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.

VLA is determined to help you continue to make connections. We have heard that our members want to participate in informal zoom gatherings, perhaps focused on trivia or some other gaming event. We are putting a schedule together and will release it shortly.
VLA will host an online Annual Business Meeting this fall. Attendees will need to sign up in advance to be given login credentials. More details about the meeting will be sent to VLA members by the end of next week.

The New York Library Association is offering VLA members the option to attend their online conference, Strengthening Our Core, Thursday, November 5th - Friday, November 6th, 2020, at their discounted, member pricing. Use code CARDINAL when registering; NYLA will extend their early registration rate through October 31 for VLA members. Please visit this page for their programming schedule and pricing: https://www.nyla.org/4DCGI/cms/review.html?Action=CMS_Document&DocID=281&MenuKey=conf_info

If you are a presenter for this year, we are very sorry to cause you any disappointment or frustration. For those who wish to include the presentation on their resume or CV, it is generally accepted to list it with the notation “Conference canceled” at the end. Example: “The ACRL Framework and First-Year College Students.” Virginia Libraries Association Annual Conference, Norfolk, VA, October 2020. Conference canceled.

We know this has been a difficult year in so many ways.  This pandemic is challenging for all of us- at home, at school, at work. Libraries in Virginia and nationwide have always been a beacon for the communities we serve and that is due to the hard work and dedication of library workers like you. Even in the midst of challenges we’ve never seen before, libraries have innovated, adapted and have success stories to share when we can all be together in person again.  We hope that you are well, and that you can take time to care for yourself, your friends and your family, and stay well.

Please let me know if you have any questions,

Lisa R. Varga, MLS
Executive Director
Virginia Library Association
PO Box 56312
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
757-689-0594 (w)
[email protected]