The 2016 ARSL (Association for Rural and Small Libraries) was held in Fargo, ND this year. What a wonderful conference! This is my all-time favorite to attend. Lots of great information and the best is networking with other librarians experiencing the same thing you are. They understand exactly what you are dealing with and are willing to help.
I was Conference Chair so I popped in and out of sessions when needed. One of the sessions I attended in full was “Active Shooter”. Given the way things are today in these tense times, we never know when something like this could happen to one of us. Mary Soucie and Breanna from the ND State Library Office did a very good job at resenting how you should react or not react. If possible Run, if not Hide, if you can’t do either of those Fight back. Try to incapacitate the person by throwing books, fire extinguishers—-Do NOT fight fair! The most important thing to remember when you leave the building and the police are there, if they tell you to put your hands up and kneel or lay on the ground, do so. They do not know who the shooter is. Don’t jeopardize your life, follow their orders and you will be unhurt. This should be part of your annual Emergency and Disaster Plan. Train your staff, work with them. Find the secure areas in your library to go to. Very important topic for everyone of us.
The most memorable event for me was on Thursday evening when Will Weaver called and said he was in Fargo and did I know some librarians who would like to go out to eat with him. I said, sure I will find some and meet you in the lobby. I ran around asking anyone I saw if they had plans or if they would like to go out to eat with Will Weaver. I ended up with six of us going. We had a wonderful time listening to Will’s stories and just plain talking. We made our waiter’s day. He was a young man who likes to read. He wrote on my receipt “book suggestions”. Of course, we had Will put his on the top. He told the young man he really had to read that book. We all told him how good it was. He was skeptical, so we told him to ask the author. His look was priceless! Thank you SAMMIE for helping me with my costs to attend the ARSL Conference. I really appreciate your doing these scholarships.