Evidence-Based No Rules Tools Testing Ground – All BETA All the Time.

Thank you for making this work better!!!

Before you begin

All of the work displayed on this page is the result of countless hours of effort by more than a dozen people displayed in the slider below. To learn more about the people who created the Rural Library Service & Social Wellbeing Project, the Evidence-Based No Rules Tools, and advisors and reviewers that make it all better, visit our Project Teams page.

No Rules Tools Shared Understandings

To build pathways with your community toward positive social wellbeing outcomes, we first have to agree on a set of definitions and principles:

  1. Potential: Rural libraries can and do positively impact their communities.
  2. Social Wellbeing: Community vitality and resident wellness in areas that include education, economy, access to nature, social connection, and political voice.
  3. Self-Value: Each library, each person contributes. You have value and are valued. There is no perfect and you are not expected to be perfect!
  4. Humility: Some libraries do some things really well; no library does everything well. None of us can learn until we make a personal decision to embrace our need to learn, our ability to partner with others, and place the community’s wellbeing over our own comfort.
  5. Complexity and Locality: In order to positively impact wellbeing outcomes, library service is specific to its own community context, which is diverse, complex, and relational.
  6. Intention: The way libraries grow and shift to improve wellbeing outcomes is by making thoughtful choices that are intentionally serving community needs with community strengths.
  7. Self-Reflection: Meaningful learning requires reflection time. Test for yourself before you agree or disagree with a concept. Take what works for you, and discard what does not.
  8. Pathways: The actions community residents, institutions, and the library repeat through time create pathways new residents and organizations in the community are likely to follow. Libraries can build and strengthen local pathways that lead to positive outcomes for local residents through intentional repetitive action.

“Evidence Based No Rules Tools” are not prescriptions for specific programs or services. They are a set of actions one can take to become awake to the uniqueness of their own community, and processes to utilize those unique qualities to improve local wellbeing.


Uncertainty can elicit strong emotions and cloud our thinking just when clear-headedness is needed the most. It can make us miserable, …

Marshfield Tailgate Sign

Our ability to contribute meaningfully, and on our own terms, to the place where we live factors heavily in our sense …

13 white women around a table

People talk about how they like receiving “old-timey” service at libraries, which includes being addressed by their name and given personalized …

paper lanterns

Feeling as though we belong, as though we are home in a space or in a group, allows us to act …

View down into valley

Acting with intention requires us to reflect on and assess our own thinking and actions.

Beta-Tester’s Site: Evidence-Based No-Rules Tools | Pathways to Wellbeing