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VLA Council Approves $1400 Travel Grant for JCLC 2018

The Virginia Library Association Executive Committee and Council approved a motion to provide a $1400 Travel Grant for one VLA member to attend the 2018 Joint Conference for Librarians of Color, September 26-30, 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

VLA will open an application process (similar to that for our 2017 VLA Conference Travel Grant and The Innovative Library Classroom Travel Grant) in early 2018.

About JCLC: First held in 2006 in Dallas, Texas, and then again in 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri, the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color brings together a diverse group of librarians, library staff, library supporters, and community participants to explore issues of diversity in libraries and how they affect the ethnic communities who use library services.  It will be held next on September 26-30, 2018, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

More updates regarding the conference and JCLC Inc. will be forthcoming via the organization’s website.  Please visit the JCLC Inc website, where donations can also be made to support JCLC’s work to advocate for and address the common needs of librarians of color.


VLA Annual Conference
VLACRL Conference-Within-A-Conference and the
Virginia Association of Law Libraries Joint Conference
Early Bird Registration is open until July 15.
Advance Registration is open July 16 - September 27.
Visit the 2017 VLA Conference Portal for all the details.

2016 VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Award Winners Announced

The Diversity & Inclusion Forum of the Virginia Library Association has just announced the 2016 winners of the VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Award. The deliberation was quite intense due to the high quality of the submissions. The Diversity Awards Committee wants to thank all the publishers and self-publishers who participated. The committee wishes that every nomination could be honored, however we are very happy to announce the Winners and Honor Books. The committee also identified Overfloweth Titles that meet the high standards of quality literature and that they would recommend reading.



Watson and Holmes Volume 2 coverWatson and Holmes, Volume 2 by Lyndsay Faye, Brandon Easton, Hannibal Tabu, Steven Grant and Karl Bollers, Illustrated by N. Steven Harris, Dennis Calero and Eli Powell. New Paradigm Studios.
Watson and Holmes, Volume 2 is a great twist on a British classic that features a reimagining of beloved, iconic characters. With great black role models this series is relevant with the emergence of more black heroes and grittier storytelling, as seen in Netflix’s Luke Cage. These complex characters solve crimes with diverse elements, including sex slavery, suicide, transgender sex workers and more. The artwork is expressive and provides its readers with a distinct cast of characters.


March Book 3 coverMarch: Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell. Top Shelf Productions.
March, Book 3 concludes Congressman John Lewis's memoir of the Civil Rights movement. This volume begins with a church bombing in 1963, marches through Bloody Sunday, and ends with the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Like the previous volumes, it is framed by the inauguration of President Obama. The collaboration between Lewis, co-author Andrew Aydin, and artist Nate Powell addresses race, equality, and justice in our nation's continuing struggle to live its moral vision. March, Book 3 shows that graphic literature is capable of handling difficult and complex issues respectfully while meeting the highest literary expectations.
With the immediacy of courtroom sketches and the flow of video, Powell's black and white drawings pull the reader into those years. He shows the cruelty and brutality that civil rights workers faced for registering people to vote. Even more than the violence, foreboding settings and faces full of emotion evoke reader empathy for the struggle to make America more inclusive.
Lewis's memory, recorded speeches, and other documents ensure historical accuracy in the characters' conversations. They reveal the courage of people risking death to protest, the tensions among civil rights leaders with differing goals, and the political maneuvering behind historic legislation. These make Lewis' narrative not only vivid history but also a timeless account of what it takes to make a movement succeed.


Call for Speakers: Diversity Career Night in RVA

On September 28, 2017, the Virginia Library Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Forum will present Path to Librarianship: VLA Diversity Career Night at Boatwright Library, University of Richmond @ 7pm.

This event will bring together librarians, educators, and library administrators to discuss the need for more diversity in Virginia libraries, explore barriers for entry into the profession, and provide information for those interested in entering the field of librarianship. The number of sessions and format of the program will be, in part, determined by the speakers. The D&I Forum invites potential speakers to suggest topics related to diversity in librarianship, diversity in hiring practices and recruitment, unique opportunities and challenges for minority librarians, and other related areas.  Please keep in mind that the intended audience is non-librarians interested in the profession, and topics should be accessible to that audience. Questions can be directed to Maryƛka Connolly-Brown at or

The Call for Speakers will remain open until July 1, 2017. Accepted speakers will be notified by July 15, 2017.

Call for Speakers Application:


2017 Jefferson Cup Winners and Honor Books Announced

The Steep & Thorny Way and I Dissent win 2017 Jefferson Cup

The Jefferson Cup Committee is pleased to announce that they have selected the 2017 winning and honor titles. The 2017 Jefferson Cup Award winner for Young Adult Readers is The steep and thorny way by Cat Winters. The 2017 Jefferson Cup Award winner for Young Readers is I dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes her mark by Debbie Levy. 



In The steep and thorny way (Amulet Books), Cat Winters has created a stunning portrayal of 1920s Oregon that reflects the diversity and complexity of the American experience. As a modern twist on Hamlet, Winters succeeds in conveying a murder mystery, love story, and supernatural tale set against a historically accurate background of racism, homophobia, and Prohibition bootlegging.

I dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes her mark (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) by Debbie Levy is a well-researched, vibrant picture book biography of the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Levy connects young readers with her subject using lively text that allows her readers to understand Ruth Bader Ginsburg within a historical context in an engaging manner. 


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