September 17, 2018

“Rooted in Vermont Food In Your Backyard” Week @ Your Library (October 1-7, 2018)

During the week of Oct. 1 - 7, the Vermont Department of Libraries (VTLIB) and Rooted in Vermont are promoting library programming about food found in your backyard. We encourage libraries to schedule or develop one or more programs/activities for their community that focus on food that patrons can find through gardening, foraging, or hunting and fishing. Rooted in Vermont is a grassroots movement that celebrates how Vermonters enjoy and acquire local food. They’re working to change the “local food” narrative so everyone sees local food as their own – not just some trendy thing. Rooted in Vermont’s project manager Shane Rogers will actively promote the week via social media and the Rooted in Vermont grassroots email list.

How to participate:
1. Plan an activity in your library with a Rooted in Vermont theme focusing on some aspect of “food in your backyard” – gardening, foraging, and/or hunting and fishing.
2. Send your activity details - including date, time, and location - to Lara Keenan ( and Shane Rogers (
3. Promote the activity with the customizable flier. (Please email Lara or Shane for a copy.)

For participating, you will receive the following items and assistance from Rooted in Vermont:
1. A package of FREE Rooted in Vermont bumper stickers, postcards, and brochures
2. A set of passive-activity sheets featuring a backyard scavenger hunt
3. Before the event, Rooted in Vermont will send a press release featuring your event to your local newspaper and provide you a copy to distribute as you see fit
4. Rooted in Vermont will add your event to their Facebook page, share with you the link, and actively promote the Rooted in Vermont Food in Your Backyard theme leading up to the week

Sample flyer for your library's event

Questions? Contact either Lara or Shane: Lara Keenan, Vermont Department of Libraries: 802-636-0026;

Shane Rogers, Rooted in Vermont: 802-828-0404;

September 10, 2018

Letters about Literature 2018-2019


The Vermont Department of Libraries will once again be facilitating Vermont's state competition in the Library of Congress' 26th Annual Letters about Literature contest. (The LOC's Letters about Literature site is still being updated. However, examples of previous letters may be useful as you begin this program with your students.)

This contest asks students in grades 4-12 to write a letter to an author explaining how something they've written affected the student's worldview and/or self-perception. Students should not be assigned a piece, but rather select something themselves that truly impacted them on a personal level. Letters will be first be judged against other entrants from Vermont in a state competition, and the first-place letters from each level (grades 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12) will be sent on to the national competition.

There are several big changes to the program this year, including:

  • Online submission (entries will still be accepted by mail) - entries in any format will not be accepted until November 1, 2018
    • Entries will be accepted by mail at:

Letters about Literature

Vermont Department of Libraries

60 Washington Street, Suite 2

Barre, VT 05641

  • Minimum/maximum word count for letters and strict judging of formatting
  • Parental permission form for entrants under the age of 13 as of November 1, 2018

Please read the contest rules thoroughly before beginning any writing with your students. The deadline for entries is January 11, 2019.

Prizes and Award Ceremony

The winners of the Vermont state competition will be honored at a ceremony at the State House in Montpelier in the spring. First-place state winners will have the opportunity to read their letters to the assembled guests.

State winners will receive a certificate and a cash prize:

  • First-place: $150
  • Second-place: $125
  • Third-place: $100

State winners will be asked to submit a W-9 in order to receive their cash prize.

National winners of the competition in each level will receive a $2000 cash prize, and honor winners will receive $500.

More to come soon

The Library of Congress is still updating the 2018-2019 page on their site, but that link will be posted here when it is ready. More information regarding online submission is forthcoming.

August 31, 2018

Annual Agricultural Literacy Week Features “Celebrating Our Ancestral Roots”


The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), along with the Vermont Department of Libraries, and the Vermont Agency of Food and Markets, announce the 8th annual Agricultural Literacy Week this November 12-17, 2018. The week-long celebration occurs across the state to inform and educate people about the economic and cultural importance of farms in Vermont communities.

For this year’s Agricultural Literacy Week, NOFA-VT is proud to present “Celebrating Our Ancestral Roots.”   This year’s theme focuses on the history, traditional practices and contributions of native agriculture in Vermont.  Four main events at libraries around the state will feature renowned Abenaki storytellers sharing aspects of their agricultural heritage. 

An upcoming “how to host” newsletter will be provided. The newsletter will include an Abenaki story that can be shared at your event as well as a suggested reading list. There will also be a proposed event structure and timeline that can be used to help organize an event at your library. Stay tuned for more details.

NOFA-VT invites partners to present an evening of story telling and sharing during Agricultural Literacy Week in their communities. If interested in hosting an event and need assistance, please contact Misse Axelrod 802.279.1548.

# # #

About NOFA Vermont: The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont is member-based organization working to grow local farms, healthy food, and strong communities in Vermont. Our members are farmers, gardeners, educators and food lovers of all sorts – anyone who wants to help us create a future full of local food and local farms. Our programs include farmer and gardener technical assistance, farm to school support, organic certification, advocacy, an online apprentice and farm worker directory, an annual Winter Conference, and programs that work to ensure access to fresh, local food to all Vermonters, regardless of income.


August 29, 2018

Resources Compiled by the American Library Association:


Key Messages

• Libraries provide a welcoming, safe, respectful space for diverse voices and perspectives.

• No longer just a place for books, libraries are expanding beyond their traditional roles and providing more opportunities for delivery of new services that connect closely with patrons’ needs.

• Libraries strive to develop and maintain programs and collections that are as diverse as the populations that they serve.

• There is not a one-size-fits all approach to developing library programs. Each library has its own process to develop and offer programs.

Best Practices

Open to All
Toolkit, Parents and Families of LGBTQ Individuals, Collection Development Policies, and Safe in the Stacks.

Drag Queen Story Hour: Reading Fabulously

Library-Initiated Programs as a Resource, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

LibGuide on Library Policy Development
“Library policies help define the values of the organization, and they help managers and staff translate those values into service priorities.” – Library Policy LibGuide

Selection Criteria
While this resource focuses on collections it is appropriate for selection of programming topics



Diversity programming for digital youth : promoting cultural competence in the children's library
by Jamie Campbell Naidoo
ISBN: 9781610694872 1610694872
OCLC Number: 862958393

Queer library alliance : global reflections and imaginings
by Rae-Anne Montague, Lucas McKeever
ISBN: 9781634000314 1634000315
OCLC Number: 992225700

Serving LGBTIQ library and archives users : essays on outreach, service, collections and access
by Ellen Greenblatt
ISBN: 9780786448944 0786448946
OCLC Number: 630498096

The First Amendment and LGBT equality : a contentious history
by Carlos A. Ball
ISBN: 9780674972193 0674972198
OCLC Number: 959649250


ALSC Blog Posts on Drag Queen Storytime:


Children and Libraries article on Drag Queen Storytime


OIF Blog Posts on Drag Queen Storytime


American Libraries articles

March 15, 2018