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Traveler Advisory Committee

The Traveler Advisory Committee advises and makes recommendations to the State Librarian and Arkansas State Library Board regarding resource selection for the Traveler program’s collection.

The State Librarian appoints members to the committee that represent all types of libraries: public, school, academic, and special institutions. Other factors for member selection include distributed geographic representation, inclusion of diverse patron populations and service for individuals with disabilities.

Subscription Periods

Traveler resources have a three year subscription contract, with annual subscription periods running from August 1 to July 31.

This schedule provides Arkansas libraries an opportunity to purchase additional products for their local clientele that are not offered in the Traveler package.

Resource Selection

Request for Proposals (RFP) are solicited from major content publishers every three years. Vendors provide a formal proposal and may also provide online demonstrations of their products.

The next RFP process will begin in the fall of 2023. Publishers may request inclusion in the RFP process by contacting the program administrator, Katie Walton.

Educators and librarians with resource suggestions or comments concerning the current offerings can contact the Traveler Advisory Committee member currently representing their library type.

The Traveler Advisory Committee meets in January to evaluate the vendor proposals. When evaluating the proposals, committee members inform their decisions by gathering input from colleagues, assessing current offerings, evaluating usage statistics, and considering the availability of funding. Recommendations are given to the Arkansas State Library Board at the February board meeting. The Arkansas State Library Board retains final approval for Traveler resource contracts.

Committee Terms & Current Appointments

Selection committee terms last three years, from January 1 to December 31. New term appointments are staggered to allow committee members an opportunity to assess the current subscriptions, participate in the three-year RFP process, select new digital resources, and evaluate the new resources after implementation.

Current committee members serve from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2025. A new commitee will be appointed in the fall of 2025.

The Arkansas State Library’s program administrator for the Traveler program serves as chair on the committee.

Library Type Representative Institution Contact email
Program Administrator Katie Walton Arkansas State Library
Academic, 2 year Keri Simpson UA Phillips Community College
Academic, 4 year private Kathy Anderson Philander Smith
Academic, 4 year public Mandi Smith UA Fayetteville
Public, Independent City Crystal Gates North Little Rock Public Library
Public, Multi-County John Paul Myrick East Central AR Regional Library System
Public, Single County Michael O’Connell Union County Public Library System
School, Elementary Kristy Bentley Conway Elementary School
School, Middle / Jr. High School Ronda Hughes Fountain Lake Middle School
School, High School Sara Dickey Paragould High School
Special Library Samantha Nation J.S. Held LLC
Home School David Nance Home School Office, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education

For more information, please contact:

The Traveler program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.