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Our Mission

The Vermont Library Association (VLA) is an educational organization working to develop, promote, and improve library and information services and librarianship in the state of Vermont.

VLA Advocacy Committee Meeting – All Are Welcome!

The VLA Advocacy Committee will be meeting at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington on Friday, February 15th at noon. The agenda so far is:

  • Revisit our mission, goals and role in the VLA.
  • Plan the “What is a Lobbyist?” event for the VLA Conference.
  • Brainstorm new projects to work on, such as statewide broadband service.

We are a relatively new addition to the VLA and still growing, so please join us as we embark on exciting new projects and shape our committee to best serve the VLA and our collective communities. If you can join us, please let me know. If you can’t join us but wish you could, let me know that, too, as well as best days/times/locations for next time. We can’t accommodate everyone, but we can try!

See you on the 15th!

Helen Linda

celestihel [at] gmail [dot] com

Midwinter wrap-up

I was very pleased to be appointed to the Human Resources Development and Recruitment (HRDR) Committee which is an advisory committee and meets once at each conference to advise the HRDR Office in the Chicago offices of ALA. Lorelle Swader is the director of the office which oversees the ALA Joblist and the Emerging Leaders program at ALA among many other things. We met on Monday afternoon and heard Lorelle speak about the programs in her office. I was particularly pleased to be attending as a state representative during the discussion of the emerging leaders program. This is an ALA program which trains young librarians to be leaders in the library field. Thus far the two groups of graduates in the program have been absorbed into the ALA organization. It is my intention to urge the HRDR office to send some of the ALA emerging leaders back  to work at the state level. Lorelle was happy to have me on board as a representative of the chapters and said that they want people in the program to become leaders at the state level as well. I look forward to continuing the work on this committee for the next two years. If you are interested in the program you may get more information from me anytime.

Nancy Wilson




Second Day at ALA

I am writing on the train home from Philadelphia and am happy to share news of the ALA conference with you all. Before conference began we were told of a resolution to open nearly all ALA listserves for read only access to all members. The general principles of open access were strongly supported but the resolution was referred back to committee for more study during our first council meeting. The entire issue of electronic access and online meetings was hot at this year’s conference. There is a task force on electronic communications which continues to study the issue. At our first day of council meetings we were introduced to a resolution requesting that computer access at the conference be handicapped accessible. The resolution passed easily at our final council meeting today. During our second day at council we were introduced to a change in the ALA code of ethics. The changes were in language dealing with fair use and balancing the rights of users and producers of materials. We also voted to accept some changes to Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library Science and Information Studies.

I’ll post once more about this conference in the next day or so and, as always, please let me know if there are any issues you would like to discuss.

Your voice at the American Library Association,

Nancy Wilson

Greetings from the ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia!

I had the good fortune yesterday to attend a presentation at which Bassem Youssef , FBI whistleblower, spoke.  Mr. Youssef is the highest ranking Arab American at the FBI and oversees the department that monitors National Security Letters. He is a decorated agent who was  a trusted and respected expert in the politics and culture of the Middle East.  Shortly after the implementation of the Patriot Act Mr. Youssef noticed a dramatic change in his work environment. He believes that he has been discriminated against by the FBI because he has questioned their counter terrorism recruiting process, particularly the lack of Arabic speaking agents, and the unfettered use of National Security Letters by untrained FBI officers in the field. Before the Patriot Act National Security Letters had to be approved at the very top level of the FBI, following the passage of the Patriot Act they may be generated and served for nearly any reason. Read more

Flyer for Legislative Day — Please Post!

In order to help alert patrons, trustees, friends, and librarians to the Legislative Day for Vermont’s Public Libraries event on January 18th, the VLA Advocacy Committee is asking that everyone please post this flyer in their libraries. If possible, we would love to see them go up in communities outside the library as well. Of course, feel free to encourage your community in other ways as well!

Library Legislative Day Flyer – 98K PDF

If you have any difficulty opening this file, please let me know and I can try to get it to you another way. Thank you so much for your help and see you on the 18th!

Helen Linda

CAYAL Program 2008: Call for Ideas

     Hello fellow CAYAL members,

 As many of you know from my previous e-mails, we the CAYAL section of the VLA are responsible for at least one annual program, the purpose of which is primarily to explore new concepts and/or further develop skills in a specific area of children’s and young adult services (the secondary purpose, to be blunt, is to generate enough revenue to refill the CAYAL coffer so that we will return to a balanced budget at year’s end). 

Read more

State Librarian Position Input

The VLA and VSLA are hosting three meetings for library staff from all types of Vermont libraries. The purpose of these meetings is to provide input for the State Librarian position search committee. What do we need, hope for or expect from the State Library Leader position?

The first meeting was held at Middlebury College on January 4th, with David Brown, chair of the search committee, and twelve public and academic librarians.

The second meeting will be Thursday, January 17, 10:00 A.M. to noon at Brattleboro’s Brooks Library. All librarians and library board members are invited.

The third meeting will be held at St. Johnsbury Academy on Friday, February 8 (snow date February 15) in the Grace Orcutt Library on the Academy’s grounds at 10:30 A.M. A complimentary box lunch is offered to all who are attending – just let us know if you would like one. I have provided the link to the Academy web site to point you to directions to parking that is behind the gym. http://www.stjacademy.org

Read more

Library Confidentiality Bill Introduced in VT Senate

We are delighted to announce that Senator Claire Ayer of Addison County has introduced S. 220, “An Act Relating to the Confidentiality of Library Patron Records,” in response to VLA’s request for a stronger and clearer law protecting the confidentiality of our library patrons. Read more

The longer I am involved with the Vermont Library Association, the more I realize how much support and strength we have in Vermont Libraries. As your President, I look forward to standing with our members as we continue to raise awareness, partnerships and opportunities for our membership and all Vermont Libraries.

Amy Olsen – VLA President