July 2021 Newsletter
Important Updates
ARPA Grants to Vermont Public Libraries
VTLIB has released the preliminary plans for the $2,135,819.00 we received in American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funding through the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). We will begin with a grant disbursement to Vermont public libraries, with additional grant offerings and statewide programs to follow. You will find a lot of this information on our ARPA 2021 webpage (https://libraries.vermont.gov/ARPA2021), the Grants to Public Libraries page (https://libraries.vermont.gov/ARPA2021_PublicLibraries), and the ARPA 2021 FAQ (https://libraries.vermont.gov/ARPA_FAQ). You’ll also notice that some information still needs to be fleshed out as we move through this process. We thought it was important to share as many details with you as soon as we were able, to give you a heads up.

Our priority was to allocate nearly half of the funds to all public libraries in the state in the form of non-competitive formula grants for equipment and supplies purchases. What that means is that every Vermont public library is eligible to receive a grant, as long as it applies and meets all of the requirements. Funds were allocated based on a formula that includes a base dollar amount per person served, poverty and unemployment factors in the library’s service area, and broadband availability. The base allocation starts at $2,000 for every library.

We will make the public library grant application as simple as possible—within the constraints of federal and state requirements—to encourage every library to apply. To further help libraries apply for this grant, we are offering a required webinar (visit our CE page to register for one of these webinars: https://bit.ly/3wXbngw), office hours, and an extensive FAQ that will be updated regularly. We also encourage you to join the listserv we created for you to connect to provide each other support during the grant application process and to swap ideas on what you might use the funds for. Our plan is to open the application in early July, with an application period of 30 days. We will notify recipients in September and funds should be going out in early October.

So as a public library, what can you do right now to prepare? Take some time to carefully review the information on the ARPA pages, allocation table (linked on the page), read the FAQ, register for one of the webinar dates, and get your DUNS number. Then start working with your board and any other stakeholders on what you might do with the funding, research equipment, supplies, costs, and availability and make a list. And most of all, get excited about the possibilities this grant opens for your library and your community!
Finally, please bear with us as we navigate the ins and outs of disbursing over $2M of federal funding—an amount that is unprecedented for this Department. We look forward to seeing what you’ll do with this funding.
Karen Gravlin Hired as Consultant for Special Populations/Director of ABLE Library
Photo of Karen Gravlin
The Vermont Department of Libraries is pleased to announce that we have hired Karen Gravlin as the Consultant for Special Populations. In her role, Karen will also head up the ABLE Library. 
Karen holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Florida Gulf Coast University, and a Master's in Library and Information Science from Florida State University. She has worked for the Lee County Library System in Lee County, Florida, for almost 9 years. During that time, she has worked in almost every position, including library page, circulation assistant, reference librarian, and most recently, branch manager. Prior to her time in libraries, Karen worked in public schools. Because her father was in the military, she grew up all over the world. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. 
Karen starts on July 19. Please join us in welcoming her to the state and the library community.
Department News
For State Employees
Historic Sites Passes for State Employees
Photo of Bennington Battle Monument
Are you interested in exploring the historic sites in Vermont this summer? VTLIB now has ten historic site passes available to lend to state employees! These passes allow free entry to any of the Vermont State Historic Sites (up to 8 people in one vehicle). You can tour the Bennington Battle Monument, visit the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, and any other open Vermont Historic Sites. More information about each site, including any open hours, is available here: https://historicsites.vermont.gov/.
Please contact April Shaw at april.shaw@vermont.gov to borrow one of the passes.
May 2021 ILL Stats
Photo of Boardwalk Empire cast
Total number of requests: 4056

  • Books: 3688
  • Videos: 233
  • Audiobooks: 113
  • Music CDs: 9
  • Articles: 11
  • Music scores: 1
  • Kits: 1

Top 5 requested DVDs:

  • Boardwalk Empire (all seasons)
  • Sea Hunt (all seasons)
  • Vera
  • Shameless (all seasons)
  • Tesla
Top 10 most requested book titles in May 2021 (with most requested titles at the top):
Cover of "Red at the Bone" by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever (O’Reilly)
  • The Alice Network (Quinn)
  • American Dirt (Cummins)
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Wilkerson)
  • Red at the Bone (Woodson)
  • The Library at the Edge of the World (Hayes-McCoy)
  • The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness (Montgomery)
  • Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist (Saslow)
  • Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others (Taylor)
  • The Man-Eating Tigers of Sundarbans (Montgomery)
Continuing Education
ALA Annual Conference Logo
Lightning Talks by ALA Annual Attendees

The Department of Libraries funded attendance for one school librarian and five public librarians to attend the American Library Association Annual Conference, held virtually in June. Recipients of that funding are required to do short presentations reflecting on their experiences. Those “Lightning Talks” will be held on MS Teams Thursday, July 22, from 10:30am-12:00pm. All are welcome to attend. In the past these types of presentations have proven to be a miniature version of the conference for those who did not attend, and even more interesting, an insightful and inspiring glimpse into how a national conference translates to work in Vermont libraries. So consider signing on! A link to join is on the Continuing Education page: https://bit.ly/3wXbngw.

Webinars for ARPA Grant Recipients

Two webinars, one on July 6 and one on July 7, will cover all things regarding ARPA 2021 funding for public libraries. VTLIB staff will go over how we arrived at the disbursement amounts, what purchases are allowed and not allowed, and what you need to do to be eligible and remain compliant. We’ll also provide an overview of the ARPA grant application, along with deadlines and supports. Finally, you’ll have some time to swap ideas on what your plans are for this funding and for a Q&A.

Note that attendance at one of the two webinars or watching the recording is required to be eligible for the ARPA funding. If you are unable to attend either live session we will make a recording available in Niche Academy. Register here: https://bit.ly/3wXbngw

Registration Open for Two CPL Core Courses

Registration is open for two Certificate of Public Librarianship core courses in the fall: Cataloging, which has five online meetings in September, and Basic Public Library Administration, which has five online meetings spanning mid-October to mid-November. Details and links to register for those are on the Continuing Education website page : https://bit.ly/3wXbngw
Youth Services
VTLIB, Vermont PBS, and Vermont AOE Work Together

Over the past year, the Department of Libraries has been working with Vermont PBS and the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) to meet the educational and social and emotional needs of Vermont children. In April 2020, the At-Home Learning Project was developed in response to the stay-home order. It offered free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more for Vermont students and educators. The At-Home Learning Project has now become the Vermont PBS Kids & Education page: https://bit.ly/PBS_Education
In the summer of 2020, this same trio of organizations began working to connect library communities to digital and analog resources inspired by PBS broadcasts. The Vermont PBS Learning Advisory Group was formed and public librarians Amy McMullen (Hartland Public Library), Cheryl Sloan (Charlotte Library), and Laura Fetterolf (Sarah Partridge Library) have been participating along with representatives from Vermont PBS, VTLIB, and AOE. The advisory group has been meeting bi-monthly to discuss ways to integrate PBS content and resources into community models. 
As part of this partnership, VTLIB is distributing 400 PBS Summer Learning Kits for families at libraries that serve as summer meal sites. The materials include PBS Kids Summer Learning booklets, reading bingo, STEM Activity books (English/Spanish), notebooks, stickers, puzzles & more.
For more information, or if you are interested in joining the PBS Learning Advisory Group, please contact VTLIB Youth Services Consultant Jonathan Clark (jonathan.l.clark@vermont.gov).
ABLE Library
Updates from the ABLE Library
Cover of "The Best of Me" by David Sedaris
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. 

ABLE Book Club

The ABLE Library welcomes new members to its virtual book club. The book for the July 21, 2021 meeting (2:00-3:00pm) will be The Best of Me by David Sedaris (Sound recording book number: DB101146). 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.

Memorable Times Online: Dog Days of Summer

Memorable Times Online, the virtual memory cafe partnership between Central Vermont Council on Aging and the ABLE Library of the Vermont Department of Libraries, will be happening once again on Wednesday, July 7th. The program is designed to include and delight care partners living with memory loss. Registration is required to receive the link to this summer-themed event that will be held on ZOOM on Wednesday, July 7th, from 10:30 to 11:30 am. Contact Barb Asen at CVCOA for more information or to register: basen@cvcoa.org or 802-476-2681.
Services for Care and Rehab Facilities

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.
Small & Rural Libraries
Libraries Transforming Communities logo
Third Round of ALA Libraries Transforming Communities Grants

The third round of applications for the American Library Association Libraries Transforming Communities Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant is open until September 16, 2021. These grants are $3,000 and are for community engagement projects related to a wide range of issues including media literacy, COVID-19 response, and social issues. Grant recipients will receive facilitation and grant implementation training from ALA as part of the award. 32 libraries from Vermont received funding in rounds one and two. Those libraries are eligible to apply again, either for a new project or to supplement funding for their original project, including applying to expand their current project by adding a partner library. Applications for entirely new collaborations will also be considered. ALA will offer a free webinar Wednesday, July 21st 2:00-3:00 ET about the application requirements, grant eligibility, and how to write a competitive narrative. Details and registration for the webinar here: https://bit.ly/3qw9hli. Details on the grant and the application are here: https://bit.ly/2SxN5ut.
Information & Access
News from CLIC, the Community Legal Information Center
CLIC logo
CLIC closed from July 5-9, 2021

As usual, the Vermont Law School campus and library will be closed during the first week of July for the Dean's Days / summer holiday. All email and phone messages sent during this time will receive a response the following week, when we reopen.
DIY Legal Research

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 are at: https://www.vermontlaw.edu/academics/library/CLIC
Librarians: remember to bookmark our handy Legal Information Toolkit so you’re ready the next time someone pops into your library with a law-related question.
Need more help?

Request documents via email, borrow books from our collection, make a virtual reference appointment with a law librarian, or get tips on how to effectively search for information on your topic. 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.
Governance & Management
Photo of desk calendar
Preparing for the Next Fiscal Year

Guest article by Gary Deziel, UVM Extension

In this year of upheaval, some things do remain certain- death, taxes, and creating and approving budgets for the next fiscal year. I offer a few words of advice as you guide your library’s next “budget pitch” to the municipality and other decision-makers.
First, let’s talk about the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Is there municipal money for libraries in ARPA (versus ARPA money libraries will get through VTLIB)? My sources say that right now things aren’t clear about how municipalities will be able to use funds. The big picture seems to be that the money is targeted for waste water, communications, covering revenue shortfalls, and shoring up small business.
While you’re trying to connect with your town about the general ARPA funding, again please MAKE SURE that you apply for ARPA funds through VTLIB! See VTLIB’s upcoming ARPA funding workshops on the VTLIB CE page: https://bit.ly/3wXbngw!
YOU have done amazing things since March 2020! Advocate and communicate. Advocacy isn’t just a “budget time” activity. However, starting now in summer is better than starting in December. Maintaining the town-library relationship is an important, year-round duty. See VTLIB’s Niche Academy for excellent guidance on this page (https://bit.ly/3djjP1B) and this page (https://bit.ly/3w6Dg4q.)
My favorite mantra is that a budget is a demonstration of your mission, vision, and values. Keep your strategic plan by your elbow as you prepare your budget. This will help define which projects you will focus on and how you prioritize how much to spend on each.
As you prepare for budgeting, review past information. Looking at budget results from the last two fiscal years’ helps inform your spending “path.” Keep up on this year’s budget by keeping up on bills, and getting and reading budget reports on at least a monthly basis.
Some key questions to get you well on your way:
  • Who is on the budget team? Roles? Who has final say?
  • Has a budget calendar been established –dates to have conversations, presentations, rough drafts, final drafts, and final budgets drawn up?
  • Define your revenue sources- municipal funds, gifts, and endowments? How do grants fit in?
  • Identify needs – operational, tactical, and strategic. Prioritize expenses. Consider creating multiple budget scenarios to anticipate the gap between what you want and what you can reasonably expect.
I am planning free personalized budgetary counseling sessions on Tuesdays, August 24 through September 28. If you are interested email me now (gary.deziel@uvm.edu) to get on a “first-contact” list!
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events

July 3rd Celebration
Saturday, July 3. 10 am - 4 pm. Free.

Celebrate July third at the Vermont History Museum. Free admission to the exhibits, craft activities on the porch, and Clara's Games on the lawn (weather permitting).

Visitor guidelines and requirements are made in conjunction with mandates and recommendations from the State of Vermont and are subject to change. Thank you for your understanding.


The Catamount in Vermont

The catamount has long been a symbol of Vermont. This new exhibit explores the history of the catamount through the lenses of art, science, and culture.   

On view through May 2022 

Lively & Local: Historical Societies in Vermont
This exhibit explores the work of local Historical Societies through images and stories curated by a select group of participants from around the state. These stories highlight the ways these essential community organizations approach and fulfill their missions. 

Through October 2021