Winnie Belle Learned grants available for public libraries

Vermont Public Library Foundation Grants Funded by the Winnie Belle Learned Fund
Deadline for applications: December 15, 2008
Application and information available at:


Background and Biography

The Winnie Belle Learned Fund is a fund created in 2007 by Dr. Burnett Rawson in honor of Winnie Belle Learned, a Vermont educator and his benefactress. Born in 1863 in Westford, Vermont, Ms. Learned worked through many personal hardships to earn her teaching certificate.

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Workshop: Marketing for Libraries

Marketing for Libraries
Thursday December 4, 2008
9:30 am – noon
Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston

Participants will learn the basic steps of creating a marketing plan using information from “Crash Course in Marketing for Libraries” by Susan Webreck Alman and the Certified Public Library Administration marketing course taught by Wayne Piper. Guest speaker Elizabeth Bluemle, co-owner of the Flying Pig Book Store, will share book store tips for merchandising and marketing outside and within the building. Bring along examples of your successful library marketing experiences to share with the group.

It is highly recommended that participants purchase and review “Crash Course in Marketing for Libraries” by Susan Webreck Alman before attending the workshop. ($30, ISBN-10: 1591584302, ISBN-13: 978-1591584308) This book outlines a marketing plan in less than 58 pages, with several appendices of real-life examples.

Contact Marti Fiske for information and to register, or 802-878-4918. This workshop is sponsored by the Public Libraries Section of the Vermont Library Association.

VT Library Confidentiality Act Panel

Vermont Law Review Symposium

OCTOBER 17, 2008

This symposium,sponsored by the Vermont Law Review, features keynote speaker Louis Fisher, constitutional law scholar with the Library of Congress and an expert in national security issues who is often called upon to testify before Congress. His newest book, 9/11 and the Constitution,  was released in August. Expert panels will discuss a variety of topics including immigration, environmental law, protecting library records, and the right to dissent

8:30 OPENING REMARKS by Geoffrey Shields

8: 45 – Vermont Library Patron’s Confidentiality Act
Gail Weymouth, Chairwoman of the VT Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee
Jane Woldow, Vermont Law School Librarian
Retta Dunlop, Executive Director of Vermonters for Better EducationRead More

Nov. 7 Deadline – 2008 National Survey of Public Library Funding and Technology Access

Hello everyone,

As of this morning, 34 sampled libraries in Vermont have completed the survey, which is a 21.8% response rate.  Again, we have to attain at least a 60% response rate to be able to analyze each state individually, so hopefully we can get many more in!  There is now one month left in the survey cycle, as it will close November 7, so anything you can do to increase the responses in our state would be greatly appreciated. 

Libraries should go to to complete their surveys.  Thank you again for your help and, as always, please let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

Thank you everyone who has completed the survey.  You’re helping us all for future grant applications.

Rob Geiszler

NELA Conference — Plan to Attend

Don’t Miss Out on Discount Rates for NELA 2008! 

NELA is accepting Early Registration for “Taking Charge of Change”, the 2008 Annual NELA Conference being held from October 19 to 21, 2008 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.

If your registration is postmarked by October 10, you can receive a 25-30%!

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Adult Programming Showcase
  • Drop-In Resume Review
  • Easy Web Fixes
  • “Graphic” Nonfiction
  • Help! The Teen Librarian Has Left the Building
  • Hot Topics in Technical Services
  • Leading by Example: Toward More Sustainable Communities
  • My College Freshman Is Your High School Senior
  • Sophisticated Picture Books
  • The Vanishing Male: Guy Stuff That Lures and Hooks
  • Special Guest Authors: Simon Winchester, Cynthia Lord, and Michael Palmer
  • Special Guest Storytellers: Eshu and Motoko and Raouf Mama

Join your colleagues for all this plus award winners, discussion leaders, gamers, social hours, luncheons, exhibits, exhibits, and more exhibits!

Register by mail or online at

2008 National Survey of Public Library Funding and Technology Access

Hello Friends,

As of this morning, only 16 sampled libraries have responded to the National Survey of Public Library Funding and Technology Access from Vermont, which is a 10.25% response rate. The survey will close November 7, which leaves 6 weeks left in the survey cycle this year.  It sounds like quite a while, but it can sure fly by pretty quickly!  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1)      The URL to complete the survey for is

2)      They will not be able to analyze the state without at least a 60% response rate from libraries within the state.

To help Vermont libraries obtain grants from various national sources it’s important to have this participation.


Rob Geiszler

Regional Consultant

Vermont Department of Libraries

271 North Main Street

Rutland, VT 05701

(802) 786-3839

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

Attorney General’s opinion and other new statute guidelines.(revised)

What follows is the gist of the Attorney General’s opinion on the new confidentiality statute.

  1. Public libraries must keep records of patrons 16 or older confidential unless the patron waives that right.
  2. Public libraries have “limited discretion” expanding the scope of confidentiality of library records. The opinion says they must disclose the records of patrons under 16 if requested by parents.
  3. Read More

New Confidentiality Statute

Librarians have many questions about the new Confidentiality Statute that becomes effective July 1, 2008.

State Librarian, Sybil McShane asked the Attorney General to review the law in reference to existing statutes and in consideration of some of the questions we have. Once the AG’s office has reported back we will provide more specific guidelines for implementation to all VLA members, VT Libraries and Trustees. VLAIFC will offer policy writing workshops throughout the state for the above mentioned groups in the near future.

An updated sample public library privacy and confidentiality policy is available on the website as part of the Intellectual Freedom Toolkit. It can also be found at

Keep watching the VLA website for more information.

Gail Weymouth

VLAIFC chair

802 422 9765

New librarians in Vermont public libraries

New public librarians in the last few months include the following. Send your public library additions to the list for a routine posting to Amy Howlett,

Mary Wheeler, Cutler Memorial Library, Plainfield

Susan Smolinski, Arvin A. Brown Public library, Richford

Mary Moser Kashner, Pawlet Public Library

Thelma Georgeson, R. K. Kittay Public Library,Rupert

Michelle Hayes, children’s librarian,Whiting Library, Chester

Jane Napier, children’s librarian, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier

Célina Houlné, director, Rockingham Free Public Library, Bellows Falls

Melissa Worden, Lydia Taft Pratt Library, Dummers