2019 Schedule

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2019

The conference was broadcast online on Friday, February 22, 2019 from 8:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Central Time via the GoToWebinar online meeting service.

Speaker bios can be found on the Speakers page.


Welcome to the Conference & Introductions

Christa Porter, Library Development Director, Nebraska Library Commission; Kieran Hixon, Association for Rural and Small Libraries Past President; Jennifer Pearson, Association for Rural and Small Libraries Vice President/President Elect.


Accreditation, Grants, and Seed Library all in One Year

Debra Fairbanks, Director, and Mandy Koperski, Library Assistant, Maltman Memorial Library, Wood River, NE (Population served: 1,354)

Typically, Nebraska libraries and librarians take up to three years to do it, but Maltman Memorial Library earned their Nebraska Public Library Accreditation and the librarians earned their Public Librarian Certifications all within one year. We will talk about how our library became accredited at the Silver level and how our librarians became certified. This also opened up a whole new door with grants that helped us grow. And we will share about the new seed library that is helping to feed the community.


Teaching iPad and iPhone to Seniors

Barbara Friedman, Library Director, Erving Public Library, Erving, MA (Population served: 1,776)

Seniors are highly motivated to learn to use devices, but have few opportunities to attend classes that address their needs to use. Most are unaware of how these devices can connect them to the free library services of Hoopla, Freegal, Libby (Overdrive) and their local online catalogs.

The presentation will include an outline of what can be taught in five 90-minute classes. Highlighted will be the 20 apps every senior needs to know and practical advice on such topics as: offering classes outside of the library, fee-based classes and limiting class sizes.


Best Small Library in America 2018: Madison County Public Libraries

Shawna Bryce, Technology Instructor, Madison County Public Libraries, Mars Hill, NC (Population served: 21,746)

Madison County Public Libraries has been named the 2018 Best Small Library in America by Library Journal. Library Journal’s annual award, with the support of sustaining sponsor ­­Baker & Taylor (B&T), was originally created in 2005 to encourage and showcase the exemplary work of libraries serving populations under 25,000.

12:00-12:50pm – Lightning Round!

Library @ the Theater

Amber Alexander, Library Director, Presque Isle District Library, Rogers City, MI (Population served: 14,878)

Presque Isle District Library was gifted a historical theater owned and operated since 1937. The historic art deco building is host to new and classic movies, film festivals, visiting authors, live music, presentations, stand-up comedy, and live plays presented by Rogers City Community Theatre. The district library collaborates with other entities on programming and enables the library to provide creative and unique programming. We kept an open mind about the possibilities and potential of the theater owned by the library. Libraries are diverse and growing, we must think outside of the box. In this case, a whole theater box office.

SAT Bootcamp

Carla Enger, Young Adult Librarian, Robert W. Rowe Public Library District, Serhidan, IL (Population served: 5000)

We host an SAT Bootcamp every Wednesday night starting in October and running until March when the juniors and seniors are scheduled to take their SAT Exams. We invite all the local high school students form surrounding communities to participate. Students who are proficient in one area assist those who may need a little extra help in another area they are weak in. Students can come and go as their schedule allows.

Marketing Out Loud: How Small Libraries Can Make Marketing Fun & Interactive

Courtney Hicks, Instruction and Outreach Librarian, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Southhaven, MS (FTE: 7,400)

Marketing isn’t always a joyful experience. But with a smaller student population, it can be a fun and interactive experience that puts us face-to-face with our patrons. This lightening round will discuss several different ways to create marketing opportunities while also interacting with patrons and getting the word out about all the library has to offer.

Building New Services from Scratch: Lessons Learned from Startup Library Cultures

Raymond Pun, Instruction/Research Librarian, Alder Graduate School of Education, Redwood City, CA and Jennifer Shimada, Library Director, Relay Graduate School of Education, New York City, NY (Population served: 150)

In this lightning presentation, the presenters will share their experiences as solo librarians in starting and organizing new library services from scratch for a new startup graduate school of education in California and hybrid services in New York. The students and faculty are based throughout the U.S.  Students from both programs are graduate students interested in becoming public school teachers and educators in accelerated programs. This talk will highlight best practices and lessons learned from distance-learning service models, open educational resources and outreach and communication methods to support a growing number of remote learners.

Tiny Library Inside Small Library

Rossella Tesch, Director, Chadron Public Library, Chadron, NE (Population served: 5800)

The story of the development of Indigenous People of North America Collection at Chadron Public Library.


Make a Mini Makerspace

Britney Musial, Teen/Tween Librarian, and Lizzy Boden, Adult Services Librarian, North Riverside Public Library, North Riverside, IL (Population served: 7,000)

Under the staircase, an old study room, an accessible storage closet… anywhere can become a mini makerspace! The North Riverside Public Library, a small library outside Chicago, was able to cobble together funding using our budget and grants to create mini makerspaces in small nooks around our library. We will talk about our process, research on materials and space design, and how we solicited valuable feedback from patrons. We’ll also discuss our failures and successes throughout the planning and implementation process, including budgetary constraints and unique workarounds that we discovered. This talk will be applicable to any small or rural library willing to get creative.


Small Library, Big Partnerships

Leah Hamilton, Executive Director, Phelps Library and STEAM Lab Makerspace, Phelps, NY (Population served: 7,100)

In 2025, three million job openings will go unfilled due to technical skills gaps, an inability to pass drug tests, and a lack of awareness that these opportunities exist. Small libraries have the power to change these statistics by developing strategic alliances and providing innovative educational opportunities to meet the social, technical, and economic needs of our communities. Hear how one small library nurtured unique partnerships, designed new marketing strategies, and expanded STEAM and technical classes to connect people to educational and workforce opportunities, while simultaneously increasing the library’s visibility and community impact.


But We Don’t Have an OA Librarian: Open Education with No Budget

Shanna Hollich, Collections Management Librarian, Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA (FTE: 1,030)

Open Access, Open Educational Materials, and Open Pedagogy are becoming increasingly important in higher education. But how can you learn about, fund, and promote open initiatives on a small campus with a correspondingly small budget and small number of staff? Presenter will discuss the free and low-cost training opportunities available to librarians at small institutions and also show how she was able to begin educating faculty and staff about open initiatives with no dedicated budget. Specific content covered will include: copyright, licensing, and open licensing resources; how to perform a campus culture survey; how to talk to faculty about open education; strategies for integrating open educational resources into the classroom.


Improving Graphics Workflow for Efficient, Consistent Service: SRSU Case Study

Betsy Evans, Education and Outreach Librarian, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX (FTE: 2,400)

Sul Ross State University is Texas’ smallest publicly funded university. Following the University’s lead in rebranding to present a more cohesive university across four campuses in far West Texas – a huge undertaking to say the least – Library staff are working to increase efficiency in outreach and promotion while maintaining high quality service and style consistent with the updated aesthetic. In doing so, the Education and Outreach Librarian is piloting a template-based graphics workflow using accessible and/or free software like Canva and PowerPoint to tie together print promotion, social media posts, and in-house signage.

This talk will cover simple best practices for the creation and storage of digital assets that translate well between different mediums including LCD screen advertisement, print publication, and social media. Participants, especially those responsible for outreach or marketing for their small library, will leave thinking more about how they can make the most of their creative time by maximizing the use of graphics and other promotions.

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