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.

Congratulations to the recipients of this year's Penguin Random House / ARSL Grants for Small & Rural Libraries!

View the full list of recipients here.

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 2023 to join us in Wichita, KS September 20 - 23!

ARSL Conference Page

2023 ARSL Conference

When: September 20-23, 2023
Where: Wichita, Kansas

#ARSL2023 is the conference for rural and small libraries. Our conference planners and presenters understand the constraints of shoestring budgets, small spaces, and limited staffing within small and rural libraries, as well as the unique opportunities for innovation and collaboration. Our conference is packed full of information you can take right back to your library—no scaling down required.

More information coming soon!

January TRAIN Workshop

Join us for our January TRAIN workshop!

Writing the Future: Creative Writing for Kids in Small & Rural Libraries
Monday, January 30, 2023, 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET

Every child deserves high-quality creative writing education. That’s the idea driving Cosmic Writers, a registered 501(c)(3). Building on their successful partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, Cosmic Writers wants to work with rural libraries across America. This interactive webinar will feature the following: a) An overview of how their model has worked at the Free Library of Philadelphia - featuring participating library workers, b) An overview of the importance of support for creative writing education in lifelong learning spaces like public libraries, c) An interactive discussion on how Cosmic Writers can support you in your efforts to support creative writing education.

Presented by Rowana Miller, Executive Director, Cosmic Writers and Echo Phillips, Children's Librarian, Free Library of Philadelphia.

This workshop is FREE for ARSL members and $25 for non-members. Registration will open soon!

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

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.

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