Vermont School Libraries

Teaching Vermont students to think, create, share, and grow

Mission Statement

The Vermont School Library Association (VSLA) is a professional learning community that supports dynamic teaching and learning environments. Its members promote and advocate for strong library programs that give all Vermont students access to information and the resources necessary to succeed in a connected world.


"She's Leaving On a New Quest"

A Tribute to Grace Greene

Coming Soon... Dynamic Landscapes 2015 Do, Make, and Create! Accepting Session proposals now!

   Deadline for proposals: February 21, 2015.

VSLA Board Drafts Strategic Plan

by Linda McSweeney

On an unusually wild, rainy, and windy day in August, the VSLA Board was hard at work mapping the
future of our association. Energized by last year’s successful campaign to reinstate library programs in the revised Education Quality Standards, the 2014-15 Board focused on identifying our mission and our goals for the incredibly important work we do for all Vermont students.

With help from State Librarian, Marty Reid, we examined VSLA’s strengths and opportunities (SWOT analysis); drafted a mission statement; and traveled ‘back to the future’ to envision VSLA in 2017. Additional retreat agenda items included VSLA’s role in implementing Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Vermont AOE consultants, Pat Fitzsimmons, Gail Hall,
Kathy Renfrew, and Laurie Dolezal met with the Board and identified several collaborative opportunities for VSLA and the AOE. The Board also enjoyed a surprise Skype visitor--Chris Grabenstein, author of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. Chris was charming, funny, and incredibly generous. He has graciously granted permission for VSLA to use Luigi Lemoncello’s chisel-worthy quote, ‘knowledge not shared remains unknown.’ 

Our new Mission Statement and 3-year strategic plan were unanimously approved at the September Board meeting. The simplicity of these documents, however, belie the thoughtful, focused discussion and intense collaborative work that created them.

The Board’s next action is to release a VSLA School Librarian Job Description. Many VSLA members and school administrators have been asking for guidance about what it means to be a school librarian in 2014. A subcommittee chaired by Heidi Heustis with members Judy Kaplan and Denise Wentz have a draft job description ready for Board approval. Based on the AASL job description, but right-sized for Vermont, it will be ready shortly and shared on the listserv and website.

The stormy weather at our retreat rolled through and turned into one of those rare, clear, perfect summer days--the convergence of nature and thoughtful planning.

Ms. MacDonald Goes to Washington

...and represents VSLA at National Library Legislative Day along with Marty Reid, Vermont State Librarian.

Find out more about legislative impacts on libraries and see additional photos from the trip here.

802 School Librarians

  • Check Us Out!  
  • How Donna MacDonald organized her school's hour of code!
    Read this great blog post from School Library Journal recognizing Donna and her hour of code!
    Posted Jan 12, 2015, 9:27 AM by Shannon DeSantis
  • Megan Sutton's SLJ Reflections

    SLJ Leadership Summit

    by Megan Sutton

    Over the weekend of October 24th, Donna Sullivan-MacDonald and I traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota to attend the 10th annual School Library Journal Leadership Summit.  This year’s Summit, titled Fire it Up:  Sparking Creativity & Motivating Students, did not disappoint.  The Summit, sponsored by Capstone, Follett, Lerner, ABDO, Baker & Taylor, BrainHive, Gale Cengage, Junior Library Guild, Lego Education, Mackin, Rosen, and Simmons, brings together 200 teachers, teacher librarians, school librarians, media coordinators, district librarians, district coordinators and other library leaders from across the country to connect, learn and hear from recognized leaders in education and the school publishing industry.  Saturday began with a welcome by SLJ editor Rebecca Miller followed by a keynote address by 2013 National Superintendent of the year, Mark Edwards.  He spoke about the changing educational landscape in Mooresville, NC as a result of their district-wide adoption of a 1:1 technology environment.  His inspiring talk was followed by a panel presentation featuring the Media Coordinators from his district.  Those presentations were followed by a panel of industry representatives, and then a panel of nonfiction authors.  Sunday featured an entertaining keynote by Stephen Turnipseed, President Emeritus of Lego Education International, North America.  Several of us inquired about the possibility of sharing/borrowing his slides, only to be told he was at the edge of copyright limits with the music and images in the presentation. Stephen’s presentation was followed by a stimulating panel that included Doug Johnson and Joyce Valenza. The event was capped off by a lunchtime endnote by Patricia Polacco.  She shared the story of The Keeping Quilt, including a reproduction of the quilt.  She is an extraordinary storyteller – I have never heard an author presentation quite like it. It was a perfect ending to an incredible weekend.  Donna and I both headed home with new ideas, renewed connections, and beautiful new books. Go to SLJ Summit 2014 for more information.  The Summit will probably be featured in an upcoming issue of SLJ as well.

    Posted Nov 24, 2014, 7:51 AM by Shannon DeSantis
  • Robin Bryce's AASL Reflections

    Posted May 10, 2014, 4:48 PM by Linda McSweeney
  • Vitalibavegamin Book Club
    Envision that classic 'Vitameatavegamin' episode in I Love Lucy where she has sampled a bit too much of her product--    

    Hello friends. 
    I'm your Vitameatavegamin girl. 
    Are you tired, run-down, listless? 
    Do you poop out at parties? 
    Are you unpopular? 
    The answer to all your problems is in this little bottle. 

    Yes, with Vitameatavegamin, you can spoon your way to health. 
    All you do is take a great big tablespoonful after every meal. 
    So why don't you join all the thousands of happy peppy people and get a great big bottle of Vitameatavegamin tomorrow!" 

    Join the peppy educators of Vita-Learn and the Vermont School Library Association in the first read of our new new virtual book club "Vitalibavegamin"  where the answers to all your problems can READ your way to health...and join thousands of happy peppy people and READ.

    Here's the link to request an invitation on Good Reads:
    Photo credit:

    Posted Apr 8, 2014, 7:38 AM by Linda McSweeney
  • New Rowland Fellow, Jeanie Phillips

    Jeanie Phillips, Green Mountain High School librarian, has been awarded a Rowland Fellowship for the 2014-2015 school year.  The fellowship will allow Jeanie to visit schools and libraries, attend conferences, read, research, collaborate and reflect to deepen her understanding of creativity and innovation in schools.  She hopes to create new leverage points for engaging students in personalized learning in her district, school and library.  You can learn more about the Rowland Foundation by visiting  Congratulations Jeanie!  We look forward to benefiting from your research! 
    Posted Mar 5, 2014, 10:06 AM by Linda McSweeney
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