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Welcome to the Arkansas Library Association

ArLA has supported Arkansas’ academic, public, school, and special libraries for more than 100 years. In that time, we established a state library commission, began an association publication, established salary guidelines, supported the continuing education of librarians, and protected intellectual freedom.

We hope you join us in further supporting libraries and the library profession.

The Arkansas Library Association holds an Annual Conference every year.  The next ArLA Conference will be held in Hot Springs on September 28-29, 2019 at the Hot Springs Convention Center and the host hotel will be the Embassy Suites Hot Springs Hotel & Spa, 400 Convention Boulevard, Hot Springs, 71901.  Look for Conference information on the website beginning in April.

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Birmingham, AL  35216

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  • 6 Feb 2019 11:21 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    You and your team have done something amazing in your library and we want to learn about it! 

    The 2019 Arkansas Library Association/Southeastern Library Association Joint Conference is going to be held Friday, September 27, 2019 through Sunday, September 29, 2019 at the Embassy Suites in Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

    Breakout session proposals will be accepted until April 20, 2019. Proposals received after this date risk not being considered for the 2019 Annual Conference. If you have any questions about the 2019 sessions, please contact Carol Coffey 501-944-0865 or

    If your session proposal is accepted, you will be contacted via email. At that time we will begin making arrangements regarding room needs. Submit your proposals here

    While we have your attention, we are planning the ArLA 2019 pre-conference and we want to hear from you! Take this survey and let us know what topics you would most like to see at our 2019 pre-conference.

    We can't wait to hear from you!
  • 6 Feb 2019 8:34 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Children’s Services Workshop

    A Universe of Stories

    Friday, March 8, 2019

    Ferndale 4H Center

    8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Our main presenter will be Sherry Norfolk, an award-winning storyteller, author, and teaching artist. 

    The registration deadline is Friday, February 22.  Please go to for more details about the workshop and registration information.

  • 6 Feb 2019 8:30 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Adult Literacy Grants

    We award funding to organizations that provide direct services to adults in need of literacy assistance in one of the following areas:

    • Adult Basic Education
    • GED or High School Equivalency Preparation
    • English Language Acquisition
    • ·         Deadline to apply: February 21, 2019 by 10pm CST
    • ·         Grant announcement: May 9, 2019
    • ·         Maximum grant amount: $15,000

    Beyond Words:

    Dollar General School Library Relief Program

    Together with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), we support public school libraries recovering from major disasters by providing grants for books, media, and equipment.

    Family Literacy Grants

    Nonprofit organizations who support the whole family in literacy and are seeking funding are encouraged to apply if they provide the following:

    • Adult Education Instruction
    • Children’s Education
    • Parent and Child Together Time (PACT)
    • ·         Deadline to apply: February 21, 2019 by 10pm CST
    • ·         Grant announcement: May 9, 2019
    • ·         Maximum grant amount: $15,000

    Summer Reading

    These grants support the creation or expansion of summer reading programs. Local nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries are eligible to apply if their programs meet the following criteria:

    • Target Pre-K – 12th grade students who are new readers
    • Target below grade level readers
    • Assist readers with learning disabilities
    • ·         Deadline to apply: February 21, 2019 by 10pm CST
    • ·         Grant announcement: May 9, 2019
    • ·         Maximum grant amount: $3,000

                NEW this year- schools are eligible.

    Youth Literacy Grants

    Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations who help students who are below grade level or having trouble reading are eligible to apply. Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas:

    • Implementing new or expanding existing
      literacy programs
    • Purchasing new technology or equipment to
      support literacy initiatives
    • Purchasing books, materials or software
      for literacy programs

    Applications for 2019 grant proposals will be available February 28, 2019 and will be due by May 16, 2019.

    Applications can be found at this site -

  • 6 Feb 2019 8:23 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    The Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation Through Adversity recognizes U.S. libraries and staff who overcome adversity and create lasting innovative community service programs that successfully inspire and connect with readers.  The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize for the library.  In addition, four runner-up awards consisting of $1,000 in Penguin Random House books will   be awarded. The winner will also receive airfare, hotel, food and related expenses to the conference from the Penguin Random House Foundation.

    The award is open to school, public and academic libraries.  A MLS degreed librarian is preferred, but not required.  The nomination should show evidence of hardship (economic or natural disaster) and successful partnerships to overcome the hardship.  A strong focus is on innovative and unique programming that incorporate new technology, reading methods, or materials and successful outcomes.

    The nomination form can be found on the ALA website at:

  • 31 Jan 2019 6:47 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    2019 YALSA YA Services Symposium: Call for Programs
    Got a great program idea? Submit a program proposal for our 2019 YA Services Symposium! The symposium will be held Nov. 1-3, 2019, in Memphis, TN with the theme “Show Up and Advocate: Supporting Teens in the Face of Adversity.” Programs must be 60 minutes long and center around the theme. Learn more and submit a proposal by Feb. 1. All are welcome to submit and attend. Registration opens in April. Want updates? Sign up here.

  • 15 Jan 2019 7:58 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Call for Papers: The Second Annual SouthArk Literary Festival

     March 9, 2019

     El Dorado Conference Center
    El Dorado, Arkansas

    The second annual South Arkansas Literary Festival will be held on Saturday, March 9. Hosted by the South Arkansas Community College, the SouthArk Library, and in partnership with the Calhoun County Public Library and the Union County Public Library, the festival will be held in the El Dorado Conference Center and on the West Campus of South Arkansas Community College, located near the heart of El Dorado’s charming downtown and the new Murphy Arts District.

    This year there will be two tracks. One track will be targeted toward avid readers of great writing. A second track will target attendees who are writers and those interested in the craft of writing. Proposals covering all aspects of great writing and all disciplines are welcome, including the suggested topics below:

    • ·        Arkansas History
    • ·        Arkansas Literature
    • ·        Creative and Academic Writing
    • ·        Graphic Novels and Comics
    • ·        Literary Criticism and Analysis
    • ·        Literary Traditions
    • ·        Poetry
    • ·        Professional Development for Librarians, Teachers, and Writers
    • ·        Self-Publishing
    • ·        Short Story
    • ·        The Future of Libraries
    • ·        The Future of the Book
    • ·        The Word as Art
    • ·        Women’s History

    Individuals interested in presenting should electronically submit a 250-word abstract and one-page curriculum vitae to:

    Philip C. Shackelford

    Library Director

    South Arkansas Community College


    The proposal deadline is February 11, 2019. Individual presentations and panel proposals are welcome.

  • 8 Jan 2019 8:59 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    The American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, invites public libraries to apply to be part of a national tour of the traveling exhibition Thinking Money for Kids.

    Inspired by the success of the popular Thinking Money exhibit, Thinking Money for Kids is a new financial literacy experience for children ages 7 to 11, as well as their parents, caregivers and educators. The interactive exhibit will help children understand what money is, its function in society, money choices, and money values, such as fairness, responsibility and charitableness.

    The exhibit will travel to 50 U.S. public libraries between 2019 and 2021. Applications will be accepted from Dec. 17, 2018, to Feb. 8, 2019. Read the full project guidelines and apply online here -

    Selected libraries will receive:

    • the 1,000-square-foot traveling exhibition for a six-week loan
    • a $1,000 programming allowance
    • expenses paid for an orientation workshop at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
    • programming resources and support

    Participating libraries will be required to hold a minimum of four public programs related to the personal finance themes explored in the exhibition and fulfill other marketing and reporting requirements.

    Thinking Money for Kids will be administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office.

    ALA and the FINRA Foundation have partnered since 2007 on Smart investing@your library, a program that supports library efforts to provide patrons with effective, unbiased educational resources about personal finance and investing.

  • 8 Jan 2019 8:56 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)
    ARKLIB-L is an online mailing list for those interested in Arkansas Libraries and related topics. It is free and open to the public. It has also been used to disseminate information to ArLA Members. For more information and to sign up, go to You can also use that page for maintaining your subscription.
  • 8 Jan 2019 8:48 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Arkansas Department of Education Announces Fifth Year
    of Arkansas Declaration of Learning Initiative  -
    Teachers, Librarians Encouraged to Apply to Participate

    School librarians, as well as English language arts, fine arts, and social studies teachers, in grades four through 12 are encouraged to apply to participate in the program. Selected teachers will use historical art and objects from state and national partners to create lesson plans that involve civic engagement projects. 

    Arkansas is the first state selected for the national program and will serve as a model for other states. In addition to coordinating the program, the Arkansas Department of Education partners with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, the Clinton Foundation, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms to provide access to historic art and objects teachers can use when developing lesson plans and projects. 

    “I am extremely proud that Arkansas is leading the nation with the Arkansas Declaration of Learning Initiative,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The unique partnership between the Arkansas Department of Education, U.S. Department of State, and several Arkansas organizations strengthens teacher instruction and student learning. Anytime we can learn from our past and have a positive impact on our community, we are setting the stage for a better tomorrow for all Arkansans.”

    Teachers and librarians selected for the program will have the possibility of earning 30 professional development hours. Participants will attend a training this summer and will be divided into regional teams led by mentors, previous participants who will provide assistance throughout the year. 

    “Participating in ADOL allowed me to connect our students with subjects they don’t always get to think about in our rural Arkansas community: art, history, and civic involvement,” said Tracy Cline, a librarian at Butterfield Trail Middle School in Van Buren and a previous ADOL participant. “ADOL had a profound effect on our students. Being exposed to these ideas and works of art led them to think about civic engagement, themselves, and the past in an entirely new way.”

    Teachers who are interested in applying for the program should submit their application at the following link by 11:59 p.m. February 10, 2019:

    To learn more about the Arkansas Declaration of Learning initiative, visit To hear from previous participants, as well as students and administrators, visit

  • 18 Oct 2018 1:38 PM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Here is the 2018-2021 ArLA Strategic Plan as approved by the membership at the Annual Business Meeting on September 24, 2018. There are versions for Microsoft Word as well as PDF.



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