October 2018 Newsletter
The Month in Photos
Top Left: Vermont Creative Economy panel at Richmond Free Library
Top Right: Author Lisa Bunker answers a student question at Dorothy's List Celebration
Bottom Left: Cass Mabbott with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden at the National Book Festival
Bottom Right: National Student Poet Alexnadra Contreras-Montesano with Governor Phil Scott
Department News
ATTN: State Employees
The Vermont Department of Libraries is hosting a workshop for state employees entitled " Customer Service/Soft Skills Workshop: A Trio of Topics ."

Intended for supervisors and managers from any state departments, this will be led by Rona Carr, founder and president of U R It, a New York-based foundation dedicated to teaching communication, facilitating inclusion, and creating opportunities. The topics discussed will include polishing your professional and personal communication/ presentation skills, gracious refusals, and saying “no” with confidence and grace.

This workshop will have Q & A, role playing customer service scenarios, and discussions on customer service resources, information, and books!

Date & Location: Thursday October 25th 9AM -2 PM at the Vermont Department of Libraries, 60 Washington Street, Barre.

Registration is available through our website: https://bit.ly/2EQXkyC

Note: similar workshops will be held specifically for librarians, also in October.
Continuing Education
  • VTLIB's Continuing Education Survey

A final push for VTLIB’s survey on Continuing Education: it will remain open until October 5 th . A large number of people have already done the survey (thank you!) and it has already been informative and helpful. After this last effort to get responses, we will do a methodical analysis of the results with the entire Library Advancement team and use that information to shape future CE. It’s exciting to look ahead toward meeting the changing needs of Vermont libraries and the changing demographics of our librarians. We certainly could not do this without lots of input, so please keep that coming even after the survey is closed.

  • VTLIB's CE Workshops and Webinars

A reminder that VTLIB CE workshops and webinars are listed on our website: http://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed . We will record workshops as well, and archive them here: http://libraries.vermont.gov/recordedworkshops . Please check these pages periodically as we add regularly add things.
Youth Services
Cass Mabbott interviews Alex.
Alex chats with VT Poet Laureate Chard deNiord.
Alex reads her poetry.

  • VTLIB Honors 2018 National Student Poet at Richmond Free Library

Alexandra Contreras-Montesano, a senior at Burlington High School, was named one of only five 2018 National Student Poets in the country. To celebrate this achievement, VTLIB hosted an event for Alex at the Richmond Free Library as part of the Capitol for a Day events in Chittenden County on September 23. Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord, Governor Phil Scott, and other state government officials were present to hear Alex read her award-winning poetry and discuss her inspirations and aspirations!

For more information about the National Student Poets Program, visit:
2018 Dorothy's List winner Alan Gratz speaks to Vermont students via video.
Lisa Bunker reads from her book Felix Yz .
Lisa chats with students in the audience.
  • VTLIB Hosts Dorothy's List Celebration at Vermont Technical College

The 2018 Dorothy's List Celebration was held on October 4 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. Vermont students and their librarians attended the event, and they got the opportunity to hear author Lisa Bunker (whose book Felix Yz is on the 2018-2019 list) give a presentation, ask Ms. Bunker questions, and watch an exclusive video from 2018 Dorothy's List winner Alan Gratz. Several student attendees were also honored for reading all thirty books on the 2017-2018 list. It was a wonderful event!

For more information about our middle-grade book award, visit our website:

  • Letters about Literature

The Vermont Department of Libraries will once again be facilitating Vermont's state competition in the Library of Congress' 26th Annual Letters about Literature contest.This contest asks students in grades 4-12 to write a letter to an author explaining how something they've written affected the student's worldview and/or self-perception.

For more information, visit: http://libraries.vermont.gov/vtlal

Governance & Management
  • Annual Trustees and Friends Conference

Usually this time of year, the VT Dept. of Libraries sends out information about the Annual Trustees and Friends Conference which has – in the past – occurred in November of each year.
After receiving much feedback from the community, however, we have decided to change the timing of the Conference so that it happens in May of each year, after Town Meeting when most library trustee boards have new members.
More information about the date and location for the new Spring Annual Trustees and Friends Conference will be forthcoming – so keep your eyes open for the news!
And – if you are not already part of the VT Dept. of Libraries’ Trustees and Friends email list serv, please consider joining so that you will be among the first to know when the date and location is announced. To join the list serv, email Josh Muse at joshua.muse@vermont.gov with the following information: (1) your name, (2) the name of the library at which you are a trustee or friend, (3) your email address, and (4) the fact that you’d like to subscribe to the Trustees and Friends list serv.
  • Fantastic “Short-Takes” FREE Training for Library Trustees

Have you seen the “Short-Takes” trainings from the American Library Association for Trustees? The trainings provide 10 short handouts (and videos) on the following important trustee topics:
·          What it means to be a trustee
·          Board Meetings
·          Board Ethics
·          Library Advocacy
·          Library Policies
·          Strategic Planning
·          Working with Friends
·          Evaluating the Library Director
·          Board Self Evaluation
·          Succession Planning and New Board Orientation
Governance and Management Consultant Lara Keenan frequently emails parts of these trainings to trustees via the Trustees and Friends list serv. If you would like to access all the materials, please reach out to Lara at lara.keenan@vermont.gov or 802-636-0026, and she will provide you with access instructions for these fantastic free resources.

Small & Rural Libraries
  • Voter Registration

With midterm elections coming up, think about championing public libraries as bastions of democracy by embedding voter registration information on your library website. The company EveryLibrary created embeddable forms specifically for library websites and you can use them to help your library patrons to get ready to vote. They are free to use and are available for use by voters in all 50 states. Here is a link to the forms.
  • LGBTQ Resources

ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services has a resource list on drag queen story hours ( https://bit.ly/2y1i2cT ) as well as general outreach resources for services to the LGBTQ community ( https://bit.ly/2dj1Nyz .) These are interesting topics to follow in terms of censorship and social justice, regardless of whether or not your library is hosting drag queen story hours.
  • Bugle Riff for a Vermont Small/Rural Library

And this month’s bugle riff celebrating awesomeness at a small and rural Vermont library: actually 2 libraries, this time: Alburgh Public Library and Warren Public Library for hosting Cookbook Clubs. (If your library also does this, play yourself a little fanfare, too.) From the Warren website: “What is a cookbook club? It's like a regular bookclub but the book that we discuss is a cookbook and every participant is asked to bring a dish made from the same cookbook.” What a fun way to combine books, food, and community. Libraries are always about books and community – how great is it to add food in there, too! Plus cookbooks are often gorgeous, yet expensive: perfect books for patrons to browse or borrow at your library instead of buying every one that strikes their fancy.
Special Populations & ABLE Library
  • “Braille for a New Digital Age.” New York Times [3 Sept 2018]

  • “Astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell Donates 2.3m Prize to Boost Diversity in Science.” The Indpendent [7 Sept 2018]

  • Friday Night Groups (FNG)

Friday Night Groups hosted by Outright Vermont meet or will be meeting in Burlington, Montpelier, Brattleboro and Morrisville. FNG is Outright Vermont’s signature social and support group for self-identified queer youth ages 13-22: http://www.outrightvt.org/home/fng/
From Our Neighbors at the
Vermont Historical Society
News & Events
Before Your Time: Mobility for the Masses
Many Vermonters felt a sense of liberation during the nation’s first “bike boom” in the 1890s, when bikes became cheaper and easier to ride. The lastest episode of our Before Your Time podcast with the Vermont Humanities Council and VTDigger explores the lasting impact and importance of bicycles. Listen to the episode here: www.beforeyourtime.org .
180th VHS Annual Meeting
October 6, 9:30 to 11:30 am
Vermont History Museum, Montpelier, VT
Join us to kick off the Vermont Historical Society’s 180th year with presentations, awards, official business, and more. Keynote presentation by Dr. Dennis Waring on “The Estey Organ: An Ethnomusicologist’s View”. Details here: http://vermonthistory.org/visit/events-calendar/annual-meeting-conference
League of Local Historical Societies & Museums Conference
'History from A to (Generation) Z'
October 27
Woodstock, VT
New audiences, new directions, old collections. Join colleagues from around the state for a day of networking and learning centered around navigating the practical aspects of running a historical society or museum. Explore ways to engage with the new generations of visitors, as well as the those next in line to take the helm at your local society. More details here: http://vermonthistory.org/visit/events-calendar/league-meeting
Explore the World of Photographer H.L. Chapman
Chapman was a prolific photographer from Windham, VT whose images include everything from adorable dogs to evocative landscapes. VHS has hundreds of his glass plate negatives in our collections, a technology he used even after it had fallen out of favor and replaced by new film technology. Learn more about his life and work in a recent article in Vermont Magazine, available online here: http://vermonthistory.org/research/vermont-magazine-articles
Paul's Perspective
Sanborn Maps Available at Vermont History Center and Online
Paul Carnahan, Librarian, Vermont Historical Society

               Did you know that before there were Google maps there were fire insurance maps published by the Sanborn Map Company? These maps are valuable to researchers of all types because they show detailed footprints of buildings in settled areas of the state during the period 1867-1948. 

Although Sanborn maps aren’t three-dimensional like Google’s “Street View,” they tell us a lot about how Vermont towns appeared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They show where roads, railroads, houses, schools, stores and especially factories were located. The maps do not indicate the names of home owners, but they provide extensive information on industrial enterprises and town layouts. The map makers used different colors to represent different building materials, making the maps are attractive to look at.

Physical copies of Sanborn maps for Vermont are available for use at the Vermont Historical Society’s Leahy Library next to VTLIB in the Vermont History Center in Barre.  Ten large volumes contain maps that were used by a Montpelier insurance company to keep track of property values and insurance risks. These maps were kept up to date by local employees through of corrected overlays that were sent to them by the Sanborn Company and then pasted onto the out-of-date base maps! 

While it is fascinating to view these maps in their original form, they are now also available to researchers online. The Library of Congress is digitizing its large holdings of Sanborn maps, including many for Vermont communities. These maps can be viewed at https://www.loc.gov/collections/sanborn-maps . Members of the Vermont Historical Society can also view Sanborn maps through ProQuest’s subscription database. 

The Library of Congress Sanborn maps, which have been scanned in color, are impressive but are the least comprehensive of the three collections, followed by the ProQuest collection and the VHS’s own paper collection. The paper maps in the Leahy Library cover approximately 210 more “communities” than are available at either ProQuest or the Library of Congress!

To see if your community was mapped by the Sanborn Company go to http://vermonthistory.org/research/research-resources-online/sanborn-maps and click on the link that says “table.” You will be able to determine in which years maps were created by the Sanborn Company and where they are available.

If you want to get a unique perspective on your community’s built environment, be sure to consult the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, either online or in a library or historical society such as the Vermont Historical Society library in Barre.