After serving as vice president of the Public Libraries Section of the Vermont Library Association for the past year, Ilsley Public Library director Dana Hart assumed the role of president on May 25th.The Vermont Library Association (VLA) is an educational organization working to develop, promote, and improve library and information services and librarianship in the state of Vermont.The Public Libraries Section, specifically, strives to provide tools and resources to librarians working in public libraries.
This emphasis on professional development is what compelled Hart to take on a leadership role at VLA. “A library’s most valuable resource is its staff,” commented Hart. “This is true at Ilsley Public Library, and at public libraries across the state. By investing in our staff we can improve library services and maintain a culture of engaged and committed librarians. The Public Libraries Section typically hosts several professional development workshops or classes for public librarians throughout the year, and I look forward to bringing these opportunities to Vermont librarians.”
The VLA also focuses on advocacy and publicity, another area Hart is passionate about. Last year, in her role as vice president, Hart developed a promotional campaign aimed at raising awareness of what public libraries achieve collectively for Vermonters, as well as highlighting specific achievements of local libraries. She plans to expand this campaign during her tenure as president. “Public libraries bring a tremendous amount of value to our communities, but we aren’t always effective in communicating that value,” says Hart. “As president of the Public Libraries Section, my goal will be to continue to support librarians by giving them the tools necessary to serve as advocates for their institutions.”