Department of Libraries   NEWS

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

James H. Douglas, Governor  •  Sybil Brigham McShane, State Librarian
No. 137 • Spring 2007


State Librarian Sybil Brigham McShane recently announced the availability of two grant programs that will enable 14 Vermont public libraries to increase their use and visibility and to strengthen their future ability to obtain funds from various local sources. These grant programs will be funded by the new Winnie Belle Learned Fund and the Freeman Foundation Endowment of the Vermont Public Library Foundation (VPLF). The VPLF operates in support of Vermont's public libraries, seeking funding from private sources and making grants to public libraries in order to enhance public library service. McShane serves as President of the VPLF which awarded $12 million to Vermont public libraries between 2000 and 2003.

The Winnie Belle Learned Fund anticipates awarding five $1,000 grants and two $2,500 grants on a competitive basis to help public libraries enrich the intellectual lives of the children and youth in their communities. Created by Dr. Burnett Rawson in honor of Winnie Belle Learned, a Vermonter, educator, and his benefactress, the Fund in her name is to help the small public libraries of Vermont foster literacy, love of learning, critical analysis, and intellectual exploration in their communities, particularly among very young children and teenagers.   It welcomes applications for grants which will foster these goals in ways that local communities envision for themselves, including but not limited to funding for collections, programming, activities and related expenses for very young children (ages 0-3) or for teenagers (ages 13-18). Priority will be given to public libraries in towns with populations under 5,000.

The VPLF anticipates awarding five $1,000 grants and two $2,500 grants on a competitive basis from the Freeman Foundation Endowment in order to continue the work of the original Freeman Foundation grant to the VPLF in support of the Department of Libraries' efforts to improve library effectiveness and community outreach throughout the state. Funds may be used to strengthen traditional library services including programming and library collections, as well as for innovative projects including computers and technology, and other library services. Libraries are encouraged to design unique projects based on their needs and those of their communities.

One grant application will be used for both programs. Complete guidelines and application forms are available at: , or by calling the State Librarian's Office at 828-3265. The application deadline is May 14, 2007. Awards will be made approximately 90 days after the deadline, and projects must be completed within 12 months of receipt of grant funds.


The new Special Services Consultant, based in Berlin, is Teresa R. Faust of Jericho. Teresa spent 18 years in academic libraries, as the first science librarian at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, head of reference at Fairfield University in Connecticut, and, most recently, as director of the Burlington College Library. The Pittsburgh native holds B.S. and M.L.S. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.

Before becoming a librarian, Teresa worked as a writer/editor and as a microbiology and HIV lab tech for the US government and as a natural history interpreter. Teresa has been active in the Vermont Library Association, having served on the conference committee, as a section president, VLA secretary, and newsletter editor, and as e-list moderator for AVIC. Teresa is also a reference reviewer for CHOICE, and an occasional 4-H exhibit judge. She is thrilled to be learning about an entirely different (for her) aspect of librarianship, and is looking forward to traveling around the state beating the drum for Special Services.   


As reported in the fall, 2006, issue of News, the Department of Libraries joined with several other states in the northeast to contract with Himmel and Wilson, library consultants, for an evaluation of its implementation of its Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) five year plan, 2003-2007. The evaluation process involved meeting with Department staff, holding focus groups and interviews with public, school, and academic librarians around the state, and conducting a web-based survey. The resulting report will help the Department develop its next five year plan for federal funding through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The purpose of the evaluation is to insure that the state goals for implementation align with the LSTA purposes. Himmel and Wilson concluded that “through its LSTA-funded programs, the Vermont Department of Libraries has made a substantial impact on the breadth and quality of library service in the state.” They pointed to the Vermont Automated Libraries System, the Vermont Online Library, continuing education programs, statewide children's services, and regional library services as notable facets of the Department's use of LSTA funds. In addition, they stated that

The consultants noted that “the Vermont library community wants the Department of Libraries to continue to support libraries while, at the same time, positioning them for the future.” They stated that these “dual roles...are sometimes in conflict...[and] often call for different strategies.” “The Department of Libraries,” they said, “has successfully maintained a good balance between these two extremes.” Among Himmel and Wilson's recommendations are:

The complete report, published March 28, 2007, and submitted to IMLS for final approval will be available at the Department of Libraries website: soon.


In 2005-06, Department of Libraries consultants received 1,900 requests for consulting and made 141 staff visits to local public libraries. During that period 889 individuals attended 56 full-day workshops, and 200 people attended 25 miniworkshops offered by the Department on a range of topics. In addition, 115 people registered for online courses through the Department's WebJunction partnership.

Is all the time and effort invested in consulting and continuing education worth it? Do librarians feel better equipped to perform their jobs? To find out, the Department conducted two surveys this fall as part of its outcome-based evaluation efforts. The surveys were included with annual public library reports and were completed by over 80% of public library directors.

The consulting survey found that 57% of public library directors contacted a Department of Libraries consultant at least once a month, and 62% stated that they would like monthly contact. Their top reasons for consulting a consultant in the past year were technology, policymaking, interlibrary loan, collection development, grants, library management, summer reading program, children's services, library automation, fund raising, training, and trustee-related issues. As a result of these contacts, 74% of respondents stated that they gained new perspective on a problem, 64% said they learned a new skills or increased their knowledge, and 51% said they had more confidence. Only 5% of respondents said they did nothing different.

The continuing education found similar satisfaction levels. 77% of librarians responding said that they or staff members had taken at least one workshop in the previous year. They identified time, location, topics, and staffing needs as barriers to attendance, but 67% offered interest in the topic as their primary reason for attending a workshop. 59% said that they gained new perspectives, 60% felt they had increased knowledge or learned a new skill, and 43% felt they had more confidence as a result of their participation in workshops. Only 2% reported no change in behavior or attitude.

While only 9% of librarians and 8% of staff had taken an online course through WebJunction Himmel and Wilson, the firm evaluating the Department's LSTA five-year plan (see above), noted that Vermont's experience with these online courses to date is similar to that of other states. They suggested that “online continuing education programs (not just Vermont) need to find incentives to encourage greater participation.”

One of our favorite comments about the Department's continuing education program was “the workshops have built a library community.”


At its December 19, 2006, meeting the Vermont Board of Libraries adopted the following vision statement:

Written by member Nancy Price Graff, the statement is the result of discussion begun at a retreat last fall. Other board members are John Rosenthal of Charlotte (Chair), David E. L. Brown of Shelburne (Vice Chair), Joan Rahe of Bennington, Susan Roush Bruce of St. Albans, and Linda Williamson of Hartland.

Also at the December meeting, Trina Magi, associate professor at the University of Vermont, reported on the survey she conducted this summer of Vermont public and academic library directors' opinions of Department services and confidentiality practices. Vermont Library Association president Lisa Von Kann reported on the association's init iatives, and State Librarian Sybil Brigham McShane offered updates on libraries meeting minimum standards, the Vermont Online Library contract, the Department's FY2008 budget, and the evaluation of the Department's five year plan for the Library Services and Technology Act.


Vermont librarians may have been wondering about the status of a downloadable audiobooks statewide contract. Last year, State Librarian Sybil Brigham McShane appointed a Downloadable Audio Committee to look into the possibility of a Department of Libraries contract with a vendor to offer the service to public libraries and Vermonters. As the committee reviewed possibilities, it uncovered a number of complex technical and financial issues that will have to be resolved first.

The Downloadable Audio Committee's mission was to investigate the current status of downloadable audiobooks and identify potential vendors best suited for Vermont public libraries. Committee members understood that downloadable audio eBooks are a relatively new development that is changing rapidly. We felt it important to determine exactly we wanted and, then, how much it would cost. We started by drawing up the following list of criteria that would be the basis for measuring and ranking downloadable audiobook vendors' services:

After evaluating vendors using the above criteria, the committee agreed that only two vendors, NetLibrary and Overdrive, came close to meeting our needs. Each had a fully operational automated system that included a reserve module, circulating module and items fully accessible via a MARC record. It is important to remember that the software that manages both Overdrive and NetLibrary downloadable audiobooks is not integrated with an individual library automated system, but by the vendor's software via the web. A library patron who downloads an audiobook or places a reserve on a particular audiobook must do so using the vendor's software and his/her actions are only recorded in the vendor's database. This issue of authentication works fine if a library is automated (uses barcodes ), but is a real problem if a library is non-automated. DOL is closely watching how other states, including New Hampshire, are handling this issue.

Unlike the “statewide pricing” contract for books, a downloadable audio contract would be similar to our Vermont Online Library contract, with public libraries sharing a collection of audio books:

Finally, how much will this cost? Based on contracts in other states, State Librarian Sybil McShane estimates that the initial cost to DOL will between $50,000 and $80,000 with initial setup at the local level of between $650 and $1000 per library. Annual costs to DOL could be about $20,000 as well as annual costs to local libraries of between $500 and $1000. With the state and federal monies in the DOL budget level funded in FY2007 and possibly in FY2008, when, or if, Vermont will sign a statewide contract for downloadable audiobooks is still up for discussion, but it is certain that no decision will be made for before FY2008.

State Librarian Sybil McShane and I will visit the New Hampshire State Library this spring to obtain some answers to our questions. Finding solutions which guarantee equal access for all Vermonters and involve all types of libraries are the principal prerequisites before a statewide contract could be signed. The Committee's report is available at:

-- Michael Roche, Northeast Regional Librarian


144 public libraries achieved the minimum standards for public libraries in 2006-07, a record number since the standards first were developed in the mid-1950's and five more than last year. In 1972, 42 libraries met standards.

This year, several libraries met standards for the first time, including the Albany Town Library, Russell Memorial Library in Monkton, Baxter Memorial Library in Sharon, and Westminster West Public Library. The Cavendish Fletcher Community Library, which has not met standards for a number of years, also met standards. This year, libraries could apply using either the 1986 or the 1998 versions of minimum standards, and 53 chose to apply for and meet the 1998 version. A complete list of towns with public libraries meeting standards follows (* denotes those meeting the 1998 version):






Barre & East Barre branch




North Bennington*




Brighton/Island Pond*











Colchester *





Derby Line





Essex Junction*



Fair Haven*






Grand Isle*







Hartford/Quechee & Wilder branch*

West Hartford





Hyde Park

Jericho/Underhill & Jericho Town*




South Londonderry




Middlebury & E. Middlebury branch

Middletown Springs





Newbury (Tenney)

Newbury/Wells River

New Haven



North Hero





















St. Albans

St. Johnsbury





South Burlington

South Hero*







Thetford and Post Mills


North Troy













Westminster West


West Rutland












Vermont public library use was up slightly in 2005-06, following a national trend of steady growth. Adults, teens, and children sought more books, more audio-visual resources, more computer sessions, and more programs, on-site, through library websites, and via outreach/delivery services. Consider these facts:

Between 1998-99 and 2005-06, the number of visits Vermonters made to their local libraries more than doubled, and the number of items they checked out rose 15%. Many librarians feel that the increase in visits relates to increased computer use and programming. The numbers concur. Weekly computer use was up 30% between 2001-02 and 2005-06, and program attendance was up 40% between 1998-99 and 2005-06.

The Department of Libraries published statistics of public libraries in February, 2007, with a spread sheet of all data as well as a pdf file with population comparisons and a printed publication. For details, see l . If you would like a printed copy of the 2005-06 statistics, contact the Department of Libraries at 828-3261. School library statistics are also available at or in printed form.


The Vermont Department of Libraries was among 34 state library agencies receiving a Keppel Award from the Federal-State Cooperative System (FSCS) of Public Library Data in December. The award is given for submitting prompt, complete, and high-quality public library data to the program, a joint effort of the state library agencies, the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science and the National Center for Education Statistics.

Vermont's State Librarian Sybil Brigham McShane and its State Data Coordinator Marianne Kotch were each recognized in an award ceremony held in Washington, DC, in December. This is the 13th time the Department of Libraries has received the award, first offered in 1992.


A study released in January by the National Center for Education Statistics revealed that in 2002, almost one-third of households (31%) used a public library in the month preceding the survey, and almost half (48%) during the preceding year.. Also in the preceding month, almost one-fifth of households (19%) had used a school library, 10% had used a college or university library, and 4% had used a work library.

Of the 109,148 households surveyed, 249 were in Vermont, where 50.7% had used a public library in the year preceding the survey, and 34.4% in the month preceding, numbers slightly higher than the national average.

The study also confirmed a fact that many librarians and trustees already know: the closer a person lives to a public library, the more likely s/he is to use it. Nationally, 52% of households less than a mile from a public library used one, and 50% of households 1-2 miles from a public library used one. In Vermont, those numbers were 53.7% and 52.1%, but even when a library was 6-10 miles away, 42.6% of households reported using one.

For a complete look at the study's results see


A study released by the Urban Libraries Council in January reports that public libraries “build a community's capacity for economic activity and resiliency.” Making Cities Stronger: Public Library Contributions to Local Economic Development adds to the body of research pointing to a shift in the role of public libraries -- from a passive, recreational reading and research institution to an active economic development agent, addressing such pressing urban issues as literacy, workforce training, small business vitality and community quality of life.  The study was commissioned by the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

The study goes on to point out how public libraries are working with community partners in four specific areas:

The study also offers suggestions about what public libraries can do to strengthen or broaden their impact in the four areas in order to “fuel not only new, but next economies.” For report details, see .



Vermont public libraries will continue showing movies with a shared statewide public performance license from Movie Licensing USA.  As per the terms of the original contract which began last June, the contract is being extended through May 31, 2008.

There will be no cost to public libraries again this year.  Libraries must meet the statutory definition of a public library in order to be eligible.  During May, libraries will receive from the Department of Libraries, new licenses as well as an updated agreement indicating the library's willingness to comply with the terms of the license.  Public libraries should sign that agreement and return it to the Vermont Department of Libraries.

Regional consultant Amy Howlett handles movie license questions for the Department.  Feel free to contact her if you have questions (e-mail to or telephone (802) 463-0142).  If your library did not take advantage of the license last year, contact Amy to find out how to get a license this year.

The Department of Libraries has also been approached by the division of Movie Licensing USA which handles K-12 schools about offering discounted public performance licenses to Vermont schools. The Department might be able to negotiate a discount based on the number of schools interested. If fifty or more schools indicate their interest, the discount should be about 50%.

Full price for the annual license ranges from $300 (school enrollment up to 150) to $475 (school enrollment above 2000).

The movie license permits schools to show movies outside the standard face to face teaching exemption. For example, a school could legally provide entertainment not related to the curriculum, after school programming, or a rainy day alternative to recess.

If your school is interested, please contact Amy Howlett.


Tues., May 1 - “Understanding MARC” workshop, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin, 9:30 am. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Fri., May 4 - Dorothy Canfield Fisher conference, Lake Morey Inn. Contact: Susan May, DCF Conference, PO Box 622, Proctor, VT 05765, or Grace Greene, 828-6954.

Fri., May 4 - New Planning for Results miniworkshop: data analysis and service priorities, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin, 9:30 am. Contact: Marianne Kotch, 828-2320.

Sat., May 5 - Community Library Day, South Burlington Community Library, 9:30 am. Contact: Marianne Kotch, 828-2320.

Tues., May 8 - Foundations of the First Amendment workshop, Stowe Free Library, 9:30 am. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Wed., May 9 - Vermont Online Library Basics workshop, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin. Repeats Wed., Aug. 22, MRL, Berlin. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Thurs., May 10 - Vermont Library Assn. board meeting, Norwich Univ., 9:30 am. Contact: Lisa von Kann, 748-8291.

Tues. & Wed., May 15 & 16 - Vermont Library Conference, Sheraton Hotel, S. Burlington. Various discussion groups (including ILL) and section meetings Wed. at 12:15 pm. Contact: .

Mon., May 21 - Basic Public Library Administration workshop, Hartland Public Library, 9:30 am. Repeats Thurs., May 24, Milton Public Library. Continues June 4, 11, 18, 25 (Hartland) and June 7, 14, 21, 28 (Milton). Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Tues., May 22 - Reference Services workshop, Lyndon State College, 9:30 am. Repeats Wed., May 30, Castleton State College. Continues June 5, 12, 19, 26 (Lyndon) and June 6, 13, 20, 27 (Castleton/Rutland). Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Mon., May 28 - State holiday. Department of Libraries central office and regional libraries closed.

Fri., June 1 - New Planning for Results miniworkshop: mission statements and goals, Midstate Regional Library Berlin, 9:30 am. Contact: Marianne Kotch, 828-2320.

Tues., June 19 - Vermont Board of Libraries meeting, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin, 10:30 am. Contact: Sybil Brigham McShane, 828-3265.

Thurs., June 21-Wed.., June 27- American Library Association annual conference, Washington, DC. Contact: .

Wed., July 4 - State holiday. Department of Libraries central office and regional libraries closed.

Tues., July 10 - Graphic Novels 101 workshop, Aldrich Public Library, Barre, 9:30 am. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Wed., July 11 - WebJunction workshop, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin, 9:30 am. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Thurs., July 12 - Adult programming workshop, Norwich Public Library, 9:30 am. Continues Thurs., July 19. Repeats Tues., July 17 and 24, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Wed., July 18 - Heritage Quest workshop, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin, 9:30 am. Repeats Wed., July 25. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Fri., July 27 - New Planning for Results miniworkshop: developing objectives and activities, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin. Contact: Marianne Kotch, 828-2320.

Thurs., Aug. 2 - Social Networking workshop, School for International Training, Brattleboro, 9:30 am. Repeats Fri., Aug. 3, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Tues., Aug. 7 - The One Person Library workshop, Northeast Regional Library, St. Johnsbury, 9:30 am. Repeats Thurs., Aug. 9, Hartland Public Library. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Thurs., Aug. 16 - State holiday. Department of Libraries central office and regional libraries closed.

Tues., Aug. 21 - Vermont Board of Libraries meeting, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin. Contact: Sybil Brigham McShane, 828-3265.

Thurs., Aug. 23 - Legal Reference workshop, Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury, 9:30 am. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Fri., Aug. 24 - New Planning for Results miniworkshop: writing the long range plan, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin, 9:30 am. Contact: Marianne Kotch, 828-2320.

Fri., Aug. 31 - Copyright workshop, Brown Public Library, Northfield, 9:30 am. Contact: Mara Siegel, 828-3261.



0x08 graphicLast week, I delivered some materials to the Northeast Regional Library in St. Johnsbury. While there, I made a quick stop at the St. J. Athenaeum. Walking back toward the art gallery, I was struck by a young guy sitting at a table surrounded by crumpled papers on the floor. Not being the brightest bulb in the box, it took me a minute or two before I realized that was no “guy” sitting there. It was a mannequin, posed to publicize the “Life is Short Writing Contest.” Here's the description of the contest from the Athenaeum's web site:

“Inspired by the ongoing feature in the Washington Post. Give us insight into your life in under 100 words or less. Entries will be posted at the Athenaeum during the month of April.”

This was such a truly creative activity for a library, I felt compelled to share it with you. Not only is the substantive basis of the contest a great idea, look at the creative use of the mannequin. This served, once again, to remind me that we're engaged in a retail business. Let's use ALL of the tools available to us to gain attention for our services.


--Rob Geiszler, Regional Consultant

by Grace W. Greene, Children's Services Consultant

  Green Mountain Book Award Logo Contest

The winner of the GMBA logo contest is a student at Leland and Gray High School in Townshend, Soo-mi Park. Soo-mi is an exchange student from South Korea, and is absolutely THRILLED about winning the contest. Her design shows a row of books with a hand reaching for one, and the green mountains in the background. We will be using her logo to create new bookmarks and eventually posters and other materials. Her prize was a $100 gift certificate to a bookstore. Winners of second and third places are both sophomores from Lamoille Union High School: Amanda Moreau won second place, and Phillip Rosenblum won third prize. They, too, received gift certificates to a bookstore. The certificates were paid for by VEMA, one of the co-sponsors of the GMBA award.

Bookmarks featuring the new logo and the list of 2007-2008 books will be available at the Vermont Library Conference.

DCF Materials available

Soon we will have DCF bookmarks with the new logo and the list of the 30 books nominated for 2007-2008. The bookmarks will be available at the DCF conference, the Vermont Library conference and the DCF ceremony. If you will not be at any of those, please request them from CBEC at 828-3261; We also have plenty of posters and stickers for the winning books. All materials are free for the asking, printed with funds from the Friends of DCF.

Materials Review Sessions

If you select children's and/or young adult books for your library, then plan to attend our Materials Review sessions to learn about the best of the new titles for young people birth through high school. At these programs you can hear reviews and examine the books to decide what is best for your library. We begin with a live session in Northfield, and then do one more live presentation, this fall at the Northeast Regional Library in St. Johnsbury. RETN (Regional Educational Technology Network) will videotape the Northfield presentation, and that videotape will be shown in the other three locations. The books and the reviews will accompany the videotape, so whichever site you choose you will have access to all the books. In addition to the books that I 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, October 30


Sherburne Memorial Library, Killington

Thursday, November 1


Milton Public Library

Wednesday, November 7


Northeast Regional Library, St. Johnsbury

Thursday, November 8


Kurn Hattin, Westminster

Tuesday, November 13


All programs begin at 9:00 a.m. There is a formal part to the program and then time to examine the books. Can't attend any of these sessions? Then ask to borrow a videotape or DVD and watch in the comfort of your own home!


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 -
     Gerrie Denison, Librarian -
  Lorraine Lanius, Head, Technical Services Unit -
  Mara Siegel, DOL-UVM Access Office Librarian/Continuing Education Librarian -
  Teresa Faust, Special Services Consultant (828-3273) -


Public Library Support Services Division
Marianne Kotch, Director -
  Grace W. Greene, Children's Services Consultant (828-6954) -
  Amy Howlett, Regional Consultant (463-0143) -
  Michael Roche, Regional Consultant/Northeast Regional Librarian (748-3428) -
   Robert Geiszler, Regional Consultant (786-3839) -


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