Franklin County Vermont Public Library Tour November 17

Franklin County is chock full of wonderful public libraries. Come see the buildings, meet the staff, and admire how these libraries do what Vermont libraries do. This is a great opportunity to meet other librarians and other library lovers. This Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, tour is organized by Josh Worman, director of Haston Library, and the other libraries of FLARE — Franklin Libraries Are Really Excellent. Youth librarians, you won’t want to miss the light-filled second floor spaces dedicated to youth at St. Albans Free Library.

10 a.m. Enosburgh Public Library
11 a.m.. Haston Library
12 p.m. Swanton Public Library
1 p.m. Lunch at St. Albans Free Library – BYO lunch or buy locally

2 p.m. St. Albans Free Library (with coffee bar – yay!)
3 p.m. Fairfax Community Library

Catherine Goldsmith
President, VLA Public Libraries Section
Director, Starksboro Public Library

Submit Your College and Special Libraries Section 2024 Conference Proposal

The Vermont Library Association College and Special Libraries Section hopes to host an online conference in the spring of 2024, and we need YOUR participation to make it happen! The application process is quick and easy. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

– Has your organization recently gone through some changes? – – How have you managed those?
– Have you redefined roles in your library? What does that look like?
– What is your organization or library’s position on using AI for educational purposes?
– What new approaches has your library taken to enhance equitable access for your patrons?
– Are there new tools you’ve found that helped you streamline a process, enhance the functionality of your library website or catalog, etc?

Please complete the proposal form online by Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.

Thank you,
Sarah Scully (she/her)
President, College and Special Libraries Section, Vermont Library Association
Electronic Resources & Technology Librarian
Cornell Library at Vermont Law and Graduate School
South Royalton, Vermont

Working Group on the Status of Libraries in Vermont Final Report

The Working Group on the Status of Libraries in Vermont submitted their final report to the Vermont General Assembly on November 1, 2023.

The group was formed in 2021 when the Vermont State Legislature passed Act 66 (S.115) “relating to making miscellaneous changes in education laws”, which was signed by Governor Phil Scott on June 7, 2021. The group was charged with studying the state’s libraries with the goal of strengthening and supporting libraries of all sizes and improving library services for the public.

The 939-page report is available on the Vermont General Assembly website at Working Group on the Status of Libraries in Vermont. It covers facilities, technology, collections, programming, inclusive and accessible services, intellectual freedom, library structures and organizations, staffing, continuing education, emergency preparedness, safety, and social services.

“Not only will the report start important conversations among municipal and library leaders, but it will also serve as a reference about the invaluable services libraries provide in this state for many years to come,” said State Librarian and Commissioner of Libraries Catherine Delneo, who chaired the working group. “It is an important mirror for the library community that provides context for decision makers, library workers, and the Vermonters we serve.”

The members of the working group were:

Maria Avery, MA, Community Outreach Manager, University of Vermont Libraries (Burlington), Academic Library Representative

Jeannette Bair, Retired, Former Director of Rochester Public Library (Rochester), Public Library Representative

Meg Boisseau Allison, M.Ed., High School Librarian, U-32 High School (Montpelier), Past President (2020-2023) and Legislative Concerns Chair (2023-2026) of the Vermont School Library Association

Catherine Delneo, MLS, Working Group Chair, State Librarian and Commissioner of the Department of Libraries (Barre)

Denise Hersey, MA, MLS, Director, Dana Health Sciences Library, University of Vermont (Burlington), Academic Library Representative

Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, MScm, Executive Director, Vermont Humanities (Montpelier)

Andy Kolovos, MLS, PhD, Associate Director and Archivist, Vermont Folklife (Middlebury), Trustee, Brownell Library (Essex Junction), Friends and Trustees Section Representative, Vermont Library Association

Kelly McCagg, MLS, CPLA Director, Burnham Memorial Library (Colchester), Vice President (2021-2022), President (2022-2023), and Past President (2023-2024) of the Vermont Library Association

Karen McCalla, MLS, Teacher Librarian, Mill River Union Middle/High School (North Clarendon), Representative, Vermont School Library Association

Susan O’Connell, MLSm Director, Craftsbury Public Library (Craftsbury), Public Library Representative

Wendy Sharkey, MSc, MLS, (Expected December 2023) Head of Circulation Department, IT, and Cataloging, Bennington Free Library, Public Library Representative

Vermont Library Association green and white logo, and American Library Association red, blue, and white logo.

ALA Donates $3,500 to Assist Vermont Libraries Damaged by Floods, Encourages More Donations

Catastrophic flooding in July 2023 impacted the state of Vermont, including many libraries. Seventeen public libraries suffered damage to their buildings and loss of resources. Thanks to support from American Library Association (ALA) members and other library supporters around the country, the ALA Disaster Relief Fund is sending $3,500 to the Vermont Library Association (VLA) to disburse to those libraries hardest hit and in need of financial assistance.

Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, the state capitol, suffered major damage to infrastructure and was not open to the public for several months. Staff provided curbside pickup of library materials and provided internet access outside the building.

Johnson Public Library is providing library services from its temporary location in the Johnson Masonic Temple, while work on the library building continues. Post-flood building repairs at the Johnson Public Library building include heating, electrical, flooring, and insulation installation.

Water flooded the South Londonderry Free Library through both the roof and the basement during the storms. The library continued service to the public despite having on-going repairs.

“ALA thanks the Vermont Department of Libraries and the Vermont Library Association for their support and assistance to library staff and the communities they serve,” said Michael Dowling, director of the ALA Chapter Relations Office, in a press release.

The American Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund provides monies to libraries in the U.S. and around the world that have been damaged or destroyed due to natural or man-made disasters. Donations to Vermont libraries can be made on the ALA Disaster Relief Fund web page. Please type “Vermont” in the tribute line.

The American Library Association is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services.

Vermont Library Association Statement of Support for ALA

The Vermont Library Association (VLA) affirms its support for the American Library Association (ALA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization that develops, promotes, and improves library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

The American Library Association has a representative in Vermont, Chapter Councilor Jessamyn West, who has served in this position since 2020.

The ALA:

  • Promotes the Library Bill of Rights, affirming that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and Freedom to Read, affirming Americans can make their own decisions about what they read and believe.
  • Supports First Amendment rights to free speech, thought, and opinion;
  • Is composed of and serves people of all demographics and ideologies;
  • Is not a governing body and has no authority over the governance of Vermont libraries, which have a wide range of organizing structures;
  • Is governed by a council and executive board elected by the membership, including a representative from the Vermont Library Association;
  • Provides information about library best practices to its membership, and creates public relations campaigns that promote library services;
  • Offers professional development, publications, and conferences to its membership.

ALA is an effective advocate for funding from the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) grants to states. Through ALA’s efforts with its members and allies, including the Chief Officers of State Library Associations, IMLS has increased its base funding nationally. The Vermont Department of Libraries has seen an increase of $326,077 or 26% from 2019 to 2023, to $1,247,111 annually.

During the pandemic years, ALA pushed for further support for libraries across the country. The Vermont Department of Libraries received additional critical dollars, $56,384 from the CARES Act and $2,135,819 from the American Rescue Plan Act.

ALA is the second-largest grant funder to libraries. Since 2021, ALA has awarded 44 libraries in Vermont a total of $276,000 for digital training workshops, bolstering technology in small and rural libraries, STEM resources, and other professional development and resources to help libraries better serve the needs of their communities.

The Vermont Library Association Executive Board
September 2023
Oceana Wilson (she, her)
VLA President

Fall 2023 Professional Development Grant Deferred to Spring 2024

The Vermont Library Association (VLA) Scholarship and Awards Committee did not receive any applications for the fall 2023 Professional Development Grant. Considering the recent flooding in Vermont, and the added pressures it is putting on libraries and their communities, the committee has decided to defer these funds to the spring 2024 Professional Grant Funding opportunity. The committee may award up to $250 for a Vermont Library Association member to attend a workshop, conference, or continuing education course. Therefore, in the spring, the committee will award two $250 grants. We sincerely hope that by then library staff will have the capacity to apply for these funds.

Thank you, thank you,

Pamela Cartier (she/her)
VLA Scholarship and Awards Committee Chair

Apply Today for the Fall Professional Development Grant

The Vermont Library Association’s Scholarship and Awards Committee is accepting applications for the fall round of their professional development grant. Up to $250 is available to attend a workshop, a conference, or a continuing education course.  The deadline for applications is Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, with the awardee notified by September 1.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be an active VLA member;
  • Live in Vermont and/or work in a Vermont library; and
  • Not have received a scholarship from VLA in the past two years.

For complete details and to apply, visit the VLA Professional Development Grant web page.

If you have additional questions, please contact Pamela Cartier, chair of the Scholarship and Awards Committee, at

The Vermont Library Association's annual meeting will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, via Zoom.

VLA Annual Meeting 2023

Dear VLA Members,

The Vermont Library Association’s annual meeting will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, via Zoom. The link will be emailed to you closer to the date. The purpose of the annual meeting is to provide a forum for our sections to meet and hold their annual elections for leadership. In addition, all members will be voting on the following VLA positions:

Vice President/President-Elect

We are still looking for individuals to fill these positions. This is an excellent opportunity to learn leadership skills and to learn more about Vermont libraries in general. If you are interested in learning more, I urge you to check out our position descriptions and position responsibilities. You may also contact the current officers, listed here with their contact information.

Now is also a great time to renew your lapsed membership, prior to the vote. Membership details are available on our membership webpage.

Electronic absentee ballots will be available via VLA Secretary Barbara Ball.

VLA only works if you do! Thank you for being an active member!

Kelly L. McCagg
VLA President

Woman in red dress presenting a retirement plaque to a woman in a green sweater.

Retirees Recognized at Vermont Library Conference

One thing will become abundantly clear after I read the list of retirees, and that is that these individuals have dedicated multiple decades of service to Vermont public libraries,” said Pamela Cartier, co-chair of the Vermont Library Association Scholarship and Awards Committee. Cartier, who is coordinator of the Community Legal Information Center (CLIC) at the Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Julien and Virginia Cornell Library, recognized Vermont Library Association members who retired in the last year or are soon retiring. “Each one is tremendously deserving of recognition for their commitment both to librarianship and their libraries,” she said.

The retirees, recognized in alphabetic order during the April 3 Vermont Library Conference, are:

Read more

Vermont Library Association 2023 Award Recipients

Six people received 2023 Vermont Library Association awards, presented for outstanding service to and support of the state’s libraries. The awards were presented during the annual Vermont Library Conference on April 3, 2023.

Senator Patrick Leahy was named Library Advocate of the Year. “VLA is greatly appreciative of all Senator Leahy has done for libraries in our state,” said Pamela Cartier, VLA Scholarships & Awards Committee Co-Chair and coordinator of the Community Legal Information Center (CLIC) at the Vermont Law School’s Julien and Virginia Cornell Library. “His unwavering support and advocacy of libraries will have impacts on Vermont communities for many years to come.”

John Tracy, former state director to Senator Patrick Leahy, accepting the Library Advocate of the Year award for the Senator.

John Tracy, former state director to Senator Patrick Leahy, accepting the Library Advocate of the Year award for the Senator from Scholarship and Awards Committee co-chair Mary Danko.

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