Thursday, October 19, 2006

RLC History

Here's a bit of history regarding the Rural Libraries Conference. The first conference, which was held at Hidden Valley in Gaylord was organized by the Northland Library Cooperative and was an idea of Sue Williams, Assistant Director of Northland. Sue organized the first conference and included Library of Michigan and MLA as co-sponsors. The two and a half day event brought just under 200 library staff and trustees from rural Michigan to Gaylord. Funding for the event came from an LSCA Grant and registration fees. Bernard Vavrek from Clarion College in Pennsylvania was our keynote speaker and was the leading expert on rural library service. On Thursday the evening program centered on storytelling and puppetry as part of a Lake Neverwuz program. The conference was such a success that it became a conference held every two years and later became known as the Loleta Fyan Rural conference when financial support came from the Fyan estate. It is great that our state library recognizes the need to have a conference tailored to the needs of a large segment of the library community. As one who has attended each conference I can say that the topics covered are relevant to my needs and the needs of the Lake Neverwuz Village, Township, County, District Public Library.


nancy of boyne said...

I discovered buried in my files the original packet passed out for the First Rural Libray Conference
held in Gaylord in 1985. Do you think there would be a market on ebay for this unique item. As you say only 200 attended there can't be many out there. It even has the pin!
Marian what do you think the value is?

Marian T. Librarian said...

I don't think it's worth much in library land, but I do think it would be good to place in the Rural Libraries Archives at the Library of Michigan. I suggest you contact Deb about this. At the least it should be an artifact put on display and the next Rural Libraries Conference. Marian