Virginia Library Leadership Academy (VALLA)
2024 Cohort


VALLA is for any individual who is interested in developing their leadership style and skills, regardless of where you are in your career, your position in the library, or what your career plans are. We believe leadership occurs at every level. VALLA values the many leadership styles and stages within Virginia Libraries and aims to meet individuals where they are in their leadership journey. 

VALLA is NOT for those who are interested in developing their management skills. For resources to support management development, please see VALLA Additional Development Resources


The mission of VALLA is to provide leadership development and mentoring that is individualized, regular, and accessible. We do this by having a combination of a 2.5-day in-person workshop at no cost to participants, followed by virtual group mentorship sessions. The in-person workshop will be facilitated. For more information about the facilitator, see the bottom of the page.

Below are the learning objectives and leadership topics that will be covered throughout the workshop:

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and develop an empathetic, advocacy-based leadership style;
  • Create and describe a flexible leadership vision;
  • Discuss and respond to long-standing and contemporary challenges in the LIS field and practice;
  • Demonstrate decision-making skillsets through a lens of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging; 
  • Recognize or establish self-preservation behaviors that maintain or enhance capacity for improved personal and/or organizational health; and 
  • Generate and maintain a cohesive community of leadership and advocacy support and improved practices.

Leadership Topics:

  • Change Management
  • Visioning
  • Communication/Interpersonal relationship building through an EDI lens
  • Cultural Responsiveness
  • Individual leadership development plans
  • The art of reflection
  • Decision making
  • Networking & Community Building


In-person workshop:

Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Valley Conference Center
710 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 2281

Post-workshop Mentor Sessions:



In-Person Workshop:

Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Check-in) - Wednesday, March 13, 2024 (Check-out)


How to Apply

Click here to submit your application. Applications are due November 15, 2023

How much will it cost?

The cost for attendance is $0.00 for participants.
Hotel rooms and meals will be covered free to participants, through breakfast on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, with the exception of dinner on Sunday, March 10th. 

Travel costs will be the responsibility of the participant.

Tentative Schedule

Pre Workshop

A number of readings and journal prompts will be provided ahead of time to be completed by the first day of the workshop

In-Person Workshop

In an effort to get the most out of the time in person, the planning group has developed an intensive schedule utilizing all time together

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Arrival and Check-In

Monday, March 11, 2024

Morning Work Session
Late Morning Work Session
Working Lunch
Afternoon Work Session
Late Afternoon Work Session (Activity)
Working Dinner

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Morning Work Session w/ guest speaker
Late Morning Work Session
Working Lunch
Afternoon Work Session (Activity)
Late Afternoon Work Session 
Working Dinner

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Morning Work Session
Late Morning Work Session w/ guest speaker



Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, MSLS is a Researcher, Leader, Consultant and Coach. She earned her M.S.L.S. from the historic Clark Atlanta University School of Library and Information Studies. While known for her work on ethics, equity, diversity and inclusion, and communities of practice in libraries, Kendrick’s research on low-morale experiences in library workplaces is recognized as groundbreaking and validating for library employees at all levels. In her daily and long-term work, Kendrick has transformed library programs, services, and culture via creativity, leadership, and advocacy. She is committed to centering well-being, creativity, and empathy in the workplace and promoting career clarity and rejuvenation to workers. In 2019, Kendrick was named the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. Learn more about her work.


Contact the 2024 VALLA Planning Chair:
Dr. Jennifer Brown
[email protected]


A big thank you to all the organizations and individuals who made it possible to offer the 2024 at no cost for participants!

Additional VALLA Resources

Virginia Library Leadership Academy (VALLA)
VALLA Additional Development Resources
VALLA Task Force
VALLA Task Force Key Findings