May 2019 Newsletter
Department News
From the State Librarian
A Note from the Office of the State Librarian
Jason Broughton
Hello from the State Librarian & Commissioner of Libraries !
I will hold a special Office Hours webinar soon to serve as a "meet and greet" for me in my new role as State Librarian. I will also share periodic updates to give insight into the work that is keeping myself and the department very busy here in Barre.
Governor Scott appoints Jason Broughton as State Librarian/Commissioner of Libraries:
VTLIB's Strategic Direction

Our strategic direction, as articulated in our Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Five-Year Plan ( ) , bears repeating as it directs much of what we do here at the Dept. of Libraries . This vision reflects the goals of our LSTA Plan through the Grants to States Program from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the goals /priorities of Gov. Scott and the VT Legislature:
"The Vermont Department of Libraries will support Vermont libraries' ability to become 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."
Department of Libraries Five Year Plan 2018 to 2022:
Legislative Session

The State Librarian needs to know what our government discusses and to make sure the Department of Libraries is present whenever legislation is considered that will affect libraries in Vermont . Increased visibility of me and my staff is essential so that our legislators see potential partnerships in state government with the Department of Libraries , ways we can combine resources, and how libraries are integral to their communities.  I have had the opportunity to present to the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Government Operations, and the Senate Committee on Education about the work and worth of the Department of Libraries.

Just as you do in your communities, I work with my staff to create meaningful partnerships between the Department of Libraries and other departments and agencies throughout state government. By leveraging these partnerships, we show the Governor and the Legislature the importance of VTLIB and libraries throughout Vermont.
Our current efforts i nclude the :
  • Agency of Commerce and Community Development – Economic Development and Libraries as innovators for entrepreneurs and small business.
  • Department of Labor – Workforce development and job seeking services
  • Department of Children and Families – Connecting families and Public Libraries together
  • Department of Corrections – Library Services and resources for the incarcerated
  • Central Vermont Council on Aging – Library Services for those over 50
  • Governors Opioid Coordinating Council – Library Services and community health during traumatic events
  • Vermont Department of Health – Health & Wellness @ your library
  • Vermont Historical Society – Moving forward by understanding the past
  • Vermont State Archives & Records Administration – preservation, grant writing, records retention
  • Big Heavy World – Promotion of Make Music Day across Vermont
FY 20 Funding

Another important item in my daily work is securing funding for FY 20 . Part of this is talking with my staff about priorities, analyzing each expenditure, and making the challenging decisions that we all must make when we want to do more with a limited budget. The Department of Libraries was level funded for FY19 and will be once again for FY20.
Continuing Education and Certificate of Public Librarianship

The Vermont Department of Libraries provides continuing education for librarians with a variety of workshops throughout the year as well on-demand training and information about free webinars offered by other organizations. To examine upcoming continuing education opportunities, click here: .
The Certificate of Public Librarianship is designed for individuals without formal library training who are directing small Vermont public libraries. Other library staff, volunteers, and trustees also may pursue certification. Enrollees must live in Vermont or be associated with a Vermont library in order to participate in this program. To review information on the Certificate of Public Librarianship, click here: .
Feel free, as always, to reach out with questions or comments . While I might direct you to one of my two Assistant State Librarians or other staff when appropriate, as they are the experts in many aspects of the important work of the Department of Libraries , I do appreciate hearing from folks throughout Vermont .
Staff News
Tom McMurdo
Congratulations to Assistant State Librarian of Information and Access, Tom McMurdo! Tom has been accepted into the Vermont Certified Public Manager (VCPM) program with the Department of Human Resources (DHR) and the University of Vermont (UVM) Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) program! DHR has a long history of successfully managing the VCPM program and will continue to maintain oversight and ownership of the program, but instructors from UVM’s MPA program will lead the course work. For more information about the VCPM program, visit:
For State Employees
VTLIB is proud to present another speaker for the state employee speaker series Tuesday Talks. This month the event will be on May 21 from 12-1pm at the Pavilion Auditorium.
The May 21 st Tuesday Talk, “Focus on Vermont’s Forests: The Emerald Ash Borer” will be led by Elise Schadler of the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program. Ms. Schadler is on the front lines helping towns prepare for and respond to the invasive emerald ash borer. Currently they have been confirmed in Orange, Washington, Caledonia, Grand Isle, and Bennington counties. Please join us to learn more about the emerald ash borer and what you can do to slow the spread. If you can't make the talk, please visit for resources on how you can help!
For more information, please see the event poster here: Please feel free to share the poster and event information in your departments. For more information please contact April Shaw ( ).
Tuesday Talks is a speaker series presented by VTLIB during the lunch hour one Tuesday each month. The topic and speaker will change each month, but will always be relevant to events or trends in Vermont that affect State Employees.
Continuing Education & Small/Rural Libraries
Continuing Education

In an effort to help people plan ahead, get their certificate courses completed in a timely way, and not have to drive in wintry weather, we have scheduled the next three core courses:
  • Information Sources and Services (Reference): Part 1: May 8; Part 2: August 22; Part 3: September 19                                 
  • Basic Public Library Administration: Part 1: October 17; Part 2: October 29
  • Collection Development: Part 1: November 6; Part 2: November 18
These are longer than last year’s classes, as there was too much material to try to get into one day. In the case of Reference, the first two classes are required, and the third is an optional elective. The second Collection Development is required, and will be an interactive webinar, so no travel necessary.
Check our website and the list serv for elective workshops that will happen throughout the year, some at VTLIB, some in other locations, some online. We continue to examine the best way to get the most training to the most people while being efficient with VTLIB staff and resources. Feedback is always appreciated!
Small & Rural Libraries

Congratulations to the 40 librarians who received grants to attend the ARSL Conference. They represent different parts of Vermont and libraries of different sizes and structure. All of the applicants showed an enthusiasm and commitment to Continuing Education, and in a perfect world, all would have been funded.
This year’s conference sold out in record time, but there are still some wait list options:
1.        Traditional waitlist: full attendance made available by a cancellation, selected in order registration was received.
2.        Saturday only registration, which includes 2 breakout sessions and brunch for $75.
3.        Full conference without access to general keynote sessions or meals: $200/member rate, $265/non-member rate.
More information and a link to register is here:
Governance & Management
2019 Trustees and Friends Conference

Registration for this year's Trustees and Friends Conference is now OPEN!

When : Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., followed by a Q&A with the Endnote Speaker until 6:30 p.m. (Breakfast and Registration start at 8:15 a.m.)

Where : University of Vermont’s Davis Center, Burlington, VT

Why : Brush up on your knowledge, reinvigorate your board, network with VT trustees and friends, and walk away inspired and informed!
For more information and to register, visit:
Trustee Orientations
It's that time of the year when new trustees are joining library boards across the state! Responsibility for planning and conducting the new trustee orientation is shared with the board president, other board members, and the library director. The specifics will vary depending on your library governance structure and relationship to the community you serve.

For more information about trustee orientations or to schedule a trustee training, contact Governance & Management Consultant Lara Keenan: or 802-636-0026.
Youth Services
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Ceremony
The youth of Vermont have chosen their 2019 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Winner: REFUGEE by Alan Gratz!

Due to Mr. Gratz's busy schedule he is unable to attend this year's award ceremony, but author Cammie McGovern (of second place winner CHESTER AND GUS) will be joining us for the celebration!

The ceremony will be on Tuesday, June 11 from 10:30am-12:00pm at Northern Vermont University- Lyndon. For more information and to RSVP, visit:
Letters about Literature
The winners of the Vermont state competition of the 26th Annual Letters about Literature writing contest have been chosen! This contest, facilitated by the Library of Congress, asks students in grades 4-12 to write a letter to an author who changed their view of the world or themselves. VTLIB manages the state competition, and we were impressed by the letters we received this year!
Our three first place winners' letters have been entered into the national competition, and all state winners will be honored at a ceremony at the State House in Montpelier on May 31. Keep an eye out for the June newsletter to learn more about our winners! For more information about this contest, visit:
Youth Services' Busy April!
On April 5, VTLIB participated in Teen Lit Mob, Vermont's only conference for teen readers! Teens from around the state gathered in Hinesburg to hear authors speak and get their books signed, attend workshops, and celebrate YA literature!
Librarians from around the state staffed VTLIB's booth at the Vermont Sci-Fi & Fantasy Expo on April 27-28 to get people psyched for summer reading!
Special Populations & ABLE Library
I Am Not Your Inspiration - Sarah Potok, MFA
Stella Young’s TED Talk, “I’m Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much,” rocked my world. On occasion, an idea smacks me in the face and begs to be dissected and deciphered. From the vantage point of her wheelchair Stella Young is commanding and inviting, funny and tough. She speaks with authority to the able and disabled. She can’t be defined only by her disability, and therefore, she says, her disability should not be used by the general public as gratuitous inspiration.
      I identify with Stella Young’s premise that just because I have a disability does not make me inspirational. I don’t run into burning buildings, take a bullet meant for someone else or photograph and report on war zones. Who can say whether I am courageous or admirable behind closed doors? Who shall I be measured against? How many disabled people do you have to know in order to make that judgment? How might you possibly know that I have courage in my blindness and therefore can inspire you?
      If I feel sorry for myself for an hour or a day or even a week, does that spoil the courage thing? If a whole pot of soup slides off the burner because I didn’t see that it wasn’t balanced properly, and I sit on the floor with the mess and cry or even laugh hysterically, does that make me less inspirational? It’s looking like I might not be so brave or inspiring. Maybe I am just a little bit human and break when I fall.
      How do we reach true understanding of the existence and perceptions of a disabled person or a disability differing from our own? Is it possible without living in that particular disability? As a disabled person myself, I can’t possibly know what it is like inside someone else’s abilities. Maybe we just have to rein it into some sort of normalcy, a common ground of simply being human and differently abled.
      It isn’t noble to be differently abled, but it also shouldn’t be a stigma. Pity, the opposite side of the inspirational coin, is just as isolating and misplaced. We don’t need to designate hero or victim status. I exist in this world of disability and that’s the extent of my brave accomplishment. I can, however, choose not to be a victim or to fold myself into my bed covers day in and day out.
      We need to understand the divide between dependence and independence and the difficult journey between the two. What helps the disabled to become able, the dependent to become independent? Accessibility is a huge part of the answer; access to reading, technology, education and transportation, to name a few tools. Certainly independence and gaining abilities has more value and inclusiveness than hero or inspirational status.
      My guide dog is probably more of a hero than I am, but even she is just a dog. She just happens to be superbly trained and has an important job. But you should see her catching peanuts or laying her frisbee on top of my sleeping head or trying to avoid a puddle at my expense. She is who she is, the best dog I have ever known. But I’m pretty sure she would not run into a burning building to save me. Maybe for her frisbee?

Sarah Potok is our ABLE Library intern.
Volunteer Needed for ABLE Library Recording Program
The Vermont Department of Libraries ABLE Library (Audio, Braille, Large-print, Electronic) is looking for a volunteer to work as a monitor in our local recording program. We are recording books about Vermont or by Vermont authors to augment our already expansive national collection of talking books. A monitor works with a narrator, reading along as the book is narrated exactly as it is written on the page. Monitors must be precise and detail oriented, and must also be comfortable enough with technology to be able to record and save files on a desktop computer. The time involved is approximately two hours per week, and scheduling is somewhat flexible and is determined by the narrator/monitor team. Recording takes place at the Vermont Department of Libraries building in Barre, VT. If interested, please contact us at 802-636-0020 or .
Quick Links
  • Journal of Radical Librarianship: “Ethnic and Racial Diversity in Libraries: How White Allies Can Support Arguments for Decolonization”
  • World Economic Forum: “What Companies Gain By Including Persons With Disabilities”
  • Hollywood Reporter: “Daryl ‘Chill’ Mitchell, RJ Mitte Urge for More Disability Representation in Hollywood”
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
Third Thursday: History of the Vermont Supreme Court
May 16, 12:00 pm
Vermont History Museum, Montpelier

Author of the new VHS publication “The Law of the Hills: A Judicial History of Vermont”, Paul S. Gillies will talk about the sometimes rough, and always intriguing history of the state's highest court, as well as the people behind the decisions that guide the laws of our land.
New Exhibit: The War of Ideas: Propaganda Posters from the VHS Collection
Open April 15 to October 25, 2019
Vermont History Center, Barre, VT

Showcasing items from the Vermont Historical Society collections spanning the Civil War to World War II, visitors can examine how posters have been an important part of the wartime effort, for everything from recruitment to support on the homefront. In a pre-digital world, inspiring artwork and pithy phrases were a key way the United States government could boost patriotism and gain material support. Viewing these posters alongside each other allows you to see similarities and differences as that messaging evolved over a century.
This Place in History: Goodrich Memorial Library

Each week, VHS executive director, Steve Perkins, travels around the state for the “This Place in History” segment on Local 22/Local 44. They visit interesting, and sometimes unknown, places that help tell the story of Vermont. Recently, they visited the Goodrich Memorial Library in Newport. Check it out here: