Free Library Marketing Webinar on OPAL

This free webinar is available to anyone.  The link below takes you to the entry point where you can download and the install WebConference program.  Enter a user name (anything will do) and leave the password blank.  If you can’t make the webinar live, you can catch it in the archives later.

Friday, March 6, 2009 at noon Eastern Time. Cruise to Success: Marketing for Libraries

Loreen Phillips, the Head of Information Literacy Services at McDermott Library at the University of Texas-Dallas, has written a recently published book about marketing for libraries, Cruise to Success: How to Steer Your Way Through the Murky Waters of Marketing Your Library, published in Dec. 2008 by Chandos Publishing. Phillips provides clear, step-by-step instructions and guidelines for developing a successful library marketing program. We will speak with her about how libraries of all types, but especially academic libraries, can improve their marketing strategies, activities, and results.

Host: TAP Information Services

Location: OPAL Auditorium

ALA Councilor’s Report, Monday, January 26th

The lecture I attended yesterday by Muhammad Yunus, banker to the poor, was excellent. He is a small, unassuming man who has done amazing things for poor women in countries where his Grameen Bank gives micro-loans to lift families out of poverty. He had a simple yet revolutionary idea to lend people money to begin small businesses without a time limit on repaying the loan. He now tells stories of illiterate poor people whose children are becoming doctors and businesss people. His talk was one of the most inspirational I have ever attended.

ALA has begun a page that “offers timely and valuable information to support libraries in the creation of arts and humanities programs in their communities.”You can find more information at At this time the focus in on Black History Month programming, and as time goes on ALA plans to post more information.

Children’s book awards were announced this morning. The Newbury Medal goes to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and the Caldecott Award goes to The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes.

This afternoon I have a committee meeting and expect that council business will heat up this evening when we have our first council forum. I’ll post more tomorow.

Nancy Wilson

Picturing America Bookshelf Grant Deadline

Public and School Libraries:

This is a reminder that the ALA/NEH “Picturing America” Bookshelf Grant application deadline is January 30, 2009.

The We the People Bookshelf, a collection of classic books for young readers (K-12), is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) We the People program, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office.

The theme for the 2008-2009 Bookshelf is “Picturing America.”

A total of 4,000 public and school (K-12) libraries will be selected to receive the “Picturing America” Bookshelf. Awards will be announced in April 2009.

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Important Gates Foundation Survey for Public Libraries

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Broadband Assessment Project Survey: Please return by January 16, 2009

I am writing to inform you about a new project sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, part of their effort to improve high-quality technology services in public libraries. Please read this letter about how you will provide important information regarding Internet connectivity in your library.

This is a new survey, and is different from other surveys and questionnaires you have received concerning Internet service in your library.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently launched the Broadband Assessment Project, a nationwide effort to collect detailed information about Internet connections in all public libraries in the United States. Information gathered in this effort will help the Foundation and its partners raise awareness of the need for high-quality Internet in public libraries and how to meet this need.

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Library Construction Projects?

As part of an information gathering exercise for the ALA Washington Office, I need to know if there are any “shovel ready” library construction projects in our state. If your library is planning such a project (renovation or new construction) and you are far enough in the planning that you could start building in the near future, I want to hear from you. I am especially interested in public libraries, but want to hear about other library projects, too.

When the Obama administration begins to look for projects to “put people to work” we want to be able to suggest the idea of library construction.

I need to know:

  • Name of library and contact person/info;
  • Kind of project (new building; addition; renovation, etc.);
  • Estimated cost of project;
  • Expected start date for construction.
  • Even if you have already contracted with an architect or builder, I’d like to know about your plans.

Please contact me immediately so I can compile a list.

Martha Reid
State Librarian
Vermont Department of Libraries
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-0601
Tel: (802) 828-3265
Fax: (802) 828-2199
[email protected]

How is the economy affecting your public library?

Greetings to Public Librarians,

(Though this may also apply to school and academic librarians)

The latest newsletter of the Canadian Library Association includes two articles about the upsurge in public library use during these economic hard times. You can read both articles at: (scroll down to the news under CLTA).

I have heard similar stories from some of you, but want to have more complete data and anecdotal information to provide for the governor, the State Board of Libraries, and the news media. With that end in mind, I’d like to hear about your library. Specifically, what changes do you see in the use of your library as a result of the economy?

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Traveling Doll and Book Exhibit Available to Borrow

Please know that there is a traveling doll and book exhibit available to borrow for free beginning March 2009. This is particularly great for public and school libraries.

It is free to borrow and is sponsored by Region 15 of the United Federation of Doll Clubs (an international non-profit educational organization). Region 15 consists of Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. Items in the collection consist of cloth dolls, plush animals and children’s books. Characters from the books are represented by the dolls and animals in the exhibit. It was started in 1999 and has made many stops  in the New England area.

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Life-long Learning Essay at Windham County Legislative Breakfast

Richard Wizansky is the Senior Director for Institutional Advancement for the Student Conservation Association in Charlstown, NH. He is a Guilford Free Library trustee and also a Vermont Humanities Council scholar, and a believer in the transformative impact of libraries. Here is his essay given at the Windham County Librarians’ Legislative Breakfast on Monday, November 17. I have attached a pdf for you to share as well.

My Lifelong Library Journey

From the Old West Church to Guilford’s Little Library You’ve Got to Love

Presented at Brooks Memorial Library, November 17, 2008

I remember the old West Church Branch Library in Boston’s West End where I would curl up by a spiral staircase and avidly read Landmark series biographies and the Golden books. The library was in one of the first churches in Boston—an early 18th century beauty. I discovered my love of books there, my love of the endless learning the stacks can hold.

Then, as a teenager, I remember the Codman Square Dorchester/Boston Branch Library and the young, attractive, eager librarian. She had recently got her MLS and how vital she was to the growing interests of my best friend and me in literature and philosophy—existentialism, specifically and how she introduced us to Camus and Kafka and Golding and egged us on to think and dialogue in hushed conversation in the stacks. All the other boys were out playing stick ball in the setting sun and there were my friend Marshall and I and an eager young librarian yapping about existence and nothingness and the absurd in the quaint environs of Codman Square.

And how that eventuated in bringing me to this place, our beautiful Vermont, where I continue to read books in libraries, large and tiny, all over the State; experiencing small and some time large communities of readers who sit as a unit, a core, a critical mass of learning —discussants from all age groups, but particularly our elders– passionate to talk about books and ideas and to relate what they read to their human experience—as Vermonters, visitors, citizens, and just plain folk.

Here, in this library, I have been awed by the wisdom and intelligence of elders who every two weeks, in dreadful snow and sleet and ice even, showed up to sing the praises or dis a book while engaging in lively, thoughtful sharing of ideas. At the Dover Free Library, the snowbirds of Florida, well-read to a T, can’t wait to begin, and park their cars early to get a good seat so that we can come together—a somewhat refugee community in the hills of West Dover—to share thoughts and feelings about books and inevitably to relate them to what it feels like to be a mother, father, grandmother, elder, a human being moving closer to the end—wanting to share the feel of that too. And the tears and the laughter!!!

Having led discussion groups all over our state, I can testify to the vital learning that takes place in groups which bring people of all ages together to discuss books, share opinions, share their lives. It’s really quite remarkable and rewarding.

And, today as a trustee of the Guilford Free Library, I see this same attraction of the library for children, adults and seniors who crowd into the tiny space that is our library to use computers, research, obtain inter-library loans, and take advantage of the varied programs intended to reach all sectors of that town we love called Guilford.

Each of these instances is a testament to the library’s place in community life—in providing moments and hours when we come together to read together, discuss the great issues of the day, of the world, our town, our own lives.

As a book discussion leader, there are so many ah! moments I have seen when I look into the faces in the room and see that something illuminating has struck the reader, some new lesson, a revelation, an addition to what we knew or thought we knew.

This is the place of libraries in lifelong learning. In my own experience as in many others, from our early years to our senior years, libraries have provided and will continue to provide the space and resources in which we add to what we know, learn the new, investigate the old, become richer, fuller, more knowing citizens, readers and human beings.

Thank you.

My Lifelong Library Journey

Vermont Librarian needed as NERTCL Committee Member

As your New England Library Association (NELA) representative, I’ve been asked by the chair of the New England Roundtable of Teen and Children’s Librarians (NERTCL) to find a Vermonter to join the committee.

 Who is NERTCL? NERTCL is a group of librarians from all over New England who are dedicated to providing continuing education programs for librarians working with children and young adults through conferences and workshops. NERTCL sponsors the youth programs at the NELA Fall Conference and host an annual Spring Symposium comprised of a panel of children’s and teen authors and/or illustrators. NERTCL also hosts the Jordan Miller Storytelling Workshop on alternate years with the Massachusetts Library Association. At NERTCL meetings, members exchange news of library events and programs throughout New England; members benefit from the ideas and experiences of their colleagues.

Participation in this committee will require energy, enthusiasm, time committments, and travel to meetings throughout New England. Vermont is underrepresented in NELA committees so it would be nice if we could start interjecting this committee with all of the great stories, successes, and best practices of our state’s great children’s librarians.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the chair of the NERTCL committee, April Mazza, at (508)358-2308 or [email protected]. For further information on the NERTCL committee, check out their website at


Kip M. Roberson, VT NELA Representative