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Our Mission

The Vermont Library Association (VLA) is an educational organization working to develop, promote, and improve library and information services and librarianship in the state of Vermont.

VLA Statement Condemning Increased Violence and Racism Towards Black Americans and People of Color

The Executive Board of the Vermont Library Association (VLA) stands in solidarity with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and in endorsement of the Executive Board of the American Library Association’s (ALA) June 1 statement in condemning violence and racism toward black people and all people of color.

https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/ala-executive-board-stands-bcala/

The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis, MN police officers is the most recent in a long line of events in the United States reminding us that racism is not a thing of the past.  The Executive Board of VLA urges our members to use your spheres of influence to respond to these events in your communities, to continue to advocate for all people regardless of race, to uphold fairness and justice in your policies and in your day to day operations and to continue to stand firm against “acts of prejudice and threats of violence”.

Sincerely,

Amy Olsen, President
Kevin Unrath,  President Elect
Cindy Weber, Past President
Marie Schmukal, Secretary
Susan Smolinsky, Treasurer

Alison Macrina – 2020 John Swan Memorial Lecture

The 2020 John Swan Memorial Lecture will be happening virtually this year.
Thursday, June 4th at 4 PM – Virtual
(Register here. GoToMeeting login information will be emailed to you)

Alison Macrina
Library Freedom Project
https://libraryfreedom.org/

head shot of Alison from Wikipedia

PRIVACY and the INTERNET OF THINGS

Along with founding the Library Freedom Project, Alison Macrina is a librarian, internet activist, and a core contributor to The Tor Project. Alison is passionate about fighting surveillance and connecting privacy issues to other struggles for justice. She believes that a world without pervasive surveillance is possible.

After the lecture there will be time for casual networking, so have your favorite beverage nearby.

Space is limited. The John Swan Memorial Lecture is open to everyone, so please feel free to share this event widely. Librarians, Library Trustees and Library Friends & Foundation Members are encouraged to attend.

VLA Voting is open – closes June 5th

icon of computer screen showing checkboxes

If you are a member of the Vermont Library Association, you should have received an email on Friday, May 8th Subject line: “Annual Vermont Library Association Membership Meeting Ballot”

The link to the online ballot is included in the email. Please vote! The voting ends on Friday, June 5th.

If you are a member of VLA and did not receive the email with the link, or if you’re a member and would rather vote with a paper ballot, please contact VLA secretary, Marie Schmukal: secretary@vermontlibraries.org

Vote icon by Adnen Kadri from the Noun Project

VLA COVID-19 Statement

The Vermont Library Association Executive Board would like to commend Vermont Libraries for showing leadership in their communities by making the decisions to close to the public during this difficult time, while encouraging others to take this action if they have not already done so, until such a time when library workers and our communities are no longer at risk of contracting or spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Closing library doors is different than how libraries typically serve our communities in times of crisis and emergency; however, we recognize that this circumstance requires us to consider the safety and well-being of library workers and the communities we serve in new an unprecedented ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

VLA Executive Board would like to encourage libraries to continue doing what they can to serve their communities in whatever capacity they are able, while maintaining safe practices and make decisions based on latest guidelines, reliable information and data. This includes, but it not limited to: offering WiFi hotspots, controlling social distance, controlling how best to quarantine and clean materials, looking into and promoting digital services, and using technology and social media creatively to bring people together.

In this challenging and uncertain time, we hope you will continue to communicate with and inform your communities about what local libraries are able to offer.

VLA Executive Board supports the statements from the American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board in support of libraries and library workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic and from the New England Library Association.

http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2020/03/ala-executive-board-recommends-closing-libraries-public

http://nelib.org/nela-public-statement-on-public-library-closures/

VLA will work with the Vermont Department of Libraries to help advocate for the needs of VT Libraries, and for getting information to Libraries as updates are made available.

Be Safe, Stay Well, Take Care of Yourselves,

VLA Executive Board
Amy Olsen, President
Kevin Unrath, Vice President
Cindy Weber, Past President
Marie Schmukal, Secretary
Susan Smolinsky, Treasurer

Message from VLA President Amy Olsen

Dear Vermont Library Association Members,

I write to you with humble, heavy heart.

This past week has been very difficult and stressful with fast changing information, decisions, and uncertainty. I wish I were able to provide guidance to you all. I feel that I am inventing the wheel in my own community. I’m so proud of the responses that I’m reading over the listserv. So glad to be part of this supportive and understanding group of community leaders. The struggle to be the place for people to find comfort and community and keep our community safe is not easy. Sometimes the best way to serve is to not offer that place for social interaction.

I will be sending out another letter with some other VLA updates soon, but in the meantime, please remember to be gentle with yourselves. If you need someone to listen, I’m happy to offer that.

The Lanpher Library will be closed soon, but at this time I plan to be there working 802-888-4628 vermontlibrariespresident@gmail.com hydeparklibrary@yahoo.com

With Care,

Amy Olsen
President, VLA

2019 Vermont Library Association Friends and Trustees Section Feedback Survey

The Vermont Library Association (VLA) would like feedback from VT library trustees and members of Friends groups. We’d like to know how we can better serve you in your roles. We want to hear from you, even if you are not currently a VLA member.
We have created a quick 5-question survey where we are looking for your thoughts on VLA: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JWB78XX
This survey should take just 3-5 minutes. There’s no login required, and no names or library affiliations are collected.
Your participation is GREATLY appreciated, and will help us better serve all Vermont libraries.
Thank you!
Dana Rozycki
President, Friends and Trustees Section
Vermont Library Association
drozycki@rocketmail.com
914-235-3630

VLA Calls for Macmillan to Reverse Library eBook Embargo

Dear Mr. John Sargent,
The Vermont Library Association Calls for Macmillan to Reverse Library eBook Embargo
On July 25, Macmillan Publishers announced it would become the only major (Big 5) publisher
to limit eBook lending for U.S. libraries. Under its new licensing model, scheduled to begin November 1, 2019, a library may purchase one copy upon release of a new title in eBook format, after which the publisher will impose an eight-week embargo on additional copies of that title sold to libraries.
As American Library Association (ALA) President Wanda Brown asserted that same day, “Macmillan Publishers’ new model for library eBook lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission: ensuring access to information for all. Macmillan’s new policy is unacceptable.”
And Public Library Association (PLA) President Ramiro Salazar stated, “Access to digital content in libraries is more than a financial issue: it is an equity issue. We encourage Macmillan Publishers to reverse course before libraries and the people they serve are harmed.” Millions of people now use digital content as their preferred or only access to books, music, and movies. As a rural state, many Vermonters rely on digital content from their libraries. Digital content is portable, accessible to people with print disabilities, available anywhere 24/7, and brokered by libraries to provide diverse options to our diverse communities. Libraries not only pay for books; they market them. Lost marketing means lost publicity and sales for publishers and authors.
The Vermont Library Association joins the ALA in denouncing this measure and calling for Macmillan Publishers to cancel the embargo and restore full access to its complete eBook catalog upon release to the public.

  • Furthermore, the Vermont Library Association affirms the principles that:
  • All published works must be available for libraries to purchase and lend to library users.
  • Access to use of eBooks must equitably balance the rights and privileges of readers, authors and publishers.
  • Digital content must be accessible to all people, regardless of physical or reading disability.
  • Library patrons must be able to access digital content on the device of their choosing.
  • Reading records must remain private in the digital age.

Our Vermont contingent at NELLS

image of the five librarians mentioned in the text, standing outside with badges on
The New England Library Leadership Symposium (NELLS) foster the mentoring and development of leaders in state and regional library associations. NELLS was created through a cooperative effort of the New England Library Association and all six New England state library associations. First held in 2003, subsequent NELLS events have taken place in 2005, 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2019. Here’s the Vermont contingent from this year. Howard Burroughs (Brooks Memorial), Amy Williams (Rutland Free), Susan Larson (Milton Public), Cindy Weber (Stowe Free), and Emer Feeney (Fletcher Free).

headshot of Kevin Unrath a smiling guy in suit and tie

The Vermont Library Association supports library workers, friends, volunteers board members, and all those who use our services. Vermonters visited their libraries in person more than 5 million times last year, while also accessing digital resources provided through libraries more than 5 million times. Libraries are busier than ever. both online and in person; this is an exciting time to help lead our Association forward.

Kevin Unrath – VLA President