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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.

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  • 19 Aug 2021 10:44 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Britt Anne Murphy leaning over the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

    “Britt Anne Murphy is the longtime managing editor of Arkansas Libraries, the official journal of the Arkansas Library Association. People may not know that she served as associate editor for many years as well, going back to the early 2000's. She has worked tirelessly to put out a quality journal year after year. And it shows. She has also served as Chair of the Pandemic Response Committee and spearheaded the mask initiative, which provided free masks to over 200 institutions. In addition, she is a past winner of the Suzanne Spurrier and Distinguished Service awards. While I can continue, I can think of no one better to nominate for an ArLA Member Spotlight.” This quote is from Ron Russ. 

  • 13 Aug 2021 8:47 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Applications for the Arkansas Library Leadership Institute (ALL-In) 2022 program are now open. ALL-In is an intensive professional development opportunity for library workers in the state of Arkansas who want to grow as leaders by:

    • ·         Identifying both personal strengths and areas for development;
    • ·         Improving the ability to communicate and connect with coworkers and library stakeholders; and
    • ·         Growing one’s vision of excellent library service through a peer learning experience.

    The Institute is not just for library workers with an MLS or with “Director” or “Manager” in their titles or for those who work in public services. Past participants have included catalogers, reference librarians, archivists, directors, paraprofessionals, and more. No title is too large or too small to be considered for the Institute.

    Library staff from all types of libraries are encouraged to apply. Past participants have come from academic, public, school, and special libraries, and from both public and private institutions.

    Applications will be accepted until October 1, 2021 at 10 a.m. CDT. There will be an informational webinar on Wednesday, August 25 at 3:30 p.m. The webinar will be recorded for those who aren’t able to attend. Attending or viewing the webinar before submitting your application is encouraged.

    More information about the Institute is available on the ASL website:


  • 6 Jul 2021 7:34 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    The American Library Association (ALA) is now accepting applications for the 2022 class of Emerging Leaders (EL). Details on the program criteria as well as a link to the application can be found on the Emerging Leaders web page.

    The deadline to apply is August 30, 2021. Apply now.

    The ALA EL program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism as well as other professional library-related organizations.

    The Arkansas Library Association sponsors one ALA Emerging Leaders applicant each year. All applications from Arkansas librarians will automatically be forwarded to ArLA to be considered for this $2,000 sponsorship. For more information, please contact

    For additional details, visit the Emerging Leaders web page or contact the EL project manager at

  • 25 Jun 2021 7:36 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for the Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant.

    Up to 100 libraries will be awarded in this round of grantmaking, part of ALA’s longtime community engagement initiative. Library workers may apply online for grant funding by September 16 at

    Participating libraries will receive training in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to 21st-century librarianship. Library workers will complete a free ALA e-course on basic facilitation skills; host at least one conversation with community members on a chosen topic; and receive $3,000 to support community engagement efforts. Grant funds may cover a range of expenses, including staff time and collections and technology purchases.

    Libraries that previously were awarded LTC: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grants are eligible to apply for additional funding to expand their previously awarded projects.

    Over 500 public, academic, school and tribal libraries representing 48 U.S. states have been awarded in the past year. View the full list. Examples include:

    • Jaffrey (New Hampshire) Public Library hosted a discussion following a virtual panel about gender identity that helped dispel myths and overcome differences.
    • Pottsboro (Texas) Area Library led talks about emergency preparedness after a winter storm left their community without electricity and water for days.
    • Working with local teens, Anne West Lindsey District Library (Carterville, Illinois) facilitated a conversation with local leaders that helped the community keep at-risk young people fed.

    In September 2020, ALA announced plans to award nearly $2 million to small and rural libraries in 2020 and 2021 to help them address issues of concern in their communities. Up to 650 U.S. libraries in small and rural communities will receive $3,000 to tackle issues ranging from media literacy to COVID-19 safety to unemployment. The initiative is part of ALA’s longtime commitment to preparing library workers for the expanding role of libraries.

    The opportunity is open to libraries serving small and/or rural communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) defines small communities as those with a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and rural communities as those more than, or equal to, five miles from an urbanized area.

    Since 2014, ALA’s community engagement initiative, Libraries Transforming Communities, has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

    Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is offered in partnership with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

  • 11 Jan 2021 11:16 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    ArLA Presidential Initiatives

    ArLA Executive Board Structure 2021

    As with 2020, this year is already presenting its own unique set of events and challenges. We will continue to be faced with important questions and decisions related to how we and our libraries navigate these challenges, but through it all our mission remains the same - to provide valuable resources and a supportive environment where our students, patrons, and communities can learn and grow.

    Despite these difficult times, I believe that the future of the Arkansas Library Association is a bright one. Over the past couple of years we have seen our organization look to the past for lessons and wisdom, move forward towards progress, and chart new waters as we have faced unprecedented challenges but also worked hard to lay a solid foundation for future success. It is my belief that now the time has come for us to build on these valuable efforts and embark towards new horizons, to be ambitious on purpose, and to boldly go where our members – the hardworking librarians of Arkansas and the communities that we serve – need us most.

    Attached you fill find some thoughts that have been on my mind in recent years – ideas and priorities that I feel, as an association, we should emphasize in the months ahead. These initiatives represent important responsibilities that I will actively pursue during my time as your president, but they are certainly beyond the scope of one person’s capacity to achieve alone. It is important to remember that ArLA is NOT just the Board, ArLA is NOT just the conference, nor indeed any one group or activity that our members pursue. ArLA is ALL of us. The future is in all of our hands, and I look forward to traveling on this journey together.

    Towards new horizons!

    Philip C. Shackelford, ArLA President

  • 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.

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