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

ARSL Conference Page

November TRAIN: Teen Programming & Services Roundtable

How do you get teens into your library? What are some of your teen program successes? Join your ARSL colleagues on November 10, 2022, 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET for an informal chat about teen programming and services. The discussion will be facilitated by Allie Stevens Gosselink, Director, Calhoun County Library & Museum. The roundtable is FREE for ARSL members. 

Register here!

Grant Opportunity: Sustainable & Resilient New England Libraries

Through the continued generosity of an anonymous private foundation, the Association for Rural & Small Libraries is pleased to offer this grant opportunity in support of sustainability and resiliency in New England libraries! Each eligible* library may submit one application with one fundable project. Applications are due November 22, 2022.

Awards will range from $5,000 - $15,000, and can be put toward projects such as:

  • Weatherizing libraries to protect them from extreme temperatures
  • Facility sustainability initiatives, including things like LED lighting conversion and solarization, potentially leading to Sustainable Library Certification
  • Developing Green Business Support programs to connect local businesses with sustainability resources
  • Community resiliency outreach initiatives, including community gardens, food banks, seasonal CSA programs, community swap events, Repair Fairs, etc.
  • Expanded technology resources to create or reinforce community technology infrastructure
Learn More

*Eligible libraries must meet the IMLS definition of a small and/or rural library, but do not need to be active members of ARSL. Libraries must be located in one of the six New England states as defined by our partner foundation: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. If you are uncertain whether your library qualifies please email the ARSL Office.

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