The 2009 Vermont Library Conference Needs Your Help!

Volunteers are needed to support work on the May, 2009 Vermont Library Conference.  Conference proposals are coming in, and we are lining up some great speakers and exciting events for May 12 & 13, 2009.  Our keynote, Marshall Keys, is ecstatic to speak to the librarians of Vermont about library advocacy – a topic more important now than ever.  It is our hope that the Vermont Library Conference is a meaningful, worthwhile, professional experience for all of Vermont’s librarians, library staff, boards, school boards, teachers, and administrators.  We hope to broaden our scope and invite all the people who make our jobs a reality.

 However, in order to put on a fantastic conference, we need your help.  We are operating with a much smaller conference planning committee than in years past, and have identified areas in which we need your support.  If you are interested in any of the jobs listed below, please contact me as soon as possible.  You will be given all the information you need to fill these jobs – please don’t feel like you can’t volunteer for lack of experience.  We will make sure you have all the support you need to do the job. If you have any questions about the conference, volunteering, or program proposals, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I look forward to hearing from many of you! Sincerely, Barbara Doyle-Wilch

Director of Cultural Activities

Middlebury College

252 Columbus Smith Road

Salisbury, VT 05769


802-238-7608 cell


*2010 Conference Co-Chairs needed.  As of this year, conference planning has morphed into a two year process.  2010 Conference Co-Chairs will begin planning now!  In addition to “learning the ropes” of conference planning this year by working closely with the current co-chairs, 2010 Conference Co-Chairs will be responsible for venue selection (Fall, 2008), keynote and endnote selection (January, 2009), as well as working on a theme, programs, etc. after the May 2009 conference is completed.  This will ease the pace of planning as well as free up the current co-chairs from having to plan two conferences simultaneously.  It is a great opportunity to meet and work closely a variety of library professionals, hold a position on the VLA or VSLA board, and plan a great event!

 Workgroups Needed (or at least one person to take leadership) for: *Sponsorships – (Need two or three individuals to find sponsorships for the conference working closely with Marjorie Shane, Exhibits Chair). We would like to dramatically increase the sponsorships this year.  Most of this work must be done in the fall 2008. *Exhibits Assistant – need one person to assist with on-site management of exhibit hall during the conference.  Most work would be done the night before the conference (set-up), during, and after (for break-down). *Promotion – one person to be the leader in a threesome that creates the overall content for the Conference, including the distribution plan for promotion of the Conference. 

Writes and edits copy for promotion of conference.  Develop ideas for increasing promotion to wider audience (Classroom teachers, Board members, Friends, technical staff, museums, etc.)  Create ideas to involve legislators, State Library staff, governor, Boards, Friends, etc.

 *Conference program design and editorship – one person with good design and graphic skills. Responsible for design and compilation of program content (supplied by co-chairs) for web presence and printed brochure/program including registration.

  • Print work for general brochure to be at printer by Feb. 15th.
  • Publish final room assignments, program brochure by late April.
  • Web materials ongoing – communicate with webmasters (see below).
  • Plan and time-line developed in November/December.

 *Sign Language Interpreters (need one person to handle this)

  • Contact sign language referral service (January) to arrange for two signers for the conference
  • Investigate costs, needs of attendees and possibilities for cost reductions.
  • Submit budget requirements to Joanne Bertrand, treasurer in January/February.

*Silent Auction (two or more energetic people, well connected to artists, book dealers, chocolate makers, etc.) for silent auction to raise funds for the conference or scholarships.  Goal:  over $500.00

  • Find items, donated, that will be bid on
  • Arrange for exhibits, silent auction, etc.  Brandon had a really good one on the Fourth of July celebration.
  • Work with Co-chairs to determine time, place, etc.
  • Must begin work now

*Speakers’ liaison/hospitality room (one person)

  • Organize some volunteers to introduce speakers, make sure all of the needs are met and to make speakers comfortable.
  • Organize the hospitality room for speakers and volunteers including purchasing snacks, drinks, etc.
  • Create ways to make speakers feel well attended to esp. out of state visitors.
  • Communicate with co-chairs about speaker requirements, etc.


*Evaluation & wrap up dinner (one person)

            Plan an evaluation dinner in June to review evaluations and finances

            Celebrate our work over dinner somewhere (set up time and place)


 Current Volunteers: Exhibits                                                           Marjorie Shane (VLA)Exhibits chair contacts exhibitors, handles all details of correspondence, communicates with conference co-chairs, and manages exhibit hall before and during the conference.  RETN coordinator                                         Rob Geizsler (VLA)

  • Contact RETN and make arrangements for taping (January)
  • Provide Co-chairs with information about rooms, taping requirements, signed releases, etc.
  • Assist RETN on site as needed.

 Web                                                                Jessica Allard (VLA) and Larraby Fellows (VLA)

1-2 people who are responsible for continually adding content to the web site so that we are building a presence and excitement for the conference.

 Registration Volunteer Coordinator Susanna Paterson (VSLA)

Someone with good people skills to enthuse and organize on-site volunteers, trouble-shoot registration table, make attendees feel excited, welcomed and comfortable.


Identify volunteers (still needed!) to stuff registration materials the evening before the conference and to work at the conference registration desk for the duration of the conference. 

Create schedule of workers and orient them to the jobs.

Write thank you to volunteers.


  • Find volunteers in late March and April.
  • Be able to come to the conference on Monday night, May 11th to set up registration table. 
  • Orient volunteers via handouts, email, etc. right before conference.