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.


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

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.


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

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

head shot of Alison from Wikipedia


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

2019 Vermont Library Association Friends and Trustees Section Feedback Survey

The Vermont Library Association (VLA) would like feedback from VT library trustees and members of Friends groups. We’d like to know how we can better serve you in your roles. We want to hear from you, even if you are not currently a VLA member.
We have created a quick 5-question survey where we are looking for your thoughts on VLA: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JWB78XX
This survey should take just 3-5 minutes. There’s no login required, and no names or library affiliations are collected.
Your participation is GREATLY appreciated, and will help us better serve all Vermont libraries.
Thank you!
Dana Rozycki
President, Friends and Trustees Section
Vermont Library Association

Millions of pages of Vermont newspapers freely searchable online

screenshot of hte landing page at newspapers.com
Vermont residents have access to a free searchable archive of millions of pages of Vermont newspapers thanks to a partnership between the Department of Libraries and Vermont State Records and Archives Administration (VSARA). Here are simple steps to get set up
1. Sign up for a MyVermont.gov account at vermont.gov/myvermont.
2. Log in and fill out your profile information including your contact information in the upper righthand corner.
3. Follow the link from the Featured Link section to Newspapers.com
Let us know if you have any questions. Please share this with your patrons! Here is a four page PDF handout going through all the steps with screenshots. Read more