October 16, 2015
Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of the Vermont Library Association Executive Board, we write to express support for the appointment of a professional librarian as the next Librarian of Congress. This person will stand as a leader for our nation’s libraries and cultural institutions, as well as a global role model for democratic principles such as equal access to information, economic development in new areas of technology, and information and the new education models that will enrich our society. Librarians nationally have so much to gain with such a role model in the country’s top bibliographic institution.
We believe the competencies of the Librarian of Congress need to include:
- Experience as a leader of a major library serving the public and research communities
- A strong understanding of librarianship and the management of digital assets
- An understanding of scholarly research and scholarly communication
- Executive management and leadership skills
- Communication, marketing and resource development skills
- Vision, entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to collaboration
The Librarian of Congress must be a spokesperson and partner in the global library community. Someone who
understands the integral role libraries play in formal education, community-based learning, and the promotion of
individual opportunity and community progress, strengthens not only the Library of Congress, but libraries worldwide.
The Vermont Library Association endorses the American Library Association’s mission to promote lifelong learning and the accompanying principle that all American should have access to the information they need to succeed and lead productive lives, especially in the digital age. The next Librarian of Congress must be an ardent advocate for these services, and a champion of equitable access and digital inclusion. The United States must lead the world by example and demonstrate the access to information is essential to all residents of each nation and make materials available to all our citizens through such measures as the National Library Service of the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).
The VLA further supports the ALA’s call for a Librarian of Congress who can provide visionary leadership in creating strong library and information services for all our citizens and an informed citizenry essential to our future as a thriving democratic society.
We hope that you will follow the recommendation of the American Library Association, supported by the majority of state library associations, to appoint a qualified, forward-thinking, professional librarian to the essential post of Librarian of Congress.
Vermont Library Association President
Vermont Library Association Vice-President