Vermont Library Association Statement in Support of Recently Laid Off St. Johnsbury Athenaeum Library Staff

On December 7, 2012, the Vermont library community was shocked and dismayed at the decision of the Board of Directors of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum to lay off its entire library staff in the name of restructuring. While the Vermont Library Association understands the Board’s responsibility for setting direction for their library during a time of financial stress, now, more than ever, Vermonters need libraries–and librarians. The Vermont Library Association feels that the board’s actions demonstrate a devaluation of libraries and the library professionals capable of leading them through a time of intense change in information resources and society. Librarians are not replaced by the Internet–their skills and training enrich the Internet and facilitate access for all Vermonters.

“As President of the Vermont Library Association, an educational organization that works to develop, promote, and improve library and information services and librarianship in the State of Vermont, I hope the entire library community will join us in support of libraries and librarians everywhere, specifically in St. Johnsbury at this time.” states Deborah Gadwah-Lambert.

The Vermont Library Association would like to express support to all the dedicated St. Johnsbury library staff capably serving the local community.

To express your support as well, consider these steps:

Step One: Contact the Athenaeum Executive Director, Matthew Powers and Board Vice-President, Gil Steil to express your concerns. Send email to or call 802-748-8291.

Step Two: Join the Vermont Library Association, Rural Librarians Unite, and the citizens of St. Johnsbury on the steps of the Athenaeum to “hug” the library, Saturday, January 12th at noon. We will be holding hands around the library in solidarity with Athenaeum library staff.

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum Restructuring

The VLA Board Members want everyone to know that we are aware of the restructuring at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum and are working diligently with the ALA on a statement and a course of action. Stay tuned.

Letter from the Athenaeum Board of Trustees

Article from the Caledonian Record reposted by VT Digger

If you have any comments, suggestions, etc. re: VLA & the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum restructuring, please feel free to contact VLA President Deborah Gadwah-Lambert at deborahlle [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Funding Available to Increase Literacy Resources for Adult ELL – Deadline Aug 26

In May 2012, The ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) received funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to continue the American Dream Starts @ your library, a literacy initiative serving adult English language learners and their families.  A primary goal of this project is to help public libraries in Dollar General communities add or improve library literacy services for adult English language learners and their families.

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Outreach Coordinator Meet & Greet

Hello Fellow Outreach Coordinators,

I am the Outreach Coordinator at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.  I’ve been thinking for quite a while that I’d love the opportunity to gather with other Outreach folks to find out how other libraries provide outreach and also to exchange ideas.  I am taking a page from the book of our children’s librarian, Jane Napier.  She coordinates a state-wide meeting of children’s librarians twice a year.  I am proposing to meet on Tuesday, October  9th, here at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier from 10 – 12:30.  We could continue the discussion over lunch at one of Montpelier’s fine eateries.

Please let me know if you can attend by September 28th.  My email is:  or phone – 223.4665

Looking forward to meeting and exchanging ideas!

All the best,
Rachael Grossman

Survey of Vermont Public Libraries concerning Legal Reference Questions

The Department of Libraries in concert with the Vermont Judiciary would like to collect information about the amount, and types of legal reference questions that your patrons pose to you. These questions might require reference to Federal or State constitutions or statutes, Federal or State regulations, or Federal or State case law. They might involve Federal or State court systems, Town ordinances or government. In addition, these are questions that might ultimately be referred to a lawyer, or that do, or might, require involvement by the patron with a governmental entity, such as the IRS, the Social Security Administration, or a zoning board.

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New Graded Booklists

My fabulous advisory committee (Cheryl Cox, Kathy Dulac, Amy McMullen, Hannah Peacock, Julie Pickett, Chris Poggi and Nancy Rumery) have updated the graded booklists we have on our website, from Kindergarten through Young Adult. Print them out, and hand them out to your patrons to make their selections just a bit easier.

They are on this page under “Graded booklists.”


Turning the Page 2.0

Turning the Page 2.0 is a unique opportunity for free, in-depth, interactive, online education in public library advocacy. Register for this six week course and get one-on-one attention from professional facilitators as you build a customized Advocacy Work Plan for your library.

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Vermont State Parks Pass and Oh Ranger! App

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources just announced a free Vermont State Parks App:!-parkfinder-vermont/id509618668?mt=8

As Parks Passes start to go out, this would be a wonderful thing to promote with the passes for library members with smart phones and tablets.

It might even be a great time to promote certain apps that have to do with the great outdoors, like the Audubon Guide Apps, which are a little pricy but I use them all the time myself and that purchase supports local business (Green Mountain Digital).

What are your favorite reference apps that you tell patrons about?

Vermont Digital Collections Survey

Dear Vermont Librarians,

I am a student at Southern Connecticut State University and a staff member at the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, Vermont who is completing a research project for a Masters of Information and Library Science degree.

My thesis is titled “CREATING DIGITAL COLLECTIONS IN VERMONT’S PUBLIC LIBRARIES” and it investigates how small, rural cultural organizations, specifically public libraries in Vermont, can create effective and low-cost digital collections.

I am asking for your participation in a quick survey I have developed and posted online. The survey should take you no more than 15 minutes to complete.

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