Department of Libraries   NEWS

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

James H. Douglas, Governor  •  Sybil Brigham McShane, State Librarian
No. 138 • Summer 2007


          A number of Vermont public libraries have recently been awarded grants from the Vermont Public Library Foundation’s   (VPLF) Winnie Belle Learned Fund (WBLF) and Freeman Foundation (FF) Endowment monies.  Grants totaling $38,000 have been awarded to the following libraries:


Proctor Library




Bennington Free




Fletcher Free




Alice M. Ward Memorial




Craftsbury Public




Dailey Memorial








Georgia Public




Glover Public




Jamaica Memorial




Johnson Public




Cobleigh Public




Mark Skinner








Morristown Centennial




Poultney Public




Putney Public




Kimball Public



Saint Johnsbury

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum




Stamford Community




Stowe Free




Waterville Town




Winooski Memorial



           State Librarian Sybil Brigham McShane, who serves as President of the VPLF, noted that Dr. Burnett Rawson created the WBLF in honor of Winnie Belle Learned, a Vermonter, educator, and his benefactress, 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.   Another round of Winnie Belle Learned Fund grants are due October 12, 2007.  See:  

        The Freeman Foundation Endowment, created with the funds remaining from that Foundation's $12 million 2000-2004 grant program, may be used to strengthen traditional library services including programming and library collections, as well as for computers and other technology, and other types of improvements and equipment and will be awarded on an annual basis.


           At the 113th Vermont Library Conference, President-elect Jean Fournier and President Anne Gallivan presented Sybil McShane the 2007 Vermont Educational Media Association (VEMA) Award in recognition of her support for school libraries.     

        VEMA President-elect Jean Fournier said that school librarians especially appreciate the following:

“Her collaborative initiatives and ongoing support are greatly appreciated by VEMA,” Fournier said.

        The award read:  VEMA Award presented to our State Librarian Sybil McShane:    in recognition of her dedication, leadership, and collaboration with the Vermont School Library Community.

(reprinted from VEMA News, June, 2007)


           On May 15, 2007, fourteen librarians were awarded Certificates of Public Librarianship at the Vermont Library Conference. These individuals completed the Vermont Department of Libraries’ certification program for public librarians. Continuing Education Coordinator Mara Siegel congratulated them for their hard work and dedication.   Recipients were:

George Abrams, formerly of Gaysville, Royalton, Woodstock libraries
Annie Brabazon, South Hero Community Library
Lynne Gately, Kimball Public Library, Randolph
Linda Hartin, Morristown Centennial Library
Samantha Maskell, Rockingham Free Public Library
Shara McCaffrey, St Johnsbury Athenaeum
Carolyn Mullett, Wilder Memorial Library, Weston
Rhonda Murphy, Royalton Memorial Library
Caroline Nicholson, Goodrich Memorial Library, Newport
Beth Reynolds, Norwich Public Library
Adrianne Scuccess, Aldrich Public Library, Barre
Cindy Waters, Mark Skinner Library, Manchester
Cindy Weber, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston
Ann Zani, formerly of Fair Haven Free Public Library


           Responding to the library profession’s fascination with the concepts connected with what is called Library 2.0, three Department of Libraries staff members quietly joined the throngs of bloggers on the internet.  The Department’s weblog (or “blog”) can be found at    Sheila Kearns, Mara Siegel, and Marianne Kotch each post occasional news notes for Vermont librarians to check.   Topics include continuing education developments, resources available, program ideas, grants available, and technology updates.

           Readers of the Vermont blog can sign up for an RSS feed so that they are alerted when new items are posted.  Marianne finds it a fairly painless way of making sure that Department of Libraries news is available to the library community when it happens.  Among the most popular posts on the blog was one with links to Vermont libraries’ submissions to the Thomson-Gale Librareo video competition on YouTube.  Comments from readers are welcome.

           In addition to the Department’s blog, consultants have been posting copies of workshop presentation and handouts at the WebJunction continuing education discussion site: .   Topics this year have included basic reference, long range planning, grant writing, library safety, and more.  


           Vermont public libraries are enjoying the benefits of the continued Department of Libraries contract with Movie Licensing, USA. Mystery-loving audiences around the state are headed for films paired with Get a Clue @ the Library. Alfred Hitchcock is clearly enjoying a comeback, as is the Pink Panther and Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.

           Librarians ask about using movie titles in local publicity. The public performance license permits libraries to provide movie titles to local papers in a press release. Libraries may not list titles in paid advertisements in the newspaper, however. Libraries should not use film titles on cable, TV or radio programs.

           Spread the word about movie titles directly with library card holders in a newsletter, flyer, or poster hung in the library. That same poster is not permitted outside the library. (By the way, use the web site to generate posters. If you lack a customer ID or your ID won’t work, use the e-mail link under the customer login box to request a new one.) Use a general poster to announce a movie showing—and have people call the library to find out which movie it is.

           With warm summer nights, many libraries want to show movies on the library or town lawn. Negotiate a separate license to cover this event, since the standard license covers only performances held in the library building. Expect to pay about $100 for that one time event. Libraries planning programs for other buildings are out of luck; the license only covers the library. If you’re interested in a one time event, e-mail the Movie Licensing USA representative Julie Boggs ( to set the license up.

           Are there common mistakes libraries make? Remember to check the web site database to confirm that the movie you want to show is covered by the license. The database is easy to search by title or keywords like MYSTERY or DETECTIVE.   If you have more questions, please send them to Amy Howlett ( and we’ll share them in a future NEWS.

           The Department of Libraries is working on a shared movie license for Vermont schools, but a minimum of 50 schools must sign on in order to receive the discounted pricing.    While schools have a copyright law exemption when using films in face to face teaching, they need a performance license for after school programs, PTO nights, or times when entertainment is the goal.  Stay tuned!

                --Amy Howlett, Southeast Regional Consultant


           Privacy, safety, and marketing with a focus on public library customers are the subjects of the annual statewide conference for public library trustees and their librarians, to be held on Saturday, November 3, from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm at Barre’s Aldrich Public Library.  Sponsored by the Vermont Library Association’s Vermont Library Trustees Association, with help from the Department of Libraries, the conference will feature practical workshops in all three areas.

           Robin Lane of Champlain College will begin the day with a review of what boards of trustees should be doing to insure that  records about patrons’ reading habits, history and tastes remain confidential.   Trina Magi, chair of the VLA Intellectual Freedom Committee, will discuss upcoming efforts to clarify Vermont’s statute relating to confidentiality.  Rounding out the morning, Rob Geiszler of the Department of Libraries will offer specific, practical tips for insuring public and staff safety.

           The afternoon will focus on ways to make the public more aware of library services and resources through branding and marketing.  Liz Schlegel, of Spike Advertising, the firm that promoted the successful Vermont Frost Heaves basketball team, will offer ideas based on her work with libraries and nonprofits.

           Each person attending the conference should bring a library mug, tote bag, set of notecards, or other memento to swap.  Registration may be by mail, phone, or email with Marianne Kotch, Midstate Regional Library, 578 Paine Tpke. N., Berlin, VT  05602, (802) 828-2320,  The cost for the day is $16, with checks payable to Vermont Library Association, and includes morning coffee and lunch.  Registration deadline:  October 29.


           Do your library customers need help? Remember this phone number, 2-1-1, and help is on the way. Vermont 2-1-1, a program of United Ways of Vermont, has been serving Vermonters since February 2005. Vermont 2-1-1 Information & Referral Specialists assess callers’ needs, help problem solve and make referrals to available government agencies, faith-based and community-based programs. Every call is confidential, and every call taker has been carefully trained to assess the caller’s strengths before moving on to helping them toward a solution.

          Want more on Vermont 2-1-1? Librarians may use the web site,, to find resources by area of the state or by service needed. If you’re planning a county library meeting, consider inviting your Vermont 2-1-1 Regional Resource Specialist to bring you up to date on how they collect information and spread the word to the area. The Regional Resource Specialists, by area served, include:

          The Department of Libraries has two individuals working with Vermont 2-1-1. Marjorie Zunder, Director of Library and Information Services Division, has been serving on the Statewide Information, Referral and Advocacy Coordinating Council (SIRACC). The Council’s mission includes an effort to develop an understanding of what constitutes good information referral and advocacy. Amy Howlett, Southeast Regional Consultant, is the Secretary of the VT 211 Advisory Board.


           …with Book Boxes from your Regional Library!  Book Boxes are circulating collections designed to target special populations and interests.  Each collection of 30-50 titles as well as informational handouts can be mailed as a set to libraries.  We hope that the boxes will serve as starter collections, helping local librarians measure interest in the subjects.  The four-month loan period should give local libraries enough time to test the appeal. 

           Current Book Boxes include:

     To reserve a box for your library, simply contact your regional library –

           Midstate Regional Library ( - 828-2320
           Northeast Regional Library ( - 748-3428


           The Midstate and Northeast Regional Libraries have sets of Green Mountain Book Award (GMBA) books for public and school libraries to borrow again this year.  Cosponsored by the Department of Libraries, the Vermont Library Association (VLA), and the Vermont School Library Association (VSLA), the GMBA is designed to encourage students in grades 9-12 to read.  The annual GMBA list has 15 books representing various genres and interests.  In spring, 2008, 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 as possible, the Department has purchased multiple copies of each title which will be available for loan to school and public libraries.  There are two types of sets:

Any public or school library is eligible to borrow any of these sets for up to 60 days.  Because the sets are paperbacks, they can be mailed.  For a list of the books on this year’s reading list along with the handbook and discussion questions for each book, see the GMBA website:


           Whether you call it “advocacy,” “outreach,” or plain old “public relations,” trustees and Friends of the Library group members can be powerful supporters for their local public libraries.  A simple phone call or a chat on the street can lead to greater understanding of library concerns and community needs.

           Trustees and Friends members are powerful because they are already organized into groups.  Usually respected, connected members of the community, they can serve as ambassadors for their local libraries in many ways, large and small.  They can mount official advocacy campaigns as groups, or they can support their libraries informally as individuals.   They might advocate for increased hours open, better budgets, bond issues for new or improved buildings, additional services, passage or change of legislation, and much more.

           A formal advocacy campaign should be directed toward a particular issue or cause and will probably include a deadline and concrete goal.  Special publicity pieces or events might be developed to support the message the group wants to get across.

           Informal advocacy can go on all year long and doesn’t always require an organized effort.  Some things trustees and Friends can do include:

  • letter writing – to legislators and the Congressional delegation about library-related matters as well as thank yous to community members who do nice things for the library
  • calling selectboard members to voice opinions about library matters and to keep them up-to-date on library issues
  • writing a letter to the editor about library events, past and future
  • sitting in the audience when the board or librarian makes a presentation – there is nothing more supportive than a smile or nod from the audience
  • handing out flyers about library services at public events
  • having an info table at Town Meeting, in the grocery store, at the dump, at the local farmers’ market, or at public events
  • saying a few words at a public meeting, or club gathering, etc. about library services and events

           When people in your community see that reasonable people they respect and like are library supporters, they will be, too.


by Christine Lind Hage, Director,
Rochester Hills (MI) Public Library

           Recently, while cleaning up some files on my laptop, I found an environmental scan of associations from Association Management (January, 1999, p. 99).  Although almost ten years old, the article suggests some questions library boards might want to discuss in terms of their local public library.  The questions are still valid and if nothing else will provoke interesting conversation.

1.    What is the library’s leadership role in the community?  The library board and administrative staff certainly have the responsibility to run the library efficiently and effectively, but what contribution can we add to the community outside of the library?  Are we:
2.    What is the library doing to ensure that the community continues to receive value and a return on its investment?  Are we:  
3.    Is the library responsive to community need?  Are we:
4.    Has the library diversified its revenue sources?  Although most libraries are still funded primarily through tax dollars, are we seeking out new partners and other sources of income such as:
5.    Is the library’s technology usage leading the way to improved computing in the community or operating on a generation behind the community?  Does the library:
6.    Is the library addressing generational issues?  Does the library:
7.    Does the library have a recruitment and retention plan to secure a qualified workforce with the proper mix of technical, social/life experiences, professional, and leadership skills?

8.    Has the library explored outsourcing and co-sourcing to gain the maximum advantages for the library?  Have core and non-core services been defined?

9.    Has the library considered consolidation and mergers to gain greater efficiency and cost savings?

10.    Has the library built an image that can meet increasing public scrutiny and competition?  Does the community believe and value the library’s services, resources, and activities?

        As always there is never one single, correct answer to any of the above questions, but the discussion of such issues may help you clarify your library’s role in your community.

*reprinted from The Voice (published by the American Library Trustees Association, a division of the American Library Association), Summer, 2007.


Mon., Sept. 3 - State holiday.  Department of Libraries central office and regional libraries closed.

Thurs., Sept. 6 – Teens and Technology workshop, Aldrich Public Library, Barre, 9:30 am.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Mon.-Wed., Sept. 10-12 – Youth Services workshop, Northeast Regional Library, St. Johnsbury, 9:30 am.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Wed., Sept. 19 – WebJunction Vermont workshop, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin, 9:30 am. 
Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Thurs., Sept. 20 – Vermont Library Assn. board meeting, 9:30 am.  Contact:  Barbara Doyle-Wilch, 443-5490.

Fri., Sept. 21 – Taking It On The Road:  Outreach Conference for Bookmobile or Library Staff and Volunteers sponsored by Children’s Literacy Foundation.  Hotel Coolidge, White River Junction, 9:00 am.  Fee:  $5 (includes breakfast and lunch).  Contact:  CLIF,

Wed., Sept. 26 – Red Clover Conference, Lake Morey Inn, Fairlee, 9:30 am.  Contact:  Vermont Center for the Book, 875-2751.

Thurs., Sept. 27 – Communication for Consenting Adults workshop, Aldrich Public Library, Barre, 9:30 am.  Repeats Fri., Sept. 28, Brooks Memorial Library, Brattleboro.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Thurs., Sept. 28 – Law for Librarians program sponsored by VLA Public Library Section, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin, 10:00 am.  Contact:  Peter Blodgett, 785-4361.

Thurs., Oct. 4 – The Big Idea workshop, Bennington Free Library, 9:30 am.  Repeats Thurs., Oct. 11, Aldrich Public Library, Barre.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Fri., Oct. 5 – Library Facilities 101 workshop, Aldrich Public Library, Barre, 9:30 am.  Continues with Library Facilities 102 - Fri., Oct. 19.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Sun.-Tues., Oct. 14-16 – New England Library Assn. annual conference, Sturbridge, MA.  Contact:

Tues., Oct. 23 – Vermont Board of Libraries meeting, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin, 10:30 am.  Contact:  Sybil Brigham McShane, 828-3265.

Tues., Oct. 23 – Serving Seniors workshop, Midstate Regional Library, Berlin, 9:30 am.  Repeats Thurs., Oct. 25, Sherburne Memorial Library, Killington.  Contact:  Mara Siegel, 828-3261.

Thurs., Oct. 25 – VLA Children’s and Young Adult Librarians section conference, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier, 9:30 am.  Contact:  Megan Allison, 223-4665.

Tues., Oct. 30 – Children’s Materials Review Session, Brown Public Library, Northfield, 9:00 am.  Repeats Thurs., 11/1 (Killington), Wed., 11/7 (Milton), Thurs., 11/8 (NERL),  Tues., 11/13 (Kurn Hattin).  Contact:  Grace W. Greene, 828-6954.

Sat., Nov. 3 – Focus on the Customer, annual statewide trustees conference sponsored by VLA Vermont Library Trustees Association, Aldrich Public Library, Barre, 9:30 am.  Fee includes lunch.  Contact:  Marianne Kotch, 828-2320.


by Grace W. Greene, Children's Services Consultant

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!

Mock Caldecott Returns!
           Due to popular demand, we are now having the Mock Caldecott program every other year. Co-sponsored by the Vermont School Library Association (VSLA—formerly VEMA), this is a day to look at picture books critically, and to participate in great discussions about them. In the morning, Megan Lambert, Instructor of Children’s Literature at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA, will speak about the “Whole Book Approach and the Caldecott Medal,” and then in the afternoon people will choose their favorite picture book of the year. The program will be held on
Friday, November 16, 2007 at the Vermont Technical College in Randolph. Registration forms will be available at the end of the summer. Please request one if you would like to attend. If you like picture book, art and/or talking about books, don’t miss this day—it is one of the best professional days of the year!

The Green Mountain Book Award
           High school student across Vermont selected
My Sister’s Keeper by NH resident Jodi Picoult as the winner of the second GMBA award. Picoult will receive an award made from Vermont granite. Voting was up over the first year, and we hope to see it climb even further next year.

           Summer is a great time to get kids reading the books on the new GMBA list.  Purchase as many titles as you can, and borrow others from your Regional Library. We have purchased at least 20 copies of each title to make it easier for people to have access to them. You may request multiple copies for a particular month by contacting the Midstate Regional Library at 828-2320. The Northeast Regional Library has sets of the entire list. Contact them at 748-3428.  For the list of nominate books, visit:

           Now available are bookmarks listing the 15 nominated books for this year as well as posters using the new logo for the award. Please request them from April at 828-3261 or

DCF News
           2007 winner: Carl Hiaasen won the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award for Flush (Knopf, 2005). Unfortunately, Mr. Hiaasen was not able to come to Vermont to receive his award, so the committee decided instead to invite someone whose book is on the new list. We were very lucky to get Elizabeth Winthrop, author of the Vermont book, Counting on Grace (Wendy Lamb, 2006) to speak at a program on May 22 at Vermont Technical College. Approximately 600 children, teachers and librarians attended. Elizabeth showed through a PowerPoint presentation and talk how she had done her research about the mills in Pownal and the life of the girl, Addie Card, upon whom she based her character. Children and adults alike were totally captivated, and for some children it was obvious that for the first time they really understood how they were connected to others and to history.

           New Bookmarks and Tattoos.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, and as a special recognition, we made up tattoos (temporary, or course!) sporting the DCF logo. All children who attended the ceremony received one as a souvenir. However, we had thousands more made, so if you would like some for your school or library, please tell us how many, and we will send them out. We also have bookmarks listing this year’s nominees, and plenty of the posters and gold award stickers that we had made up last year. All are free; just request them from April Kelley at 828-3261;  Be sure to say how many of each you would like—don’t make us guess!

           DCF Conference.    The fifth annual DCF conference was held at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee on May 4. There were more than 160 public and school librarians, classroom teachers, reading teachers, professors of children’s literature and reading consultants in attendance. Karen Hesse, Newbery Medalist and Vermonter, the keynote speaker, gave a very thoughtful talk on how she does her research and her writing. We felt particularly honored to hear her when we found out that she is doing no more public speaking!  Workshops ranged from how to read a graphic novel, to an overview of the new DCF list, to art projects with DCF books.

           The conference committee consisted of:  Denise Dalmasse, U32, East Montpelier; Susan D’Amico, Roxbury Free Library; Amy Herrick, U32 , East Montpelier; Joanna Rudge Long, former DCF Chair; Sally Margolis, former DCF chair; Merlyn Miller, Burr and Burton Academy; Leda Schubert, former School Library Media Consultant; Suzy Shedd, Main Street Middle School, Montpelier; Patty Thomas, Brownington Elementary School; Marje VonOhlsen, South Burlington Community Library;  Sandy Zelazo, St. Albans Town Educational Center and Grace Greene, DOL, Chair. Thanks go to the Vermont Educational Media Association, Vermont Library Association, VT-NEA, and the Department of Education for their financial contributions, and to the Vermont Center for the Book for door prizes.

           Save the date!  The sixth annual conference is planned for Friday, May 1, 2008 at the Stoweflake Resort in Stowe. Donna Jo Napoli, author of many award winning books including Zel, Prince of the Pond and The King of Mulberry Street will be the keynote speaker.

Red Clover Award News
           Winner: Vermont’s picture book award, the Red Clover Award, was won this year by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel for The Great Fuzz Frenzy  a funny story about a dog, a tennis ball and the furor that the ball and its green fuzz creates in a prairie dog town.

           Conference: The Red Clover conference will be held at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont on Wednesday, September 26, 2007. Steve Jenkins, author and illustrator of many fabulous nonfiction picture books will be the keynoter, and Roger Sutton, Editor of the Horn Book, will do the endnote speech. The Vermont Center for the Book will send out registration materials at the beginning of the school year.

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 -
     Gerry 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