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.

VT Library Confidentiality Act Panel

Vermont Law Review Symposium

OCTOBER 17, 2008

This symposium,sponsored by the Vermont Law Review, features keynote speaker Louis Fisher, constitutional law scholar with the Library of Congress and an expert in national security issues who is often called upon to testify before Congress. His newest book, 9/11 and the Constitution,  was released in August. Expert panels will discuss a variety of topics including immigration, environmental law, protecting library records, and the right to dissent

8:30 OPENING REMARKS by Geoffrey Shields

8: 45 – Vermont Library Patron’s Confidentiality Act
Gail Weymouth, Chairwoman of the VT Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee
Jane Woldow, Vermont Law School Librarian
Retta Dunlop, Executive Director of Vermonters for Better EducationRead More

Nov. 7 Deadline – 2008 National Survey of Public Library Funding and Technology Access

Hello everyone,

As of this morning, 34 sampled libraries in Vermont have completed the survey, which is a 21.8% response rate.  Again, we have to attain at least a 60% response rate to be able to analyze each state individually, so hopefully we can get many more in!  There is now one month left in the survey cycle, as it will close November 7, so anything you can do to increase the responses in our state would be greatly appreciated. 

Libraries should go to to complete their surveys.  Thank you again for your help and, as always, please let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

Thank you everyone who has completed the survey.  You’re helping us all for future grant applications.

Rob Geiszler

NELA Conference — Plan to Attend

Don’t Miss Out on Discount Rates for NELA 2008! 

NELA is accepting Early Registration for “Taking Charge of Change”, the 2008 Annual NELA Conference being held from October 19 to 21, 2008 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.

If your registration is postmarked by October 10, you can receive a 25-30%!

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Adult Programming Showcase
  • Drop-In Resume Review
  • Easy Web Fixes
  • “Graphic” Nonfiction
  • Help! The Teen Librarian Has Left the Building
  • Hot Topics in Technical Services
  • Leading by Example: Toward More Sustainable Communities
  • My College Freshman Is Your High School Senior
  • Sophisticated Picture Books
  • The Vanishing Male: Guy Stuff That Lures and Hooks
  • Special Guest Authors: Simon Winchester, Cynthia Lord, and Michael Palmer
  • Special Guest Storytellers: Eshu and Motoko and Raouf Mama

Join your colleagues for all this plus award winners, discussion leaders, gamers, social hours, luncheons, exhibits, exhibits, and more exhibits!

Register by mail or online at

ALA Great Stories Club, provided by Oprah’s Angel Network

Great Stories CLUB logo
(Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books)

Now accepting applications for Round II!
The Great Stories CLUB is organized by the American Library Association Public Programs Office (PPO), in cooperation with the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Major funding for the Great Stories CLUB has been provided by Oprah’s Angel Network.

The Great Stories CLUB is a reading and discussion program that targets underserved, troubled teen populations. The program reaches teens through books that are relevant to their lives, inviting them to read and keep the books, and encourages them to consider and discuss each title with a group of their peers. It seeks to show that reading can be a source of pleasure, a tool for self-exploration, and a meaningful way to connect to the wider world. Its ultimate goal is to inspire young adults who face difficult situations to take control of their lives by embracing the power of reading.

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2008 National Survey of Public Library Funding and Technology Access

Hello Friends,

As of this morning, only 16 sampled libraries have responded to the National Survey of Public Library Funding and Technology Access from Vermont, which is a 10.25% response rate. The survey will close November 7, which leaves 6 weeks left in the survey cycle this year.  It sounds like quite a while, but it can sure fly by pretty quickly!  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1)      The URL to complete the survey for is

2)      They will not be able to analyze the state without at least a 60% response rate from libraries within the state.

To help Vermont libraries obtain grants from various national sources it’s important to have this participation.


Rob Geiszler

Regional Consultant

Vermont Department of Libraries

271 North Main Street

Rutland, VT 05701

(802) 786-3839

MaintainIT Project webinars: laptops, training, and gaming!

Three Fee-Free Library Webinars from MaintainIT: Laptops, Training and Gaming.

Join us for these free webinars. Attend these sessions from your library, no travel needed!

The MaintainIT Project, (, interviews hundreds of librarians about how they maintain, support, and sustain their public computers. We publish all of these experiences, successes, and challenges in guides called Cookbooks, so librarians can learn from the experiences of others who’ve done it before them. The best part? Everything we do is FREE, and everything is on We also produce free webinars every month!

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2009 Vermont Library Association Conference Theme: Speaking Up! Advocacy for Libraries

“Isn’t the Internet going to put public libraries out of business?”
“Why do we need school libraries when everything is online?”
“Why do we need a campus library when students can do their research on the Internet?” (Library Advocate’s Handbook, ALA).

Library advocates must adapt to a changing and not always sympathetic political and social environment. We need to be able to explain the role of libraries in the 21st century in order to maintain funding, to be a voice for policy issues ranging from intellectual property to intellectual freedom and protection of privacy.

It is our hope that the 2009 Conference will offer programs that give us the tools and knowledge to explain the importance of libraries to our communities, legislators and funders. We would like to build our own strength as advocates, and also help others – boards, friends, principals, administrators, and community members – to become strong advocates for libraries.

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ALA President To discuss Creating Connections Online

Join ALA President Jim Rettig at the ALA Connections Salon, an online event scheduled for 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST Friday, Sept. 26.

Online Programming for All Libraries (OPAL) Coordinator Tom Peters will begin the hour with an interview with Rettig, whose presidential focus is “Creating Connections.” Rettig’s initiatives foster connections among libraries, library workers, the communities libraries serve and those who make library funding and policy decisions. Rettig is particularly interested in fostering connections among ALA members and exploring new ways for members to benefit from and contribute to our association. The ALA Connections Salon is one such exploration.

Like its 17th and 18th Century European counterparts, the ALA Connections Salon offers a place for ALA members to gather and discuss professional topics of interest. Following the interview, participants will be free to ask questions and engage with Rettig and one another about ways to make the most of their ALA experience.

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