Virginia Library Leadership Academy (VALLA) Task Force

Needs Assessment: Key Findings

The following are key findings used to inform the restructuring of VALLA and the development of the proposed vision, mission, and values:

The need for individualized leadership development that is catered to the individual's current leadership development stage, position in the organization, and future career goals. 

Focus on Leadership
Make the distinction between leadership and management, and be clear on the focus of VALLA during the promotional stage.

VALLA Structure
Networking was seen as an important aspect of past VALLA sessions. The short amount of time participants have in person should focus on networking, building relationships, and interacting with other participants. Additionally, participants did not feel they received further development opportunities following the in-person workshop.

Previous iterations of VALLA included a project participants were to complete following the workshop, however, there was a lack of accountability and guidance based on mentor involvement. Since peer learning and mentorship were identified as areas to improve upon, as well as the need for additional time to delve into leadership topics, the following structure is proposed in an effort to maintain peer relationships, focus on individualized leadership development plans, social learning, and mentorship the 11 months following the in-person workshop.

Career Advancement
Past participants indicated attending VALLA supported their career advancement.

Promotion & Awareness
Respondents indicated a need for clear messaging that outlines:

  • Time commitments
  • Expectations following the in-person workshop
  • Who VALLA is geared toward
  • What content will be covered

Barriers to Access
Respondents indicated the following barriers to participation in VALLA:

  • Amount of time away from the building
  • Travel Time for the in-person workshop
  • Cost
  • Time commitment following the in-person workshop
  • Organizational support

Additional VALLA Resources

Apply for the 2024 VALLA Cohort
Virginia Library Leadership Academy (VALLA)
VALLA Task Force
VALLA Additional Development Resources