The Association for Rural & Small Libraries

The Voice of Rural & Small Libraries

Our Mission: ARSL builds strong communities through advocacy, professional development, and elevating the impact of rural and small libraries.

The Benefits of Membership

ARSL proudly supports and represents rural & small library staff. We welcome library staff of all kinds, partners, and ally organizations to learn more about ARSL membership. 

Become a Member

ARSL Annual Conference

ARSL's annual conference is the premiere conference for rural and small library professionals, advocates, and supporters. Mark your calendars for 2022 to join us in exciting, eclectic Chattanooga, TN September 14 - 17!

ARSL Conference Page

ARSL Access to Information Statement

The ARSL Access to Information Statement was developed by the Advocacy Committee and approved by the Board following multiple member requests to provide a tool for defending against the increase in materials challenges and other intellectual freedom assaults. This statement can be used alongside any local, state, or national position statements already utilized by your library to reinforce your organization's commitment to the tenets of intellectual freedom.

Read the Full Statement

ARSL Statement of Support for Libraries in Ukraine

In the face of increasing hostility and escalating military action in Ukraine the ARSL Board of Directors has issued a statement of support of those impacted by the war. Included in that statement is a call to action to aid our colleagues working in the many rural and small libraries of Ukraine to ensure the spread of accurate information regarding the conflict as a means to support democracy and freedom of expression.

Read the Full Statement

April TRAIN: Summer Reading Programming Ideas for Adults Roundtable

Thursday, April 21, 2022 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PT / 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET
Registration cost: Free for ARSL members!

Join us to discover some easy, fast ideas for adult programming during summer reading. In particular, expect to leave with new ideas for passive programs and programs-in-a-box. Please consider preparing brief comments on 2 or 3 programs you have done that have been successful in your community to share with the group!

Shop the ARSL Store!

The wait is finally over - the new YEAR-ROUND ARSL Store is open for business! This shop features official ARSL-branded merchandise, as well as our 2022 Conference and Retro Conference gear.

In addition to the traditional tee shirts and sweatshirts the ARSL Store will offer branded stationery items, drinkware, and accessories to let you show your ARSL spirit all year round. Consider adding some ARSL swag to employee recognitions, Trustee gifts, and retirement baskets!

Shop the Store

Quarterly Member Newsletter

We are working on the next issue of the ARSL newsletter and would love to feature your stories! What's new at your library? Did you plan something completely new and different for Summer Reading? Have you gotten a grant or award that you're excited about? Have you attended a webinar or conference program that really inspired you? Have you started a new service and everyone is asking how you did it? 

If you would like to contribute, please consider submitting an article (200 - 800 words) plus a photo and/or headshot by April 18.

Submit a Story


#ARSL2022 Conference

Our conference theme is "Connecting at the Crossroads: On Track to Real Change." Our paths will converge this fall in Chattanooga, a city situated at the crossroads of highways, historic railroads, and the Tennessee River. Looking back at where we’ve come from, we will lay tracks toward where we want to be. We’ll ask ourselves who we are, what we value, and what changes small and large we can bring back to our libraries. Together, we can work toward change that is real, sustainable, and equitable.

Registration rates, conference hotels, and more can be found on the 2022 conference website.


Call for Program Proposals

We want YOU at #ARSL2022! We're seeking proposals on all topics relevant to small and rural libraries, from practical how-to sessions to broader explorations of the changing library landscape.

 Due to the volume received, please limit yourself to four (4) program proposals total.

Submit a Program Proposal


Important Dates


  • June 14, 2022: Early Bird In-Person Registration opens; Virtual Registration opens
  • July 26, 2022: Early Bird In-Person Registration closes; Regular In-Person Registration opens

Conference Hotels

  • February 15, 2022: Booking opens for all conference hotels
  • August 16, 2022: Booking deadline for all conference hotels

Session Proposals

  • March 1, 2022: Conference session RFP opens
  • April 12, 2022: Conference session RFP closes

Conference Scholarships

  • April 5, 2022: Scholarship applications open
  • May 3, 2022: Scholarship applications close
  • June 7, 2022: Scholarship recipients announced

Call for Advisors - Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small & Rural Communities

The American Library Association (ALA) is seeking 10 librarian advisors for Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Accessible Small and Rural Communities. ALA will select ten project advisors to participate in this project during a two-year term (June 1, 2022 – May 31, 2024). Applications are due by May 2, 2022.

As a practitioner-focused initiative, participation and feedback from advisors will be crucial to the success of this project. Advisors will be selected for their experience with community engagement, disability services, and developing local programs for public audiences. Work experience in a library is required; an MLIS is preferred but not required. Advisors must have an individual membership with either the American Library Association OR the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Estimated time commitment: between 20 and 30 hours over the course of the project

Honorarium: $2,000 (To be paid out as follows: $1,000 in June 2022, $1,000 in May 2024)

Learn More

ARSL Statement on Anti-Racism

Because Black lives matter and library professionals can be agents of change in rural and small communities across the nation, ARSL urges our members to stand up and speak out to end systemic oppression and police brutality. The ARSL Board of Directors is in active discussion about how we will commit to anti-racist work within our association.

Silence is compliance.