Monday, July 28, 2008

Small and Rural Library Month

You won't find this on the calendar, but July is turning into Small and Rural Library Month for me.

Earlier this month, I was honored to be asked by Bernie Vavrek to be part of a meeting at Clarion University's Center for Small and Rural Libraries, formerly the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship, to discuss the major needs of these libraries. We had a fascinating discussion, and generated some interesting ideas that will be shared soon. Watch for some new initiatives from the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (full disclosure: ARSL is organizationally housed at WebJunction, which is part of my OCLC portfolio). Their conference, at which I'll be speaking with Joan Frye Williams in September, could be one of the most interesting tickets around!

Then later this week, I'm participating in the first conference call meeting of the Small Libraries Advisory Group. This group will advise OCLC on ways to make its services more attractive to small libraries. I recently engaged in a brief discussion on Catalogablog about this group, and I offer the same invitation to It's All Good readers: if you have suggestions on how we can make help bring more small libraries into the cooperative, I want to hear them. Add a comment here, or e-mail me at OCLC, and let me know what you're thinking!


Buzzy said...

That's fabulous, George. It's unfortunate that rural libraries often get overlooked. It's something that definitely interests me. In fact, I hope to launch a blog on rural library issues after I begin a job in a small library in August.

One thing some colleagues and I have discussed is the distinct lack of rural and small library representation at professional association meetings. Often, these libraries don't have the money (or staff) to send people to such conferences. It seems like that may adversely affect the attention given to small library issues. In fact, some colleagues have noted a lack of issues pertinent to rural libraries at such conferences.

Some state libraries do a pretty good job of reaching out to small libraries (I'm thinking particularly of the Oregon State Library and their innovative Plinkit program). You might be able to get some good ideas there. Thanks for getting the word out about rural library needs!

George said...

Good luck in the new gig, Buzzy! As a former state librarian myself, I know that the needs of rural and small libraries were always a big part of my work, and were part of the reason I went after statewide initiatives that could help all institutions thrive.

The Association of Rural and Small Libraries and WebJunction are great resources for professional development for people working in smaller libraries, and I hope you'll take advantage of both!

Anonymous said...

I would like to seek your advise to assist me in providing a photo of any libraries in order to see the arrangement for grouping all the books in shelves, eg. non fixing shelve, fixing shelves, etc.

Thank you for your assistance

Anonymous said...

There is no photos of any libraries where I can look and study how to arrange my books in the shelves