Upcoming Events

  1. Discussion of the film, Coded Bias

    March 8 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  2. VLA Board Meeting – Mar

    March 11 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
  3. Zoom Storytelling, Poetry, Music Open Mic

    March 15 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  4. Healthy Forest=Healthy Rivers

    March 17 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
  5. The Ultimate Presentation for Red Sox Nation

    March 18 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

VLA Covid-19 Vaccination Statement

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.

Library workers continue to be grateful for the support and patience of our respective communities as we all cope with the COVID-19 crisis. We have also become even more aware of the value that our communities place on library services and how essential library resources continue to be for people of all ages in our towns and villages. As a group, library workers have made determined efforts to build and enhance library offerings.

This includes:

  • Updating and adding to educational materials for in-school and homeschool learners and their families, from preschool through post-secondary education
  • Increasing access to technology resources, from laptops loans to expanded wi-fi service
  • Providing and maintaining accurate and up-to-date information about the COVID situation, including economic, health and educational details
  • Offering a reliable source for engaging and meaningful education and entertainment
  • Reaching out to community members who may have less frequent social contact during the State of Emergency

To sustain this level of service and to prepare for upcoming demands on library services, such as reopening our spaces for public use, librarians and library staff in public, school, academic and special libraries need protection from exposure to Covid-19. Therefore, we ask that library staff be place in the same group as other front-line workers in the proposed schedule for administration of the COVID vaccine.

As State Health Commissioner, Mark Levine, M.D., stated, ““Having a safe and effective vaccine is an essential tool to stop the virus from spreading. We see every day what it means to have a highly infectious disease spread without a vaccine available to keep it in check.” Making sure library staff are among those protected will mean that libraries can offer their critical services to those in need.

We support recent statements by the Vermont School Library Association, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, and other professional organizations who have made similar requests, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further.

Sincerely,

Vermont Library Association Executive Committee
Kevin Unrath, President (Library Director Shelburne)
Amy Olsen, Past President (Library Director Hyde Park)
Mike Roy, Vice President (Dean of Library Services, Middlebury)
Marie Schmukal, Secretary (Library Director, Warren)

Cc:

Deputy Commissioner Tracy Dolan, Department of Health
Vermont State Librarian Jason Broughton

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

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

VLA First Thursdays on Zoom

green circle with green letters inside that say

March 4 3:30
Using critical whiteness to study the experience of race in libraries (register)

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.

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