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Page history last edited by Don Reynolds 1 year, 1 month ago

Welcome to the  . . .

Association for Rural and Small Libraries Wiki

"The Voice of Rural & Small Libraries"


The Association for Rural & Small Libraries provides resources and support

that empower those in small and rural libraries

to deliver excellent service for their communities.

(Revised 2014 Mission Statement) 


The mission of the Association is to provide a network of people and materials

to support rural and small library staff, volunteers, and trustees

to integrate the library thoroughly with the life and work of the community it serves.

(Original 2007 Mission Statement)


The objectives of the Association are:

  • To organize a network of members concerned about the growth and development of useful library services in rural and small libraries;
  • To provide opportunities for the continuing education of members;
  • To provide mechanisms for members to exchange ideas and to meet on a regular basis;
  • To cultivate the practice of librarianship and to foster a spirit of cooperation among members of the profession, enabling them to act together for mutual goals;
  • To serve as a source of current information about trends, issues, and strategies;
  • To partner with other library and non-library groups and organizations serving rural and small library communities;
  • To collect and disseminate information and resources that are critical to this network;
  • To advocate for rural and small libraries at the local, state, and national levels.




Rural Libraries in the United States (ALA, 2017).pdf


The State of Rural and Small Libraries in the United States - IMLS (September 2013).pdf


Historic essential must reads:

Objectives for Rural Library Service by Mary Utopia Rothrock (1937).pdf

Biographical Sketch of Mary Utopia Rothrock (2014).pdf

The Rare Vision of Mary Utopia Rothrock by Mary Mallory (Library Quarterly).pdf 



ARSL has a web site at:  http://www.arsl.info/

Join ARSL MEMBERSHIP at:  http://www.arsl.info/membership/


ARSL holds an Annual Conference each year

 Information can be found at:  https://www.arsl.org/2020-conference  


The 2020 Annual Conference of ARSL will be held online

28 September - 2 October 2020






Are you a Rural Librarian?  

You Know You're a Rural Librarian If... .pdf    



What is Rural? 

What is Rural? USDA Definition  https://www.nal.usda.gov/ric/what-is-rural 


The Am I Rural? Service which can be used to help determine whether a specific location is considered rural based on various definitions of rural, including definitions that are used as eligibility criteria for federal programs. http://www.raconline.org/amirural 


The Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America


from the USDA Economic Research Service. 


What is Rural? information guide from the Rural Assistance Center  http://www.raconline.org/info_guides/ruraldef/


"Defining Rural: Too many definitions cause problems"

by Jerry Hagstrom in The Progressive Farmer




USDA Rural Conference Calendar



USDA Information for Rural Communities



Rural Information Center (RIC)





Beginnings of ARSL 


National Summit on Rural & Small Libraries - FINAL REPORT with ARSL GOALS & ACTIVITIES - 27 Oct 08

National Summit on Rural & Small Libraries - Issues & Trends Facing Rural & Small Libraries BACKGROUND READINGS - July08


ARSL Strategic Planning Meeting Preliminary Readings - January 2007 

ARSL 2007 Strategic Plan.pdf  




Important Reads



Copy this address ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jis3P6HFZ-M ) into your internet search box for the words.    

The Cheer was presented by then Plumas County Librarian (Quincy, California) Margaret Miles at the

2008 ARSL Conference in Sacramento.

Here's a variation on the cheer from the Fred A. Vaught Memorial Library (Hartsville, Tennessee)



Article by California State Librarian Susan Hildreth from Mar/Apr 07 Public Libraries magazine


Pennsylvania State Librarian Mary Clare Zales Testimony to Congress - Sept 08.pdf


Proceedings of the 2012 Rural Futures Institute.pdf  


Talking Rural Issues - A FrameWorks Message Memo 


National Rural Assembly 2011 Program.pdf

Rural Compact from The National Rural Assembly - June 2008


ALA-APA Rural Library Staff Salary Survey - June 2007

Status of Education in Rural America 2007




Additional Resources


Rural & Small Library Directors Tool Kit



Small But Powersful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library (2011 Revision).pdf

Small But Powerful Guide to Building Support for Your Rural Library (2017)



Each year, Library Journal presents a Best Small Library in America Award.

Take a look at past winners (2005-2017) and decide if your library wants to apply:  





WebJunction has information about their Rural Library Sustainability Program at 


along with links to many other rural & small library topics.


The Rural Library Services Newsletter has ceased publication by the Paulding County (Ohio) Carnegie Library.  

Contact susanhillpieper@gmail.com for more information.


In February 1981, John Houlahan published the first Rural Library Service Newsletter 

at the Northwest Iowa Regional Library in Sioux City, Iowa.   The newsletter was meant as a means to connect and inform rural libraries

across the United States on library issues and concerns related to rural library communities.  

The State Library of Iowa has digitized the newsletter, which published through 1988, in its Iowa Heritage Digital Collections.



Program Presentations

2018 ARSL Annual Conference:  https://arsl.info/2018-conference-presentations/ 

2017 ARSL Annual Conference:   https://arsl.info/2017-conference-presentations/

2016 ARSL Annual Conference:   http://arsl.info/2016-presentations/ 

2015 Conference Presentation:   http://arsl.info/conference-presentations-2015/ 

Hopefully, earlier years will be re-posted on the web site.



Check in the Navigator side bar to the right of your screen for access to the articles from the

1980 and 1995 Library Trends issues on rural libraries.



Tables of Contents from the Rural Libraries Journal,

Volume I (1981) through Volume XXII (2002)

Rural Libraries 1981-2002 Index.pdf

The Journal was published by the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship (CSRL) which is now closed. 



Please let me know about any corrections, adds, and/or updates that need to be made.

Please contact   Don.Reynolds2030@gmail.com 

if you have any questions or suggestions about this page and/or ARSL.



And don't forget . . .

the ARSL 2020 Annual Conference will be held online

28 September - 2 October 2020

For more information, see:  https://www.arsl.org/2020-conference  








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