The Department of Libraries received a National Leadership Grant for Libraries award of $339,861 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to expand the Vermont Early Literacy Initiative (VELI). The National Leadership grant program is highly competitive and is designed to fund innovative grant projects which can serve as a model for replication across the country. The three-year grant project, VELI-STEM, a partnership of the Department of Libraries and the Vermont Center for the Book, will expand the VELI program in 25 selected public libraries to introduce librarian training and programming for young children, parents, and childcare providers in science inquiry and physical science.
The grant includes funding for librarian training, books and other materials for the 25 libraries, travel to state and national conferences for networking and presentations, project assessment, and training for state library personnel in 22 other states. The Montshire Museum of Science will provide consultation as the project is planned and developed. The grant program offically began in November.  
The following libraries will be participating in this project:
  • Ainsworth Public Library (Williamstown)
  • Aldrich Public Library (Barre)
  • Bennington Free Library
  • Bixby Memorial Free Library (Vergennes)
  • Bradford Public Library
  • Burnham Memorial Library (Colchester)
  • Chelsea Public Library
  • Cobleigh Public Library (Lyndon)
  • Craftsbury Public Library
  • Fletcher Memorial Library (Ludlow)
  • Hartland Public Library
  • Highgate Library & Community Center
  • Jamaica Public Library
  • Jeudevine Memorial Library (Hardwick)
  • Lanpher Public Library (Hyde Park)
  • Lydia Taft Pratt Library (Dummerston)
  • Milton Public Library
  • Pawlet Public Library
  • Pope Memorial Library (Danville)
  • Poultney Public Library
  • Rockingham Free Public Library
  • Sherburne Memorial Library
  • Springfield Town Library
  • St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
  • Wardsboro Public Library
  • Westford Public Library

For more information about the VELI-STEM grant project, contact Cass Mabbott, Youth Services Consultant, at