March 2022 Newsletter
Important Updates
From the Office of the State Librarian
A Note from Catherine Delneo, Vermont State Librarian
Photo of Catherine Delneo
Greetings from your new Vermont State Librarian and Commissioner of Libraries! I have really appreciated the warm welcome that I’ve received upon returning to my beloved home state during what turned out to be a very chilly February.  
I commend the way that the entire team at the Vermont Department of Libraries supported libraries throughout the state during the recruitment of a new State Librarian, and for their ongoing help in bringing me up-to-speed about the many exciting projects currently underway as we move into the final stretch of our 2018-2022 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Five-Year Plan 
I extend special thanks to Assistant State Librarians Tom McMurdo, who has served as a steady and capable hand leading the Vermont State Library in an interim capacity, and Janette Shaffer, who has also taken on additional responsibilities during this time of transition. It has been a true pleasure to join a team of dedicated professionals who are thriving under their leadership.   
As our Five-Year Plan states, our entire team at the State Library continues supporting libraries throughout Vermont in continuing to serve as “hubs of lifelong learning, offering free, universal, and convenient access that will improve quality of life and strengthen our communities. Our services will help grow the Vermont economy, reinforce and support various approaches to literacy, and make library services more accessible to vulnerable and underserved populations." 
Vermont’s libraries have faced unexpected challenges as our nation has weathered a global pandemic. These challenges have also brought us new opportunities, including additional resources in the form of ARPA grants through IMLS to support library services in a challenging public health environment. We are also hopeful that Governor Scott’s proposed budget, which includes a request for $15,900,000 in Federal Coronavirus Capital Projects Funds ( to support projects that ensure public access to the internet, will be approved during the current budget cycle.  
The Working Group on the Status of Libraries in Vermont ( continues to offer opportunities for engagement with stakeholders. I’m looking forward to chances to connect through this work to develop a shared vision for the State’s libraries. I am also looking forward to opportunities to connect more personally with you and your communities through a series of regional library visits in the spring and will be attending various regional meetings online in the coming weeks. 
Please feel free to reach out to me and others at the Vermont Department of Libraries with questions, suggestions, and concerns. You can find our contact information on our website here: We enjoy hearing from you! 
State Librarian Catherine Delneo Interviewed on "Vermont Viewpoint"
State Librarian Catherine Delneo was featured on WDEV Radio's show "Vermont Viewpoint" on February 25! Visit this link to listen to her interview, which begins at the 1:07:00 point in the show:
Staff News
Welcome, Tonya!
Photo of Tonya Ryals and her cat Maxwell
Tonya Ryals, our new Governance and Management Consultant, started on February 28! Tonya joins us from Northeast Arkansas and brings 14 years of public library experience to this position. She has extensive experience working with library boards. Most recently, she was the director of a multi-branch library in Arkansas.
Tonya looks forward to working with and assisting Vermont’s librarians and board members. Joining her in this journey are her husband, Allen, and their two dogs and two cats (their cat Maxwell is pictured with Tonya above!) They are looking forward to new experiences in Vermont, including outdoor life, traveling, and meeting new people. 
Tonya will gradually take over her governance and management role. In the meantime, if you have governance-related questions, please send them to Tonya ( and Joy Worland ( They’ll work together until Tonya is up to speed on the Vermont specific questions.

We're excited to have Tonya on the team and look forward to working with her!
Department News
For State Employees
LearningExpress Library for State Agencies
On March 24 from 9-10am, join us for a tour of LearningExpress Library. We will review the user interface and highlight the resources most relevant to state employees including computer skills tutorials, career resources, job tools, adult basic education, high school equivalency, and Spanish language resources.   

Register in advance for this meeting: 
Small & Rural Libraries
ARSL Annual Conference in Chattanooga
The Association for Rural & Small Libraries has announced its annual conference. It will take place September 14-17, 2022, in Chattanooga, TN. The Request for Proposals for conference speakers opened March 1, 2022, and conference registration will open June 14, 2022. Details will be added to the conference website page as they develop:
March is Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office website has program ideas to celebrate it:

To find Vermont-based speakers and program ideas, visit the Vermont Suffrage Centennial Alliance Speakers Bureau:
Information & Access
Focus: Housing Issues - Landlord/Tenant
According to the Statewide Legal Needs Assessment (December 6, 2019) conducted by Legal Services Vermont and Vermont Legal Aid, housing issues are among the top reasons that people turn to legal aid for help. Vermonters seek help with housing issues such as, eviction proceedings for nonpayment of rent, general landlord/tenant disputes (who pays for repairs), habitability (living conditions), security deposit disputes, and housing discrimination.  Below are some links that you can use to help patrons if they come in your door with housing related questions.

Information on Evictions and Other Landlord/Tenant Issues:

(which covers eviction proceedings and includes access to required forms)
(which covers the full spectrum of landlord/tenant issues)

And of course, there is CLIC’s libguide on legal resources for civil legal matters by subject:
If you need further assistance with patron legal reference questions, you can “Ask a Law Librarian” by calling (802) 831-1313 or emailing

P.S. April is Fair Housing Month! See what VTLIB and our partners have planned for next month on our website here:
January 2022 Online Resources Usage Report
We’d like to share the January 2022 stats for the online resources offered by the Department of Libraries. LearningExpress and Vermont Online Library are free to all libraries (public, school, or academic), while Universal Class is only available to public libraries.

For more in-depth statistics, please contact Josh Muse (

LearningExpress - Provides training for workplace, academic, and job-hunting skills. It offers training for occupation exams, skills for school, exploration of careers, resume and interview help, and more.
Most Used Resources:
  • Tests – Praxis Elementary Education, GRE Verbal Reasoning, GED Mathematical Reasoning
  • Computer Courses – Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel
  • Ebooks – Becoming a Caseworker, Becoming a Paralegal, Algebra

Visit our CE page to register for a LearningExpress Library info session:
Universal Class - Offers a wide range of online courses (from business to cooking, computers to social work) that are led by a real instructor, and that can be completed at your own pace.
Most Active Classes – Basic Math, Constructive Feedback, Medical Terminology, Computer Literacy, Writing a Grant, Reading Comprehension, Python Programming, Health Education, Writing Basics, Geology, Autism, Accounting and Bookkeeping
Vermont Online Library - Covering everything from magazine and newspaper articles to DIY car repair and business help, Vermont Online Library can help with any topic. Users can even read articles by issue from popular magazines, including The New York Times, Economist, Cosmopolitan, and Esquire.
Most Used Databases – Opposing Viewpoints, Academic OneFile, US History, Biography, General OneFile, In Context Science, Virtual Reference Library
Read more about LearningExpress, Universal Class, or Vermont Online Library, or email Josh Muse with any questions.
January 2022 ILL Stats
cover of Cold Days by Jim Butcher audiobook
Total number of requests: 5448

  • Books: 4957
  • Videos: 364
  • Audiobooks: 113
  • Music CDs: 4
  • Articles: 10

Top 5 requested audiobooks:

  • Cold Days (Butcher)
  • The Magic Misfits: The Minor Third (Harris)
  • The Amber Spyglass (Pullman)
  • The Woman in Cabin 10 (Ware)
  • Tripwire (Child)
Top 10 most requested book titles in January 2022 (with most requested titles at the top):
Cover of A Burning
  • Small Wonder (Kingsolver)
  • The Vanishing Half (Bennett)
  • A Burning (Majumdar)
  • Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future (Kolbert)
  • The Inheritance Games (Barnes)
  • How the World is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America (Smith)
  • Apeirogon (McCann)
  • The One and Only Ivan (Applegate)
  • Apples Never Fall (Moriarty)
  • When All is Said (Griffin)

CLOVER usage statistics for the entire 2021 calendar year are now available! Visit our website:
Continuing Education
True Value: Exploring Library Labor through Design
Photo of Rachel Ivy Clarke
The January/February 2022 issue of American Libraries features an article by Syracuse University School of Information Studies assistant professor Rachel Ivy Clarke (pictured on the left) that discusses the concept of invisible labor, defined as underpaid, unrecognized, and undervalued work. Clarke applies this concept to library work, drawing the conclusion that when a library is thriving, the work that makes that possible is often invisible. As part of the ongoing Vermont Department of Libraries “Librarian Empowerment Series,” Clarke will host an online presentation on this topic. Save the Date for “True Value: Exploring Library Labor through Design,” which will take place April 11, 2022, at 10:00am. The workshop will introduce the True Value calculator (, a design-based interactive tool developed by Clarke and her research team at Syracuse University, that aims to surface the large amounts of labor performed by library workers so that it can be included in discussions of library value and help move perceptions of libraries beyond just resource collections. The workshop will also discuss how to use a design approach to guide library work and demonstrate some interactive design activities that attendees can use to think about labor in libraries. Watch the Department of Libraries Continuing Education page for the opening of registration:
Dealing with Complaints and Challenges
The issue of challenges to library materials continues to be prevalent in both school and public libraries nationwide. There is a new Niche Academy webinar titled, “Dealing with Complaints and Challenges,” on the Department of Libraries’ Niche Academy site. This webinar explores the difference between a complaint and a challenge, related polices and procedures, and dealing with the public and media. All Vermont library staff, trustees, and volunteers, can create a free Niche Academy account to access this and a wealth of other library-specific training. Visit this link to get started:
ABLE Library & Inclusive Services
ABLE Library & Inclusive Services Updates
ABLE Book Club

New participants are welcome to join the ABLE Library’s virtual book club. The book for our next discussion on March 16, 2022 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm will be A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers (Sound recording book number: DB104764). Please contact the ABLE Library to find out how to get a digital copy of the book and register for the discussion. Email or call (802) 636-0020 or (800) 479-1711.

ABLE Library Statistics for January 2022

Total number of checkouts: 9,611
Digital cartridges: 7,618
Large print: 609
BARD app (audio or braille books downloaded by patrons): 1,384
Memorable Times Café

Join the Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) and the ABLE Library on Wednesday, April 6th from 10:30 to 11:30 am for another Memorable Times Café. Birds and buds, seedlings and mud! What signals the arrival of spring for you? Spring cleaning? Spring training? New life on the farm?! Come enjoy sharing stories, memories, music and community. Attendance is free and warmly welcomes new participants. Please contact Barb Asen at CVCOA for more information or to register: or 802-476-2681.
Youth Services
Writing & Art Contests for Youth
We have put together a list of writing and art contests for youth that are currently receiving submissions. Check the VTLIB website for more information:

Contests include:

  • Vermont Holocaust Memorial Annual Student Contest (deadline 3/7)
  • Growing Works of Art Contest (deadline 3/11)
  • Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest (deadline 6/13)
  • Northwind Storytelling Contest (deadline 4/4)
2022 Summer Reading Reminders
2022 Summer Programming Grants

The application is now open for VTLIB 2022 Summer Programming Grants. Applications are due March 14. This year we are offering $300 to public libraries to purchase materials and hire paid performers for in-person and virtual programming! The Summer Programming Grant page has the link to the application form, the recording and slideshow from the summer grant info session, and the grant guidelines:

Join us the second week of March for our virtual summer reading workshops!

The Summer Reading Essentials workshop on Tuesday, March 8 from 1-3pm, will provide for an overview of the 2022 summer reading program, including: 2022 Oceans of Possibilities theme & CSLP resources, program ideas, and information from community partners.

The Summer Reading Plan & Share workshop on Thursday, March 10 from 1-3pm, will be an opportunity to brainstorm and hear from other libraries about potential summer programming including: outdoor programming, partnerships, summer meal programs, and more!

You can find registrations links and more information about the summer grant info session and both summer reading workshops on our CE web page:
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
The Voices of St. Joseph’s Orphanage

The St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington was home to more than 13,000 children from 1854 to 1974. Although the Catholic-run institution was held in high regard in the community, accounts began to emerge in the 1990s from scores of former orphanage residents describing abuse at the hands of nuns and other clerical personnel. Few were believed at first, but these ex-orphans persevered, ultimately winning validation for the harm done to them and working for laws protecting vulnerable children in Vermont. This is the story of these former orphans, now known as the Voices of St. Joseph, and their remarkable and enduring accomplishments.
The Voices of St. Joseph’s Orphanage exhibition contains material that may be challenging for children and may be disturbing or triggering for other visitors.
On view through July 30, 2022. Learn more about the exhibition here:
March 17. 12 pm. Zoom.
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 2022. Bring your questions, experience, and sandwich to the Zoom room. Free and open to everyone, pre-registration appreciated.
March’s roundtable: The pandemic upended the way historical societies & museums presented programs. We’ll explore fresh ideas for history-related programming (virtual and in-person) from the past two years, and what it takes to implement them from technology to time.
Register for the roundtable here:
March 23. 12 pm. Zoom.
Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake were commonly recognized as a married couple by their kin and community in Weybridge, Vermont, where they lived together from 1807 to 1851. Drawing from the extensive archive of Bryant and Drake’s personal papers at the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury, as well as from archival sources discovered throughout the United States, this talk will explore the roles that family, work, religion, love, and sexuality played in the women’s lives.
Rachel Hope Cleves is a professor at the University of Victoria and a member of the Royal Society of Canada. She is the author of three books of history, Charity and Sylvia (2014), Unspeakable (2020), and The Reign of Terror in America (2020). She is also the author of a science-fiction novel that will be published in the summer of 2023. She now at work on a history of food and sex from the late eighteenth century through the present day.
Register for this and other Winter Speaker Series talks here: