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Creating an Adult Speaker Series (in a Tiny Library with Zero Budget)

Man standing behind a microphone

My library is in the tiny town of Fenton, Iowa. To garner a bit of perspective about just how tiny we are talking, the nearest gas station is 13 miles away, groceries and job opportunities are 30 miles, and we are equal distance from Des Moines and Minneapolis/St. Paul, which will take you 2.5 hours of interstate, if you don’t stop to see the sights.

No school in town. No elder care facility. No bustling main street. Remote, yet we still pursue quality programming. 

Standing against Racism in My Rural Library

Photo of a rural road.

Let me start by saying that I am white. I am privileged beyond belief. I have never had to be afraid of being judged, dismissed or killed because of the color of my skin.

I feel too ignorant to speak on something as important as racism, and I want to stay in my lane. But I feel that for libraries to remain silent on what is going on in the world is to be complicit. That goes for tiny, rural libraries too.

A Marvel-ous Spring: A Superhero-Themed Program Series

A group photo from a superhero program

Anamosa is a community of 5,533 in eastern Iowa, and it's quite remote. Many families drive 30 to 50 minutes to the nearby cities of Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Dubuque looking for family activities.

Our residents are always looking for things for kids to do close to home, so the Anamosa Library & Learning Center put together a spring-long, superhero-themed program series for all ages, culminating in a private showing of “Avengers: Endgame” at a movie theater in Cedar Rapids. 

Not Too Cool for School: 5 Ways to Partner Up with Your School District

Back end of a school bus set against some trees and sky

A partnership between a public library and a school district seems like a no-brainer, right? After all, we both have the same basic goals when it comes to students: to create and nurture in them a love of learning. However, many libraries – particularly small, rural libraries – don’t actually have much of a relationship with their school district.

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