If you haven’t seen me around Woodstock, or in the library this week, there’s a good reason for that. This week I write to you from the New England Library Leadership Symposium in North Andover, Massachusetts. I had the great honor to be one of three Vermont library directors selected to attend this symposium. I am very grateful to the NWPL staff who are capably running the library in my absence. I’m also grateful to the Vermont Library Association who provided a full scholarship to enable me to attend this valuable institute. Last, but not least, I thank the NWPL president, Anne Marinello and all of the trustees who so enthusiastically support professional development and continuing education for NWPL staff.
At this symposium I am joined by 40 other public library leaders from Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. We are deeply engaged in group learning in an intensive immersion experience. We are exploring topics that will directly inform our leadership in the libraries and communities we serve. Our inquiry involves the issues facing public libraries today. We will come away with tools and strategies to lead change in our communities and in our profession. It has been fascinating to encounter public library leaders from other states and hear how they have engaged their communities and aligned library services to meet the needs of their patrons. One library director shared a beautiful story of a non-verbal, autistic child’s very first words being spoken during the weekly library story hour. Another library director sends staff into a local transitional family shelter to offer library books and programs to families in need.
I am more excited than ever to return to Woodstock next week and continue my “Listening Tour” in the community. NWPL is a treasure and it is a treasure to be shared with our whole community. NWPL library staff is uniquely positioned to help sustain and support Woodstock.
If I haven’t answered your email or phone call this week it’s because I’m deeply immersed in learning all about the transformational power of public libraries! I will be back next week and look forward to seeing you in the library or around town soon.