Virginia Library Leadership Academy (VALLA) Task Force



In April 2022 the VALLA Task Force was formed to evaluate the current state of the Virginia Library Leadership Academy. The Task Force was charged with identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the existing VALLA structure with an eye toward redesign and sustainability. 

What We've Done!

Since April 2022 the Task Force has accomplished the following:

  • Conducted a survey geared toward previous VALLA participants to assess strengths and weaknesses.
  • Conducted a second survey geared toward library workers and their views on leadership development and challenges they experience in participating in professional development. Key findings can be found here.
  • Utilized the poster session at the 2022 VLA Conference as an opportunity to collect additional feedback and promote the VALLA survey
  • Researched leadership qualities and development strategies
  • Restructured VALLA to include a two-day, in-person workshop with an emphasis on in-person interaction, networking, and building relationships
  • Replaced the year-long project with additional virtual leadership development with approximately one hour per month for learning and one hour per month for group mentorship
  • Drafted vision, mission, and values
  • Identified management development opportunities. A list of management training opportunities can be found here
  • Submitted a poster session for the 2023 VLA Conference to gain interest in the upcoming VALLA
  • Drafted a Task Force Report that will be presented to VLA Council during the September 2023 meeting
  • Scheduled the 2024 Workshop for Monday, March 11, 2024 - March 12, 2024, at the Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg, VA 

What We're Doing!

Below is a list of action items that we are currently working on:

  • Documenting the structure and process for future VALLA iterations
  • Finalizing the 2024 VALLA application process to be made available to the library community in September 2023
  • Identifying a strategy for recruiting mentors
  • Soliciting funds to decrease the out-of-pocket expense for participants
  • Designing a VALLA-specific logo

VALLA Task Force Members

Dr. Jennifer Brown, Augusta County Library Director

Zack Elder, 2nd Vice President, Virginia Library Association, Massenuntan Regional Library Director

Kendra Hawkins, Coordinator of Library Services, Tidewater Community College

Margaret Howard, Branch Manager, Chesterfield Public Library

Tina Rollins, William R. and Norman B. Library Director - Hampton University

Clint S. Rudy, Suffolk Public Library Director

Lisa Varga, Virginia Library Association Executive Director

Liz Weir, Dickson Librarian, Chrysler Museum of Art

Additional VALLA Resources

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