In This Issue
From the State Librarian
Rob Geiszler Retires
Tess Adone Arrives
State Librarian Appointment
Spotlight On Kellogg Hubbard Library
Shakespeare's First Folio on Exhibit at Middlebury College Museum of Art
New Year's Re-Solutions to Best Practices
Public Librarians Eligible to Receive Pension
Measuring Your Success
Unified English Braille
Due to staff transition, 
 The Newsletter
was not produced for December 2015,
but Youth Services Consultant Sharon Colvin's features are available by clicking on the links:

 

New Books for Children & Teens 

 
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From the State Librarian
MartaReidVTStateLibrarian

Like me, you may be the kind of person who celebrates the New Year with a burst of energy and a heightened sense of possibility and opportunity. This year I was very happy to turn the calendar page and see the end of 2015. For the Department of Libraries, it was a difficult year of economic challenges which occupied a big chunk of my time and thought and required us to be quick on our feet to plan for and adjust to some unwelcome change. It is a tribute to the outstanding employees in our Department that we did more than just "weather the storm." In fact, we have much to celebrate about our work over the past 12 months, and I want to share some of our successes with you.
VTLIB Staff News: 
Rob Geiszler Retires from Department  
Rob Geiszler, Regional Library Consultant for libraries in Addison, Chittenden and Rutland counties, retired on December 11 after 9 years of employment at the Department of Libraries. In addition to his work with local library directors and library trustees, Rob served as the Department's State Data Coordinator and worked with fellow data coordinators in state library agencies across the country and with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to collect, compile, analyze and report statistical data from public libraries. His work resulted in the annual publication of the Vermont Public Library Statistics Report, and the inclusion of Vermont library data in the national IMLS report on public libraries. Rob's expertise and consulting on library legal issues, library governance, and library construction and facility management were much sought after by library directors and trustees around the state. In his "spare" time, Rob has been very active with Habitat for Humanity of Rutland County, putting his carpentry and construction skills to good work. We wish Rob well in his new retirement!
VTLIB Staff News: 
Tess Adone Arrived December 9, 2015 
 
Tess Adone has been hired as the Executive Assistant to State Librarian Marty Reid. With a M.A. in English and nearly twenty years of college teaching, tutoring, and consulting experience, Tess has worked with librarians in a variety of settings, as well as directly provided research and library skills instruction.

After a two-year stint as the Circulation Librarian at Brownell Library in Essex Junction, she also garnered eight years of experience as an executive assistant. At the Stern Center for Language and Learning, her work included supporting early literacy initiatives, particularly www.buildingblocksforliteracy.org. Most recently she worked at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont.

Tess is the new editor of The Newsletter and is inaugurating "Spotlight On" as a monthly feature, as well as layout style changes. Periodically recurring features and themes will be introduced over the course of the year.
 
VTLIB Staff News:
State Librarian Appointed 
to Financial Literacy Commission
Governor Peter Shumlin has appointed State Librarian Martha Reid as the representative from the Executive Branch to the Vermont Financial Literacy Commission. The Commission was established by the legislature in 2015 to "measurably improve the financial literacy capability of Vermont's citizens" and includes the State Treasurer and representatives from the Agency of Education, K12 public schools, Vermont colleges and universities, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), the Vermont banking and credit union industries, and the non-profit sector which provides services related to financial literacy to low income Vermonters. Reid will serve a three-year term on the Commission.
 
Kellogg-Hubbard Library   
           

"Spotlight On" is a new feature of The Newsletter, and the inaugural article is contributed by Tom McKone, Executive Director of Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier. Kellogg-Hubbard holds an annual fundraising gala Evening at the Library. How do they do it? Find out what it takes.

Full article

Shakespeare's First Folio Exhibit at
Middlebury College Museum of Art


First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare:
An Exhibit on Tour from Folger Shakespeare Library

Published in 1623, First Folio is the first collected edition of William Shakespeare's plays, and only 233 copies have survived. To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the Folger Shakespeare Library is sending a First Folio to every U.S. state. Middlebury College Museum of Art is the Vermont host throughout February.
  
In addition to the traveling exhibit in Overbrook Gallery, performances, workshops, speakers, film screenings, and family events will be offered. A special Folio Festival will be held the evening of February 18. Events are free.
 
 
Learn more about the ALA-sponsored First Folio exhibit,
including the full 2016 National Tour Itinerary.

 

New Year's Re-Solutions
to Best Practices   

Are you a librarian
thinking about
how to create the
best library ever
in 2016?
 
Training is a key component in achieving and maintaining best practices in performance and standards.
 
This month, resources are highlighted on intellectual freedom and free training materials specific to those in the library profession.   
Public Librarians Eligible to Receive Pension   

Vermont public library employees may have an option to become members of the Vermont Municipal Employees Retirement System (VMERS), and thus receive a pension upon retirement. Employees of municipal libraries in towns that participate with VMERS should be eligible automatically as town employees. Library staff working in incorporated libraries also may be eligible. The Department of Libraries encourages local library directors and trustees to investigate possible options that may be available to library staff. Full article 
Measuring Your Success
       

Libraries change lives, but how can those changes be measured? Exactly how do libraries make a difference? What data can show that programs impacted children and adults?
 
Public libraries seeking quantitative outcome measures have a new tool available. The Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association, launched Project Outcome in July 2015.
Introducing Unified English Braille

 
On January 4, 2016, in honor of the 207th birthday of Louis Braille, Unified English Braille (UEB) was implemented to replace English Braille American Edition (EBAE). Braille, like the language it represents, undergoes changes. In recent years the conventions of print also changed, and several braille systems had been developed to account for the appearance, production, and distribution of print across disciplines.UEB brings braille into the 21st century, and its implementation may improve declining braille literacy.
 
For comprehensive information, go to http://www.brailleauthority.org 


ONLY COMPLETE ARTICLES BEYOND THIS POINT
Marty
From the Vermont State Librarian
 
Like me, you may be the kind of person who celebrates the New Year with a burst of energy and a heightened sense of possibility and opportunity. This year I was very happy to turn the calendar page and see the end of 2015. For the Department of Libraries, it was a difficult year of economic challenges which occupied a big chunk of my time and thought and required us to be quick on our feet to plan for and adjust to some unwelcome change. It is a tribute to the outstanding employees in our Department that we did more than just "weather the storm." In fact, we have much to celebrate about our work over the past 12 months, and I want to share some of our successes with you:
  • Secured a National Leadership for Libraries grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to fund a 3-year VELI-STEM (Vermont Early Literacy Initiative) project, in partnership with the Vermont Center for the Book;
  • Joined the Green Mountain Library Consortium to plan a pilot interlibrary loan courier service, which will begin in some 80 public libraries later this month;
  • Successfully negotiated the transition of public legal reference service from the State Library in Montpelier to the Julien and Virginia Cornell Library at the Vermont Law School;
  • Partnered with several academic and special libraries across the state to form the Green Mountain Digital Archive, with the goal of adding Vermont digital content to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) by the end of this year;
  • Completed a project that updated the bibliographic records in our K12Cat union catalog of school library holdings;
  • Installed a new recording studio at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Berlin to strengthen our local recording program of Vermont books and authors for blind readers across the country;
  • Co-sponsored with the Vermont Library Association a successful conference for library trustees, offering a variety of workshops and speakers to support the work of Vermont library boards;
  • Sponsored a statewide summer reading program in public libraries, and expanded the number of libraries which offer meal programs to children during the summer.
There are many more accomplishments - both large and small - that I am not reporting here, all of which will help set the stage for our year ahead. By the end of 2016 we will have a new strategic plan and will have completed work to restructure our Department in order to strengthen the impact of our programs and services and to further support Vermont libraries. Stay tuned - we'll keep you up to date in our monthly e-newsletters, and you won't want to miss a single issue.

Marty Reid 

KelloggSpotlight On Kellogg-Hubbard Library
 
Gala Fundraiser Helps to Support Kellogg-Hubbard Library
Contributed by Executive Director Tom McKone
 
Some call it the social event to start the holiday season: the Kellogg-Hubbard Library's annual gala fundraiser in honor of a Vermont author. Started a decade ago as a smaller celebration in honor of Katherine Paterson, Evening at the Library has steadily grown and has become a popular December tradition that attracts 300 attendees.
 
An Evening at the Library has several benefits. First of all, the library puts itself front and center by hosting a fun event that people love and which creates a lot of good will and reminds people of the need to support the library. Honoring an author fits the library's mission perfectly, of course, and authors have been both pleased to be honored and generous in their willingness to help the library. Although it is a solid fundraiser and the library clearly comes out ahead, it does require extensive preparation. When the direct expenses (like catering, flowers, sound system, etc.) and the "hidden" expenses of staff time are deducted, the library may net a third of the gross income.
 
So how does this fundraiser work? An independent nonprofit corporation, the Kellogg-Hubbard Library has a half-time staff member devoted to fundraising. The Library has a large cadre of volunteers, but does not have a Friends group. This fundraiser would be far beyond the range of most Friends groups.
 
Executive Director Tom McKone and Fund Development Coordinator Rachel Senechal begin planning for EAL more than a year in advance. One of the first steps each fall is to select and ask a possible honoree for the next year; in the event that the author has not attended an EAL gala, that person can then attend the coming one. The future honoree is not announced until much later, of course.
 
EAL stretches the 18,449-square-foot library to capacity. On the day of the event, the library closes four hours early so that tables, chairs, computers, and many other things need to be moved. The caterers and beer and wine bar service are hired months in advance, as is the company that provides additional glasses, standing tables, table cloths, and additional chairs.
 
The Fund Development Coordinator secures dozens of food and beverage donations and/or discounts. She also secures a couple of dozen local businesses as event sponsors. Those businesses receive tickets to the event and are recognized in several ways, including two donated newspaper ads and credit on programs and posters. Attendees pay $60 per person.
 
The event includes both live and silent auctions, with the silent auction items on display in the library a few weeks in advance. Two gift trees suggest amounts donors can give to support a new adult book, a children's program, etc. Holiday decorations, including two nutcrackers outside the front entrance, contribute to the festive atmosphere.
 
While this is a great fundraiser for the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, any libraries considering some similar event should start small and decide how much growth makes sense for that library. This takes a lot of staff time and is expensive to put on, so a risk of going too big, too fast is that it could actually cost more than it raises.  
Ed Koren was the featured author of 2015 Evening at the Library. 
Koren is the iconic cartoonist for the New Yorker. 
Photo by John Lazenby 
 
 
Kellogg-Hubbard Library
Executive Director Tom McKone
and Fund Development Coordinator Rachel Senechal
are prime movers behind Evening at the Library.
Photo by Jarrett Bowie
 
 

A festive crowd at 2015 Evening at the Library
Photo by Wayne
Fawbush
 
 

BestNew Year's Re-Solutions
to Best Practices
 
Are you a librarian thinking about how to create the
best library ever in 2016?

Training is key to achieving and maintaining best practices. Many libraries offer full staff events and individual trainings. The Department of Libraries posts continuing education opportunities in multiple formats, including a calendar of VTLIB workshops and webinars from other agencies.
 
Intellectual Freedom
Current and consistent understanding of intellectual freedom issues for all staff members and trustees is a vital component of library best practices. Intellectual freedom training is a good opportunity to review local library policy, talk about the Library Bill of Rights, and confirm that everyone understands public library values. 
 
In addition to using core documents to spur discussion and understanding, Vermonters are privileged to have the expertise of Trina Magi, a University of Vermont Library Professor who served as a member of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee and chair of the Vermont Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee.The following articles are authored by Professor Magi: 
 
Suggested Guidelines: How to Respond to Law Enforcement Requests for Library Records and User Information
  
A Fresh Look at Privacy--Why Does It Matter, Who Cares, and What Should Librarians Do about It?

Training Webinars
Webinars are a training mode of choice for free and easily accessed instruction. Web Junction,
a site created by seasoned library professionals for those in library professions, offers free courses, webinars, and resources. The following Top Ten list is a small sampling of its wealth of offerings.
 
  1. Adult Coloring Explosion (article)
  2. Beyond Book Groups: Fun Library Programs for Adult Readers (webinar)
  3. Key Elements of a Project Plan (webinar)
  4. The Pursuit of Happiness ... Through Libraries (webinar)
  5. Growing Through Conflict: Healthy Workplace Communication (webinar)
  6. The Community Connector: Referring Social Services at the Library (webinar)
  7. Great Ideas for Innovative Community Engagement (article)
  8. Interesting Patron Questions (article)
  9. Competency Index for the Library Field (article)
  10. Health Happens in Libraries: Pathways to Guide Health Education at Your Library (webinar)
To get the most out of webinar material, log in to the webinar 15 minutes before its start time to allow for troubleshooting, downloading updates, or other unforeseen events. Browsers differ, so it is worth the time to investigate Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer to see which one runs the optimal presentation experience. A headset is a must for quality audio and to block ambient noise. Finally, staff should be provided with release time specifically devoted to their professional development training, uninterrupted by phone or library tasks.

PensionPublic Librarians Eligible to Receive Pension  

Vermont public library employees may have an option to become members of the Vermont Municipal Employees Retirement System (VMERS), and thus receive a pension upon retirement. Employees of municipal libraries in towns that participate with VMERS automatically should be eligible as town employees. Employees of incorporated libraries also may be eligible. The Department of Libraries encourages local library directors and trustees to investigate possible options that may be available to library staff.

Eligibility of public libraries and library employees are set in statute 24 VSA 5051
(See Sections 10 and 11). Take note:
1) The library (including incorporated libraries) must receive at least one-half of its operating expenses from local municipal funds; and
2) The employee must be scheduled to work at least 1,040 hours during the course of a year. (VMERS characterizes this as being scheduled to work at least 24 hours per week.)

It is the library, not just the individual employee(s), that joins VMERS.
By joining VMERS, the library and the employee(s) will incur some costs:
1) For the library: 4% to 7.25% of an employee's gross salary
2) For the employee: 2.5% to 10% of the gross salary

See this chart to learn more. (Libraries are not eligible for Group D.)

It is important to note that once a Vermont public library joins VMERS, the library may not withdraw. In addition, once a library chooses a particular plan, the library may only modify that plan once a year (in December). Other limitations may apply.

To start your inquiry about the process, check the website of the State Treasurer, who oversees this program: http://www.vermonttreasurer.gov/retirement/municipal-vmers

For more information on eligibility and the implementation process, contact VMERS at (802) 828-2305.

MeasureMeasuring Your Success

Libraries change lives. How can those changes be measured? Exactly how do libraries make a difference? What data can show that programs impacted children and adults?
 
Public libraries seeking quantitative outcome measures have a new tool available. The Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association, launched Project Outcome in July 2015.
 
"Project Outcome is dedicated to helping public libraries understand and share the true impact of essential library services and programs with simple survey instruments and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. Developed by library leaders, researchers, and data analysts, Project Outcome surveys, resources, training, and supportive online community provide public libraries with everything they need to apply their results and confidently advocate for their library's future. Joining Project Outcome is free of charge and only takes a few simple steps to begin."Sign up at www.projectoutcome.org.
 
Project Outcome measures civic/community engagement, digital inclusion, early childhood literacy, economic development, education/lifelong learning, job skills, and summer reading. The short, road-tested surveys put results into a format suitable for sharing with staff and board members, town residents and officials, and supportive organizations such as the Rotary Club.
 
To learn more, the next webinar, "The Value of Outcome Measurement for Library Programs," will be held Thursday, January 21, 2016, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST.

For Vermont questions, contact VTLIB Consultant Amy Howlett at amy.howlett@vermont.gov.