Supporting innovation and investment in the nation’s libraries – Lifelong Access Libraries Leadership Institute

Supporting innovation and investment in the nation’s libraries – Lifelong Access Libraries Leadership Institute
December 1-2, 2008
Newton Free Library, Newton, Massachusetts
Library Services for 50+ Adults are Focus of New England Institute
New York – October 26, 2008

Specialists in the fields of aging, work, intergenerational programming and healthy aging will join Lifelong Access Fellows at a special Institute for New England’s library leaders to be held December 1-2 in Newton, Massachusetts.

Libraries for the Future (, a national non-profit dedicated to supporting innovation and investment in public libraries, has announced the following confirmed speakers:

  • Mary Catherine Bateson, Anthropologist and Author
  • Robert Tietze, Director, Philadelphia Experience Corps
  • Diantha Dow Schull, Former Director, Libraries for the Future

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Help Wanted: Vermont Library Conference

Check out the call for volunteers for the Vermont Library Conference that includes details about a range of ways to get involved, each with differing levels of commitment. 

Please consider volunteering since the support of many VLA members is a critical component of mounting our conference. By volunteering you make an important contribution to a major in-state continuing education opportunity for people who work in and provide support to Vermont libraries. Your work also creates a great opportunity to connect with other library staff, build your professional network, and learn about what’s happening at the state and regional level. If you’ve not been involved with VLA at the committee, planning or leadership level, participating in the planning and implementation of the Vermont Library Conference is a great way to start.  Just do it!

Judah Hamer

Vermont Public Television (VPT) Outreach for Digital Television Conversion

Vermont Public Television (VPT) – Your Resource for the Digital Television Conversion!

VPT to Host Call-In Show about Digital TV on Thursday, October 9

Digital television is on the air, and traditional analog broadcasting will end Feb. 17, 2009. Viewers have been asking VPT about digital television, and on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m., there will be a special opportunity to get answers during a live call-in show. Fran Stoddard hosts “DTV & You,” a one-hour program with a special focus on viewers who get their TV over the air by antenna.

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Organizing Legislative Gatherings

In this important election year, the Vermont Library Association’s Government Relations Committee is organizing regional legislative gatherings statewide during the week of November 17th, 2008. We have chosen this week because it is after the November elections, but before legislators are in full session in Montpelier. It is the optimum time in which to remind your legislators of the importance of public libraries, particularly in challenging economic times, and to put forward our ongoing agenda of additional support for libraries in Vermont.

We invite you and your library to participate in this. While the format of these gatherings has varied, they all provide an opportunity for legislators, librarians, and trustees to talk about library issues and the key part that libraries play in Internet access, job searching, and education. It is also an opportunity for us to hear about the legislative process and the agenda before them.

We need to meet with Legislators this year to thank them for their support for the new patron confidentiality law and to remind them that state funding for public libraries continues to be an important issue. Our goal is to keep this at the top of their agenda when state finances are stronger. We also want Legislators to ensure ongoing support for the Department of Libraries’ services to public libraries.

Click on the following link for instructions on organizing a gathering:  Legislative Gatherings How-to.

Beyond Survival: Thriving in Hard Times

This annual statewide conference for trustees and librarians is sponsored by the Vermont Library Trustees Association with help from the Vermont Department of Libraries. 

Saturday November 8, 2008
9:30 am-3:00 pm (coffee and registration at 9:00)
Rutland Free Library, 10 Court Street, Rutland, VT

A community is not just a place, but a set of relationships. In Vermont, where small town libraries abound, not knowing the local movers-and-shakers or building partnerships, weakens the library’s community standing and encourages claims of irrelevance. In tough economic times people depend heavily on their public library for help. Our session today will focus on building support for your public library that will help to sustain you in both good and hard times.  For a complete program description and a registration form click on the following link:  Beyond Survival Thriving in Hard Times.


A colleague asked me what I thought about the use of Netflix to meet the DVD needs/demands of public library users.  This person was interested in using the Netflix service as a way to provide titles that are either unattainable via inter-library loan or beyond the scope of the library’s collection.  What do you think?  If you’ve made use of Netflix in your library, please share your experience.  Thanks!  -  Judah Hamer 

State Librarian Position Input

The VLA and VSLA are hosting three meetings for library staff from all types of Vermont libraries. The purpose of these meetings is to provide input for the State Librarian position search committee. What do we need, hope for or expect from the State Library Leader position?

The first meeting was held at Middlebury College on January 4th, with David Brown, chair of the search committee, and twelve public and academic librarians.

The second meeting will be Thursday, January 17, 10:00 A.M. to noon at Brattleboro’s Brooks Library. All librarians and library board members are invited.

The third meeting will be held at St. Johnsbury Academy on Friday, February 8 (snow date February 15) in the Grace Orcutt Library on the Academy’s grounds at 10:30 A.M. A complimentary box lunch is offered to all who are attending – just let us know if you would like one. I have provided the link to the Academy web site to point you to directions to parking that is behind the gym.

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Book Discussion: Creating the Customer Driven Library

Ever hear about a newer service model, but don’t know much about it? Want to make some changes in service at your library, but not sure how to do it? Need some other librarians to bounce around new customer service ideas with?

Join other librarians for a discussion of “Creating the Customer Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore Model” by Jeannette Woodward at Mid-State Regional Library on March 10 from 9:30-11 a.m. Coffee will be available at 9 a.m.

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Hidden Gems Celebrated for Readers

University of Vermont Associate Library Professor Karl Bridges’ 100 Great American Novels You’ve (Probably) Never Read was recently published by Libraries Unlimited. Intended as a resource for both libraries and general readers, Bridges’ work features novels written between 1797 and 1997 by a diverse set of authors such as Francine Prose, Chester Himes, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Horatio Alger. More…

The book was written during Karl Bridges six-month sabbatical from the University of Vermont’s Bailey/Howe Library, where he works in the Department of Information and Instruction. “What really impressed me as I developed this book was the breadth and depth of American writing and reading culture,” Bridges writes in his preface. “I routinely haunted bookstores in a variety of cities. I was never in a bookstore, independent or chain, that was not packed with people all enjoying themselves immensely. The people who go on and on about the death of reading are wrong.” The 100 featured novels were chosen for their ability to represent the breadth of American writing. Some entries will introduce readers to obscure authors; others will acquaint them with lesser-known works of prominent writers. For each selection, Bridges provides a brief extract, a synopsis, a biographical sketch of the writer, a list of selected works by the writer, and recommendations for further reading.


Bringing Picture Books Alive

Bringing Picture Books Alive; Learn to use music and movement to enhance storytime! October 25, 2007, 9:30am – 3:00pm, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St., Montpelier, VT.

Peter and Mary Alice Amidon will share the many ways of enhancing story time with music, movement, and storytelling in this lively workshop aimed at librarians, teachers, and others that provide book-rich environments for children. For more information about the Amidons, visit their website at This is a rare opportunity to work with these amazing professionals in a hands-on, invigorating workshop.

Cost is $25.00 for VLA members and $35 for non-members. Lunch not included – brown bag your own or eat out in delicious downtown Montpelier!

Contact: Megan Allison,, 223-3794.

Reserve your spot by October 18th, please. Send contact information and a check made out to the Vermont Library Association to:

Megan Allison
PO Box 565
Moretown, VT 05660