Best Practices from America’s Best Small Libraries

Best Practices from Best Small Libraries

A free webcast series presented by Library Journal and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Providing exceptional library service on a small library budget and staff size presents special challenges, but also unique opportunities to meet core community needs. In this new webcast series, a combination of live and on-demand presentations funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, winners and runners up from a decade of LJ’s Best Small Libraries in America award, plus other rural and small library voices, will share hands-on, real-world tested expertise.

Moderated by Kristi Chadwick, Small Libraries Advisor to the Massachusetts Library System, registration is now open for the initial presentations.

Registration is open for two sessions currently:

Marketing & Outreach for Small Libraries

LIVE: Tuesday, August 25th @ 3pm EDT / Noon PDT

Marketing and outreach are crucial for libraries of all sizes, but doing so on a small library budget and staff size presents unique challenges. How do you get out to community events when there’s no one else to keep the library going while you’re gone? Learn actionable techniques for how to be your own graphic designer, copywriter, and outreach specialist.


  • Karen Lemke, Public Relations Director/Adult Services Librarian, Pine River Library District, CO
  • Patrick Sweeney, Administrative Librarian, Sunnyvale Public Library, CA & 2015 LJ Mover & Shaker


 Funding & Fundraising for Small Libraries

LIVE: Tuesday, September 1st @ 3pm EDT / Noon PDTFor small and rural libraries looking to not only sustain core services but stretch to respond to new community needs, effective fundraising is fundamental. Learn how to navigate the funding landscape to make the most of grants, work with foundations, and tap other sources as well as the bread and butter of advocacy for taxpayer funding and Friends support.SPEAKERS

  • Mary Beth Stenger, Director, Southern Area Library, Lost Creek, WV
  • Cheryl Clay, Trustee, Pine River Library District, CO



  • Data and Assessment for Small Libraries
  • Library Construction and Renovation for Small Libraries
  • Customer Service for Small Libraries
  • Solo Directorship for Small Libraries
  • Technology for Small Libraries
  • Makerspaces & STEM for Small Libraries
  • Delivering Community Value: How to Make Yourself Indispensable for Small Libraries
  • Professional Development for Small Libraries