VSLA Annual Meeting Minutes, Agenda and Reports

Agenda and Minutes
VSLA Annual Membership Meeting
May 10, 2012

Unapproved VSLA Annual Meeting May 10, 2012 Minutes

VSLA Annual Membership Meeting

Champlain College, Burlington – Dynamic Landscapes Conference

May 10, 2012




President Anna Bolognani called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m.  Forty members were in attendance, including Board members Anna Bolognani, Claire Buckley, Lindy Sargent, Donna Smyth, Donna Sullivan-MacDonald, Sue Irish, Angelica Harris, Cheryl Kissel, Christine Gilbert, Christine Eldred, Shannon Walters, Marilee Attley, Karen Hennig, Dan Greene, Erikka Adams, and Linda McSweeney.


Secretary's Report .   Secretary Lindy Sargent reported that she’d emailed the May 19, 2011 Annual Meeting’s minutes to the VSLA Listserv for review earlier in the week.  With a motion by Sue Monmaney and a second by  Linda McSweeney the minutes were approved.


Treasurer's Year End Report .  Donna Smyth presented the treasurer’s report, opening with a discussion of the GMBA and DCF sponsorships, which are currently set at $500 each and support the GMBA sets and the DCF endnote speaker.  The Board was considering increasing this amount, at least for the DCF conference since the $500 does not cover the expenses, and wanted input from the membership.  After discussing several questions, including whether annual funding requests are required of the GMBA and DCF committees, the group decided that more data is needed.   Megan Sutton, a DCF committee member, volunteered to get back to the VSLA Board with this information.    For the budget approval process a motion was necessary to increase funds potentially needed for these sponsorships.  Sue Irish moved that the DCF line item be increased from $500 to $1,000 and the GMBA remain the same at $500.  Marilee Attley seconded the motion, and it was approved.

Donna next presented the proposed budget for 2012-2013.  She highlighted several areas of the budget and indicated that the line item increase for the aforementioned sponsorship would need to be found elsewhere in the budget.  Megan Sutton moved that the Professional Development line item be reduced by $500, which amendment was seconded by Linda McSweeney and passed by the membership.  The 2012-13 budget was approved after a motion by Shannon Walters and a second by Sue Irish.


VSLA Award.  Erikka Adams, chair of the committee, introduced the 2012 recipient of the VSLA Award, which recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to school libraries and the library community in Vermont.  Erikka quoted from peers that this librarian is always thinking of ways to improve students’ ability to learn and perform using books and technology.”   Her principal noted that she is “often the first staff member to come and the last to leave,” and is truly a living example that the strength of one’s school lies squarely on the shoulders of its teachers and its library/librarian.”  The award was then presented to Sharon Hayes from the Folsom Education and Community Center in South Hero, who received a rousing ovation from the members. 



Executive Board Slate.  President Anna Bolognani presented the Executive Board slate as follows:

President:  Anna Bolognani

Vice President:  Vacant

Treasurer:  Donna Smyth

Secretary:  Kate Davie 

Georgianne Bonifanti made a motion to accept this slate of officers, which was seconded by Erikka Adams and approved.


Retirees:   Anna  Bolognani shared the list of VSLA members who are retiring this year.  They are:  Tad Dana - Northfield Middle/High School
Susan Hunter - Riverside Middle School
Sheila Aiken - Underhill Central School and Smilie Memorial School
Maxine Anderson - Underhill ID School
Lindy Sargent - Newport City Elementary School
Judy Henchel - Hazen Union Middle/High School

She publically thanked them for their service to their schools and the Vermont Library community.  The three school librarians present at the meeting, Lindy Sargent, Sheila Aiken, and Maxine Anderson, were warmly saluted by fellow librarians Karen Hennig and Sue Irish, and all retiring librarians were given a round of applause. 


Anna thanked Dan Greene for his 20+ years of service to the VSLA Board, most recently as the webmaster where he revitalized the organization’s web presence. 


Anna thanked Donna Sullivan-MacDonald and Sue Irish, who chaired the conference committee and worked tirelessly on this year’s Dynamic Landscapes conference.


 Marty Reid, Vermont State Librarian, thanked Donna Sullivan-MacDonald for her many efforts on legislative issues and for joining her and Anna at the annual Washington D.C. Legislative Day.


Anna announced that Joy Mercer won the raffle for a free year of VSLA  membership. 


All of the above were warmly applauded and thanked by the members.


The members were advised to check the VSLA website,  http://vtsla.org for other Annual Reports of the various regions and committees of the Board, and for new plans being developed for a fall conference and other opportunities for networking.


Shannon Walters suggested we find a person we don’t know, say hello, and spread the network.


Adjournment.  The annual meeting was adjourned at 4:31 p.m., following a motion by Susan Monmaney and a second by Georgianne Bonifanti.


Respectfully submitted,


Lindy Sargent







Secretary's Report



Secretary 2011-2012

 Section 3:  The SECRETARY shall:


a.       Keep accurate minutes of all Executive Board meetings

b.      Keep accurate minutes of all membership meetings and publish those minutes on the VSLA website

c.       Distribute accurate minutes to the Executive Board prior to the next duly called meeting

d.      Receive and file copies of the annual reports of all committee chairs

e.       Be responsible for all correspondence as directed by the President, the Executive Board, or the Association.

 This year the job of VSLA secretary involved attending the 5/10/12 annual membership meeting and Executive Board meetings either in person or via the LNV network, TodaysMeet, Skype or conference call and recording the minutes of these meetings, which occurred on 9/22/11, 11/10/11, 1/26/12, 3/8/12, and 4/12/12.  Afterward, the minutes were distributed by email for approval and sent to the Webmaster for posting on the VSLA website.  Hard copies of all agendas, minutes, committee reports, and any correspondence directed by the president or otherwise pertinent to VSLA business were filed in a binder.  The secretary is retiring this year and Kate Davie has been nominated to fill the VSLA Executive Board position for 2012-13.  The secretary wishes to thank the VSLA Board for their inspiration to this Board member and for their leadership and dedication to all Vermont school librarians.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Lindy Sargent


Treasurer's Year End Report – Vote needed

GMBA & DCF sponsorships

Budget presentation for 2012-2013 & vote

VSLA Award – Erikka Adams

VSLA Retirees & other awards

Year End Reports:

Intellectual Freedom – Christine Eldred


Vermont L4L Report 2011-2012

This year’s Vermont L4L workshops had the theme, “Rockstar Tour.”  The original dates scheduled are listed below.  Note that the NE region workshop was cancelled due to low enrollment, but we were able to accommodate most 3 out 5 registered NE librarians at the Montpelier session.

Sat . Jan 7, 2012NE Rockstars - NE The Saint Johnsbury School  (snowdate: 01/14/2012)
Sat  Jan 28, 2012SW Rockstars - SW Lothrop Elementary School Library (snowdate: 02/04/2012)
Sat. Feb 11, 2012Central Rockstars - Montpelier High School  (snowdate: 02/18/2012)
Sat. Mar 10, 2012SE Rockstars - Brattleboro High School (snowdate: 03/24/2012)
Sat. Mar 31, 2012NW Rockstars - Mount Mansfield Union High School (snowdate: 4/7/2012)

In order to ‘catch up’ some new school librarians and others who had been unable to attend Boot Camp in 2010, we offered a ‘last chance’ Boot Camp in a central location, Randolph Elementary School, on December 3, 2011.  15 new ‘recruits’ attended.

Following last year’s ‘Boot Camp’ where we rolled out the new AASL Standards and the AASL Planning Guide, this year’s goals was to provide VSLA members with a collaborative day to look at tools and resources to implement the standards.  We ‘speed dated’ the AASL 2011 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning in small groups with an eye to ‘blinging out’ some of our existing lesson plans with some new tools.  After lunch we created free accounts on the AASL Lesson Plan database and discussed how we could use the database as a place to park our lesson plans which most of us have scattered in multiple locations.  VSLA members were encouraged to submit lesson plans to be vetted and published by AASL.  We also looked at the Syracuse University lesson plan ebook edited by Barb Stripling as another great resource to help us implement standards in our teaching.  The Agenda follows.

Agenda (8:30 - 3:30 all locations)

9 am Mosh pit

(Come prepared to share successes and challenges with your AASL Planning Guide subscriptions, 21st c job descriptions,

and more from last year’s Boot Camp).

10 am - noon Speed Dating

(Meet the websites of your dreams with a fast and furious look at the AASL Best Websites

for teaching our students to Think Create Share & Grow)

Lunch (noon - 1)


Recording session (1 - 2:30)

(Working in small groups by grade level, compose a 21st century lesson plan to submit to the AASL Lesson Plan Database)

It’s a Wrap (2:30 - 3:00)

(Let’s debrief and think about next steps)

What’s next?  Having had a moment to speak with Shannon Walters at the NW Rockstar Tour, it sounds like there is a fabulous opportunity to create a Saturday workshop with Joyce Valenza following the 2013 Dynamic Landscapes.  I’d love to help with planning that day since it is a natural progression from the work we have done in the past two years.  It has been such a pleasure to meet with Vermont school librarians who are such a dedicated and creative bunch.  As we discussed on the Rockstar Tour, we will never be rich and famous like Rockstars, but we compose, perform, sing, and dance every day with the best of them!

Repectfully submitted,

Linda McSweeney



196 members (215 last year & 12 less than 2009-2010)

35 NESLA members (down from 48 last year)

14 new VSLA members (down from 28 last year)

3 free memberships offered to first year certified librarians working in a school or certified out-of-state librarians working in a Vermont school for the first time (8 last year)

Provided mentors to members who requested one

VEMA listserv continues to be great incentive for membership


Areas Needing Improvement:

  • Need to email welcome letter to each new member in a timely manner
  • Need to send letter with return postcard to lifetime members to see if they want to continue receiving the VSLA News.

Suggestions for Action

Submitted by Karen Hennig

NESLA/AASL – Merlyn Miller

Technology Concerns – Shannon Walters

Legislative Concerns

Committee/ Region Name: Legislative Concerns

Date of Report: May 8, 2012


Since July 2011, the VSLA membership was alerted to several items of concern on the national front:

  • On July 25th, members were encouraged to call both U.S. senators and ask them to co-sponsor the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act (S.1328).  The SKILLs Act would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in the following ways:

    • Ensuring that funds will serve school libraries in elementary, middle, and high schools;

    • Improving literacy and college and career readiness through effective school library programs;

    • Encouraging coordination and shared planning time among school librarians and classroom teachers;

    • Expanding professional development to include digital literacy instruction that is appropriate for all grade levels, an assessment of student literacy needs, the coordination of reading and writing instruction across content areas, and training in literacy strategies in all content areas;

    • Requiring books and materials to be appropriate for students in all grade levels and students with special learning needs, including English language learners;

    • Providing grants on a competitive basis for a period of three years;

    • Targeting funding to school districts with 20 percent or greater levels of students in poverty;

    • Ensuring an equitable distribution of funds among the different geographic regions of the country and among urban and rural areas; and

    • Requiring greater coordination among other literacy, technology, and professional development funds and activities.

  • On August 19th, members were again encouraged to contact their senators for support for the SKILLs Act. This legislation would be very important for the future of school libraries within the federal government.

  • On August 25th, I received a response from Senator Sanders, thanking me for sharing my concerns regarding the SKILLs Act.

  • In mid-September, President Obama called on Congress to pass a new jobs creation bill, the American Jobs Act (AJA) of 2011. The Senate version of this bill included $30 billion for K-12 education to retain or rehire educators, including many school librarians. VSLA members were encouraged to call their two senators and congressional representatives to support the AJA.

    • In early October, AASL urged school library advocates to contact their US Representatives and Senators to attend the Congressional Briefings on SKILLs. If few attend the briefings, the six co-sponsors might decide that the bill was not worth fighting for. I asked the membership to call or fax their representatives.

    • On November 3rd, I passed along the disappointing news that although the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), an amendment (Whitehouse/Murray) that would support school libraries was withdrawn because of lack of support.  The amendment might be reintroduced when the act reaches the full Senate.  When it hits the Senate, active support from all members will be needed to encourage our senators to vote for the Whitehouse/Murray amendment.

    • The next day, I encouraged VSLA members to sign a petition at whitehouse.gov titled “Ensure All School Libraries Are Properly Staffed, Open and Available for Children Every Day.” Within a week, an informal count showed that at least two dozen Vermonters had signed the petition.

    • In a busy political week, the ALA Washington office wrote a tweet that was to be sent out in anticipation of the Senate ESEA hearing on Tuesday, November 8th.  In order to create a concentrated Twitter bomb, they requested that we send this tweet out on Monday, the 7th, at 11 A.M. Eastern time.

    Below is the tweet:

    Senate holding #ESEA hearing 11/8 & #SchoolLibraries aren’t included. Why?! Good #schools need good #libraries!

    I did send tweets to Vermont’s two senators, as well as a general tweet in support of the ALA request. Although my weekend email to the membership was delayed due to a filtering glitch, I did get the message out early Monday morning.

    • Secretary Arne Duncan held his second #AskArne Twitter Town Hall on November 14th at 5 PM Eastern Time. I participated in the conversation.

    • On November 15th, the first of a series of petitions at Whitehouse.gov supporting school libraries was promoted on the listserv and through tweets.

    • When Penguin Group announced a decision to deny libraries the ability to buy new releases in e-book format, the VSLA listserv was informed. This occurred on November 22nd.

    • On Thanksgiving Day, Joyce Valenza posted a powerful message on SLJ’s Neverending Search concerning the House Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate Protect IP Act (PIPA). This was the first of several messages I sent to the listserv regarding these acts.

    • An ALA Twitter bomb went off on December 8th. The goal of the tweets was to remind Congressional representative to keep school libraries in mind when working on appropriation bills for FY 2012. The tweet was to 

      • look like this: @SenatorLeahy Keep $30 mil for #literacy and school #libraries in this year's federal funding!

      • On December 13th and 16th, I asked the membership to join me in calling Representative Peter Welch regarding ALA/VSLA concerns about SOPA.

      • On December 19th, I was pleased to report that the House Committee postponed action on SOPA and that Congress approved $28.6 million for school libraries.

      • Since the first White House petition didn’t gather enough signatures within the specified time frame, an new petition about including school libraries in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was started in January. On the 6th, I encouraged the membership to join me in signing it.

      • Just in time for Martin Luther King’s birthday, there was another call to action regarding SOPA. I told the membership of a possible Wikipedia Blackout. I informed the group that they could ask Senator Ron Wyden to read their name during a filibuster in opposition to SOPA and PIPA.

      • On January 17, I placed a phone call to Senator Leahy’s Washington office stating ALA/VSLA concerns regarding PIPA. I spoke with a staffer who said that she would relate our concerns to the senator. I’m still waiting from a reply from his office.

      • Through this week, I exchanged emails with Marty Reid, Vermont’s State Librarian regarding VSLA actions on SOPA and PIPA.

      • There was great news shared on January 20th that both SOPA and PIPA votes were delayed. I shared an ALA comparison chart on the acts.

      • SOPA was eventually withdrawn.by its chief sponsor, Lamar Smith. PIPA is now being revised.

      • I received email letters from both Senator Leahy and Senator Sanders concerning my messages to their office regarding PIPA on January 27th and February 1st. Congressman Welch responded on February 3rd.

      • On February 2nd, I notified the membership that the ESEA petition at whitehouse.gov had met the required 25,000 signatures within 30 days. It will be forwarded for administrative attention.

      • It was announced in School Library Journal online that the president cut school libraries from the proposed 2013 budget. I shared this on the listserv on February 16th.

      • Peter Welch signed a letter of support for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in March. I wrote him a letter of thanks and received a message back on March 27th.

      • The White House responded to the ESEA petition in a message on April 13th. The title of the message was, “Supporting School Libraries and the Critical Role They Play.”

      • Finally, during spring vacation, Anna Bolognani, Marty Reid and I traveled to Washington for ALA’s “Library Legislative Day.” After a day of preparation with ALA staff, we met with Senators Leahy and Sanders and a member from Representative Welch’s office. In the meetings, we stated areas of concern for both public and school libraries. The Washington 

        • folks took notes of our concerns and we left them a folder of valuable information.

        Areas Needing Improvement:

        ALA’s “District Dispatch” does a fabulous job of notifying me when there is an item in Washington of concern to school librarians. I’d like to find a similar contact in the state legislature.

        Respectfully submitted,

        Donna Sullivan-Macdonald

        Legislative Concerns

Newsletter – Marcia Peterson

Website – Dan Greene

This concludes my 22nd year as a member of VSLA, and 20th year as a board member.  I have enjoyed being on the board and hope I have served you well.  It is with great pleasure that I now turn over the VSLA Website to Trish Manzke.   In this in information rich world we live in, Trish will keep us connected and informed.

Regional Reports -

Central – Cheryl Kissel & Christine Gilbert

Northeast – Kate Davie & Beth Mellon

Northwest I – Angelica Harris

Northeast Region One

Annual Report

This year’s meetings focused on school 1:1 initiatives and ebooks: vendors, devices, and student access.  Our school libraries are at various stages of implementation, depending on program support and funds.  To learn more, we invited Follett rep Bill Curran to provide us with a demonstration of Follettshelf, with implementation advice for both Destiny users and those with other library systems.  We also discussed the continuing need for advocacy as our school communities “catch the wave”—we must continue to participate as leaders of innovation and instruction.

As always, NWR1 members have lively get-togethers, including the holiday dinner and Yankee Swap in December, and a summer send-off scheduled for late May.  

Special thanks and congratulations to our retiring members:  Barb Grady, Enosburg Elementary School, and Mary Guertin, Richford Elementary School.   We wish them well as they finally enjoy that pile of books that has been waiting for them!

 Respectfully submitted,

Beth Curtis, Angel Harris and Lyn Lauffer

Northwest II – Sue Irish & Kathy Lawrence

Northeast Region Two

The Northwest II region held two successful and well-attended regional meetings this year.  Right before the holidays we gathered for a session that brought together a number of new participants.  We had great discussions about professional development, PLNs, funding sources, and classroom management. The atmosphere was festive with lots of little prizes and treats!

At the end of March we hosted a Rockstar Librarian training at MMUHS in Jericho, following Linda McSweeney’s format and agenda.  Linda introduced us to the AASL lesson plan database and there seems to be some interest in adding to it.  Participants that day were introduced to many new web tools.  Feedback was extremely positive!


Kathy Lawrence and Sue Furry-Irish

Southeast – Marilee Attley

Southwest – Jessica Shurlow