May 2020 Newsletter
Department News
Important Updates
2020 Census Digital Action Weekend (May 1-3)
The US Census Bureau is spearheading the 2020 Census Digital Action Weekend from May 1-3. Due to the pandemic, census completion has been severely affected, and this weekend of action aims to reverse some of those effects. Participating in the 2020 Census Digital Action Weekend is incredibly easy, and everyone's efforts count! Here are some quick ways to help promote this event, and the 2020 Census, in your community:

  • Take the Pledge: Pledge to complete the 2020 Census and post an online badge on your social media accounts to show others! (You can challenge others to take the pledge, too!) You can find links to these badges and challenge posts in the resource guide on our website:

  • Make a Video: Record a video encouraging others to complete the 2020 Census! And if you want a chance to win some serious cash, enter your video into the Get Out the Count Video Prize Challenge (deadline May 7!) You can find more information linked in the resource guide above, and at

  • Join the Response Rate Challenge: Challenge your community to EXCEED its 2010 Census count rate! For a toolkit with more information about this challenge, visit the following page (information is also linked in the resource guide):

Anything you can share online about the 2020 Census helps spread the word about the importance of this count. Please see the resource guide ( for even more social media templates, sample posts, and information about other challenges happening nationwide!
Vermont Libraries and Curbside Service
On Friday, April 24, 2020 the Governor’s Work Smart & Stay Safe order addendum (#11) made specific mention of libraries. It stated that “Libraries may allow for curbside pickup for lending in accordance with guidance issued by the Department of Libraries.” This means that you are permitted to offer this service, but you are not required to. Only your library leadership (your director and board of trustees) and, if applicable, any other stakeholders can decide if and when you will start curbside service. 

Before you start bagging up patron requests for pickup, you must consider whether you are able to meet all of the mandatory safety and health requirements outlined in an Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD) memo dated April 17, 2020 and updated on April 24, 2020. Then carefully review the library curbside and book delivery guidelines to come up with a plan to safely provide curbside service. It’s better to take your time in implementing a well thought out plan than rushing in and risking the chance to have to shut it down again because you ran out of supplies or can’t meet all of the requirements. Please find all of the information you need to get started on our Curbside Guidelines page at
For State Employees
VTLIB Webinars about Resources for State Employees
Want to know more about VTLIB's online resources for state employees?

While many libraries are closed and our physical collection is not available, the Department of Libraries has several online resources available for state employees! Online resources available to state employees includes: RBDigital, Universal Class, LearningExpress, Vermont Online Library, as well as research and reference help from the Librarian of Government Services.
If your department or division would like to learn more, contact April Shaw, Librarian of Government Services, at to schedule a webinar. Webinars can focus on using one or more of these resources, or be a general overview of all of the resources.
Total number of interlibrary loan requests made in March 2020 : 2751

Books: 2377
Videos: 260
Audiobooks: 95
Music CDs: 17
Articles: 2

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

  • Elephant Company (Croke)
  • Nobody’s Fool (Russo)
  • The Nickel Boys (Whitehead)
  • Fierce Attachments (Gornick)
  • The Island of Sea Women (See)
  • The End of Nature (McKibben)
  • A Discovery of Witches (Harkness)
  • The Poet X (Acevedo)
  • Lab Girl (Jahren)
  • Little Women (Alcott)

Top 5 requested AudioBooks:

  • The Nickel Boys (Whitehead)
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing (Ward)
  • The Art of Detection (King)
  • The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat (Moore)
  • The Vanderbeeks of 141st Street (Glaser)

CLOVER Intro & Refresher
May 12 - 10:00-11:00am

During the CLOVER Intro & Refresher Webinar, attendees will learn the basics of the CLOVER interlibrary loan system. We will start with logging in, making a single copy request and making multiple requests, and also cover updating your library information and participant record. Join us if you want to learn more about CLOVER or if you need a refresher!

For registration and access information, visit:
Governance & Management
New Trustee Orientation
Your library may have gained a new trustee (or two) at Town Meeting. Now is the time to help new trustees become more familiar with the library and the board.
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.
All new trustees should receive a tour of the library, an opportunity to meet the staff, and an orientation to the library’s website and online resources. It is considered best practice to provide every library trustee with a specific library e-mail account to clearly distinguish library-related email correspondence from personal email (since library-related email may be subject to public records requests).
All trustees should receive information on items such as:
  • Names and contact information for other trustees and stakeholders (including town administration)
  • Board bylaws
  • Policies manual
  • Annual Report
  • Strategic Plan
  • Library Maintenance Schedule
  • Past meeting minutes
  • And more!
Check out our website for an expanded list of items:
For more training materials for trustees:
Youth Services
Youth Services Virtual Meet-Up
May 1 - 1:00-2:00pm

May's first VTLIB virtual meetup will focus on Youth Services. Please join us for this chance to support each other in ongoing efforts to serve your communities during this challenging time. This is a platform to facilitate the exchange of ideas, address concerns, and share what is making you happy and keeping you going and helping you stay grounded. While the discussion will be geared around youth services, all are welcome to join!

Additional Youth Services Meet-Ups will be held on May 15 and May 29 , also at 1:00pm.

Access information for all meet-ups can be found here:
Webinar: How to Have a Successful 2020 Summer Reading Program
May 4 - 2:00-3:00pm

With uncertainty about how COVID-19 will be affecting library services and onsite programming this summer, librarians need to be prepared to be flexible and creative in SRP offerings. VTLIB is hosting a webinar on Monday, May 4 to share ideas, and resources, and ways to connect with young people and community partners to share the importance and joy of reading!

Registration and access information can be found here:
The Montshire Museum of Science, the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, the ECHO Leahy Center, and the Vermont Institute of Natural Science have come together to provide at-home learning for students of all ages! To access free, high-quality STEM lessons, visit their website:
Note about VTLIB Webinars:

VTLIB will be using Microsoft Teams for our webinar’s going forward. We hope to eliminate some of the tech issues we have been experiencing with Skype but know there may be a bit of a learning curve initially. Here are some guidelines and tips for joining us via Teams:
Continuing Education & Small/Rural Libraries
Continuing Education Program for Attendance in Live Webinars
Graphic describing funding available for live webinars.
VTLIB is excited to offer funding for library personnel to attend live webinars from LibraryWorks and PCI Webinars. These organizations regularly offer training on a wide range of library topics, led by experienced and well-respected presenters. The intent of this program is to make online continuing education available to as many Vermont library staff as possible. VTLIB is able to offer this opportunity due to Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries.

To apply, a short application form needs to be completed by 3:00pm on May 4 . Full guidelines and the application form are available here:

Other continuing education (CE) updates:

  • We continue to offer VTLIB-lead online CE. Our website is updated frequently, so check often:

  • We will continue to offer Virtual Meet-Ups on Friday afternoons at 1:00pm through May, with the possibility of continuing depending on need. These are informal, but if you have a topic you’d like to suggest for a focus, please let Joy know by emailing her at On Friday, May 1, the topic will be Youth Services, and on May 8, the following members of VTLIB leadership will be on the call to answer questions: State Librarian Jason Broughton, Assistant State Librarian Janette Shaffer, and Assistant State Librarian Tom McMurdo.
WiFi Hotspots for Rural Libraries
The Public Library Association (PLA) and Microsoft are working together to make another batch of WiFi hotspots available to 50 rural libraries nationwide. It is open to libraries with locale codes of 41 through 43, which includes many Vermont libraries. Here is the list of locale codes:

For more information and the application, visit:
Note about VTLIB Webinars:

VTLIB will be using Microsoft Teams for our webinar’s going forward. We hope to eliminate some of the tech issues we have been experiencing with Skype but know there may be a bit of a learning curve initially. Here are some guidelines and tips for joining us via Teams:
Special Populations & ABLE Library
May Updates
  • The ABLE Library is still providing services! If you or someone you know may need access to digital talking books, the BARD App, or more, please call the ABLE Library at 1-802-636-0020, or toll free at 1-800-479-1711.

  • A reminder that our ABLE Library partner the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI) is available to help your differently-abled patrons with a variety of needs, including helping them navigate the BARD App. They can be reached by calling 1-802-863-1358 or toll free at 1-800-639-5861. They can be found online here:

  • Join us on May 27 from 2:00-3:00pm for the ABLE Virtual Book Club. We will discuss The Library Book by Susan Orlean. Contact the ABLE Library to sign up: 1-802-636-0020.
Information & Access
Kids InfoBits Database Update
The Vermont Online Library (VOL) database Kids InfoBits will be rebranding and updating on Friday, May 29 to become Gale In Context: Elementary . This will bring the database in line with the other suite of Gale In Context databases that are also included in VOL. For more information on the name change and forthcoming product enhancements, please visit Gale’s blog: .

There will be a live demo of Gale In Context: Elementary exclusively for libraries on Friday, May 15, 2020, 2:00–2:30 PM ET. Find more information about this demo here:
COVID-19 Update from CLIC, the Public Law Library
There is no scheduled reopening date for CLIC at this time, but we will let everyone know as soon as a decision is made. We continue to receive requests via our Ask a Law Librarian line, although not all of our resources are available, as many of our offerings are for walk-in use only. Fortunately there are multiple online resources available and we are suggesting those as often as we can!
As you might remember, CLIC Coordinator Kassie Tibbott recorded a webinar for Vermont’s public librarians, which discusses the various legal reference resources and tools available for helping a patron. This webinar is now in a LibGuide format and also provides the framework for how to assist a patron with a legal issue. Access it here:
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
Virtual Roundtables
Join VHS and friends for a virtual discussion on topics current and evergreen for small museums and historical societies. Roundtables are free and offered via Zoom. All roundtables are at 10:00 am ET. Visit our website for details & more dates: .
  • May 5 - Deaccessioning Primer with Teresa Greene, Collections Manager, VHS
  • May 12 - Education Programming with Victoria Hughes, VHS and Christine Sales, Billings Farm and Museum

Vermont History Trivia Online
Join us on Zoom Wednesdays at 7:00 pm to play Vermont History Trivia! Fun and free for all ages. Visit our Facebook page for more information:
Introduction to Museum Work Class
Are you a volunteer at a local historical society, a student interested in learning more about the museum field, or someone who wants to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at a museum? Join us for our brand new, six-week online class taught by VHS staff and covering some basics of museum work. This course will cover topics ranging from theory and programming to administration and financials. We are offering a special introductory price for anyone who signs up for the first iteration of this new program. This class begins on Monday, May 18, and requires a 3-5 hour per week time commitment.
Third Thursday Lecture Series
The Other Franco-Americans: Tracing French-Canadian Settlement in Vermont, 1830-1930 with Patrick Lacroix
COVID-19 Digital Archive
VHS is collecting photos, anecdotes, and creative writing documenting the current pandemic. Please "think like a historian" and save those images, journals, poems, and artwork for the benefit of future generations. Upload your content and make it available to the public immediately and researchers in years to come. Explore some of these great digital resources today by clicking here: