2008 Presidential Debates and Libraries

(From the ALA Listserv)

On Tuesday, October 7, one of the three 2008 Presidential debates between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will be held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. This debate will be a town hall format moderated by Tom Brokaw. The moderator will call on members of the audience as well as select questions submitted online.

During this election year, we are looking for librarians and library supporters from across the country to call attention to the value of today’s libraries in our communities, as well as the issues the library community is facing. We encourage all ALA members to submit questions. The Commission on Presidential Debates has partnered with MySpace to create a new Web site, www.MyDebates.org. This site will become available in the days leading up to the first Presidential debate on September 26.  The more questions submitted, the more likely a library question will be asked. This is an opportunity for the library voice to become an important part of the 2008 Presidential election.

Sincerely,

James Rettig
ALA President

To be clear, this is a message to ALA members, but it is not exclusive to ALA members. The materials and methods are freely available on the open web and any librarian can participate.

Voter Registration Materials for Vermont Libraries

To encourage voter registration at the library, boxes of signs, buttons, bumper stickers, registration forms, pamphlets with all the info, and other fun stuff can be requested from Missy Shea in the Vermont Secretary of States Office <mshea@sec.state.vt.us>

It is very easy to register now – you (or the patron) fill out the form, take the Freeman’s oath and return the form to your local town clerk’s office (or perhaps the library can do so). People have until the very end of October to register and can vote by mail-in ballot too.

Missy will send out boxes to anyone who wants them.  There’s materials for college students in the box as well.

2008 National Survey of Public Library Funding and Technology Access

A national survey of public library funding and technology access was mailed to public libraries in early September 2008. The survey, part of a broader study of public library funding and technology access issues, is funded by the American Library Association and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and conducted by researchers from Florida State University’s Information Use Management and Policy Institute and the University of Maryland’s Center for Library Innovation, and builds on research conducted since 1994. More information on this and previous studies is available at www.ala.org/plinternetfunding . There you will also find the most recent study report. Additional survey findings are available at www.ii.fsu.edu/plinternet/.

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Beyond Survival: Thriving in Hard Times

This annual statewide conference for trustees and librarians is sponsored by the Vermont Library Trustees Association with help from the Vermont Department of Libraries. 

Saturday November 8, 2008
9:30 am-3:00 pm (coffee and registration at 9:00)
Rutland Free Library, 10 Court Street, Rutland, VT
802-773-1860

A community is not just a place, but a set of relationships. In Vermont, where small town libraries abound, not knowing the local movers-and-shakers or building partnerships, weakens the library’s community standing and encourages claims of irrelevance. In tough economic times people depend heavily on their public library for help. Our session today will focus on building support for your public library that will help to sustain you in both good and hard times.  For a complete program description and a registration form click on the following link:  Beyond Survival Thriving in Hard Times.

Public Library Section News

I’d like to take this opportunity to “formally” introduce myself as the new Public Libraries Section (PLS) president of VLA. I look forward working with public librarians who have ideas or concerns that they would like to see addressed by VLA and assisting librarians in better serving their communities. My thanks to outgoing PLS president Peter Blodget of Latham Memorial Library for inviting me to become involved.

This autumn PLS will be sponsor a professional book discussion and how-to workshop on marketing libraries. Our goal is to present a step-by-step marketing plan you can use and promotional ideas from a book store marketing consultant and other librarians. Watch for details to be announced.

Also, please send me your ideas for workshops that you would like to have at the annual VLA conference. We are especially interested in hot topics or areas of service that have been underrepresented in previous conference offerings. If you can recommend, a speaker or let me know if you are willing to speak yourself.

Please contact me with any ideas or concerns that you may have. I look forward to hearing from you.

Marti Fiske, Director
Dorothy Alling Memorial Library
21 Library Lane
Williston, VT 05495
802-878-4918
marti@williston.lib.vt.us

Wyoming 2008 Library Workforce Survey

As the State Data Coordinator, I just received a link to the Wyoming 2008 Library Workforce Survey.  I think this is of interest to Vermont, in that Wyoming is also a very rural state with a very small population.  I wanted to share it with all of you.  This will be of interest to academic, public, school and special librarians.

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Center for Rural Studies 30th Anniversary Symposium

Center for Rural Studies 30th Anniversary Symposium
Saturday, October 4, 2008 (9 am – 6:30 pm)
Mt. Mansfield Room in UVM’s Davis Center
Information/ Registration: http://crs.uvm.edu/30years

This symposium will include speakers, panel discussions and displays on Vermont’s civic culture and food systems, and strategies for responding to rural needs and improving education and outreach. Moderators include Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee, and Dan Gillmor, author and electronic communication visionary. More than just a celebration, CRS hopes to move into the next 30 years energized by your ideas, involvement and participation.

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VLA Travel Wiki – Coordinate Carpooling and Roommates for Events

Hello all!

I accidentally buried the announcement of this resource in the post about the NELA Conference, but I have created a wiki for people to coordinate attending events. I remember longing for something like this when I didn’t drive and didn’t know anybody and desperately wanted to go to conferences and workshops. So now I’ve created it. This is an experiment, so please come along for the ride, if for no other reason than we could all save a few bucks and maybe even meet some interesting new folks.

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Celebrate Judith Flint

Arthur Milnes, guest commentator on Vermont Public Radio, celebrates Judith Flint of the Kimball Public Library in Randolph for her defense of patron confidentiality when the FBI appeared. Milnes:

Judith Flint’s example gives me hope – despite the challenges on both sides of the border and in the wider world as our necessary war on terror continues.  While I have never met her – and probably never will – I am confident that to the children and families in Randolph she is a true friend.

Read the commentary at VPR or hear the podcast.

Amy Howlett

VT Department of Libraries