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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.

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Arkansas Library Association
P.O. Box 3821
Little Rock, AR 72203

  • 9 Apr 2021 10:56 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    CHICAGO — Are you interested in Intellectual Freedom? Would you like to attend the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference in June and learn how the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and other groups in ALA are working to protect access to information? Applications are now open for the 2021 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, sponsored by FTRF. The Scholarship provides funding for two recipients who are an LIS student or recent graduate to attend the ALA virtual annual conference June 23-29, 2021.

    The goal of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship is to advance two principles that Conable held dear: intellectual freedom and mentorship.

    The scholarship
    includes conference registration and a one-year FTRF membership. In return, the recipient will be expected to attend FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and events at the conference, consult with a mentor/board member, and provide a report about their experiences.

    The deadline for submitting an application for the 2021 Conable Conference Scholarship is April 15, 2021; the award will be announced by April 23, 2021.

    Who is eligible: Students currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited library and information studies degree program or an AASL-recognized master’s program in school librarianship and new professionals (those who are three or fewer years removed from receiving a library school degree) are eligible to receive the Conable Conference Scholarship. Those interested must submit an application that includes two references and an essay detailing their interest in intellectual freedom issues. Applicants
    are also required to attach a résumé. If the recipient has already registered for ALA’s Annual Conference, he or she will have the conference fee refunded.

    To apply for the Conable Conference Scholarship, visit For more information, please contact FTRF at

    About Gordon M. Conable: Gordon Conable was a California librarian and intellectual freedom champion who served several terms as president of the Freedom to Read Foundation. He was executive vice president for public libraries at Library Systems and Services (LSSI) in Riverside, Calif., and was responsible for management and performance of LSSI’s public library contracts, including the 30-branch Riverside County, Calif., system. He also served as director of the Monroe County (Mich.) Library System from 1988–1998. During his tenure there, he withstood an intense controversy over Madonna's book "Sex.” Before that he was associate director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library in Washington. For his efforts, Conable received the Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award and ALA's John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for "intellectual freedom fighters.” In 1994 he was the first librarian recognized as Michigan’s Public Administrator of the Year.

    Following his unexpected death in 2005, his wife and FTRF created the Conable Fund, which provides funding for the Conable Scholarship. You can contribute to the Conable Fund online at
  • 6 Apr 2021 11:18 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    ArLA Award Nominiations Logo

    The nomination form for this year's ArLA Awards is now open. You can find it at:

    This year, we will be selecting winners for the following awards: 

    Arkansiana Award - given to an author of a recent book that represents a significant contribution to AR heritage and culture; one award each for adult non-fiction, adult fiction, and juvenile (either fiction or non-fiction)

    Frances P. Neal Award - recognizes a career of notable service in Arkansas librarianship

    Distinguished Service Award - given for outstanding achievement in some area of librarianship

    Bessie B. Moore Trustee Award - recognizes an individual or board of trustees who/which has made a significant contribution

    Retta Patrick Award - recognizes an outstanding contribution to school librarianship

    Arkansas/SIRS Intellectual Freedom Award - given to a person or group for furthering the cause of intellectual freedom on behalf of an Arkansas library

    Lorrie Shuff Paraprofessional Award - recognizes distinguished paraprofessional library service

    Suzanne Spurrier Academic Librarian Award - given to an academic librarian with a spirit of outstanding service and dedicated professionalism

    Ann Lightsey Children's LIbrarian Award - given to a dedicated children's librarian

    Rising Star Award - recognizes a library worker with less than 5 years of experience who has provided exceptional service for their community

    If you know anyone who you believe is deserving of an award (including yourself), please submit a nomination! The nomination window will last until July 2, 2021. You can review full award descriptions and eligibility guidelines here.   

    For more information, contact, Allie Stevens, Awards Committee Chair at

  • 5 Apr 2021 10:10 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    March Member Spotlight: Susie Kirk (photo)

    This month, we honor Susie Kirk, Library Outreach & Instruction Assistant of Huie Library at Henderson State University. Susie has worked tirelessly to promote ArLA through social media. She has chaired the Marketing Committee for multiple years and began the social media community of interest. In her day job, Susie is continuously working to promote diverse content to our library community through book displays and programming," according to Lacy Wolfe, who shared her nomination with us. "She's always eager to try out new technology that will better serve our patrons. Susie is currently working to create a Discord community for our student workers that she will then expand to the wider student population. Susie collaborates across campus as well as across disciplines. Along with the ArLA community, Susie is also active within the Higher Ed Web community. I think it would be great to feature Susie in a member spotlight for many reasons, but in part because as a paraprofessional Susie has paved her own path within ArLA and the broader library community.

  • 31 Mar 2021 9:58 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    The Arkansas Library Association is developing a new strategic plan to continue to guide our work for the next several years. We again are seeking input from all members of the state’s library community in understanding some of our current challenges and strengths. We have a short (eleven questions) survey at which will gather data and insights.
                We are trying to reach ALL members of the state’s library community: members and non-members of ArLA, library staff, and trustees. Your help in forwarding this to any group that may not have received it will help in gathering more data.
                Thank you for your help in crafting a better and stronger future for ArLA!

  • 3 Mar 2021 1:28 PM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Save The Date: Towards New Horizons 2021 Conference Logo

    The Arkansas Library Association Annual Conference will be held beginning Tuesday, October 12, through Friday, October 15, 2021. This year’s conference will be hosted virtually using the online event platform Whova. The conference theme is “Towards New Horizons,” aligning with the ArLA Presidential Initiatives for 2021, and the Conference Committee welcomes proposals demonstrating how Arkansas libraries and library staff are working to move their libraries, patrons, and communities towards new horizons, overcoming challenges related to COVID-19 and other events and exploring future opportunities and innovation. Session proposals will be accepted beginning March 4, 2021, and the deadline for submissions is May 31, 2021.

    For more information, view the CPF Information Sheet at To submit a proposal go to For more information, contact Rachel Shankles, ArLA Conference Committee Chair at

  • 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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