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State 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. 134 • October 2005


Governor James H. Douglas and popular young adult author M.T. Anderson launched the state’s brand new high school reading award, the Green Mountain Book Award, on Saturday, October 15 at Barnes and Noble Bookstore in South Burlington. Designed to get teens reading for fun, this award features 15 books for students in grades 9-12  to read through the school year and vote on a favorite in the spring.  Schools and public libraries statewide are participating in the program, offering special displays and reading/discussion programs on individual titles.

A staunch proponent of reading and libraries, Governor Douglas joined Anderson and  the Green Mountain Book Award Committee at the October 15 kickoff. All fifteen of the books were on sale, and Anderson autographed his books following his talk.

The Green Mountain Book Award is the joint brainstorm of state librarian Sybil McShane of the Department of Libraries, and Marsha Middleton, librarian at North Country Union High School in Newport. Dismayed by low statistics of pleasure reading amongst high school students, both librarians realized a need for more initiatives to encourage reading for fun amongst high school students, and decided to create an award similar to the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, a reading program for students in grades 4-8.

For the Green Mountain Book Award students will read as many books as they want from the list this school year, and vote in the spring for their favorite one.   Chosen by a committee of librarians and educators, titles include both young adult and adult books, and range from Anderson’s novel, Feed which is a futuristic look at how rampant consumerism can take over our minds; to the graphic novel, Persepolis, the story of author Marjan Satrapi’s childhood growing up in Iran; to Nathaniel Philbrick’s nonfiction account, In the Heart of The Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex.   For a full list of the books, and more information, go to the Department of Libraries website at


The Midstate and Northeast Regional Libraries have sets of Green Mountain Book Award (GMBA)  books for public and school libraries to borrow.   Cosponsored by the Department of Libraries, the Vermont Library Association, and the Vermont Educational Media Association, the GMBA is  designed for students in grades 9-12.  The GMBA list has 15 books representing various genres and interests.  In spring, 2006, any high school student who has read at least three of the titles may vote for the winner. 

To encourage as many Vermont teens to read the books, the Department of Libraries has purchased multiple copies of each title which will be available for loan.  There are two types of sets:

Any public or school library is eligible to borrow any of the sets for up to 60 days.  Because the sets are paperbacks, they can be easily mailed.   For a list of the books, see the GMBA website

There is also an online forum related to GMBA at Vermont’s section of Webjunction -   Registration to participate in the online discussion is free and takes just a few minutes.


Friends, co-workers, and colleagues gathered in the Vermont State House on Thursday, October 20, to wish S. Francis “Frank” Woods well in his retirement.  State Librarian Sybil Brigham McShane noted that Woods had begun his career with the Department of Libraries as Audio-Visual Consultant, purveying films to libraries statewide.  He taught many a librarian how to run a projector and selected a wide range of films for library programs during the 1970’s and  1980’s.  

With the advent of video, 16mm film was phased out, and Woods made a successful transition to Special Services Consultant.  In that position, he headed the Department’s Library of Congress, National Library Services (NLS) "regional" library providing services to the blind and people with disabilities, distributing talking books, machines, and large print to individuals around the state.  He worked closely with the Vermont Association for the Blind and other agencies, and he made many friends in the disability community, as evidenced by the number of service dogs in attendance at his retirement reception and testimonials from borrowers.  Everyone on the Department’s staff will miss Frank’s sense of humor and artistic eye. 


A new book and series of discussion programs are designed to help Vermonters explore the Vermont Town Meeting Day tradition and the concepts neighborliness, democratic participation, and community life.  All Those In Favor: Rediscovering the Secrets of Town Meeting and Community, by educator Susan Clark and University of Vermont political science professor Frank Bryan, was released at Town Meeting Day, 2005.  Clark  is available this winter to present workshops and discussion groups on the topic of “Rediscovering the Secrets of Town Meeting and Community.”

Available at bookstores around Vermont, All Those In Favor may also be ordered directly by sending $9.95 per book plus $2.50 shipping to Vermont Institute for Government, 617 Comstock Rd.,Suite 5, Berlin VT 05602-9194.  Please make checks payable to “VIG.”   VIG is offering a special discount for libraries at $6.00 plus $0.50 shipping per book.  Reading groups may also make bulk purchases at a discount.  

 Susan Clark is available to read from All Those In Favor, discuss the book, and lead discussions on issues related to civic engagement and building community.  These discussions are available free of charge for gatherings of ten people or more.  Clark is an educator, facilitator and community development specialist, and an adjunct faculty member at Woodbury College in Montpelier.

Written for a popular audience, All Those In Favor looks at Vermont’s town meeting tradition – its strengths, its vulnerabilities, its problems and its prospects – and offers specific tips for citizens and local officials on how to strengthen this important democratic institution and on how town meeting can, in turn, help strengthen communities.   The authors emphasize town meeting’s long-standing role as a true local legislature. At town meeting, citizens come face to face to discuss and create their own laws (rather than electing representatives to do so).   Social scientists rank Vermont among the highest in civic engagement and in community measures such as trust and neighborliness, and Clark and Bryan make the link between these positive community indicators and Vermont’s town meeting tradition.

UVM’s Bryan added his decades of research, his passion for Vermont lore and well-known sense of humor to the book while Clark interviewed dozens of local officials and volunteers about town meeting. These stories shape the book’s specific tips for communities, and lively quotes from Vermonters bring the stories to life.  To encourage greater Town Meeting participation, the authors suggest techniques for highlighting the town’s “hot” issues and building an agenda that encourages attendance.   Publicity tips, ideas for engaging citizens, and alternatives for preserving the best elements of Town Meeting in larger communities are also included.

For more details, or to book a program for the winter, contact Susan Clark at 223-5824 or email


2005 marks the fifthteenth anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This important civil rights legislation touches nearly every segment of public life and applies to private businesses as well as public services such as libraries.  It goes beyond simply making buildings physically accessible by making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability in employment as well as delivery of services and programs. 

Making library services accessible to all is a continuous process, whether your building has added a ramp or lift, recently been renovated, or is completely new.   For example, an addition to your space as minor as a potted palm or a paperback book rack might impede flow throughout the building.   In addition, accessibility to library services extends beyond people who use wheelchairs and have mobility problems, but also to those with hearing, speaking, seeing, learning, and other disabilities.   As services develop, technology emerges, and community change, new challenges and solutions to accessibility will emerge.  Some solutions can be quite inexpensive, simple and practical; others will require funds.

Of Vermont’s 187 public libraries, 4 do not meet the physical provisions of the ADA and 20 are “unknown.”   Several more provide access only to portions of  the building.    Yet every public library, whether municipal or incorporated, should have conducted a self-evaluation of its facility, services, and employment practices by June 30, 1992.  Each should have a written plan for become fully accessible and for interim, transitional service delivery.  Your library's policies should address measures you will take to serve and employ people with disabilities; this is especially important if your library is not yet wheelchair accessible.  

Access New England, published by the New England ADA & Accessible IT Center,  includes the following facts in its Summer, 2005, issue:

If you want to learn more about how the ADA affects your library and its services, call the Center at 1-800-949-4232, email, or review one of the following websites:


The National Center for Family Literacy and ProLiteracy Worldwide, two nationally recognized literacy organizations, supported by generous funding from Verizon Communications, produce Verizon Literacy Campus (VLC). This website offers a wealth of information for literacy volunteers and literacy programs that want to recruit, orient, and support volunteers as well as train literacy tutors. There are free online literacy-related courses, a searchable database of literacy programs across the country, and other resources to support literacy organizations, volunteers and anyone who wants to know more about the literacy challenges in this country.

VLC features several self-paced, online courses related to adult literacy, including:

Each course takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and all are offered at no charge. We also have an adult literacy section in the resource center library with links to adult literacy organizations, resources, and research.  For details, visit the Verizon Literacy Campus at


The National Center for Education Statistics recently released Public Libraries in the United States: Fiscal Year 2003  which includes national and state summary data on public libraries in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the outlying areas, with an introduction, findings, and numerous tables. The report is based on data from the Public Libraries Survey, Fiscal Year 2003, and includes information on population of legal service area, service outlets, public service hours, library materials, total circulation, circulation of children’s materials, reference transactions, library visits, children’s program attendance, interlibrary loans, electronic services and information, full-time-equivalent staff, operating revenue and expenditures, and capital expenditures.

The report includes several key findings.  Nationwide, library visits to public libraries totaled 1.3 billion, or 4.6 library visits per capita. The average number of Internet terminals available for public use per stationary outlet was 9.5.  Public library circulation nationwide totaled almost 2 billion, or 7.01 per capita.  To download, view and print the full report as a pdf file, visit:

In addition to the compilation of data, NCES also issued public library state ranking tables.  Following are some selected rankings for Vermont public libraries in 2002:

Data element

Vermont ranking

Vermont average

National average




Library visits per capita




Circulation transactions per capita




Interlibrary loans received per 1,000 population




Avg. no. of public use internet terminals per outlet




Public use internet terminals per 5,000 population




Print materials per capita




Print serial subscriptions per 1,000 population




Total paid full time equivalent (FTE) staff per 25,000 population




Paid FTE librarians per 25,000 population




Total operating income per capita




Local [tax] operating income per capita




Other operating revenue per capita





Vermont Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz issues a helpful monthly Opinions newsletter that often includes items of interest to public library boards.  The September issue is no exception and includes the following:

To receive notification that the latest Opinions newsletter is available, go to the website and ask to added to the mailing list.


Every year, the Department of Libraries receives inquiries from librarians, trustees, and their Friends groups about recycling books not sold in library booksales.  The Waste Prevention Coordinator with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), Carolyn Grodinski, also reports a number of calls.   She recently compiled the following information provided by Vermont Recycling Coordinators.

 Book Recycling in Vermont, July, 2005

What can you do with leftover books?  First, check with your local solid waste district to learn what programs they have available.  District contacts are posted on the ANR website:    Next you can contact book recycling markets directly.  These are the ones we know of in the state:

Regional Sources

Know of any other markets?  Please let Carolyn know at 1-800-932-7100 or 241-3477.  She will also be happy to answer any questions about recycling and waste reduction.    Check the website at

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

ERIC news…

There is now a web database with selected full-text ERIC documents at  This database also lists additional ERIC documents not available on the web in full-text plus all ERIC journal articles.  Go to this site first when you need an ERIC document.  Use “advanced search” for a complete listing of ERIC documents and journal articles.  For ERIC documents and journal articles not available on the web in full-text, use interlibrary loan.  There is an index to ERIC in the VALS Web2 catalog for submitting ILL requests.

Borrowing videos, dvds and sound recordings…

Policies for loaning videos vary by institution.  Middlebury College lends most videos/dvds and sound recordings unless they are on reserve.  The University of Vermont will only lend videos that are listed in the UVM catalog as “full circulation,” and will not lend dvds or sound recordings.  Dartmouth College will not lend videos/dvds or sound recordings.

More effective ILL requests…

Short ILL request numbers…

Central DOL ILL tracks and files ILL requests by your request numbers and uses these numbers in email messages.  Simple request numbers are best, complicated request numbers make extra work and cause confusion.  Request numbers with only the number of the month plus a request number, e.g. 11-18, or with just a single number, work best for Central DOL ILL staff. 

Dartmouth loans…

Libraries that receive loans from Dartmouth College are responsible for sending “received” and “returned” messages to Central DOL ILL promptly under the rules of the OCLC ILL system.  Please train a substitute to send these messages when the regular staff member is not working for more than a few days.

State government information…

The Reference and Law Services Unit at the Dept. of Libraries is now receiving state government information calls.  The State government information phone number is listed in Vermont phone directories under Vermont State of, “No listing, dial 802-828-1110.”  This number connects with Reference and Law Services staff who refer callers to the services they need.  Since these callers often want services provided by agencies that are outside of state government, reference staff is ideal for the job.

Web sites added to Basic Reference…

Acronym Finder


Best Hospitals, 2005

Biography on A&E

Botany, the encyclopedia of plants

Costumer’s Manifesto

Encyclopedia of Television

Eric Weisstein’s World of Science 

Fear of Physics 

Jewish Virtual Library

King James Bible

Life Science Dictionary

Music History 102

Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary

Many of the above web sites were discovered on the Marylaine Block list.  Marylaine provides a weekly list of “usually free web sites of substantial reference value” as a free email service by subscription at  This weekly email service includes Ex Libris, a weekly E-zine for librarians with meaty articles on practical library issues such as outreach to men, programs for seniors, telephone library service, volunteers, what belongs on a library web page, etc.



              …The Vermont Council on the Humanities recently updated its 2005 Series Listing with Scholars and Scholar Directory which includes several new scholars.  It is available at the council’s website or by calling Georgeana Little at 888-3183.

              …Two new handouts – “Job Descriptions:  A Quick Look” and “Performance Evaluations:  A Quick Look” contain generic documents that can be adapted by Vermont librarians and their boards.  Contact Director of Public Library Support Services Marianne Kotch at 828-2320 or email  Kotch can send the files to you for printing and local use if you request via a non-VALS email account.

                …Amy Howlett alerted us to the following web sites with free posters, cards and fact sheets on the flu available for libraries and other Vermont institutions to download and use.  You can always use the phone number 2-1-1 for you or your borrowers to request information on the flu, for example where and when clinics will be scheduled. "Need help finding help? Dialing 2-1-1 is your first step." 

Websites to Explore…

…Lorraine Lanius, head of the Department of Libraries Technical Services Unit, offers the following links for small library automation:


Tues., Nov. 1, 9:00 am – Children’s materials review session, Northeast Regional Library, St. Johnsbury.  Repeats Thurs., 11/3 – Milton Public Library; Tues., 11/8 – Kurn Hattin, Westminster.  Contact:  Grace W. Greene, 828-6954,

Tues., Nov. 1, 9:30 am – “Technology to make your life easier” workshop, Brooks Memorial Library, Brattleboro.  Repeats Wed., 11/2 – Brown Public Library, Northfield.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261,

Tues., Nov. 1, 9:30 am – Vermont Library Assn. Government Relations Committee meeting, Vermont Technical College Library, Randolph Center.  Contact:  Linda Wells, 586-9683.

Tues., Nov. 1, 1:00 pm – “Cybersecurity” workshop, Brooks Memorial Library, Brattleboro.  Repeats Wed., 11/2 – Brown Public Library, Northfield.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261,

Sat., Nov. 5, 10:00 am – “Tough Issues, Hot Topics,” annual statewide trustees conference, sponsored by the Vermont Library Trustees Association in cooperation with the Department of Libraries.  Registration fee:  $10.  Contact:  Marianne Kotch, 828-2320,

Tues., Nov. 8, 9:00 am – Chittenden County Librarians meeting, Brownell Library, Essex Junction.  Contact:  Penelope Pillsbury, 878-6955.

Wed., Nov. 9, 9:30 am – “VALS Basics” workshop, Gates Training Lab, MRL, Berlin.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261,

Fri., Nov. 11 – State holiday.  Department of Libraries central office and regional libraries closed.

Sat., Nov. 12 – Application deadline for Standards program  (postmark date).  Contact:  Marianne Kotch, 828-2320,

Tues., Nov. 15, 9:30 am – “Vermont Online Library Basics” workshop, Gates Training Lab, MRL, Berlin.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261,

Thurs., Nov. 17, 9:30 am – Vermont Library Assn. board meeting, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin.  Contact:  Daisy Benson, 656-0636.

Fri., Nov. 18, 9:30 am – Mock Caldecott program, Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center.  Registration fee:  $20.  Contact:  Grace Greene, 828-6954,

Mon., Nov. 21, 9:30 am – Island Librarians meeting, Grand Isle Free Library.  Contact:  Colleen Bushway, 372-4797.

Thurs. & Fri., Nov. 24 & 25 – State holiday.  Department of Libraries central office and regional libraries closed.

Tues., Dec. 20, 10:30 am – Vermont Board of Libraries meeting, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin.  Contact:  Sybil Brigham McShane, 828-3265,


by Grace W. Greene, Children's Services Consultant

Next summer will be “fantastic” for Vermont kids, thanks to our summer reading program on fantasy, “Realms of Reading.” The manual will feature all kinds of programs, bibliographies and displays based on castles, dragons, fairies, witches and other mythical beasts. Young adults (ages 12-18) will have a separate fantasy program, “Library Quest,” complete with their own posters, contests and bookmarks/flip cards.

Order forms
In March we will mail out the summer manual and the order form for materials to all libraries that ordered our materials last year .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 21, to ensure delivery on time.

Thanks go to Bonnie Christensen, an amazingly talented Vermont author and illustrator who created the artwork for all the children’s materials. She has painted a fabulous green and red dragon that children will adore.

The fourth annual DCF Conference will be held on Thursday, May 4, 2006 at the Stoweflake Resort in Stowe, Vermont. The keynote speaker will be Jack Gantos, author of the immensely popular Joey Pigza books as well as other excellent titles such as Hole in My Life (a memoir).  In addition, there will be workshops on various aspects of reading; on ways to run a DCF program; on how to read graphic novel, and suggestions for promoting and discussing books with kids.   Books (both those on the 2006-2007 DCF master list and ones by Gantos) will be for sale. Registration forms will be sent out to all libraries and schools in February.  Please alert all the 4th-8th grade teachers that you know, too!

October 15’s kickoff for the Green Mountain Book Award was a success, and now it’s up to you to promote the award, booktalk the books, make a GMBA display, and spread the word far and wide. If you need more bookmarks, posters or a handbook, please contact me, and we will send them right out. Voting will be in the spring, to coincide with the DCF and Red Clover voting. Students should read three of the nominated titles in order to be eligible to vote. There will be a voting form on our website in the spring, and it will also be mailed with the new list.

News is published four times each year by the Vermont Department of Libraries and is distributed to all Vermont libraries, trustee chairs, state legislators, and others who care about Vermont libraries. News is available upon request in Braille, in large print, or on disk. Call 828-3261. NEWS is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, through the Library Services and Technology Act.   Editor: Marianne Kotch, (802) 828-2320,

  Department of Libraries, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-0601

Sybil Brigham McShane, State Librarian -


Library and Information Services Division
Marjorie D. Zunder, Director -
  Paul Donovan, Law Librarian -
  Lorraine Lanius, Head, Technical Services Unit -
                                     , Special Services Consultant (828-3273) -
  Mara Siegel, DOL-UVM Access Office Librarian/Cont. Ed. Coord.(828-3261) -


Public Library Support Services Division
Marianne Kotch, Director -
  Grace W. Greene, Childrens' Services Consultant (828-6954) -
  Amy Howlett, Southeast Regional Consultant (463-0143) -
  Michael Roche, Northeast Regional Librarian (748-3428) -
                         ,  Southwest Regional Consultant


Vermont Automated Libraries System
Sheila M. Kearns, Information Technology Manager -
  Robert Longe, Information Technology Specialist -