2022 Vermont Library Association Conference

posted which repeats the details of the confrence and has an image of the main guy who is handling the unconference

Better Together!

This year, VLA is again doing things a little differently. On the heels of a very successful 2021 virtual conference, we’ll be hosting a participant-driven conference on June 1, 2022, at Castleton University. The theme is Better Together, which embodies two defining principles for the day: the chance for us to see each other in person after a long time apart, and the idea that sharing our knowledge helps us all improve ourselves and our libraries.

Please note important COVID Protocols to keep everyone as safe as possible: All attendees will need to provide either a vaccination card indicating full vaccination with at least one booster dose, or take a rapid antigen test the morning of the conference and test negative. Tests must be requested during the registration process. No exceptions to this protocol! Masking requirements to be determined in the weeks leading up to the conference: at this point, optional but encouraged is the current thinking.

What is a participant-driven conference?

Have you attended a traditional conference recently? Then you probably sat in room after room with dozens of other attendees listening to experts talk about topics that weren’t quite what you were interested in. You were sure there were some interesting people to talk to, people who had the same problems you did (and maybe even some answers) — but how could you find who they were and meet them among the swirling crowds? Did you come away frustrated, feeling that only a small portion of the time you attended was valuable to you?

The VLA 2022 conference will be different. It will be small, responsive, and peer-centered. Small, because the conference is limited to 150 attendees. Responsive, because most of the conference is spent discussing topics chosen by attendees through a careful short pre-conference online process. Peer-centered, because we believe that, collectively, we are the experts.

Our conference facilitator is Adrian Segar, creator of the Conferences That Work structure. Adrian is a well-known conference designer and facilitator, who has been creating participant-driven, participation-rich meetings for thirty years.

VLA 2022 is designed to make it easy for attendees to share what they want to discuss, the problems they need help with, and the answers they have found from their own experience. The conference provides a supportive environment for a learning and teaching experience that is tailored by and for the individual attendees. Does this sound like the kind of conference you’d like to attend? If so, we’d love to see you.

Cost (includes lunch):
VLA Member: $50
VLA Non-member: $65

Time/Date: 9:30 a.m. – 4:55 p.m., Wednesday, June 1, with an online topic gathering exercise the day before.
Location: Castleton University’s Fine Arts Center, 45 Alumni Drive, Castleton, VT 05735.

Please note: Due to the highly interactive format of the Unconference, and in order to support social distancing, we are capping the number of participants at 150. Please register soon to guarantee your slot!


Directions and Parking

The conference will be held at the Fine Arts Center at Castleton University , 45 Alumni Dr, Castleton, VT 05735.  Parking is available anywhere in the lot past the Fine Arts Center – click here for a map.

Covid testing/verification

Please bring a copy of your vaccination card, either paper or electronic, that indicates you have received two doses of vaccine and at least one booster.  Volunteers will confidentially check these at the registration table in the morning.  If you are not vaccinated, or forget your proof of vaccination, rapid tests will be administered in a private location.  In order to offer as safe an environment as possible, masking will be highly encouraged (but not required) and masks will be available.

Conference Schedule

 PDF w/ Map

8:45 am Registration opens (Fine Arts Center Lobby) – coffee and pastries available throughout the morning

9:40 – 10:10 am Welcome, introduction, and opening activity (Fine Arts Theater)

10:20 – 11:20 am Conference session 1

  • eBooks, eAudiobooks & streaming: Opportunities for more sharing & more cost savings? Fair Pricing? *
Music Room #134
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our Libraries: Plans, Progress, and Challenges
Casella Stage #153
  • Patron tech needs now – what do we do differently post-pandemic?
Dance Studio (downstairs) #14
  • Adult Programs – Ideas to fit a budget
Lobby #100

11:30 am – 12:30 pm Conference session 2

  • Cultivating joy and taking care: we can’t do it all but we probably also shouldn’t be trying to…
Music Room #134
  • Youth Services Post Pandemic: What we’ve learned, how we’ve changed, and what we do to help kids rebound
Dance Studio (downstairs) #14
  • Ditching Dewey–success or horror?
Lobby #100
  • Library Data: What *should* we be collecting to better tell our stories for advocacy & for building relationships?
Casella Stage #153

12:40 – 1:00 Awards Ceremony (Fine Arts Theater)

1:00 – 1:50 Lunch 

1:50 – 2:50 pm Conference session 3

  • Learning from the Pandemic – good things? changes?
Dance Studio (downstairs) #14
  • Impactful Collaborations with Other Libraries and across library types (academic, school, public)
Lobby #100
  • Solo-ish Librarian Networking and Professional Development – How else are you going to do it?
Music Room #134
  • How staff & volunteers can learn to handle challenging library boards & library work environments
Casella Stage #153

3:00 – 4:00 pm Conference session 4

  • Working Group on the Status of Libraries in Vermont–what is it and what is it doing? What’s are the long-term goals?
Casella Stage #153
  • How to get patrons back in the library
Dance Studio (downstairs) #14
  • Cataloging non-traditional items: standards, requirements, tips for things such as table top games, museum passes, firewood moisture meters, snowshoes, tools, etc
Lobby #100
  • Reader’s Advisory
Music Room #134

4:10 – 4:45 pm Group closing session


Facilitator’s Guide

And after the conference… at 5:00, the Castleton Free Library would like to invite attendees to visit us for coffee, tea, and refreshments….”just a little something before you head back home. We are a short walk from the campus at 638 Main Street, across from Heritage Bank. We are hoping you’ll stop by and excited to show you our little library.”  Mary, Sharon and Ariana


Wi FI Info

Select the CU-Community Wi-Fi network.
Username: casvtla
Password: casvtla22

Any other questions? Please contact Lisa Milchman at lisa.milchman@norwichlibrary.org or Kevin Unrath at kunrath@shelburnevt.org

This program is supported, in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries

This conference is supported, in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries. We thank them for their support.

Vermont Humanities logo

Additional support provided by the Vermont Humanities Council.