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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Asking for a Friend: Hit Me With the Right Non-Profit

Okay, Collective Brain.  You’re smarter than I.  Someone asked me the following question the other day and I found myself positively stumped.  It was this:

Can you name a non-profit organization that focuses on “keeping neighborhood libraries open, especially in rural areas but not limited to that…low-income areas too.”

The closest thing she had found so far is ALA’s ARSL or Association for Rural and Small Libraries.  Their mission statement reads, “The mission of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) is to provide a network of people and materials to support rural and small library staff, volunteers, and trustees to integrate the library thoroughly with the life and work of the community it serves.”

Can you name any others that might work as well?

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Julie Elmore says:

    So glad that you mentioned ARSL. I have been an active member since 2012 and now serve on the Board. During my years as a member, I, personally, have found the membership to be an amazing resource to draw upon. Whether it is for day to day operations or for support with larger campaigns, the camaraderie among members has been a huge help to many. Our growing membership base has also opened the door for ARSL to become involved with and show support for many other groups who are working for and with rural libraries.

    Other places that I would also draw your attention to (when it comes to rural matters) is the Rural Information Center . One other place to consider would be the Urban Libraries Council, while they mainly focus on larger libraries, often times things that affect the large libraries also hit the rural libraries.

    Hope some of these help!

  2. Julie Elmore says:

    I should also refer you to our website which is and just to clarify, we are actually not a part of ALA. We are a separate organization. 🙂

  3. Thank you SO much Betsy!! This has been a big help! Also thank you to Julie! I would love to speak with you directly if possible. You can reach me at Otherwise, I’ll try to find you via your website. ARSL seems like the perfect fit for what we are thinking. We MUST support small libraries as they struggle to offer lots and lots of services to their communities!