About VLA

Our Mission

The Vermont Library Association (VLA) is an educational organization working to develop, promote, and improve library and information services and librarianship in the state of Vermont.

Our History

The Vermont Library Association (VLA) was organized in 1893 (as calculated by the terms of office of our Presidents). The first VLA President was Sarah C. Hagar, librarian of the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, from 1893-June 1903. VLA has been a chapter of the American Library Association since 1956.

According to the earliest extant constitution, dated 1894-1895, membership in the VLA was open to any interested party with 25¢ for dues. The first dues increase, voted on by the membership at the 1905 annual meeting, raised the assessment to 50¢ a year. Our first honorary membership was awarded to Dr. James Hulme Canfield, librarian of Columbia University and father of Vermont author Dorothy Canfield Fisher, in 1907. Honorary membership was not awarded again until October 1950.

From: Geary, Kathleen A. “Vermont Library Association.” Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Vol. 32. New York: Marcel Decker, Inc., 1981.

The VLA Archives are held by the Vermont Historical Society.

Upcoming Board Meetings

Meetings are held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the third Thursday of every other month.

Some of What We Do

Check out our current initiatives

Host the annual Vermont Library Conference each spring.

Our sections and committees provide continuing education events throughout the year.

Organize fun networking opportunities for librarians and library lovers.

Advocate for libraries and librarians with state and local government.

Publish the VLA News, our quarterly newsletter.

Represent your interests on regional and national library association boards.

Connect temps and subs with potential employers through the Vermont Library Substitute Pool.

Honor our outstanding members with association awards.

Research salary compensation and provide help in seeking adequate compensation for librarians and staff.

Administer the John Swan Intellectual Freedom Fund and coordinate its lecture series.

Past VLA Presidents

Kelly McCagg, Vermont Library Association President 2022-23, a white woman in a grey sweater with shoulder length brown hair.

We are embarking on a period of time with unparalleled opportunities for change — for developing sustainability, fostering community and professional partnerships, and constructing the framework upon which authentic systematic innovations are realized.  I am eager for this opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues, as we strive to strengthen our member-driven organization and the libraries and communities we serve.
Kelly L. McCagg (2022-2023 President)

a smiling white man in glasses and a green sweater in front of bookshelves
As we enter into the unchartered territories of the late stages of pandemic living and the transition to a new normal, I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Vermont library world to support the critical work we in libraries are doing: sustaining community, connecting our communities to vital resources, strengthening our democratic institutions, and pursuing equity, inclusion and justice.
– Mike Roy (2021-2022 President)

Kevin Unrath
The Vermont Library Association supports library workers, friends, volunteers board members, and all those who use our services. Vermonters visited their libraries in person more than 5 million times last year, while also accessing digital resources provided through libraries more than 5 million times. Libraries are busier than ever. both online and in person; this is an exciting time to help lead our Association forward.
– Kevin Unrath (2020-2021 VLA President)

Amy Olsen
The longer I am involved with the Vermont Library Association, the more I realize how much support and strength we have in Vermont Libraries. As your President, I look forward to standing with our members as we continue to raise awareness, partnerships and opportunities for our membership and all Vermont Libraries.
– Amy Olsen (2019-2020 VLA President)

Cindy Weber
I feel very honored to serve as your president this year and look forward to collaborating on projects that will enrich the Vermont Library Association and advance the professionalism of Vermont librarians.
– Cindy Weber (2018-2019 VLA President)

Joy Worland VLA president
Libraries champion democratic access to accurate information and are welcoming spaces that bring people together around ideas. The VLA supports and enhances this work by providing opportunities for librarians, Trustees, and Friends from all types of Vermont libraries to collaborate and learn from each other and advocate for libraries.
— Joy Worland, (2017-2018 VLA President) 

What makes the opportunity to be part of the VLA so exciting and energizing is the chance to bring our libraries together. We can advocate more effectively and launch programs more successfully when we marshal our resources. I don’t believe that means a cookie-cutter mold that all libraries must match but rather an umbrella under which our ideas, endeavors and inspiration can fit. I hope to have the chance to work with Vermont Library Association and bring forward our designs and dreams.
— Margaret Woodruff, (2016-2017 VLA President)

Virgil Fuller VLA president
I see Vermont’s Libraries as the living rooms for the towns that they serve, a community gathering place where folks can be comfortable sharing ideas with their neighbors. VLA fosters the same comfort with its membership, librarians, and libraries in Vermont at large.
-Virgil Fuller (2015-2016 VLA President)

Toni Josey VLA president
Libraries enrich our patrons and communities, just as the VLA does for its members. The more I am involved in this organization, the more I grow.
– Toni Fortini Josey (2014-2015 VLA President)

Amber Billey VLA president
Libraries are part of the essential services in every community. Police and firefighters save lives; libraries make lives.
– Amber Billey (2013-2014 VLA President)




2012-13 – Deborah Gadwah-Lambert, Alice M. Ward Memorial Library, Canaan

2011-12 – Joseph Farara, Willey Library, Johnson State College, Johnson

2010-11 – Marti Fiske, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston

2009-10 – John Payne, Durick Library, St. Michael’s College, Colchester

2008-09 – Judah Hamer, Rutland Free Library, Rutland

2007-08 – Barbara Doyle-Wilch, Davis Family Library, Middlebury College, Middlebury

2006-07 – Lisa Von Kann, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, St. Johnsbury

2005-06 – Daisy Benson, Bailey/Howe Library, UVM, Burlington

2004-05 – David Clark, Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury

2003-04 – Ellen Hall, Kreitzberg Library, Norwich University, Northfield

1973-1974 – Ann Turner, Kreitzberg Library, Norwich University, Northfield

Last update June 9, 2023.