September 2021 Newsletter
Important Updates
A Fond Farewell
A Goodbye Letter from Departing State Librarian Jason Broughton
Photo of Jason Broughton
Dear Vermont Library Community,

I am sending out a formal goodbye to the library community, state government, and those who are interested in the Vermont Department of Libraries. It is a bittersweet moment to leave a state, a department, and groups of people who have made my time in Vermont a memorable experience.

I have seen and implemented many changes from the day I arrived at the Department of Libraries. The department has experienced many challenges and situations in the short time that I have been at the helm. I am pleased with how much we accomplished in that short a time span for ourselves, state government, and the wider library community.

The one thing that has not changed over time has been the feeling of being here with all of you. The culture that I experienced from day one from everyone was a breath of fresh air--the feeling that you can express an idea, be creative, have whimsy, have a can-do attitude, and have cooperation/collaboration, regardless of what needs to be done! And how can I forget about the liquid gold that is maple syrup!

It has been a joy and a pleasure serving as your State Librarian and Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Libraries. More than that – it has been a privilege to have met, laughed, danced, sung, and cried with so many of you. As with any special place it is the people who make it, and it will be those I miss the most.

I have enjoyed my time in Vermont, albeit shortened, and I will miss what Vermont represents while I am in Washington, D.C. Even though I have been asked to serve in a new capacity in the Library of Congress, I will continue to remind myself of what matters most based upon my experience in Vermont. People matter, those who are vulnerable matter, having authentic and civil conversations matters, and most of all it matters how you treat others and yourself.

Please don’t hesitate to connect with me on LinkedIn:

Fortunately, I leave behind a strong, dedicated team at the Department of Libraries who will continue the great work we have been doing with all of you.

Goodbye, good luck, and have a good laugh. I will continue to visit Vermont due to having old and new friends here. You never know, I could return in a different capacity if the universe wills it!

Over and out.

Jason Broughton
Department News
For State Employees
Announcing State Employee Fall Book Club
"We Contain Multitudes" Cover
In January 2021, with support from the Vermont Reads Program hosted by the Vermont Humanities Council, VTLIB proudly launched a new program for Vermont State Employees: a book club! In an effort to bring together employees from all departments across the state 75 copies of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas were offered and sent out throughout February and March. Over 100 state employees signed up, representing more than 18 departments and agencies from 12 of the 14 counties in Vermont!
The success of the first State Employee Book Club has ensured that it 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, to request your copy and to join the group.
Copies will be sent to those who request them throughout the month of September. 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.
Information & Access
Gale's Fresh Year, Fresh Start Resources
Gale Fresh Year, Fresh Start logo
Get ready to kick start learning this school year with fresh tools for your Gale In Context resources! Quickly build knowledge with these customizable presentations when presenting to teachers, parents, and students; each presentation provides overviews of content and tools available in your Gale In Context resources. Find even more tools on Gale’s Fresh Year, Fresh start page!
Small & Rural Libraries
Regional Hub for "Libraries Transforming Communities" Grantees
Libraries Transforming Communities logo
All Vermont librarians who were awarded grants in the American Library Association Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries initiative are invited to join the Northeast Regional Hub of grantees. Coordinated by the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Northeast Regional Hub is one of four regional hubs throughout the country offering an optional extended professional development and cohort-building experience for grantees. Participation is open to all grantees from Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. The first Hub convening will be online Thursday, September 23, 2021, from 11:00am to 12:00pm. This will be an opportunity to learn more about the Hubs, focus in on what kind of work will be most helpful to the Northeast cohort, and discuss some logistics. Grantees are encouraged to attend even if they are not sure yet if they want to engage with the entire Hubs experience. Participation in the Hub will also be open to any who receive grants in Round Three of the project.
September Round Table in ARSL "TRAIN" Series
ARSL logo
The September Round Table offered as part of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries TRAIN (Training, Roundtables, and Informational Networking) series will occur Thursday, September 16, 2021, from 2:00pm-3:00pm ET. The topic will be “Demystifying Advocacy.” This will be facilitated by Meredith Wickham, Director of the Southwest Public Libraries system in Grove City, Ohio. Wickham will lead participants in understanding and defining advocacy and identifying work they are already doing that fits into that realm. The session will also include resource sharing related to library advocacy and how to work with state library associations and the American Library Association to make advocacy and communicating with legislators less intimidating and more efficient. Details about all upcoming TRAIN events and links to register are here:
ABLE Library & Special Populations
ABLE Library & Special Populations Updates
Cover of The Best American Mystery Stories
ABLE Book Club

There is still time to read the book and join the ABLE Library’s virtual book club. The book for the September 15, 2021 meeting (2:00-3:00pm) will be The Best American Mystery Stories, edited by Louise Penny (Sound recording book number: DB 93727). 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.
Large Print Deposit Collections

Are you a library interested in participating in our large print deposit collections? We currently have deposit collections in dozens of libraries around the state and are eager to grow our community of institutional borrowers. All you need to do is sign-up by contacting the ABLE Library directly, and our team will walk you through each step of the simple process. Please contact us today with any interest and/or additional questions you have – we look forward to working with you! You can reach us at or (802) 636-0020.

Memorable Times Café 

The next meeting of Memorable Times Online, the virtual memory cafe partnership between Central Vermont Council on Aging and the ABLE Library of the Vermont Department of Libraries, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 6. Registration is required to receive the link to this event that will be held on ZOOM on Wednesday, October 6, from 10:30 – 11:30. The program is designed to include and delight care partners living with memory loss. Contact Barb Asen at CVCOA for more information or to register: or 802-476-2681. 
Pride Vermont Festival

Join state library staff at our table in Battery Park in Burlington on September 5 from 1pm - 4pm for the Pride Vermont Festival. The Pride Festival is one big party in Battery Park following the parade. It’s a place for the entire community – LGBTQ+ and ally – of all ages, races, and backgrounds to come together. Colorful, showstopping performers will be sure to entertain on stage while the park is filled with fabulous vendors with info and activities (and food!) for all.
July 2021 ILL Stats
Midway Movie Poster
Total number of requests: 4665

  • Books: 4289
  • Videos: 258
  • Audiobooks: 115
  • Music CDs: 2
  • Articles: 1

Top 5 requested DVDs:

  • The Darling Buds of May
  • Grey's Anatomy (all seasons)
  • Dr. Dolittle
  • My Fair Lady
  • Midway
Top 10 most requested book titles in July 2021 (with most requested titles at the top):
City of Thieves Cover
  • A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety (Carter)
  • Things Fall Apart (Achebe)
  • City of Thieves (Benioff)
  • Where the Crawdads Sing (Owens)
  • Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century (Bruder)
  • All Creatures Great and Small (Herriot)
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Wilkerson)
  • The Henna Artist (Joshi)
  • Jayber Crow (Berry)
  • The Vanishing Half (Bennett)
Youth Services
Summer 2021 Comes to an End
Tails & Tales Artwork
Summer is coming to an end, and we want to give a big shout out to everyone for all of your amazing Summer Reading programming this year despite the ongoing challenges and unknowns that 2021 brought your way!

Summer Reading Statistics

We are extending the deadline for the Summer Reading Statistics Form, which is now due by Friday, October 15, 2021 by 5:00pm. This survey is mandatory for all Vermont public libraries that received CSLP summer reading materials from VTLIB. We would also like to hear from libraries that offered a summer reading program but did not use the CSLP theme, as well as from libraries that did not offer a summer reading program but provided other services during the summer. This is your chance to brag about all the amazing things you did during this summer!

Summer Programming Grant Reminders

  • September 15: Deadline for spending funds/holding performances
  • October 15: Grant certification and expenditure report due

Beanstack Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading challenge on Beanstack ended yesterday. We had a huge jump in participation, with 989 new registrations, 1,162 badges completed and a total of 7,622 hours read across the state! We will be sending out more summer statistics and information about what Beanstack challenges are coming up next soon.

Thank you all for a fantastic summer and we can’t wait to see what you all have in store for 2022!
Resilient Together: Building School and Public Library Partnerships
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Are you considering a collaboration between your school and public library to maximize your impact on your community? Are you part of an existing collaboration and wondering how to expand?

VTLIB is sponsoring 10-14 Vermont public library staff and 10-14 school librarians to attend the Library Journal & School Library Journal three-week virtual training: Resilient Together: Building School and Public Library Partnerships (

This course will explore the many benefits of the school and public alliance to drive equitable access to information, improve community outcomes, and achieve learning goals, with an emphasis on digital partnerships and how library collaborations have evolved in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will learn from the experts how to find partnerships, develop a plan of action, and enact your plan through live keynote sessions, an interactive online classroom environment, and live Office Hours with an expert in the field.

Sessions will be on Wednesdays Oct 13, Oct 20, Oct 27 2021, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET. Applications must be received by 11:59pm September 5, 2021. Application guidelines and link to the application form can be found here:
Continuing Education
Learn about VTLIB's Certificate of Public Librarianship Program
All are invited to attend one of two Open Houses for the Certificate of Public Librarianship program. The Open Houses are intended as informal, informative gatherings for stakeholders in the program to get acquainted and share ideas. One specific purpose is to answer questions about the program, especially from newly enrolled people or people considering enrolling. These sessions are also a time for anyone to share suggestions and feedback on program content, format, and topics. A goal of the program is to provide training that is practical and directly applicable to work in Vermont libraries, so it would be helpful to hear the invaluable perspective of working librarians who have completed the program and people who supervise staff who are enrolled. The two options to attend are Tuesday, September 7, 2021 from 2:00-3:00 and Friday, September 10, 2021 from 10:00-11:00. The link to join the MS Teams meeting is on the Vermont Department of Libraries Continuing Education website page:
All other upcoming Continuing Education hosted by the Department of Libraries is posted there also.
Other ways to learn about the Certificate of Public Librarianship are the Certificate of Public Librarianship Orientation posted on Niche Academy ( and the FAQs posted on the Department of Libraries website:
Governance & Management
Fundraising in a Time of Uncertainty
Since budget issues will continue to concern VT Libraries (see VTLIB’s page on Responding to Budget Cuts, we are offering a fundraising resource this month.

Ed Rossman, author of 40+ New Revenue Sources for Libraries and Nonprofits, offered a webinar last year titled “Library Fundraising in the Wake of COVID-19.” View the slides from the webinar:
Ed emphasized that libraries may need to consider new fundraising ideas, such as the following:

  • Self-Publishing: Use Ingram Spark (or another self-publishing platform) to document how COVID-19 has affected your community; collect stories, before-and-after pictures, and more into a book that the library or the Friends can sell.

  • Amazon Smile: Register your library (or Friends group) to receive donations through Amazon Smile ( Patrons can select your library/Friends group to receive a .5% donation of the cost of eligible purchases.

  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding involves selecting a platform (such as GoFundMe), creating a “pitch,” creating video and graphics, offering incentives, having a realistic goal, and creating a detailed campaign. The Council on Nonprofits also offers advice on crowdfunding:

  • Online Gift Shop: Use a third-party retailer (like Café Press) to create and sell swag with the library’s logo without having to keep a local inventory of items.

  • Food Nights: Partner with a local restaurant for a “Take Out to Support the Library” Night that both supports a local business and raises money for the library. Alternatively, ask a local food producer to supply a “Tasting Menu” that patrons can purchase (a portion of the proceeds going to the library) and bring home, and then host an online event where the Restauranteur leads attendees in a tasting of the items.

  • Own A Day/Naming Rights: Patrons or businesses sponsor a day during which the library celebrates/commemorates their birthday, anniversary, retirement, etc. through postings on social media, printing their name on receipts, mentioning them in email newsletters, and other ways.
Ed emphasizes that it is important to know about laws that regulate fundraising in each state. Municipal Libraries should connect with their towns if they have questions and concerns about permitted fundraising activities. Incorporated Libraries should check with their legal counsel. More information can be found in the following links:

  • 2015 VT Attorney General’s Charitable Non-Profit Board Guidance publication (PDF):

  • If you are working with a paid fundraising consultant, you should know the laws around charitable solicitations (scroll to Subchapter 2):

This article was originally published in our September 2020 newsletter. It has been edited slightly to reflect the passage of time.
From Our Neighbors at the Vermont Historical Society
VHS News & Events
Catamount Hike 
Sept 25, 2021. 1 – 3 pm. 

In connection with our Catamount in Vermont exhibit, The Barnard Historical Society will host a reenactment of the hunt resulting in the death of the Barnard Panther, the last catamount shot in Vermont on November 24, 1881. 

The walk, a shortened version of the original hunt, will be easy but not wheelchair accessible. It begins and ends at the Aiken Stand, 990 Royalton Turnpike Road, Barnard, located at the intersection with Sayer Road.  

After a brief introduction, the walk will take about an hour, pausing at times for attendees to participate by reading quotes from the hunt’s account. 

Children are encouraged to attend, but no pets, please. Parking will be on the side of the Royalton Turnpike, taking care not to hinder traffic. Rain or shine! 

Contact the Barnard Historical Society for more information:

Archaeology Month Open House 
September 29, 2021. 5 – 7 pm. 

Join VHS and the Vermont Archaeology Heritage Center for an Open House featuring a short presentation by Jess Robinson, hands-on demonstrations, and tours of the center. Down the hall in the Leahy Library, an exhibit will highlight how archaeology can offer insights into long-term landscape change in Vermont. 

This event is free!