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In This Issue
From the State Librarian
Changes in Open Meeting Law Begin July 1
Register for E21 Emerging Tech Conference, July 31 - Aug. 2
17 Public Librarian Certificates Awarded
ARSL Conference Scholarships Awarded
Impact Survey Reveals Use of Library Tech
New Logo for Vermont Online Library
Trustee Topic: Hiring a New Director
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award Is a Wonder
VT Joins in Lauding The Fault in Our Stars
Chelsea Teen Wins Cartoon Studies Scholarship
Doyle Survey Finds Home in State Library
Department of Libraries Receives VLA Award
State Librarian Receives VSLA Award
Faust Swaps VT Cows for Florida Alligators
Reminder: Retirement Reception to Honor Grace Greene
In Memoriam: Dr. Burnett Rawson, Library Philanthropist
Helpful Links
Join Our Mailing List

topFrom the State Librarian

MartaReidVTStateLibrarianThis month I attended the annual Turrell Fund Day for Children, a conference that includes representatives from state and local government, business and non-profits who work on behalf of children and families. The Turrell Fund is well-known for its work in Vermont; they have provided grant funding over the years to some of Vermont's public libraries and to the Vermont Early Literacy Initiative (Vermont Public Library Foundation). This year's conference, "Early Childhood Vermont: Seizing the Opportunity," included Governor Shumlin, Aly Richards (Governor's Office, Vermont's Early Childhood Framework and Race to the Top), Julie Coffey (Building Bright Futures), Robyn Freedner-Maguire (Let's Grow Kids, Vermont's early childhood public awareness campaign), David Pope, former Mayor of Oak Park, Illinois, who spoke about his town's collaboration for "comprehensive integrated investment in every child from birth to five," the only municipal program of its kind in the U.S., and James Hudziak, physician and Director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, who has conducted years of research on the brain development of infants and children. I mention all of these individuals and programs because together they are a part of a powerful and dynamic body of research and action. Full article
Changes in Open Meeting Law Begin July 1
gavel On May 23 Governor Shumlin signed into law Act 143 with changes to Vermont's Open Meeting Law. The changes take effect on July 1, 2014. Librarians and library trustees will want to take a close look at the new language which establishes required guidelines for conducting public meetings, including committee meetings, executive sessions and use of electronic communication. This summary gives the highlights. The Department of Libraries will be posting more information about the revised Open Meeting Law on the VTLIB website in July. Watch for training opportunities for librarians and trustees about these changes later this summer.
Register for E21
Emerging Tech Conference, July 31 - Aug. 2

E21 logo The Vermont Department of Libraries and SparkFun are partnering to create a unique experience in Vermont this summer. E21 will bring together librarians, educators, workforce development professionals, makers, and artists to learn skills, make stuff, have fun, and inspire each other. Participants will explore emerging technology in support of a culture of creativity and innovation for the 21st century. Attendees will acquire a range of tools they can use in libraries, classrooms, and other public or private learning spaces, or for their personal creative or professional endeavors. Full article

17 Public Librarian Certificates Awarded

The following people completed the Vermont Department of Libraries' certification program for public librarians and were presented with their certificates at the 120th annual Vermont Library Association Conference on May 20. They also received a letter of appreciation from Governor Peter Shumlin. We congratulate them for all of their hard work and dedication. Full article 

ARSL Conference Scholarships Awarded

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The Department of Libraries has awarded scholarships to eight Vermont public librarians to attend the September 2014 Conference of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) in Tacoma, Washington. The awards cover all expenses including transportation, lodging, meals and conference registration. Michael Roche, Library Consultant at the Department of Libraries, will also attend the conference. Full article 

Impact Survey Reveals Use of Library Tech  
Impact Survey logo Public libraries have a new tool to help them understand how their patrons are using technology resources (public computers, internet WiFi access) and services (classes and tutorials, etc.) in the library. The Impact Survey is an easy, out-of-the-box tool whose results can help libraries in a number of ways. Full article  
New Logo for Vermont Online Library  
VT Online Library logo The Department of Libraries has teamed up with the marketing staff of Gale Cengage to create a new logo for the Vermont Online Library, the "library" of electronic resources and subscription information databases that are available to Vermonters via their local public, school and academic libraries. The creation of the logo is the first step in a new marketing campaign which will include a redesign of the Vermont Online Library portal page and PR for libraries and the general public. Be on the lookout for this new logo on our website and in future marketing materials. 
Trustee Topic: Hiring a New Director   
Librarians are on the move, with retirements and out- and in-state shifts resulting in an unusual number of openings for Vermont library directors. Take a look at the current Vermont Library Association Jobs if there's any doubt. Trustees, need a quick refresher on what to do? Talk to the county library development consultant listed in the VTLIB staff directory. Full article

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award Is a Wonder 

cover of Wonder On May 27, at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, the Department of Libraries held the 57th annual Dorothy Canfield Fisher (DCF) Award Ceremony. The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, for grades 4-8, is the second oldest child-selected award in the country and is highly regarded by both the people of Vermont and the children's literature world. Full article
VT Joins in Lauding The Fault in Our Stars

cover of The Fault in Our Stars John Green has won Vermont's Green Mountain Book Award (GMBA) for his novel, The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012). GMBA is the teen book award for Vermont readers; students in grades 9-12 vote for their favorite book from a list of fifteen. The Fault in Our Stars, a novel about the romance between two cancer patients, is phenomenally popular: there are more than 11 million copies in print worldwide. Not only have John Green's five novels been both critically and popularly acclaimed, his popularity has spread over social media, particularly through the vlog (video log) that he and his brother Hank do on YouTube and the short Crash Course videos on literature, history and science that he commissions. Full article 

Chelsea Teen Wins Cartoon Studies Scholarship

Anthony Berkeley Anthony Berkeley, an 18-year-old from Chelsea, Vermont, is the winner of the 2014 Center for Cartoon Studies scholarship to attend their week long Create Comics workshop this summer. A regular Chelsea Public Library user, Anthony has "read comics and Manga from the beginning. The worlds that are created are rich and when you read you have to build constructs of the characters and the settings. I have always loved to draw and doodle."  Full article 

Doyle Survey Results Find Home in State Library

Sen. Bill Doyle In 1969, the Vietnam war dragged on, a music festival was held at Max Yazgur's farm near Woodstock (NY), the Jackson Five made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, and Diana Ross made her last. Led Zeppelin released their debut album, the Beatles released "Abbey Road" and the Who released "Tommy." "Midnight Cowboy" and "Sesame Street" also premiered that year, and in Vermont a freshman Senator named Bill Doyle first plumbed the sentiments of Vermont voters with a survey which proved so useful that he expanded and distributed the survey the following year, and the year after that, continuing every year since. Today, the "Doyle Survey'' is ubiquitous every March, distributed in newspaper inserts and offered at polling places and town halls throughout the State - with no cost to the taxpayer. It is a Vermont institution, like Senator Doyle himself. Full article  

Department of Libraries Receives VLA Award

At their annual conference at St. Michael's College on May 20, the Vermont Library Association (VLA) presented its Green Mountain Award to the Department of Libraries. VLA President Amber Billey presented the award to State Librarian Martha Reid, who accepted it on behalf of the entire Department. The framed award, "presented to The Vermont Department of Libraries for distinguished service, support, and contributions to Vermont libraries," will be displayed in the Department's Montpelier office. The Award was a complete surprise to the Department but Reid knew something was up when she spotted Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding, who was on hand for the award ceremony; the Department of Libraries is part of the State of Vermont Agency of Administration. In her announcement of the award to Department employees, Reid wrote: "This is a testament to the outstanding work that we do on behalf of Vermont libraries and citizens. It is great to have this kind of affirmation from the Vermont library community that the work we do is important and highly valued. Thank you all for the good work you do and for making this award possible." And thank you to the Vermont Library Association for this award!

State Librarian Receives VSLA Award

VSLA logo The 2014 Vermont School Library Association (VSLA) Award was presented to State Librarian Martha Reid at the VSLA Annual Meeting held on May 16 at Champlain College. In accepting the award, which was given "in recognition of her dedication, leadership and service to the Vermont School Library Association," Reid expressed both surprise and thanks. "I couldn't ask to work with a better group of school librarians than this group of VSLA members. Over the past year you have worked hard to ensure that school libraries are included in the new Vermont School Quality Standards. It has been a joy to work with you on this effort." Read more about the successful campaign of Vermont school librarians in this article from the most recent issue of School Library Journal.

Faust Swaps VT Cows for Florida Alligators

Teresa Faust Teresa R. Faust is leaving her position as Special Services Consultant and head of the Department of Libraries Special Services Unit (SSU) at the end of June. SSU serves as Vermont's network regional library of the National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped, part of the Library of Congress. Full article 

Reminder: Retirement Reception
to Honor Grace Greene

After 28 years of outstanding work as the Department's Youth Services Consultant, Grace Greene has earned her retirement. And to celebrate her accomplishments and wish her well, the Department is hosting a "farewell" reception on June 27, 3:30-6:00 p.m. at the Vermont History Museum, 109 State Street in Montpelier. The formal part of the reception (a few speakers and perhaps a surprise or two) will begin at 4:00 p.m. We hope to see you there. RSVP to: brittney.wilson@state.vt.us.

In Memoriam:
Dr. Burnett Rawson, Library Philanthropist
Rawson and Greene
Grace Greene with Dr. Rawson  &  Penny 
The Vermont library community lost one of its most ardent supporters and a terrific man when Dr. Burnett Rawson of Essex died on May 18, 2014, at age 100. Rawson, who grew up in Underhill, spent most of his life as an urologist in New York state but returned to Vermont in 2004 after his beloved wife, Jessie, died. Back in Vermont, Rawson continued working for the things he cared about: peace, justice, beauty, the life of the mind, and children. Full article

ONLY COMPLETE ARTICLES BEYOND THIS POINT
MARTYFrom the Vermont State Librarian

This month I attended the annual Turrell Fund Day for Children, a conference that includes representatives from state and local government, business and non-profits who work on behalf of children and families. The Turrell Fund is well-known for its work in Vermont; they have provided grant funding over the years to some of Vermont's public libraries and to the Vermont Early Literacy Initiative (Vermont Public Library Foundation). This year's conference, "Early Childhood Vermont: Seizing the Opportunity," included Governor Shumlin, Aly Richards (Governor's Office, Vermont's Early Childhood Framework and Race to the Top), Julie Coffey (Building Bright Futures), Robyn Freedner-Maguire (Let's Grow Kids, Vermont's early childhood public awareness campaign), David Pope, former Mayor of Oak Park, Illinois, who spoke about his town's collaboration for "comprehensive integrated investment in every child from birth to five," the only municipal program of its kind in the U.S., and James Hudziak, physician and Director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, who has conducted years of research on the brain development of infants and children. I mention all of these individuals and programs because together they are a part of a powerful and dynamic body of research and action.

 

Early childhood programs and funding is all the rage these days, and for good reason. Conference speakers and attendees alike agree that public money spent on programs for young children and their families can reap the greatest return on investment for positive outcomes in our state. The research and data is compelling, the need is overwhelming, and the intended outcomes are critical: we want our kids to be healthy, safe and happy. We want them to be successful in school and to have productive, full lives. These major themes were repeated throughout the day: (1) we must start early - even before the birth of a child - to ensure good outcomes for our kids; (2) good nutrition and safe homes are absolutes, and yet many Vermont children lack these basics; (3) programs directed at the growth and development of children must include families to have any real lasting impact; and (4) reading to children contributes directly to the development of rich vocabularies in pre-K children, one of the most important indicators for a long, healthy and engaged life. Everyone agreed that reading and books in the home are essential tools for school readiness. Librarians know this. That is why our libraries feature preschool story hour programs all across the state and why librarians take such care to develop quality picture book collections. In FY2013, Vermonters checked out 1.2 million books for children from our state's public libraries.

 

Libraries are the best deal in town for parents: free access to the best books available for our children, librarians to help guide them to these books, and quality programs for children and families. Why is it then that the day went by with little to no mention of libraries and the important role that we play in helping children get off to a good start? My best guess is that it's an unconscious oversight because libraries have always been there and the unspoken assumption is that they always will be - providing books, reading opportunities, and programs. But there is danger when libraries are left out of these big statewide discussions and initiatives. We - and the Vermonters we serve - could be big losers. The collaboration that occurs between libraries and partner organizations is mutually critical and beneficial - and kids are the winners. We just have to make sure that libraries are included at the table when our partners, funders and policymakers make decisions at municipal, state and national levels. We have an important voice.

 

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This month we lose two key members of our Department: Grace Greene will retire and Teresa Faust will leave to take a new job in Florida. Both of these women have been mighty voices for the populations they serve: children, teens and families, and the blind and disabled, and I have appreciated their good work more than they know. I will personally miss them - and wish them well as they embark on their new adventures. Thank you, Teresa and Grace!

 

Regards,

 

Marty Reid  

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webinarRegister for E21 Emerging Tech Conference, July 31 - Aug. 2 

The Vermont Department of Libraries and SparkFun are partnering to create a unique experience in Vermont this summer. E21 will bring together librarians, educators, workforce development professionals, makers, and artists to learn skills, make stuff, have fun, and inspire each other. Participants will explore emerging technology in support of a culture of creativity and innovation for the 21st century. Attendees will acquire a range of tools they can use in libraries, classrooms, and other public or private learning spaces, or for their personal creative or professional endeavors.

Centered on developing new skills and techniques, E21 will introduce participants to programming languages (Scratch, Processing, Ardublock) and electronics platforms (Arduino, LilyPad, Makey Makey), combining them with traditional craft techniques. Putting tenets of the maker movement into practice - collaboration, experimentation, invention, and play - everyone will take part in hands-on project creation. Participants will also attend talks and discussion sessions on topics ranging from making a creative laboratory space in a small rural school or library, girls/women and emerging technology, project development, and market introduction of inventions.

E21 will be held at Champlain College in Burlington beginning the evening of Thursday, July 31, and running through the afternoon of Saturday, August 2.   

Registration Fee: $250

Fee includes lodging, breakfast, and lunch for two days.

 

To learn more or register online, visit http://e21con.org/.

 

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fiberconnect17 Public Librarian Certificates Awarded 

The following people completed the Vermont Department of Libraries' certification program for public librarians and were presented with their certificates at the 120th annual Vermont Library Association Conference on May 20. They also received a letter of appreciation from Governor Peter Shumlin. We congratulate them for all of their hard work and dedication.

 

Jennifer Bartlau, Varnum Memorial Library, Jeffersonville

Cheryll DeRue, H.F. Brigham Library, Bakersfield

Ellen DesMeules, Norman Williams Public Library, Woodstock

Kathleen Engstrom, Haston Library, Franklin

Dylan Ford, Barnet Public Library

Kathleen Hoyne, Cabot Public Library

Kate Hunter, Orwell Free Library

Gail Martin, formerly of the Bixby Memorial Library, Vergennes

Lisa Miser, Proctor Free Library

Helena Queenie, Pettee Memorial Library, Wilmington

Lisa Samsom, Moretown Memorial Library

Dawn Santos, Poultney Public Library

Cheryl Sloan, Charlotte Library

Donna Stinehour, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

Paulita Washburn, Lawrence Memorial Library, Bristol

Michelle Willey, Waterbury Public Library

Benjamin Wolfe, Tunbridge Public Library

 

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catamountARSL Conference Scholarship Awards Announced  

The Department of Libraries has awarded scholarships to eight Vermont public librarians to attend the September 2014 Conference of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) in Tacoma, Washington. The awards cover all expenses including transportation, lodging, meals and conference registration. Michael Roche, Library Consultant at the Department of Libraries, will also attend the conference.

 

The Awardees are: Cheryl Cox, Children's Librarian, Springfield Town Library; Marti Fiske, Director, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston; Loona Brogan, Director, Cutler Memorial Library, Plainfield; Cindy Weber, Director, Stowe Free Library; Nancy Wilson, Director, Lawrence Memorial Library, Bristol; Joy Worland, Director, Joslin Memorial Library, Waitsfield; Allison M. Smith, Director, Pettee Memorial Library, Wilmington; and Emily Zervas, Reference & Historical Collections Librarian, Rockingham Free Public Library. 

 

This is the third year that the Department has offered scholarships for public librarians to attend the ARSL Conference. This year's Conference will feature keynote speakers Karen Archer Perry, formerly of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who was in Vermont back in 2010 to help kick off the Vermont FiberConnect project in 43 public libraries, and Samantha Becker, from the University of Washington, whose talk "You don't have to do it all!" will focus on the Edge Initiative in small, rural libraries. Becker will be in Vermont in September to speak to Vermont public librarians and trustees about Edge, which will be rolled out statewide in 2015.

 

Funding for these grants comes from the federal "Grants to States" program of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), a program administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

 

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Public libraries have a new tool to help them understand how their patrons are using technology resources (public computers, internet WiFi access) and services (classes and tutorials, etc.) in the library. The Impact Survey is an easy, out-of-the-box tool whose results can help libraries in a number of ways. These include:

  • better strategic planning
  • more effective advocacy for the library - data to support stories
  • measuring progress year to year

Conducting surveys is also among the steps in the Edge Benchmarks for technology which several Vermont libraries are piloting this year. Using this tested and validated survey makes this step a simplified matter of gathering local information.

 

The survey was created by the University of Washington Information School with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a follow-up to an earlier version that culminated in the report "Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries."

 

Libraries can sign up at: http://impactsurvey.org/howto. Once the library has an account staff will determine the time period for the survey. The recommendation is at least two weeks. If the community has a summer or seasonal population, it would be good to run the survey over at least part of that period. For instance, those with a summer population may wish to run mid-August to early or mid-September to capture surveys from both all-year residents and summer residents.

 

The only other preliminary work for the library is to determine the most appropriate ways to link to the survey and then publicize the survey, the link and dates as widely as possible among library users. Once the survey time period is over, the library can download the results and remove the survey links.

 

The survey is free until October 2014 so consider implementing it soon. For more information please contact Christine Friese at 802-828-2714 or christine.friese@state.vt.us.

 

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Trustee Topic: Hiring a New Directorvol

Librarians are on the move, with retirements and out- and in-state shifts resulting in an unusual number of openings for Vermont library directors. Take a look at the current Vermont Library Association Jobs if there's any doubt. Trustees, need a quick refresher on what to do? Talk to the county library development consultant listed in the VTLIB staff directory.

 

Boards should review the director's job description to make sure requirements are current and accurate. Often trustees choose to use the public library website for the full description, using a brief summary for advertising. Set minimum requirements carefully. Requiring the MLS or VT public library certification will exclude applicants who may have relevant experience. "MLS preferred" will include candidates with an MBA or MPA, excellent bookstore credentials, or a strong local background. Highlight the required minimums by requesting demonstrated experience in the cover letter and resume. For information on salaries and benefits, consult the Vermont Library Association Salary Survey of 2012.

 

Most boards use an email address to collect the applications, sometimes establishing one for the purpose. Allow at least three months from the advertising date to the start date, with clear deadlines for applications and search committee meetings. The board may need more time, particularly if the first applicants fit the position poorly. Choosing the right director is perhaps the most important step in creating a strong public library. It is appropriate to re-advertise to find the right person.

 

Public libraries have used interim directors, particularly when high turnover or a challenging year suggest more time is needed. Unlike churches and colleges, there is no ready pool of interim applicants. Boards may need to hunt for a retired director, principal or nonprofit administrator to step in for 12 months.

 

Here are common resources for public library boards anticipating the hiring process:

 

Overview

Posting the job

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On May 27, at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, the Department of Libraries held the 57th annual Dorothy Canfield Fisher (DCF) Award Ceremony. The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, for grades 4-8, is the second oldest child-selected award in the country and is highly regarded by both the people of Vermont and the children's literature world.

 

This year, DCF readers chose Wonder by R. J. Palacio as their favorite book of the year. Wonder, a book about a boy born with a severe craniofacial abnormality, is wildly popular with both kids and adults. Palacio was not able to come to the ceremony, so instead we celebrated the Vermont authors who have books on the new (2014-2015) DCF list: Tanya Lee Stone (Courage Has No Color) and Linda Urban (The Center of Everything). Both authors told the children about their writing process and gave encouragement to the writers in the group. Ever exuberant, Linda Urban also entertained the audience by being an emcee at the beginning, running around the auditorium with a microphone and asking kids what books on the list they had read and loved. There were approximately 500 children and accompanying teachers, librarians and parents in attendance, representing all areas of the state.

 

award for Wonder Also at the DCF ceremony, artist Diana Dunn revealed the award she created for this year's winning author, Palacio. Each year, the DCF committee commissions an original work of art representing the winning book to present to the author. Dunn gave a brief talk explaining the process of creating the award for Wonder, flagging key scenes as she read and considering what visual cues would best encapsulate the plot. She concluded that Auggie's mother, a former picture book illustrator, would have created a scrapbook with photos of his first year in a public school, and this formed the basis for the piece. Scenes she chose included several school events, Auggie with his beloved dog Daisy, a note on the teddy bear Auggie left for his mother when leaving for his first overnight trip, and Auggie's self-portrait as a duck, the animal he considers himself to resemble. The image also features Auggie's Henry Ward Beecher Award certificate and his summer precept: "Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world."

 

Wonder has also been chosen by the Vermont Humanities Council to be the 2014 Vermont Reads title.

 

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erateVT Joins in Lauding The Fault in Our Stars      
John Green has won Vermont's Green Mountain Book Award (GMBA) for his novel, The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012). GMBA is the teen book award for Vermont readers; students in grades 9-12 vote for their favorite book from a list of fifteen. The Fault in Our Stars, a novel about the romance between two cancer patients, is phenomenally popular: there are more than 11 million copies in print worldwide. Not only have John Green's five novels been both critically and popularly acclaimed, his popularity has spread over social media, particularly through the vlog (video log) that he and his brother Hank do on YouTube and the short Crash Course videos on literature, history and science that he commissions. 

 

On June 6, the film version of The Fault in Our Stars was released, and it immediately shot to the top of the charts. Based on Vermont's students' response to the book, the movie theaters in Vermont will be packed.

 

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vptChelsea Teen Wins Cartoon Studies Scholarship 
Anthony Berkeley, an 18-year-old from Chelsea, Vermont, is the winner of the 2014 Center for Cartoon Studies scholarship to attend their week long Create Comics workshop this summer. A regular Chelsea Public Library user, Anthony has "read comics and Manga from the beginning. The worlds that are created are rich and when you read you have to build constructs of the characters and the settings. I have always loved to draw and doodle."

This workshop will be perfect for Anthony who wants to write and publish comic books - because he thinks it would be the coolest job ever. He wants to make this summer different from ones in the past, and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will help him on his goal to writing and publishing a comic book, as well as possibly giving him further insight into designing video games.

The Center for Cartoon Studies, located in White River Junction, has donated a scholarship to a Vermont teen through libraries for the past several years. Students from Hartford, Randolph, Burlington and Newport as well as another person from Chelsea have won in the past. The full scholarship, worth $900, includes the workshop, supplies, morning/afternoon snacks, full lunch and evening student activities. The workshop will take place July 7-11, 2014.

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dcfDoyle Survey Results Find Home in State Library 

In 1969, the Vietnam war dragged on, a music festival was held at Max Yazgur's farm near Woodstock (NY), the Jackson Five made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, and Diana Ross made her last. Led Zeppelin released their debut album, the Beatles released "Abbey Road" and the Who released "Tommy." "Midnight Cowboy" and "Sesame Street" also premiered that year, and in Vermont a freshman Senator named Bill Doyle first plumbed the sentiments of Vermont voters with a survey which proved so useful that he expanded and distributed the survey the following year, and the year after that, continuing every year since. Today, the "Doyle Survey'' is ubiquitous every March, distributed in newspaper inserts and offered at polling places and town halls throughout the State - with no cost to the taxpayer. It is a Vermont institution, like Senator Doyle himself.

 

The first survey in 1969 asked only two questions, but starting the following year, the survey was expanded to fourteen questions on topics of current interest to the public including abortion, the drinking age, pollution, and development. Some questions recur, such as those involving health care access, pollution, the term of office for the Governor, and taxation; other questions come and go, such as the Equal Rights Amendment, the energy crisis of the mid-1970s and subsidies for Amtrak. Often, questions appear on the survey years before the Legislature acts on them; health care access for all, smoking in public places, use of cell phones while driving and public financing of political campaigns are examples of such questions. Survey results are reported extensively in Vermont media.

 

doyle survey on shelf The Vermont State Library has obtained all available surveys from 1970 to the present, many reflecting individual town-level statistics, and quite a few contain hand-written comments from Vermonters. They chart Vermonters' concerns over the past four decades and offer a detailed longitudinal view of Vermont's evolving political landscape. We believe we have the only (nearly complete) collection of the Doyle Surveys - which Senator Doyle calls "the most satisfying thing he's done as a legislator" - and we're pleased to make them available to historians, researchers and the public.


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dcf14Faust Swaps VT Cows for Florida Alligators 

Teresa R. Faust is leaving her position as Special Services Consultant and head of the Department of Libraries Special Services Unit (SSU) at the end of June. SSU serves as Vermont's network regional library of the National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped, part of the Library of Congress.

 

In her seven years at SSU, Teresa set up an SSU Library Advisory Council, the SSU/VCB Postal Carrier of the Year Award, and the beginnings of a local recording program for talking books of Vermont interest, and spoke to support groups for the blind and civic groups throughout Vermont. She shepherded SSU patrons through the transition from books on cassette tape to books on USB flash drives, and most recently to downloadable books and an iOS app.   She also taught and co-taught library workshops on outreach, services to special populations, and collection development for seniors, and worked with Vermont staff at the correctional facilities to survey programs and books for inmates.

 

VTLIB staff will miss Teresa's advocacy for all readers - such as her lively interest in making sure the annual Vermont Reads title was available in audio and large print book format. She also wrote trivia questions for the annual Trustees and Friends fall contest, including answers like bedbugs, the Queen of England, and Rupert Grint from the Harry Potter films. Many will remember meeting "Faust, Special Services, Berlin," her favorite offbeat introduction.

 

Teresa is leaving to become the Library Director at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. We wish her well!


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scigrantIn Memoriam: Dr. Burnett Rawson, Library Philanthropist  

The Vermont library community lost one of its most ardent supporters and a terrific man when Dr. Burnett Rawson of Essex died on May 18, 2014, at age 100. Rawson, who grew up in Underhill, spent most of his life as an urologist in New York state but returned to Vermont in 2004 after his beloved wife, Jessie, died. Back in Vermont, Rawson continued working for the things he cared about: peace, justice, beauty, the life of the mind, and children.

 

In 1988 the Rawsons provided seed money to the Town of Underhill to build a new library which became the Deborah Rawson Memorial Library, named after the Rawsons' only daughter, who died at the age of 40. Having seen what a difference a library can make to the community, Rawson continued to support libraries, and in 2007 created the Winnie Belle Learned Fund, part of the Vermont Public Library Foundation, administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries, in order to award grants "to help the small public libraries of Vermont foster literacy, love of learning, critical analysis and intellectual exploration in their communities, particularly among children and their families." The Fund is named in honor of the woman who was his benefactress: a teacher who saw the potential in young Burnett and paid to send him to UVM.

 

Since its inception in 2007, the Winnie Belle Learned fund has awarded 179 grants to 89 libraries, three bookmobiles, and the Green Mountain Library Consortium. In addition, it has co-sponsored the Vermont Early Literacy Initiative, a statewide program in public libraries to reach children, parents and caregivers with books and activities supporting early language and math literacy. Without Rawson's generosity Vermont public libraries would be much less vibrant and innovative; he has made a huge difference, and we are all very grateful.

 

Anyone who met Dr. Rawson saw immediately his kindness, his sense of humor, his intelligence and his caring. When Marty Reid, the State Librarian, and Grace Greene, the Youth Services Consultant, would visit him at his home to discuss Winnie Belle Learned grants, they would always be impressed with his keen intelligence and wit, listening to books and magazines (his eyesight was bad) well into his 101st year. A true lifelong learner, Rawson kept involved until the very end. One of his favorite things to do was to pop in unexpectedly to a library that had received a Winnie Belle Learned grant. There, he was invariably treated like royalty, but his pleasure came from seeing the children enjoy what he had made possible.

 

It was Rawson's hope that those who mourn his passing will give to causes that promise to improve the world, especially to the Deborah Rawson Memorial Library, 8 River Road, Jericho, VT 05465; the Winnie Belle Learned Fund, Vermont Department of Libraries, 109 State St., Montpelier, VT 05609; or the Rawson Family Fund of Vermont Community Trust, 3 Court St., Middlebury, VT 05753.

 

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imls