Vermont Independent Media Conversation: July 12th in Montpelier

Some great things are going on in media among us and around us here in the green mountains. It’s not surprising for us to have fertile ground to till in the area of independent media, but what if we stopped, just for a moment, to consider where we’re headed – together. Please join other interested people to do just that on the afternoon of July 12th in downtown Montpelier.

Are there opportunities, needs, desires we share? You are invited to an initial conversation – a brainstorming session, perhaps – to talk about the future and the now. And if you think there are others who should be invited, please pass along this invitation. All are welcome.

Vermont Independent Media Conversation
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Montpelier City Hall

Agenda in development
1. Introductions

2. Some questions to address:Does independence mean anarchy? How can independent Vermont media outlets work together?
What are the assets we currently share? How can independent media assist Vermont communities building and maintaining community links? How do we increase real news about communities? Can we move toward collaboration in creative ways?

3. What should our next steps be?

Want more information? Have questions? Email
Or just show up and bring things up.

If you know anyone who should be invited to this conversation, please ask them to join us.

Scott Campitelli
Executive Director & Program Manager
RETN – Regional Educational Technology Network
ph – 802.654.7980 ext 26
media center at:
208 Flynn Avenue, Suite 2K
Burlington, Vermont

John Swan Lecture 2011 – Christopher M. Finan

The John Swan Intellectual Freedom Lecture will be held Thursday, August 25 at 4 pm in Killington. It will be held either at the Sherburne Library or the Killington Events Hall depending on the size of the audience. Chris Finan will speak about his book From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: A History of Free Speech in America in which he speaks about VLA being the first sign of hope in the fight against the USA PATRIOT act. He just received the very prestigious Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award of 2011 that will given during the Opening Session of ALA Annual  in New Orleans. More about Chris below:

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An Evening Without: Giving Voice to the Silenced

September 30, 2010 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Centre Congregational Church
193 Main Street  Brattleboro, VT

In celebration of the First Amendment during Banned Books Week, the Vermont Civil Liberties Union and the Vermont Library Association present “An Evening Without…Giving Voice to the Silenced” featuring Vermont authors and speakers reading from books that have been banned or challenged.

The featured readers below will read from the works of authors such as Mark Twain, John Steinbeck and Toni Morrison.
Jerry Carbone is the Director of Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro.
Jon Clinch is the author of two acclaimed novels, Finn and The Kings of the Earth.
Joni B. Cole is the writer of several non-fiction books and co-founder of the Writer’s Center in White River Junction.
Castle Freeman is a writer who has published four acclaimed novels, a book of  short stories, and a collection of essays.
Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is the author of seven books, including her latest, Mr. and Mrs. Prince and hosts The Book Show, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program.
Karen Hesse is the Newbery Award-winning author of 22 books for young readers.
Suzanne Kingsbury is the author of three novels, two of which have been optioned for film

The program is affiliated with the Brattleboro Literary Festival that will continue September 30-October 1.

VLA and ACLU to Hold Banned Books Week Read-out – Spread the Word

Dear friends,

In celebration of the First Amendment during Banned Books Week, the VLA Intellectual Freedom Committee and the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont will present “An Evening Without. . .Giving Voice to the Silenced,” Thursday, Sept. 30.

The free event will feature writers from around Vermont as they read from works by those whose writing has been challenged, censored, or banned.

Featured readers are Jerry Carbone (director of the Brooks Memorial Library), Jon Clinch, Joni Cole, Castle Freeman, Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, Karen Hesse, and Suzanne Kingsbury, reading from works by Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, George Orwell, Katherine Paterson, John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, and Kurt Vonnegut.

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Banned Book Week Poster

Each year ALA sponsors Banned Books Week to highlight our 1st Amendment right to read.

In the past two years the education committee of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Vermont chapter (on which I serve) has offered free ALA posters to 21 school, public and college libraries in order to help them use this week to draw attention to the dangers of censorship.

We have money to do this again this year.

The first ten libraries to email response to this post will receive the ALA Banned Book Week poster offered this year by ALA and shown in the ALA graphics catalog (p. 6) that was recently mailed.  The 2010 poster measures 24” by 32” and retails for $16.00.

See the 2010 poster at

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The first-ever Choose Privacy Week May 2-8, 2010.

I am very excited to announce the first ever “Choose Privacy Week” to be held May 2-8, 2010.   Choose Privacy Week is a new initiative started American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee (ALAIFC) and Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) to spark a national conversation about privacy.    Libraries are the natural centers for learning and talking about information issues so  they are the perfect place to invite users join the conversation about privacy rights a digital age.

ALA has developed a variety of resources to help libraries reach out to their communities.    The campaign gives libraries the tools they need to educate and engage users, and gives citizens the resources to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy.  I hope you take time to explore the website to learn more about what your library can do to spark thought and discussion around privacy issues today.  Whether you are considering creating a display, sponsoring a contest, hosting a program or workshop, or moderating a community dialogue about privacy, there are tools that can help.  

Help us spread the word about the importance of choosing privacy.  

Gail Weymouth

VLAIFC, chair

Intellectual Freedom Webinars for Library Trustees


“Controversial Materials in the Library: Supporting Intellectual Freedom in Your Community”

OIF is partnering with the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) to present three one-hour webinars in February for library trustees on the topic of controversial materials in library collections.

The webinars, entitled “Controversial Materials in the Library: Supporting Intellectual Freedom in Your Community,” are intended to help trustees understand the basics of intellectual freedom in libraries. They will cover information on collection development policies, procedures for handling challenges to library materials, and tips on responding to controversies that may arise. Angela Maycock, OIF Assistant Director, will lead the webinar series.

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Vermont Materials Challenges for ALAOIF

With the end of the year, American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (ALAOIF) is  compiling the yearly list of most frequently challenged books.  ALAOIF collects information for the  challenge database from media reports and from reports submitted by individuals especially State IFC chairs.  I would greatly appreciate if you could send me any information on challenges in your institution during 2009.    Challenges reported to ALA by individuals are kept confidential and any report can be cross-checked with existing entries in the database.  You may report challenges by filling out and submitting OIF’s database form (available at or you may simply email me the details of the incident and I can fill out a form on your behalf.  If you have any questions at all, please let me know.

Thank you for your help.
Gail Weymouth
VLA IFC chair