November 2018 Newsletter
Featured Partnership
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), along with the Vermont Department of Libraries, and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, announce the 8th annual Agricultural Literacy Week this November 12-17, 2018. The week-long celebration occurs across the state to inform and educate people about the economic and cultural importance of farms in Vermont communities.
For more information about this initiative, as well as access to a newsletter just for libraries and a bibliography, visit:
Department News
Special Populations & ABLE Library

South Burlington Scores High in Ranking Naming “Best Cities With Special Needs”

GLAAD ( Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ) Publishes 2018 List of “Where We Are on TV” Report

Vermont Scores High on “Educational Equality”

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) offers an asynchronous web training on the topic of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

High-tech system to assist voters with disabilities
Memorable Times Cafe Series
VTLIB is partnering with the Central Vermont Council on Aging ( to offer a series of memory cafes.

A memory cafe is a relaxed social time for people living with mild to moderate memory loss and their care partners. Conversation and activities will be facilitated, and free refreshments will be served.

Cafes are held on the third Wednesday of the month in the Community Room of the Vermont History Center in Barre (60 Washington St.) from 1:30-3:00pm. No sign-up needed- just show up!

Upcoming Cafes:

November 21, 2018
December 19, 2018
January 16, 2019
February 20, 2019
March 20, 2019


Each webinar will be one hour long and first half hour will be walking users through the basics of logging in, searching for a title, placing a request, and updating the request through the entire process, as well lending processes such as marking a title as shipped and returned. Then the second half will be for any Clover related questions.

  • Tuesday, November 13 - 10:00-11:00am
  • Thursday, November 29- 1:00-2:00pm

Governance and Management
Homelessness and Libraries

As you know, libraries in Vermont host visitors from all areas of life, facing all sorts of issues – including housing insecurity, otherwise known as homelessness. Libraries from all parts of Vermont, both tiny and large, have reached out to Lara recently for resources on helping patrons facing homelessness.
A powerful resource to consider – not only for helping patrons facing homelessness but for all patrons – is the work of Ryan J. Dowd, the author of the website and book called The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness ( (book available for loan from the VT Dept. of Libraries or purchase from the American Library Association). Ryan is a passionate proponent of “Empathy-Driven Enforcement” of library policies. He has powerful tips on working with patrons on all sorts of issues – from body odor to delusions – on his website and in his book.
The American Libraries Magazine has an article about Ryan’s work on their website:
Opioid Crisis, Narcan, and Libraries
There has been a lot of talk in the library community about the opioid crisis and the role that public libraries might play – especially in terms of spotting an opioid overdose, contacting 911, and administering Narcan to reverse an opioid overdose.
The VT Dept. of Libraries is currently developing a training on opioid addiction, Narcan administration, resources in your community, and policy recommendations and considerations for public library directors and trustees.
  • This training will be a good place to discuss the issues public libraries face around medical emergencies in their libraries, safety considerations around opioid overdoses in your library, and policies around training, storage, and procedures for administering Narcan – should your library board and staff decide that this is something they wish to do.
  • More information about this training is forthcoming.
In the meantime, American Libraries Magazine published an article about an opportunity for all public libraries in the U.S. to obtain 2 free doses of Narcan from Emergent Biosolutions in Maryland – and the Department of Libraries wanted to pass along this information in case any of you had already been talking about Narcan and looking for a way to obtain it.
  • As a caveat, one requirement to receive the Narcan from Emergent Biosolutions is to “provide to Emergent the appropriate medical license of the registered medical advisor representing the Library who is responsible for overseeing the receipt, storage and use of the product” and to have this person sign the application form.
  • The article, along with the link to more information and the application form, can be found here:
  • Libraries in VT have mentioned to me that they are also looking into local sources for free Narcan – including local law enforcement, EMTs, or a local medical establishment.
Please note: The VT Dept. of Libraries realizes that this could be a sensitive issue for your community. We recommend that library boards and directors reach out to medical professionals and/or law enforcement in their community to obtain training in Narcan administration (and safety) and to think carefully about the following items prior to administering Narcan:
  • Who will be trained to administer Narcan (not forcing anyone to get trained or be expected to administer Narcan who does not want to do so)
  • What the procedure will be for administration (safety gloves and masks, calling 911, etc.)
  • Where the Narcan will be stored to protect it from theft
  • Who will be responsible for maintaining the Narcan inventory and expiration dates
  • What the reporting requirements will be for your library if Narcan is administered (incident reports, telling local law enforcement, reporting to the VT Dept. of Health, etc.)
Link to the Good Samaritan Law in Vermont – starting at (d)(1):
Lara is currently working on guidance and policy recommendations for library boards and directors to consider on this issue (based on the items listed above). Please feel free to reach out to Lara with any questions or concerns: ; 802-636-0026.
Continuing Education
Free Webinar from PLA

In the spirit of both CE AND Small and Rural Libraries, check out this free webinar from the Public Library Association, entitled “ Fresh Food, Fresh Thinking: An Innovative Approach to Youth Development and Learning in Rural Communities.”

As with other PLA offerings, in addition to the almost hour-long webinar, this includes support materials such as the slides, implementation questions, and more. One Elective Continuing Ed Unit for participating in this for anyone currently enrolled in the Certificate of Public Librarianship program. Also, it could generate some ideas for your library’s celebration of Agricultural Literacy Week ( )

Upcoming VTLIB CE Workshops

Upcoming VTLIB CE workshops are listed on our website ( .) Note that there are two CPL required core courses coming up in the next few months: Basic Public Library Administration December 4 th , and Collection Development January 18 th .
Youth Services
2018 Red Clover Book Award Conference

There's still time to register for this year's Red Clover Book Award Conference! The Red Clover Book Award is Vermont's picture book award, and this conference brings together librarians and educators to learn how to promote this program in their libraries and schools. Vermont author Tracey Campbell Pearson will be our keynote speaker, and there will be three sessions of workshops to attend! For more information and to register, visit:

Teen Services Roundtable & Free Breakout EDU Kits

In December, Youth Services Consultant Cass Mabbott will be hosting two round table sessions in the north and south. These sessions are meant to be an informal get together where public and school librarians can meet each other and exchange ideas about how to best serve teens in their community. There will be a short Breakout EDU training and then kits will be distributed for everyone to keep. Everybody is welcome.

For more information and to register, visit:
National Library News

November 2018
Image from
Pharmaceutical company offers free Narcan® to U.S. public libraries
" Emergent BioSolutions will provide two doses to every public library branch in the US. "

For more information and to find out if your library is eligible, visit the link below. Lara Keenan also discusses this in the "Governance and Management" section of this newsletter.

Grants available to support adult literacy
" The American Library Association (ALA) and Dollar General Literacy Foundation invite public libraries to apply for grants of $10,000 to expand services for adult English language learners or adults in need of basic education and workforce development. "

For more information and to find out if your library is eligible, visit the link below.

Image from
American Creed : Community Conversations Grants
" The American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with Citizen Film and the National Writing Project, invites public libraries to apply for programming grants to host community conversations centered around American Creed, a PBS documentary that invites audiences to consider what America's ideals and identity ought to be. "

For more information and to apply, visit:
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
VHS Traveling Exhibit Program
The Vermont Historical Society’s new Traveling Exhibit program offers low-cost, professional displays on a variety of Vermont history topics perfect for your historical society, museum, or community institution. These self-contained panel exhibitions can be used alone, or augmented with items from your own collections. More information & current offerings available here:
Before Your Time: Tales Behind the Tombstones
Many of Vermont’s cemeteries date back multiple centuries. They’re filled with worn-down stones that may only offer glimpses of the personal histories of the dead. But these cemeteries still hold lessons for the people who visit them today. The lastest episode of our Before Your Time podcast with the Vermont Humanities Council and VTDigger explores just some of these stories- from granite carving to epitaph music. Listen to the episode here: .
Seeds of Renewal Exhibit
Nov. 6, 2018-April 2019
Opening Celebration: Saturday, Nov. 17, 1:00-3:00pm
Vermont History Museum, Montpelier, VT
Join us for the opening celebration for our newest exhibit, Seeds of Renewal , which explores Abenaki agricultural history, cuisine, and ceremony. It will include a talk by Prof. Wiseman on the amazing wealth of heretofore hidden historical knowledge of Indigenous Vermont cultivation, cuisine, and ceremony. Program & event info here:
Third Thursday: "I Wrote and Waited": Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Life in Cavendish, VT
Nov. 15, 12:00 pm
UVM, Burlington
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a Nobel Prize-winning Soviet dissident author who moved to Cavendish, VT, after his exile from the Soviet Union. He and his family became part of community life in the small town, which guarded his privacy fiercely. Margo Caulfield of the Cavendish Historical Society will share what his life was like and the impact he had on the community.
Paul's Perspective
The Power of an OPAC
Paul Carnahan, Librarian, Vermont Historical Society

 An Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) is designed for finding books that are in a library, but it can do much more than that. Some modern OPACs are discovery tools for information outside of the library. In the case for the OPAC maintained by the Vermont Historical Society’s Leahy Library ( ), the catalog is an enhanced tool for information on Vermont history.
               The VHS OPAC is a source for research information on the history of Vermont. One of its strengths is access to articles published in Vermont History , the only academic journal on Vermont’s past. All articles published in the journal since 2000 and over 200 selected articles published before that date are cataloged in the OPAC and linked from the catalog record. Clicking on the link with the text “Click here for full text” will lead the researcher to a full text, searchable PDF of the article!
               The OPAC can also be used to learn about manuscript collections in the Leahy Library. A large portion of the library’s manuscript collections now have “finding aids,” or detailed descriptions. Manuscript collections are usually composed of original documents such as family papers, business records, organizational records, and account books. Although the full text of the collections themselves are not online, the full text of the finding aids is online. Records for many manuscript collections contain a link with the text “Click here for full text of finding aid.”
               A hidden resource in the VHS OPAC is links to 49 Vermont maps. Digitized maps can be a little difficult to find in the OPAC, but researchers can conduct a “browse” search for the phrase “Click here for image of this map” to find all 49 maps. 
               Several years ago, after a scholar requested scans of all our “election sermons” (i.e., sermons given to the Vermont legislature on the day of the general election). We posted them all online, linked through the catalog. All a researcher needs to do is conduct a subject search for “Election sermons – Vermont” to get the full text of 50 sermons.
               More recently, the Vermont Historical Society staff researched the 1970s counterculture in Vermont. As part of that project we interviewed many people involved with the “back to the land” movement. Fifty-one of those interviews are available online through the library’s OPAC. To find them, a researcher only needs to conduct a simple search for “Vermont 1970s counterculture project.” A link in the “Digital Resource” field will take a researcher to a digital file and audio log of the interview.
               The VHS OPAC offers the user a wealth of information – and it is still a work in progress. We're working all the time to add more books, manuscripts, and articles to this research resource!