Welcome to the VLA Scholarship and Awards Committee!

This Vermont Library Association (VLA) Scholarship and Awards Committee is charged with defining, overseeing, and funding scholarship opportunities for library professional development, as well as overseeing VLA’s five awards. The committee’s chairperson is

Pamela Cartier
Coordinator, Community Legal Information Center (CLIC)
Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Julien and Virginia Cornell Library
164 Chelsea Street, P.O. Box 96
South Royalton, VT 05068
(802) 831-1440


The Vermont Library Association presents five awards for outstanding service to and support of the state’s libraries. Click the link to see past recipients.

  1. Birdie Award
  2. Green Mountain Award
  3. Sarah C. Hagar Award
  4. Senator Patrick Leahy Library Advocate of the Year Award
  5. Trustee of the Year Award

To place a name in nomination for any award, please send to the Awards Committee Chair:

  • the nominee’s name;
  • the name of their library;
  • a letter or letters explaining why this person should receive the award;
  • your name, library, telephone number, and e-mail address to the Awards Committee chair.

Nominations including a few letters that present a well-rounded picture of the candidate are preferred to a single letter, or many letters that all say similar things. If a nomination is made by more than one person, please designate one signatory as the contact person.

VLA also offers two scholarships

  1. Professional Development Grant
  2. Graduate Student Scholarship

Honoring Retirees

Are you retiring or know a librarian who is? Please let us know! If that librarian is also a VLA member we want to honor them at the Vermont Library Conference.

Fall 2022 Professional Development Grant Winners

The VLA Scholarship and Awards Committee is pleased to announce that the Fall 2022 VLA Professional Development Grant has two winners!

Natacha Liuzzi

a smiling white woman with curly hair standing behind a stack of books

Erin Davison

One recipient is Natacha Liuzzi, Children’s Specialist at the South Burlington Public Library. She will be attending a 6-week online ALSC course taught by K.T. Horning, called The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future. The class will give participants a solid grounding in the history of the Newbery Medal and how it’s changed over time; an opportunity to read, discuss and consider past and present Newbery winners with their colleagues from across the nation; a chance to talk to former Newbery Committee members and a Newbery author, and suggestions for programming using Newbery-winning books. This grant will help defray the cost of the class.

The other recipient is Erin Davison, Youth Services Librarian at Norwich Public Library. She will be attending the NELA 2022 Annual Conference. The conference will give her the opportunity to connect with and learn from librarians in the region as she navigates rural librarianship for the first time in her career. This grant will help defray the costs of the conference.

Spring 2022 Professional Development Grant Winner

Bree Drapa

Bree Drapa

The VLA Scholarship and Awards Committee is pleased to announce that the Spring 2022 VLA Professional Development Grant has a winner! The worthy recipient is Bree Draper, director of Westford Public Library. Bree is part of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Outstanding in Their Field Leadership Institute, and she will be attending the ARSL Conference in Chattanooga. This grant will help Bree defray some of her traveling costs.

2022 Graduate Student Scholarship

Wendy Sharkey

The VLA Scholarship and Awards Committee is pleased to announce that the 2022 Graduate Student Scholarship was awarded to Wendy Sharkey. Wendy was born and raised in England and still has a bit of an accent even after living in Bennington Vermont for 30 years. When she first came to Vermont, she was unable to work so she volunteered at the library, volunteering became part-time, part-time became more time until she became a full-time employee. Wendy is currently head of circulation, IT and the lone cataloger and am enjoying her 24 th year
at the Bennington Free Library.

Wendy’s background is in engineering. She got a Masters in Applied Mechanics almost 40 years ago, and started her career working for British Aerospace and Jaguar Cars. Wendy has a passion for problem solving and an eye for detail, both of these attributes have helped in her current position.
Life is always offering us opportunities and Wendy is a firm believer of grabbing them with both hands and embracing them and because of this she is currently pursuing a Masters in Library Science at the University of North Texas.

Fall 2019 Professional Development Grant Winners

The VLA Scholarship and Awards Committee is pleased to announce that the Fall 2019 VLA Professional Development Grant (formerly the Continuing Education Grant) has two winners! The worthy recipients who split the grant monies were Margaret Woodruff, Director of the Charlotte Library and Abigail Maier Johnson, Children’s Librarian at the Cobleigh Library in Lyndonville. Both recipients participated in continuing education through the Library Juice Academy – Margaret’s class was titled “Incorporating Sustainability into Information Literacy, Library Programs, and Library Organizations” and Abby’s “Technology, Literacy, and Young Children: Media Mentorship for Newborns to Five-Year-Olds and Their Families.”

Read Abby’s report on Media Mentorship with Our Youngest Library Users and Their Families

Last update April 8, 2024.