October 2021 Newsletter
Important Updates
Change is the Only Constant
A Message from Interim State Librarian Tom McMurdo
Greetings from your Interim State Librarian, Tom McMurdo! I am pleased to be your acting State Librarian while we look for the next great leader of the Vermont Department of Libraries.
With the departure of State Librarian Jason Broughton and Executive Assistant Cherie Yaeger the Department is undergoing a significant adjustment. Fortunately, we have a strong team of dedicated professionals that will continue to deliver valued services to Vermonters. You can expect ABLE Library services, interlibrary loan, Vermont Online Library, LearningExpress, Universal Class, youth services, library consulting, continuing education, the annual report, communication with libraries through the bi-weekly resource update, and everything we do to be delivered at the highest standard.
The Department of Libraries must be willing to embrace shifts to remain vital and engaged. Just as the leaves are changing and reminding us of the possibilities of autumn, we are reminded that innovation is often sparked by disruption. We look forward to the future and can’t wait to see what we can do!
Speaking of what we are doing, there are a number of great things happening at VTLIB this fall, including a plethora of upcoming CE workshops and conferences, the ABLE & state employee book clubs, and a book giveaway. Check out those articles and more below in this month’s VTLIB newsletter!

P.S. Don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns; my email address is thomas.mcmurdo@vermont.gov.
VTLIB Book Giveaway
VTLIB will be holding a book giveaway at the Aldrich Public Library in Barre (6 Washington Street) on Wednesday, October 13, from 11:30am-4:30pm! Visit us under the tent and fill a bag (or two!) with free, new books for all ages. Members of the library community and the public are welcome!*

VTLIB thanks the Aldrich staff for allowing us to use their space for this event!

*We encourage everyone to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.
Department News
For State Employees
State Employee Fall Book Club
"We Contain Multitudes" Cover

This is a reminder that the State Employee Book Club will continue this fall! We are once again joining the Vermont Reads Program hosted by the Vermont Humanities Council. The fall book club book will be We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra. We once again have 75 copies available to state employees who request them. Please contact April Shaw, april.shaw@vermont.gov to request your copy and to join the group.
There are still a few copies left of this title, please contact April Shaw to request your copy and join the book club today. A group discussion with a facilitator will occur virtually in November. Keep an eye out here or on the Department of Libraries newsletter for details on the discussion!
Book Description:
Canadian author Sarah Henstra has written a beautiful, challenging novel styled in epistolary form that will resonate with readers in many ways. We Contain Multitudes is the story of two high school boys who discover friendship, and then love, through letters to each other. Through these letters, they reveal their complicated lives and families, transcending bullying, opiate addiction, PTSD, and domestic violence. The book presents a myriad of ways to communicate around tough issues in our lives while remaining hopeful and resilient.
Continuing Education
Fall CE Opportunities from VTLIB
On October 28, 2021, Special Populations Consultant and Director of the ABLE Library Karen Gravlin will present a workshop “Rural Literacy and Public Libraries.” This is a great chance to explore Vermont-specific data about this topic, learn about potential collaboration partners, and share with each other about successful literacy services currently offered in participants’ libraries. All Department of Libraries Continuing Education information including registration links can be found here: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed.

The Department of Libraries will host a virtual Library Directors Summit on November 18 & 19, 2021. From 10:00am to 12:00pm both days will feature interactive presentations from NCXT (https://www.ncxt.co/), a Minneapolis-based company specializing in leadership, organizational transformation, and attracting resources that enhance institutional sustainability. The session on the 18th will be for new directors (0-2 years in the job). The session on the 19th will focus on leadership and organizational development and be geared toward directors with more than two years of experience. Afternoon sessions will include a Meet & Greet with Department of Libraries staff and updates from the State Librarian. Registration and full descriptions will be available in early October. This opportunity is open to anyone serving in the top staff position in their library, regardless of job title.
Youth Services
Helping Youth Deal with Loss, Grief, and Trauma
The Vermont Department of Libraries (VTLIB), the Barre district of the Department for Children and Families, and UVM’s Vermont Child Welfare Training Partnership (VTCWTP), worked together to develop initiatives to create a path to healing and stability for children and youth affected by grief and trauma.

Books can be wonderful tools to help children work through grief and loss. Reading (or being read to) and talking with adults can help them understand and cope with their feelings in a developmentally appropriate way. Reading also offers a great way for caregivers to spend time with a child, reinforce a sense of normalcy and security, and connect with them, all of which are important to recovery from a traumatic experience.

With this in mind, the three agencies developed a book list addressing grief, loss, and trauma for different age groups. You can view the complete list here: https://bit.ly/3zTEBNR

Since the creation of the list, VTLIB has put together book sets of some of these titles for Dealing with Loss, Grief, and Trauma and they are available through CLOVER. These book sets are organized by age range - ages 0-5, 6-12, and 13-18- and intended for those targeted ages along with parents and caregivers. There are 5 sets available for each age range.  

If you are interested in making these books available at your library, we recommend setting up a display with them so that patrons can see everything that is available. Informational posters to help with displaying and marketing these materials at your library will soon be available as well. Please see visit our updated page for more details and a full list of the items in each set: https://bit.ly/39Odj0L
2021 Red Clover Book Award Conference
Registration is still open for the 2021 Red Clover Book Award Conference! This free, virtual conference will be held on Friday, October 15, from 9:00am-12:00pm.

We'll begin the conference with a keynote presentation by 2021 Red Clover Book Award winner Andrea Tsurumi (Crab Cake.) This will be followed by a presentation by the Red Clover Book Award reading committee about the 2021-2022 nominees and titles that almost made the list!

Visit our website for more information and to register: https://bit.ly/3illnuO
Small & Rural Libraries
Reflections on the ARSL Annual Conference and More
All who work at a library they consider small and/or rural are invited to the virtual Small and Rural Library Round Table on November 5, 2021 at 10:00am. Part of the morning will be devoted to reflections from people who attended the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) annual conference at the end of October. The Department of Libraries sponsored virtual attendance for three librarians who will share brief summaries of their experiences, and any others who attended virtually or in-person are also invited to share highlights and insights.

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries Continuing Education Committee has a new initiative called RAILS: Resources and Information Learning Sessions. RAILS events will be multi-session more in-depth workshops than the monthly ARSL TRAIN workshops. Coming up in November is a four-part workshop entitled “Just Do It, Now! Draft a Disaster Plan for Your Library,” presented by Vermont’s own Rachel Onuf, Vermont Historical Records Program Director at the Vermont State Archives & Records Administration. The series will focus on creating or revising a disaster plan using a template. There will be short assignments between sessions to keep the workflow leading toward a completed plan by the end of the series. Information about ARSL Continuing Education and the many other useful resources shared by the organization can be found at https://www.arsl.org/.
Information & Access
Top 10 Reasons to Suggest Vermont Online Library to a Patron
  1. Do you know folks who work on their own cars? They should check out Chilton Library, which offers free online repair manuals for a huge range of brands and models.
  2. If a patron comes in with a topic that you have little to no materials on (such as Central Asian sculpture), and you want to make sure they get something THAT DAY, use VOL.
  3. Having trouble with a Readers’ Advisory question, or have a patron that wants to do their own research on what to try next? Dig into Books & Authors.
  4. Whenever a student is doing research and really wants to wow their teacher with sources, they should definitely spend some time on VOL.
  5. A user wants a solid overview about a topic, rather than jumping straight into detailed articles? Try the In Context resources, which are a bit like Encyclopedia entries. It includes categories like Biography, Opposing Viewpoints, Science, and US History.
  6. Have a patron who wants to read today’s articles from NYT, Esquire, National Review, Economist, and more, and doesn’t care about the pictures? There’s a way to do that in VOL.
  7. Remember those big old reference books we don’t have space for anymore? Instead, you can point patrons to Gale eBooks, which offers a selection of reference-based titles.
  8. Is there a patron who is looking to start their own business, or take their current business to another level? Business Entrepreneurship covers a wide range of topics, from starting up, to finance, to management and more.
  9. Have users who are trying to find reliable health information without ending up somewhere weird? They should check out Health and Wellness.
  10. Have a patron who wants to know who David Letterman is? Try Biography.
ABLE Library & Special Populations
ABLE Library & Special Populations Updates
ABLE Book Club

New participants are always welcome to join the ABLE Library’s virtual book club. The book for the November 17, 2021 meeting (2:00-3:00pm) will be Lieberman’s Folly by Stuart M. Kaminsky, (Sound recording book number: DB 035401). Please contact the ABLE Library to find out how to get a digital copy of the book. Email lib.ablelibrary@vermont.gov or call (802) 636-0020 or (800) 479-1711.
Memorable Times Café

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 be happening once again on Wednesday, October 6. The theme for this month’s meeting will be “Treats and Tricks.” Registration is required to receive the link to this event that will be held on ZOOM on Wednesday, October 6th from 10:30 – 11:30. Contact Barb Asen at CVCOA for more information or to register: basen@cvcoa.org or 802-476-2681.
White Cane Safety Day

White canes were introduced in the 1930s as a way of assisting visually impaired pedestrians to travel independently. They also helped motorists identify and yield to people using the white cane, and their use has been protected by law in the United States since that time. White Cane Safety Day, October 15, was established in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson in an effort to raise awareness of people who carry a white cane. To learn more, visit: https://brailleinstitute.org/white-cane-day

Article photo from brailleinstitute.org
Governance & Management
Library Policies: The Trustee's Super Tools
Policies - every library needs them; most libraries have them.

We all know they need to be updated regularly but don’t always get to that task because we’re busy. Or maybe policies seem kind of dry so we fall into policy update procrastination mode.

Join VTLIB staff for a fresh look at policies as a powerful tool that secures and codifies the institution as a welcoming community hub.This will be a multi-part event geared toward trustees and also open to directors. We encourage trustees and directors from the same library to participate together.

Monday, November 1 - 1:00-2:00pm:

An overview/discussion to help reframe your thinking about policies and help you tie them more closely to the library mission.

Post-session homework: attendees will pick one or two policies to review and update with other board members and the library director.

Monday, November 15 - 1:00-2:00pm:

Attendees will share the results of their work and discuss the process with peers and VTLIB staff.

Both sessions will be held on MS Teams. The link to join is on the VTLIB website CE page: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed.
August 2021 ILL Stats
Total number of requests: 4738

  • Books: 4370
  • Videos: 247
  • Audiobooks: 113
  • Music CDs: 4
  • Articles: 3
  • Music Scores: 1

Top 5 requested audiobooks:

  • Birds of a Feather (Winspear)
  • Braiding Sweetgrass (Kimmerer)
  • Catering to Nobody (Davidson)
  • Every Last Secret (Torre)
  • Fall of Giants (Follett)
Top 10 most requested book titles in August 2021 (with most requested titles at the top):
  • Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family (Kolker)
  • The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (See)
  • Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague (O’Farrell)
  • Small Great Things (Picoult)
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Smith)
  • How To Be An Antiracist (Kendi)
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Diamond)
  • Purple Hibiscus (Adichie)
  • Burger’s Daughter (Gordimer)
  • The Beekeeper of Aleppo (Lefteri)
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
Catamount Hike

Weathersfield, VT
October 16, 2:00 PM 

After the Civil War, three major catamount hunts captured public attention. This nature walk traces the path of the 1867 hunt in Weathersfield, VT.  

Location: 4261 VT-106, Perkinsville, VT (at the junction of VT 131 and VT 106). 
Attendees can park in the lot either beside, in front of, or behind the restaurant/snack bar. The group will carpool about 1/4 mile south to begin the walk. 
67th Annual Meeting of the League of Local Historical Societies & Museums

Montpelier, VT 
October 30, 8:45 am – 3:00 pm. 

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 to foster a sense of community that bridges generations, they provide a sense of place and help define Vermont’s unique identity. At the League of Local Historical Societies & Museums (LLHSM) 67th annual meeting, we’ll come together to learn and share about the different ways we can accomplish these important objectives, especially in times of uncertainty and change.   

History for Homeschoolers

Please note: in-person sold out. 

Piecing Together Vermont History 

There are two options for the 2021-22 series - in-person or virtual (with Zoom class).
Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to create the At-Home materials to coincide with this year's classes. However last year's materials are available for new participants.

Students can participate in some or all sessions. The classes are recommended for children ages 7 to 12. Some activities involve reading and writing. Pre-registration is REQUIRED for in-person and virtual classes; space is limited. 

Please contact Victoria Hughes at victoria.hughes@vermonthistory.org or (802) 828-1413 with any questions or concerns. 

Each session includes history-related activities that focus on the month's theme. 

October: Abenaki History & Oral History
Wednesday, October 13 OR Thursday, October 14