October 28 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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November 11 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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.
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.
- 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.
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)
Deputy Commissioner Tracy Dolan, Department of Health
Vermont State Librarian Jason Broughton
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