ARKANSAS Ibrarie - the Arkansas Library Association!
From the ArLA President:by Connie ZimmerArkansas Tech UniversityGreetings! I am the 2010 president of the ArkansasLibrary Association, Connie Zimmer. It is anhonor to represent all Arkansas librarians in theyear of 2010.I am an Associate Professor in the College ofEducation at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.Each one of us has a story of how webecame librarians. Since I entered the first gradewhen I was five years old, I have wanted to be alibrarian. My librarian, Mrs. Ruby Smith, madestories, poems, and music come to life so dramatically,and yet she knew where you could findmaterial on any subject you wanted to research.She was my librarian for twelve years, and I wasallowed to work with her during each of my highschool years. Not only was she the librarian, shewas the perpetual senior sponsor, directed twoclass plays a year, and was the yearbook sponsor,library club sponsor, senior trip organizer, and somuch more. Mrs. Smith was on the public libraryboard of trustees, and Western Kentucky Universityalso asked her to teach classes in libraryscience as an adjunct professor. I aspired to beas admired by my students when I was a schoollibrarian as she was by hers. I don’t know if thatever happened, but I do enjoy hearing from paststudents either by phone, e-mail, or Facebook.2 Arkansas Libraries Vol. 67, No. 1When I was asked to represent the school librarydivision as a candidate for President of ArLA byJerrie Townsend, I had to explain how I could dothat as a university associate professor. I haveeighteen years experience as a school librarianin Kentucky, and two years experience in publiclibraries as everything from page, referencelibrarian, unofficial archivist, and night supervisor.I currently serve on the Pope County LibrarySystem Board of Trustees and have been ChurchLibrarian at Central Presbyterian Church in Russellvillefor at least sixteen years. My day job isas a library media educator teaching in and coordinatinga Master of Education in InstructionalTechnology that is approved to prepare teachersas school library media specialists. In 2009,Cassandra Barnett appointed me to the AASL/NCATE Standards Revision Committee of AASL,and I was fortunate to be the only higher educationrepresentative on the Department of Education’sLibrary Media Curriculum Frameworkwriting team in 2007. At the university level, Iam Chair of the Library, Instructional Materials,and Equipment Committee through the facultycommittee structure. As you can possibly tell, Ilove all libraries. My husband knows that whenwe travel, we will visit a library of some type.School library media centers are necessitiesin every school in existence. A professionallyprepared and licensed library media specialist isalso a necessity. The library information skillsgained in K-12 schools help students as they usepublic and university libraries. The librarians ofMrs. Smith’s day were the search engines of thattime. Now with access to the Internet, searchengines such as Google and those included in ourTraveler Database Project have led some peopleto say there is no longer any need for libraries. Ibeg to differ. There is still a digital divide. If youdon’t believe me, visit a public library and see thepeople on the public access computers and otherswaiting their turn. At a school, see the studentscome before, during, and after school to thelibraries to access the books, magazines, and computersbecause there is no such access at home.When the school closes, some of these samestudents shift locations to the public library or thenearby university library. Libraries no longer justgive access to print materials but to other formatsas well.
The uncertainty of today’s economy has causedschool systems, library boards, and state officialsto present conservative budgets that affect alllibraries. At the same time, libraries are seeingincreased usage by their patrons as they availthemselves of the free services libraries provide asopposed to purchases that diminish their availablemoney for living expenses. As the unemploymentnumbers increase, library usage also increaseswith no increase in funding.With all these troubling issues before us, there aremany reasons to look forward to 2010. For one,the year of 2010 will find the Arkansas LibraryAssociation hosting a joint conference with theSoutheastern Library Association. ConferenceChair Dwain Gordon and his committee areworking hard to make this conference an excitingand relevant conference for all librarians. Beassured that the theme and programs that supportthat theme will provide professional developmentfor librarians in each specialty and the professionoverall. As the program is firmed up, more informationon the conference will be on our webpageat www.arlib.org and in our next issue of ArkansasLibraries.Join us in Little Rock on September 26-28, 2010for the joint ArLA/SELA Conference. See youthere!Connie Zimmer, an Associate Professor, isthe Coordinator of the Instructional TechnologyProgram at Arkansas Tech University.Upcoming Events....ArLA ALPS Spring ConferenceMay 10-12Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Petit Jean MountainArLA AASL Summer ConferenceJuly 25-26Wilbur D. Mills Center, Hendrix CollegeALA Annual ConferenceJune 24-29Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.2010 ArLA/SELA Annual ConferenceSeptember 26-28Peabody Hotel, Little Rock5 Arkansas Libraries Vol. 67, No. 1 Arkansas Libraries, Spring 2010 3