April 2020 Newsletter
Department News
Important Updates
VTLIB continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, using and sharing information from the Vermont Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and other state and federal agencies with expertise in public health. We have created a resource page on our website for libraries that is frequently updated with state and federal health mandates and recommendations, as well as information on providing virtual services, etc. https://libraries.vermont.gov/covid19

VTLIB Operations:

  • Most VTLIB staff are working remotely at this time. Your best method for contacting staff is via email; staff members are checking their voicemail messages, but not as frequently as email. To find staff email addresses, visit: https://libraries.vermont.gov/contact_us/directory

  • VTLIB is still offering almost all of our services, including library consulting, (virtual) continuing education, cataloging and technical support, government reference services, and access to all of our online databases and platforms. Out-of-state interlibrary loan requests are still being processed, as well as article requests for state employees. VTLIB is not accepting ILL requests for our collections through CLOVER at this time.

  • The ABLE Library is still providing services! If you or someone you know may need access to digital talking books, the BARD App, or more, please call the ABLE Library at 1-802-636-0020, or toll free at 1-800-479-1711.
2020 Census
The 2020 Census is now more important than ever! It is still being conducted, despite some operational changes due to COVID-19. You can find more information about those changes, as well as more resources about the 2020 Census, on our website: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/public_libraries/2020_census

Two of our favorite materials include:

For State Employees
Resources from VTLIB
During this period where many employees are transitioning to telew ork, we want to remind you of the variety of online resources available to state employees. These online resources can be accessed by using a VTLIB library card, which we are still distributing. All state employees are eligible for a Department of Libraries library card and can request one here: https://libraries.vermont.gov/state_library/state_employees . The card number will be emailed to you, which will allow you to access the following resources online:
  • Vermont Online Library – a collection of databases for general and scholarly research.
  • Universal Class – more than 500 online courses on a diverse array of topics
  • LearningExpress Library – a comprehensive selection of academic and career-related resources
  • RBDigital – A collection of thousands of eBook and eAudiobooks that can be downloaded or accessed from any device.
For more information on these resources, including access links, please visit:  https://libraries.vermont.gov/state_library/state_employees/online_resources .
In addition to online resources, state employees have a librarian available (April Shaw – april.shaw@vermont.gov ) to help with reference and research needs. Interlibrary loan services are still available for articles, and generally have a fast turnaround time.

Please contact April Shaw ( april.shaw@vermont.gov ) with any questions.
Youth Services
Summer Performer Grants
VTLIB will be hosting an informational webinar on April 17 for Vermont public libraries that received a summer performer grant (libraries will be notified by April 10.) The webinar will cover important changes to the 2020 grant made in consideration of COVID-19, as well as a discussion about completing and submitting grant documents. There will be plenty of time for questions. To register for the webinar, visit: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed
Youth Services Remote/Virtual Programming Webinar
VTLIB hosted a webinar on April 2 about providing virtual/remote programs and services to youth. The recording of that webinar can be found here: https://youtu.be/udcH4Lrr0AU

For resources about providing virtual/remote programming to youth, visit: https://libraries.vermont.gov/VirtualYouthServices
Information & Access
Learning Express
In addition to having a wide range of content for adults (from the GED to professional exams to cover letter writing), Learning Express also has content for kids and teens. Getting ready for the SAT or ACT? Working on math, English, or social studies from grade school through high school? Or wanting to learn about Microsoft Office or Adobe products? Learning Express can help with all these and more. Just reach out to your public or school library to find their registration link, and get started!
Continuing Education & Small/Rural Libraries
Certificate of Public Librarianship Updates:

  • Now is a good time to consider enrolling in the Certificate of Public Librarianship (CPL) or to encourage your staff to enroll! There will be an informational/orientation session on Thursday, April 9 from 10:00-11:00am explaining the program’s purpose, benefits, and requirements, as well as where to find classes.

  • For those already enrolled in the CPL program who need to complete their Basic Public Library Administration core course, the following webinars will satisfy the requirement: the four recorded webinars in the ALA Small Library Management series, VTLIB's April 15 webinar "Balancing Small Library Administration, Management, and Daily Operations" (offered because the fifth ALA webinar has not been rescheduled), VTLIB's April 23 webinar on Governance, and VTLIB's May 6 webinar on Finance & Budgets.

More details about these events, registration for upcoming webinars, and links to the ALA webinar recordings are all on this page: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed
Vermont Libraries Virtual Meet-Up:

  • VTLIB will host a Vermont Libraries Virtual Meet-Up on Friday, April 3, from 1:00-2:00pm. Gary Deziel from UVM Extension will join us to answer questions about budget issues while libraries are closed and to prepare for the future. Registration and link to join the meeting on our website here: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed
Total number of interlibrary loan requests made in February 2020 : 5226

Books: 4540
Videos: 452
Audiobooks: 213
Music CDs: 12
Articles: 6
Music Scores: 2
Microfilm: 1
Top 10 most requested book titles (with most requested at the top):

  • The Library Book (Orlean)
  • The Overstory (Powers)
  • The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek (Richardson)
  • The Silent Patient (Michaelides)
  • Where the Crawdads Sing (Owens)
  • Educated: A Memoir (Westover)
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Gaiman)
  • Mink River (Doyle)
  • A Gentleman in Moscow (Towles)
  • The Island of Sea Women (See)
Fun fact:

The theme for book titles in February seemed to be lost things! Titles included:

The Lost Girls of Paris , The Lost Husband , The Lost Man , The Lost Stories , The Lost Stories of Louisa May Alcott , The Edge of Lost , The Isle of the Lost , Lost, The Lost Children Archive, and Escape from the Isle of the Lost .
Special Populations & ABLE Library
Spring Updates
  • The ABLE Library is still providing services! If you or someone you know may need access to digital talking books, the BARD App, or more, please call the ABLE Library at 1-802-636-0020, or toll free at 1-800-479-1711.

  • A reminder that our ABLE Library partner the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI) is available to help your differently-abled patrons with a variety of needs, including helping them navigate the BARD App. They can be reached by calling 1-802-863-1358 or toll free at 1-800-639-5861.

  • Please join the ABLE Virtual Book Club on Wednesday, April 8 from 2:00-3:00pm, when we will discuss the Robert Russo short story collection, “The Whore's Daughter.” Contact the ABLE Library to sign up: 1-802-636-0020.

  • Consider viewing the disability-rights film “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” on Netflix. The film chronicles the 1970’s at Camp Jened – a summer program in Woodstock, New York for differently-abled teenagers. Many alumni of the program went onto to help lobby for, and expand, the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). This Sundance-Award-winning documentary premiered on March 23 and is one of seven projects that the Obamas will produce for the streaming service. You can find the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRrIs22plz0
Governance & Management
Town Meeting Follow-Up and Communications
With Town Meeting completed for most VT communities, Library Trustee Boards have budgets for the upcoming fiscal or calendar year (depending on your budget cycle). Now is a great time for Trustees and Directors to review how Town Meeting went, evaluate the implications for the library’s budget, create the communication/advocacy plan for the future, and develop the plan for filling in any budget gaps.
Some questions to consider:

  • What strategies worked during the budget process for Town Meeting? What might you do differently next year – and what can you start doing NOW to lay the groundwork for next Town Meeting? It may seem early to start planning, but the advocacy work you start implementing now will help build the important relationships for future support. Advocacy Resources: bit.ly/LibraryAdvocacy

  • What wish list items remain unfunded? How do those items fit into the library’s strategic plan? Do these items fit into the Town’s plan in any way? How can you start building a case for these wish list items so that they are more likely to get funded in the future? Library Funding Advocacy Tools from Web Junction: bit.ly/WJFunding

  • What follow-up communications might you engage in now – especially as we all take a pause during the COVID-19 Pandemic – to reconnect with the Selectboard, Town Administration, Town Clerk, taxpayers, volunteers, patrons, and donors? How can you help these stakeholders realize that the library – even if it is physically closed – is still an essential resource that is meeting the community’s needs and is worthy of funding? Consider phone calls, emails, letters, social media posts, Front Porch Forum posts, newsletters, newspaper advertisements, etc.

  • Do you have a regular crowd of summer residents on whom you depend for donations? How will the library stay connected with your regular summer residents if – because of residual effects from the Pandemic – they don’t make the journey to VT this summer?
If you have questions about the issues raised above, please feel free to reach out to Lara Keenan, Governance and Management Consultant: lara.keenan@vermont.gov or 802-798-2480.
In Memoriam
Pat Liao, 1940-2020
Pat Liao of the Fletcher Memorial Library in Ludlow passed away suddenly on March 26, 2020.
Pat served the Fletcher Memorial Library and its patrons for twenty years, first as a volunteer, and then as a part-time employee and Friend of the Library. Jill Tofferi, director of the Fletcher Memorial Library, had this to say about Pat on the library website : “Pat welcomed everyone into the library with a smile, always willing to assist in any way that she could […] I was so blessed to have Pat not only as a co-worker; more importantly as my friend…”
Pat exemplified what makes Vermont libraries so special: sincere dedication to the library’s mission and its patrons. As a treasured colleague and community member, her absence will be deeply felt.
For those in the Vermont library community wishing to send condolences to Pat’s colleagues at the Fletcher Memorial Library and to her family during this difficult time, please send them to Fletcher Memorial Library, 88 Main St. Ludlow, VT 05149 or to The United Church of Ludlow, 48 Pleasant St, Ludlow, VT 05149.
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
Virtual Roundtables

Join VHS and friends for a virtual discussion on topics current and evergreen for small museums and historical societies. Roundtables are free and offered via Zoom. All roundtables are at 10:00am ET. Visit our website for details & more dates: https://vermonthistory.org/calendar .

  • April 9 - Collecting & Archiving COVID-19 with Erica Donnis, Champlain College
  • April 14 - Museum Nomenclature with John Hart, Sullivan Museum & History Center
  • April 21 - Researching Women Voters in 1920 with Rachel Onuf, VSARA
Vermont History Trivia Online

Join us via Facebook Live every Wednesday at 7:00 pm in April to play Vermont History Trivia! Fun and free for all ages. Visit our Facebook page to join the game (no Facebook account needed). https://www.facebook.com/VermontHistoricalSociety/
Vermont History at Home

VHS has a number of digital and online offerings you can access from anywhere, for everyone. They include the Vermont History Explorer website for students and teachers, Digital Vermont collections, and This Place in History videos. Access all the offerings here: https://vermonthistory.org/vhs-online