Last week, the joint conference of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) and the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Librarians (ABOS) was held in Denver. More than 450 attendees from around the country made the trip to participate and hear from a great a group of presenters. The conference was kicked off by Andrea Berstler, Conference Planning Chair, sharing some responses that came through the ARSL listserv last year in response to the statement, “You know you’re a rural librarian when….”. The list brought claps and laughter from the audience and a lot of head nodding in agreement. So how exactly do you know you are a rural librarian? Here is the top 13 list:
13. Your library has a hitchin’ post.
12. You need to leave early to take your kids and their livestock to the 4-H weigh in.
11. Your bookmobile has had to wait for a flock of sheep to clear the road
10. You stop at yard sales to buy movies for the library.
9. A perfectly good excuse for being late to work is “there’s a skunk on my porch and I can’t get out”.
8. The only time you lock your car is in the summer, so that people won’t leave bags of squash in it.
7. FEMA requests that the bookmobile notify people in low-lying areas they need to evacuate within 24 hours.
6. You can correctly identify the farm implements you see on the road & the owners.
5. Patrons use your car as a bookdrop, within a 60 mile radius of the library.
4. There are two seasons: Hunting and Fishing.
3. Automotive repair manuals are filed under “landscaping”.
2. A patron wants to trade a dozen eggs or a freshly baked pie in lieu of paying a fine.
1. A patron has to pay for books he accidentally shot trying to shoot the possum he noticed in his living room.
Do you see yourself anywhere in this list?
WebJunction had a table at the conference to talk about our services and projects like and the response was great. So many people stopped by just to say thank you! We heard about how much they appreciate the webinars, the free resources, the online courses and the community that continues to grow each day. This is work that we are all really proud of, and we know that it couldn’t be done without the amazing community of library staff that make up our membership.
Since part of the conference also focused on bookmobile and outreach services, Colorado libraries from around the state brought their bookmobiles out for show and tell – the parking lot was an impressive sight:
Thanks to everyone who stopped in to visit our table and for attending the WebJunction presentations at the conference. This was clearly a dedicated, hard working and enthusiastic group of professionals and we hope to see even more people next year!