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