Letter from VLA President Todd Elliott: March 2018

Greetings VLA colleagues!

Though I spent part of my childhood in upstate New York, I do not enjoy cold weather at all. I know that some of you are thinking “winter is the BEST time of the year” and we will have to agree to disagree – come on spring! First things first: congratulations to all of the library workers around the state who were selected for the 2018 Virginia Library Leadership Academy! VALLA, which will feature American Library Association Past-President Maureen Sullivan, offers an intensive leadership experience for participants.

One of the great things about participating in your state library association is all of the networking that goes on, and do those connections ever help! Let me get personal for a minute: as a newly-minted public library director here in Portsmouth, it was precisely three days into the job that I engaged in a small freak-out session. Quietly, because I was in the library. What if I’m not up to this? What if I make a major blunder? What if..? Reaching out to a fellow director and member of the Virginia Library Association, I was gently assured that things would be just fine because we support one another. None of us has to go it alone, in truth we shouldn’t. I like the way that we collectively engage in conversation to share ideas, events, and occasionally frustrations.

Speaking of ideas and events – be sure to take a look at the VLA online calendar. You will agree that the VLA Website Content Committee does a good job it making it meaningful and current. Freedom of Information Day is March 16, and related to it is Sunshine Week (March 11 – 17), the annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community. There is a link to the official website for more information and free resources. There is a youth services workshop in region 6 and a CaTS cataloging forum in region 3. Want more? Hie thee to the calendar!

Several of you will head to Philadelphia to the Public Library Association Conference later in the month and I hope that you will learn something to share at home and with colleagues across the Commonwealth. Safe travels!  

As my wife, Jackie, would tell our sons as they were growing up: Questions? Comments? Rude remarks? Feel free to give me a shout at elliottt@portsmouthva.gov.