Magazine article American Libraries

New Rural Library Powwow Draws 320 to Minnesota

Magazine article American Libraries

New Rural Library Powwow Draws 320 to Minnesota

Article excerpt

New rural library powwow draws 320 to Minnesota

"The only way for cash-strapped American farmers to straighten out their current financial situation is to get involved in the political process. And, by providing accurate farm information and timely periodicals, rural libraries are the place where that involvement can begin.' Ann Kanten, Minnesota Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture, gave that message to 320 rural librarians at the Mankato, Minn., Holiday Inn Sept. 28.

Kanten, a former rural library trustee, quoted from both William Jennings Bryan and Jessica Lange in her moving address on "Power and the Rural Political Structure' at the final session of the first Midwestern Rural Library Conference.

The two-day meeting was expected to attract some 150 rural librarians from Minnesota and Iowa; it drew more than twice that number from 16 states and Canada. People came from as far away as Twin Mountain, N.H., and Olympia, Wash. The conference and turnout were significant, Kanten told a local reporter, "because we're all concerned about the survival of the family farm, and nobody's sure what's going to happen next.'

ALA member John Christenson, director of the Traverse des Sioux Library System covering 13 counties in south central Minnesota, had planned the conference to encourage people to use rural libraries to their full capacity. The idea came from a district rural library meeting he attended last year in Eau Claire, Wis. …

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