VTLIB Resource Updates

During the current crisis, VTLIB staff have been sending frequent lists of resources to the listserv. We are collecting those messages here:

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