Thursday, October 19, 2006
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.