VLAC21 Award Winners

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

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

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

Youth Services Assistant — Norwich Public Library (Norwich, VT)

The Norwich Public Library seeks an energetic and dedicated individual who is interested in joining our team. We are a busy library and are looking for a passionate Youth Services Assistant to become a part of our community! This position will focus on providing services and programming in the Children’s Room, but will also work within other library areas as needed.

Our ideal candidate will assist in creating and providing engaging programs for all ages (infant to teens), such as Story Times, summer reading, and family crafts – as well as brainstorming new and exciting ideas for the future. They will be creative, flexible, have a passion for children’s literature; be tech savvy, friendly and approachable to all ages.

Other job responsibilities include: community outreach, maintaining statistics, general upkeep of displays and playspace, and supporting the overall mission of the library.

This is a part-time, 20 hours per week position, reporting to the Children’s Librarian. College degree and three years of working with children are essential. Library experience, familiarity with automated circulation systems, Microsoft office products and Google Drive are a plus!

Qualifications:

  • Creative, enthusiastic, customer service-oriented person with the ability to work as a team member.
  • Knowledge of youth literature, both classics and current trends.
  • Capacity to nurture and respect children in order to develop lifelong readers.
  • The ideal candidate must possess the ability to develop and deliver excellent customer service in a fun, warm, and welcoming environment for youth of all ages.
  • A positive attitude, flexibility, the ability to lift up to 25 pounds, and a sense of humor are important.

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 12:00-5:30 with flexibility to shift some hours to weekends or evenings as needed for programming.

Compensation: Pay commensurate with experience. This position does provide vacation and sick leave benefits.

Please send a resume, cover letter, and three references with contact information to: npljobsearch@gmail.com. No phone calls please.

– Updated January 27, 2020

Library Director — Grand Isle Free Library (Grand Isle, VT)

The Grand Isle Free Library (Vermont) has an opening for Library Director.  The Director is responsible for all facets of running the library including but not limited to day-to-day operations, maintaining a welcoming environment, programming, interlibrary loans, input on the annual budget, carrying out policies and working with the Board of Trustees.
The position is part-time – 26 hours per week, 20 of which are open Library time. Salary commensurate with experience/qualifications; benefits provided. Applicants should have a working knowledge of basic public library concepts and resources and possess a Library Science Degree/Vermont Certificate of Librarianship or be in active pursuit of either.  Those interested in the position may provide a cover letter and resume by February 14, 2020 to Karen Allen, 1 Hoag Lane, Grand Isle, VT 05458 or by e-mail to karen@hvt.org.
– Updated January 27, 2020

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.