For immediate release | November 8, 2011

Small but powerful forum to discuss rural library advocacy

CHICAGO – Join rural library leaders in a conversation about advocacy, leadership and the newly revised “Small But Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library,” at a special forum during the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Sponsored by the ALA Committee on Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds, the ALA Committee on Literacy, the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Small but Powerful Forum for Winning Big Support for your Rural Library will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22 in room A308 of the Dallas Convention Center.

The forum promises to be a powerful and practical discussion for those committed to building and sustaining support for rural libraries. To maximize time and takeaways, the session will employ the World Café method of hosting large group dialogue, including presentations from rural library leaders and an opportunity for attendees to break into small group rounds covering a range of specialized rural library advocacy and leadership topics. At the conclusion of the session, attendees will share their insights and lessons learned with the larger group.

Featured presenters will include Jennifer Peterson, chair, ALA Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee; Tina Hager, library director, Little Elm Public Library (Texas); and Dr. Robert S. Martin, professor emeritus in the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University and PEARL (Promoting & Enhancing the Advancement of Rural Libraries) team member.

Attendance is open to all Midwinter attendees. For more information, please visit

The ALA Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds (RNTLOAK) reviews issues and challenges facing rural, native and tribal libraries of all kinds, collaborates with other ALA units addressing the needs of rural communities and serves as an advocate for and partner with libraries serving rural, tribal and native populations.

The ALA Committee on Literacy develops and recommends the Association’s policies related to the promotion of literacy. Additionally, it develops and encourages the development of programs, educational opportunities, and other resources that assist librarians and libraries in promoting literacy and raises the awareness of literacy within the Association. The committee works cooperatively with the Literacy Assembly, the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services and its Advisory Committee, and other ALA units, including the Washington Office, on efforts that have a literacy focus and develops and maintain partnerships with national literacy organizations.

The ALA Committee on Library Advocacy supports the efforts of advocates for all types of libraries, develops resources, networks and training materials for advocates at the local, state and national levels with particular emphasis on the grassroots level, and works closely with the Office for Library Advocacy in collaboration with the Public Awareness Committee, the Chapter Relations Committee, the Committee on Legislation and their ALA offices, divisions, and roundtables as well as external groups to integrate advocacy efforts into the overall planning, priorities and polices of the Association and cultivates future leadership in order to sustain and enhance the advocacy efforts of the Association.

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries, Inc. (ARSL) is a network of persons throughout the country dedicated to the positive growth and development of libraries. ARSL believes in the value of rural and small libraries and strives to create resources and services that address national, state and local priorities for libraries situated in rural communities.

The ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) serves the Association by identifying and promoting library services that support equitable access to the knowledge and information stored in our libraries. OLOS focuses attention on services that are inclusive of traditionally underserved populations, including new and non-readers, people geographically isolated, people with disabilities, rural and urban poor people, and people generally discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, language and social class. The Office ensures that training, information resources, and technical assistance are available to help libraries and librarians develop effective strategies to develop programs and service for new users.