2023 Vermont Library Conference

Be The Place: Libraries Are for Everyone banner

The 128th Vermont Library Conference is a joint event bringing together the Vermont School Library Association (VSLA) and the Vermont Library Association (VLA) for a full day of learning, networking, and celebrating all things library. The theme, “Be the Place: Libraries Are for Everyone,” reflects the shared goal for all librarians of creating inclusive, accessible, exciting, and sustainable spaces—whether in person or online. When posting about the conference on social media, please use the hashtag #vtlc23.


Monday, April 3, 2023
8:00 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
DoubleTree by Hilton Conference Center (entrance at the back of the hotel – venue websitegoogle maps)
870 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT 05403
Phone: 802-865-6600
A discounted conference rate of $159 a night is available for hotel rooms. Email Jennifer.Lilyquist[at]Hilton.com to make your reservation.

6 – 7:30 p.m.
After Conference Mixer
South Burlington Public Library, 180 Market Street, South Burlington (Walking distance from the hotel. Or, parking is available across the street from the library entrance.)


The exhibit hall, open 8 a.m. – 5:45 p.m., is located on the second floor promenade, outside the Emerald Ballroom.  See our exhibitor page for the list of participants.


See a list of speakers and their brief bios at this link.




But Why: Sparking Curiosity In Kids and Adults – 12:15 – 1:00, Emerald Ballroom (During Lunch)

Presenters: Jane Lindholm and Melody Bodette

Seven years ago, Vermont Public’s Jane Lindholm had an idea – could we make a podcast that both kids and adults could listen to together? The result – “But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids.” Jane and Melody Bodette, But Why’s contributing editor, will share how they created a successful kids’ podcast that reaches half a million listeners every month,  and how it changed their own relationship with curiosity.

Access, Accessibility, and Awareness: A Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled Perspective – 4:45 – 5:30, Emerald Ballroom (Closing Speaker)

Presenter: Jason Broughton

There are opportunities for libraries and librarians to evaluate and examine ways of being inclusive for a variety of users within their communities. These opportunities can range from outreach, programming, the library’s virtual presence & services, collections & materials, user experiences, and physical space. This conversation, led by Jason Broughton, Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) and former Vermont State Librarian, will present impacts, outcomes, insight, and thoughtful discussion on what access, accessibility and awareness can mean for libraries and communities.


7:45 a.m.

Conference check in begins at 7:45 a.m., just inside the conference center entrance at the back of the hotel. After you pick up your name tag and program, be sure to get your complimentary raffle ticket at the raffle table across from registration.

8:00 a.m.

Deluxe continental breakfast begins and the exhibit area opens at 8 a.m. Both are on the second floor promenade, outside the Emerald Ballroom.

8:25 – 8:50 a.m.

Vermont Library Association President Kelly McCagg and Vermont School Library Association President Charles Dabritz will give opening remarks at 8:25 in the Emerald Ballroom, followed by the announcement of the finalists for the 2023 Red Clover, Golden Dome, and Green Mountain youth book awards.

9:00 – 9:45 a.m.

Amphitheater – Do I Know You? Reaching the “Unreachable” Audience in Your Community

Panelists: Wendy Martin, Linda Donigan, Gail Trede, and Kate Hunter

From new Americans, to migrant workers, and even too-cool-for-the-library teens, libraries can expand their services to welcome new audiences from all corners of the community. Come to this lively panel discussion to learn the innovative and concrete strategies these public librarians used. They’ll talk about their successes — and challenges — connecting with the harder-to-reach folks in their communities.

Diamond I – Golden Dome Book List 2023-2024

Presenter: Rebecca Rupp and other members of the Golden Dome Award Committee

Calling all bookworms! The members of the Golden Dome reading committee will introduce the latest book list. Hear short (but entertaining) summaries of the 25 books on the new list for readers in grades 4-8.

Diamond II -Make the Space: Makerspace Programming for All

Presenters: Liz von Nagy, Keirstan Lague, and Megan Sutton

Does your makerspace need inspiration? A refresh? Participants will learn about the high and low technologies present in two different makerspaces, and programming and open opportunities to engage library visitors. We will discuss how we make connections with educators, students, and community members, injecting meaning-making into the maker movement.

Emerald – Capital Projects Grant Overview

Presenters: Tom McMurdo, Janette Shaffer, and Catherine Delneo

The Vermont Department of Libraries is administering two federal grant opportunities for capital improvements to public libraries: the Public Facilities Preservation Initiative Grants ($10M) and the U.S. Treasury Capital Projects Fund for Libraries ($16.4M). Learn about these two grant programs and how to apply for these transformational competitive grants supporting public libraries in Vermont.

Kingsland – Creative Professional Development and Networking for Solo & Solo-ish Librarians

Presenter: Bree Drapa

“I run the whole library by myself! Who has time for professional development and networking?” You do! You just have to be creative! Participants will leave this session with examples of accessible networking that doesn’t require a lot of time, money, or “homework.” The session will also include interactive exercises that celebrate the talents, knowledge, creativity, and impact of rural librarians. We will connect professional affirmation and expanded professional networks to self-advocacy. This feel-good, empowerment session will encourage attendees to focus on positive language that frames their solo work environment as a place of strength, not lack. Content and approach will be geared toward solo and solo-ish public librarians, other part-time public library staff, and any small, rural library worker, who has struggled to see themselves as a highly-skilled library professional.  School librarians are welcome, but most resources will be public library focused.

Shelburne – LearningExpress Library, a Resource for Everyone!

Presenter: Shana Ashwood Viala, EBSCO (In the Emerald Ballroom)

Join us for a deep dive into LearningExpress Library; the interactive learning platform that provides the most comprehensive collection of resources for basic skills mastery, academic success, job preparation, and career advancement.   Shana Ashwood Viala, EBSCO’s lead trainer for LearningExpress, will help you get more out of the platform when assisting patrons of all ages.  During the first half, we will review key platform features including our robust practice tests, tutorials, eBooks, computer courses and micro lessons for K-12, college prep, and adult basic education.   During the second half, you will learn how Job & Career Accelerator can help patrons effectively navigate through today’s job market, from exploring occupations and up-to-the-minute job postings, to using our award-winning resume building tool.    Attendees are encouraged to bring their own devices to participate in this interactive session.

Valcour – School Library Values and Visioning – Part One

Presenters: Peter Langella, Meg Boisseau Allison, and Charles Dabritz

Join current and past VSLA leaders to learn about the organization’s recent Identity and Professional Values Audit, an extensive survey to help us reflect on how we are, what we do, and who we want to be. After receiving the survey results, participants will engage in multiple activities and protocols to help the VSLA Board use the data in the visioning of a new three-year strategic plan, which will be finalized during the VSLA summer retreat. As a gesture of appreciation, two VSLA members in attendance will be entered to win a gift card to their favorite indie bookseller.

Willsboro – Vermont Online Library: What’s New and How to Promote It

Presenters: Stacey Knibloe and April Shaw

Changing work environments, job opportunities, and personal schedules make this the perfect time to promote your library’s online resources to patrons, and Gale resources from Vermont Online Library (VOL) have you covered! With a robust support site and a new adult learning platform, “Gale Presents: Udemy,” Vermont public libraries have access to a wealth of content to help reach learners in your community. In this session, we’ll share what’s new with VOL, share how to find free promotional materials, and answer your questions about VOL resources.

9:55 – 10:30 a.m.

Amphitheater – Big Tree Quest: Bringing Community Together With Trees

Presenter: Julia von Ranson

What’s a low cost community program that EVERYONE can get excited about? In 2022, the Putney community embarked on a Big Tree Quest! After a kickoff party where everyone learned how to measure big trees, the library kept a leaderboard displaying the biggest trees of each species. For the next six weeks, rumors of big trees flew around town, as the library hosted tree walks, talks, and workshops with tree experts. It all culminated in a party recognizing the teams that had located the biggest of the big. Come hear how your library can be the hub of this fun, intergenerational program.

Diamond I – What Makes a Red Clover Book?

Presenter: Abby Johnson and other members of the Red Clover Award Committee

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes to choose each year’s Red Clover books? In this workshop, members of the Red Clover committee will discuss the Red Clover award, including the committee selection process, what makes a Red Clover picture book, and how we build consensus around the list as a whole. This workshop will introduce the award to librarians who are new to Vermont/Red Clover, and provide additional insight for librarians who have been participating in the program and might wonder what it is like to be on the committee.

Diamond II – School Library Podcast Can Put Student Literacy on the Forefront

Presenter: Joyce Yoo Babbitt

The 1-2-3 Ready! Read! Review! podcast was started by Windsor Central Supervisory Union school library media specialist Joyce Yoo Babbitt, to promote the love and joy of reading with students and their families. The intention is to start book conversations after listening to the weekly, three-minute podcast about books students love. We want to engage students in their communication skills regarding books they care about, and ask a variety of informal questions to get at the heart of what they love about the books they pick. To get new voices on the podcast, we started a 10-week Reading Winter Challenge, in which students stop by the library to turn in their challenge slip. Listen to what students have to say about books at 1-2-3 Ready! Read! Review!

Emerald – Bridging the Divide at Your Library: Braver Angels & Meaningful Dialogue for Red & Blue

Presenter: Margaret Woodruff

Depending on whom you talk to, libraries are America’s living rooms, third spaces, and/or neutral meeting group. We offer a place where differences of opinion can be shared in a respectful way, through books, presentations, and other resources. Recently, however, we have become siloed within communities that overwhelmingly share our own perspectives and lose the dynamism that diverse perspectives offer. Braver Angels offers a program framework to address these tendencies. And, libraries are the perfect place for these programs! Learn how to work with Braver Angels, and create a space for meaningful conversation across the divide.

Kingsland – Promoting Graphic Novels to Parents and Educators

Presenter: Tricia Allen

“All my kid wants to read are graphic novels!” “I don’t want to bring those home, they’re not real reading.” Youth Services Librarian Tricia Allen (Middlebury) will present a tried-and-true 25-minute slideshow aimed at parents and educators promoting graphic novels. Participants will leave with talking points ready to share with reluctant adults, as well as access to the slideshow for use by their own library/staff.

Shelburne – School and Library Partnerships: Creating Community at the Library with English Language Learner Families

Presenters: Kelly Kendall, Alex O’Brien, and Natacha Liuzzi

Join us for a presentation and Q&A session about the partnership we’ve developed between an elementary school’s English Language Learners (ELL) teacher and two children’s librarians at the local public library.  The three of us — Rick Marcotte Central School ELL teacher Alex O’Brien, and South Burlington Public Library children’s librarian Kelly Kendall and children’s specialist Natacha Liuzzi — will share details, challenges, and victories of the library-based events we co-created to build community with new ELL families, by connecting them to the South Burlington Public Library’s resources.  From a teacher’s idea, to a serendipitous partnership, to a district-wide series of events for ELL families,  we will provide  “how-to” ideas for other libraries and schools with English Language Learner students and families.

Valcour – School Library Values and Visioning – part two

Presenters: Peter Langella, Meg Boisseau Allison, and Charles Dabritz

Join current and past VSLA leaders to learn about the organization’s recent Identity and Professional Values Audit, an extensive survey to help us reflect on how we are, what we do, and who we want to be. After receiving the survey results, participants will engage in multiple activities and protocols to help the VSLA Board use the data in the visioning of a new three-year strategic plan, which will be finalized during the VSLA summer retreat. As a gesture of appreciation, two VSLA members in attendance will be entered to win a gift card to their favorite indie bookseller.

10:30 – 11:10 a.m. – Break: Visit exhibitors, network, relax.

11:10 – 11:55 a.m.

Amphitheater – Fletcher Free Library Spark Presentations

Presenter: Mary Danko

Each Spark presentation is in the PechaKucha format: 20 slides and 20 seconds of narration per slide. There will be five presentations, and time for questions at the end.

1 – Full STEAM Ahead: Sending Science Home – Loaning Youth STEAM Kits
2 – It’s Your Lucky Day: Starting & Managing a Lucky Day Collection
3 – Branching Out: Opening a Branch Library
4 – Digital Divide Project: Starting & Managing a Laptop & Hotspot Collection
5 – Powerful Partnerships: Building Strong Community Partnerships that Produce Successful Outcomes

Diamond I – Green Mountain Book Award

Presenter: Brooke Nadzam and other members of the Green Mountain Book Award Committee

Come and hear the big reveal of the 2023-24 Green Mountain Book Award titles!  We will give you a brief summary of each novel, and answer questions about the new titles

Diamond II – Steam for All at the Library

Presenter: Bonnie Lord

Explore why STEAM is important, and what is its place in the library. I will provide examples of ways to include STEAM topics in active and passive programming, and in circulation, including ways to make STEAM accessible to different abilities and ages, and to reflect diversity in programs and literature. We will talk about making programs and spaces with technology welcoming and accessible to a variety of patrons. I will present suggestions for reaching patrons online and in-person, as well as tips for getting started at your library.

Emerald– Arm Yourself: Tools and Talking Points for Book Challenges

Presenters: Genevieve Gallagher, Caitlin Classen, and Beth Shelley

Schools and libraries across the country are facing challenges to library materials in alarming numbers. These challenges have led to public debates, parental and community outcries, and the removal of books from libraries. In some communities, school librarians have been fired for not removing books when asked to by administrators or school boards. In other schools “soft censorship” has often been the result when librarians fear for their jobs. What can you do if a title in your collection is facing a challenge, and what structures and policies can you put in place so that you’re ready if a challenge is made? In this session, three Vermont school librarians will be discussing the current state of book challenges, both nationally and locally, and their experiences facing recent challenges to books within their own schools and districts.

Kingsland – Maximizing Your Tools: Destiny Discover

Presenter: Liz von Nagy

Participants will learn how to use and integrate Destiny Discover, a Follett product, into their library teaching and learning. Liz von Nagy is not a Follett employee. She just really loves Destiny Discover. Find out how you can use this flexible tool to curate lists, create lessons, and ignite curiosity in your patrons.

Shelburne – Rural Health Information

Presenter: Margot Malachowski, National Library of Medicine

Valcour – Landlock X — A reading and conversation with Vermont poet Sarah Audsley

Sarah Audsley’s debut poetry collection, Landlock X, joins a growing body of adoptee poetics. By examining the consequences of the international transracial adoptee experience — her own — Audsley’s collection finds more questions than solid answers. Employing a variety of poetic forms, co-opting the pastoral tradition to argue for belonging to the rural landscape — despite the inheritance of displacement and removal from a country of origin — Landlock X tries to solve for all of the (adoptee’s) variables, and knows it is an impossible task that the “I”, “you”, and “we” of the poems only approximate. Sarah Audsley will read from her debut poetry collection, Landlock X, and share visuals. She will also discuss and provide a handout on adoptee poetics.

Willsboro – Improve Students Media Literacy Skills with Vermont Online Library Resources

Presenters: Stacey Knibloe and April Shaw

Media literacy plays an important role in students’ lives now and in the future. Your Gale resources from Vermont Online Library (VOL) are here to help, both as tools for teaching media literacy and as research sources. With a variety of media sources available, a wide range of reading levels, critical thinking prompts, and more, Gale In Context resources give students a safe place to research a topic, while still exploring multiple points of view. In this session, we’ll explore how these resources can strengthen students’ research experience and lead to better outcomes in the classroom. We’ll also cover accessibility features, classroom integration, reading differentiation, and other helpful tools available in VOL resources.

Noon – 1 p.m, Lunch, Featured Speakers – Emerald Ballroom

The lunch hour program features remarks by Vermont State Librarian Catherine Delneo, and our keynote address by Vermont Public podcasters Jane Lindholm and Melody Bodette, who produce “But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids.”

1 – 1:45 p.m. Awards, Certificate of Librarianship – Emerald Ballroom

The Vermont Library Association will present their annual awards, and the Vermont Department of Libraries  will present the Certificate of Librarianship to those who earned it this past year. You are also welcome to browse the exhibits, network, and relax during this time.

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.

Amphitheater – Using the Social Justice Standards in Elementary School Libraries

Presenter: Emily Wood

Embedding anti-racism and anti-bias ideas into your lessons can feel daunting. They feel especially hard for teaching our youngest learners. This session will introduce the Learning for Justice (formally Teaching Tolerance) Social Justice Standards, how I’ve begun to use them in my library, and resources to help start or continue your journey. The session will also include a brainstorming session on using these standards in elementary school. Let’s put all our talent together to create a collaborative bank of equity centered library programming.

Diamond I – Re-Energizing Nonfiction at Your Library: An Author’s Perspective, from Collections to Author Visits

Presenter: Tanya Lee Stone

Join NAACP Image Award Winner & Sibert Medalist Tanya Lee Stone for a writer’s perspective on building diverse nonfiction collections. Stone will discuss the necessary ingredients in crafting authentic true stories, and how inviting nonfiction authors into libraries (school and public) inspires students in their research, writing, and revision practices. A mini mock-visit will be included, with a discussion and Q&A. Stone has written 100+ books for kids/teens, including “Peace Is a Chain Reaction,” “Girl Rising,” “Courage Has No Color,” “Almost Astronauts,” and “Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?” She runs the Professional Writing Program at Champlain College, and holds a PhD in Creative Writing.

Diamond II – Library Programming Audits

Presenter: Dana Hart

A programming audit is a review of the programs a library held in the past year, identifying strengths and weaknesses in programming, and using that information to set goals for the coming year. Emphasis is placed on identifying ways to work smarter, not harder, when it comes to planning programs. This presentation will offer a case study of conducting a programming audit at the Ilsley Public Library, sharing what we learned in the process, and how it has changed our approach to planning and evaluating programs. Attendees will leave with a scalable blueprint for implementing programing audits at their own library.

Emerald – Set Yourself Up For Storytime Success

Presenter: Tricia Allen

Storytime just hasn’t been the same post-pandemic. In many cases, librarians are starting over with new kids, routines, and learning styles. This gives storytime professionals the unique opportunity to revisit the foundations of storytime, and set a framework for success for both the librarian and the audience. In this 45-minute open discussion, we will talk about goal-setting, classroom management, inclusive practices, and self-reflection without blame. Librarians with all levels of storytime experience are encouraged to come and participate.

Kingsland – Media & Monsters: an Inclusive Game for Teaching Media Literacy

Presenter: Rebecca Sofferman

Students are obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons these days. What if you could capitalize on this to teach media literacy? Media & Monsters is an interactive, table-top role-playing game for secondary students, in which they play out authentic scenarios related to the spread of misinformation and disinformation online. The game is designed to be accessible to a wide variety of learners. I will share examples of how I used this approach in an academic as well as a club setting. Participants will receive links to resources used in the game, view examples, and may even get to try it for themselves!

Shelburne – Diversifying and Analyzing Youth Services’ Collections and Displays

Presenter: Jake Stone, TeachingBooks

Join this hands-on session to experience TeachingBooks’ brand-new Collection Analysis Toolkit that equips library professionals to seamlessly and continuously consider their book choices for programming, displays, and collections. Attendees will learn how to generate reports that provide insights into the diversity and inclusion of their collections, including analyses of cultural representation, reading level, and recency. These tools are built to support all types of library communities: public, K-12, and academic. Additionally, this toolkit includes a distinctive Community Needs Assessment component that invites library personnel to consider and identify their own community’s diversity and inclusion goals for any collection of children’s and young adult books. Attendees will have the opportunity to practice using these tools and will leave with a plan of action to work towards displaying diverse collections, so that all patrons feel seen and included in their library.

Valcour – Update on the Activities of the Working Group on the Status of Libraries in Vermont

Presenters: Catherine Delneo and members of the Working Group

The Working Group has been meeting regularly since November 2021, and has heard from Vermont’s library community on the topics of programming, collections, technology, facilities, staffing, continuing education, and inclusive services. Hear an update from Vermont State Librarian Catherine Delneo and members of the Working Group on what they’ve heard so far, and learn how to provide input into their work through dot voting at the conference.

Willsboro – Robots for Everyone (in Your Library!)

Presenter: Karen McCalla

Join Vermont Teacher of the Year Karen McCalla and representatives from FIRST and FIRST in Vermont to learn how your public or school library can support community based robotics teams. With minimal upfront investment, libraries can serve as an important supporter of community-based teams, by providing meeting space and loaning robotics kits. Teams of kids aged 6-14 work with teen and adult mentors to complete age-appropriate tasks. Younger kids explore the theme and build models or create simple robots. Older kids design, build, and program a Lego robot to complete missions on a 4×8′ game field, and solve a real-world problem related to the theme. Learn more about how your library can help – without coaching a team!

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Amphitheater – Local Libraries Plus Local Authors: A match made in heaven!

Presenters: Trish Esden and Liv Andersson

Big name and lesser known local authors can be a great asset for libraries. Local authors have a pulse on the community, and their understanding of the region can help bring a diverse range of ideas and concepts tailored to local residents. These include cross-business opportunities, especially in smaller towns, that may attract new readers and create a stronger bond with established library patrons. This talk will offer time for brainstorming and sharing ideas that may require creative thinking, but minimal or no expenditure.

Diamond I – The Global Read Aloud

Presenter: Joe Bertelloni

The Global Read Aloud is a program that has been running for the past 12 years. While it’s original intent is to make the world a smaller place by sharing a common book, I believe that it can also be leveraged to make Vermont a more unified reading community. This presentation will include an introduction to the program, a description of activities that have been successful in my classrooms, discussion of a new PLN, and a discussion of how the GRA can meet the needs of diverse learners and encourage inclusive reading experiences for learners of all ages and backgrounds.

Diamond II – Rearranging Religion to Decolonize Dewey

Presenter: Elizabeth McKinstry

In 2019, OCLC provided mapping for an alternate arrangement for the Dewey Decimal System’s religious subjects (200’s), which organized them by chronology and geography, rather than centering on Western Christianity. The Springfield City Library in Springfield, MA, decided to adopt the new arrangement, and reclassified religion materials in all nine of our locations. Attend this session to learn why we pursued this project, a little bit about our process (including helpful handouts and contacts), and most importantly, why we think your library should make the same change in support of diversity and accessibility of materials in your community.

Emerald – Copyright and Fair Use: Black, White + Gray in the Digital Age

Presenter: Shannon Walters

Copyright and fair use are issues that concern librarians, teachers, tech integrationists, and administrators alike. The ease of publishing online provides a powerful platform for student voice and creativity. Yet many of our institutions operate in a culture of fear and uncertainty: What uses are legal? What is fair use?  What is transformativeness?  This session explores the essentials of copyright, and the resources available that enable librarians to feel more confident in their use of copyrighted materials, including images, songs, movies, news media, advertising, online resources, and popular culture, to build students’ critical thinking and communication skills.

Kingsland – National Parks Research for 4th-6th Grades: Libraries Are for Everywhere!

Presenter: Carole Oglesby

Voice and choice – this session will share strategies for creating an engaging multi-week unit that can encompass research and presentation skill-building, mapping, spreadsheets, and a dash of financial literacy (my 4th graders’ favorite part), read-alouds, and even STEM. Check out one school librarian’s favorite teaching unit! (Devices are encouraged but not necessary for this session.)

Shelburne – Project LIT – Let’s Collaborate

Presenters: Christina Deeley, Olivia Gatti, Katie Mack, and TJ Mead

Learn how a group of librarians and teachers began collaborating to bring high interest books to students, using the Project LIT collection as a starting point. Project LIT allows for student /reader choice, and the ability to create engaging discussions and activities around young adult literature.

Valcour – Update on the Activities of the Working Group on the Status of Libraries in Vermont (continued)

Presenters: Catherine Delneo and members of the Working Group

The Working Group has been meeting regularly since November 2021, and has heard from Vermont’s library community on the topics of programming, collections, technology, facilities, staffing, continuing education, and inclusive services. Hear an update from Vermont State Librarian Catherine Delneo and members of the Working Group on what they’ve heard so far, and learn how to provide input into their work through dot voting at the conference.

Willsboro – Managing Special Collections at Public Libraries

Presenters: Rachel Onuf, Catharine Hays, and Kristin Urie

Does your library have artwork, old books, a local history collection, and maybe even taxidermy? Are these items catalogued, cared for, and accessible to your community?  Are there policies about how these items fit into the library’s mission, workflow, and staff responsibilities? A group of librarians and collections-care professionals is working together to develop a community of practice around managing special collections.  Join us to learn about our work together, and how librarians have used their unique materials to attract new people to the library.

3:15 – 3:50 p.m. – Break: Visit exhibits, get coffee, network, relax.

3:50 – 4:35 p.m.

Amphitheater – Book Repair Workshop – BYOB- Bring your own books!

Presenter: Jill Abair

Do you have a pile of books to be repaired in your office? Do you still feel uncomfortable being a book doctor? Come spend time with facilitator Jill Abair and your knowledgeable colleagues from Vermont libraries, as we help each other learn tips and tricks on how to repair and cover books.  Bring along some books from that stack on your desk, or the whole thing, if you have room in your bag! I plan to bring in some books and materials to show how to cover and repair books, but I am also asking people to bring their books needing TLC, in order to make this a work session.

Diamond I – Exploring Children’s Literature That Celebrates Black Joy & Inspiration

Presenters: Valerie Bang-Jensen and Kristen Hindes

Working in small groups, we will investigate ways in which children’s picture books offer readers windows and mirrors into Black joy and inspiration. We will discuss, share observations, and develop guidelines for featuring BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) authors, illustrators, and characters in your libraries and classrooms.

Diamond II – Visual Literacy & Inquiry Based Learning

Presenters: Susan Piccoli and Lois Fein

This workshop will engage participants in Visual Thinking Strategies, to demonstrate how discussions about art and visual images can be incorporated in the pre-K to 12th grade classroom.  Educators will be guided through Visual Thinking Strategies, and participants will learn how to “read” a painting.  A case study of using Visual Thinking Strategies with pre-K and Kindergarten students with three different art collections will be shared.  The presenters will focus on the importance of visual literacy and inquiry based skills for all ages, while making art and the art collections of the national parks, art foundations, and museums accessible to all.

Emerald – By the Book – Library Planning for the Future

Presenters: Andrea Murray and Megan Nedzinski, Vermont Integrated Architecture, PC

For centuries, libraries have served as vital community centers. Continuing that tradition demands that libraries adapt to ever-changing realities. Architects Andrea Murray and Megan Nedzinski will explore how libraries can make the most of their existing space, while planning for the next 100 years. With attention to flexible design, energy and carbon-reduction strategies, equity and accessibility, durability and ease of maintenance, Andrea and Megan will examine how thoughtful investments in library buildings ensure the enduring relevance of community libraries. There will be ample time for questions and discussion.

Kingsland – Best Books on a Budget

Presenter: Angela Smith

No school librarian has as much money in the budget as they want, to purchase all the books they want for their students, especially those in rural schools like here in Vermont. Discover different ways to get diverse books into the hands of your students through a variety of methods, and maybe even win a free book to take back to your library. We will cover discount book sites, grants, how to make weeding make money, how to find out about the best books, and an easy way to present all the amazing work school librarians do.

Shelburne – The Many Paths to Librarianship: How That Strengthens Our Profession

Panelists: Joy Worland, Bree Drapa, Catherine Goldsmith, Coco Moseley, and Wendy Sharkey

The Vermont library workforce comprises people with a wide range of educational, professional, and life experiences. Which of these are most useful to running a Vermont library? Is an MLIS cost effective and relevant, or are there situations where it might not be necessary and, in fact, might be a gatekeeping deterrent to a stronger, more diverse workforce? Join a panel of Vermont librarians in an interactive discussion that explores ways to optimize our statewide talent pool, make librarianship more accessible, and apply the conference theme “libraries are for everyone” to library staffing.

Valcour – Announcing! Vermont Reads 2023

Presenters: Ryan Newswanger and Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, Vermont Humanities Council (In the Emerald Ballroom)

Thanks to you, Vermont Reads 2022: The Most Costly Journey has been the most successful book in the program’s 20 year history, with almost 100 communities already participating. And there are three months to go!  At this session, you’ll get an advance look at Vermont Reads 2023 (coming soon!), with some tips and tricks for making your Vermont Reads project as impactful as possible for your community. Let’s keep the momentum going, and make our 21st year of Vermont Reads something to be truly proud of.

Willsboro – Increasing Access to Digital Collections without Increasing Budgets

Presenter: Michele Kimpton

The last decade has seen a significant increase in demand for ebook collections. Yet, with rising costs to purchase and re-purchase metered licenses, libraries are struggling to maintain existing collections while adding the newest titles. This discussion will explore how libraries are using creative methods in discovery, collection management, and alternative licensing models to reach new readers, without increasing their budgets. Join us to learn more about how librarians are boosting circulation and decreasing holds queues utilizing the Palace Project, a new platform made available to Vermont libraries at no charge through the Vermont State Library.

4:45 – 5:30 p.m. Closing Speaker

Jason Broughton, director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), a department of the Library of Congress, presents Access, Accessibility, and Awareness: A Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled Perspective – 4:45 – 5:30, Emerald Ballroom, with an introduction from Karen Gravelin, Vermont Department of Libraries Consultant for Inclusive Services and Director of the ABLE Library.

5:45 p.m. Exhibits Close

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. After Conference Social

All conference attendees are invited to attend the after-conference social at South Burlington Public Library, 180 Market Street, in South Burlington. The library is open for this event only, so take the time to visit with your conference friends and tour the new library. Enjoy appetizers and drinks from a cash wine/beer/non-alcoholic bar. The library is a 20-minute walk from the hotel [map here], or parking is available across the street from the library’s main entrance. Staff and trustees will be on hand to answer questions about the building, programs, and services. This event is sponsored by the South Burlington Library Foundation.

Vermont School Library Association in white on a green, square background.

2023 Vermont Library Conference Committee Members

Kevin Unrath, Chair
Amanda Biggs
Howard Burrows
Charles Dabritz
Susan Larson
Kelly McCagg
Lisa Milchman
Emma Parks
Sarah Scully
Erica Shott
Susie Snow
Cory Stephenson
Donna Sullivan-MacDonald
Megan Sutton
Shannon Walters
Jessamyn West

Last update April 3, 2023 (sl)