VTLIB Resource Updates

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Happy Primary Day! If you haven’t already voted by mail, find out what you need to do to vote in person by visiting the Secretary of State’s page. Here is your Tuesday update:

State of Vermont and VTLIB

  • Governor Phil Scott announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the State of Vermont have finalized an agreement to allow certain state-inspected meat and poultry processors to ship their products across state lines.
  • A reminder that the Vermont State Ethics Commission is soliciting public input before they send a finalized draft code of ethics to the legislature in November. Please visit the Ethics Commission website which has information on a statutory code of ethics and how you can provide input.
  • The State of Vermont recently received funds from FEMA to run a Crisis Counseling Program in response to the pandemic, called COVID Support VT. One of their immediate goals is to share educational and self-help materials on how to manage stress, reduce anxiety, and develop positive coping strategies – and they would like your help. Please fill out this Google Form as soon as possible to tell them which materials would work best to reach your community members, and they will send those materials to you.
  • The VTLIB Library Advancement Division has a few things to distribute to libraries. Please contact Jennifer Johnson for any of these items.
    • Mask posters and quarter-sheet-sized handouts available for libraries AND community partners (businesses, schools, municipal buildings, etc.). There are other designs besides the library one. Can be sent by mail or through the courier.
    • Census cards are also available for libraries and/or community partners.
    • Giveaway books, including picture books and board books, available for libraries with the greatest need. Courier and pick-up are preferred.
  • It was brought to our ABLE Library’s attention that some libraries are paying postage to send materials to print-disabled patrons. These materials can be sent free of charge through USPS’ “Free Matter for the Blind” program. Some restrictions apply. Visit the USPS website for details.

Learning Opportunities

Community Resources and Opportunities

  • Vermont Legal Aid Town Hall: Please join Vermont Legal Aid for a free 30-Minute Town Hall about changes to unemployment benefits and eligibility as more Vermonters are starting to get offers to return to work. This town hall is on Thursday, August 13 at 10 a.m. Attorney Kelli Kazmarski will talk about changes to federal unemployment benefits, what happens to unemployment benefits when you are not able to return to work for reasons like dependent care or health/safety concerns, and issues related to overpayments of benefits.
  • The Vermont Family Network has updated its School Options for Families resources page. The page includes a school options infographic, questions to consider before schools reopen, and sample letters to request Compensatory Education Services.
  • Is your library a player in economic development? Or do you have an idea of how your library could contribute to job creation, entrepreneurship, and nonprofits -- but you could use a little funding to get started? @ the Table is the inaugural pitch competition of the Entrepreneurship & Libraries Conference (ELC). Libraries will be invited to pitch ideas or initiatives to stakeholders in economic development. Public, school, special, and academic librarians are encouraged to apply by 11/25 at 5 pm. Visit the table pitch competition page for all of the details.
  • The Libraries Transform Book Pick digital reading program is returning September 14-28, 2020 with its second ebook selection: Lauren Francis-Sharma’s epic saga Book of the Little Axe. Unlimited ebook copies of Book of the Little Axe will be available without waitlists or holds through U.S. public libraries using OverDrive.
  • Borrowed, Brooklyn Public Library's flagship podcast, is collecting stories from library systems across the country to use in two upcoming episodes. Library workers of any title/rank (librarians, administrators, clerks, custodial staff, etc.). are invited to record a voice message responding to one or both of the following prompts and email it to podcasts@bklynlibrary.org. (You may leave your name, but you don’t have to.)
    • How has your library been handling re-opening after the COVID-19 shut down? When did you return to work? What has changed?
    • Has your library been having conversations about racial discrimination and inequity? If you are a BIPOC, what has your experience been like working at a library? What are the challenges your library system faces when it comes to racial equity among staff and/or patrons?

Health and Wellness

Have a good rest of your week.
Janette

Friday, August 7, 2020

Dear Library Community,It’s hard to believe that we’re quickly approaching the open enrollment period for VT Health Connect (VHC). I’d like to start this update with a special appeal to you to let our VHC outreach coordinator know what training and information needs you have. Connecting Vermonters to healthcare is more important than ever, and libraries continue to play an essential role in this effort. Please see the full blurb below.

State and Federal Updates

  • Governor Phil Scott and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) announced the launch of a new grant program to help mitigate operational expenses and losses for child care providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant applications are open now through August 26, and award notices are anticipated by September 11. Eligible applicants include childcare and afterschool programs, summer day camps, parent child centers, and agencies that serve as fiscal agents for local Children’s Integrated Services.
  • The Health Department has issued a two-page fact sheet that gives people the information about the use of masks to help protect children.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau has announced that it will end all field data collection by September 30 which is earlier than planned. Bureau Director Steven Dillingham issued a statement on August 3 outlining this and several other operational plan changes. Please continue promoting the 2020 Census for the next several weeks. Here’s a little inspiration out of Burlington.
  • IMLS announced grant awards totaling $25,899,000 for museums across the nation to improve services to their communities. Through the agency’s largest competitive grant program, Museums for America, and special initiatives under this grant program, Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums, a total of 190 projects were selected from 631 applications requesting $98,198,305.

Vermont Department of Libraries

  • We continue to update our Racial and Social Justice page with the newest addition being a list of State of Vermont Racial and Equity Councils and Commissions 2020 created by Xusana Davis, Executive Director of Racial Equity, State of Vermont (PDF)
  • Vermont Health Connect wants to know what you think! Open Enrollment starts November 1, and Vermont Health Connect (VHC) is looking for feedback from librarians. They want to know how VHC can best support you—the librarians —as you assist library patrons who have questions about VHC health coverage. As part of their Open Enrollment outreach, VHC will deliver a group online training session (hosted by VTLIB) for librarians in October, followed by online presentations to the general public in November. To learn more about your needs for VHC training, information, and support materials, VHC invites Vermont librarians to participate in short, one-on-one feedback sessions to help them develop a more useful training. If you have 30 minutes to help with this project, please contact Molly Waldstein at molly.waldstein@vermont.gov to schedule an appointment to talk.

Learning Opportunities

  • ALA is offering a free webinar Library Fundraising in the Wake of COVID-19. Fundraising expert Ed Rossman will provide you with a comprehensive approach for generating sustained funds from underutilized library assets in the wake of the pandemic. Through practical examples, Ed will take you through the process of securing steady funding. Monday, August 10, 2020, 1:00 pm.
  • Niche Academy invites you to join their free webinar on Library Information Systems on Wednesday, August 12 at 2:00 pm. Join library consultants and instructors Joe Matthews and Carson Block as they talk about their new book Library Information Systems. The book offers a comprehensive look at the technologies that power modern libraries - including how they got here and where things are headed next.
  • The National Conference on State Legislatures invites you to join A Century of Women Voting: The 19th Amendment at 100 on Tuesday, August 11, at 2pm. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.
  • Join First Book for 2 Free Webinars on Critical Topics:
    • "Empowering Educators: A Convening on Racial Equity in Education," Wednesday, August 19 (11:00AM - 3:00PM EST). Join Jason Reynolds, award winning author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and AU antiracism scholars for an exciting FREE virtual event hosted by the American University Antiracist Research & Policy Center.
    • "Supporting Students Coping with Grief and Loss During the COVID-19 Pandemic," Tuesday, August 11 (6:00 PM -7:30 PM EST). Join for a FREE live webcast and Q&A to learn tangible ways to support grieving children from Dr. David Schonfeld, a leading developmental-behavioral pediatrician and founder of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement.
  • As meetings and events continue to take place in virtual spaces because of the COVID-19 pandemic, accessibility is too often an afterthought. Accessibility for virtual events should be a priority and central to the planning process from the beginning. Here is a Rooted in Rights guide on How to Make Your Virtual Meetings and Events Accessible to the Disability Community

Community Updates and Engagement Opportunities

  • The Vermont Humanities Council Fall Conference Democracy 20/20 starts August 19th. The 47th annual Fall Conference promises to “take a clear-eyed look at the theory and practice of democracy.” Weekly free digital programs begin on August 19, ending with small gatherings statewide in October and a capstone event at the State House after Election Day (if safety guidelines allow).
  • Researchers at Syracuse University are interested in learning more about the invisible labor and traditionally unrecognized work of librarians so that it can be included in discussions of library value. If you were working at a library in any paid position in 2019 (staff, paraprofessional, or professional), we would love to hear about your experience with invisible labor. Participants are asked to complete an online questionnaire by September 15, 2020.
  • Five teens from across the country have been chosen from among thousands of award-winning poets to serve as National Student Poets, the nation’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work.
  • In response to the rise in digital media use and other challenges posed in recent months, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has compiled a suite of tools and resources to support library professionals in all types of libraries. ALSC’s - Look to Libraries in Times of Crisis webpage provides a host of free resources including tip sheets, articles, booklists, and other resources.
  • The 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment is August 18, 2020. It's not too late to participate in the Suffrage Scramble! To quote the teenage son of one librarian participant, "If those women could fight for the vote, the least you can do is run 3 miles to honor them!" Be sure to honor them by voting, too!

Health and Wellness

We can’t repeat the information on mental health help resources often enough, especially now with the added stress of school starting soon.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs emotional support, help is available 24/7:

I wish you a joyful weekend.
Janette

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Dear Library Community,
I hope this message finds you glad for the rain and the accompanying relief from last week’s heat. Here is your Tuesday resource update:

State of Vermont

  • Governor Phil Scott today announced that beginning Tuesday, August 4, public safety, public health, health care and human services employers whose employees worked to help mitigate or respond to COVID-19 may apply for hazard pay grant funds for their employees. For more information, to apply using the online application (beginning Tuesday, August 4) and to sign up to receive periodic updates, please visit the Agency of Human Services’ website.
  • The Vermont House Government Operations and House Judiciary Committees will be co-hosting virtual meetings on August 6, 12 and 16 to obtain input from community members on proposed changes to law enforcement in Vermont. The public will be able to provide input on specific bills that are already before the legislature. The meetings will be held on August 6 at 1:00 p.m., August 12 at 6:00 p.m., and August 16 at 4:00 p.m. Please see this link for a fillable form where you can schedule to testify.

Learning and Professional Development Resources

  • The Vermont Department of Libraries is excited to be providing the opportunity for Vermont librarians to attend the 2020 Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Virtual Conference (funded through LSTA). Guidelines for applying and a link to the application are on our website. The application is due by midnight, August 16th.
  • Also check out VTLIB’s CE schedule which is packed with free webinar offerings:
    • 8/6: NNLM workshop: Library Resources and Programming in the New Landscape of Vermont Cannabis Laws, guest speaker Jennifer Hendzlik (10:00am-11:30am)
    • 8/06: Beanstack Summer Reading 2020 Staff Training Q&A Session (1:00pm-2:30pm)
    • 8/7: NNLM workshop: More than Calm: Exercising Your Attention with Mindfulness, guest speaker Daron Larson (11:00-12:00)
    • 8/13: NNLM workshop: Libraries and Dementia Services, guest speakers Timothy Dickey and Mary Beth Riednor (10:00am-11:30am)
    • 8/20: NNLM workshop: Promoting Attentional Fitness: Demystifying Mindfulness, guest speaker Daron Larson (10:00-11:00)
  • Recent research indicates that employees are feeling less informed, cared for, and engaged at work compared to a little as a month ago. Gary Deziel, our UVM Extension partner, has penned an HR Minute, COVID-19, remote worker engagement, about the three mistakes that lead to lower employee engagement are being repeated by organizations across the U.S. – and practical strategies to increase employee engagement at your public library.
  • The Vermont Library Association invites you to their monthly 1st Thursdays webinar happening on Thursday, August 6th from 2:30-3:45 pm, "Antiracism at Your Library."  Please register in advance for this Zoom meeting.

Community Resources and Events

  • Sunday, July 26, marked the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To honor 30 years of progress in access and inclusion, IMLS is showcasing a handful of libraries that used their IMLS grants to improve spaces and access for individuals with disabilities in the last few years.
  • The School Library Journal recently published Honoring John Lewis | A Brief Resource Roundup for Young Readers. With the passing of Congressman John Lewis, it is important for young readers to understand and honor his legacy, and to continue his fight for equality. It’s not an aside that these are also wonderful stories, well-told and compelling. Share these resources and empower young students and budding activists alike.
  • Vermont PBS and the Agency of Education is inviting youth librarians to join the Distance Learning Advisory group. This advisory group will meet bi-monthly, beginning in August to discuss ways to integrate PBS content and resources into community models. Please email Martha Deiss at Martha.Deiss@vermont.gov if you are interested in joining the group.
  • The Library of Congress, National Archives and Smithsonian launched a joint campaign for the month of August to celebrate the 100thanniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the constitution granting women’s suffrage. They will count down each day until the anniversary day with compelling stories of women who worked for the vote—before & after the amendment—leading up to the centennial on Aug. 26.  Full information on the #19SuffrageStories campaign can be found on the LOC blog.
  • ALA recently launched its COVID-19 Recovery website, which features a collection of tools, developed and updated by units across the American Library Association, will help communities, library workers, and library supporters plot the best course forward for their libraries.
  • Join PLA's Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice (EDISJ) for a live Twitter chat tomorrow, August 5 at 1 p.m. The discussion will focus on creating inclusive communities through an EDISJ lens. To participate, simply follow PLA on Twitter (@ALA_PLA) and log in at noon Central on August 5. The EDISJ Task Force will tweet introductions and discussion questions to get things started. To join the conversation, tweet using the hashtags #chatPLA and #Inclusion.
  • The REALM Project just announced Test 4. Five items were selected for this round of Battelle lab testing to examine the length of time the COVID-19 virus may live on materials commonly used in archives, libraries, and museums. Read more about the project and how to subscribe to updates.
  • The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply to be part of Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change, a pilot program to help public and academic libraries engage their communities in programs and conversations that address the climate change crisis. Learn more about Resilient Communities and apply online. Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020

Health and Wellness

And because music is good for us, I’m signing off with this year’s winner of the tiny desk concert announced today: Linda Diaz with a wonderfully calming song.

Best,
Janette

Friday, July 31, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Good afternoon and happy Friday! I am stepping in for Janette on today’s update as she has the week off! It is a much-deserved break for her. See today’s update:

State of Vermont

  • Governor Phil Scott has signed a Directive officially setting Tuesday, September 8 as the universal reopening date for Vermont schools. Originally announced on Tuesday, the directive requires all public and independent schools to open for in-person or remote instruction on September 8, with an exception for schools primarily serving students with disabilities, which can restart operations prior to September 8. The Secretary of Education will have oversight and authority in the implementation of the order and local school officials and governing bodies are required to consult with, and abide by, the direction of the Secretary of Education.
  • Governor Phil Scott announced that the Vermont Department of Public Service has launched a Line Extension Customer Assistance Program (LECAP). LECAP provides up to $3,000 in assistance to help consumers extend telecommunications lines to their homes, with $2 million in total funds available. This program was passed through Act 137 and developed in response to the COVID-19 emergency to help Vermonters access broadband.
  • As the state continues its sustained efforts to encourage mask use as a tool to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable, Governor Phil Scott announced strengthened mask requirements in public places and congregate settings. View the full amendment to the Executive Order.

VT Department of Libraries

  • VTLIB is once again able to offer grants for libraries on the courier service. All details about the grant, including the application and the scoring rubric we will use, are available on our website. The due date for applications is Monday, August 31. All applications must be submitted via email or postmarked by this date. Late applications will not be considered.

Learning Opportunities

  • We are continually adding workshops and webinars to our schedule. Here are some highlights:
    • 8/6: NNLM workshop: Library Resources and Programming in the New Landscape of Vermont Cannabis Laws, guest speaker Jennifer Hendzlik (10:00am-11:30am). Libraries across Vermont (and the US) find themselves at a distinct crossroads when it comes to the nuances of cannabis legalization. This interactive webinar will help answer questions about the role your library can play in this new frontier of service.
    • 8/06: Beanstack Summer Reading 2020 Staff Training Q&A Session (1:00pm-2:30pm). VTLIB is excited to begin training staff to use the Beanstack reading registration and tracking platform. Please review all training materials and complete the Staff Challenge in Beanstack prior to attending one of these sessions. These sessions will not be a comprehensive overview and training on how to use Beanstack but a way to answer any questions you may have after reviewing all training materials. Please submit your questions in advance to jonathan.l.clark@vermont.gov.
    • 8/7: More than Calm: Excercising Your Attention with Mindfulness, guest speaker Daron Larson (11:00-12:00). Practice session and Q&A. Though scientific evidence of its potential benefits grows, there’s a counterintuitive art to establishing a consistent mindfulness practice. Live practice sessions with an experienced coach help participants set realistic expectations, customize their approach to fit their needs, and better understand how to interpret their practice experiences.
    • 8/13: NNLM workshop: Libraries and Dementia Services, guest speakers Timothy Dickey and Mary Beth Riednor (10:00am-11:30am). Mary Beth Riednor, chair of ALA’s Interest Group for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias, will be joined by Timothy Dickey of the Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Libraries in this presentation on helping libraries improve services to patrons with dementia, with topics such as dispelling myths, staff training, programming and collection development.

Community Updates and Resources

  • The IFLA Section on Library Service to People with Special Needs has a survey to discover what services people are offering during COVID-19 to people with physical or cognitive disabilities, people who are experiencing homelessness, are in prison, or are refugees. The deadline to submit is August 15th.
  • A college professor created a syllabus for herself for the summer to prepare herself and colleagues for remote learning and teaching during a pandemic here.

Health and Wellness

Take care and enjoy the lovely weather!
Tom

Friday, July 24, 2020

Dear Library Community,
I am submitting today’s resource email on behalf of Assistant State Librarian Janette Shaffer. I sincerely hope your week is going well, and I thank you for the work you do for your communities! Here is today’s update:

State of Vermont

VT Department of Libraries

  • Access weekly updates and summaries on which VT libraries report being open and what services they are offering (as reported on VTLIB's Library Service and Status Questionnaire) on the VTLIB website here.
  • Gary Deziel, our UVM Extension partner, has posted another HR Minute that can help you understand more about the human resource management challenges of reopening your library; COVID-19, The Reopening Conundrum (PDF). In this article, Gary outlines the essence of trustee responsibility as keepers of the “well-being of the library” and the possible conundrum of putting the library’s overall mission first, and the employees, your key resource, first as well. Essentials of the Americans with Disabilities Act and tips from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are highlighted.

Learning Opportunities

  • WebJunction is offering a free REALM Project update webinar on August 4th from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Join staff from OCLC, IMLS, and Battelle to learn more about the testing process, how to present results to your stakeholders, project resources to inform your local decisions, and what you can expect from the project in the months to come. To register click here.
  • The Santa Clarita Public Library is excited to present the Book to Action: Garbology Discussion Panel on Wednesday, July 22 at 9:30 p.m. ET (yes, that’s 9:30 p.m. ET). The free discussion will cover micro-trash, plastics, the impact of trash on our environment and much more during the hourlong Zoom event. Register now at SantaClaritaLibrary.com/Events.
  • EveryLibrary Insitute offers a webinars-on-demand program which allows you to attend free webinars on a wide range of library advocacy, funding, and other relevant topics at any time that’s convenient for you. Just sign up on the registration pages, and you will be emailed a unique link to attend the webinar whenever you want.

Community Updates and Resources

  • State Librarian Jason Broughton was this month's Brave Little State question asker: Why Do Some Vermonters Display The Confederate Flag? Listen to the episode.
  • VPR, via its Brave Little State program, is asking BIPOC residents and visitors of VT to contribute their voices to an upcoming story that answers the question "How can the state, both its government and its people, support Vermonters of color?" VPR invites BIPOC residents and visitors to submit their answer by July 31st. For more information click here.
  • The REALM Project has published the results of the second round of Battelle's laboratory testing for COVID-19 on five commonly handled materials: braille paper pages, glossy paper pages, magazine pages, children’s board books, and archival folders.
  • Join PLA's Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice (EDISJ) for their live Twitter chat on Wednesday, August 5 from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Eastern for a discussion on creating inclusive communities through an EDISJ lens. To participate, follow PLA on Twitter (@ALA_PLA), and log in at 1:00. The EDISJ Task Force will tweet introductions and discussion questions to get things started. To join the conversation, tweet using the hashtags #chatPLA and #Inclusion.
  • 2020 Summer Reading Lists: ALSC has updated their Summer Reading Lists with new and exciting titles. Summer Reading book lists are available for Birth-Preschool and grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Each list is available to download for free. The back panel can be edited to include your library's contact information.
  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services this week announced 70 grants totaling $18,256,177 to support libraries across the country. The awards were made through the FY 2020 National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21stCentury Librarian Program. The awarded grants search on the IMLS website contains a complete list of grantees and project descriptions. The awards went to projects supporting lifelong learning, digital inclusion, collections access, and library training programs. Visit the IMLS website for more information about the National Leadership Grants for Libraries and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian programs.

Health and Wellness

I hope that you have a restful weekend.

Yours,

Lara

Friday, July 17, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Please note that in the next two weeks, we will only send a Friday community update.  I’ll be on the road next week to distribute PPE, and on vacation the week after. This is a good time to thank my VTLIB colleagues who send me things for inclusion, edit, and cover for me when I’m gone. You’re the best!

State of Vermont

  • Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) announced the Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program for dairy producers and processors who have experienced income loss, additional expenses and market disruption as a result of the pandemic. The application will open on Friday, July 17 with an available $25 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds for qualified applicants.
  • Governor Phil Scott, the Agency of Human Services, and the Department of Vermont Health Access announced that Vermont’s Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program will launch on Friday, July 17, 2020. The grant program, first proposed by the Administration and amended by the Vermont Legislature, utilizes up to $275,000,000 from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide direct cash grants to eligible health care and human service providers who have lost revenue and/or observed increased expenses due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Learning Opportunities

  • Please check out our VTLIB webinar page for our upcoming webinars. These include one on HR issues, and several from the Network of the National Library of Medicine.
  • Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners/Massachusetts Library System Free Virtual Symposium Thursday, July 23rd, 9:00-12:00:  "Special Collections Symposium for Smaller Libraries."  If you are interested to learning more about special collections management for smaller libraries, not sure where to start with your collections, or just want to network with colleagues, please join us for this virtual symposium!
  • Join the webinar: MHEC and your Library’s Subscription Management Service. This webinar will begin with an overview of the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) and navigating the website, followed by a WT Cox demonstration. Tues, July 21st: 3:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Preservation Trust of Vermont webinar: Sustainable Preservation. 7/30/2020, 9:00-12:00, $25. A three-hour session with top state experts on how to reduce the energy costs and carbon footprint of your non-profit or municipally-owned historic building. Learn the hows and whys of getting an energy audit, strategies and funding sources for efficiency upgrades, and basic and advanced techniques for weatherizing leaky windows, doors, attics and cellars. Presenters include the Preservation Trust of Vermont, Efficiency Vermont and NeighborWorks.

Community Updates

  • Submit a webinar proposal for ALA’s newest division, Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, which will begin on September 1, 2020. Early submissions are encouraged and will be considered for September and October presentations.
  • The Maryland State Library would like to invite you to join us for an event next Monday night. Ibram X. Kendi (How to be an Antiracist) and Dr. Charlene Dukes (Prince George's Community College) will have a discussion on antiracism. This program will be broadcast live on July 20 at 7pm. Register soon! This program is supported through IMLS.
  • Reuters has created an infographic to show the disparities between Black and White from cradle to grave.

Wellness

  • If you can’t tell by now, I am biased toward walking for mental and physical health.  A Neuroscientist considers it a superpower: ‘It’s a superpower’: how walking makes us healthier, happier and brainier.
  • And Scrambling just magnifies the benefits of walking! The Vermont Department of Libraries is a proud member of the Vermont Suffrage Centennial Alliance, working together to inform Vermonters of the history and outcomes of women’s suffrage and engage them in the ongoing quest for equal rights and citizenship.  The Alliance is partnering with Central Vermont Runners to present a virtual 5K event, the Suffrage Scramble, during the week of the primary, Saturday, August 8- Saturday, August 15th.  For this virtual event, participants choose their own course, pace and start time!

I hope you have a good weekend!
Janette

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Dear Library Community,
I hope your week has started out well. We continue to see a lot of exciting things happening  in our world of libraries. Here is today’s update:

State of Vermont

  • Governor Phil Scott announced actions several bills, passed by the Legislature. Bills of note that the Governor signed yesterday are:
    • S.219, An act relating to addressing racial bias and excessive use of force by law enforcement
    • S.338, An act relating to justice reinvestment
    • S.342, An act relating to temporary workers’ compensation amendments related to COVID-19

To view a complete list of action on bills passed during the 2020 legislative session, visit the Governor’s site.

  • Governor Phil Scott, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Vermont State Housing Authority and the Vermont State Housing Finance Agency today announced $30 million in housing assistance to those affected by COVID-19. These relief programs will be available starting Monday, July 13 through two different programs.
  • Governor Phil Scott announced that Vermont has joined 15 states and the District of Columbia in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to accelerate electrification of the medium- and heavy-duty bus and truck market. The agreement calls for 100% of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales to be zero emission vehicles by 2050.

VT Department of Libraries

  • A VTLIB reminder that it is time for our yearly open enrollment period for the courier service. If you are interested in having your library added to the Courier Service, please fill out the interest form by July 24, 2020.
  • The July 20th go-live date for our Beanstack Summer Reading platform is quickly approaching! This program is available, at no cost, to all Vermont public libraries and presents an exciting opportunity for you to connect to young readers and their families over the summer. Get the most out of the system by reviewing our training materials and joining us for one of several Q&A sessions.

Learning Opportunities

  • We are continually adding workshops and webinars to our schedule. Here are some highlights:
    • NEW! On 7/15 from 10 – 10:30 am, VTLIB is offering a Face Mask Campaign Info Session. Learn about the State of Vermont's educational campaign to encourage Vermonters to wear face masks, and the tools that can be used to promote the campaign in your community. Registration encouraged but not required.
    • VTLIB ALA Virtual Lightning Talks are this Thursday the 16th at 10-11:30AM. These are 5-minute reflections on a session or concept from ALA Virtual Conference shared by Vermont librarians whose attendance was made possible through LSTA funding. Join if you can for this wonderful opportunity to hear from your colleagues!
    • A reminder to submit your HR questions: On July 20th at 11 am,  UVM Extension's Gary Deziel and I will offer the webinar HR Issues in Vermont Libraries During COVID-19 . While you will be able to ask questions during the webinar, we wanted to give you a chance to anonymously ask sensitive ones ahead of time. Please submit your questions no later than 4:30 pm on Thursday, July 16, 2020.
  • A free Common Sense webinar “Tech in Support of Black Lives: Closing the Digital Divide and Shaping a Just Internet.” Wednesday, July 15th, 1pm. Free with registration required. Find more information and register here.

Community Updates and Resources

  • The Fair Housing Project of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) is offering a virtual discussion: “VT Rental Assistance Program and Eviction Moratorium Update” on July 17 at 12:30 pm. This discussion is part of CVOEO’s Fair Housing Friday series.
  • July 26, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the most sweeping piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted for people with disabilities. For legislation this historic, one day of celebration simply isn’t enough! NCSL and the State Exchange on Employment and Disability are partnering to commemorate this event witha weeklong celebration including a virtual meeting series (be sure to register!)and a clearinghouse of resources.
  • Poet Rajnii Eddins utilizes spoken word as a tool for engagement in conversations about race, culture, equity, and the richness to be found in each of our stories. Join the VT Humanities Council on Wednesday, July 15 at 7 pm for this digital event.
  • Summer is officially here. Normally, this would mean daily trips to the pool, summer camp, and afternoons spent at the local public library reading and participating in annual summer reading programs. Read about what summer will look like in Summer Reading Programs Reimagined
  • Independent Publishers of New England is proud to announce establishment of a grant to support independent publishers and authors who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. IPNE's Pandemic Grant Fund will provide grants of $500 in cash or, in some cases, in kind (publishing services offered) to qualified individuals.
  • ALA invites library workers to apply to be part of Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change, a pilot program to help public and academic libraries engage their communities in programs and conversations that address the climate change crisis. The project will fund in-person and virtual film screenings, community dialogues and related events based on local interest in 25 public and academic libraries, and it will provide instruction and support for the libraries to be centers for community education and support during extreme weather events. Apply by August 28, 2020.

Health and Wellness

Take care,
Janette

Thursday, July 10, 2020

Dear Library Community,
This update is getting to you a day early so we can share this exciting news with you:  The Beanstack Summer Reading Challenge 2020 is now officially set up and will go live to the public on July 20th! Look for the self-guided training materials Jonathan will be sending out tomorrow, along with a schedule for our virtual Q&A sessions which we will be offering all next week.

Here are your other updates:

State of Vermont

  • The Vermont State Ethics Commission was asked by the House and Senate Government Operations Committees to submit a draft code of ethics to be considered for statutory adoption in the next session. See S.198 and H.634. The Commission was asked to solicit public input before a finalized draft code of ethics is sent to the legislature in November. The Commission strongly urges written comments. It will, however, offer an opportunity for oral comments. At 10:00 a.m. on August 12, 2020, the Ethics Commission will hold a virtual public hearing regarding its draft proposal. Details will be posted on the Ethics Commission website soon.

Learning Opportunities

Community Updates and Resources

  • For those of you who have requested sneeze guards and hand sanitizer that VTLIB is making available through CARES Act funding: Please contact me if you have NOT received a message detailing logistics.
  • The REALM Project (Battelle study): Five plastic-based items were selected for the third round of Battelle lab testing to examine the length of time the COVID-19 virus may live on materials commonly used in archives, libraries, and museums. The study will begin Friday on items provided by Columbus Metropolitan Library; the National Archives and Records Administration; and the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, Library of Congress. Learn more on the REALM Project page.
  • New Financial Management Resource: Safeguarding and managing cash in your library is very important. In accounting lingo, the steps you take to protect the cash in your library are referred to as internal controls. Petty cash management, or minding the “cash box,” goes hand-in-hand with cash management concepts and procedures. Your reputation depends on managing money well. Gary Deziel, UVM Extension Assistant Professor, has created a six-page, easy-reading guide to both topics. You can find it, as well as all of his budget and HR management guides on his page, or you can follow this direct link.
  • WebJunction recently promoted a crowd-sourced collection of continuing education titles for library professionals titled Black Excellence in LIS Syllabus.
  • PLA has issued a Call to Action for Public Library Workers to Address Racism. In the statement PLA calls on public library workers to commit to structural change and to taking action to end systemic racism and injustice. Read more about the action steps you can take.
  • TechSoup's recent article "Nonprofit fundraising in the Age of Uncertainty" offers "five ways that nonprofit[s]... can survive these tough times and emerge with positive approaches to donor engagement and fundraising."

Health and Wellness

Stay cool over the next few days!

Best,
Janette

 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Dear Library Community,
I hope you enjoyed this holiday weekend. Here is your Tuesday update:

State and Federal Updates

Educational Opportunities

  • From VTLIB:
    • 7/9: NNLM Health Literacy Workshop: National Institute of Health Basics (10:00-11:30)
    • 7/16: ALA Virtual Conference Lightning Talk Reflections (10:00am-11:30am)
    • 7/20: HR Issues in Vermont Libraries During COVID-19 (11:00am-12:00pm)
    • 7/23: NNLM Guest Speaker: Mary Grace Flaherty (10:00am-11:30am)
    • 8/6: NNLM Program: Library Resources and Programming in the New Landscape of Vermont Cannabis Laws (10:00am-11:30am)
    • 8/13: NNLM Program: Libraries and Dementia Services (10:00am-11:30am)
  • There are still seats available for this week's free webinar 2020 Census: Last Chance for a Complete Count!. Participants in this webinar will learn how the Census Bureau, libraries, and community partners have adapted their operations and outreach in response to COVID-19, and how libraries can support a complete count before the Census ends in October.
  • The Supervisor Success Committee of ALA’s Learning Round Table created a collection of self-paced training modules to equip supervisors with core skills that help them effectively meet day-to-day challenges, achieve results, and build a more positive, effective workplace and environment. The content is applicable to a range of audiences and can be accessed here.
  • Tennessee State Library and Archives is pleased to host a webinar Thursday, July 9th at 3pm on Tackling Racism in Classic Children's Literature with Klem-Marí Cajigas and Lindsey Patrick-Wright. We all know that there are outdated and racist classics on our shelves. How do we hold fast to intellectual freedom while solidifying our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness? Nashville Public Library spent a year asking that question and the resulting work can be replicated by other libraries seeking to apply an anti-racist lens to their collections.

Community Updates and Resources

  • VTLIB will, again, be offering movie licenses to public libraries for 2020-2021. There is even an option to show movies outside for a limited time. To learn more about this year’s program, including outdoor showings. License sign-ups and stats for 2019-2020 are due by July 17, 2020 at 5:00pm.
  • Join PLA's Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice (EDISJ) for another live Twitter chat on Wednesday, August 5 from 1–2:00 p.m. The discussion will focus on creating inclusive communities. To participate, simply follow PLA on Twitter (@ALA_PLA) and log in at 1pm ET on August 5. The EDISJ Task Force will post introductions and discussion questions to get things started. To join the conversation, tweet using the hashtags #chatPLA and #inclusion.
  • The VT League of Women Voters and Front Porch Forum made this flyer on early voting available for distribution.  Please post as widely as you can.
  • The ALA division Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies’ (ASGCLA) Accessibility Assembly has released two new toolkits, Accessible Communication Styles, and Virtual Accessibility. These new topics are part of the Library Accessibility Toolkits: What You Need to Know series.
  • With support from the Network of the National Library of Medicine, SciStarter is collaborating with libraries to co-host virtual events to engage patrons in citizen science, to hear first-hand from project leaders, to learn about related programs and recommended reading and more. The new summer series will help keep students, adults, and families engaged with reading and research to prevent learning loss (also known as the “summer slide”). 
  • ALA and Capital One invites rural libraries to apply for Community Connect: Digital Access at Home grants. This new grant opportunity for rural public libraries will support digital access and financial capability for 20 communities nationwide. Applications will be accepted from July 6 to August 26, 2020.
  • An important read from the School Library Journal, not just for school and youth services librarians: Little House, Big Problem: What To Do with “Classic” Books That Are Also Racist

Health and Wellness

Wishing you a great week,
Janette

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Dear Library Community,

You are receiving tomorrow’s update now as we are observing the holiday tomorrow. I’d like to start by thanking all of you who have submitted your library status update to us already. The information you provide helps the library community, as well as other stakeholders, to get a sense for the current landscape and serves as an important component in their own decision making. You can view the results here. We encourage libraries who have not submitted to share their information, no matter the level of services that they currently offer: https://bit.ly/vtlib_covidstatus. If you’ve already reported and have small changes, please email them to Joshua Muse.

VTLIB and State of Vermont

  • Library Statistics - We have updated some of the guidance for tracking stats for the annual report. The biggest takeaways involve tracking weeks and hours open, separating in-building from curbside visits, and tracking in-person/virtual/recorded programming.
  • Vermont organizations who have suffered revenue loss due to the Covid-19 crisis can receive funding through the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. The support was announced this week with the passage of Vermont’s H.966 legislation that outlines the state’s use of funds received from the Federal CARES Act. ACCD and the Dept. of Taxes will host webinars on July 3 to explain the process and to answer questions.

Educational Opportunities

  • Upcoming VTLIB offerings (website will have full details and registration links by the end of today:)
    • Tuesday, 7/7, 10:00-11:00am: Collaborative Work Session: Websites & Tech Issues
    • Thursday, 7/16, 10:00-11:30am: ALA Virtual Conference Lightning Talk Reflections
    • Monday, July 20th, 11:00am -12:00pm: HR Issues in Vermont Libraries during COVID-19, Gary Deziel and Janette Shaffer, presenters

Community Resources and Updates

  • The Vermont Library Association’s John Swan Memorial Lecture recording is now available for viewing.
  • The Local Support and Community Action Team of the Governor's Economic Recovery Task Force is launching a series of virtual forums, facilitated by the Vermont Council on Rural Development, in every county across the state. Each forum will consist of a brief opening session followed by four 90-minute breakout sessions into topics chosen by regional leaders and representatives and conclude with a short closing session and share out. All are welcome and encouraged to participate in their county's forum; registration is required.
  • Join EveryLibrary online from September 14-16, 2020 to meet some of the most advanced political strategists and tacticians from within the library industry and beyond. Explore how to navigate the world of politics and build voter support for library funding. Conference topics will include outreach, donor research, grants, legislation, coalition building, digital tactics, and marketing.
  • Last month, the Vermont Community Foundation announced a graduation gift to the entire Vermont high school class of 2020 of one free course of their choosing at the Community College of Vermont this fall. Enrollment is open through Sept. 4
  • Public Libraries magazine is going digital for the July/August and September/October 2020 issues. Instead of a paper issue, PLA will produce and email an easy-to-access digital flipbook and PDF version to all PLA members and magazine subscribers.
  • The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply to be part of Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change, a pilot program to help public and academic libraries engage their communities in programs and conversations that address the climate change crisis. Applications will be accepted from July 1 to August 28, 2020.
  • ALA is embarking on a virtual tour across the middle of the country to highlight the innovation and impact of a diverse range of libraries and engages stakeholders to advocate for libraries and the communities they serve. Read more about the Holding Space: A national conversation series with libraries tour.
  • We’ve been hearing stories about librarians as contract tracers. Here is a story on NPR and a slightly different angle on Marketplace Morning.#LibrariansToTheRescue #EverydayHeroes #MadSkills

Health and Wellness

All of us at the Vermont Department of Libraries wish you a restful 4th of July holiday weekend.

Best,
Janette

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Happy Tuesday! Lots of updates to share with you today:

State and Federal Updates

Learning Opportunities

Community Updates and Resources

  • A recent REALM project (Battelle study) update: Test set 2 announced, compilation of reopening references released.
  • The Vermont Arts Council announced that nine Vermont organizations will receive grants totaling $972,800 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) through its second round of funding.
  • The Vermont Arts Council also just published “Vermont's Creative Sector: A Resource Guide for Covid-19 Reopening and Recovery.”
  • The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)published this comprehensive Reopening: Guidance for Libraries document.
  • PLA has a suite of tools available to help make the case for your library in your community. Download customizable templates to use with local decision makers (Word doc), the broader community (Word doc), as well as tips for successful messaging (Word doc) and a guide to writing letters to the editor (Word doc). Find more information on how community leaders can work with libraries to support local response, recovery, and resilience, here.
  • If you missed the town hall with Rep. Peter Welch last week, you can listen on his Youtube Channel.
  • Comcast announced that it will continue to provide 60 days of free Internet service to new, eligible Internet Essentialscustomers. Originally set to expire on June 30, the free offer will now be available through the end of this year. Comcast will also continue to waive the requirement that customers not have a past due balance with Comcast to qualify for the free offer. You can find other offers and options from a wide range of internet providers on the Department of Public Service's page.
  • Vermont’s own Katherine Paterson shared her short story “William and the Mysterious Brame” and activity kit for families and educators as a free download.
  • The Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services is holding its first annual Book Bike Week Monday, August 3 to Friday, August 7 featuring book bike programs from across the United States (and the world!), showcasing book bike pictures, videos, and news articles on the ABOS Facebook page.
  • The School Library Journal’s TeenLive is hosting a free virtual event August 5, 2020. The theme is "Our Voice, Our Time." The event will have author panels, library programming sessions and a great lineup of keynote speakers.
  • Music Corner Story Time Listen, Listen is a social media project that uses music-themed children's books and other stories shared by professional musicians and music educators to inspire, educate, and transform people of all ages and to promote diversity, acceptance, and cultural understanding. Virtual programming you can share but don't have to create yourself!
  • Amigos Library Services is inviting proposals for their September 23, 2020 conference “Like the Ceiling Can't Hold Us: Sharing Innovations in Libraries.” Share your innovations in reference, technology, and programming. Presenters get to attend the conference for free. The proposal deadline is July 15.
  • The Wisconsin Historical Society partnered with local artists to create a set of stunning PSA-style COVID-19 posters. They also have an online toolkit for creating your own posters.

Health and Wellness

Hope you’re having a good week.

Best,
Janette

Monday, June 29, 2020

Dear Library Community,
My apologies for sending Friday’s update today. We’d like to start this update by introducing our newest resource page Racial and Social Justice Resources, a collection of Vermont-based organizations and projects, history resources, educational tools, and booklists. As this is a work in progress, we appreciate your suggestions on making this page more comprehensive.

State of Vermont and VTLIB

  • Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Department of Labor announced changes to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program that will reduce employers’ UI tax rates and increase the maximum weekly benefit amount for UI claimants.
  • Governor Phil Scott and State Librarian Jason Broughton urged Vermonters to complete the 2020 Census in Wednesday’s media briefing. Getting an accurate count of Vermont residents is critical to helping ensure we get federal funds allocated in part on population and demographics – funding needed for infrastructure, school lunches, hospitals and more. Go to 2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020.
  • VTLIB has launched a resource for public libraries to share their current services and reopening status. With all that is in flux right now, we wanted a centralized, ongoing way to share what everyone is doing throughout the state. Please keep your library community in the loop on any service changes using the questionnaire.
  • If you are not currently on the courier and are interested in having your library added to the Courier Service, please fill out the interest form available here (deadline is July 24, 2020). Filling out this form does not guarantee that your library will be added to the courier service.
  • The Vermont Historical Society (VHS) announced that it received one of the 317 CARES Act economic stabilization grants funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the project “Preserving and Expanding Access to Vermont’s History.” The $133,512 award will retain eight staff members working to produce digital records for online access to VHS’s museum and library collections.
  • We shared with you on Tuesday that the first findings released by the REALM study this week, determined that “the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 is not detectable on five common library materials after three days.” At the same time, we were alerted to ACCD guidance for senior centers (p 9) also recommending a three-day quarantine period for books. This guidance was established by State Epidemiologist for Infectious Disease Patsy Kelso.
  • And speaking of the REALM study,  the Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the receipt of a $1,500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support materials research for collections care and the reopening of libraries and museums during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning Opportunities

Community Updates and Resources

  • On Tuesday, ALA issued a statement affirming the rights of transgender people: “The American Library Association (ALA), and particularly its Rainbow Round Table, unequivocally and emphatically stands in solidarity with its transgender staff and members, transgender library workers, transgender library users, transgender authors, and the transgender members of the communities we serve.” Read more
  • Watch a recent talk by Dr. Gretchen Sorin on her book Driving While Black, held by the Piscataway Library in New Jersey. The book focuses on African American travel, especially the well-known Green Book travel guide. There's also a brief preview of the upcoming documentary by Ric Burns and Emir Lewis.
  • The New York Public Library announces the launch of a new self-paced early literacy training, Raising the Bar: Integrating Early Childhood Development into Librarian Professional Development. This free training expands on the work of our train-the-trainer materials to offer a comprehensive, self-guided, individual learning experience. Developed for librarians of all experience levels, this self-paced training can be completed at any time and in any place.
  • YALSA seeks article proposals for its journal, Young Adult Library Services (YALS)'s Fall 2020 issue, themed Trauma Informed Teen Services. This issue will inform readers of trauma-informed teen services, practices, and approaches from various disciplines and experiences that include all types of trauma, including most recently COVID-19, and beyond. Learn more, and submit by June 30.

Health and Wellness

Have a good week.
Janette

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Tomorrow is the start of ALA Virtual, the American Library Association’s annual conference. We’re very excited about this, because we are able to support participation—for a conference that is often out of reach—for 17 librarians from all over the state and from all types of libraries. This year we allocated much of our LSTA CE funding to more of you to attend virtual conferences and CE opportunities. We plan a panel presentation in mid-July to hear from participants about their experiences. Stay tuned!

State and Federal Updates

  • On Friday, we announced that Congressman Peter Welch is holding a virtual town hall for all Vermont librarians this week, but we made a mistake on the day. This event is happening on Wednesday, June 24 at 10 am. The event, co-hosted by State Librarian Jason Broughton and VLA President Kevin Unrath and moderated by Jason, will feature remarks by Rep. Welch, brief updates from selected representatives of diverse Vermont libraries, and an opportunity for you to ask questions. Register here.
  • At a press conference Friday, Governor Phil Scott was joined by the State’s Executive Director of Racial Equity Xusana Davis and Representative Kevin ‘Coach’ Christie, chair of the Human Rights Commission, to mark Juneteenth, which "marks the release of many of the last enslaved people held under our nation’s brutal slavery system". Governor Scott also proclaimed it Juneteenth Recognition Day in Vermont.
  • A reminder that ACCD issued new guidance on Friday that affects libraries. We highly encourage you to read the entire update. The areas that most impact libraries are within the Mandatory Health & Safety Requirements and Section 8.4 Indoor Arts, Culture and Entertainment.
  • Governor Phil Scott signed new legislation strengthening Vermont’s captive insurance laws, increasing efficiencies while adding flexibility to regulatory policy and procedures. This year’s bill again highlights the continued collaboration between Vermont’s executive and legislative branches to ensure the state’s captive law remains the industry benchmark.

Learning Opportunities

  • Free PLA Webinar: 2020 Census: Last Chance for a Complete Count Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 2 pm Register here.
  • On Wednesday, June 24 at 7:00 pm, the Vermont Humanities Council hosts Jarvis Green, producing artistic director at JAG Productions, for a discussion with poet Major Jackson, choreographer Felicia Swoope, and writer Desmond Peeples about being Black culture bearers in Vermont during this time of protest and pandemic.
  • Join VLCT and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development for a Stay Home, Stay Safe Q&A For Municipalities on June 29, 2020 at 2pm. This weekly question and answer webinar with Deputy Secretary Ted Brady is an opportunity for municipalities to ask questions and learn more about best practices, new tools, and resources to help cities and towns navigate these difficult times.
  • The Denver Public Library invites you to a virtual three-day “Advancing Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace Symposium” that will take place July 8th-10th from 12 - 6:00pm ET.
  • Join the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table for an Afternoon of Social Justice. This free virtual event features librarians and scholars as they present on a variety of topics including Native American treaty rights, democracy in the time of COVID, and women activism and libraries. June 29th, 12:00pm – 4:30pm

Community Updates and Resources

  • The REALM Project (Battelle study) phase 1 research results, issued yesterday, show that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was not detectable on the materials after three days of quarantine. Read more here.
  • Hear State Librarian Jason Broughton along with his Census Colleagues in VPR’s Vermont Edition show Census 2020: Vermont's Low Response Rate & Counting Amid A Pandemic
  • The Moore Free Library in Newfane has been awarded a two year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to fund a Community Memory project. This funding will support the creation of a digital archive of stories, reminiscences, quips and thoughts by and about community members from Newfane, Williamsville, South Newfane and Brookline, past and present. Congratulations!
  • The Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services has several monetary award and travel grant opportunities. These are open to librarians working in bookmobiles and outreach services; submissions are due August 1st.
  • The application deadline is July 15th for the 2020 Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize. All U.S. public libraries are eligible to apply. The prize is awarded to one public library that is "transforming its community in groundbreaking ways." Prize includes $250,000, a cover story in Library Journal, and a gala celebration.

Health and Wellness

Stay cool,
Janette

Friday, June 19, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Today, on the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, black museums and historical institutions in the US will launch BLKFREEDOM.org, a digital commemoration of the day. The website will air an original video featuring appearances by Lonnie G. Bunch III, the first African American and first historian to serve as the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as Dr. Johnetta Betsch Cole, anthropologist, educator, museum director and the first female African-American president of Spelman College, and the Honorable Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library. The video premiere is today at 12PM ET, but you can also watch it later. Catch this video, as well as spoken word, dance and music performances, story times, and virtual tours on their interactive website.

State of Vermont

  • Governor Phil Scott announced several measures to gradually ease restrictions on Vermonters in long-term care facilities or in hospitals and those over the age of 65.
  • Vermont has received a $2 million federal emergency grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for expanded services and supports. The funding will help ensure that people with mental health and substance use disorders can access care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning Opportunities

  • ALA changed the name of the Library Director Bootcamp to “Library Director Crash Course” after we sent out the application to apply for VTLIB funding to attend. The workshops are still at the same times and content, and the VTLIB application process is the same. Visit our program page for updated information.
  • Other VTLIB Educational Opportunities
  • Certain types of personal information are legally confidential, including medical information. According to the CDC, COVID-19 is especially dangerous to people the age of 65 and older, and those with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. As you work to provide expanded services to your communities over time, you may be learning new things about the health status of employees, volunteers, and trustees you work with. Gary Deziel, UVM Extension Community Development Specialist, writes about confidentiality in the workplace in a new Vermont public library “HR Minute”.
  • Join PLA's Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice (EDISJ) for their first live Twitter chat on Wednesday, July 1 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST. The discussion will focus on EDISJ in the library workforce and will aim to help library staff understand the interplay of EDISJ principles in workforce development and re-examine systems and policies to expose issues of inequity and injustice.

Community Updates and Resources

  • The REALM Project has released the report, “Systematic Literature Review of SARS-CoV-2: Spread, Environmental Attenuation, Prevention, and Decontamination,” prepared by Battelle. This is an in-depth review of published literature on virus attenuation on commonly-found materials that can inform discussion and decisions about operations in archives, libraries, and museums. For more information on this first round of testing and other activities (including the report itself), visit the “Happening Now” project update page. For more on the scope, timeline, and committees involved with #REALMproject, visit oc.lc/realm-project
  • PLA members have access to an advanced copy of the article "Reopening Under COVID-19: A Space Planning Approach" by David Vinjamuri and Joe Huberty, featured in the upcoming May/June 2020 issue of Public Libraries magazine.
  • On Sunday, June 21 at 3:00 pm, Vermont Humanities is hosting Juneteenth in the Air with the Clemmons Family Farm, an interactive online event of Juneteenth history and storytelling, including an aerial performance. Guests will include Professor Bill Hart, aerialist Ella, and Mrs. Lydia Clemmons (Senior).
  • ALA Book Award Celebration June 28th: The American Library Association (ALA) is offering an exciting, new, free all-day virtual event celebrating the winners of several of its major book awards, including the esteemed Newbery and Caldecott medals, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, the Printz Award, and the Stonewall youth and adult Book Awards.
  • Listen Up Vermont - Overdrive has made Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow (audiobook) and Layla F. Saad's Me and White Supremacy (ebook) freely available to users for 30 days -
  • RBdigitalThe New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is on the core list of audiobooks, which means that it’s always available without holds or limits.
  • Looking for creative, insightful, and emotionally-intelligent ways to ask patrons to wear masks in the library? Check out The Big Mask Ask, which includes instructions for how to create customizable posters of your staff wearing masks.

Wellness and Health

  • The Detroit Public Library is partnering with the All of Us Research Program at Wayne State University’s Shiffman Medical Library on Well-being for All of Us: Virtual Book Club beginning on June 3. This free book club is designed for adult readers. The book is available for free on Hoopla as both an eBook and an audio book, which the author reads herself. Learn more here.
  • Hot weather safety tips and information are available from the Department of Health.

Leaving you with an idea for “an unusually unruly library in Virginia, [where] there’s food everywhere and droppings on the floor. Sometimes, visitors stand on the reception desk and squabble with abandon.” Curious? Read about The Library-Themed Livestream for Birdwatchers.

Have a good weekend!
Janette

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Dear Library Community,
I'd like to open this update by promoting a new portal published by The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC: Talking About Race, as it offers resources to help parents, teachers, caregivers, and the general public have conversations about race.

State of Vermont

  • Governor Phil Scott signed an executive order to update and extend the State of Emergency in Vermont to July 15. The latest order reflects all current re-openings and eased restrictions, which have been underway since late April to account for the State’s low case counts and continued slow growth rate.
  • Governor Phil Scott signed new legislation strengthening Vermont’s captive insurance laws, increasing efficiencies while adding flexibility to regulatory policy and procedures. This year’s bill again highlights the continued collaboration between Vermont’s executive and legislative branches to ensure the state’s captive law remains the industry benchmark.

Learning Opportunities

Community Resources and Updates

Health and Wellness

Leaving you with a great video from the Bennington Free Library: Let's All Work Together (Caution: Earworm material!)

Best,
Janette

Friday, June 12, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Today, June 12, is Loving Day—a celebration marking the day the Supreme Court struck down state bans against interracial marriage. Fifty-three years later we are witnessing more history in the making.  #lovewins  #hope

State of Vermont and Federal Updates

Learning Resources

Community Updates and Resources

Self-Care

  • Why not relax a little while also brushing up on your Pride Month history knowledge? Join Sewickley (PA) Public Library’s Pride Month History Quiz! Runs Monday (9 am) to Friday (4 PM).
  • Start next week with the Boccaccio Project which is being launched by the Library of Congress on Monday. The project consists of a Series of Musical Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Wishing you a restful weekend,
Janette

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Here is your update for a chilly spring Tuesday.

State of Vermont

  • Governor Phil Scott announced the opening of the application for appointment as the public member to the Racial Equity Task Force. The Task Force will be chaired by the State’s Executive Director of Racial Equity Xusana Davis and include up to seven additional members, including one member of the public. Those interested in appointment for the public member position should complete the application and submit it via email to exe.appointments@vermont.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 12.
  • The State of Vermont’s Racial Equity Advisory Panel has published this list of ways to get involved with equity work. This guide was compiled with focus on those who wish to serve as allies and are looking for basic guidance on how to understand and approach this work. Please share.
  • Governor Phil Scott announced on Friday that he has appointed Michael Harrington as commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. Harrington has been serving as interim commissioner of the Department of Labor since September 2019. 

Learning Opportunities

Community Updates and Opportunities

  • VTLIB Board of Trustees member, Bruce Post, is this month’s question-asker on Brave Little State. Give the episode Is Vermont Really So Expensive? a listen! We love our library celebrities!
  • The ARSL Conference Committee Chairs and members of the ARSL Board recently met to discuss options for holding the ARSL 2020 Conference and decided to hold the conference virtually. Details about #ARSL2020 will be available on the conference page soon.
  • Free Screen Sharing in Windows - If you're looking for a way to help patrons while distancing, the free screen sharing program that comes with Windows 10 might provide a solution. Check it out.
  • The School Library Journal’s piece “COVID-19 Is an Opportunity to Rethink Youth Librarianship | Reimagining Libraries” marks the launch of a series of articles and virtual engagement opportunities that will help the library community answer questions.
  • WebJunction just published an article titled "Thinking Outside: Libraries and Placemaking in Pandemic Times" that explores innovative ideas for libraries to move their programming and services outside their traditional library spaces (both now for Summer Reading Programming and in the future).
  • The NBC News story titled “Reading as resistance? The rise of the anti-racist book list” discusses how Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be An Antiracist," Ijeoma Oluo's "So You Want to Talk About Race" and other anti-racist texts are selling out at major bookstores.

Health and Wellness

And if you don’t have time to get out, this little music video, produced by the Nashville Public Library, might give you a little boost: “Curbside Baby.”

Best,
Janette

Friday, June 5, 2020

Dear Library Community,
In examining the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic, while also witnessing the fight for racial justice gain momentum, I must admit that it is difficult to send this update as though it is business as usual. So with the acknowledgement that it is not business as usual, we will include resources on social and racial justice in these updates on a regular basis.

State of Vermont

IMLS

  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 22 grants to museums totaling $2,731,000 through the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) program, generating an additional $2,584,312 in matching funds. Fifty-eight organizations requested grants totaling $8,226,629.
  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 21 grants totaling $1,772,000 to support Indian tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians.

Learning and Educational Opportunities

Community Resources

  • VTLIB updated its Booklists and Resources Addressing Race and Social Justice yesterday. This is a work in progress – please send any suggestions to jonathan.l.clark@vermont.gov
  • The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is producing a series of briefing papers that support institutions committed to achieving racial equity. This paper provides a framework for implementation by highlighting strategies public libraries are using to advance equity.
  • State Librarian Jason Broughton participated in meetings with the Local Support and Community Action Team to identify key priorities to move VT forward towards recovery. This week, the group released its Interim Report to the Governor on recommendations for social and economic recovery. See the report for detailed preliminary recommendations around housing, child care, local food access, business support and recovery, broadband, and more as well as a list of next stage action steps to drive them forward. 
  • The School Library Journal’s Day of Dialog opening talk by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, co-authors of "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You" (Little, Brown), is now available.
  • The results of the ALA "Libraries Respond: COVID-19 Survey" are in! Read the latest press release, and learn more about the survey and view the full set of questions here.
  • Did you know that if you use MHEC (Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium) for discounts on purchasing, you can find vendors who are minority, women, or veteran-owned? The site lists the SDO (Supplier Diversity Office) certifications for every vendor. Once you login to the MHEC site, click the following links to find the full list and their specific certifications: Diverse Vendors By Contract or Diverse Vendors By Vendor
    If you haven't signed up for MHEC yet, or have questions, go to our MHEC page. https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/MHEC
  • NOFA launched their newsletter “News from the Farm” which features updates, activities, and seasonal recipes.

Health and Wellness

  • Check out Come Alive Outside whose mission is to “get people off the couch and back outside.” They offer several programs such as the 100 miles in 100 days, or the children’s passport that allows elementary students to earn points for outdoor activities. Supported by the Vermont Department of Health.
  • Self-care is often something that falls to the bottom of the list of things that need our attention. Here are some tips on how to reintegrate self-care into your life.

Have a restful and safe weekend.
Janette

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Dear Library Community,
It is important to start this update with  Governor Scott's statement condemning the violent death of George Floyd and acknowledging that Vermont is not immune to the systemic racism that is built into our social and economic systems. “For many people today, every time something like this happens, it’s another reminder of how long communities of color have been waiting for equity, and how little things have changed,” said Governor Scott. He announced the launch of a Racial Equity Task Force as a “component of a broader state effort to promote racial, ethnic and cultural equity, including in its response to COVID-19.”

The outrage our fellow citizens are feeling right now is a reminder of the role each of us has in recognizing and combating the inequity Black and Brown Americans face daily.

Additional Statements from our Library Colleagues:

*****

Updates:

State of Vermont

  • Governor Scott and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced a restart plan for resuming driver’s license tests and a new service for Vermonters to receive their learner’s permit online as the State begins limited resumption of services paused due to COVID-19.

VTLIB

  • Last week, we celebrated 27 of your colleagues who earned the Certificate of Public Librarianship—the largest cohort in a decade. Watch this video to see who they are and where they’re from. Congratulations to all!
  • June is Pride Month! In addition to ongoing social media features of Vermont LGBTQ+ resources and historical artifacts (from the Vermont Historical Society), we have two events scheduled:
    • 6/16: LGBTQ+ Best Practices Training with Pride Center of VT - Webinar (2:30-4:30pm)
    • 6/30: LGBTQ+ Identities and the Library: A Panel with the Vermont Library Association and Vermont School Library Association (Virtual Panel: Time and registration TBA)
  • We are hearing that many of you are facing budget cuts. To help you navigate this situation, VTLIB, along with our UVM Extension partner Gary Diezel, created Considerations and Guidance for Responding to Budget Cuts. This is a work in progress and will evolve as the State’s financial situation evolves. We welcome your feedback.
  • Join Jennifer Johnson in her workshop on 6/4: Using Canva to Create Accessible Graphics for Your Library - Webinar (10:00am-12:00pm)

Community Resources and Updates

  • Join the Vermont Humanities Council on Wednesday night, June 3 at 7 pm for a pre-recorded, audio only with slides talk titled “The Surprising History of Common Vegetables” by science and history writer (and esteemed VTLIB collaborator) Rebecca Rupp. Visit the Vermont Humanities Facebook page or their website, www.vermonthumanities.org, to join in!
  • This month’s PLA e-news is packed with helpful news, CE opportunities, and resources for public libraries. Check it out!
  • A reminder that the 2020 CSLP Teen Video Challenge is happening NOW! Please share this program with the teens in your community.
  • This July, the Climate Reality Project and former Vice President Al Gore will host their first-ever virtual climate advocacy training. Learn more.
  • The Crisis Prevention Institute offers its Top 10 De-Escalation Tips. These tips provide guidance and advice as you work with your communities on challenging topics both now and in the future (including helping community members and stakeholders follow the guidelines and requirements in your reopening plans).
  • Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) offers Tips For Talking To Your Kids About Social Justice (PDF).
  • The School Library Journal article A Diversity & Cultural Literacy Toolkit features a list of recommended resources used in trainings and workshops on diversity and cultural literacy for librarians.

Health & Wellness

Have a good rest of your week.
Janette

Friday, May 29, 2020

Dear Library Community,
We’d like to start by alerting you that we have more clarity now on what level of operations are permitted per today’s update in the ACCD’s Update on New Work Safe Additions to the Be Smart, Stay Safe Order. Here are the applicable updates:

8.4 Indoor Arts, Culture and Entertainment (Effective 6/1)

  • Libraries, galleries, museums, theaters and other indoor arts, culture and entertainment organizations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet; or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater. Operators must post their temporary occupancy limit, and which method was used to determine it, prominently on all entrances. Posting templates are available at accd.vermont.gov.
  • Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred.
  • Curbside pickup remains the preferred method of operation. When possible, organizations should take steps to schedule or stage customer visits, such as waiting in cars or outside, to ensure lower contact operations.
  • Organizations should close or remove high touch entertainment features, including arcades and playgrounds.

VTLIB interprets this to read that libraries MAY open as long as they can meet the occupancy limit, as well as safety and signage requirements, but that curbside pickup remains the preferred method of operation. We hope that this helps you decide how to proceed at this point. You should still consider drafting an opening plan if you haven’t already (written opening plans are required by the State for libraries with a staff of 10+).

Other State of Vermont Updates

  • Governor Phil Scott and Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) Commissioner Michael Pieciak announced on 5/28 the approval of a premium relief plan submitted by Northeast Delta Dental, Vermont’s largest provider of dental benefits. In total, $2.89 million in premium relief will be provided to approximately 70,000 Vermonters after the suspension of most dental services due to COVID-19.

Learning Opportunities

  • VTLIB Opportunities
    • Reminder, application deadline June 5th, 3pm: The Vermont Department of Libraries is offering the opportunity to attend the ALA Virtual Conference June 24 – 26, 2020 to Vermont public, academic and school librarians. Visit our ALA Virtual guidelines page for details and application information. This opportunity is made possible through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
    • Find details and links to registration for the following here
      https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/continuing_ed:
      • 6/4: Using Canva to Create Accessible Graphics for Your Library
      • 6/16: LGBTQ+ Best Practices Training with Pride Center of Vermont
  • Vermont Early Childhood Forum on Mental Health: Tools for Professionals to Support Children through Transitions During the Coronavirus Crisis Thursday, June 4, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Hosted by Building Bright Futures in partnership with the Vermont Department of Mental Health The upcoming Early Childhood Forum on Mental Health will feature a panel of mental health experts and include resources on stress and trauma in children, how to create workforce well-being for providers, steps programs can take to support children and families through transitions, stories, and a Q&A period. You may submit a question in advance and register online.
  • EveryLibrary Institute is offering this recorded on-demand access to their webinar with PEN America and The EveryLibrary Institute for two-part media literacy training for library educators now available on demand until June 12th!
  • SUNYLA 2020 – The Heart of the Campus: Accessible, Inclusive, & Inspiring Libraries Please join the SUNYLA annual conference taking place virtually June 17-18, 2020. This year’s  conference will focus on how libraries create and sustain an accessible, inclusive, and inspiring learning environment that exceeds user expectations. Registration will close June 12.

Community Resources

  • Gary Deziel, our UVM Extension Office partner, just posted another HR Minute that might help you with the The Human Side of Returning to Work
  • The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to partner with the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) to distribute 6,000 women’s suffrage youth book sets to libraries across the country. Public and school libraries are encouraged to apply for the book sets by June 15, 2020.
  • Emily Oster professor at Brown University, and bestselling author and Galit Alter, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School have recently launched the site “Covid Explained” to offer unbiased COVID-19 facts.
  • The VT Arts Council hosted a Q&A with Dr. Patsy Kelso, State Epidemiologist for Infectious Diseases at the Vermont Department of Health who offered expertise, responded to questions, and shared recommendations for Vermont's arts and cultural sector. Much of the information she shared is applicable to libraries. Access a recording of the Q&A here.
  • The water specialists, fisheries biologists, and watershed scientists of UVM’s Lake Champlain Sea Grant (LCSG) have turned their attention to reaching out to kids who don’t have easy access to Internet or are otherwise interested by creating the Watershed Explorers Program. The Watershed Explorers program is designed to be an asynchronous learning experience – using a printed Watershed Explorers booklet -- for MIDDLE-SCHOOL children and their families to engage in at their home or within their neighborhood.  LCSG is asking libraries for help with the following:
    • Distribution of the booklet and market it however they see fit.
    • a letter with in-kind match (how much time in staff effort to market, do any programming they choose, and distribute the book).

    LCSG has a very tight window of opportunity for funding for the Watershed Explorers – if you are interested, please email Ashley Eaton, Watershed and Lake Education Coordinator, LCSG, now!

Health and Wellness

Wishing you a restful weekend!

Stay well,
Janette

Tuesday, May 27, 2020

Dear Library Community,
I hope you had a restful holiday weekend. Here is your update for Tuesday:

State of Vermont

Learning Opportunities

  • VTLIB Webinar: Using Canva to Create Accessible Graphics for Your Library 6/4 10:00am-12:00pm
  • The 2020 John Swan Memorial Lecture will be offered online this year on Thursday, June 4th at 4pm via GoToMeeting:  Alison Macrina, from the Library Freedom Project will deliver a lecture titled “PRIVACY and the INTERNET OF THINGS”. Register here.
  • Join NSLA for a Virtual Summer Learning Press Conference on May 27th at 11 AM (ET) for “When Schools Close...Harnessing the Power of Summer for America's Students,” a virtual press conference where leaders from across the country will come together to discuss the state of summertime experiences in America, summer solutions emerging in this pandemic, along with recommendations for the investments and policies needed to improve conditions for children and families during this COVID-19 summer and beyond. Registration required.
  • We previously sent you the recorded DEMCO webinar titled "COVID-19 Safety Tips for Reopening Your Library" by pediatrician and librarian Dr. Dipesh Navsaria. DEMCO has now posted COVID-19 & Libraries: Your Questions Answered, a detailed Q&A with Dr. Navsaria answering questions asked by librarians as they plan to reopen.
  • The American Library Association (ALA) and ARSL have extended the application deadline to May 29 for Libraries Transforming Communities: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries, a one-day facilitation / community engagement workshop at ARSL 2020. Recipients will receive full conference registration and $1,000 travel stipend.

Community Resources

Health and Wellness Resources

  • As many of you are probably multitasking more than ever in the last few months, some of you might be experiencing an elevated need for perfectionism. The Forbes article How to stop Perfectionism from Ruining your Life offers some tips on how to counter it.
  • NOFA is working to provide free seeds to Vermonters experiencing a lost job, facing food insecurity or wanting to expand their gardens to help community members in these situations. Read more here.

Enjoy this warm late spring day!
Janette

Friday, May 22, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Happy Friday! Here is your (admittedly rather lengthy) resource update:

State and Federal Updates

Learning Opportunities

  • There’s still time to apply for funding to attend the ALA Virtual Conference June 24 – 26, 2020. Funding is offered by VTLIB through IMLS. Visit our ALA Virtual guidelines pagefor details and application information. The application deadline is 3pm on June 5, 2020.
  • VTLIB continues to offer continuing education opportunities. Details and links to registration can be found on our CE Page.
    • Virtual Meet-Ups Every Friday in May 1-2pm
    • 6/4: Using Canva to Create Accessible Graphics for Your Library
    • 6/16: LGBTQ+ Best Practices Training with Pride Center of Vermont
  • Free indie eBook webinar: Lowering Cost Per Circulation and Supporting Local Authors with Indie Author Project Select on cloudLibrary Wednesday, May 27th at 2:00 PM ET. This free webinar will go over how this model is drastically lowering cost per circulation number for libraries of all sizes, why indie authors are excited about the program, and what participating libraries have to say about their experience so far.
  • PLA webinar: Equal Access for Every Ability Tuesday, June 2, 2:00-3:00 ET.
    Fee: ranges from $43-$59, depending on ALA/PLA membership, Group rate: $129.
  • NNLM webinar: Providing Library Senior Services in a COVID-19 World. Jun 17, 2020 from 12:00- 1:00 PM ET. This webinar addresses how to provide library service to seniors, the most vulnerable population affected during COVID-19.
  • ALA and United for Libraries recently offered a webinar titled "Working Together, Planning for Reopening: Policy and Legal Issues for Reopening a Public Library, The Board, the Attorney, and the Librarian." These webinars are usually fee-based, but during this time of COVID-19 ALA is making them available for free. You will need to sign up for the webinar (even though it is already passed), wait to receive the access link via email, and use that link to create a free Teachable.com account where you can watch the recorded webinar, access the slides, and see all the links that were in the webinar chat.

Community and Library Resources

  • Feeding Your Community: Summer Meals at Libraries in 2020. Thursday, May 28, 1:00 ET. CSLP staff and representatives of the USDA Food & Nutrition Service are collaborating to offer a nationwide webinar for library staff about the Summer Food Service Program and its special waivers for summer 2020 that allow non-congregate feeding.
  • PLA's call for webinar proposals is now open! If you have an idea for a webinar you'd like to present for PLA, we encourage you to submit a proposal. The deadline for submissions is May 31. Responses will be sent within 4–6 weeks. Please contact plawebinars@ala.org with any questions or concerns about the webinar proposal process.
  • Join a Virtual Story Circle! Created by Vermont Folklife Center (VFC), Story Circles are online gatherings of 6-8 people to share what we're going through individually while also bearing witness to the experience of others. These will be recorded and saved in the VFC's archive for posterity. Learn more and sign up for two special, free sessions created for the NOFA-VT community, May 29 and June 6.
  • Join the Vermont Humanities Council for their First Wednesday series supported by IMLS and VTLIB. Next week’s presentation (May 27, 7PM) is a talk by Amherst College professor Catherine Sanderson, “How to Boost Your Psychological Resilience in a Crisis.” Visit on the Vermont Humanities Facebook page or their website, www.vermonthumanities.org to join in!
  • The article in Strategic Library on The Power of Empathetic and Collaborative Leadership might prove helpful as you navigate the new realities of advocating for and managing your library.
  • The School Library Journal (SLJ) continues to update its list of publishers who are temporarily lifting or adjusting their copyright guidelines and permissions. Find it here COVID-19 Publisher Information Directory
  • SLJ Day of Dialog - Free Virtual Event all day on May 27. Come hear from more than 40 authors and publishers about the latest and most exciting forthcoming titles for children, tweens, and teens, ranging from picture books and nonfiction to graphic novels and YA, and engage in Q&A sessions with authors and illustrators.

Health and Wellness

All of us at VTLIB wish you a peaceful Memorial Day weekend.

Be well,
Janette

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Dear Library Community,
In case you missed State Librarian Jason Broughton’s May 17  Update on Reopening Timeframes for Vermont Public Libraries, you may want to review it now. Jason provides some information on the governor’s latest orders and their implications on the projected timing for libraries to reopen.

Other resources for you:

Learning Opportunities

  • VTLIB is offering the opportunity to attend the ALA Virtual conference June 24 – 26, 2020 to Vermont public, academic and school librarians. Visit our ALA Virtual guidelines page for details and application information. The application deadline is 3pm on June 5, 2020. This opportunity is made possible through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
  • Niche Academy’s webinar recording “Reopening Lives with the Library” is now available for viewing. They’ve also released their first set of COVID-19-related tutorials as part of their Reopening Lives Academy collaboration with the library community.
  • Grow with Google OnAir offers free virtual workshops, events, and 1:1 coaching sessions to help you get the most out of digital tools.
  • Applications are now open for the 4th cohort of the Library Freedom Institute. This is a free, (mostly) online, four-month long training program to turn librarians into Privacy Advocates. 
    Application materials are due on June 1 and are available on the Library
    Freedom Institute’s website
    .

Funding Opportunities

  • The Vermont Covid-19 Cultural Relief Grant Program offered in collaboration with the Vermont Humanities Council and Vermont Arts Council is still accepting applications through May 31, 2020. Libraries are eligible, and several libraries in Vermont have already received awards. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.
  • Last week’s webinar on the IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries is now available on-demand.  Libraries are eligible to apply for this grant. The deadline is June 12, 2020.

Community Resources

Health and Wellness

  • The University of Minnesota offers Nature and Us, a guide that explores the benefits of nature on our health. For those of you teleworking, the “Bring nature indoors” might be of particular interest.
  • Two months into teleworking you may need some pointers on How to Maintain Motivation in a Pandemic

It looks like we’re finally entering a sustained period of great weather.  Close your email and get out there !

Be well,
Janette

Friday, May 15, 2020

Dear Library Community,

Today we’re celebrating our own State Librarian, Jason Broughton, who has received the VSLA School Library Advocate 2020 Award. The VSLA Awards Committee writes “Jason has worked to connect and collaborate with VT school librarians from the beginning and has taken on the challenging work of renaming a statewide book award.”  Congrats to Jason—you’re doing VTLIB proud!  We’d also like to congratulate awardees Deborah Ehler-Hansen, Meg Allison, and Peter Langella. Please visit the VSLA awards page to read about their accomplishments.

Please find our resource updates below and share with your community as you see fit:

VTLIB and State of Vermont

  • As previously announced, VTLIB will use some of the CARES Act funding to make bulk purchases for specific PPE items. We are currently able to procure sneeze guards (locally in Vermont) and hand sanitizer. We are making these items available to libraries for free. Please complete this interest form as soon as possible but no later than noon on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 to be considered for this round of purchasing. https://bit.ly/2AxcpYi
  • Governor Phil Scott signed Addendum 14, a Be Smart, Stay Safe order to extend the State of Emergency to June 15 and update previous emergency orders to reflect re-openings and eased restrictions. Review the ACCD’s latest guidance, as well as resources for business restart and signage. You might find the signage useful even if you don’t plan on reopening. On a related note, if you missed our new Reopening Information section on the VLIB website, visit here.
  • The state announced that Vermont State Parks will remain closed through June 25, 2020. Visit the state park blog to learn more.

Learning and Educational Opportunities

  • As you move your library operations forward through uncharted waters, you and your staff are probably finding yourselves having to do things you didn’t originally sign up to do. Gary Deziel, UVM Extension, offers some insights about Other duties as assigned at UVM Extension’s VT Public Libraries Educational webpages.
  • DEMCO's webinar recording is now available for the "COVID-19 Safety Tips for Reopening Your Library" presentation by pediatrician and librarian Dr. Dipesh Navsaria.
  • PLA Maximizing and Measuring Virtual Programs - This on-demand webinar is designed to help libraries develop targeted outcomes to use when designing online programs to maximize the learning opportunities and measure the resulting value of them from attendees. Find additional PLA On-Demand Webinars here.
  • IMLS and SBA offer a webinar recording on the Paycheck Protection Program focused on museums and libraries.
  • Free Contact Tracing Course through Coursera. The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented need for contact tracing across the country, requiring thousands of people to learn key skills quickly.

Library Resources

  • OCLC, IMLS, and Battelle COVID-19 Research Partnership update:  REALM Project site launches. This is a research partnership to create and distribute science-based information and recommended practices designed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to staff and visitors who are engaging in the delivery or use of museum, library, and archival services. Visit oc.lc/realm-project and sign up to receive project updates. #REALMproject.
  • As we move our services online during this pandemic, accessibility is as important as ever. The ALSC blog post  “Is Your Online Library for Everyone explores some common myths about web accessibility.
  • PBS Books is offering a series of virtual events for libraries to offer with their communities. They hope to provide at least two events (one for kids and another for adults) monthly. The events will be Facebook live events on the PBS Books page, and recordings will also be available.
  • DEMCO recently posted A Checklist for Library Curbside Pickup Services which offers several tips for an effective curbside procedure.
  • The Atlantic Monthly recently published the piece “The Post-pandemic Future of Libraries.”
  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has released the latest report on the State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAA) Survey. The biennial survey, conducted in 2019, assesses the condition of SLAAs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in FY 2018.
  • Libraries got another feature in this week’s Seven Days “With Curbside Pickup Allowed, Libraries Sort Out Next Steps

Health & Wellness

  • The Vermont Family Network website lists helpful resources by topic, including mental health and health, housing, and community. They also feature a special COVID-19 resource page.
  • The Vermont Arts Council’s COVID-19 Virtual Arts Experiences page features a variety of opportunities to experience art while social distancing. Check it out.

Have a good weekend.  Things seem to be going upwards, weather-wise at least!

Best,
Janette

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Here is your Tuesday resource update:

State of Vermont

Learning and Professional Development Opportunities

  • VTLIB Virtual Meetup: Please join on us on Friday 5/15 at 1pm for our second Youth Services-focused virtual meet-up! This week the discussion will be geared around (but not limited to) teen/tween services and will be led by Abby Kolosovskiy from Fletcher Free Library. Join us to discuss unique challenges and exchange ideas of how best to serve teens during this challenging time.
  • The VTLIB Clover Intro & Refresher happened this morning. Please review the recording.
  • IMLS invites you to participate in a live webinar to learn more about the IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries, Thursday, May 14, 2– 3pm. Vermont libraries are eligible.
  • ALA Connect Live: COVID-19: Well-being of Library Workers
    Join ALA for the second in a series of monthly leadership discussions with ALA’s Executive Board called ALA Connect Live. 5/21, 2:30pm
  • Call for submissions: The editors of Sustainability in Libraries are seeking articles from a variety of perspectives on topics related to sustainability—including crisis preparation, response, and recovery—within the library profession.

Community Resources

  • The Public Library Association (PLA) is seeking a new round of feedback about the work of libraries as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis, releasing a survey and requesting feedback by EOD Monday, May 18, 2020. Please complete the survey.
  • PLA’s Libraries Lead with Digital Skills has expanded its initiative to offer public libraries $2,000 to provide virtual programming, outreach, and education to address the digital skills gaps of job seekers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.
  • Google launches ‘Read Along,’ a free app that helps young children practice reading. Google’s new Read Along app leverages speech recognition and text-to-speech to help kids learn to read across nine different languages.
  • ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries is continually updating its COVID-19 trends page.
  • The Reinvestment Fund’s PolicyMap provides free access to some of the most important data related to the COVID-19 pandemic within this BETA tool.

Health and Wellness

  • Why COVID19 Hits Some People and Places Differently” explores why certain people and geographic regions are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic more than others.
  • The New York Times launched a new podcast Together Apart” which they describe as “part guide, part reminder of the resiliency of the human spirit to still creatively meaningfully gather, even while we have to be apart. Each episode explores one person’s dilemma as they try to navigate hosting an event that’s been upended by Corona.”

As spring seems to finally be here to stay, I leave you with a Love Letter to Trees by Hermann Hesse.
Janette

Friday, May 8, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Happy Friday! – Here is your resource update:

State and Federal Updates

  • The Stay Home, Stay Safe order remains in effect; however, the Governor’s latest order does allow for certain social activities if Vermonters follow outlined safety measures. Read the Health Department’s guidelines (PDF) on how to weigh the risks and connect with family and friends safely.
  • In light of the Public Health Emergency concerning the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice issued a statement to ensure that victims of illegal discrimination know where to turn when their civil rights are violated. Please review the statement here.

Learning Opportunities

  • VTLIB is offering a Clover Intro & Refresher on 5/12, 10:00 -11:00am.
    In this webinar you will learn the basics of the Clover interlibrary loan system.
  • Do you have a personnel policy? Creating one can be a daunting task, but Gary Deziel, our UVM Extension partner, has created a Personnel Policy Guide to make it less so. In addition to the guide, he offers two Vermont public library personnel policies. Big thanks to the library directors of Whiting and Charlotte for their permission to publish their respective personnel policies as thoughtful examples. Go to the Vermont Public Libraries Educational Program page, choose “Human resource guidance” dropdown to access the PDF Personnel Policy GUIDE and Charlotte and Whiting MS Word files.
  • ALA and the Congressional Management Foundation recently offered a webinar titled "Long-term Strategies for Building Relationships with Lawmakers" as part of their National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) activities. During this critical moment, ALA has opened access to everyone until the end of June.
  • When is the best time to focus on library data? According to State Library Services of Minnesota Director Jen Nelson,there has never been a better time than now. In her recent guest blog post on the Measures that Matter website, Jen makes the case that today, the stakes are high.

Community Resources

Health and Wellness

Wishing you a good weekend and Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday!
Janette

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Dear Library Community,

Happy Tuesday! Now that many of you are offering curbside services, we need to get a snapshot of what that looks like a few weeks in. Would you kindly take a few moments to complete a follow-up survey which will assist not just VTLIB, but the administration as well? Please submit by Thursday, May 7 at 2 pm, though the survey will be kept open beyond that. The information will also be shared publicly without library names: https://bit.ly/vtlib_curbsidefollowup

State of Vermont Updates

  • On May 1, ACCD issued an update to its Stay Home Stay Safe order. Please take a moment to review all new items marked in red and let us know if you have questions.
  • Governor Phil Scott announced limited elective procedures would resume, which had previously been put on hold as Vermont’s health care system focused on preparing for, and responding to, COVID-19.

Learning Opportunities

  • VTLIB is offering a workshop on Vermont Public Library Budgets & Finance on Wednesday, May 6 from 2-4pm. This is the final segment of the core Administration course for the Certificate of Public Librarianship program, the first time this component of the CPL has had an online option.
  • The first part of Friday’s Vermont Libraries Virtual Meet-Up will be dedicated to introducing you to three Vermont-based grant opportunities that might help you meet potential budget challenges. We’ll offer best practices on how to apply for these and other grants and give you time to ask questions. The second half of the meetup will feature an update from State Librarian Jason Broughton and a subsequent Q&A with him and Assistant State Librarians Tom McMurdo and Janette Shaffer.  Join us from 1-2pm on Friday 5/8.
  • The Vermont Human Rights Commission is hosting a free town hall event to address racism and Xenophobia amid COVID-19 on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 4:00– 6:00pm. Here is the link to Eventbrite with more details.
  • Free NNLM webinar: Virtual Programs for Preschoolers: How to encourage wellness, movement & creativity May 14, 2020, 12:00-1:00pm.
  • It’s National Library Legislative Week, and United for Libraries (the Friends and Trustees Section of ALA) has several free, short online webinars this week – along with several ideas – to help you connect with your legislators and advocate online. Details on the webinars and activities can be found on their website.
  • PLA's free webinar series, Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19, is now available on-demand! Hear from library leaders across the country to learn how their library is handling the changing landscape, supporting staff and community needs during this time, and planning for the future.

Community Resources and Updates

  • The U.S. Census Bureau, in coordination with Federal, State and local health officials, will begin a phased restart of some 2020 Census field operations in select geographic areas this week.
    Updates on the operations resuming by location are available at 2020census.gov. It’s not too late to respond to the 2020 Census—please urge your family, friends, and community to complete it.
  • VINS, the ECHO Center, the Fairbanks and Montshire museums have teamed up to create Four Science Vermont to support distance learning with a science curriculum.
  • The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention has developed a National Response to COVID-19 to provide community-based strategies to support suicide prevention.
  • The World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the International Federation of the Red Cross developed a guide to preventing and addressing the Social Stigma Associated with COVID-19.

Health and Wellness

Signing off today with a link to a collection of Bright Spots from Vermont Schools in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Thank you, teachers and school librarians, for all you do for our kids! <3 #vted #teacherappreciation #SomeGoodNews

Have a good afternoon!

Janette

Friday, May 1, 2020

Dear Library Community,

Today is May 1, the first day of the Census 2020 Digital Action Weekend. We urge all of you to use every digital channel you have at your disposal to promote participation in the Census.Our economic future depends on it now more than ever. Visit the Resource Guide for brilliant promotion ideas, fun visuals, video contest information, and lots more! Thank you! #Census2020 #ShapeYourFuture

State of Vermont

  • On April 29, Governor Phil Scott and members of his administration announced that the state is significantly increasing and strengthening its testing and contact tracing programs in order to quickly identify, contain and suppress outbreaks of COVID-19. Read the press release.

Learning Opportunities

Library and Community Resources

Health and Wellness

  • Anxiety is something many of us experience at various levels during this pandemic. Here’s an article that might help: COVID-19: Tips for Mindfulness & Coping with Anxiety
  • For a little poetry therapy, explore the The Social Distance Reading Series, a collaboration between Green Mountains Review and The Vermont School poets, a pop-up series designed to offer poets a platform for launching new collections of poems.

We leave you with a link to the Aldrich Library’s fifth virtual storytime with Mr. Ian. “Little Mouse’s Big Breakfast” by Christine Pym. Enjoy!

Janette

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Dear Library Community,

A reminder that we’ve changed the schedule of this update.  We are now sending it on Tuesdays and Fridays with a CE update on Wednesdays. We continue to welcome your feedback and ideas.

Updates from the State of Vermont

  • Posting the link to the mandatory safety training tied to re-opening the state economy once again with a reminder that all staff and current volunteers of libraries that want to provide curbside services—regardless of work location—must complete the training and retain documentation of completion. https://labor.vermont.gov/VOSHA.
  • The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program (PUA) has launched. This program provides unemployment benefits to self-employed, sole proprietors, and independent contractors. More information on the application process and eligibility can be found here: https://labor.vermont.gov/PUA
  • A new map of Vermonters who have tested positive for COVID-19 by town can now be found at healthvermont.gov/covid19 (click on the map of Vermont). The State is also reporting race data of COVID cases in addition to age and gender. Read the Seven Days Article

VTLIB Learning Resources

Community Resources

Health and Wellness

  • A few Vermont health and mental health resources
    • Dial 2-1-1 from anywhere in Vermont (24/7). They will connect you to all types of resources.
    • Call 1-800-642-5119 if you need help and are an older Vermonter or caring for an older Vermonter (60+).
    • Call the Vermont Parent's Helpline at 1-800-244-5373.
    • Find resources for coping with stress.
  • Article on How (and Why) to Stay Active While Social Distancing
  • Catch Vermont artists like Dave Keller, Dwight & Nicole and Patty Casey during their Wednesday Night Music Series performances sponsored by Spruce Peak.

Wishing you an enjoyable Tuesday evening with the sincere hope that you get to go outside to enjoy this nice weather.
Janette

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dear Library Community,

As you may have heard, the State of Vermont Executive Department Addendum 11 to the Work Smart & Stay Safe order states that “Libraries may allow for curbside pickup for lending in accordance with guidance issued by the Department of Libraries” (item 4. e.). Note that the decision-making power still lies with each public library and its governing body. Please review the VTLIB Curbside and Book Delivery Service Guidelines as informed by your feedback and approved by ACCD and VDH. We’ve also assembled a bibliography for further reading on curbside delivery.

Considering this news, we will keep the rest of this digest relatively short. Please share with your communities.

Funding Sources

  • Please remember that libraries are eligible for emergency relief funding through a new partnership between Vermont Humanities and the Vermont Arts Council. They are accepting applications right now.
  • The USDA put out a new resource intended to be a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide is a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.

Educational Opportunities

  • Vermont public libraries with endowments have reason for concern; investments have fallen in value, and income from endowments will be squeezed. In this short eight-minute video, Gary Deziel, UVM Extension, explains how endowments work and how the recent COVID-19 market-downturn may affect an endowment’s revenue stream.  Go to his Public Libraries Educational Program page.
  • Netflix is making several documentary films and series available for free. Each features educational resources such as discussion questions and actions viewers can take.

Health and Wellness

Finally, I would like to let you know that we will be changing the schedule of this update starting next week. We will send one of these on Tuesdays and Fridays, and a CE update on Wednesdays. As the State is heading into a phased restarting of the economy, we want to leave space to keep you updated on any new developments without inundating you with our messages.

Wishing you a restful weekend,
Janette

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Dear Library Community,

Today is “Take Action for Libraries Day” which is part of National Library Week. It’s a good time for Trustees, Directors, and Friends to consider what communications you can engage in—especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic— to reconnect with the Selectboard, Town Administration, Town Clerk, taxpayers, volunteers, patrons, and donors to help these stakeholders realize that the library—even if it is physically closed—is still an essential resource that is meeting the community’s needs and is worthy of funding. Consider phone calls, emails, letters, social media posts, Front Porch Forum posts, newsletters, newspaper advertisements, etc. For advocacy resources and ideas, check out our website.

Here are your resource updates for today. Please feel free to share these with your staff and community:

State of Vermont Updates

  • ACCD wants to hear from all Vermont businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This information will help us paint a complete picture as we work toward solutions. Please share information via the ACCD Business Impact Form.
  • The Scott Administration announced a multi-state initiative to secure student loan relief options for thousands of Vermonters with privately-held student loans.
  • The Scott Administration announced that more than forty additional auto insurance companies have filed plans to return premiums or reduce their rates for Vermont policyholders.

Library News

  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services, together with OCLC, Inc. and Battelle, announced a new collaboration to support the nation’s libraries and museums as they consider safe reopening practices in light of COVID-19.

Funding Opportunities

Continuing Education and Learning Opportunities

  • VTLIB has three more webinars scheduled during the month of April. Please visit our <continuing education page for details:
    • 4/24: Virtual Story Circle for Vermont Library Staff & Trustees (1:00-3:00pm)
    • 4/28: Twitter for Beginners (10:00-10:45am)
    • 4/30: Instagram for Beginners (10:00am-10:45am)
  • The Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) continues to develop its COVID-19 resources:
    • Webinar: “Local Financing Opportunities to Help Communities Recover,” Monday, April 27, 10pm. Register here.
    • Webinar recordings, as well as links to important municipal resources can be found on VLCT’s COVID-19 page.
  • Humankind podcast on Libraries Reimagined

Health & Wellness

  • Great infographic from ANR, Dept. of Forest, Parks, and Recreation on Outdoor Recreation and COVID-19.
  • Sleep might be difficult for some these days. Here is a short article on forming healthy sleep habits. Of course a call to the Disney Bedtime Hotline for a bedtime message from Mickey Mouse and friends could help as well. Available for free through April 30. Call 1-877-7-MICKEY (1-877-764-2539).

Hope you get to enjoy this lovely sunshine!
Janette

Monday, April 20, 2020

Dear Library Community,

Happy National Library Week! It’s worth stopping to reflect, for a moment, on this year’s theme “Find the Library at Your Place” and to consider the feat you’re accomplishing in helping your patrons find the library at their place. You continue to offer access through enhanced online resources and a shift in programming, while also connecting through email or patron phone check-ins - all while having to find the library at your own places. A cheer to all of you! #nationallibraryweek

We will highlight a “Library at Your Place” resource in each digest this week

  • Library patrons can reach a wide range of classes, articles, and information by using their library card. Through Vermont Online Library, they can access High School in Context and Science in Context for homework or reliable information or find car repair information in Chilton Library. Make sure your patrons know how to login, and read more info, at https://libraries.vermont.gov/online_library/vol

Library Resources

  • Gary Deziel, our UVM Extension partner, has created a short video titled “Do this now! Some budget tips for Vermont public libraries during the pandemic.” You can find it, along with his many library management resources on the Vermont Public Libraries Educational Program page.
  • Today, ALA released its State of America’s Libraries 2020 report, an annual summary of library trends released during National Library Week, April 19–25, that outlines statistics and issues affecting all types of libraries during the previous calendar year.
  • Recordings of all 2020 Big Talk From Small Libraries sessions (NLC)  are now available!

Community Resources

  • A reminder that the VT Arts Council expects to begin the application process for Emergency Relief Grants. Applications will be reviewed weekly by a grant review panel shortly thereafter.
  • IFLA has produced a COVID-19 edition of their popular How To Spot Fake News infographic, with a stronger focus on some of the issues encountered around the Pandemic.
  • Along with many other institutions, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City is offering free online classes on fashion, teaching with art, and more. The classes are through the site Coursera.

Wellness & Mental Health

And what better way to wind down the day than having something read to you? Catch Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton reading kids’ books weekly on Twitter. Or listen to him reading (grown-up) fiction on his Levar Burton Reads podcast.

Have a good week,
Janette

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dear Library Community,

Friday brings an announcement from Governor Scott on a phased restart of the Vermont economy. Please read the press release along with the guidance from ACCD. Note that libraries are not included in this first phase. State Librarian Jason Broughton is working with ACCD and VDH to determine where libraries fit on the timeline of the restart. We will inform you as soon as we have that information.

VTLIB Resources

  • VTLIB Staff have updated the Programming Ideas and Resources for Adults page on our website with a list of non-virtual programming ideas to reach your non-internet-connected patrons. These ideas were gathered from listservs, webinars, and phone calls/emails with VT librarians.

Learning Opportunities

  • All Vermont library staff and trustees are invited to a Virtual Story Circle hosted by the Vermont Department of Libraries. This is an opportunity for participants to share a brief oral story about how COVID-19 has affected their libraries, their library work, and their library communities. Friday, April 24, 1-3pm. Register here.
  • Save the Date: Clover Introduction & Review Webinar May 12, 10am. Details and registration link available soon.
  • Library Ethics: Earning Trust and Respect During Difficult Times (A webinar by LibraryWorks)

Thursday, April 23, 2020, 2:00-3:00pm. $25

Community

  • Priya Parker - the author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters - has a new TED Talk titled "How to Create Meaningful Connections While Apart." This resource provides insights into how we can remain connected with one another and with our communities during the time of COVID-19.
  • Specialized Bicycle Company opened an online portal for anyone impacted and still working to apply for a free bike. Specialized also notes that these folks can be nominated by a friend, colleague, neighbor, family member or anyone else. REFER AN ESSENTIAL WORKER: Send the referral link to an essential worker in your community who is in legitimate need of safe, reliable, and convenient transportation, or fill out the form directly if you are in need of essential transportation for your essential work. Through April 22nd. Final donations will be made on a first-come-first-served basis to qualified applicants.

We wish you a good weekend. Hope you get out or maybe explore Vermont virtually.

Janette

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Here is your resource update for a sunny Thursday:

State of Vermont

  • Governor Phil Scott and the Department of Public Service today announced an innovative collaboration with several partners that will increase internet access by means of public Wi-Fi hotspots for dozens of rural towns in Vermont. Please also remember that DPS has a public Wi-Fi hotspot map on its website.
  • We’d like to highlight the Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center section on “Resources for Individuals.” Among other things, it offers answers to many questions resulting from a loss of income.
  • Governor Scott announced that Vermont will join a multi-state effort to coordinate a response to the pandemic, as well as a reopening of their economies. Read more in this VT Digger article.

Community

  • The $2.2 trillion CARES Act approved by Congress in late March included $150 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts to distribute to cultural institutions affected by the  COVID-19 pandemic. The Vermont Humanities Council expects to begin the application process for Emergency Relief Grants next week in partnership with the Vermont Arts Council. Applications will be reviewed weekly by a grant review panel shortly thereafter. Use this form to request more information.
  • The Vermont Historical Society recently launched The COVID-19 Archive: Images and Stories from Vermont which employs digital technology and crowdsourcing to provide future researchers with a resource to study the impact the coronavirus had on the lives of Vermonters.
  • In a recent Addiction Recovery Channel feature, Gary De Carolis, Executive Director at the Chittenden County Turning Point, talks about how he and his team are creating ways to stay connected and provide recovery support for people with substance use disorder. Gary also offers advice on coping with the stress related to physical distancing, along with a resource list at the end.

Learning Opportunities

  • VTLIB has several webinars scheduled over the next few weeks. Please check the schedule frequently as we keep adding topics.
  • PLA is offering a free webinar “Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19: Strategies for Advancing Digital Equity Now” Thursday, April 23 @ 2:00 p.m.
  • To share with teens (and teens at heart): Vidcode courses teach computer science, object-oriented programming, web programming, design, & JavaScript. Free while schools are closed.
  • EveryLibrary Institute is hosting a three-part webinar series to show school librarians how they can have an impact on their school system in the time of COVID-19. Each week will feature a topic on certain aspects of being a school librarian in these uncertain times. Find a topic you're interested in and RSVP, or RSVP for all three of them. The first starts at noon on April 22.

As always, we rely on your feedback to make this resource as useful as possible. Please let us know if you have comments or questions.

Be well,
Janette

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Today our update is a bit longer because we wanted to include information on the CARES Act in addition to the standard updates. Hopefully you will find the groupings helpful:

CARES Act

  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced measures to award the first $30 million of $50 million appropriated to the agency in the CARES Act. The funds are dedicated to expanding digital network access, purchasing internet-accessible devices, and providing technical support services to citizens “to address digital inclusion efforts and related technical support, using the following types of data to prioritize efforts:
    • Poverty/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
    • Unemployment; and
    • Broadband availability.”

We are closely examining the information we have and are awaiting directions from IMLS on next steps.

  • Here is a nice list of CARES Act Funding Opportunities for Nonprofits, conveniently organized into a table (PDF).

State of Vermont

  • The state’s COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions have been expanded, organized and redesigned in a user-friendly format that is easily searchable. Visit healthvermont.gov/covid19-faq and click the “See all frequently asked questions” button.
  • Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced the official launch of a new online system for license renewals. Renewal notices will continue to be mailed. The online renewal form can be found at  mydmvlicense.vermont.gov/.

Learning Opportunities for Library Staff

  • Please visit the VTLIB Continuing Education page for a variety of educational opportunities, including:
    • 4/15: Balancing Small Library Administration, Management & Daily Operations 1-3pm
    • 4/17: Summer Performer Grants 10-11am
    • 4/23: Governance of VT Public Libraries: 10am-12pm
    • 4/24: Virtual Story Circle for Library Staff, Trustees, & Friends 1-3 pm New

Trends in libraries

  • The Library Journal survey results regarding COVID-19 are in. Read on: “Library Journal Survey: U.S. Public Libraries Mostly Closed, But No Consensus on Who Works and Where
  • The New England Library Association is looking for your input. They have created a survey requesting information on how your libraries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is short and should take fewer than 10 minutes to complete.
  • The ALA has assembled a new trend page focused on the near- and long-term changes that may result from the coronavirus pandemic. They will continue to update the page with additional information – and welcome your contributions for how libraries and library professionals can plan for the possible futures that may unfold.
  • National Library Week is next week (April 19-25), and this year’s theme has been changed to reflect that libraries are closed. The new “Find the library at your place” digital graphics and media tools in English and Spanish are available for download on the National Library Week webpage. Also check out the 20 Easy Ways to Participate in the NLW 2020 tip sheet, as well as the new Because statements that are relevant in our time of social distancing that can be posted to websites and social media.

We hope that this message reaches you well regardless of where you are finding your library these days.
Janette

Monday, April 13, 2020

Dear Library Community,
We hope you had a good weekend that included a good book or game, and some outside time to enjoy the daffodils! Here is your Monday morning resource update from VTLIB:

  • The Vermont Department of Labor is continuing its Virtual Town Hall events this week to offer answers about Unemployment Insurance to claimants and employers alike. Please check their calendar for topics and event details. The calendar also features recordings of previous town halls.
  • The Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) is dedicated to supporting the COVID-19 response and eventual recovery through their existing competitive grant programs and through their new VT COVID-19 Response Fund. They are also offering a webinar tomorrow (Tuesday) from 3:00 – 4:15 p.m. titled “Vermont’s Philanthropic Response to COVID-19: A Conversation with Vermont Funders.” General grants are also still available through VCF—note that deadlines may have changed.
  • The American Association for School Librarians (AASL) is offering a webinar “Essential copyright knowledge:  a toolkit for teachers and librarians” on April 14 at 1:00 p.m. This webinar will cover copyright essentials for educators, providing the background for thinking about finding, adapting and creating teaching materials, including open educational resources. AASL asks you to submit your questions ahead of time.
  • The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has a comprehensive Coronavirus Resources webpage, updated daily, that covers a range of policy areas from health and fiscal to elections. New additions include resources that can be widely shared:

The NCSL is also offering a free webinar “COVID-19: Broadband and Technology Issues“ on April 22 at 2:30 p.m.

  • The Project Management Institute (PMI) is making a wide range of project management training materials available online for free to help at-home workers add to and bolster their skills. Learn more at COVID-19 Resource Hub. Classes can be used as electives toward the CPL program.
  • ALA has assembled a guide for digital literacy tools and resources in their “Staying Connected” update.

Signing off with another Wes Tank rap rendition of a Dr. Seuss classic: Green Eggs and Ham.

Wishing you a good week,
Janette

Friday, April 10, 2020

Dear Library Community,

We started Friday with an announcement by Gov. Scott that he is extending Vermont’s State of Emergency (including the Stay Home, Stay Safe order) through May 15. Read the press release if you missed it. The State is also mourning the passing of former VT State Rep. Bernie Juskiewicz.

News from our ABLE Library

  • The ABLE Virtual Book Club will be holding a special session on Wednesday, May 27 from 2-3pm. We will be discussing "The Library Book" by Susan Orlean. Please contact Sara and Wendy at lib.ablelibrary@vermont.gov to sign-up
  • The ABLE Library will now begin processing applications for service after a brief pause. You can download the application to join the NLS here: https://libraries.vermont.gov/able_library/application

We hear from you that you continue to support your clients with accessing essential services. Here are a few resources that might help you with that:

General resources and opportunities:

  • The Public Library Association is looking for volunteers to serve on committees, task forces, and advisory groups. Learn more here (note that you must be a member to participate).
  • Gallup is offering a free webinar on 5 Steps to Building a Strengths-Based Culture. Free and offered at various times on 4/23.

VTLIB leaves you today with an opportunity to learn a vital life skill in one minute: How to safely remove surgical gloves. Brought to you by Montana State Library CE Coordinator, Jo Flick, who is also an EMT.

We hope you have a restful weekend.
Janette

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Here is your Thursday resource update:

  • Please continue to check our Continuing Education page for new webinars. We add them frequently in response to your requests and feedback. April offerings include:
    • 4/17: 2020 Summer Performer Grants: Updates & FAQ (10:00am-11:00am)
    • 4/23: Governance of Vermont Public Libraries Webinar (10:00am-12:00pm)
    • 4/28: Twitter for Beginners (10:00am-10:45am)
    • 4/30: Instagram for Beginners (10:00am-10:45am)
  • United for Libraries, the Trustees and Friends section of the American Library Association, is offering a free webinar titled "Advocacy for Your Library During a Crisis" on April 13 at 1:00pm. Can't attend live? Register anyway, and they'll send you a link to the recording.
  • Join OCLC on Monday, April 13, at 3:00pm EDT for a 90-minute OCLC virtual town hall featuring staff from WebJunction and the OCLC Research Library Partnership along with four guest panelists from public, academic, special, and school libraries. More information and registration is available here.
  • PLA published the results from its recent Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19: Survey of Response & Activity.
  • The Governor announced yesterday that the state was approved for federal public assistance funds in response to COVID-19. Read more about that what that means.
  • NOFA VT has launched a Farm & Food resilience page that includes a resource list for gardeners. They’ve also launched a Resilience Series newsletter. Scroll to the bottom of their page to subscribe to their newsletters.

We’re signing off today with a link to a rainy day read—the article "Empathetic Audience Engagement During the Apocalypse"—for a deep, meaningful look at ways that museums (and libraries) can process the shift from "how we used to do things" to "how we can meet current community needs and plan for the future" through exploring the emotional needs of our patrons. The article includes several innovative ideas for connecting with community members who need connection, who are feeling stir-crazy, who want to make a difference, who need stress relief through silliness, or who are grieving.

Wishing you a good evening.
Janette

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Dear Library Community,
We hope this message finds you well. Here is your Wednesday update:

  • Sen. Sanders, Sen. Leahy, Rep. Welch and Gov. Scott are hosting a Telephone Town Hall on the Coronavirus Pandemic on Thursday (tomorrow) 4/9/2020 at 5:00pm. Some Vermonters will receive invitation calls right before the event, but if you do not receive that call, please dial 1-888-480-3635 at the time of the meeting.
  • The VT Dept. of Labor (VDOL) is offering a series of Virtual Town Halls where attendees can hear directly from VDOL staff. Visit the calendar for event details. All virtual events are recorded and accessible on the VDOL website, as well as on the VDOL YouTube Channel: bit.ly/VTLabor-Youtube.
  • What started as a topical page on the VTLIB website, has now turned into a full VTLIB COVID-19 section after we’ve broken resources out to make them a little easier to find. Thanks to Joshua Muse for this work. Please let us know if you have suggestions for further improvement.
  • We have two VTLIB learning opportunities coming up this week:
    • 4/9: Certificate of Public Librarianship Orientation Webinar (10:00-11:00 am)--
      For new and prospective enrollees in the Certificate of Public Librarianship (CPL) program.
    • 4/10: Vermont Libraries Virtual Meet-Up (1:00-2:00pm) -- Join VTLIB staff and Vermont librarians for an hour of discussion, idea and information sharing, updates, and support. Special guest this week is Gary Deziel from the UVM Extension who will talk about budget considerations now and in the future.
  • The State of Vermont has developed this COVID-19 dashboard to provide a visual status update on cases in Vermont. Case information is updated daily by 11:00am, reflecting counts as of end of previous day. The mobile version is here.
  • The article 8 Steps Nonprofits Should Take Now to Survive the Pandemic Fallout from The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers crucial advice on refocusing and planning ahead.

We leave you today with a new take on Dr. Seuss’ Fox in Sox, a rap by Wes Tank set to beats by Dr. Dre. We hope it will brighten your day!

Best,
Janette

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Our first few updates today focus on state resources and updates that might support your work:

  • The Vermont Department of Labor just issued an updated Unemployment Insurance Frequently Asked Claimant Questions (PDF). Please use and distribute this guide as much as possible.
  • Governor Phil Scott and the Agency of Education (AOE) today announced a partnership with Vermont PBS to provide educational content to supplement remote learning for Vermont during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please learn more about this important tool that will be especially helpful for households with low internet connectivity.
  • Governor Phil Scott has requested federal disaster funds to assist the state of Vermont in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The request asks for federal Public Assistance (PA) funds for the state and all towns for costs incurred in the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Individual Assistance, including Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Crisis Counseling Assistance/Regular Services Program for all Vermont counties. The request documents, submitted to FEMA on Monday, are available by clicking here (PDF).
  • The 2020 Census is now more important than ever. We are continually updating our 2020 Census and Libraries page where you can now find links to 2020 Vermont Complete Count PSAs—including this one by State Librarian Jason Broughton—and promotional materials such as this flyer.
  • The Department of Libraries compiled a list of Vermont newspapers providing COVID-19 coverage with links for each newspaper. (Excel)

And because it’s early in the week, we offer you and yours a few diversions to help you through it:

  • Author J.K. Rowling has just launched a new Harry Potter at Home website that features quizzes, craft tutorials, access to the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, for free on Audible and digital library supplier Overdrive.
  • Tour some of the world’s best museums virtually.
  • This BlueZones article on 50 Ways to Stay SANE During This Crisis, features a checklist on applying the system of Strong, Active, Neighborly and Energetic (SANE).

Be well and enjoy the sunshine.
Janette

Monday, April 6, 2020

Dear Library Community,
We hope you’re having a good Monday. Here are some updates for you, as well as reminders.

We are continuously adding opportunities for learning and ideas sharing. Find a full list and registration information on our Continuing Education page. Here are two happening this week:

  • Now is a good time to consider enrolling in the Certificate of Public Librarianship or to encourage your staff to enroll. There will be an informational/orientation session Thursday, April 9th from 10-11 explaining the program’s purpose and benefits, its requirements, and where to find classes. Registration link is on the VTLIB website.
  • Vermont Libraries Virtual Meet-Up Friday, April 10th, 1pm-2pm. Gary Deziel from UVM Extension will join us to answer questions about budget issues while libraries are closed and to prepare for the future. Registration and link to join the meeting on our website.

We know you are getting requests from patrons regarding unemployment information and small business support.CareerOneStop features lots of employment information, and it has added resources specific to COVID-19:

The list of online learning options during this crisis is growing. Here is one we’d like to highlight:

And before we sign off, we thought we’d share an article on Ways to Manage Mental Health During the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Please remember to frequently check the Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 page for updates, guidance, travel advisories, etc.

Have a good week.
Janette

Friday, April 3, 2020

Dear Library Community,

Before we delve into the resource portion of this, we want to alert you to an important change in the way we communicate to you.  In order to cut down on the amount of cross-posting while still getting important COVID-19 related messages out to you, starting Monday we will only post to lib.staff (for public library staff only) and VTLibraries (for everyone). If you want to continue to receive information from the Governor, the administration, and VTLIB on this topic, you must be subscribed to one of the two listservs. Follow this link to learn how to subscribe: https://libraries.vermont.gov/services/news/listservs

We will continue to send audience-specific messages to the other appropriate listservs (youth services, trustees, etc.).

As always, you can also find important updates on the VTLIB Covid-19 and the Vermont Department of Health page.

  • VTLIB staff has gathered a list of virtual (and some non-virtual) programming ideas for adults to help inspire you during the library closure. Check out this list, and please send additional adult programming ideas to Joy Worland: joy.worland@vermont.gov
  • We’ve also posted a list for ideas for virtual youth programming as well. Find that one here and contact Jonathan Clark for additions: jonathan.l.clark@vermont.gov
  • If your library is in a position to promote 3squaresVT, please consider participating in a Hunger Free VT training.
  • Zoom security- Zoom has become a very popular web conferencing product during the current crisis, but there have also been some recent security issues. Read this article with ideas on how to prevent interlopers at your meeting.
  • Netgalley is a free site for librarians to read/review galleys: https://www.netgalley.com/
  • SYNC Audio Books for Teens returns at the end of April. Blog post about the program and how to access it: https://www.audiobooksync.com/blog/webinar-registration-2020/.We are sharing it here because it's designed for teens but people of any age can use it, and sometimes the titles are adult titles. It's free.

Please let us know if you have questions or suggestions.
All of us at VTLIB wish you a restful weekend.
Janette

Thursday, Apr. 2, 2020

Dear Library Community,
We continue to find excellent resources that might be helpful to you and your community. Here’s a small selection which we hope you will share as appropriate:

  • As you’re facing new and unusual HR and budget questions, our UVM Extension partner Gary Deziel’s HR Minutes and Money Minutes might provide answers. We’ll keep sending them out, and you can find them archived here. One theme you’ll find in Gary’s updates, as well from VTLIB, is a reminder of the importance of communicating regularly with your trustees and other stakeholders—your Select board, Town Administration, Town Clerk—while the library is closed. They are your partners in solving difficult problems (for both municipal and incorporated libraries), and more importantly, in planning ahead for when the situation calms.
  • If you hear of community members who are having trouble completing the Census online, please share this tutorial with them https://www.easycensushelp.org/2020censusdesk.html
    Also please share on your social channels. If you talk with someone on the phone or through other means who is having trouble with this, please walk them through it as best you can. Thanks Jessamyn West for pointing it out.
  • Did you know about the Digital Public Library of America, which features 63,000 items ready for you to view from the Green Mountain Digital Archive? The archive contains Vermont images and digital objects all in one place. Please share this link with your communities.
  • The National Conference of State Legislatures has developed a COVID-19 Stimulus Bill: What It Means for States guide that breaks down the different parts of the bill by topic.

More on our COVID-19 Resource page.

Be well,
Janette

Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Sending a few VTLIB and general interest updates your way on this sunny afternoon:

  • Webinar: 2020 Summer Performer Grants: Updates & FAQ, 4/17, 11:00am-12:00pm
    Summer performer grant recipients* are welcome to join VTLIB staff for an update on the status of the 2020 summer performer grants. Recent changes to grant parameters (including the addition of a virtual performance option) and paperwork will be explained, and there will be plenty of time to ask questions. *Libraries will find out whether or not they were approved for a grant by April 10. Follow this link to register.
  • In case you missed yesterday's announcement regarding temporary changes to the VT Open Meeting Law, which includes a waiver of the physical location requirement. Get the details here.
  • Thank you to all the public library directors (and their designees) who have responded to the PLA Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19 Crisis survey! The response deadline has been extended to 1pm ET, April 1 to encourage as many libraries as possible to share information at this dynamic time. The survey should take 10-15 minutes to complete.
  • The recording of the IMLS webinar Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections is now available at this link.
  • For municipal libraries: Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) staff are compiling answers to member inquiries about how to handle the public health emergency posed by the COVID-19 virus. Ask your questions and access their resources here: https://www.vlct.org/coronavirus
  • West Townshend, Vermont resident Rick Veitch will be appointed Vermont’s fourth cartoonist laureate on Thursday, April 2 at 3pm via livestream, which you can find on cartoonstudies.org

Be well,
Janette

Monday, March 30, 2020

Dear Library Community,
We’re hoping you’re starting this week with more optimism given the news from Washington, D.C.:

  • On March 27, Congress passed the largest economic stimulus package in history. The $2 trillion CARES Act includes funds for libraries (IMLS $50 M), the arts ($75 M) & humanities ($75 M), and education ($30.8 B). We will share details as we learn more. In the meantime, you can review a summary by the Senate Committee on Appropriations issued by VT Sen. Patrick Leahy (PDF).
  • Vermont Libraries Virtual Meet-Up Friday, April 3rd, 11am-12pm: Join VTLIB staff and Vermont librarians for an hour of discussion, idea and information sharing, updates, and support. All are welcome. Register here
  • The Vermont Arts Council is documenting the financial distress that cultural organizations are experiencing, and the wider economic impact of COVID-19 on Vermont's arts sector. Please help by filling out this survey and passing it on to any of your local cultural institutions.

Information for Patrons:

  • The office of Sen. Bernie Sanders assembled an excellent resource on What You Need to Know about the Federal Stimulus Package specifically for Vermonters and where to go to apply for support. We’ve posted an excerpt on our website (PDF).
  • For those of you looking for resources for consumers, Vermont Legal Aid has a COVID-19 page with info on evictions, health care, 3 squares, etc.
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) developed an extensive COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide. Please consider sharing with your staff and your patrons.

As always, you can find additional resources on our VTLIB COVID-19 page.

Be well,
Janette

Friday, March 27, 2020

Dear Library Community,
A few updates from VTLIB to help with ideas, resources, and crowd sourcing.  Please keep your feedback coming—it helps us develop resources based on your needs.

  • One of the silver linings of this situation is that we’re doing more crowd sourcing. Please post any virtual programs and ideas you’re willing to share on this google doc.
  • Join our Consultant for Youth Services Jonathan Clark and librarians Ian Gauthier, Garrett Grant, Deb Ehler-Hansen, and Bree Drapa in a webinar on Virtual Programming in Youth/Child Services on Thursday, April 2 at 10 a.m. We hope to provide a platform to share ideas and address questions and concerns when putting on virtual programming. 
  • We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on the list of Ideas for Projects While Teleworking. Posting it again in case you missed it.
  • OCLC is maintaining a growing list of this freely available content at oc.lc/covid19-partner-content which includes recommended options to access through OCLC services (Excel).
  • American Libraries just published an article on How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic (Thanks Virgil Fuller for sharing).
  • As you might still be fielding inquiries from your patrons regarding unemployment, you may want to refer to this COVID-19 specific unemployment FAQ published by the Vermont Department of Labor.
  • Municipal libraries may have EAP Access (PDF) (a Vermont League of Cities and Towns membership benefit), which offers an opportunity to speak confidentially to trained counselors. Please confirm your municipal membership in VLT and pass this resource on to your staff and trustees.
  • Listening is now live! The project focuses on two responses to the COVID-19 emergency: the creation of a crowd-sourced Sound Archive to document our daily experiences during the pandemic, and a series of online Virtual Story Circles, where Vermonters can gather remotely to listen and share during these challenging times.

As always, you can find lots of resources on our COVID-19 page. 

We hope you have a chance to get out and enjoy the spring weather.

Best,
Janette

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dear Library Community,
All of us at VTLIB hope this message finds you well. Here is your resource update for today:

  • Today’s newest addition to our COVID-19 resource page is a list of project ideas while teleworking (PDF). This list, as are most of the resources that we’re developing, is inspired by the questions we’re getting from you.  Please don’t hesitate to send additional ideas for inclusion to Joy Worland.
  • Please let any ABLE library patrons in your community know that we have a virtual book club happening on Wednesday, April 8th, from 2-3pm, when we will be discussing Richard Russo's short story collection "The Whore's Child.” Sign up is open through phone or email by April 3rd.
  • The Internet Archive has announced the National Emergency Library free sign ups and no waitlists until June 30, 2020.  Use it to access over 1.4 million books.
  • The newly launched #SmithsonianEdu campaign highlights 1.7 million online tools geared specifically toward students and teachers. Read more here: <Eight Digital Education Resources from the Smithsonian.
  • EBSCO has announced an expansion of their resources offered free for a limited time.
  • www.VermontArtOnline.org allows you to explore and discover Vermont's museums & galleries all from the comfort of your home.

We also thought we’d include some staff picks for mental and physical health as we’re assessing what this situation means for our own well-being

Enjoy this spring weather.

Best,
Janette

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Dear Library Community,
Word is getting out about the amazing work you're all doing despite your libraries being closed—this article is a good example. So before jumping into our resource update, I want to take a moment to celebrate all of the good things happening outside of your library walls.  KUDOS to all!

  • At the risk of causing survey fatigue, we’re sharing another--because crowd sourcing information over the last ten days will help in developing a life-line for many in the months ahead.  Please participate in PLA’s  Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19: Survey of Response & Activities
  • VTLIB is also asking for input on any topics you’d like us to address in Friday’s webinar Vermont Libraries: Resilient & Responsive. Please email joy.worland@vermont.gov with any suggestions. 
  • We’ve expanded our internet service provider page to include web conferencing information.
  • An ALA American Libraries Live Webinar Libraries and COVID-19 Managing strategies and stress, recorded Friday, March 18 is now available here.
  • In the next few days, we will introduce a series “HR Minutes” presented by Gary Deziel, MBA, SHRM-CP | UVM Extension Assistant Professor and Georgia Public Library Trustee. In this series, Gary will provide resources that will answer many of the HR-related questions you’ve asked on the listservs.  
  • We’re also working on a list of suggested projects and tasks that library staff can complete from home. Look for that this week as well.
  • Dr. Steve Albrecht—internationally known trainer, speaker, author, and consultant—of Library 2.0 has made his webinar recordings available to view for free for all Library 2.0 members. Registration for membership is free. You will need to be logged in to view the webinars.

Have a good evening!

Be well,
Janette

Monday, March 23, 2020

Dear All,

We hope you had some time to enjoy the sunshine this weekend and to regroup for the week ahead. We are learning of more great resources coming out daily. We’ll share anything we that we think might be helpful. Please share anything that would, in turn, be helpful to your respective communities through your websites, social channels, newsletters, and even any bulletin boards you might have safe access to.

  • Governor Phil Scott, Congressman Peter Welch and Administration officials will hold a COVID-19 Media Briefingto provide an update on their response and highlight ways Vermonters are supporting this effort today, 3/23/2020 at 1:00 p.m. Catch it on Facebook or any major Vermont media outlets.
  • Censusofficials have made someoperational adjustments in response to the pandemic. Please find a flyer listing the dates here(PDF). Also, consider posting some of the kid-oriented materials from partners like Sesame Workshop, Seussville, and Nickelodeon. Use the hashtag #CountOnLibraries on social media to join the conversation.
  • Thanks for submitting your public Wi-Fi information last week. The VT Public Service Department has created this map of public hotspots. If you’re not listed and offer open wi-fi, please submit the survey.
  • Although the physical Community Legal Information Center (CLIC) is closed, virtual legal reference resource assistance continues via the Ask a Law Librarian service.
  • The Public Library Associationis offering a series of free webinars in response to COVID-19. Based on this, we have adjusted our webinar schedule and are now offering Vermont Libraries: Resilient & Responsive on Friday, 3/27/2020 at 1 p.m.
    Join VTLIB staff and your VT library colleagues in a group discussion about meeting library patron needs, online resources, virtual programming, maintaining community connections, self-care and professional growth during this unusual time. 1 CEU, Elective category. Register here.
  • EveryLibrary Institute offered a (sold out) webinar last Friday: To Combat COVID-19 Related Misinformation. Now you can watch the webinar on-demand for free.
  • The SBA offers disaster assistance to VT small businesses. Find information, forms, and contact information on their page.
  • The VT Folklife Center launched a project in response to COVID-19: Listening in Place aims to create a crowd-sourced sound archive to document our daily experiences during the pandemic,as well as a series of online Virtual Story Circles, where Vermonters can gather remotely to listen and share during these truly challenging times.
  • The State Police is doing a live Facebook story time tomorrow, 3/24/2020 at 3p.m.

Here’s wishing you as good a week as possible.

Be well,
Janette

Friday, March 20, 2020

Dear Library Community,

Another resource update as we close out this strange week. Most of these can be found on our COVID-19 resource page,

  • We recommend promoting online resources as widely as possible to augment your own collections. Please add them to your websites and promote on social media. A list is available here.
  • We will also be offering a webinar on “How to Support Your Community Outside the Library Walls” on Thursday 3/26/2020 from 11 am to 12 pm.
  • We’ve developed a Copyright Resources and Information page for programming during this time. On a related note: If you have a question about Swank movie license copyright, please call them directly 1-888-267-2658
  • We have also assembled an Internet Provider Info page to make it a little easier for you to find information on ISPs participating in relief efforts (open wi-fi, waving of fines, etc.)
  • COVID-19 information in different languages created by Spectrum and Howard center. More languages to come
  • COSLA is collecting information on database vendor response to COVID-19. This is a work in progress and features mostly academic databases. Here’s a preliminary list. (PDF)

The highlight for me this week was watching the videos of your virtual story time and programming! We’d like to collect these and make them available if you’re willing to share. Please email links to jennifer.johnson@vermont.gov.

I hope this weekend gives you a chance to regroup and catch a breath.

Be well,
Janette

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Good morning!
We wanted to share a few resources with you that might be of interest:

  • New page of online resources: We’ve put together a page that lists online resources for patrons. The page also features a Word doc for download. Feel free to share this through your various communications channels. Just as our COVID-19 resource page, this is a work in progress and will be updated regularly. We are also planning a webinar for next week to talk about online resources. Look for an announcement soon!
  • Wi-Fi survey reminder:The VT Department of Public Service is working on a master list of sites with open Wi-Fi accessible from outside of the building. If you’ve already participated-thank you! If you haven’t had a chance, it’s not too late—here’s the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TD5ZFLS
     
  • Open Meeting Law: According to the Secretary of State’s Office, the Vermont Legislature is currently considering Open Meeting Law amendments (in particular regarding the physical location requirement). If any adjustments are made, they will be posted to the Secretary of State’s website: https://sos.vermont.gov/municipal-division/laws-resources/covid-19-response/.
     
  • ARSL statement on closures: https://arsl.info/arsl-statement-on-library-closures/
  • News from the publishing world:
    • Penguin Random House grants temporary open access permissions for story team/read aloud
    • Macmillan abandons embargo
    • Internet Access: Several Internet providers are making their networks available for free (where geographically applicable):
      • Comcast Opens Xfinity Wi-Fi Network Nationally for Free - https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19
      • Xfinity Wi-Fi Free For Everyone: Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.
      • AT&T - https://about.att.com/pages/COVID-19.html
        Consistent with FCC Chairman Pai’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” announced today and concerns raised by members of Congress, which we share, AT&T is proud to support our customers by pledging that, for the next 60 days (as of March 13, 2020), we will Keep our public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.
      • T-Mobile - https://www.t-mobile.com/brand/ongoing-updates-covid-19#customers
        T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers on our current plans with limited data with data will automatically have unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days(excluding roaming). No action required.

      Wishing you, your staff, and your families all the best,
      Janette

      Tuesday, March 17, 2020

      Dear Library Community,

      We are continually updating our COVID-19 webpage. Here are a few highlights from VTLIB and the State:

      • Thanks for continuing to submit your closures using our online form. The form, as well as the list of closures can be found on that page. We will update the list in regular intervals.
      • We’ve added a small collection of VT Public Library Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) examples. Please continue to share yours if you are able.
      • We’ve added a few new printable resources (e.g. a social distancing poster)
      • You’ll find the Governor’s official Declaration of State of Emergency on this page as well. The declaration contains useful information about nursing homes, telework, unemployment, etc.  We’ve had questions about where to send folks to file for unemployment with many libraries closed. For the time being, local VDOL offices remain open and can help.

      The Vermont School Library Association (VSLA) has assembled “Learning at Home: Resources for Teachers” – please share.

      We also thought the New England Library Association’s (NELA) statement on public library closures is worth sharing.

      Please let us know if you have questions.

      Wishing you all the best,
      Janette