April 2021 Newsletter
Important Updates
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021
Institute of Museum and Library Services to Receive $200 Million from ARPA

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced that President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which designates $200 million in pandemic response funding for Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The $200 million investment will enable IMLS to efficiently provide critical funding to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs), located in every state and territory and with reach into local communities across the U.S. IMLS will also offer grants to museums, libraries, and Native American and Native Hawaiian communities, so that they may to continue to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency. The forthcoming grant awards will support the vital programs and services these institutions provide to their communities, including those they were able to offer in new capacities throughout the past year. VTLIB will receive $2.1 million of ARPA funds through IMLS to assist libraries with needed items that will be utilized in the areas of programming, materials and collections, broadband, services, devices, collaborative partnerships, workforce development, school & academic library support, PPE, and general library services. This is a tremendous opportunity for our state. While we await receipt of the funds to the State of Vermont, the Department of Libraries has begun laying the financial groundwork to hit the ground running in providing grants to libraries. To that end, we have launched a needs survey (https://bitly.com/libneeds21) that will help us design any ARPA fund grants in a way that reflects the needs and plans of Vermont libraries. If you haven’t already submitted it, please do so by the end of the day on April 6. Here is a Word version to give you a preview: https://bit.ly/3m5lhIm

We thank our congressional leadership - Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, and Representative Welch - on this disbursement to the Department of Libraries for the libraries across our state.
April is Fair Housing Month - Celebrate Home and Community
Where we live matters – it’s connected to how we get to work, access healthcare, where our children go to school, and our physical environment. Stable, safe, and affordable homes provide the foundation for vibrant and thriving communities and there is a strong correlation between housing opportunity and health disparities, especially for people of color and others who experience discrimination. This has been especially relevant during the pandemic.

Join us during the month of April for free online public education and art events, including workshops, community discussions, library events, and the all-ages HeART & Home Community Art Project. These activities highlight the importance of equal access to housing, free from discrimination, and celebrate the 1968 passage of the Federal Fair Housing Act. April Fair Housing Month is presented by the Fair Housing Project of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) and statewide partners.

This year’s events include:

  • FAIR HOUSING MONTH KICK OFF: 12:30pm Friday, April 1. Join us to learn about activities and events around the state, including the HeART & Home Community Art Project, online workshops, community discussions, library events, and more. Held via Facebook live at www.facebook.com/thrivingcommunitiesvt and on Zoom https://tinyurl.com/FHMkickoffApril1.
  • FAIR HOUSING FRIDAYS: A series of informational discussions on topics such as Equity and Choice in Vermont Housing, Racial Discrimination in Housing and Community Impacts, and the Changing Realities of Vermont’s Housing Landscape after COVID. (12:30pm Fridays via Zoom and Facebook live with recordings available for later viewing.)
  • WORKSHOPS & TRAININGS: This series of educational events includes opportunities for the general public, landlords, and municipal officials to learn about fair housing rights and responsibilities and discuss issues related to harassment and hate crimes. Presented by CVOEO, Vermont Legal Aid, Vermont Human Rights Commission, Vermont Landlord Association, VT Department of Housing and Community Development, and U.S. Attorney’s Office of Vermont.
  • LIBRARY ACTIVITIES: Libraries around the state are holding book discussions, StoryWalks®, HeART & Home art activities, and other community events. See book lists and resources here: https://libraries.vermont.gov/fairhousing2021
  • HeART & HOME COMMUNITY ART PROJECT: It’s easy to join this all-ages art project! 1) Download creative prompts at www.fairhousingmonthvt.org/community-art-project ; 2) Create a drawing, collage, painting, photo, sculpture, comic, video, or any other type of art; and 3) Share a photo of your creation at www.facebook.com/HeARTandHomeVT or email to fhp@cvoeo.org. Free art kits are available for libraries, community groups, and housing sites and participants and community members are invited to join the April 29 online Artist Reception.

The full schedule of events with registration links is available at https://fairhousingmonthvt.org/event-calendar. For more information, call 802-660-3456 x 106 or email fhp@cvoeo.org.
Welcome, T'Yana!

VTLIB is thrilled to welcome T'Yana Cheney to the team for the next few months as our intern! We asked T'Yana to introduce herself to the library community.

"Hello! My name is T’Yana Cheney, and I was born and raised in Vermont. I’m a junior at Saint Michael’s College studying education and teaching others English as a second language (TOESL). My passion for English language learners began after working as a paraeducator. Throughout my life, I loved reading and spent many hours at my local library. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to intern for the state library systems. I have always been curious to know what our libraries do and how much of an impact they have on our communities. In my free time, you will catch me lifting weights in the gym, riding my bike, or soaking up the sun with a good book. I’m looking forward to learning everything I can and being a part of a great group of people."
Department News
For State Employees
State Employee Book Group
Thank you to all State Employees who have signed up as participants in our first State Employee Book Group! Copies of The Hate U Give have been sent out to all employees who requested a copy. If you would like to sign up to participate in the discussion, please contact April.Shaw@vermont.gov to be added to the distribution list and event invitation.
 
The discussion for The Hate U Give is in the process of being scheduled. The meeting will be hosted virtually and will have a facilitator. An invitation will be sent out to everyone who signs up. To participate, email April Shaw at April.Shaw@vermont.gov to be added.
Governance & Management
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Town Meeting Follow-Up and Communications

Town meeting was different for most VT communities this year – and for some communities, it has yet to happen. For those communities that have completed Town Meeting, 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 this year’s modified Town Meeting went and the implications it has for the library’s budget.
 
Was the library asked to cut (or level-fund) the budget due to uncertainties around the pandemic? Were library funds shifted to cover COVID-19 mitigation efforts? If yes, libraries might consider approaching their municipalities to inquire whether the library can receive any of the funds distributed to the municipality from the America Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). ARPA money going to municipalities has some restrictions, but fewer than the money that VTLIB will be distributing through competitive grants (see the article at the top of the newsletter). Thus, library boards are encouraged to “be at the table” when discussions come up around how their municipalities will use these ARPA funds. For more on the ARPA money going to municipalities, visit https://bit.ly/3cuodeh
 
Other questions to consider post-Town Meeting:

  • What strategies worked during this year’s 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? The advocacy work you implement now will build the 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 build a case for these wish list items so that they are more likely to get funded either with ARPA funds or with future funding? Library Funding Advocacy Tools from WebJunction: bit.ly/WJFunding
  • What follow-up communications might you engage in now to reconnect with the Selectboard, Town Administration, Town Clerk, taxpayers, volunteers, patrons, and donors? Consider phone calls, emails, letters, social media posts, Front Porch Forum posts, newsletters, newspaper advertisements, etc.
 
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.
Youth Services
2021-2022 Vermont Golden Dome Book Award Nominees

In mid-March, the Vermont Golden Dome Book Award Reading Committee finalized the list of nominees for the 2021-2022 award program! Visit this page on our website to see the nominees: https://bit.ly/3sIulVZ

This year, twenty-five nominees were selected and will be read by middle-grade students over the 2021-2022 school year. In the spring of 2022, students who have read at least five of the nominees will be eligible to vote for their favorite book from the list. We are so grateful for the incredible amount of time and effort that the reading committee put in to creating this list!
Other Book Award News
VTLIB worked with the State of Vermont Chief Marketing Office to create new logos for our three youth book awards, and we are thrilled with the results! For more information about all three of our youth book awards, visit: https://libraries.vermont.gov/bookawards
New logo for the Red Clover Book Award, Vermont's children's-choice picture book award.
New logo for the Vermont Golden Dome Book Award, Vermont's children's-choice middle-grade book award.
New logo for the Green Mountain Book Award, Vermont's teen-choice book award.
Registration is Open for Teen Lit Mob!
Teen Lit Mob will celebrate teen readers, young adult literature, and its fandom on Friday, May 7th, from 9:00am-2:30pm on Zoom. Teens can look forward to author presentations and workshops and geeking out with other teens about their favorite books! Teens (and supportive adults!) can register through April 15 to reserve their spot. You can find more information and the registration form here: https://libraries.vermont.gov/tlmvt2021
Continuing Education
Technology Skills for Librarians
The range of technology skills librarians need is wide and changes frequently. In addition to individual proficiency, there is often also an element of teaching or guiding patrons, staff, or volunteers to engage with and use technology, a responsibility that requires communication skills and patience entirely separate from tech prowess. Fortunately, there are tools to help! The Department of Libraries Niche Academy has tutorials that introduce basic computer skills, focus on specific areas like social media platforms or Microsoft Office, Google products and more, with content for beginners as well as more advanced training. Those tutorials can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/31sm7FF. Check the Niche page periodically as new things are added regularly. A reminder to Certificate of Public Librarianship people: any Niche tutorials earn credit toward the certificate in the Elective or Technology categories depending on topic.

Other suggestions for tech training are on the Department of Libraries website: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/tech/computerskills This page links to content for staff and patrons ranging from introductory to more advanced. An especially helpful and succinct document for new library directors is this summary of “what you need to know” to manage technology responsibilities at a small library where the librarian likely is also “The IT person.” https://libraries.vermont.gov/sites/libraries/files/Services/Director_IT_Advice.pdf
Information & Access
News from CLIC, the Community Legal Information Center
We have legal information resources for you and your patrons! Whether you are brushing up on legal reference skills or looking for websites to refer your patrons to, check out the Vermont Librarians' Legal Information Toolkit for tips on assisting patrons with their law-related research questions:
 
Vermonters who are representing themselves in court or researching a legal issue can create a free, temporary account with Westlaw and Fastcase. Details and instructions at: https://www.vermontlaw.edu/academics/library/CLIC
 
Do you or your patrons need help using these legal databases? Request a virtual reference appointment, where you can also access HeinOnline. Email clic@vermontlaw.edu, or call and leave a message on the Ask a Law Librarian line, 802-831-1313.
 
CLIC is housed and administered at the Vermont Law School library, and funded through a grant from the Vermont Department of Libraries.
MHEC Newsletter
The Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) publishes a monthly Member Bulletin newsletter. Each newsletter features different contracts, what they can be used for, and also any updates to existing contracts. You can sign up here to receive the newsletter: https://www.mhec.net/e-communication/.

Remember that Vermont is a member of MHEC and all of the contract discounts are available to libraries in Vermont, you just have to create an account here to view the contracts and available discounts: https://www.mhec.net/state/vt/.
CLOVER Corner
February 2021 ILL Stats
Total number of requests: 4741

  • Books: 4352
  • Videos: 272
  • Audiobooks: 105
  • Music CDs: 2
  • Music Scores: 3
  • Articles: 7
Top 10 most requested book titles in February 2021 (with most requested titles at the top)
  • Becoming (Obama)
  • The Library Book (Orlean)
  • The Dutch House (Patchett)
  • Fifty Words for Rain (Lemmie)
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Wroblewski)
  • The Island of Sea Women (See)
  • The Overstory (Powers)
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Wilkerson)
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (Loewen)
  • The Water Dancer (Coates)
CLOVER Passes 200,000 Requests!
Congratulations Vermont libraries! This week marks the 200,000th interlibrary loan request sent through the statewide ILL system (CLOVER).

This milestone was reached less than two years after hitting 100,000 requests and in the midst of a pandemic. You all deserve a hearty HURRAH for keeping this valuable service running during so much change in 2020.
Small & Rural Libraries
Grant Writing & Teen Services
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Spring 2021 brings the possibility of libraries coming out of the pandemic stronger than ever. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) creates once-in-a-lifetime funding opportunities for libraries. And even before that funding comes through, community members can look forward to library services and programming offered by staff steeped in a new level of creativity and ingenuity after the last year of hard, difficult work. Some of the ARPA funding will be dispersed via grants, and a timely new addition to Niche Academy is a seven-part series on grant writing. Each tutorial in the series focuses on a specific aspect of grant writing, making it easy to find material tailored to individual levels of experience. Taken as a whole, the series follows the timeline of the entire process, from what to do before starting the application, who to collaborate with, budgets, and even what to do if in the case of rejection. This series and other related tutorials can be found here: https://bit.ly/39H3l1R

Looking ahead to summer reading and expanded library programming options is a good time to think about broadening the reach of library programs. Niche Academy also has a new resource to help with one aspect of that: a multi-lesson tutorial titled “Transforming Teen Services.” Funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services and sponsored by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies and YALSA, this tutorial covers information on the teenage brain, educational equity, stages of development and more. Here is a chance to improve services to that population that sometimes gets overshadowed amidst the programming libraries do for young children and adults. Access here: https://bit.ly/3fpfbRO.
Three Vermont Librarians Selected for Leadership Institute

The Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) recently announced the 2021-22 cohort of the Outstanding in Their Field ARSL Leadership Institute. Out of the thirty members of the cohort, three are from Vermont! Congratulations to Bree Drapa (Westford Public Library), Tayler Goodwin (Lawrence Memorial Library, Bristol), and Margaret Woodruff (Charlotte Library) on being accepted to this prestigious program.
ABLE Library
Updates from the ABLE Library
If you, or someone you know, is blind or has a visual impairment, print disability, or has trouble holding books or turning pages, check out the ABLE Library (https://libraries.vermont.gov/able_library)—housed at the Vermont State Library. The ABLE Library connects patrons of all ages to the services of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled and offers a collection of large print and digital talking books featuring all genres, print braille picture books, as well as audio-described DVDs. We’re currently adding lots of new large print titles, including, for example “Is this Anything” by Jerry Seinfeld.
 
Easier Access

A reminder that the National Library Service recently changed the rules for who is considered a “competent authority,” meaning the person who can certify a patron’s eligibility to use ABLE Library and NLS services. Previously, only medical doctors could certify a reading or perceptual disability. Now, professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or private welfare agencies, such as educators, social workers, case workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, certified reading specialists, school psychologists, superintendents, or librarians may certify these disabilities as well. We hope this change will expand access to a host of new patrons of all ages.
 
Duplication on Demand

The ABLE library staff has now transitioned all patrons to Duplication on Demand (DoD). DoD allows patrons to receive multiple talking books and magazines on ONE cartridge rather than just one talking book per cartridge. Our patrons love the convenience of being able to stock up on reading materials and the reduction in needing to constantly ship cartridges back and forth. 
 
Accessible Tax Forms

The Internal Revenue Service offers content in a variety of file formats to accommodate people who use assistive technology such as screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays, and voice recognition software. They offer tax forms and publications that can be downloaded or viewed online in text-only, Braille ready files, browser-friendly HTML, accessible PDF, and large print. For more information, visit https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/accessible-irs-tax-productsTo request paper tax forms, instructions, or publications in Braille or large print, call the tax form telephone number at 800-829-3676. 
 
Book Club

The ABLE Library welcomes new members to its virtual book club. The book for the May 19, 2021 meeting will be The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Sound recording book number: DB101117). This title is the Vermont Humanities Council’s current Vermont Reads selection (https://bit.ly/2R1SSrj). Please contact the ABLE library to find out how to get a digital or large print copy of the book. Email lib.ablelibrary@vermont.gov or call (802) 636-0020 or (800) 479-1711.
 
The ABLE Library staff is also happy to work with care and rehab facilities to provide access for residents. To receive services, which are free to qualifying Vermonters, fill out and submit the Application for ABLE Library Services (https://libraries.vermont.gov/able_library/application). Don’t hesitate to contact the ABLE Library staff for help: lib.ablelibrary@vermont.gov or (802) 636-0020 or (800) 479-1711.
Happy 110th Birthday, Florilla!
In an interview with Waterbury Roundabout regarding her remarkable birthday, Waterbury Center resident Florilla Ames mentioned her patronage of the ABLE Library and how useful she finds its services! Read more here: https://bit.ly/3diFPc9

Left: Florilla Ames and a visitor (photo by Gordon Miller)
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
Vermont Eats! Spring Cooking Classes - VIRTUAL 
April 13, 20, & 27. 7:00-8:30 pm.

Have fun with food AND learn about local history in the comfort of your home kitchen. Our spring cooking class series features traditional dishes from three immigrant communities found in Vermont.

These virtual classes are 90 minutes long. Participants will receive recipes and ingredient lists prior to class and are encouraged (but not required) to cook along.

April 13: The WPA Interviews of Italian American Stoneworkers in Barre
April 20: Mt. Lebanon to Vermont: George Haddad’s Journey
April 27: The Kitchens of Ohavi Zedek and the Jewish Community in Burlington

Members: $5/class, $10/series
Non-members: $10/class, $20/series

 
Virtual Roundtable - Reopening
April 15. 12:00pm. 

Join the Vermont Historical Society and our League of Local Historical Societies & Museums (LLHSM) for online lunchtime discussions this Winter. We’ll be exploring a variety of topics, with an emphasis on best practices and information to help address expected challenges and opportunities in 2021. Bring your questions, experience, and sandwich to the Zoom room. Free and open to everyone, pre-registration appreciated.


Roundtable on 4/15: As we head into a summer season still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, when and how are we opening our museums or sites to the public? How do we approach in-person events and programs? Join a group discussion to share plans/current procedures, guidance, ongoing concerns, and fresh ideas for the months to come.

 
History for Homeschoolers - Parkway and Patriotism
Thursday, April 8, or Wednesday, April 14. 1:00-3:00 pm.
Vermont History Museum.

Learn how Vermonters reacted to the Great Depression and World War II.

History for Homeschoolers programs are recommended for children ages 7 to 12. Space is limited; pre-registration is required. $8.00 per child or $6.50 per child for VHS members and families with 3 or more participating children.
Also available as a virtual class.

For more information, contact education@vermonthistory.org or call (802) 828-1413.
 
New Exhibit Opening

LIVELY AND LOCAL - HISTORICAL SOCIETIES IN VERMONT
Opening April 6. Vermont History Museum.

Vermont's story is shared, celebrated, and preserved by the over 190 local historical societies and museums found in all corners of the state. This exhibit features photographs, stories, and associated information on a wide variety of those organizations.