2021 Vermont Library Conference

In order to ensure safety for all, the Vermont Library Association will hold a virtual conference in 2021. Sessions will be spread out over several days in order to make attendance more viable for those balancing work, family, and everything else life is throwing at us. The conference will be FREE to all VLA members in recognition of the financial challenges this year has brought to many households and libraries. If you need to renew your membership or join, visit https://www.vermontlibraries.org/membership .

The conference will kick off at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25 with special guest Emily Bernard, UVM professor and author of several books, including the award-winning Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine. This presentation is a highlight of a number of conference programs that will explore diversity, equity and inclusion. You can learn more about Emily’s work at www.emilybernard.com .

Section and membership meetings will follow on Tuesday, with a special awards and recognition ceremony finishing off the day a little after 2 p.m., focusing on the great things library workers, friends, trustees and volunteers have accomplished despite the challenges of Covid.

On May 26, May 27, and June 1, two programs per day will be offered that provide fresh local and national perspectives on a diverse array of topics. Whenever possible, sessions will be recorded so that those unable to attend live may view the recording afterwards. Note that the opening and keynote addresses, however, will not be recorded.

Finally, on Wednesday, June 2 at 10 a.m. Ryan Dowd, author of The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness: An Empathy-Driven Approach to Solving Problems, Preventing Conflict, and Serving Everyone, will present the conference keynote address, focusing on ways to effectively deal with burnout. Ryan will then offer an hour-long question and answer period during which he’ll be available to discuss his groundbreaking work on providing service to patrons experiencing homelessness. You can learn more about Ryan’s work at www.homelesslibrary.com. The keynote address and breakout session is sponsored by the Fair Housing Project of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity.

The conference planning committee looks forward to sending out very soon the complete conference program, how to register, and information on VLA elections. Thanks for keeping your library running strong!


Your VLA 2021 Conference Planning Committee

Amy Olsen
Mike Roy
Kevin Unrath
Laura Haines
Barbara Ball
Lara Keenan
Lisa Milchman
Adriene Katz

(Also, a special note of thanks to Cory Stephenson, conference planner for the 2020 conference, who shared her plans with us as we formulated this conference and made a lot of the work here possible!)

Last updated March 31, 2021.