June 4 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
June 4 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
June 9 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
June 9 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
June 14 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
This year, VLA is again doing things a little differently. On the heels of a very successful 2021 virtual conference, we’ll be hosting a participant-driven conference on June 1, 2022, at Castleton University. The theme is Better Together, which embodies two defining principles for the day: the chance for us to see each other in person after a long time apart, and the idea that sharing our knowledge helps us all improve ourselves and our libraries.
The Vermont Library Association (VLA) stands firmly against any legislation that restricts or impedes any education on Racism, “Divisive” Concepts, Racial Injustice, Black American History, and Diversity Education in libraries and educational institutions. This includes any books, resources, curriculum, or programming that libraries provide. Furthermore, we believe that it is imperative to call attention to portions of our history that have been previously omitted, misrepresented, distorted or misstated.
VLA is committed to upholding intellectual freedom in all of our libraries: Public Libraries, School Libraries, Special Libraries, and Academic Libraries. People must be able to access information without censorship and without fear that their intellectual inquiries are illegal. It is only through the vigorous upholding of freedoms of speech and inquiry that we can truly be a democratic nation that strives not only to understand its history, but to learn and become better from it.
Libraries and librarians have had a long history of upholding all forms of intellectual freedom. The current attacks and efforts to use legislation to suppress it are alarming, and are reaching unprecedented numbers throughout our country. Critical thinking and civil discourse for all points of view must be protected and encouraged in a democracy. Any attack on these tenets is an affront to the rights of all people and is intended to work against the values of equity, diversity and inclusion for which all libraries strive for.
VLA is committed to supporting our librarians and the communities they serve. We pledge to defend, assist, and stand with our members if and when they are challenged. Furthermore, we pledge to continue to educate our communities on the importance of holding sacred the freedoms that the United States of America was built on, not only as an inalienable right, but as foundational to our democracy and our efforts to be an example of a true, thriving democracy throughout the world.
The Vermont Library Association is in agreement with, and stands firmly with, the American Library Association’s Statement on Censorship of Information Addressing Racial Injustice, Black American History, and Diversity Education of August 18, 2021.
The Vermont Library Association is in agreement with, and stands firmly with, the American Library Association’s Statement on Book Censorship of November 29, 2021.
Additional resources on Critical Race Theory
- The American Bar Association: A Lesson on Critical Race Theory
- New York Times: What is Critical Race Theory?
- ACLU: State Lawmakers Are Trying to Ban Talk About Race in Schools
Every year at the annual conference, the Vermont Library Association presents five awards for outstanding service to and support of the state’s libraries. This year, we did something a little different. Rather than ask people to nominate for our usual awards, we invited them to name their own awards. The results were entertaining and heartfelt.
The winners were announced during the conference, “Emerging Energized,” held online May 25, 26, 27, and June 1 and 2. You can watch the awards ceremony recording here.
And the winners are…Read more
A letter sent to Governor Phil Scott from the VLA Executive Board.
To the Honorable Phil Scott, Governor of Vermont:
Secretary Smith indicated at the press conference on February 2nd that Vermont is “open to discussions about what comes next” with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. In this spirit, the Executive Committee of the Vermont Library Association asks the State of Vermont to prioritize library workers alongside other front-line workers.Read more
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.
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”.
Amy Olsen, President
Kevin Unrath, President Elect
Cindy Weber, Past President
Marie Schmukal, Secretary
Susan Smolinsky, Treasurer
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.
As we enter into the unchartered territories of the late stages of pandemic living and the transition to a new normal, I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Vermont library world to support the critical work we in libraries are doing: sustaining community, connecting our communities to vital resources, strengthening our democratic institutions, and pursuing equity, inclusion and justice.
Mike Roy – VLA President