February 2021 Newsletter
Important Updates
PPE Distribution
VTLIB's Vance Asselin Distributes Final Round of PPE
The Department of Libraries distributed its fourth and, for now, last round of PPE in the form of disinfectant and wipers purchased from our CARES Act funding. The goal of this round was to distribute the remaining 15 boxes of wipers and 33 cases of disinfectant that hadn’t been assigned in round #3. While the mild weather during the first three distributions allowed us to set up distribution locations in four different parts of the state, we chose a different method for this round to avoid having to stand in library parking lots for several hours and to not force librarians to travel to those sites to pick up their items. This time, we delivered the items either directly to the 47 libraries that requested items or to a neighboring library to limit their travel time. We broke the state up into four delivery routes totaling 643 miles, all completed by Vance Asselin, one of the Department’s Administrative Services Techs. Vance braved leaky bottles, loss of navigation, and extremely tricky driving conditions (witnessing several accidents) to get these much-needed items out to our libraries. Great job, Vance! We thank those libraries that agreed to host us during the first rounds and to hold items for their neighbors during this one.
News from CLIC, the Community Legal Information Center
CLIC has expanded remote legal information services for Vermonters.

While the pandemic keeps our doors closed to walk-in visitors, CLIC is offering more remote options for conducting legal research. Members of the public can get a free temporary account with Westlaw and Fastcase. Get the details and sign up: https://www.vermontlaw.edu/academics/library/CLIC
Public librarians: be sure to check out the upcoming webinar, Legal Information Resources for Vermont Librarians & Patrons, for tips on addressing legal reference questions. This webinar will be held on February 11 from 1:00-2:00pm. For more information and the registration link, visit: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed
All Vermonters can help themselves to legal information on the web. Start your search at https://libguides.vermontlaw.edu/vtlegalresearchnonlawyers to find free resources. Need help using 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.
For State Employees
State Employee Book Group
This spring the Vermont Department of Libraries is pleased to announce we are hosting a state employee book group! We are joining the Vermont Reads program and have copies of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas available for participating state employees. Copies of the book are limited, please contact April Shaw, april.shaw@vermont.gov, to request yours and to be part of the book group.
Copies will be sent to those who request them throughout the month of February. A group discussion with a facilitator will occur virtually near the end of April. Keep an eye out here or on the Department of Libraries newsletter for details on the discussion!
Information & Access
Vermont Online Library
Curious about how to use Vermont Online Library to help your patrons?
Sadie needed to do some maintenance on her Dodge, a green 1995 Stratus with a sunroof. After trying in vain to track down a repair manual, a helpful librarian pointed her in the direction of Chilton Library online. Now Sadie is able to fix her brakes, and take her Stratus to visit the Parker Pie Company.
Chilton Library is one of the resources available to all residents through Vermont Online Library. Users can just follow their library’s link to access Chilton, along with a wide range of other articles and resources. Check out our VOL page for more details: https://libraries.vermont.gov/online_library/vol
Continuing Education & Small/Rural Libraries
NNLM Grant & Upcoming VTLIB CE
In January 2021, VTLIB held the last in a series of workshops sponsored by a grant from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM). The grant’s focus was on how libraries could support community health in three areas: gerontology, rural mental health, and preparing to meet community information needs in the evolving landscape of cannabis laws. These were important topics when the grant proposal was submitted, but there was no way of knowing just how important they would become during the grant period as the events of 2020 unfolded. The pandemic has disproportionately affected the elderly, rural isolation has loomed larger than ever, and by the time the last grant-funded workshop, “Vermont Libraries Respond to New Cannabis Laws,” occurred, Vermonters were legally exploring cannabis in agricultural, business, culinary, medicinal, and recreational contexts.
The timing of the grant period also provided other opportunities to shape grant programming to fit the current zeitgeist. There were workshops on mindfulness for library staff and patrons, community health, library services for people with dementia, and two workshops on using poetry as a tool for self-expression and healing. The Department of Libraries also used NNLM funding to provide twenty public libraries with book sets about the topics covered in the workshops, as it is important that library collections include factual, non-biased, contemporary materials in these areas to meet their communities’ needs. Responses from librarians were very positive. One librarian noted, “I would like to see more opportunities like this to help with librarian self-care, because that does definitely allow you to bring back that strengthened mental health to the people we serve.” Another librarian described the positive impact the book sets had on a patron. “[The patron] had just been given a prescription for medical marijuana to treat his glaucoma, and he wanted to learn more about cannabis and its effects on glaucoma before giving it a try. So, I gave him Cannabis for Seniors, and he was so grateful. He and his wife could hardly believe our tiny library had the perfect book for their situation."
The Department is very grateful to the NNLM for this chance to enhance librarian training and support during the past year. VTLIB Continuing Education offered through the spring will further explore the idea of librarian training as a tool to help libraries support the health and strength of their communities. A cohort of department staff and public librarians will attend a Leadership Lab hosted by the Public Library Association entitled “Embedding EDI in Library Leaders.” Using the training in EDI, developing community partnerships, and cultivating a culture of safety, belonging, and empowerment, the cohort will facilitate a series of workshops for Vermont librarians in the hopes that this work can grow in libraries throughout the state. Additionally, workshops hosted in partnership with the Vermont Law School, the White River Junction VA Medical Center and the State of Vermont Wellness team will continue the spirit of the NNLM workshops: helping librarians care for themselves and learning how to provide library services to vulnerable populations more effectively. As always, you can find more information about upcoming VTLIB CE here: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed
Governance & Management
Effective Board Recruitment for Trustees and Friends
Board recruitment should be on-going, even when board seats are not open. Current board members can ask potential recruits to help the board with projects that have distinct timelines and specific tasks that match their areas of expertise and interests. This will pave the way for these recruits to say “yes” to larger asks in the future – such as serving on the board. Examples could be serving on a committee for a year (or less), helping with a specific part of a fundraising event, and attending a public meeting to talk about how the library has affected their lives.
United for Libraries offers the following tips for recruiting board members:

  • Evaluate Your Current Board: What community connections, qualities, personal styles, and areas of expertise exist on your board – and what are you missing (and thus should recruit for)? Use this Board Planning Matrix to help: http://bit.ly/BPMatrix
  • Reduce Barriers: Can the meeting time and location be flexible to accommodate different schedules?
  • Make Meetings Efficient, Productive, and Meaningful: Focus on action items that move the work of the board forward in meaningful ways. Make sure everyone can contribute.
  • Make it Easy to Join or Donate: Provide ways for members to join and donate online.
  • Develop an Elevator Pitch: Find focused and memorable ways to describe what the board does, the impact of its work, and its plans so that others can easily envision themselves as part of the work.
  • Invite People Personally: Approach potential members with personalized requests that match their values. Example: If they are parents of young children, talk about how the board’s efforts support childhood literacy and community engagement.
  • Use Events/Fundraisers as Recruitment Tools: Create library events and fundraisers to bring the community together and emphasize the work of your board and the need for community members to contribute to this important work.
  • For more tips, see the United for Libraries “Toolkit for Engaging New and Active Library and Friends Volunteers”: http://bit.ly/ToolkitNewActive (PDF). This Toolkit offers good tips for recruiting trustees, friends, and library volunteers.
Special Populations & ABLE Library
The ABLE Library welcomes new members to its Virtual Book Club. The book selection for the March 17, 2021 meeting is the award-winning The Underground Railroad [sound recording] by Colson Whitehead (DB 85212). Please contact the ABLE library to find out how to get a copy of the book. Email lib.ablelibrary@vermont.gov or call (802) 636-0020 or (800) 479-1711

The Central VT Council on Aging has a special international edition of the Memorable Times Cafe in store for Wednesday, February 3, 10:30-11:30am. The group will meet online with a group from Scotland to pilot a sharing of “Juke Box Days.” Juke Box Days focus on the music, culture, news, clothing, etc. from a specific time span (between the 50’s and 60’s). Music requests are welcome. We invite persons with memory loss and their care partners to join from the comfort and safety of home to share stories, memories, music and community. These social events take place monthly over Zoom and telephone. For more information or to obtain the link to join the session, please contact Barb Asen via email at basen@cvcoa.org or 802-476-2681.

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. 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.
Youth Services
Summer Programming Grants & Summer Reading Workshops
Despite current sub-zero temperatures, warmer weather is approaching, and with that comes…you guessed it, Summer Reading. It was amazing to see all the fantastic programming and services offered by libraries last summer, despite reduction in hours/services and the many other challenges libraries faced. The Department of Libraries has made some changes we hope will better support libraries in conducting a wide array of programming this upcoming summer.

Summer Programming Grant Info Session & Focus Group - February 16, 10:00-11:30am

Once again, a $200 grant is available to every public library in Vermont to support summer programming. Formerly called "summer performer grants," the summer programming grants we are offering for summer 2021 have been expanded to include the use of funds for the purchase of items to support programming in addition to paid vendor programming. The grant info session will review the application process and new options for spending funds. It will be followed by a focus group for folks to share ideas and strategies related to the grant. Grant applications will open on February 15, and will be due on March 14. You can find the grant guidelines here, as well as the link to the application when it opens on February 15: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/VTLIB_grants/summer_program_grant

Summer Reading Essentials Workshop - March 10, 1:00-3:00 pm

If you are new to summer reading programming or are looking to refresh your program, please join us for this overview of the 2021 Summer Reading program which will include:
  • 2021 Tails & Tales theme & general CSLP resources
  • Tips for an effective summer reading program
  • Community partnerships and partnerships with other libraries
  • Places to get additional funding
  • Summer programming grants
  • Beanstack information and overview of the 2021 Summer Reading Challenge This is the first of two summer reading workshops for 2021. Attendance at this workshop is encouraged but not required.

Summer Reading Plan and Share Workshop - March 11, 1:00-3:00 pm

Join VTLIB for a summer reading planning and brainstorming session. Hear from other libraries about potential summer reading programming, including:
  • Virtual programming
  • Grab & Go
  • Outdoor programming
  • Story walks
  • Teen programming
  • Break out into groups for further discussion based on library size and/or region.

For more information and to register for these workshops, visit: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed
Total number of interlibrary loan requests made in December 2020: 4360

Books: 3888
Videos: 369
Audiobooks: 94
Music CDs: 5
Music Scores: 2
Articles: 2
December Fun Fact

There were at least fifteen different cookbooks requested, including:

  • La Cocina de Mamá: The Great Home Cooking of Spain
  • North Wild Kitchen: Home Cooking from the Heart of Norway
  • The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook

Top 10 most requested book titles (with most requested at the top):

  • The Fire Next Time (Baldwin)
  • Pachinko (Lee)
  • The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (See)
  • The Good Lord Bird (McBride)
  • The Mountains Wild (Taylor)
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Stevenson)
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Zevin)
  • The Vanishing Half (Bennett)
  • Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury)
  • Far from the Madding Crowd (Hardy)
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
History for Homeschoolers: Made in Vermont  
February 10 & 11, 1:00-3:00pm

Find out about important Vermont industries from the late 1800s. Also available as a virtual class.

History for Homeschoolers programs (https://vermonthistory.org/history-for-homeschoolers) 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.For more information, contact education@vermonthistory.org or call (802) 828-1413.
Virtual Roundtable: Mechanics of an Effective Online Presence with Mike Lannen, Founder of Eternity Marketing  
February 23, 12:00 pm

What does it take to be seen online? How can small organizations manage their virtual “personality”? We’ll talk about guidelines, tools, and tricks, with a focus on SEO, websites, and social media.

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. Register here: https://form.jotform.com/203484270513147

Virtual Vermont Trivia Championship
February 3, 7:00pm

Are you the very best at Vermont Trivia? Want to win bragging rights and prizes? Join us for our championship round on February 3rd. Space is limited, so sign up today! 
$5/members, $10/non-members
Online Catalog

Our online collection is live! It currently features about 800 objects, but more are added every day. Check it out herehttps://vermonthistory.org/catalog
Museum Reopening

We've been hard at work making exhibit updates at the Vermont History Museum during our winter closure. Join us for our reopening on Wednesday, February 3, to see what we've been up to. More information about museum visitation is available here: https://vermonthistory.org/covid-19-procedures