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

National Library Week, April 11-17 (on WCAX)

Ready to promote National Library Week?

Vermont librarians Lorrie Colburn (Fletcher Free Library) and Amy Howlett (VT Department of Libraries) will booktalk some favorites for all ages on Monday, April 12 on “Across the Fence,” WCAX, channel 3, after the noon news. Pull out their titles (bibliography at ) or feature your own staff picks and public hot titles.

Amy Howlett

Vermont Department of Libraries

VLTA Programs at 2010 Town Officers Educational Conferences

The Vermont Library Trustees Association (VLTA), the trustees section of the Vermont Library Association, in conjunction with the Department of Libraries will again offer a series of workshops for trustees and librarians during the spring Town Officers Educational Conferences.   TOECs are sponsored by the Vermont Institute for Government, with organizational help from the UVM Extension Service which will mail a registration packet to each library in spring, 2010.

To register for any of the TOECs, find the form online at $55 online cost includes morning coffee and lunch.  Many towns send carloads to the sessions.  Contact your town clerk for details.

Dates/ locations:
Monday, April 5-St. Michael’s College, Colchester
Thursday, April 8-Lyndon State College, Lyndonville
Tuesday, April 13-Lake Morey Resort Fairlee
Tuesday, April 20-Grand Summit, Mt. Snow
Wednesday, April 28-Holiday Inn & Conference Center, Rutland

Read More

Librarian as Social Worker Panel Discussion

Hello public librarians!

I am the public library representative on the VLA Board.  I’m putting together a panel discussion called Librarian as Social Worker, which was how I described my job after arriving at work and finding a young adult (who was a recently discharged veteran) sleeping on the library steps.  After discussions with colleagues, I realized I wasn’t alone in feeling overwhelmed by the increase in our patrons’ needs.  In the past year or so, patrons have needed more information relating to health and human services, rather than reader’s advisory.  Whether it’s a question about emergency heating assistance or a child you fear is being abused, librarians are increasingly working with patrons who are in crisis.

The panel will be made up of members of local and state agencies who will discuss their organizations and how librarians can best use their resources.  VT 211 will have a representative on each panel.  There will be time for Q & A.

Panels will be held at two locations: Friday April 9th at the Aldrich Public Library in Barre and Monday April 26th at the Hartland Public Library, 10:00 –1:00 PM (coffee at 9:30.)  Please bring a bag lunch.  I’m also looking for real-life examples to provide to the panelists.  RSVP to or 802-649-1184.


URGENT ACTION ALERT: Get Librarians into the “Jobs Bill”


Please call both of your U.S. Senators to ask each of them to request that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND),  include the hiring and retaining of librarians in the $18 billion “Jobs Bill” as well.

Read More

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

News on status of Haitian Libraries

Forwarded message from Danielle Mincio, Member of IFLA Governing Board on the status of Haitian libraries.

Dear Colleagues,

The National library is not collapsed but strongly damaged. Patrimonial architects are going to examine the state of the building to know it will be possible to intervene. The analysis of the cultural buildings are analysed after those absolutely essential (hospital, etc.)

Read More

Two Calls for Submissions

Seeking Submissions from Practicing Librarians for two books.

  1. Library Management Tips That Work
  2. Surviving and Thriving in the Recession: a How-to-do-it Manual for Librarians

Read More

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services information

(post received from Ted Albers)

I am Ted Albers, a Community Relations officer with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) in Burlington Vermont. USCIS is the immigration-benefit and service branch of the Federal Government.

You may be aware of some of the hard-copy and online resources that
USCIS produces for immigrants who are preparing for the citizenship test. These materials are helpful to ESL and Civics educators as well. These resources are detailed on the websites below.

For libraries, the “Citizenship Toolkit” is probably the most useful. It is free if a library or non-profit organization registers for it online ($73 if purchased through the Government Printing Office).

Even if a library does not serve many immigrants, the Toolkit is helpful
for social-service providers, students and others as it helps in understanding the legal immigration and citizenship process and requirements.
Read More