I attended A.R.S.L. in Fargo Oct. 26-29. All I can say is WOW! The sessions were great as they were all geared for rural and small libraries. The speakers and authors were awesome. The Holiday Inn was a very convenient location and the food was fabulous! I came away refreshed and reinvigorated from meeting and sharing with librarians from all over the country. It is so interesting to hear how librarians from other states provide service to their patrons.
Some of the information I would like to share includes:
1. The Graphic Design session introduced me to a program called Canva which the librarian said she loves for making posters. It requires an account but is free for approved non-profits. It also has free tutorials. Some of the design tips she gave us were to use complementary colors, don’t center everything, limit of two fonts per poster, and do not overuse clip art. With canva you can post to all your social media sites automatically. It will translate your information into the proper format for each of the sites. This would be a great time saver!
2. The session on Pop-Up Libraries told us how to set up a temporary and portable library site. The two discussed were a community food pantry and a senior living center. It is important to go where our patrons are. She gave very specific information on how to go about this. She signs in remotely to the circulation system on a laptop to check in and out materials and make new cards. Each location requires her to select different materials that are in demand by those patrons.
3. Lost Your Library Mojo? session was chock full of ideas on how to prevent burn-out! Some of her suggestions were to make time for professional growth (such as attending ARSL!). Delegate responsibilities. Say yes to the person and no to the task! Shed the aspects of our work that don’t measure up. Stop thinking about what you aren’t doing and focus on the good things you are doing!
4. Cache Boxes and Backpacks was a session on new ideas for your library. Cache boxes was a history themed treasure hunt. Nine boxes had historical questions and answers at specific locations. When you got all 9 stamps, a landmark was revealed. This was used in Concrete, WA. They have adapted it over the years for simplification and business promotion. Backback kits were created in Ritzville, WA, for families with children. They started with a fishing backpack kit, a geocache backpack kit and a birding backpack kit. It is a library of things and they have been very popular because of the natural surroundings in their area.
5. Modifiable Music and Movement was taught by a librarian from Boise, ID. She defined music and movement as a fast-paced half hour of dancing, singing and music making. Be creative in your music making by using kazoos and shakers with popcorn inside. I would like to incorporate this into my story times. She does a session just on music and movement. You can even hook your TV up to U-tube for videos to sing and dance with.
6. Gold Nuggets was a session on programming for small libraries. The librarian was from Stanley, Idaho, a town of 63 people! She said that the people in our communities are our most important partners. She has a file with clippings of possible partners in her area and she shared many, many ideas with us. Read ‘N Feed was suggested for kids. Read a book and then make the food that is talked about in that book.
7. Kahoot was a program you can download to bring Trivia Night into the 21st Century. This is something that we have been discussing at our library and Kahoot will be a great asset to our plans. You can create your own questions or use the questions that are already on the site. We played a trial game with questions from the Hunger Games. What fun!
These are just a few of the ideas I came away with at this conference! Thanks SAMMIE for this opportunity to attend a national conference held only two hours away!