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VLA 2020 Conference Information Update

VLA has made the difficult decision not to host a conference this year, in person or online. After an exhaustive search of virtual platforms, we were unable to find one that provided the experience we wanted our attendees, presenters, volunteers and vendors to have, at a reasonable price. The Norfolk Marriott Waterside allowed us to transfer our conference to their location in 2022 without financial penalty.

The cancellation of the VLA conference is frustrating for so many of our participants. This prevents attendees from making new connections and seeing old friends. It prevents us from celebrating our award and scholarship winners, and denies vendors the opportunity to meet you face-to-face and have you see their products in person. It prevents presenters the opportunity to share their knowledge, and for attendees to learn from one another. We know, from years of survey data, that while attendees appreciate the continuing education of a conference, the opportunity to meet new people and network is vital to your professional lives. READ MORE


2021 VLA Election of Officers Results

Please join us in congratulating the newly-elected members of the Virginia Library Association Executive Committee for 2021!

VLA President-Elect: KT Vaughan

With her diverse experiences in the health and life sciences, teaching and research, facilities operations, community outreach, and management, KT Vaughan brings an optimistic and inclusive perspective to library leadership in Virginia. She started her career in North Carolina as a library assistant at Duke, and received her MSLS from UNC-CH in 2001. Over the next dozen years, she held positions at the EPA, NC State University, and the Health Sciences Library at UNC before moving to Virginia in 2013. After seven years at James Madison University, including as the director of the science library and as Associate Dean, KT will join the Washington & Lee Library as University Librarian on June 1st. 

KT is or has been active at the national level in ACRL, LLAMA, the Medical Library Association, and ASIS&T. She was thrilled to find a welcoming and nurturing professional home in the Virginia Library Association, where she has been a frequent presenter and participant at VLA and VLACRL programs, a mentor with the NMRT, and part of the Virginia delegation to National Library Legislative Day. KT was a key part of the development of the interdisciplinary poster session at the VLA annual meeting. Asking questions about - and driving change in - the future of libraries is a central theme of KT’s career. She is currently focused on building inclusive and equitable library environments for people with disabilities, scholarly and digital communication in resource-constrained contexts, and the career advancement and professionalism of library staff and faculty. She recently graduated from Arizona State University with a doctorate in education. Her dissertation, “Building an Inclusive Library through Staff Accessibility Training” is available via the ASU and JMU institutional repositories.

VLA Secretary: Maryśka Connolly-Brown

Photograph of Maryska Connolly-BrownMaryśka joined the Bortz Library at Hampden-Sydney College in 2015 as Technical Services Librarian. Before that she served as Electronic Resources Librarian and a library liaison to the College of Allied Health Sciences at the Medical College of Georgia. She obtained her MLIS at Valdosta State University in 2013. As Technical Services Librarian, she manages two full-time staff, and her department oversees acquisitions, cataloging, electronic resources, library systems, and the archive. She also advises incoming freshman and runs a variety of library programing for students including annual murder mystery nights, a permanent escape room, and regularly Dungeons & Dragons games.

As a faculty librarian, Maryśka has published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship, Journal of the Medical Library Association, The Reference Librarian, and Medical Reference Services Quarterly. She’s also published book reviews for the Georgia Library Quarterly and Farmville Magazine.

Maryśka has been a member of VLA since moving to Virginia in 2015. She’s served as the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Forum, and as both a judge and chair for the VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Award. In 2017, she was part of planning efforts for the first Path to Librarianship: VLA Diversity Career Night at the University of Richmond. Maryśka has attended every VLA Annual Conference since joining, and has presented on a variety of topics from selecting an Integrated Library System to running a library escape room.

KT and Maryska will begin their roles in November of 2020. They will join the other members of the 2021 VLA Executive Committee:

Jennifer Resor-Whicker, President (Radford University)

Regina Sierra Carter, Second Vice President

Bill Edwards-Bodmer, Treasurer

Lucinda Rush Wittkower, ALA Councilor. 

Lisa R. Varga, Executive Director

VLA Officer Elections are held annually in August and September. Elections closed on September 16, with 8% of VLA members participating. VLA has 4,762 members as of 9/16/20.

Virginia Library Association Annual Awards2020 VLA Award Winners

The Awards & Recognition Committee of the Virginia Library Association (VLA) has selected winners for the 2020 association awards from a very competitive application pool. Librarians and library project teams from academic, public, and special libraries across the commonwealth are honored for their exemplary contributions to their communities and profession in 2019. For more details about each winner and their accomplishments, please visit the 2020 VLA Award Winners page.

VLA's Statement on Racism and Violence

The recent murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA are only the most recent examples of the ongoing problems with systemic racism in American society today.

The Virginia Library Association (VLA) stands in solidarity with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) in condemning violence and racism toward Black people and all people of color, and endorses BCALA's statement condemning increased violence and racism towards Black Americans and people of color.

VLA stands with Black people and all people of color from across the globe in protest of the racism, discrimination, pain and sorrow marginalized communities have experienced for too long. We recognize that we must acknowledge our own biases and be open to change, always considering the impact of our words and actions, regardless of intent. Only by acknowledging our discomfort can we truly effect change and bridge differences. The pervasive racism present in our nation denies its residents equal rights and equal access and as such is a barrier to the goals of this association and to everything that libraries stand for.

We honor and offer our support to library workers, library users, and members of the communities we serve who are susceptible to acts of prejudice, threats of violence, and even death based solely on their race or ethnicity. VLA is planning to hold a moderated town hall on race and libraries in the near future. We have also collected a list of anti-racism resources that was curated by the attendees at a recent VLA Zoomversation meeting. If your library has also created a resource list, please email a link to [email protected] so we may add it to our page.

VLA pledges to work towards a more equitable future for all. We have faith that we can come together and meet the challenges that lie ahead.

-June 2020

VLA's Anti-Racism Resource List

During the June 3, 2020 VLA Zoomversation with the Library of Virginia, the attendees compiled this list of resources related to anti-racism readings, films, podcasts, and other types of resources.  This list will continue to be updated.  If you have any suggestions for additions or edits, please email Lisa Varga.