State Seal  

S tate of Vermont • Agency of Administration

Department of Libraries    NEWS

109 State St., Montpelier, VT   05609 • (802) 828-3261 •  

James H. Douglas, Governor  •  Sybil Brigham McShane, State Librarian
No. 130 • February 2004


The Freeman family, on behalf of the Freeman Foundation, announced at a September 30 news conference with Governor James H. Douglas and State Librarian Sybil Brigham McShane, a grant of $2 million to the Department of Libraries' Vermont Public Library Foundation incentive grant program for public libraries.  This grant represents the third and final year of the program which has already awarded over $10 million to local public libraries in support of the state library agency's efforts to improve library effectiveness and community outreach throughout the state.


Governor Douglas noted that the first two years of the grant program offered a real boost to the services more than 160 public libraries provide to Vermonters.  Each project was designed by the librarian and trustees with their community’s needs in mind.   This was also an opportunity to experiment with services that they hadn’t had funds for before.  Some…

The VPLF Incentive Grant Program is designed to make Vermonters more aware of the vast resources even the smallest library has and encourage them to use these resources more often.   At the press conference, Houghton Freeman noted that the Freeman Foundation has been pleased with the results so far.  Public libraries statewide are reporting increases in public usage – more items are being checked out, more adults, teens, and children are attending programs, more people are using the libraries’ computers for homework and research, and more people are signing up for library cards. 

 In Year 3, public libraries may apply for funds up to 12.5% of total operating income (from local, state, and federal sources) with a minimum grant of $1,000 and a maximum of $50,000.  Libraries that received an increase in local tax support between November 1999 and November 2002 will be awarded a "bonus" (2.5% with a maximum grant of $62,500).  190 libraries, defined as "public libraries" under Vermont law, are eligible.   The incentive grant program is administered by the Department of Libraries, in conjunction with its Vermont Public Library Foundation (VPLF), and the Freeman Foundation.

  "This is an exciting time to be a librarian in Vermont," said State Librarian McShane.  "The difference the Freeman Foundation funding has made to our libraries has been immediate and the results are visible every day."   Joining Governor Douglas and State Librarian McShane at the press conference were Mr. and Mrs. Houghton Freeman, and Don Post of the Freeman Foundation.  A number of librarians and trustees from around the state also attended the announcement. 


The Vermont Board of Libraries met on December 16, 2003, to hear the Department’s staff report on public libraries applying for minimum standards.  This year, an all-time record number of libraries – 143 – applied for standards, and 132 meet them, with another library receiving provisional status.

 Four public libraries met standards for the first time ever – Glover Public, Roxbury Free, Starksboro Public, and Wilder Memorial (Weston).   In each case, librarians and trustees made considerable effort to meet standards, including expanding hours of service, contributing records to the Vermont Union Catalog, and attending workshops leading to certification as public librarians.   The Cavendish-Fletcher Community Library also met standards for the first time in a number of years. 

For the fifth year in a row, public libraries were able to apply for either set of standards – the 1986 version approved by the Legislative Administrative Rules Committee or the 1998 version.  83 public libraries applied for and met the 1998 version. 

Public libraries not meeting standards will have an opportunity to work with a Technical Assistance Team (T.A.T.) during the coming year to develop plans to meet standards within the year.  They will also be able to appeal the Department’s decision in writing by January 31 and may appear in person at the Board of Libraries’ February 17 meeting.  A complete list of libraries meeting standards will be included in the next News.


Joined by first and second grade students at the Beeman Elementary School in New Haven on December 3, Vermont’s First Lady Dorothy Douglas launched a statewide campaign dubbed Read for 2004.   Mrs. Douglas is encouraging libraries throughout Vermont to celebrate the joy and power of reading by organizing events that allow children, parents and others to read for 2004 consecutive seconds. "Each school and library can develop their own exciting and inspirational event to help encourage more Vermonters to read in 2004,” Mrs. Douglas said. "I think reading for 2004 consecutive seconds is just one idea, but would be an excellent way to kickoff the New Year.”  (ed. note:  2004 seconds is 33.4 minutes).

To help motivate the children and their communities Mrs. Douglas has solicited 500 free books from the Scholastic publishing company that will be distributed equally to Vermont’s 10 community libraries. Community libraries serve both as public and elementary school libraries. Mrs. Douglas is also sending a letter to every librarian in Vermont encouraging them to organize Read for 2004 events in their communities. 

Helping Vermont’s children become motivated readers for their entire lives is a priority for her and her husband, Governor Jim Douglas who issued a proclamation declaring December, 2003 as "Read for 2004 Month in Vermont.”  Mrs. Douglas said each shipment of books would include a copy of the proclamation issued by the Governor and a letter from her explaining the initiative and detailing her commitment to literacy.

"Literacy is an issue of extraordinary importance,” Mrs. Douglas said. "I am grateful for the past, present, and future efforts of parents, teachers and librarians to bring reading into the lives of Vermont’s children.”  Governor Douglas said that participation in the Reading for 2004 effort will send an important message to communities that participate and to the entire state that reading helps build better lives.  "Together, we can build a state of adults and children that loves to read,” Mrs. Douglas said.

 For more information on the nation-wide "Read for 2004” program, visit Scholastic Books’ website: which includes print-able bookmarks and posters.


Each year, the Department of Libraries staff plans a wide menu of continuing education offerings for local librarians and trustees.  This year’s listing of workshops with registration forms, plus the revised Certification Guidelines, will be available at the Department’s website ( in early February.   We will let you know the exact URL as soon as we have the packet finished.   Only li braries which are not on VALS will receive a hard copy of the Continuing Education packet, but all others need to download the packet from the pdf file.  Please let us know if you have any difficulties.


This year, besides two of the required, week-long courses (Collection Development and Cataloging), we are offering workshops on legal reference, puppetry, adult programming, grant writing, filing, ILL, outreach, youth library policies, young adult programming and the summer reading program. 


For those needing help with information technology, there will be sessions on Genealogy on the Web, Advanced Internet Searching, Introduction to the Internet, Resources for Children on VOL and the Web, VALS basics, and VOL basics. In addition to the workshops listed, there will be more information technology-related workshops thanks to a training grant that the Department of Libraries received from the Gates Foundation.  These workshops will be scheduled throughout the year, and we will post the information and let librarians know by email as they become available. 


Remember also that  regional consultants are available to present a variety of shorter workshops ("mini workshops”) on demand on almost any topic either at local libraries or regional libraries.  There is a page in the workshop packet describing topics available.   The packet also describes trustees workshops at the Town Officers Educational Conferences and a special Friends session co-sponsored with the Vermont Library Association’s Public Library Section 


A word about workshops and support staff:  The purpose of the Department of Libraries certification program is a little confusing both to people in the field, and to those trying to break into the field.  Many times I get calls from people who think they have to be certified in order to get a job in a public library in Vermont, whereas it is actually the reverse:  You have to get a job in a public library in order to get certified!  


The Department of Libraries certification program has always existed in order to give staff the skills necessary to do their jobs. It is in no way equivalent to an MLS, and it is not appropriate for all staff.  When deciding which workshops to take, library staff should consider what would be really useful to them in their jobs, and not feel that they have to take everything offered.  All directors who do not have a MLS are urged to complete the certification program (and should in order to meet minimum standards), but it is usually not necessary for support staff to do so.


Often, when we teach one of the "required " workshops we find people attending who do not have the responsibilities of the tasks we are teaching, and who are, therefore, bored or confused.  For instance, if you do not select books, there is no point in taking Collection Development.  If you are not managing a library, you will find that the topics in Basic Library Administration do not apply to you.  We are pleased that so many people want to take the workshops, but we hate to turn people away when we cannot accommodate a large number, so we urge everyone to be very discriminating when selecting workshops. 

                                                                              --Grace W. Greene
Continuing Education Coordinator



The Department of Libraries recently published statistics of Vermont school libraries and media centers for the 2001-2002 school year.  The compilation was distributed to all school libraries reporting last fall.  State Librarian Sybil Brigham McShane noted that "school libraries are substantial users of Department of Libraries services and those statistics are important to justify the continuation of the services we provide them.”

The report lists public and private schools alphabetically by town and includes charts of staffing, expenses, holdings, circulation, services and programs, and computer services.  Because not all school libraries using Department services reported, no totals or analysis of the data were provided.    However, it is interesting to note the following from those school libraries reporting: 

Only about half of the school library/media centers reported reference transactions.  This was the second year the Department collected and published school library/media center statistics.  The complete report is available in PDF format at


The Vermont Bar Association (VBA) recently announced that it has expanded its education outreach mission to include adult programming.  With the goal of bringing legal education to adults in every region of Vermont, Bob Paolini, Executive Director of the VBA has spearheaded the development of a project to deliver legal education lectures in cooperation with local libraries.  State Librarian Sybil McShane, Law Librarian Paul Donovan, and Southeast Regional Consultant Amy Howlett have all be instrumental in assisting the Vermont Bar Association in getting this project off the ground.   Former Londonderry public librarian Joann Erenhouse is the VBA program coordinator.

As part of a pilot program three libraries requested presentations.  In September, the Hartland  Public Library offered one on Elder Law with attorney Mark Tapper.  The Quechee Public Library had the benefit of two experienced Constitutional Law attorneys, Steven R. Saunders and Brian L. Porto for a lively discussion group in October.  The Mark Skinner Library in Manchester hosted an Elder Law program in November and featured attorney Brian Sawyer.  Many more qualified attorneys have volunteered their time for future lectures.

Topics currently available for programs include Elder Law, Business Formation, Domestic and Divorce Law, Employment Law, Constitutional Law Issues, and Criminal Law Issues.  All programs are offered on weekday evenings and Saturday afternoons.   A presentation includes a 45 minute lecture and a 45 minute question and answer discussion period. 

The VBA plans to provide 45 free public programs in 2004 and invites public libraries to book a lecture of interest to their communities.  Since the project will accelerate in January, 2004, Erenhouse urges librarians to reserve a date at least six weeks in advance to enable her to secure speakers and allow time for libraries to place the local publicity.  For more information, call or email program coordinator, Joann Erenhouse at 447-0989 or   


Offering the keynote speech at the annual Vermont Library Trustees Association conference in Rutland October 25, Governor James H. Douglas urged trustees and librarians to strengthen ties with their communities.  He noted that Vermont is a state where "intellectual capital is prized” because it has more public libraries and more colleges and universities per capita than other states.  Since public libraries have their own statute, it is obvious, he said, that the Legislature feels they are important as well, and he quoted from the policy statement at the beginning of the law.   

Douglas noted that library usage statewide is stronger due to the work of the Vermont Public Library Foundation and Freeman Foundation.  He also pointed to the Vermont Online Library as an excellent way libraries have applied technology to offer information resources to all in a rural state.  Since the beginning of the year, he said, VOL has experienced an impressive 500,000 searches.

Vermont’s libraries are community focal points and important physical structures in the landscape, Douglas said.  He offered a variety of ideas, large and small, for trustees to improve their connections with their communities and he noted that libraries offer all Vermonters a way to gain perspective on the wider world and to welcome new immigrants.

The day-long conference also featured a panel discussion on "Forces and Factors for Building a Stronger Board,” small discussion groups on fund raising, and an endnote by Manchester librarian Ellen Boyer who shared the library’s success in obtaining a tax appropriation from the town for the first time in the library’s history.  VLTA is a section of the Vermont Library Association and also organizes workshops at each of the five regional Town Officers Educational Conferences each spring.  Public libraries will receive a mailing from the UVM Extension Service concerning TOEC registration in early March. 


On a cold night in early December, about forty people gathered at the Brooks Memorial Library, Brattleboro, to talk about "The New Heart in the Old Village Center: the role of the local library in community development.”  The Windham Regional Commission, planning headquarters for southeastern Vermont, held this Cross-Town Talk to address a need identified by its community development committee. 

Planner Kendall Gifford opened the evening with a presentation on what planners are saying about village development.  People need a place that is neither business nor home, a "third place,” he said, and the public library is one obvious answer.   

Marianne Kotch of the Department of Libraries provided statistics of state and Windham County public library services.   She noted that Vermont has more public libraries per capita than any other state, but varying levels of public support for them. Among future challenges for librarians and trustees Kotch identified literacy (13% of Windham County residents do not have high school diplomas), historic preservation of library buildings which serve as community centers, and developing services to meet the needs of a changing, aging population.   A member of the audience noted that the average age of Vermonters had increased from 45 in 1990 to 48 in 2000. 

The evening ended with a panel, including Brattleboro librarian Jerry Carbone, Guilford librarian Cathi Wilken, and library user Justyn Moulds, and audience discussion of opportunities, challenges, and strategies.  Some suggestions included better education for town officials, legislators, and the public on the value and funding of libraries; specific ideas on how to bring parts of the community into the library; and the need for more library collaboration in the region.

                                                                               --Amy Howlett
Southeast Regional Consultant


From the depths of our current winter weather, it is very hard to think of any day in October as chilly and blustery, but that is what is was when the Department of Libraries set up its exhibit at the third annual National Book Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on October 4. 2003.  This year, with the assistance of funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, we were able not only to send exhibit materials (as we did last year) but also to send someone to staff the exhibit.  This third annual National Book Festival was organized by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady Laura Bush. 

Though we probably did not see everyone of the approximately 75,000 people in attendance pass by our table in the Pavilion of the States, we did manage to distribute nearly every piece of material we had providing information on programs in Vermont to promote and support reading, including the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the Red Clover Book Award, DOL's Summer Reading Program, and the Vermont Center for the Book's Mother Goose Program.  By far the big draw at our table and those of all of the states and territories represented, was the chance for children to collect a stamp or sticker representing each state and territory on a map provided by the Festival organizers.  From nearly the moment we unpacked our materials until we were packing them away at the end of the day, we had children and adults looking to fill-in Vermont on their map with the stamp for Vermont—a green inked image of Crinkleroot, the explorer and wildlife finder from Jim Arnosky's nature guides for children.  Because the festival organizers had arranged the state exhibits by region it was also a chance to rub elbows with fellow northeasterners, most of whom were also from their state library agencies.  With Maine to our right, Massachusetts to our left and New Hampshire backing us up, we were in good company, and there were some friendly helping hands from our neighbors when the gusting winds whipped up and tried to carry our exhibits away. 

In addition to all of those folks looking to complete their collection of stamps and stickers, we saw hundreds of people just wanting learn what their fellow readers in Vermont were reading and to learn more about the many Vermont authors that were represented in our exhibit.  The exhibit materials were designed to include illustrations of the book jackets/covers for the various children's reading programs and of a highly selective list of 28 Vermont writers that every reader should know. 

While we were busy stamping maps and having our knowledge of Vermont authors tested by some very avid readers in the Pavilion of the States, the author tents which were arranged by such themes as Fiction & Imagination, Poetry, History & Biography and Mysteries & Thrillers were filled to capacity and occasionally overflowing.  The author tents featured readings and talks by authors and performances by storytellers, and lines stretched halfway across the mall as people lined up for autographs from many of the more than 80 award-winning authors, illustrators, poets, and storytellers appearing at the festival.  There was also one Let's Read America Pavilion that housed representatives from literacy programs including more than 60 national and civic organizations which are national reading promotion partners of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.  A second Let's Read America Pavilion featured the festival's sponsors and their programs to promote reading and books.  A Library of Congress tent featured information and demonstrations of the Library's resources and services. 

In addition to having the opportunity to represent Vermont's wealth of programs to promote reading and to show off the wide variety of Vermont writers, we also were guests at a reception held at the United States Botanic Garden for participants in the Pavilion of the States.  On the evening before the festival, we   were welcomed by John Cole, Director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and had the delightful opportunity to walk about and enjoy the displays in the Conservatory. 

For more information on the National Book Festival, see:

 --Sheila M. Kearns
Information Technology Manager
(and VT representative to the National Book Festival)


The Department of Libraries is an underwriting partner of Vermont Public Television's (VPT) Scholastic ITV Consortium, a new part of VPT's Educational Outreach Service. Other partners include the Department of Education, the Chittenden Bank, the University of Vermont College of Education and Social Services and the Vermont Lottery. 

The Scholastic ITV Consortium is a library of nearly one thousand video program titles. Many have won awards or are critically acclaimed as being both effective curriculum and entertaining instructional material.  While some programs are classroom-related in nature, many are suitable for use in public library programming.  For example, the " Scholastic Fantasy And Imagination Series" includes such titles as:  Burt Dow: Deep Water Man, Harold and the Purple Crayon, In the Night Kitchen, Where the Wild Things Are, etc. 

Many of the titles are ready to be streamed via the Internet and are available in both Quick Time and RealPlayer formats at three different bit-rates.  In addition, the Scholastic ITV Consortium programs are available on videocassette and may be purchased from VPT's Television Library Services (TLS). (The tape for the above-mentioned series which includes 10 programs is $27.50, plus S/H.)  Purchase of videotapes from the TLS permits the libraries and schools to use the programs for the duration of the license agreement and subsequent renewal.  Program/teacher's guides may be ordered from the TLS and are also available on the web. 

For additional information, see VPT's website: and its 2003-2004 Instructional Programs Resource Guide:


by Marjorie D. Zunder, Director of Library and Information Services

You may send your request for an article to DOL_ILL with a note requesting email delivery.  When the University of Vermont is the only Vermont library that owns the periodical, the DOL-UVM Access librarian will send the article to your new VALS email account as an email attachment.  After you confirm that the article is the one your patron needs, forward it to your patron's email.  If you do not include a note about email delivery with your request, you will receive print copies of UVM articles.  Patrons often appreciate the speed and convenience of this service if you let them know that it is available.   The DOL-UVM Access Office at UVM is funded by the Dept. of Libraries and is responsible for all of UVM's in-state lending.

The University of Vermont will loan only videos with the status, "full circulation."  UVM will not loan DVDs or sound recordings.

Please send requests for both books and periodical articles from Middlebury College to

Locate the Vermont newspaper you need using a "place of coverage" search at the Vermont Newspaper Project web site.  For example, to find papers with obituaries for the Brandon area, go to the Vermont Newspaper Project database at and use a "place of coverage" search for "Brandon."  The Department of Libraries has many Vermont newspapers on microfilm and will send up to four reels per loan.

You can request a session in your library of the reference interview mini-workshop whenever it's convenient.  It is ideal for groups of eight to ten and helpful for volunteers as well as library staff.  All regional consultants and I are happy to conduct these sessions.

Diane Wishinski at the Dept. of Libraries is creating displays in the law library with materials from the Department's various collections.  Some of the subjects she has used are maple sugar/mud season, town reports, women's history month, Asian-American month, government documents (state and federal), Vermont vacations/outdoors and higher education in Vermont.  The Department has many historical books and other materials that make interesting displays.  If you might like to borrow materials on these or other subjects to use for displays in you own library, please send an information request to .  

T he Vermont Commission on Women invites Vermont librarians to join the Women's History Project.  Over the next three years, the Women's History Project will highlight the leadership and achievement of Vermont women in their communities, particularly women who have not previously been recognized.  The Project will produce A Traveler's Guide to Historic Sites Honoring Women of Vermont.  In addition to the Guide, the Project will develop displays for use in public spaces throughout the state and make available materials suitable for elementary school classrooms.  The Vermont Women's History Project is linked to similar efforts in other states and to plans for the Museum of Women's History and Leadership in New York City.

The Commission is particularly interested in librarians' research expertise and knowledge of their communities.  There will be several meetings to coordinate plans and begin work on the Project.  If you could help, contact Ruth Finn, 802-476-8753, or Joyce Barbieri, , 802-446-2336, members of the Vermont Commission on Women.  

collected by Amy Howlett, Southeast Regional Consultant
Department of Libraries, 1 Hospital Court, Bellows Falls, VT 05101

Libraries looking towards town meeting in March may want to do some self-promotion this winter. Is a newsletter, brochure or simple bookmark the best venue for you? Use the computer to produce clean, crisp images and consider asking a local business to support printing. A digital camera makes color photographs much easier.

The Enosburgh Public Library created a one page newsletter as a story hour craft the day the County Courier editor came to read. Each child took home a "newsletter" with two columns, one describing the story hour and editor visit, and one with a picture of the child at the library. The base of the newsletter has a picture of the library and its hours. For more information, talk to Sue Tillotson at(802)933-2328.

The Fairfax Community Library uses calendar software to show a month of activities, including preschool story times, book discussions, basket weaving workshops, and the trustee board meeting. Microsoft Outlook, Pagemaker, and Publisher are a few of the programs that provide a calendar feature. Add the Library name, address, and hours to the bottom of the page.

If you've never done a newsletter, start small and see if you have staff or volunteers with expertise. The Rochester Public Library publishes a "bi-annual" news. The fall 2003 issue focuses on books. The lead article describes the Library publishing venture, an annotated bibliography of all materials in the library on Rochester and area communities.  There was also a great idea for an interior feature: a quiz made up of the first paragraph from seven Literary Classics such as Lady Chatterley's Lover, The Bell Jar, and On the Road.

Mailing is expensive. Use a mix of general locations and augment with mailing. Remember the library circulation desk, the school for students and teachers, a stack at the general store, seniors' lunch, family child cares and town clerk's office. The Guilford Free Library also mails its computer generated newsletter to 100 people each month, a mix of patrons and donors, but not the same 100 names from month to month.  


... The Investor Education Program of the Securities Division of the VT Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration (BISHCA) offers public programs for libraries.  Programs are designed  to provide Vermonters with educational and informational services regarding recognizing and avoiding investment fraud, selecting a financial professional, understanding financial products, and many other topics.   If you would like to host an investor education workshop or seminar at your library, please contact program coordinator John Cronin at 802-828-4858 or e-mail:  The program's website with resources materials is at:

…21st Century Librarian and 21st Century New Librarian Awards, offered by Syracuse Univ. School of Information Studies – with cash prizes recognizing librarians' work in shaping the new information environment – details at

...The Vermont Library Assn. personnel committee's Increasing Public Library Compensation guide is now available at

Vermont in the Civil War, created by Tom Ledoux "attempts to document the story of Vermonters who served in the War of Rebellion," at

…Back issue index of Vermont Life magazine, searchable by keyword, at

…US Internal Revenue Service information about charitable contributions is published at   and offers suggestions for issuing receipts for donations of money and of goods.  According to the CKLS Post (Sept.-Oct., 2003), "the IRS considers the library an interested party who should not appraise the value of donations received.  Appraisals should be done by disinterested third parties.  Therefore, libraries should only describe the donation, not estimate its value."


for a monthly, online updated list of library-related events in Vermont, see:

Mon., Feb. 9 – Vermont Library Assn. Government Relations Committee Legislative Breakfasts statewide.  Contact:  VLA GRC chair Linda Wells, 586-9683,

Mon., Feb. 16 – Federal holiday – Department of Libraries central office and regional libraries closed.

Tues., Feb. 17, 10:30 am – State Board of Libraries, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin.  Contact:  Sybil Brigham McShane, 828-3265,

Tues., Mar. 2 – State holiday – Department of Libraries central office and regional libraries closed.

Tues., Mar. 9, 9:30 am – "Introduction to the DOL grant collection" miniworkshop, DOL central office, Montpelier.  Contact:  Marjorie Zunder, 828-3261,

Thurs., Mar. 11, 9:30 am – Vermont Library Assn. board meeting, Kreitzberg Library, Norwich Univ., Northfield.  Contact:  Ellen Hall, 485-2169,

Weds., Mar. 17,  9:30 am –  Vermont Online Library Basics miniworkshop, Gates Training Lab, MRL, Berlin.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-2320,

Fri., Mar. 19,  9:30 am –  Introduction to the Internet miniworkshop, Gates Training Lab, MRL, Berlin.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-2320,

Tues., Mar. 23,  9:30 am –  "Telling Tales" workshop  (snowdate:  March 24), Fletcher Memorial Library, Ludlow.  Contact:  Grace Greene, 828-6954,

Weds., Mar. 24, 9:30 am –  "Telling Tales" workshop (snowdate:  March 25), Brown Public Library, Northfield.  Contact:  Grace Greene, 828-6954,

Tues., Mar 30,  9:00 am –  Children's Materials Review Session, Brown Public Library, Northfield.  Contact:  Grace Greene, 828-6954,

Weds., Mar. 31, 9:00 am – Children's Materials Review Session,  Kurn Hattin School, Westminster,  Contact:  Grace Greene, 828-6954,

by Grace W. Greene, Children's Services Consultant

Spring Materials Review Sessions: Two live sessions! 

We will continue to do Materials Review as I did this past fall, beginning with a live session in Northfield, and then doing one more live session, this time at Kurn Hattin School in the southeastern part of the state. RETN (Regional Educational Technology Network) will videotape the Northfield presentation, and that videotape will be shown in the other three locations.    The books, with the reviews inserted in them, will accompany the videotape, so whichever site you choose, you will have access to all the books. In addition to the books that I will review orally, there will be many nonfiction books recommended by the review media, and books recommended by volunteer reviewers. A regional librarian will be at each of the three videotape locations to facilitate the program.   The schedule is as follows:                                      

Brown Public Library, Northfield  

Tuesday, March 30

Kurn Hattin, Westminster West     

Wednesday, March 31

Northeast Regional Library, St.Johnsbury     

Tuesday, April 6

Milton Public Library   

Wednesday, April 7

Sherburne Memorial Library, Killington      

Thursday, April 8

 All programs will begin at 9:00 a.m.  There will be a formal part to the program and then plenty of time to examine all the books.

Directions to the Brown Public Library in Northfield : From the North, take I89 to Exit 8 (Montpelier) and follow Route 12 South; from the South, take I89 to Exit 5 (Northfield/Williamstown) and take Route 12 North. The library is located on Route 12 (Main Street) in downtown Northfield. Parking is available in the library parking lots, and in the United Church parking lot directly across the street from the library. The library telephone number is 485-4621.

Directions to Kurn Hattin :  Take exit 5 from I-91 (the Westminster/Rockingham exit). Just down the hill from the exit, take the first right onto the Westminster Heights Road. Travel two miles. Just before the campus, the road goes over route 91. Take the first entrance on your right, "Kurn Hattin Home," drive up the hill and park in the Upper Parking Lot. The program will be in the Mayo Center, with coffee and snacks available in the lobby just inside the main entrance.

  Telling Tails

The theme for the 2004 summer program is pets and will feature the slogan, "Telling Tails."  The manual will include all kinds of program and display ideas based on pets, tails and tales. Remember when planning your programs that the reason we do summer reading programs is to keep children reading throughout the summer. Children who do not read in the summer lose 3-4 months of reading ability. So, programs are important, incentives are fine, but don't lose sight of your objective:  bringing children and books together.

Order forms

In March we will mail out the summer manual and the order form for materials to all libraries that both ordered our materials last year and submitted an evaluation form.  Those libraries which did not use the materials will receive an order form, and may request a manual, but won't get one automatically. Please be sure to send in your order form for summer materials by the deadline, April 23, to ensure delivery on time.


For the fourth year, we will be able to produce the materials in full color thanks to the generosity of our corporate sponsors: the Verizon Foundation which donated a sizeable sum of money, and the Chittenden Bank which donated printing and money towards the paper. Please mention these businesses in your PR so they get proper credit. Without them we will be back to boring old one color art!


The biggest thanks go to Harry Bliss, Vermont cartoonist and illustrator extraordinaire, who created the artwork for all the materials. The reading record this year is designed to look like a very long basset hound and opens to display the list of books read. The stamp is, of course, a paw print, so use that in any way you want.


Again this year we will have a t-shirt created by Only Once Graphics in Burlington to celebrate Telling Tails. They will use the artwork from the poster to create a full color t-shirt that says "Telling Tails" and  "Vermont Summer Reading Program." The date will not be on the shirt. Order forms will be sent at the same time as the manual. At the time of this writing, the cost has not been finalized, but it will be in the $4.00-4.50 range, plus shipping and handling.

Evaluation Forms

Because statistics are so important when we are planning and budgeting, we REQUIRE all libraries to return a very short and simple form. This is the price of the summer materials. This year the evaluation form will be in the manual, to make it easier to locate. We will provide a free manual, two kinds of posters, reading records, certificates, and bookmarks, and all you have to do, in return, is fill out and send back the evaluation form.  

DCF Conference

Because of the overwhelming response to last year's DCF Conference, there will be another one this year! The conference will not only promote the DCF program specifically, but also help educators improve their reading programs for grades 4-8. The conference will be held at Lake Morey Inn in Fairlee on Friday, May 7, 2004. Virginia Euwer Wolff, author of such award winning books at True Believer, Make Lemonade and The Mozart Season , will be the keynote speaker in the morning, and the afternoon speaker will be Michael Sullivan, a librarian from New Hampshire who has just published a book with ALA called Connecting Boys and Book. In addition, there will be workshops on various aspects of reading; on ways to run a DCF program; and suggestions for promoting and discussing books with kids.

Books (both those on the 2004-2005 DCF master list and ones by Wolff and Sullivan) will be for sale. The conference is being cosponsored by Friends of DCF, the DCF Award Committee, Vermont Department of Libraries, the Department of Education, VT-NEA, VEMA, Vermont Center for the Book, Vermont Reads Institute, Vermont Association of Middle Level Educators, Vermont Council on Reading, and VPR, with more to come! Registration forms will be sent out to all libraries and schools in early spring, but save the date now. Please alert all the 4th grade teachers that you know, too!

DCF Discussion Board

Roger Crowley, the volunteer DCF webmaster (, has created an opportunity for people to discuss the DCF books online. He has set it up at Tapped IN, the premier professional development resource site on the web. To participate:


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