March 2020 Newsletter
Department News
News of Note
Vermont Libraries in the Media!
Vermont public libraries got top billing with a cover story in the February 19, 2020 edition of Seven Days . The print version of the article headlined "Check This Out | Public libraries adapt to the 21st century—with technology, tools and ukuleles—and uphold democracy," featured several of the State’s public libraries and their staff. Beautifully represented in photos and through insightful interviews, libraries big and small got to tell their stories on how they’re redefining what they offer, the challenges they face, and the place they hold in their communities. If you’ve missed it, check out the online version and meet our library colleagues from all over the state:

VTLIB in Essex County
State Librarian Jason Broughton visited the Alice M. Ward Memorial Library in Canaan on February 24 as part of Governor Scott's "Capitol for a Day" event in Essex County. Jason enjoyed his visit to the library so much that he created a video to capture some of the photos that were taken during his tour and meeting with staff and community members! The video can be viewed on the VTLIB Facebook page here:
VTLIB Staff News
Jonathan Clark, Library Consultant for Children and Teen Services
We are pleased to introduce our new Library Consultant for Children and Teen Services, Jonathan Clark .
For the last five years Jonathan has been working at the New York Public Library as Manager of School-age Programming and as a Children’s Librarian, working closely with city agencies and nonprofit organizations, to bring quality programs to branch libraries. Before becoming a librarian, he worked for over 10 years as an educator teaching youth, developing curriculum, and writing grants for educational non-profits. 
Jonathan grew up in Utah hiking, camping, and biking—he is excited to be here in the Green Mountain State to play in the snow, chop some wood, and travel around discovering and supporting all the fantastic work being done at libraries and schools across the state.
Please join us in welcoming Jonathan to our library community.
For State Employees
Learning Express NCLEX Resources
Are you or someone you know in a nursing program and getting ready for the NCLEX exam for certification? Learning Express, an online career and education resource made available to all Vermonters by VTLIB has resources that can help. By creating an account through your local public library you can access practice tests, flashcards, and eBooks for both the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN.

There are also resources available for Nursing Assistant certification tests, and Nursing School Admission tests. To access all of these great resources (and many more!) contact your local public library. If you are a current State Employee, you can use this URL to get started: . That link is for State Employees only, please!

Please contact April Shaw ( ) with any questions.
Youth Services
Summer Performer Grants
VTLIB is pleased to once again offer summer performer grants for public libraries. Each eligible public library that submits a successful application will receive $200.00 to hire a high-quality performer to augment their 2020 summer reading program. The application form is now open, and applications will be accepted through Friday, March 13.

Visit this page for more information and to apply:
Join the GMBA Reading Committee!
The Green Mountain Book Award (GMBA) reading committee is looking for a new member!

Each year, the GMBA committee selects the 15 GMBA titles that make up the following year's GMBA list. Committee members must be able to (1) read and recommend YA books throughout the year, (2) meet 4 times per year in person in the central Vermont area for 2-3 hr meetings + 1 full day-long meeting in March, (3) locally promote the current GMBA list & teen involvement, and (4) fulfill other committee duties, as needed.

The committee is searching for one new adult member to join the team! If you are interested, please visit this page for more information, including application guidelines and committee contact information:

The deadline to apply has been extended to March 12, 2020.

  • And don't forget: voting for the 2019-2020 GMBA is OPEN! Visit the GMBA page on the VTLIB website for the voting link:
Dorothy's List Updates

Registration is now open for the 2020 Dorothy's List Conference! It will be held on Friday, April 10 at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT. Find the link to register and more information on the conference info page:

The Dorothy's List Reading Committee is seeking a new member! Please visit this link to find out how to apply:
Information & Access
Featured MHEC Discounts
The Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) purchasing program gives access to discounted prices on a wide-range of contracts, and all libraries in the state are eligible. For some contracts, library staff are also eligible for personal purchases.
Say, for example, that you’re looking for a thirty foot-tall playground tower with a big and little slide, talking tube, tic tac toe game, and castle theme. You can find discounts for it through MHEC! Or maybe you’ve discovered a treasure map that you need to translate from French, to find out what secrets are hidden beneath the Bennington Battle Monument? MHEC can help there as well! MHEC also offers contracts for more everyday items and services, like computer hardware and software, furniture and carpet, and much more.
You can read more about MHEC here -

Governance & Management
SAVE THE DATE : Friday, May 29 th , 2020 – Trustee and Friends’ Conference at the Killington Grant Resort Hotel in Killington, VT
This year, VTLIB has scheduled the conference to occur on May 29th - the day after the VT Library Association’s Conference (which will be held at Killington on May 28th). The hope is that Trustees, Friends, Library Directors, and Library Staff will be encouraged to attend both conferences and thus amplify their learning over two days of workshops, presentations, and speakers. The workshops will cover a wide range of topics, including (but not limited to):

  • fundraising ideas from around the state
  • nonprofit board management ideas
  • the expanding role of librarians and libraries
  • finance, budget, and endowment issues
  • partnerships, resource-sharing, and collaboration
  • policies, ethics, and conflict of interest issues
  • roles and responsibilities of Trustees and Friends
Registration for the Trustees and Friends’ Conference will open soon. Lara will send an email on the list servs when registration opens.
Trustee Organizational Tools
In her Trustee Trainings, Lara talks about the importance of “Succession Planning” – i.e. planning for the future governance of your library, no matter who is on the Trustee Board or who is the library director.
One element of Succession Planning involves creating a yearly calendar for the Trustees that:
  • Lists what topics the Trustees usually discuss each month of the year,
  • Indicates when the Trustees need to start talking about certain items (the budget, for instance) to make sure those items meet deadlines, and
  • Shows when the Trustees can fit additional topics into their meeting schedule (ex: reviewing policies or engaging in strategic planning)

Having a detailed yearly calendar will help ensure that Trustees do not have to rely on institutional memory and can continue to move forward if a Trustee needs to resign due to health or other reasons.
Creating a yearly calendar can be as simple as creating a list of to-do items for each month of the year -and revising that list as you move through the year. Or it can involve a more focused discussion during a Trustee Retreat. Whichever way the Trustees create their yearly calendar, it’s important to store it in a place accessible to any current or future Trustee – in a Trustee filing cabinet at the library or on the Trustees’ section of the library’s website, for example.
For more information about creating a yearly calendar, succession planning, or any library governance or management topic, feel free to reach out to Lara: or 802-636-0026.
To see the statistics for the 2019 calendar year, visit:
Total number of interlibrary loan requests made in January 2020 : 6366

Books: 5569
Videos: 570
Audiobooks: 204
Music CDs: 4
Articles: 9
Music Scores: 6
Microfilm: 4
  Top 5 requested audiobooks:

  • The Kitchen House (Grissom)
  • Behold the Dreamers (Mbue)
  • The Library Book (Orlean)
  • I Know a Secret (Gerritsen)
  • The Art Forger (Shapiro)

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

  • Where the Crawdads Sing (Owens)
  • The Kitchen House (Grissom)
  • The Bluest Eye (Morrison)
  • Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (Junger)
  • Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race (Prior-Palmer)
  • The Library Book (Orleans)
  • The Hate U Give (Thomas)
  • The Children’s Blizzard (Laskin)
  • The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis (Letts)
  • The Island of Sea Women (See)
Special Populations & ABLE Library
March 3 is Talking Book Day
Did you know that March 3 is Talking Book Day in Vermont? Governor Shumlin designated Talking Book Day in 2011 to mark the 80th federal anniversary of the Pratt-Smoot Act, which served as the congressional warrant to first establish the National Library Service (NLS) in America. The ABLE library is Vermont’s branch of the NLS and delivers high quality services through both direct statewide home delivery and through supporting our vibrant public libraries.

We have come a long way since 2011: many folks were still using analog cassettes for talking books then! The service now encompasses so much more than access to an overwhelming variety of books. In the 9 years since Talking Book Day was established here in Vermont, the ABLE Library has grown its community locally, raised its profile nationally and reached-out to new and vital populations.

ABLE is proud to be recognized at the NLS as a small yet innovative library. We now offer a slate of exciting programming opportunities: from our virtual book club, to our ABLE Athletes program in partnership with Vermont Adaptive Sports, from our music concerts to our monthly memory café – cohosted by the Central Vermont Council on Aging.

The ABLE Library is also a work placement site for our community members as well as supporting experiential programs for youth through the Department of Aging and Independent Living. We are also honored to help support our state’s veterans, and to make our library a place for creative expression and engagement though partnerships with the Champlain College Media Lab, the Vermont Arts Council and Inclusive Arts Vermont.  

Please share your anecdotes on how ABLE services have helped your community, your family or yourself by briefly sharing that story with us: . The ABLE Team is so excited to have your help commemorating Vermont Talking Book Day 2020 !  
Continuing Education & Small/Rural Libraries
NNLM Health Literacy Workshops
National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Health Literacy workshops will be offered April 9 and April 10 in Barre and Norwich:

  • VTLIB, Barre – April 9, 12:00pm-4:00pm
  • Norwich Public Library, April 10, 9:00am-1:00pm
NNLM Community Engagement Coordinator Catherine Martin and VTLIB staff Vin Livoti and Joy Worland will present on the following topics, with an emphasis on rural health:

  • Health Literacy – Making Knowledge Powerful

This informational program is designed to showcase ways public library staff can increase their knowledge and skills related to consumer health, health literacy and programming that enhances knowledge in health and wellness. We look at tips to improve usability of health information and promote the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy as outlined by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

  • Dementia and Aging

This one-hour presentation will discuss the signs and symptoms of dementia focusing on diagnosis and potential treatment options. A distribution of online tools will help with areas regarding Resolving Family Conflicts, Home Safety Checklist, Identifying the 10 warning signs of Dementia/AZ and information regarding healthy aging using NIH resource pages. Caregiver resources from the National Institute on Aging are available.

  • Isolation and Depression in Rural Settings
  • Fact- based Cannabis Literacy for Librarians
These workshops are funded by an NNLM grant to VTLIB. As part of this funding, each workshop participant will receive a curated packet of eight related books plus the DSM-5 Overview for their library collections. Participants must agree to host one activity at their library related to this training and report to VTLIB on the activity. (Activity examples: health literacy programming, book features/discussions, patron training on using NNLM online resources.) The last two sections of the workshop will be tied to these titles and the topics they cover.
Book titles are:

  • Promoting Individual and Community Health at Your Library 
  • Gerontology: The Basics 
  • Mental health In Rural America: A Field Guide
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Cannabis for Seniors 
  • The Cannabis Encyclopedia 
  • Getting High: Marijuana Through the Ages 
  • Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana 

For more information and to register, visit:
Financial Literacy Refresher Webinar
April is national Financial Literacy Month, and Vermont Department of Libraries supports financial literacy as an important part of general information literacy skills. This year, VTLIB is partnering with the Vermont Jump$tart Coalition. VT Jump$tart is a non-profit, all-volunteer board who work to improve the personal financial literacy skills of younger Vermonters and it is a branch of the National Jump$tart Coalition.

In addition to the coalition’s annual video contest (featured on our Facebook page), the organization also provides resources to help your library promote financial literacy skills/perspectives across the lifespan.

VTLIB will be offering a continuing education webinar on March 6 from 11:00am-12:00pm entitled “Financial Literacy Program Refresher” as way to reinforce understandings on where to go and what to do if you would like to bring financial literacy awareness activities into your own community. The webinar will review free resources at both the local and national level to support financial literacy goals in your community. There will also be some collection development and activity suggestions. We hope you can join us!

Finance Workshops for Librarians
Are you interested in managing your budget better in 2020? Planning well for the next fiscal year? Do you have questions about the reports you receive? Wondering about how to manage gifts and endowments? Petty cash? Just want to talk about your library’s money in general and hear other opinions and voices?
Gary Deziel from UVM Extension is offering the following in a small group training focusing on Vermont public library – municipal and incorporated – budgeting, accounting, and financial topics.
Dates and Locations:

March 2020:

  • Montpelier, March 17, 2020, 10:30AM – 12:30PM
  • Sharon, March 18, 2020, 10:30AM – 12:30PM
  • Manchester, March 19, 2020, 10:30AM – 12:30PM
April 2020:

  • Saint Albans, April 21, 2020, 10:30AM – 12:30PM
  • Orleans, April 22, 2020, 10:30AM – 12:30PM
  • Charlotte, April 23, 2020, 10:30AM – 12:30PM
May 2020:

  • Rutland, May 19, 2020, 1:30PM – 3:30PM
  • Putney, May 20, 2020, 1:00PM – 3:00PM
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
Information on all our events can be found at

Third Thursday: Women’s Suffrage in Vermont
March 19, 12:00 pm
Waterman Lounge, UVM, Burlington

2020 marks the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which extended the right to vote to women. Many of us are familiar with national activists and events, but what did the story look like in Vermont? Historians Lyn Blackwell and Rachel will share a Vermont perspective on suffrage, including previously overlooked and fascinating women, and the research they’ve undertaken in order to put the story together. They will also review events planned to celebrate suffrage in Vermont.

Hiking Gear, Equipment, and the History of Vermont’s Long Trail
March 21, 2:00 pm
Vermont History Museum, Montpelier, VT

On March 11, 1910 the Green Mountain Club was founded with the goal of creating, maintaining and protecting the Long Trail. Now in it’s 110th year, the Long Trail and those that hike it have gone through more than a few changes over the past century. Join staff and volunteers of the Green Mountain Club to learn more about what’s changed, what hasn’t changed and what is expected to change for Vermont’s Long Trail and those that hike it. Program is free for VHS and GMC members and included with the price of admission at the Vermont History Museum for the general public.

Vermont Eats: The Italian Experience in Barre
March 28, 5:00 pm
Old Labor Hall, 46 Granite St, Barre, VT

For Barre’s Italian-American community, food is about family and community, about meals made with love and ingredients crafted with tradition. Join the Vermont Historical Society to sample local food with fellow history lovers, learn about the stories behind the dishes, and support the work of the Vermont Historical Society. Proceeds from Vermont Eats! benefit the VHS Annual Fund. This event is expected to sell-out, so get your tickets soon!

Before Your Time: The “Long Enough” Trail

The latest episode of our podcast, produced in conjunction with the Vermont Humanities Council, gathers stories from those who founded, hiked, and loved Vermont’s Long Trail, including the first women to through-hike the “footpath in the wilderness” in 1927. Listen at or through your favorite streaming service.