Best conference, hands down: ARSL!

I've attended the Association for Rural and Small Libraries conference a handful of times now, and each year my assessment is the same: my favorite conference of the year!

How does your rural library's technology bridge the digital divide?

NetSquared, a TechSoup project, hosts monthly Think Tanks, where a question or topic is shared with the NetSquared community and participants submit responses either on their own blogs, the NetSquared Community Blog, or using social media. This monthly blogging/social networking event is a great way to source the crowd and participate in an exchange of ideas. The Think Tank is open to anyone.

Migrating to Koha

Plumas County Library started investigating migrating to Koha because the North Net Cooperative Library System obtained a grant that would pay our migration costs and the first year of support. With support costs on our current system threatening to sink us, I was all in favor of finding a cheaper alternative. The crucial factor was determining if Koha could do everything we needed it to do.

Saving Space at our Rural Library with Laptops

Laptops could be a good solution for small libraries that don't have the space for a permanently installed computer lab. We're a small, rural public library (pop. 5200 (winter) to 8000 (summer). We have three public desktops, one stand up express station, and 6 public laptops, simply because we lack the space, and the desire, for a dedicated computer area. When I teach a computer class, I set up the laptops in one of our two small meeting rooms.

BTOP Projects at Work: Reaching Remote Areas

Broadband provision in remote communities can often be logistically challenging and expensive. Targeted grants are one way to address the access barriers faced by rural communities. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) provides grants to support the establishment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas.

I laughed, I cried: why the ARSL-ABOS 2010 conference was a hit!

Librarians, bookmobiles, and a whole lot of inspiration captivated and captured my attention a couple weeks ago. The setting was the mile high city of Denver, where over 400 rural and small librarians and bookmobilists convened to share ideas and spark new ones.

A cheap(er) self-checker system

Teton County Library has just created and installed our own homemade self-checker at a substantial savings ($1,200 instead of $15,000 per unit) and I wanted to see if any other libraries might want to use the system.

Scholarships for the upcoming 2010 ARSL conference

I'm a big fan of the ARSL conference, so I was thrilled when I heard news of scholarships for librarians interested in attending the 2010 event in Denver this fall. There are three available scholarships, and to apply, you'll need to complete a form and write an essay explaining why you'd like to go.

Now, I'm not one to break rules or share cheat sheets, but I'll tell you three reasons why you should go to the ARSL conference: