Sunday, September 18, 2011

Down economy hits small, rural libraries; conference teaches them how to garner money

Small, rural libraries have an advantage over larger libraries and it has everything to do with their size. They enjoy strong connections to the people, including local government officials, of the communities in which they operate, and are oftentimes the center of these communities. This was the overarching theme at the Association for Rural and Small Libraries annual conference this month.

The conference emphasized the importance of rural libraries to their respective communities, and focused on the economic concerns many small libraries across the country are currently facing. Advocacy and funding have become central concerns, reported Miguel Figueroa of American Libraries Magazine. As a result, some programs at the conference included grant writing, endowment building and working with boards of trustees.

The conference also made technology a focus, introducing a program called "Pushing the Limits," which the National Science Foundation is trying to bring to 100 small libraries across the country. Attendees of the conference were also encouraged to make their libraries community-centered by building partnerships with local organizations, schools and workforce commissions.

No comments: