VLA Executive Committee Seeks Member Input for Strategic Actions

The Vermont Library Association (VLA) Executive Committee will host a Zoom meeting from 2 to 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26, to obtain input from VLA members for strategic actions in response to the Working Group on the Status of Libraries in Vermont Final Report.

“This is an important moment for Vermont librarians to determine how best to use our time and resources in the coming years,” said VLA Vice President Mary Danko, director of Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, in an email to members. “We want to understand what your priorities are for you and your libraries.  Gathering information in a collaborative way will spark great conversation that will help to inform VLA’s Strategic Working Group Report Roadmap for the next few years.

To request meeting access, please visit this link: https://zoom.us/j/94960309666?pwd=b0ZwQWIyL1NUaTBOQ1cwY2RmT0gyQT09#success

If you cannot attend the Zoom meeting, you may provide input in a Google doc that the executive committee will email to members at the end of January. If you are not a VLA member you can join at any time at our membership page.

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.

See also: Working Group on the Status of Libraries in Vermont Final Report


Statement of Support for Toussaint St. Negritude and Bryn Hoffman of Cobleigh Public Library

The Vermont Library Association (VLA) stands with Vermont Humanities Program Officer Toussaint St. Negritude and with the Cobleigh Public Library, who were targeted by protesters on Saturday, June 10. VLA supports the freedom to speak without oppression or fear.

VLA recognizes that St. Negritude, who was leading an LGBTQ+ Pride poetry reading at Cobleigh Library in Lyndonville, was the direct target of the small group of protesters because of his identity as a gay Black man.

VLA denounces the behavior of anyone who would condemn, abuse, or attack another person because of who they are. It is vital to actively stand in support of members of Vermont’s BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.

Cobleigh Library plays a central role in the Northeast Kingdom by providing a meeting space, books, and many other community resources, and it strives to be a safe, welcoming environment for all. VLA also understands that the protest makes it harder for the library to do this vital work, as it was intended to intimidate patrons, staff, and presenters, and thereby chill the types of programming the library offers. We support Librarian Bryn Hoffman in their efforts to ensure that everyone is free to read, access information, exchange ideas, and speak freely at Cobleigh Public Library.

Executive Board
Vermont Library Association
July 12, 2023

Vermont Library Association Letter to President Barack Obama Concerning the Next Librarian of Congress

Library of Congress LogoOctober 16, 2015
Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of the Vermont Library Association Executive Board, we write to express support for the appointment of a professional librarian as the next Librarian of Congress. This person will stand as a leader for our nation’s libraries and cultural institutions, as well as a global role model for democratic principles such as equal access to information, economic development in new areas of technology, and information and the new education models that will enrich our society. Librarians nationally have so much to gain with such a role model in the country’s top bibliographic institution. Read More…

VLA Statement on the Ryan Budget

Press Contact: Amber Billey, VLA President
Phone: 802-656-8568
Email: abilley@uvm.edu
April 8, 2014
The Vermont Library Association joins American Library Association President Barbara Stripling in rebuking the budget plan by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI). This budget plan seeks to eliminate federal funding for multiple programs dedicated to the public good that directly benefit Vermont libraries and their patrons.
Ryan’s budget resolution effectively calls for the dissolution of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency that administers grants to libraries and museums, including the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) state funding program. In Vermont, LSTA funds represent approximately 25% of the state’s $3.8 million Department of Libraries budget for fiscal year 2014.
President Stripling writes, “Libraries depend on the support they receive from IMLS to help patrons learn new skills, find job opportunities and access reading materials that they otherwise could not afford. More than $180 million has been appropriated to the Institute for Museum and Library Services through September 2014 to help libraries make information and services available to the citizens they serve. In Rep. Ryan’s own state of Wisconsin, more than 65 percent of libraries report that they are the only free access point to Internet in their communities.”
Vermont libraries serve the same critical role in ensuring equitable access to the Internet, books, and other educational materials. In Vermont LSTA funding has allowed libraries to create summer reading programs, offer adapted resources to blind and physically disabled patrons, provide Vermonters with reliable access to online databases, enhance public programs, train librarians, and much more.
The Vermont Library Association commends Vermont’s Congressional delegation for their unanimous support for LSTA. Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, and Congressman Welch all signed on to “Dear Colleague” letters in support of the program.
Ryan would like to make similar cuts in federal funding to agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Public Broadcasting Service, and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a move that would result in the loss of cultural heritage on an epic scale. In Vermont, the NEH has funded $1,118,552 toward identifying and preserving nearly 1,000 historic Vermont newspaper titles through the Vermont Newspaper Project. Most recently NEH funded digitizing over 200,000 pages through the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project.
Vermont Library Association President Amber Billey says, “In a budget that also proposes the elimination of community block grants and the drastic reduction of anti-poverty measures such as food stamps, perhaps it should be no surprise to see such disregard for America’s libraries. Vermont’s most recent libraries statistics indicate widespread use of services – nearly 4 million visits to our facilities, over 20,000 public programs offered, and 4.5 million items such as books circulated. Paul Ryan’s budget would seriously impact our ability to provide these critical services to Vermonters.”
VLA Statement on Rep. Paul Ryan’s Budget Proposal That Recommends Elimination of IMLS (PDF, 228 K)

VLA Members Craft ALA Resolution to Enhance Reader Privacy Protections

VLA members Trina Magi,  UVM Bailey Howe Library,  Gail Weymouth, Director of  Killington’s  Sherburne Memorial Library and Nancy Wilson, Director of Bristol’s Lawrence Memorial Library played  major roles in the creation  and adoption of  an ALA Resolution to better protect reader privacy.

  The Intellectual Freedom Committee and the IFC Privacy Subcommittee developed the “Resolution to Protect Library User Confidentiality in Self-Service Hold Practices” after receiving requests from librarians and library users to examine the issue of reader privacy and self-service holds.  Prior to last month’s ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, the Office for Intellectual Freedom distributed the resolution for comment, and an open hearing was held during Conference for comments.  That process led to a revision of the resolution and what the IFC believes to be an improved version.

The final resolution as presented by the Intellectual Freedom Committee was adopted by the ALA Council on June 28.

Read more