May 2021 Newsletter
Important Updates
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021
VTLIB's Plans for ARPA Funds

It has been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but we are only just beginning to understand its lasting impacts to health, culture, and society. With this growing knowledge, the Department of Libraries (VTLIB) is slowly building a sustainable path for the future using the resources at our disposal. We are currently assessing plans for disbursing the funds VTLIB received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) via the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Grants to States Program. VTLIB will receive $2,135,819.00 with spending priorities that mirror last year’s CARES Act funding:

  • First priority: supporting digital inclusion efforts to enable libraries to reach residents through internet hotspots, accessible Wi-Fi, and digital content and related resources, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs. Poverty/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Unemployment, and Broadband availability are the types of data that will inform our efforts to reach underserved populations.
  • Second priority: providing rapid emergency relief to libraries across the country, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols.
  • Third priority: supporting library services that meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S., including personnel, technology, training, materials, supplies, equipment, and associated indirect costs.

We will communicate specific plans for this funding soon.

In addition to the IMLS funds the department is receiving, the State of Vermont will receive $1.052B in federal funds intended for Coronavirus recovery that will be funneled to the state, towns and villages, arts and humanities, education, direct assistance, etc. Libraries might have an opportunity to benefit from these additional funds as well. The article "Public Libraries Can Tap into Eligible Funds Worth Billions" from ( provides insight into which of these state ARPA funds libraries could access, provided they advocate for themselves.

As we begin this journey into a new reality, VTLIB looks forward to working with the libraries of the state to ensure a successful and sustainable future.
An Evening with Angie Thomas
Join us for "An Evening with Angie Thomas" on May 26 at 7:00pm. This free digital event will feature a presentation by and conversation with Angie Thomas, author of five acclaimed books. Her bestselling debut novel, The Hate U Give, won multiple national and international awards. Vermont Humanities chose the book for its Vermont Reads program in 2020, introducing The Hate U Give to thousands of Vermonters of all ages, who engaged with Thomas’ YA novel through a variety of community activities.

We are excited to learn more about Angie Thomas’ work, her creative process, and what it means to be one of the most influential American writers today. Register for this event here:

The "An Evening with Angie Thomas" event (and a related event for Vermont schools the following day) is sponsored in partnership with Vermont Department of Libraries with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Partnerships for Literacy and Learning, Vermont Library Association and the Vermont School Library Association.

Image of Angie Thomas by Anissa Hidouk
2020 Decennial Census
Preliminary data from the 2020 Decennial Census have been published, and despite the challenges of the pandemic, the response rate of Vermonters was higher in 2020 than in 2010. We want to thank libraries across the state for helping to promote Census participation; we truly believe that libraries played an important role in increasing response rates. You can view these preliminary results here:
Department News
For State Employees
Summer Planning - Learn about State Parks and Trails
Please join VTLIB for a presentation about the Vermont State Parks! Get ready for summer with a presentation by Kathryn Wrigley from Forest, Parks, and Recreation. She will provide an overview of summer opportunities for everyone at the Vermont State Parks and State Forests. This will include how to use the tools on the State Parks website to help you locate state parks and trails in your area. Trails and parks from all areas in the state will be featured, and Kathryn will walk you through how to locate those near you.

Vermont Department of Libraries also works with the State Parks to send out State Parks passes to local public libraries, and these will be available at public libraries again for summer 2021!

This session is scheduled for Friday, May 21 at 1:00 pm. Please contact April Shaw ( to be sent the Teams meeting link.
Small & Rural Libraries
On April 15th the American Library Association announced the recipients of nearly $1 million in funding for small and rural libraries, the second grant distribution of the association’s Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries initiative. Fifteen Vermont libraries were awarded grants in the first round of this initiative announced in January, and Vermont was well represented in this second round as well, with seventeen additional libraries receiving grants. Each library will receive online staff training in how to lead conversations and $3,000 to support their proposed community engagement work. Project topics include response to the pandemic, social justice issues, sustainability, and local culture and history.
Youth Services
The 2021-2022 Red Clover Book Award nominees have been announced! Visit our website to see if your favorite picture books made the list:
The 2021-2022 Green Mountain Book Award nominees have been announced! Visit our website to see if your favorite young adult titles made the list:
The 2021-2022 Vermont Golden Dome Book Award nominees were announced in April's newsletter. If you missed that issue, you can see the list here:

Voting for the 2020-2021 Red Clover Book Award and Vermont Golden Dome Book Award opened on April 30, and will close on May 28 at 5:00pm. Voting for the 2020-2021 Green Mountain Book Award has been ongoing, and will also close on May 28.

Finally, applications for the Green Mountain Book Award reading committee are due Sunday, May 9, by 11:59pm. The committee is searching for two new adult members and two new teen members. You can find more information about applying here:
2021 Vermont Golden Dome Book Award Conference
Join VTLIB and the Vermont Golden Dome Book Award Reading Committee at this year's FREE Vermont Golden Dome Book Award (VTGDBA) virtual conference! From 10am-12pm, you'll hear from the reading committee about the 2021-2022 VTGDBA nominees, and from 12pm-1pm we'll be joined by award-winning author Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes for a keynote presentation!

For more information and to register, visit:
Vermont Summer Reading Challenge 2021 on Beanstack
Summer is around the corner and we are excited to once again offer the Vermont Summer Reading Challenge on Beanstack. It is available for free to all Vermont libraries and all Vermonters!

Based on feedback from libraries, we have created one all-ages Summer Reading challenge for 2021 with simple adaptable elements. We hope this makes it easy for patrons to participate and for libraries to incorporate Beanstack into their summer programming. The focus of the challenge is to foster a love of reading by encouraging Vermonters to participate in any way that works for them – and hopefully, interact with their public library along the way!
We invite librarians to join us for the Beanstack Summer Reading Challenge 2021 Overview on May 13, 1:00-2:00 pm. We will be joined by a representative from Beanstack to review the challenge and easy ways to promote it and incorporate it into your library’s summer programming. Visit our CE page for more details and to register:

The workshop will be recorded and made available for those unable to attend.
For more information about Beanstack, visit:
Governance & Management
Trustee Training: Diving Deeper

When was the last time your trustee board engaged in intentional, organized trustee training – either for new trustees or as refreshers for those who have served on the board for several years?
Both new and veteran library trustees can benefit from regular training on trustee duties, ethics, fundraising, strategic planning, succession planning, board management, HR issues, and more. VT Dept. of Libraries’ (VTLIB) Governance and Management Consultant Lara Keenan has placed a wealth of training materials on the VTLIB website – including video recordings and slides from her complete basic trustee training presentation.
Over the past six months, Lara has worked with several trustee boards to “Dive Deeper” into trustee training. To start, the boards view her pre-recorded basic trustee training videos (see link above). Then they submit questions to Lara and invite her to an online trustee meeting to lead discussions or give a presentation on topics identified in the board’s questions – allowing the group to dig into issues and topics of concern. Since these customized discussions with Lara are online, they can be as short as twenty minutes or as long as two hours (or more).
Interested in inviting Lara to an online trustee meeting for a discussion or training? She is available during weekdays, evenings, and weekends and would enjoy hearing from you to talk about how she might be able to assist.

Lara Keenan
Governance and Management Consultant
Information & Access
News from CLIC, the Community Legal Information Center
Put a link to CLIC on your library website!

Do your patrons have legal questions? The answer is YES, whether you know it or not. Why not put a link to CLIC on your library's website? Link to:

You can also write to us for a CLIC logo to make a click-able button:
Westlaw and Fastcase

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 at:

Virtual Reference Appointments

Do you or your patrons need help using these legal databases or researching current or historic Vermont laws? Request a virtual reference appointment with a law librarian. Email, 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.
Run, Don't Walk, to Vermont Online Library
Curious about how to use Vermont Online Library to help your patrons?
The only thing Gregorius likes more than running is reading about running, but alas, his local library doesn’t have a relevant subscription. Fortunately, a friendly librarian pointed out that he can read all of the articles from Runner’s World through Vermont Online Library (VOL).
VOL is available to all residents of Vermont. Users can read current articles from a number of popular magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Times, Economist, Cosmopolitan, Outdoor World, Highlights for Children, National Review, and Runner's World. Articles might be delayed, and aren’t quite as tidy as the actual magazine, but will give you the actual content.
Users should follow their library’s link to get onto VOL. Choose All Resources, then Gale General OneFile. Under Publication Search, click List All Publications, and then browse or enter the name of the magazine/newspaper you are looking for and click search. Click on the magazine/newspaper you want and select an issue by date. You’ll see all of the articles in that issue.
March 2021 ILL Stats
Total number of requests: 5702

  • Books: 5199
  • Videos: 352
  • Audiobooks: 131
  • Music CDs: 6
  • Articles: 13
  • Maps: 1
Top 10 most requested book titles in March 2021 (with most requested titles at the top):
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent (Wilkerson)
  • The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness (Montgomery)
  • Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague (Brooks)
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (Loewen)
  • Unsheltered (Kingsolver)
  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies (Philyaw)
  • Waking up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race (Irving)
  • White Houses (Bloom)
  • The Immortalists (Benjamin)
  • Nobody’s Fool (Russo)
ABLE Library
Updates from the ABLE Library
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 (—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. 
Memorable Times Online: A Night at the Oscars

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 again be joining with friends across the Atlantic in Scotland for a special program on Wednesday, June 2nd. Participants will get to enjoy film clips from the 50's-60's and make their choices of Oscar winners! The program is designed to include and delight care partners living with memory loss. Registration is required to receive the link to this event that will be held on ZOOM on Wednesday, June 2nd from 10:30 to 11:30 am (which is late afternoon in Scotland!). Contact Barb Asen at CVCOA for more information or to register: or 802-476-2681.
ABLE Book Club

The ABLE Library welcomes new members to its virtual book club. The book for the May 19, 2021 meeting will be The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Sound recording book number: DB101117). This title is the Vermont Humanities Council’s current Vermont Reads selection ( Please contact the ABLE library to find out how to get a digital or large print copy of the book. Email or call (802) 636-0020 or (800) 479-1711.
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 ( Don’t hesitate to contact the ABLE Library staff for help: or (802) 636-0020 or (800) 479-1711.
Continuing Education
Each May the Department of Libraries awards certificates to people who have completed the Certificate of Public Librarianship program in the past year. This year’s event will happen virtually on May 25th at 1:15 as part of the Awards Ceremony session of the Vermont Library Association Annual Conference.

All are welcome to celebrate the accomplishments of the close to twenty Vermont librarians who have completed this work in 2021. The people in this cohort have library jobs that have been particularly stressful and draining this year due to the responsibilities of being in a public service organization during the pandemic. Some have young children, other jobs in addition to their library job, and are involved in other community organizations making their towns and Vermont a better place. They are now also certified public librarians, continuing in most cases in the job they already were doing well, with increased understanding of librarianship as a profession, best practices to apply to the many types of library work they do, and a better sense of where and how to continue to learn and evolve as a librarian. Join the celebration May 25th or drop them a note of congratulations!
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
History For Homeschoolers: Back to the Land
May 12 and May 13. 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm.

Explore how decisions to protect and preserve the landscape have affected Vermont.
Lively & Local: Historical Societies in Vermont

Vermont’s story is shared, celebrated, and preserved by the over 190 local historical societies and museums found in all corners of the state. Working hard, often only with volunteers and excellent apple pie recipes, they foster a sense of community that bridges generations, provide a sense of place, and help define Vermont’s unique identity.  
“Lively & Local: Historical Societies in Vermont" explores the work of these essential community organizations through images and stories curated by a select group of participants from around the state. These stories highlight the many different ways local historical societies approach and fulfill their missions. Visitors can find information on hundreds of local history organizations via an online directory kiosk, and “Build Your Own Historical Society”, choosing objects from participating organizations and the Vermont Historical Society.  

“Lively & Local: Historical Societies in Vermont" is on view through July 31, 2021.
Support for the exhibit provided by the Alma Gibbs Donchian Foundation