing 24-hour book pickup, and offering take-home crafts, all on a small budget in a small building. You’ll look at how some of the programs were planned and work together as a team to share successful programs and identify other ways to make big changes with small adjustments. 

Brenda Hornsby Heindl, Branch Manager, Liberty Public Library, Randolph County Public Libraries

Food for Thought: Addressing Food Waste, Access & Insecurity through Rural Libraries

Imagine grocery shopping at a Dollar Store. That’s a reality for people living in rural food deserts. The Southern Adirondack Library System and the Comfort Food Community food pantry launched the Farm‐2‐Library initiative to reduce food waste by gleaning at local farms, distributing the produce through rural libraries where food scarcity, lack of food pantries, and transportation limit access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Since launching in 2017, we've shared more than 175,000 pounds of fresh produce, creating and deepening relationships with the community while fostering renewed interest in library services by previously reluctant users.

Erica Freudenberger, Outreach, Engagement & Marketing Consultant, Southern Adirondack Library System
Caitlin Johnson, Library Director, Schuylerville Public Library

Ditching Dewey: (r)Evolutionize Your Nonfiction Collection to Work for Both Library Staff & Patrons

Genrefying your library but haven’t tackled nonfiction yet? Not sure if nonfiction genres are right for your library? See how our library revolutionized our children, teen, and adult nonfiction sections with minimal expense. This session will walk through our adult nonfiction project from start to finish, including the changes we made to both our physical books and digital records, how to gather staff and community support, how you can adapt this project for your own library, and how to promote changes to your community. Participants will leave with detailed instructions, a complete resource list, and customizable digital copies of our library’s nonfiction labels.

Katrina Johns, Senior Librarian, North Douglas Library District

Smile! Health Outreach to Plain Communities

A public library in rural Wisconsin developed an oral health information resource tailored to under-served Amish and Anabaptist communities. You will learn 1) how the project was conceived in collaboration with the Network of the National Library of Medicine and the Wisconsin State Advisory Group, 2) how the activity book was designed in consultation with community elders, a dental student, and local artists for cultural relevance, age-appropriateness, and ease of comprehension, and 3) how the resource was presented to and received by three parochial schools. As a bonus, you will learn how to download, print, and share this free resource with your own communities.

Elizabeth Miniatt, Library Director, D.R. Moon Memorial Public Library (WI)
Darlene Kaskie,
Community Engagement Coordinator, Network of the National Library of Medicine
Caitlyn Mowatt,
Program Manager, Wisconsin Area Health Education Center (AHEC) - Northern Highland Region

Everyday Advocacy for Smaller Libraries: Practical & Affordable Solutions

Everyday advocacy is a way of connecting continuously with your community—with your funders, patrons, business community, schools, and with your local, state, regional, and national governments, as well as with your library colleagues and organizations. This presentation offers practical advice on successful strategies for library advocacy with an emphasis on low-cost activities that are manageable for smaller libraries with limited staff and resources, focusing on educating your community on what a library really is, what a librarian does, and the value of the library to its community.

Andrew J. M. Smith, Associate Professor/ Board Member, Emporia State University/ United for Libraries (KS)

Sparking Community Connections: Rural Public Library Partnerships from the Partner's Perspective

Why do local organizations, schools, and businesses partner with rural public libraries? Do these partnerships change the partner’s view of the library? After an initial partnership, are community organizations more likely to partner with the library again? These questions have preliminary answers backed by research findings from a pilot study. While public libraries have been shown to benefit from community partnerships, there is not much data available on whether the partners also benefit. Discovering how partnerships can shape organizational views of rural public libraries grants insight into effective ways to approach possible partners.

April Hernandez, System Consultant, Southeast Kansas Library System (KS)

Family Engagement in Public Libraries: Preventing Child Maltreatment Through Play!

How can a nationally recognized model for family involvement in public libraries be implemented in a small, rural library? Come learn what it takes! Participants will learn strategies for integrating the Protective Factors for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect into a play-based model housed in the library and what it takes to update and transform the 1998 Family Place Library model into Family Engagement in Public Libraries. This model sets the stage for social interaction, provides families with the opportunity to network, invites in community experts on child development and other family-based programs, and uses intentional planning to meet the developing needs of young children. The small, rural libraries in southeast Kansas implementing the program experienced increased attendance at programs for young children, saw new families use the library and families stay longer, experienced increases in circulation, and developed community partnerships.

Tammie Benham, Youth Services Consultant, Southeast Kansas Library System (KS)

Telling Meaningful Stories: Sharing the Impact of Library Business Services

Libraries are leaders in the small business ecosystem, but do their communities know it? To grow their programs and visibility, libraries need strategies for engaging with audiences, including local entrepreneurs, partner organizations, elected officials, and library staff. Leveraging the Libraries Build Business Communications Toolkit, attendees will brainstorm innovative outreach strategies for working within the existing economic development infrastructure, building relationships and contacts to local stakeholders and decision-makers, and championing both local entrepreneurs and the library. Small and rural libraries are essential stakeholders for supporting underrepresented small business owners. With outreach and relationship-building, small and rural libraries have what they need to launch services for small business and entrepreneurship.

Megan Janicki, Deputy Director, Strategic Initiatives, American Library Association

Make Your Data Pop (& more!) with Excel

Excel was designed to make life easier for people who work with large amounts of data, but it is often ignored or under-utilized at small libraries due to its reputation for being complicated. Nowadays, Excel is much more user-friendly! For library's purposes, basic knowledge of Microsoft Office is really all that's needed to get started. This session will teach participants how to make tracking sheets, streamline reports, create graphs for great presentations, and even provide some quick tips to make collection development and analysis easier!

Cassandra Brindle, Youth Services Specialist, Guntersville Public Library

Storytime & The Whole Book Approach

Discover the difference between reading to children and reading with children. The Whole Book Approach (WBA) helps adults create an interactive shared reading experience for children that builds observation and critical-thinking skills. Taking inspiration from Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), a learner-center pedagogy used to examine and find meaning in visual art, Whole Book Approach supports children as they make meaning of artistic and design choices present in picture books. In addition to exploring books together, participants will receive a handout summarizing the Whole Book Approach and a list of books shared during the session.

Courtney Waring, Director of Education, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (MA)

Hand in Hand: Planning & Grantwriting

Co-presenters Mary Cronin and Brittany Durgin, directors of small and rural libraries in Central New Hampshire, will explain the benefits of grantwriting and strategic planning and how the two activities support and help each other along. Participants will learn how to overcome the hurdle of getting started with strategic planning and have a roadmap for a 1-year planning process. Participants will learn how to identify and be empowered to apply for grant opportunities, big or small, local or national, that fit with their plan. Presentation will include a discussion of how to engage Trustees and community partners in the process.

Brittany Durgin, Director, Moultonborough Public Library (NH)
Mary Cronin
, Director, Cook Memorial Library (NH)