2020 Trustees and Friends Conference

Theme: Remaining Vital: Your Library as Community Connector in Uncertain Times

Join us for a week of discussion on how libraries can thrive during COVID-19, how we can manage the risks ahead, and how we can emerge stronger and more integral to our communities.

How can I attend a weeklong conference? How will it work?

The Conference will have several different types of events and activities.

  • Live Events: These events will occur via online conference call technology MS Teams – which functions like Zoom meetings. We will post the links to the events ahead of time, and you can join the live event either with your phone (dial in for audio only or join via smartphone) or your computer. Most live events will be recorded so that if you are not available to join us live, you can watch them at your convenience and send us follow-up questions at a later date. If you are able to join us live, you’ll be able to ask questions of the presenters during the live event.
  • Pre-recorded events/resources: These will be released throughout the week, and you are welcome to watch them that day or at your convenience using any web-accessible device (smartphone, computer, etc.). 
  • Listserv Discussions: Each day, we will post a question topic on the Trustees & Friends listserv (a listserv is an email distribution group – like Front Porch Forum, but each posting is its own email). This is to encourage your use of the listserv and to help you engage with one another as if you were in a conference session together (but communicating with the group via email messages). Not on the listserv? You can join by emailing joshua.muse@vermont.gov and tell him your name, your library, and that you wish to join the Trustees and Friends listserv.
  • Resources: We will be gathering and posting resources throughout the week on our website for you.

What is MS Teams, and what technology do I need to participate in an online conference?

  • MS Teams is an online video conferencing technology that functions like Zoom. You can join by:
    • dialing in with your phone/smartphone (like making a phone call), 
    • clicking on a link using a smartphone (like a mobile device surfing the web), 
    • or clicking on a link with your computer. 
  • If you want to be able to interact with the presenters and participate in discussions, you’ll need a microphone (either via your phone/smartphone or your computer). 
  • If you want to have your face appear as well, you’ll need a video camera on your computer (or you can use your smartphone video camera).
  • More information on joining an MS Teams meeting can be found on our website here: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed/joining_teams

Conference Schedule*

*This schedule will be updated as we confirm speakers in the coming days.

Link to Conference Schedule with Full Descriptions.

PDF of Conference Schedule with Full Descriptions.


Monday, September 21st

Tuesday, September 22nd

  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (LIVE EVENT): Money Matters: Building Certainty in Uncertain Times with Gary Deziel
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (LIVE EVENT): What Do Librarians Really Do? A Panel of librarians, moderated by Joy Worland
  • Pre-Recorded Event: Trustee Trainings with Lara Keenan: 1. Trustee Duties and Responsibilities and 2. Laws for Libraries
  • Listserv Discussion Topic: How have you transferred your fundraising to the new COVID-19 environment? What new online fundraising ideas have you tried? What changes have you made to your usual fundraising techniques? What successes and challenges have you had?

Wednesday, September 23rd

  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (LIVE EVENT): Successfully Navigating HR Challenges through the Pandemic for Library Trustees with Gary Deziel
  • 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (LIVE EVENT): Library Trivia with Special Guest Amanda Gustin from the VT Historical Society
  • Pre-Recorded Event: Trustee Trainings with Lara Keenan: 3. Fundraising Basics and 4. Succession Planning
  • Listserv Discussion Topic: What have your trustees and Friends groups done to make sure that you have a productive and successful partnership? How do you maintain open and honest communication? What do you partner on? Do you have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?

Thursday, September 24th

  • 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (LIVE EVENT): A Crash Course in Communications for Library Supporters with Kathy Dempsey
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (LIVE EVENT): Library Advocacy in 2020: Making the Case for Support During Uncertain Times with VT Library Association President Kevin Unrath
  • Pre-Recorded Event: Trustee Trainings with Lara Keenan: 5. Community Needs Assessment, Strategic Planning, and Advocacy
  • Listserv Discussion Topic: What ideas do you have for continuing your education about your roles and responsibilities as a library trustee or friend member?

Friday, September 25th

  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (LIVE EVENT): Board Management with Sarah Henshaw
  • Pre-Recorded Event: Do-it-Yourself Trustee Training with Joe McVeigh
  • Resource: Handout: Fundraising Ideas during COVID-19