RLRT Long Range Plan

Draft Long Range Plan


On August 7th, 2009, The New York Library Association Rural Libraries Roundtable (RLRT) gathered at North Country Library System in Watertown, NY for our second meeting. As our group was still in its infancy, we decided to brainstorm toward formulating a draft Long-range plan. Thanks so much to our thoughtful members who were able to be present and so helpful in creating this plan.

Rural Libraries Roundtable Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the NYLA Rural Libraries Roundtable is to enable librarians, library managers, friends and trustees of rural libraries to keep in touch with each other as well as assist NYLA in its mission and goals. This roundtable could potentially be of interest to libraries of all types including public, school, small urban branches, special and corporate, and small academic.

Goals and Actions

  • Goals and actions were developed to meet needs of rural libraries. The attendees listed the following needs:
  • Navigating small town politics
  • Garnering respect
  • Patron Base where everyone is known
  • Problem patrons
  • Visibility and Advocacy
  • Marketing and PR on a small budget
  • Salaries and Library Funding
  • Training and Skills Development
  • Need for Networking
  • Trustee – recruitment, education, and encouraging visits to the library
  • Management of the Library (skill building)
  • How to do outreach to a rural population
  • Customer Service
  • Programs and Services – what works in a rural library?
  • Policies for Rural Libraries for example fine structure etc.
  • Managing Volunteers
  • Space and Building Issues
  • Technology and Computers Upkeep -- plus keeping up with Technology
  • Collection Development


Goal: To provide quality programming to enhance and build upon excellence in management and governance of rural libraries.

  • Survey Rural library directors and staff to learn of CE and programming needs
  • Provide a number of programs at the annual NYLA Conference focused on issues directly impacting rural libraries


Goal: Improve knowledge, respect and advocacy for rural libraries and their directors and staff


  • Building of a knowledge base of sample policies and management tools for the rural library
  • Develop a regional mentoring program pairing directors/staff for resource and knowledge base sharing
  • Provide a representative at section conferences to facilitate better understanding of rural library needs and to garner roundtable support


Goal: To expand and build upon the Membership of the Rural Libraries Roundtable and to provide opportunities for Networking and Recognition.


  • Development of an informational brochure and logo for the Rural Libraries Roundtable
  • Distributing information about the Roundtable to the 3 R’s, Section Conferences, Library Schools, Public and School Library Systems, Regional Library Associations, and the New Members Roundtable
  • Development of an awards program to recognize the contributions of rural library directors and staff to the roundtable and within their communities in NYS
  • Facilitate networking opportunities for rural library staff regionally and at the NYLA conference to share and problem solve -- management, policy development, PR and staffing issues that are unique to rural library governance.


Goal: Explore and Create Marketing and Public Relations Tools that benefit the Roundtable, Promote Advocacy and Build Awareness of Rural Libraries Issues and Accomplishments.


  • A newsletter, webpage and social networking pages will be developed and explored to build discussion and sharing among rural libraries in New York State
  • YouTube postings will be encouraged to showcase library programs and patron testimonials of the important role rural libraries offer within their communities.
  • Materials will be created for Library Trustees that highlight the importance of rural library directors and staff attending NYLA conference and the impact that CE opportunities provide in expanding new ideas for programming, quality library service and governance.


Kim Iraci, Pioneer Library System
Angela Gonzalez, Warsaw Public Library, September, 2009