using tiny tech to solve problems in Vermont

I talk a lot about how availability of free online tools is really helping small organizations get things done. Here is an example in a note that came across the Vermont Libraries listserv this week which I’ve reprinted with permission.

In our rural state, many libraries are staffed by a single staff person, or by a very small staff. This can make it a challenge to accomplish large projects within a short time period, have an extended vacation, or take advantage of a professional development opportunity. Also, those librarians who work part-time sometimes would like to expand their experience, network and income with additional work within their profession.

The Vermont Library Association (VLA), Green Mountain Library Consortium (GMLC) and Vermont Consortium of Academic Libraries (VCAL) are excited to introduce the Vermont Library Substitute Pool!

Here’s how it works:

If you would like the opportunity to sub or temp at a library in your area, or are seeking freelance work or volunteer opportunities, simply fill out the Vermont Library Substitute Pool Form at http://www.vermontlibraries.org/vlspform.This form populates a document, maintained by a joint VLA/VCAL/GMLC volunteer, with your interests and contact information. Your entry will
be available for one year to libraries looking to fill a need.

We particularly encourage current library staff and volunteers interested in exploring work in other kinds of libraries to sign up for the sub pool. For example, if you are a school librarian interested in finding out what it might be like working with children or teens in a public library setting, the substitute pool could be an excellent opportunity for you.

We anticipate that there will be a mix of paid and unpaid opportunities available.

Libraries looking for a volunteer, project temp, or other such staffing need, will be able to request a single log in to access the data. To do so, please contact our Vermont Library Substitute Pool volunteer, Helen Linda, at addressremoved@gmail.com with the name and email address of your library representative.

The VLA has also provided a space to list ongoing Volunteer Opportunities at libraries, http://www.vermontlibraries.org/section/volunteers. If you are a library who has opportunities available, please consider posting them on the site. Please contact the Vermont Library Association (http://www.vermontlibraries.org/leadership ) if you are interested in adding an ongoing volunteer opportunity.

We currently have 55 people on the list and they represent every county in the state (most of them selecting multiple counties). Below is the breakdown of current availability:

  1. Chittenden: 27
  2. Washington: 21
  3. Addison: 16
  4. Franklin: 15
  5. Orange: 18
  6. Windsor: 16
  7. Caledonia: 14
  8. Lamoille: 14
  9. Windham: 11
  10. Rutland: 8
  11. Essex: 8
  12. Bennington: 7
  13. Orleans: 6

4 Responses to “using tiny tech to solve problems in Vermont”

  1. Brian Says:

    I like this idea a lot. In addition to subbing individual work shifts, is it ever used for coordinating large-but-short-term flash-mobby type projects?

  2. jessamyn Says:

    Our crew is not the flash-mobby type and I’m pleasantly surprised this is working out so well.

  3. Amy Ranger Says:

    Still bummed that I don’t live in VT. If this works, though, I wonder if it’s because the state is rather size challenged? ;-)

  4. Brian Says:

    What I was thinking about was coordinating a group of people to focus on a single project all at the same time, rather than one or two people at a time over an extended period. It seems like a lot of library projects can be tackled very quickly with the right number of people, or else they languish on for way too long when done in piecemeal fashion. At least, that’s the way some of my projects feel sometimes.