May 2022 Newsletter

Important Updates

News from the Vermont State Archives and

Records Administration (VSARA)

Emergency Preparedness Training Module from VHRP

Emergency Response Plan.png

The Vermont Historical Records Program (VHRP) at VSARA just launched a free online, self-paced training module about emergency preparedness:

The series of short videos cover the basics of emergency management, risk assessment, disaster planning, and contains quizzes and templates. The series can be worked through in order or as desired.

Please contact the VHRP with any questions:

Recordkeeping for Municipal Libraries with VSARA


Vermont State Archives and Record Administration (VSARA) has begun monthly meetings with Municipal Public Librarians to discuss municipal libraries records management. During our first meeting we covered various type of records, including: accounting records, agendas, meeting minutes, as well as potential tools and resources which would be most useful in assisting libraries with records management.

Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 12th, 3:00-4:00pm, during which we will be reviewing preliminary administrative and accounting record inventories. If you are interested in joining, but that time does not work for you, please let us know and we will look for alternatives! To join in on the discussions or if you have any record management related questions, please contact us at or 802-828-3700.

Staff News

Goodbye, Jennifer!


After six years at the Department of Libraries, Library Advancement Assistant Jennifer Johnson will be leaving Vermont to head to the more moderate climes of Virginia. She has accepted a position at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Her last day is May 6th.

During her time here, Jennifer was the driving force behind organizing and refining some of the department’s key programs. She will have been a familiar face to anyone in the library community involved with our youth book awards and other youth programming. She organized access to resources like movie licenses and park passes. Jennifer served as the ever-patient editor for this newsletter and dramatically grew the Department’s social media presence. Internally, she served as the department’s social planner, always finding ways to honor staff members’ birthdays and other life events.

Jennifer is thankful for the opportunity to have worked with such wonderful colleagues at VTLIB and in the Vermont library community, and looks forward to keeping up with Vermont libraries on social media. 

We are grateful to her and wish her all the best on this new adventure.

Department News
For State Employees

Interlibrary Loan Services for State Employees

Did you know that one of the resources available to all Vermont state employees is your own librarian? Your Librarian of Government Services is here to help with any information needs, from research to using interlibrary loan to request material for you. The interlibrary loan system works with libraries across the country to request books, articles, and even DVDs for all State Employees. Reach out to April Shaw at with any questions!

ABLE Library & Inclusive Services
ABLE Library & Inclusive Services Updates

Memorable Times Café 

Join the Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) and the ABLE Library on Wednesday, May 4th from 10:30 to 11:30 am for Memorable Times Café. This month’s theme is: The Wilds of May – Flora, Fauna, and Foraging! Come enjoy sharing stories, memories, music, and community. Attendance is free, and we warmly welcome new participants. Please contact Barb Asen at CVCOA for more information or to register: or 802-476-2681.

ABLE Book Club

Join us for another ABLE Library virtual book club meeting! Our next discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, 2022, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. We will be discussing The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Sound recording book number: DB100906, Large print book number: LP100906). Please contact the ABLE Library to find out how to get a copy of the book and register for the discussion. Email or call (802) 636-0020 or (800) 479-1711.

Inclusive Formats

Why should libraries focus on developing collections with inclusive formats? Ensuring that patrons with disabilities can access library materials is an important part of promoting diversity in our communities. Formats like audiobooks, large print books, and graphic novels allow patrons with visual, physical, and reading disabilities to access library materials in the format that best suits their needs. Additionally, patrons without disabilities may benefit from a wide selection of formats. Offering library materials in alternate formats can benefit everyone. Visit VTLIB’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Collection Development Resources webpage for more information and resources:

ABLE Library Statistics for March 2022

Total number of checkouts: 10,567

Digital cartridges: 7,840

Large print: 1,185

BARD app (audio or braille books downloaded by patrons): 1,542

Top 5 Most Popular Books:

1.     Slaughter of the Mountain Man by William Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone (DB106359)

2.     For Batter or Worse by Jenn McKinlay (DB105918)

3.     Miss Moriarty, I Presume? by Sherry Thomas (DB105789, LP105789)

4.     Invisible by Danielle Steel (DB106415, LP106415)

5.     The Horsewoman by James Patterson (DB106195, LP106198)

Governance & Management

Expanding Resources & Consultant Office Hours


With warmer days ahead, many libraries are looking toward what promises to be a busy summer. Between balancing programs and patrons, it can be a challenge to find time to train your trustees and liaison with the Friends of the Library. New resources are now on the VTLIB website to help you prepare and, hopefully, make the coming months a little smoother.

Short trustee orientation videos are now on the Trustee’s landing page ( Under 10 minutes each, these short videos can be viewed any time, anywhere by your trustees. They provide brief introductions to important topics such as open meeting law, division of duties, roles and expectations, and intellectual freedom.

In addition to these videos, Tonya Ryals (Consultant for Governance and Management), will hold virtual open office hours. This time will allow library directors and trustees to ask questions in an open, virtual setting at their convenience. Office hours will be held May 2 and 16 and June 13 and 27 from 2-3 p.m. Evening office hours will be held May 12 and 26 and June 9 and 23 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Additional resources to assist in working with your Friends of the Library have been added to the Friends page ( New to the page are sample bylaws, sample articles of agreement for Friends and trustees, links to relevant Niche Academy videos, and links to relevant titles in our Library Science collection. Please note that the sample bylaws and articles of agreement are samples only and are not intended as a replacement for legal counsel. 

Small & Rural Libraries

Meet-Ups for Small & Rural Librarians

Copy of Copy of Martin Scorsese.png

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) “Solo-ish Librarian Happy Hour” will meet virtually Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at 7:00pm. Hosted by Vermont’s own Bree Drapa, library director at the Westford Public Library, and Chelsea Price, from Meservy, Iowa, this is an informal gathering of librarians from all over the country. It is a rare opportunity for librarians who work alone or only have one or two part-time local co-workers to hear what’s going on at other libraries, share ideas, build collaborations, and get inspiration and support. It meets the first Wednesday of every month; the Zoom link is here: ARSL members and non-members are welcome.

A similar opportunity specifically for Vermont librarians is the quarterly Small & Rural Libraries Round Table. The spring session will occur online Friday, May 6, 2022, at 10:00am. This session’s focus will be working with volunteers at small libraries. Often in small libraries volunteers are doing work that would be done by paid staff in larger libraries. That situation can have both positive aspects (sometimes it is the only way the library can be open certain hours), and also present challenges with unique nuances. The May 6th session will be a chance for librarians to share how they navigate that, what has worked or not, and changes they may have made over the years as library services expanded and evolved and required different skill sets for volunteers. It will also be a chance to discuss how using volunteers fits into the bigger picture of librarianship as a profession and library budgets. The link to join that meeting is on our CE page:

Youth Services

Summer Reading Updates


Summer is around the corner, and we are pleased to offer the Vermont Summer Reading Challenge once again on Beanstack! Vermont Beanstack is a mobile-friendly site for families to participate in reading-based initiatives and is available for free to all Vermonters. Patrons have access tools to log their reading, complete activities, and earn digital badges. For staff, Beanstack makes it easy to register patrons, view reading and activity participation, and produce extensive reports.

The all-ages Summer Reading challenge on Vermont Beanstack will open for participation June 1 and be available through August 31. 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! The challenge has simple elements that make it easy for patrons to participate and for libraries to incorporate into their summer programming.

Summer Reading Challenge Staff Preview Now Available

We encourage library staff to participate in the staff preview of the Beanstack Summer Reading 2022 challenge to become familiar with the challenge and the Beanstack interface. The challenge is a duplicated version of what will be offered to patrons. You can find instructions on rough how to participate in the staff challenge here: You can practice logging reading minutes, completing activity challenges, and writing book reviews. We will be giving away some books related to the Oceans of Possibilities theme, to the first 5 libraries that complete the staff preview of Summer Reading Challenge!

On our website, you can review all of our summer reading ( Beanstack support and promotional materials ( including tutorials and recordings of previous trainings.

Patron pre-registration for the Vermont Summer Reading challenge is now open!

Vermonters can now preregister for the Summer Reading challenge at! The Summer Reading Challenge will open for participation June 1 and be available through August 31. As a reminder, anyone who created an account last summer or at any time still has an account and will just need to register for the challenge. If they do not have an account they will need to create one before they are able to register.

Information & Access

News from CLIC, the Public Law Library

Legal Self-Help Books

In its 2017 justice gap study, the Legal Services Corporation (created by Congress in 1974 and tasked with a mission to expand access to the civil legal justice system for low-income Americans) found that 86% of civil legal problems of low-income Americans, in a given year, receive inadequate or no legal help. One of the ways that we can ensure that our Vermonters receive the support they need in addressing civil legal matters is by providing access to legal resources, such as self-help books. 

CLIC has a number of self-help books that are available to Vermonters, that can be checked out through their local library. CLIC will ILL the book to a local public library, and then the patron can take the book out with their library card for that library. 

The list of existing CLIC books can be accessed here,*)&SORT=AX&b=clic. But we have purchased a number of new books that address important civil legal issues including the National Consumer Law Center’s Surviving Debt: Expert Advice for Getting Out of Financial Trouble, The Student Loan Handbook, Child Abuse and Neglect Cases, Foreclosure Defense, Cyberbullying, Consumer Law and Protection, Prenuptial Agreements, Food Law, The Complete IEP Guide, Stand Up to the IRS, A Lawyer’s Guide to Filing Long-term Disability Claims and Appeals, and a Guide to Resolving Legal Disputes: Inside and Outside the Courtroom.  We would love to make these books available to all Vermont citizens.

For any other required assistance with patron legal reference questions, you can “Ask a Law Librarian” by calling (802) 831-1313 or emailing

March 2022 Online Resources Usage Report

We’d like to share the March 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 – ACT Practice Test, Praxis Elementary Education, Civil Service Practice Exam, Real Estate Salesperson
  • Tutorials – ACT Test Prep, Citizenship Test Practice, Interview with Confidence
  • Computer Courses – Microsoft Excel, Intro to Computers, SharePoint, PowerPoint
  • eBooks – Becoming a Healthcare Professional, Career Conversations, Writing Prompts, Becoming a Caseworker, GED Test Review, Visual Writing

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 – Ancient Civilizations, American History, Accounting, Medical Terminology, Basic Math, Bible Stories, Bird Watching, Astronomy, Writing Basics, Mystery Writing, UFO Studies


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 in Context, Biography, General OneFile, Virtual Reference Library, News


Read more about LearningExpress, Universal Class, or Vermont Online Library, or email Josh Muse with any questions.

Continuing Education

Accessibility in Libraries: Key Elements for the Inclusion of Disabled People


Inclusive Arts Vermont and the Vermont Department of Libraries are hosting a series of workshops focused on improving library accessibility for disabled people entitled "Accessibility in Libraries: Key Elements for Inclusion of Disabled People." The series includes four non-consecutive workshops held between May 19, 2022, and June 23, 2022. Workshop topics include disability awareness and etiquette, the power of language, meeting accommodation requests, and digital events. Participants can choose to attend the entire series or individual sessions. Each session will be recorded for future viewing. The series also includes open office hours where participants can ask in-depth questions.

Registration links for all are on the Department of Libraries website Continuing Education page: The workshops will be held on Zoom and links to join will be shared with confirmed registrants before each session.

This series will feature verbal description and auto captioning. For other accommodation requests or for accommodations with the registration form, please contact Karen Gravlin at or 802-272-4912.


March 2022 ILL Stats


Total number of requests: 5660

  • Books: 5208
  • Videos: 317
  • Audiobooks: 129
  • Music CDs: 1
  • Articles: 5

Top 5 requested audiobooks:

  • Bad Luck and Trouble (Child)
  • Blood of My Blood (Lyga)
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Reid)
  • The Hard Way (Child)
  • Raising Steam (Pratchett)

Top 10 most requested book titles in March 2022 (with most requested titles at the top):

  • The Winter Soldier (Mason)
  • Dust Tracks on a Road (Hurston)
  • The Poet X (Acevedo)
  • O' Artful Death (Taylor)
  • Unsheltered (Kingsolver)
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities (Wolfe)
  • Clap When You Land (Acevedo)
  • A Long Petal of the Sea (Allende)
  • Full Cicada Moon (Hilton)
  • A Woman is No Man (Rum)
Visit VTLIB's Website
Facebook  Instagram  Youtube