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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 27-29, 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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Arkansas Library Association
P.O. Box 3821
Little Rock, AR 72203

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  • 11 Jul 2019 2:17 PM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    The American Library Association (ALA) is now accepting applications for the 2020 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, 2019. 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

  • 9 Jul 2019 1:48 PM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    The American Library Association announces a call for applications for its inaugural year of the Lois Ann Gregory-Wood Fellows Program.  Click here for more information about the application process.

    Lois Ann Gregory-Wood worked at ALA for fifty years, and for 27 of those years, served as the ALA Council Secretariat.  For thousands of ALA members, she was the face of ALA Council and governance.  The Fellows Program celebrates her leadership and accomplishments, as well as seeking to encourage understanding and participation in the ALA governance processes. 

    The Fellows Program seeks applications from interested individuals for its inaugural year in 2020.  During this first year of the award, one individual will be selected to receive a grant totaling $2,500 to cover costs of attending two conferences: the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia and Annual Conference in Chicago. The Fellow will work with a mentor and attend various governance meetings over the course of the conferences to observe and to learn. 

    Applicants must meet the following requirements:

    • ALA member for at least two years. 
    • Must be a practicing librarian (with an MLS from an accredited institution or CAEP accredited Master’s degree with a specialty in School Library Media), a full time library staff member, a library trustee or friend board member. 
    • Must have worked as a librarian, library staff member, or served as a library trustee or friend board member for at least five years. 
    • Must have attended at least one ALA Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting.

    The application form opens on July 9, 2019, and applications must be received by September 30, 2019.  In the application, candidates will explain their interest in the program, and describe how this experience and knowledge will benefit ALA, their library and their career. The selection committee will consider applications in October, and the individual selected will be notified and announced by November 1, 2019.  Applications are available here.

    Prospective applicants who have questions should be in touch with Jim Neal, Chair of the Selection Committee,, or Kimberly L. Redd,, at the American Library Association.  This is an exciting opportunity for ALA members to get an insider view of the governance of the Association and to consider expanding their governance participation and leadership roles.

    LAGW Fellowship Selection Committee:

    Jim Neal (Chair)
    Trevor Dawes
    Terri Grief
    Caitlin Moen
    Robert Newlen
    Romelia Salinas
    Ann Symons

  • 13 Jun 2019 9:51 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    The Arkansas State Library is pleased to announce that Karen O’Connell will be joining our staff as Coordinator of the Arkansas Center for the Book. She will begin her duties on July 29. Karen will replace Zoe Butler, who retired in April.

    Karen comes to us from Georgetown University Library where she currently serves as Head of the Preservation Services Unit. Over the years at Georgetown, Karen’s responsibilities included preservation planning and programming, managing the rare book collection, and curating exhibitions for the Special Collections Research Center. Past exhibitions include “007 at 20007: Spy Fiction at Georgetown” and “Covering American Literature: The Irving Levy Collection and 19th-Century Bookbindings.” She has twice been awarded the Lauinger Library Award for Excellence. 

    Karen holds an MLS from The Catholic University of America, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University, a Certificate in Preservation Management from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland.

    We are delighted to welcome Karen to the Arkansas State Library and look forward to continuing to bring excellent reading programs to libraries throughout the state of Arkansas.

  • 29 May 2019 10:29 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    The Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) announced that eight winners will receive this year’s John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards. The John Cotton Dana Awards were inaugurated in 1946 by The American Library Association and the H.W. Wilson Publishing Company. The award is named after the first librarian to make use of public relations to "publicize" library activities. The award is one of the most coveted, perhaps the most prestigious of the awards recognizing marketing and public relations excellence. The award is managed by the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) division of the American Library Association.

    Saline County Library in Arkansas is one of those recipients. With a goal of engaging inactive and non-cardholders and to establish relationships with local businesses, Saline County Library did just that with their 2018 library card campaign by taking Library Card Sign-Up Month and turning it into a community partnership. Creating a theme, “Power of the Card” that emphasized the unlimited possibilities a simple card could provide, Saline partnered with over 60 local businesses and residents to provide discounts at those business through the power of the library card. For a budget under $250, Saline’s new card encouraged the addition of 330 new cards being issued and 1,713 cards being renewed. The campaign not only drew in more patrons but also created new community partners with over 500 patrons using their library card to get discounts on anything from a tattoo to a steak dinner.

    For the original press release and a list of the other winners, click here.

    You can also visit the Saline County Library website at:

  • 28 May 2019 10:00 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Bentonville Public Library’s Children’s Librarian, Sue Ann Pekel, is being awarded the 2019 Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children by the American Library Association (ALA).

    Pekel graduated from John Brown University with a degree in Organizational Management. She has a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Texas Woman’s University. Prior to joining the Bentonville Public Library in 2007, she served as the Children’s Librarian at the Rogers Public Library in Rogers, Arkansas where she worked her way up from part-time clerk to full-time professional Librarian.

    Pekel was nominated for the Sullivan Award by Hadi Dudley, Library Director and Sarah Herford, Teen Services Librarian of Bentonville Public Library, who said, “Sue Ann Pekel is a leader, librarian, mentor, advocate, supporter, professional and friend. She is intelligent, passionate, encouraging and dedicated. We offer our fullest endorsement of Sue Ann Pekel for the prestigious recognition of the Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children Award.”

    Sue Ann Pekel states, “It is an honor to receive the Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children. I gratefully accept this award on behalf of the entire team at Bentonville Public Library and our community. It is with their strong support that the Bogle Family Children’s Library within the Bentonville Public Library has become a vibrant destination for discovery, creativity and imagination.”

    Pekel will accept the Sullivan Award during the ALA Annual Conference this summer in Washington, D.C. Pekel is also attending to participate in training for Thinking Money for Kids, a traveling exhibit being awarded to Bentonville Public Library in 2021. A portion of Pekel’s travel expenses to attend training and the awards ceremony at conference are being funded by the ALA. 

  • 23 Apr 2019 10:09 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Registration for YALSA's 2019 symposium, which will take place Nov. 1-3 in Memphis, TN is now open. Now through early bird registration (September 15), those who join YALSA and register for the symposium will be automatically entered for a chance to win free registration for the 2020 YALSA symposium. Additionally, non-members who join YALSA/ALA before registering become eligible to register with the YALSA member rate, apply for a $1,000 symposium travel stipend, gain access to a quarterly journal, additional grants, and more. Joining and then registering often costs less than the non-member rate. Additional events such as pre-conferences, a Graceland tour, and an author luncheon can be added for an extra fee. View the preliminary schedule. Learn more at

  • 22 Apr 2019 9:42 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    New ArLA Membership Brochure

  • 22 Apr 2019 9:24 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    You can now access the Spring 2019 issue of Arkansas Libraries on the ArLA Website. Just go to Arkansas Libraries on the main menu or to

  • 15 Apr 2019 9:35 AM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Every year the Arkansas Library Association bestows a variety of awards and prizes in recognition of the compelling and dedicated service of our Arkansas librarians and their achievements. These awards are given during an awards dinner held at the annual ArLA conference. The awards process is managed by the Arkansas Library Association Awards Committee. This committee solicits nominations, reviews and selects award recipients, and coordinates the awards dinner during the annual conference. Nominations for the Arkansas Library Association Awards are now open. The deadline for submissions is June 28, 2019. Please consider nominating a co-worker or colleague for one of the awards using the nomination form, here:

  • 1 Apr 2019 2:59 PM | Ronald Russ (Administrator)

    Online registration for the ArLA/SELA Joint Conference can be found here:

    The ArLA Annual Conference page is part of the main menu of the website, next to Arkansas Libraries. The direct link is Additional information will be added as it becomes available.

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